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Superintendent's February Message

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Dear Parents, Guardians and Community Members,

I have some good news to share with our community! This week the New York State Education Department announced its new school accountability determinations as required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and New York’s ESSA plan. Our first designation under the new accountability system places Springs School District in “Good Standing” in all areas, including all subgroups. These include all students, students with disabilities, general education and English language learners. This designation is based on student performance and growth on state assessments. We’re very proud of this designation. 

It is important to note that many districts with high opt-out rates received unfavorable designations. These districts may be required to reallocate a portion of their budgets to increase the number of students taking the test as well as reporting to SED. To maintain our designation, we must continue to enhance our student performance and increase the number of students taking the test. I want to thank our parents for having trust in us, and our teachers for their support and encouraging our students to do their best. Last but not least, a special thank-you to the building leadership team, Mr. Casale and Ms. Cleary, for continuing to support our teachers and students. 

Let me take this opportunity to also brag about our Springs School teachers and students, who have certainly been busy this past month. In our classrooms, teachers continue to transform their lessons to teach concepts in a fun, dynamic and different way. For example, the third grade held an adjectives fashion show, the fourth grade worked on pizza cafe fractions, and our second-graders went on a safari and became animal experts. 

Our sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade Diversity Ambassadors facilitated a Diversity Institute program attended by approximately 80 parents, community members and staff members, as well as students from Mattituck. Holocaust survivor Judy Sleed spoke at the program about her life experiences. Over the past few months, Mrs. Clearly worked tirelessly with students to teach tolerance and acceptance. If you wish to learn more about this event, The East Hampton Star featured an article in the paper. 

Our three Lego League teams are preparing for competition on Feb. 2 at Huntington High School at 1 p.m., and they took time out of their busy schedules to raise $900 for cancer research. They are highlighted in a story in the East Hampton Press. In honor of the upcoming Super Bowl, our third-graders are hosting a “Souper” Bowl where they will collect cans of soup for the Springs Pantry. Additionally, Mrs. Branche rallied the staff and students to coordinate efforts to assist our Coast Guard families with essentials while the federal government shut down and many families went without a paycheck. 

Our junior high students were immersed in lessons about the 1920s and learned the Charleston. Sixth-graders in their ELA class made presentations on research topics of their choosing, from Tourette’s syndrome to Amelia Earhart to alchemy. The Middle School Spelling Bee took place on January 18, 2019, and the first-place winner was sixth-grade student Cristian Sigua.

As far as our transportation needs, several community members have answered our call and obtained their CDL permits to become bus drivers, with several of them close to getting their license and a few others who need additional driving time. Again, I truly thank you for your patience. We continue to offer free training for anyone interested in becoming a bus driver. Full-time and part-time drivers are still needed in the early morning, and sports bus runs in the late afternoon are available. The district is competitive, paying $29 per hour. Please contact me if you are interested.

The district also needs substitute teachers. Are you retired, do you have an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or master’s? Again, the district will provide training. 

At this time, we are happy to report, all rooms have been tested for mold. Of the fifty six rooms tested, only five rooms came back with elevated levels and were professionally cleaned. We thoroughly cleaned all our rooms over the past month, and during the inspections, we did notice water damage in one of our classrooms in the front of the building. We will be looking to completely renovate the room. 

As we are in the winter months, please dress your child(ren) warmly. We try and get them outside when we can, weather permitting. If you have not gotten text messages or emails, please check eschool to be sure your contact information is correct.

Warmest regards,

Debra Winter
Proud Superintendent