SINCLAIRVILLE - Scott Smith, the superintendent at Cassadaga Valley Central School, wants to study whether there is "inadequate use of our facilities."
During his report at the recent school board meeting, Smith compared the enrollment of each school to its capacity. He also noted the number of vacant rooms in each building. This is the second month that Smith has reported on the subject.
The Cassadaga Elementary School has 100 students, 17 of whom are half-day pre-kindergarten students. The capacity of the building is 510 students. At the school nine out of 24 rooms are being used. This building houses students up through second grade.
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Board member William Carlson questions district principals during the recent meeting of the Cassadaga Valley Central School Board of Education. Left to right: Carlson, District Clerk Kristen Aldinger and David Christy, school board president.
Sinclairville Elementary has 373 students, 30 of whom are half-day pre-kindergarten students. The building could house 500 students. At present, three rooms are vacant in the building. Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade programs are run in this building.
The middle/high school has 586 students, 235 of whom are in middle school and 351 of whom are in high school. The building houses grades six through 12. Two rooms are vacant in this building.
"Five others (rooms) are used sparingly," said Smith.
Student population figures can change. Middle school principal Richard Seigel said, "The number changes daily; stay tuned."
Numbers also do not tell the full story. There are many more factors involved if the building use pattern is changed. Beside classrooms, rooms are needed to house special services. The number of students in each particular grade or taking particular subjects would also have an impact on any change. At this point, no recommendations for change have been offered.
Smith also commented on opening day of school saying it went very well, thanking the teachers, principals and staff for everything they did to make a success of opening day.
The four principals in the district, John Kwietniewski, Sinclairville Elementary; Richard Seigel, middle school, Dr. Tara Domenico-Sorrento, high school; and Josh Gilevski, Cassadaga Elementary, reported to the board.
Board member William Carlson asked a number of questions of the principals. One of his concerns was whether the curriculum at the schools was aligned with the Core Curriculum as defined by the state. One reason for his concern was some honor students did not perform well on assessments.
When asked directly for his opinion, Kwietniewski said that lack of alignment may account for some of this, especially in science. Teachers are working to bring the curriculum into alignment he said. Another reason was that sometimes a good student may have a bad day or even have repeated problems in a testing situation.
Carlson concluded the discussion by noting, "We will strive to do better whether we like it (state assessments and curriculum) or not."
Domenico-Sorrento just started her first year as high school principal. She reported, "I enjoyed getting to know the students and staff. ... I went into the English classes to talk about the student handbook."
She noted that it seemed to work well to have a smaller group. Board member Jeanne Oag agreed saying that her daughter was impressed by that.
Carlson asked Domenico-Sorrento what the students call her. Domenico-Sorrento said that some students call her Dr. D. and that is absolutely fine. She also said she will give a piece of candy to any student who can say her name.
Board president David Christy noted he had learned to pronounce her name. She invited him to stop into her office where she keeps the candy.
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