M-W School Board reviews district goals

Central Valley. The effort was a prelude to the creation of a final 2023-24 school budget.

| 25 Apr 2023 | 01:05

In a special meeting of the Monroe-Woodbury School Board Education last Thursday, April 20, Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez shared that its purpose was to review the district goals first identified last September and the importance of sharing with the community an update on each of those goals.

While there will be a final presentation in June, this was a way to share, Rodriguez said, how far the district has come with these goals.

Storage and collection of student data

First to speak was Bhargav Vyas, the assistant superintendent for compliance and information systems. He presented on the storage and collection of student data such as student demographic, enrollment info, grades, discipline, test and assessment data using a “central repository” called Unified Insights, a cloud-based tool.

Another goal, this under the cybersecurity framework, was to ensure proper access to the data, or “access control.”

Continuity in times of change

Rodriguez spoke on how there are processes not only in the areas of student data, but throughout the district. “We are creating processes for everything that we do,” she said. “Without documentation or a set process, when someone leaves or retires, those processes seem to have to be redone again.” Since the organization is constantly changing, new people come in, other people leave, “this allows us,” she said, “to sustain the work that we do.”

Aligning curriculum to state standards

Next up was Matthew Kravatz, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction (UPK - Grade 5), and Eric Hassler, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction (6-12) who covered similar goals for their respective students such as aligning curriculum to state standards; develop common assessments; formalize process to review student progress throughout the year; more training for staff; the addition of four half days for staff professional development, and lastly, a curriculum night during the 2022-2023 year.

Safety/security audit

The last speaker, Patrick Cahill Assistant Superintendent for Business & Management, spoke on Safety Assessment and Enhancements and noted that Putnam Northern Westchester (PNW) BOCES was chosen to perform a safety/security audit of the schools.

They visited the buildings, reviewed the district’s safety and security measures and provided their report and suggestions.

Among the measures are new classroom locks, safety film added to glass doors, door access control project, and classroom door window shades.

Mandated measures are staff ID usage and a credential exchange program where visitors to the building leave government-issued ID as collateral so staff know they’re in the building and will have to come back and get their ID when they leave.

All staff would get a baseline, common understanding of the safety measures, “so we’re all speaking the same language.”

Cahill mentioned that PNW BOCES will meet individually with principals and each school’s Emergency Response Team.

Capital Project

Cahill concluded his presentation with an update to the Capital Project, voted down by the community last year, but which is being redesigned for a potential referendum vote this Fall.

Plans include public outreach with an information mailer, meetings, and online videos to explain the project and financial plan. For details of the original Proposed Referendum, visit https://www.mw.k12.ny.us/page/capital-improvement-project-2022.