January 2019 Updates
Posted by Mrs. Andrea L. Galenski on 1/28/2019
It is with great honor that I am able to share a memorable experience that brought remarkable positivity and attention across New York State to the Cheektowaga-Sloan School District.
A written proposal that was submitted on behalf of our District which highlighted the success of our two Academic Learning Centers was reviewed and selected by the New York State School Boards Association for inclusion in their 99th Annual Convention. It was with significant pride that for the first time ever, Mr. Drescher and I represented the Cheektowaga-Sloan School District and delivered a presentation in New York City this past October titled, Academic Learning Centers Yield Tremendous Results.
Our main focus was how these Academic Learning Centers, otherwise known as our ALCs, have brought not only academic success to our students, but also emotional and social success. We shared personal stories from our own students about how these ALCs provided the support that they needed to either receive additional help, or to take them to new and higher levels of success in a challenging manner.
I shared with a large audience of educators that one of our 8th grade students said this about his experience with the ALC-- I visited the ALC during study hall to work on homework, to study, and to work in groups with other students which resulted in me now being a member of the JFK MS Math Olympiad Team. I also shared that he further went on to say that he credits his success to the ALC. This proves that our ALC at the Middle School has encouraged students to go above and beyond in their educational experience and to soar to new levels of success.
Another student’s personal story was shared to emphasize how the investment in creating Academic Learning Centers can have profound results especially for some students who may find the traditional path of learning to be difficult yet they aspire to graduate and reach success like any other student. A 12th grade student said this—I began visiting the ALC since it opened three years ago where I completed my English 10 course on GradPoint and enrolled in two others. The ALC is the best learning environment that I’ve been in because seeing peers working inspires me to do the same. My goal is to graduate from JFK HS. This student’s experience is yet another example of how our Academic Learning Centers were a great investment as they have supported, encouraged and propelled students forward on an individual basis to reach the greatest success possible.
We were fortunate to have members of the Board of Education and our District Clerk join and support us at this prestigious event. Pictured here from the left is Mr. Gary Sieczkarek—Board Member, Mrs. Sandra Kuzara—Board Member, Mrs. Debra Smith—Board Vice President, Mrs. Claire Ferrucci—Board President, Mrs. Andrea Galenski—Superintendent of Schools, Denise McCowan—Board Member, Mrs. Dawn Kross—District Clerk, and Mr. Wayne Drescher—Business Official.
The picture to the right represents Mrs. Knaub’s Classroom at Woodrow Wilson Elementary where Mr. Mochrie, Ms. Segal, and I had the opportunity of visiting to see the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop in action.
We have had such wonderful success with the Lucy Calking Reading Program that several teachers requested to pilot the Lucy Calkins Writing Program this year in hopes of possibly implementing it in all classrooms K-5 in the near future.
In addition to the Academic Learning Center presentation and the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop pilot that is occurring, we have had many other wonderful learning opportunities and special happenings taking place this year which have included being featured on Channel 4 for the work that we have done with the Lucy Calkins Reading Program in grades K-5 particularly how we advocated and were awarded an additional $75,000 in funding from Assemblywoman Monica Wallace. We had already received $100,000 in funding from her last year which has been instrumental in helping us purchase the necessary books and materials that have made our Reading Program a true success.
Featured below from the left is Assemblywoman Monica Wallace receiving a thank you from Michael Patronaggio and Arianna Rine--2nd grade students from TR, Mrs. Cosen’s Kindergarten Class engaged in a Lucy Calkins reading mini-lesson while being filmed by Channel 4, and Mrs. Finn, Executive Director of Curriculum, Accountability & Assessment and Mrs. Galenski, Superintendent of Schools being interviewed by Channel 4 regarding how the funding secured by Monica Wallace for our District was used to help implement the Lucy Calkins Reading Program.
We are proud of the accomplishments that have been made already this year and we look forward to even more rewarding experiences in teaching and learning as we move through the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year.
It is with great appreciation that you support us at home and are the critical partners that we need in order to work together to educate the children in the Cheektowaga-Sloan School District.
Mrs. Andrea L. Galenski
Superintendent of Schools