The Recorder

F-FCS focusing on challenging students, absenteeism

By MORGAN FRISCH

Recorder News Staff

FONDA — With classes in full swing at the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District, school officials are working to ensure the district’s goals are being met.

Superintendent Thomas Ciaccio presented the 2017-18 goals earlier this week to the Fonda-Fultonville Board of Education during its monthly meeting. Ciaccio later said the district traditionally reviews its goals, developed over the summer, at the beginning of each year.

“We establish our goals over the summer and share them at the beginning of each school year,” Ciaccio said Wednesday.

Ciaccio said academically, the goal structure continues to focus on challenging all students and empowering them to be able to compete on a global scale. He said this year, the district will continue to focus on early intervention to increase the number of students reading on grade level by third grade.

“Our staff are taking risks in the classroom by trying new instructional and innovative strategies that engage all of our students,” Ciaccio said. “We continue to partner and collaborate with FMCC, SUNY Cobleskill, RIT, HFM BOCES, local school districts, and other community organizations through work-based learning to offer as many opportunities as possible to support the individual interests of our students.”

Another goal is continuing to look for ways to reduce chronic absenteeism. Ciaccio said the surest way to succeed is for students to show up every day.

“Whether it is in school, in a job, or in life, showing up is the first step,” he said.

This year at Fonda-Fultonville, all buildings will be participating in Brave Traits. The character education program is based around the traits respect, responsibility, citizenship, trustworthiness and perseverance.

“These are five traits that our community, staff, and students all voted on as the most important characteristics that will support success not just in school, but in life,” Ciaccio said.

Board of Education President Matthew Sullivan on Thursday said the district reviews the goal structure every year.

“The superintendent, working with all the administrators, the staff, and the entire team, focuses on our goals and how we are going to achieve them,” Sullivan said, mentioning how the procedure has been successful over the past few years.

He said the district really focuses on absenteeism.

“When students aren’t in school, they don’t learn,” Sullivan said. “The documentation clearly shows that, so having students in school is the best answer.”

Another topic discussed during the board of education meeting Monday was expanding the Information Technology (IT) department and add an IT technician position. Ciaccio later said the use of technology and innovation continues to grow yearly in the district. Just five years ago, he said, the district only had 35 Chromebooks in the school. Now there are close to 600.

Board of education member Michael Lewis said the department needs assistance with the continued growth of using computers in the classroom.

“With modern teaching practices leaning more towards computer use and (computer software) than in years past … the IT department was in need of assistance,” Lewis said. “In order to keep pace with the technology needs, and upgrades, adding a position to that department in order to assist with service calls was obviously needed.”

Ciaccio said each classroom either has a Smartboard or interactive display. Ciaccio said after having a discussion with the board of education, the district is looking into procedures to expand the IT department and establish the technician position.

“Just like all districts, as these devices grow, so does the need to ensure you have the staffing to keep everything up and running,” he said.