Elementary Principal’s Welcome for the 2016-17 School Year

| September 20, 2016

Welcome to the 2016 -2017 school year!

Cooperstown Elementary School is a community of learners. Everyone from the administrator to our youngest child is growing and learning. We are a child-centered school where children come first and teachers feel safe to take risks and reach beyond. We remember that parents are always the child’s first teachers as we work together building partnerships that are effective and lasting. Cooperstown Elementary School strives to be a community that values cooperation, assertion, commitment, empathy, self-control and life-long learning.

We are proud of the diversity, strengths and accomplishments of our student body and staff. Together we work in a productive environment to master reading, writing, mathematics, scientific, technological, artistic and social skills. We also celebrate the vitality and achievements of our friends living on other continents and are eager to learn about their cultures, geography, and the situations that create excellence for their lifestyles.

The Cooperstown Central School District is a partnership of students, parents, teachers, staff and all other community members. The school’s mission is to provide a caring environment that motivates students to pursue individual excellence and to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for continual growth. Education at Cooperstown Elementary School shall foster an active curiosity, self-discipline, a positive attitude and compassion.

The educational program at the Cooperstown Elementary School is based on the concept that education should prepare the individual to function as a productive member  of our society.  This goal is achieved through basic instruction in language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science. These basic skills are supplemented with regular instruction in music, art, physical education, technology and library science. In addition, the program stresses good work and social habits such as following directions, learning to work independently, showing courtesy and thoughtfulness, accepting responsibilities, and putting forth good effort.

The Cooperstown Kindergarten is a full day program and provides readiness skills and varied academic learning experiences. Students in grades K-4 are placed in heterogeneous groups in self -contained classrooms with daily instruction in all basic curriculum areas.  Flexible ability and skill grouping within grade levels occur in order to meet specific academic needs. Emphasis is on language arts and math, with many opportunities to learn in the areas of health, science, social studies, and technology. Classes in grades 5-6 are departmentalized in the subjects of science, language arts and math. Homerooms are heterogeneously grouped.

Each child in grades K-6 receives instruction from certified teachers in music, art and physical education. Students engage in technology instruction and the use of the library on a regular basis. Students in grades 1-6 receive hands-on practice in keyboarding, word processing, database skills, slideshows, research and graphics. Students in grades K receive appropriate technology instruction in their classrooms and the computer lab. In addition to general music instruction, students may take instrumental lessons from a school instructor beginning in the fourth grade, and also have the opportunity to participate in band and/or chorus.

All students in grades 1-6 receive report cards three (3) times per year. Individual parent-teacher conferences are held twice (2) each year for students in kindergarten and first grade and once (1) a year in second through sixth grade. Additional conferences are held as needed. An Open House program is held each fall for parents at all grade levels. The date may be found in the District calendar.

There are many opportunities in the community for young people. The Clark Sports Center offers extensive programs in its state-of-the-art facility on Susquehanna Avenue. Scouts, 4-H, Youth Baseball, Buddy Basketball, and junior soccer and football programs are also available. A list of these organizations is printed in the District calendar.
Special Programs -Title I federal funds are used to provide a program for students in need of additional or corrective reading and math skills and instruction. Students work in the Academic Intervention room from two to five periods a week with a specialist, who also works with teachers and parents to better meet the needs of each child.

Some students have the potential to learn, but are unable to achieve as expected because of a specific learning disability. Students with this handicapping condition as identified by the District Committee on Special Education are given help in the Resource Room from two to five periods per week. Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) are written for each student as developed by the specialist, the classroom teacher and the parents.

In addition to students with identified learning disabilities, the Committee on Special Education may also find a student to be disabled emotionally, mentally, or physically, including the areas of vision, hearing and speech. These students may be assigned to work in the Resource Room with a special education teacher or with a specialist in the field of their handicapping condition. The district believes that most students’ needs can be met in the local schools. We believe in inclusive education which means that even students with relatively severe disabling conditions will attend our schools with the appropriate support system in place. Other students are a very important part of that support system. BOCES classes are also available for students whose needs cannot be met within the regular school program.

Special Services -The Elementary School has the services of a full-time school nurse whose primary responsibility is to provide needed daily nursing services to our students. These include health screening, notifying parents regarding student health issues and attendance, maintaining school health records and dispensing of required medications.

A School Based Health Center is housed in our Health Office to provide care for students who are enrolled in the program. A nurse practitioner and a records secretary are at the Elementary School in the A.M. and at the Jr/Sr High School in the P.M. Mental health and family counseling can also be provided at the School Based Health Center. To enroll in the center or to secure information, please call 547-1105.

A certified school psychologist is employed by the District. The psychologist does individual testing of students and holds follow-up meetings with teachers and parents. The psychologist also works with the Committee on Special Education in determining the needs of students.

One certified counselor is available to provide individual and group counseling to students at the elementary level. The counselor also meets with teachers and parents in providing for the needs of students. A major part of the guidance program includes various related units of instruction which are presented in the classroom to all students. These focus on career options, self-esteem issues and personal safety concerns, to name a few. This year the school will again be involved in the Primary Mental Health Project. A trained child care assistant will work with the counselor in helping children in grades K-3 who are in need of someone to talk to regarding problems they may be experiencing.

The school also has the services of one full-time and one part-time speech-language teachers to work with children classified by the CSE, as well as providing classes for children with less severe speech and language problems.

A full-time librarian is on staff to provide instruction and support for all students. Grades K-6 have scheduled library times once a week and grade levels may schedule independent time for research and in depth curriculum study. The media center plays a very important part in many of the curricular areas studied K-6.

Odyssey of the Mind is a competition based program. Children work in groups to solve long term and spontaneous problems. Groups are led by parents and meet once a week beginning in October. This is an excellent avenue for children to use higher order thinking skills and creative problem solving skills in a cooperative learning situation. The staff contact for this program is the Elementary Principal.

Mentor Program
The Mentor Program provides students with a specifically matched mentor from the community to assist in the development of self-esteem, responsibility, academic success and social awareness. The staff contact for this program is Christine McBrearty-Hulse, 547-4198.

 

Thank you and have a great year!

Principal Ann Meccariello

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