August 1, 2016
As we begin the second week of the summer session it is an opportune time to reflect on the lives of our students across the four Academies. Many of our students find life to be arduous and difficult with minimal supports; lives we have not or will not ever experience.
I question how may we assist our students to live well despite the numerous challenges they face day to day?
My belief is that as long as you establish a goal(s) related to living life well and you have the resources to reach that goal(s) or at least make an effort to reach the goal(s), the journey is worth it.
The next question is what is the goal(s) and how do you ensure it is a worthwhile goal(s) and justify the strategies and effort to work toward the goal(s)?
To answer this question, our students need adult mentors; a true mentor relationship. Mentors are vessels of hope. They have faced challenges and have prevailed and give testimony to life lived well.
Mentors play a critical role by helping students develop confidence in themselves and assist them in preparing for success. Moreover, mentors do not necessarily increase skill sets but increase motivation, perseverance and confidence. They offer students hope.
Mentors can take many forms in our District, from a central office staff to a secretary, to a maintenance worker, to a teaching assistant, to a teacher, to a Board member, to name just a few of the unlimited possibilities.
The concept of developing a mentorship program is under consideration for the future. Please email me your thoughts regarding mentoring. I welcome your input.
To date, The State Dormitory Authority has made significant progress in updating the Kenneth B. Clark Academy (KCA). This project is part of a 1.7 million dollar State effort.
All heating/air condition units on the second and third floors have been replaced. The first floor is schedule to be completed by mid-August.
The drainage project in the rear of the gymnasium is now complete. The external walls of KCA will be cleaned and decorative metal panels will be installed. The panels will not only increase the beauty of KCA but protect from discoloration. It will also help ensure birds do not continue to burrow into the external walls. The external wall facing the ball field will be bricked. This part of the project will be completed in the spring.
Finally, the New York State Education Department recently approved the plan to roll out the new social studies frameworks. The new Global Regents Exam will be first administered June 2018 which will cover the year 1750 through today. As of this September we will begin teaching the social studies content and skills found in the new social studies framework to prepare for the new Global Regents exam.
There will be two distinct units of Global Studies. The first year (9th grade) begins with the Paleolithic Era to a period of global interactions from 1400 to 1750. A District department exam will need to be developed for the first unit.
Whereas the second year (10th grade) begins with a brief overview of historical events occurring in the 1750, incorporates the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, and continues to the present. This is the content of the new Global Regents exam. In both units the common core literacy skills for social studies will be incorporated into instruction.
Information regarding the frameworks may be found on engageny. A social studies department meeting to discuss preparation for September is scheduled for Friday August 19th beginning at 8:00 am in the chapel on the Dobbs Ferry Campus.
Please review the frameworks and the Common Core Literacy standards in preparation for the meeting. Knowledge of both documents is key to properly addressing our agenda. The agenda is to develop a curriculum map for each year of study and outline a draft first unit District department exam.
Please stay cool in what should be the hottest week of the summer thus far.
Ed Placke, Ed.D.
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Superintendent of Schools
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The Greenburgh North Castle Union Free School District (GNC UFSD) is an approved New York State public school district. GNC UFSD is comprised of four alternative junior/high schools educating students in grades 7-12 and ages 12-21. The following are the schools and their locations: Greenburgh Academy (Yonkers), Kenneth B. Clark Academy (Dobbs Ferry), Kaplan Career Academy (New Windsor) and REACH Academy (West Harrison).
GNC UFSD educates students who have found little success in their school districts, BOCES and/or private schools. The focus of each Academy is to provide a highly individualized education that prepares students for the next best opportunity; may it be return to their home school district or graduation from one of the Academies, including transition to college, career and technical school, the military, supportive employment and/or competitive employment.
REACH Academy provides state-of-the-art education to students on the spectrum, as well as students who are dually diagnosed. Whereas Greenburgh Academy, Kaplan Career Academy and Kenneth B. Clark Academy educate students who have learning and behavioral challenges. All four Academies offer IEP based related services that include speech, counseling, occupational therapy and specialized reading support. Additionally, interscholastic athletics, intramural athletics and clubs are offered in each Academy.
Greenburgh Academy only enrolls students who commute daily whereas the other three Academies enroll students who commute and/or board. St. Christopher’s Inc. provides the residential programming for each of the three aforementioned Academies. The education program for each student is well integrated with the residential program. For more information regarding St. Christopher's, Inc. and the residential program please see their website (http://stchristophersinc.org/).
GNC UFSD has documented an 80% graduation rate over the past four years with over 40% of our graduates attending college. The key to our students' success has been an integrative approach to education that emphasizes academics, social skills, ethics and careers. As of the 2015-16 school year the four Academies will place a greater focus on Career Development and Occupational Skills (CDOS). The following career areas are being considered and expanded: culinary arts, cosmetology, business, driver's education, art and music. For referral information please contact Dr. Robin Levine at 914-798-7200 ext.2232 regarding day placement and for residential placement please contact either Jill Bergner, Director of Intake, at 914-693-3030 ext. 2037 or Karen Safris, Supervisor of Intake, at 914-949-0665 ext. 2301.
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