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Board Hears Report On Early Release, Teacher Development

Published: May 20, 2011 at 12:00 am

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Board Hears Report On

Early Release, Teacher Development

By Eliza Hallabeck

At its May 17 meeting, the Board of Education heard a report by Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Gejda and Head O’ Meadow third grade teacher Susan Ruddock on the implemented early release days for professional development throughout the school year. Dr Gejda said she will be presenting a full overview of the work accomplished and “deliverable” impacts on the school district for the school board after the last early release day, which is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1.


Ms Ruddock provided the board with one example, out of many, she said, of student work improving thanks to the professional learning occurring during the early release day meetings for staff.


After having a class predominantly of male students, Ms Ruddock said she approached a colleague from Sandy Hook School who had worked with improving writing scores for male students before. Thanks to help provided by the Sandy Hook School teacher, Ms Ruddock says she was able to bring those teaching strategies into her own classroom at Head O’ Meadow.


Ms Ruddock also said it took confidence for each of the teachers involved in the professional learning communities to stand before colleagues for evaluation in order to learn from each other.


“It’s obvious that the teachers in this district care more about their students than their personal concerns for themselves,” said Ms Ruddock.


The school board also heard a report by Sandy Hook School Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung on her school. The presentation continued the school board’s presentations on each of the schools in the district.


Also during the meeting, the school board approved the latest monthly Financial Report, as prepared by the district’s Director of Business Ron Bienkowski.


From different areas in the budget, Mr Bienkowski estimated there will be money remaining in the budget. Other areas in the budget projected a negative balance, like in purchased services, which was effected by unanticipated tutoring hours.


Board of Education member David Nanavaty asked Mr Bienkowski to clarify that once the district is reimbursed for costs associated with special education and other areas in the budget, the remaining projected balance of $120,000 would go to the town. Mr Bienkowski said yes.


According to the report, the budget will be monitored closely for the final two months of the fiscal year.


The director of business also said remaining balances from this fiscal year will allow for better adjusting the upcoming 2011-12 budget.


The school board is expected to adopt its 2011-12 budget at its next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, June 7.


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