May 20, 2015
The school year has gone quickly with less than a month of classes remaining before State examinations will be administered. One of the many highlights of the spring was the 5th Annual District Hair Design Competition. The show was thoughtfully planned and effectively facilitated by Ms. Lorraine Galluzzo, Cosmetology teacher and supported by Ms. Felicia Ortiz, Teaching Assistant. Ten Cosmetology students participated along with ten student models. The show was held in the Chapel on the Dobbs Ferry Campus and was attended by students, families, District administrators and several residential staff. I was extremely impressed with the skill level and motivation of Ms. Galluzzo’s students; they all meticulously applied what they learned over the last year during the show. All students were awarded a gift card for their outstanding effort. Ms. Galluzzo continues to demonstrate her deep commitment to our students as she prepares them to cross the “Bridge to Adulthood.” Most of these students may not become licensed cosmetologists but they have learned a variety of key life skills that include but not limited to timelines, proper dress, manners, communication and self-respect. Once again, thank you to Ms. Galluzzo and Ms. Ortiz for a job well done.
The next four weeks are key to preparing your children for the State examinations. The following are a few tips that may be helpful as we approach the end of the school year and prepare for the State examinations:
1. Analyze how you did on a similar test in the past. Review your previous tests and sample tests provided by your teacher. Each test you take prepares you for the next one!
2. Arrive early for tests. List what you need beforehand to avoid panic. Good preparation prepares you for the task at hand.
3. Be comfortable but alert. Choose a comfortable location with space enough that you need; don't slouch; maintain good posture.
4. Stay relaxed and confident. Keep a good attitude and remind yourself that you are going to do your best. If you find yourself panicking, take a few deep breaths. Don't talk to other students right before: stress can be contagious.
5. Read directions carefully and avoid careless errors!
6. If there is time, quickly look through the test for an overview. Scan for keywords. If permitted, jot down any notes that come to mind.
7. Answer questions in a strategic order: Easy questions first to build confidence. Then those with the most point value. On objective tests, eliminate obvious incorrect answers. On essay tests, broadly outline your answer and sequence of points.
8. Review! If you have time. Resist the urge to leave when you complete the exam - check if you have answered all the questions, and not made any errors or mismarked any answers.
9. Change answers to questions if you erred, or misread the question! You may also find information in the test that will correct a previous answer.
10. Decide on and adopt study strategies that work best for you. Review where you succeed and where you are challenged.
The District's 2015-16 budget was presented at the May Board of Education (BOE) meeting and will be up for approval at the June Board of Education meeting. The budget is balanced and represents a 4 percent increase in expenditures and revenues. The budget is guided by preserving current programs in each Academy and further development of Career and Occupational Skills programs and courses and significant improvements in technology. The improvements in technology will profoundly impact the education of your children. These improvements include but not limited to improved technology, Smart Board in each classroom, introduction of tablets in specific classrooms, on-line curriculum that meets the Common Core Standards, on-line literacy and math assessments with a remedial component and the re-design of the District website.
In the next month you will receive more details regarding the District budget and the above 2015-2016 initiatives. Please be aware there will be a community budget meeting on Thursday, June 4th in the Kenneth B. Clark Academy cafeteria beginning at 3:30 p.m.; I look forward to seeing you there. Please enjoy the holiday weekend and the remainder of the spring and thank you for entrusting your child's education to our capable faculty, staff and administration.
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Superintendent of Schools
KCA Graduating Class of 2015!!!
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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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