School starts next week, with some changes
TRI-COUNTY AREA—The 2013-14 school year starts next Wednesday, Sept. 4, for Penn Yan, Watkins Glen, and Odessa-Montour, and Thursday, Sept. 5 for Dundee and Hammondsport.
Each district has made changes for this upcoming year. Penn Yan Superintendent David Hamilton said the district will have 85 percent of pre-kindergarten students at the elementary school. He said most of the students will “be under one roof” and at various agencies in the area. Hamilton explained this will make the transition to kindergarten smoother for students who will be more familiar with the school.
The elementary will also have a new principal in Edward Foote, who replaces Marcie Ware. Other staff changes include the reduction of transportation supervisor and technology coordinator, approved last year.
Dundee’s new dress code will be in effect. According to the district, the following is not allowed: tops without sleeves, half shirts, see through shirts, shirts that are vulgar, pajama pants, visible undergarments, spandex, pants that are tight fitting, ripped pants, low-rise pants, shorts and skirts that do not come close to the knee, and slippers.
Superintendent Kathy Ring said with Head Start losing its funding, Dundee will provide universal pre-kindergarten. She said there will be two classes in the morning and one in the afternoon located at the Methodist church and the Children’s Center.
Hammondsport Superintendent Kyle Bower explained the district will also be providing pre-kindergarten because Head Start was not funded. He said there are 20 students in pre-kindergarten, plus a waiting list.
Bower said Hammondsport is also finishing up capital improvements at the district, which include a new roof, windows, two stairwells, and data connections.
Watkins’ enrollment pre-kindergarten to 12th grade is 1,150 students. Currently, pre-kindergarten to sixth and ninth to 12th grades are located at the 12th Street campus. This is last year any grade level will be at the middle school. Next year the consolidation will be complete.
Kristine Somerville (formerly middle school principal) is now the elementary principal. Rod Weeden (formerly elementary principal) is now the athletics administrator and district data coordinator. Watkins hired Kai D’Alleva to be the middle school administrator and will lead the grade seven to 12 transition process. The district also has six new teachers filling positions left vacant by retirements and one year leaves.
Odessa, with 801 students enrolled this year, is also working with Prattsburgh and Avoca to offer advanced biology and social studies through distance learning. Superintendent Jim Frame said there are five new teachers as well, and school counselors for the kindergarten to 12 grades. He explained the elementary has a new school psychologist and counselor, completing the district wide team.
CORRECTION: This story which ran in The Observer, Aug. 28 reflects the following correction: The Dundee Central School District's first day of school for the 2013-14 term is Thursday, Sept. 5. The Observer apologizes for the incorrect date in the original story.