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Watkins Glen school board 03/16/09

Meeting:  The Watkins Glen School Board met Monday, March 16 for one hour and 20 minutes including a workshop.
Attendance:  Mike Myers and Joe Fazzary were the only board members absent.  There was one member of the public in the audience.
Discussion without action:  The board heard a senior teacher presentation from Karen Armstrong, technology teacher.  She talked about the changes she has made and hoped to make to the technology classes in the middle and high schools.  Armstrong specifically focused on the changes the networking class has undergone.  She explained the class changed so it could prepare students for what they would need in the future and not just for a test.  The Sysco certification was dropped but she said Corning Community College will offer the test.  Armstrong added the technology education department will be offering what BOCES does not, like electronics, gaming and machinery.
• Nanette Hanley spoke to the board on her research into how the district could improve students’ writing.  Hanley said she questioned the English Language Arts teachers about what approach they took to writing and found most following the Writing Process.  Eventually she discovered the 6+1 Writing Traits, which is used extensively in school districts in other states.  Hanley  explained that the process seperately focuses and grades the six traits; ideas, organization, voice, sentence fluency, word choice, and conventions, plus presentation.  Hanley showed a crate of information and materials on 6+1 she had gathered and explained much of the information was available online for free.  It was her reccomendation that the board explore implimentation of this teaching technique in all grade levels.
• The board also heard from the principals and Nan Woodworth-Shaw about their individual budgets.  All four reported where teachers in their school/departments cut back.  Superintendent Tom Phillips pointed out that many areas where they were spending less was because the equipment had already been bought, even as part of the capital project.
Upcoming meetings:  The next regular board meeting is Monday, April 6.  It is anticipated to start at approximately 6:30 p.m., following an executive session.

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