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Superintendents: Looking for feedback

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Superintendents: Looking for feedback

SCHUYLER COUNTY—The superintendents of the Watkins Glen, Odessa-Montour, and Bradford school districts met Wednesday, Aug. 14, to “share the current state of education in Schuyler County.”
The three school officials discussed the current state and the future of education and how the community can support the school districts. Odessa Superintendent Jim Frame said the schools needed area companies to partner with the district to prepare “future workers” and get students ready for college.
“We’re doing our best, but we need your help,” said Frame.
Watkins Superintendent Tom Phillips said some of the best professional development teachers can have is going into the workplace and seeing what skills students will need to be successful. He added they aren’t readying students for the same workforce when they were students.
The superintendents also discussed the new common core education standards implemented this past school year which has a focus on preparing students better for college. Bradford Superintendent Wendy Field said the new standards required the district to “revamp the entire curriculum map.” Field added to properly prepare students for college and the career world, they need to see how students are doing after graduation.
Phillips said it was a huge shift in how the district operates. He explained Watkins will create a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classroom, which focuses on integrating several areas of study together. Phillips added there needs to be a shift in how BOCES is viewed as a way for students to prepare for the future.
Mark Franzese, Watkins board member, spoke during the public question portion as an employee of Corning Credit Union. He said from his experience most high paying jobs are going to people educated in Europe or Asia.
The superintendents were also asked about the implementation of the Dignity for All Students act. Frame said it codified Odessa’s discipline policy. He added it makes students more accountable for mistreating each other.
Resident Alan Hurley asked how the future sale of the Watkins middle school building benefits taxpayers. Phillips said as a school, the building was never on the tax roll, and as a subsidized senior housing development would continue to remain off the tax roll. However, he added there is potential future development that could result from the project if Jefferson Village residents relocate to the former middle school building.
Field reported Bradford reached a deal with the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department for a school resource officer by allowing the sheriff to operate a satellite station at the district.