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Highvew Principal: Laptops, State Testing, Playground

Come May 2014, every 3rd and 4th grader will be tested by the state on the computer

 

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Last June, Principal Barbara Auriemma announced that Highview would be getting . The entire building is already set up with wireless internet. 

At Monday night's Elementary PTA meeting, Auriemma said that the school was buzzing about the new laptops. 

“Many were very excited when they walked into the classroom on the first day of school and seeing new laptop carts. Every classroom teacher has a set of 25 laptops in their room. Special Ed and remedial staff have multiple carts around the building,” said Auriemma. “As a result, your students will be online, researching, writing, doing portfolios and the children are being trained right now by the technology teacher on how to care for the laptops. Next they will go into a rotation with the technology teacher on how to use basic (Microsoft) Word. We want them writing right away.”

Students will be taught how to open a Word document, perform basic functions such as capitalizing and bold-face and begin to learn keyboarding. Students will learn skills such as typing paragraphs and emails because:

“May (2014), every student in grades 3 and 4 will be tested by the state, ELA and math on the computer,” said Auriemma. She added that parents will be getting a letter from the technology department urging parents to encourage their students to practice keyboarding at home as well.

Every 2-3 weeks, Auriemma will have a different “Principal’s Special Topic” video. “The state is mandating a new curriculum this year and as a result, many of the things that were taught in third grade are now being taught in second grade so teachers are revving up for multiplication and division in grade 3 and addition and subtraction will just be touched on,” she said, adding that the first Principal’s Special Topic will be on how to work with students on math fluency and that parents should be focusing on math and reading with their children.

Right now, Auriemma has a welcome video up on the website.

“In the next three weeks, we’ll be doing additional testing with your child. Normally, we give them an assessment test three times a year called Aimsweb. That gives us a general overview of where your child is in relationship to the national norms and in relationship to their (peers) …  so we can get the children the right support.”

She added that the state is mandating additional testing for students based on APPR, which is teacher accountability. The test “has nothing to do with how your child is being serviced. It has everything to do with how your teacher is being evaluated.”

“(Tuesday) Tomorrow will be the last (day) two fourth grade classes will have to go over to the Highview Community Playground with a P.E. teacher. The P.E. teacher has been reviewing with the students what (equipment) they can use, how they should be using it and (the P.E. teacher is) working with the monitors on how to address it. Students will be rotated outside (between the) two recess areas.”

Two classes will be in the lower playground behind the school and two classes will be at the Highview Community Playground. Then the classes will be rotated around.

“The children are excited and we are excited to see the students out there,” said Auriemma.

Last year, the the use of the playground, specifically the tot lot during recess hours and whether or not it should be closed to the public. One parent asked about the use of the Highview Playground during school and recess hours.

“We spoke to (Superintendent) Mark McNeill and the board is now thinking of just leaving the (tot lot) open to the public during recess. They will discuss it (Tuesday) in executive session,” said Auriemma, adding that recess time is 11:45 a.m. – 2 p.m. so the playground is open to the public before or after that time period.

The Nanuet Board of Education meets Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the High School. Miller Elementary Principal Betsy Smith also addressed the parents at the PTA meeting. Read about her update in this . 

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