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Pleasant Valley School Directors given overview of “Intensive Kindergarten” program

Pleasant Valley Elementary Co-Principal Roger Pomposello and members of the intensive kindergarten team visited the board meeting to bring awareness to the successes of the program.

Pomposello was joined by school psychologist Maggie Sanders, counselor Lorelle Battle, and teachers Carol Simonson and Amanda Tarapchak, who work in the program.

Pomposello discussed how the program bridges the gap for some students who may be entering kindergarten but are just not ready.

“This is to close the gap,” he said. “Many of these students didn’t have access to preschool programs or weren’t exposed to as much reading at home.”

Battle and Sanders described how students in need are identified. They explained that each student entering kindergarten is given the same evaluations, and when a student shows a need for more intensive intervention they will work with the families to determine if the program is best for the student.

The average kindergarten student receives 175 minutes per day of instruction in the course of a half-day a.m. or p.m.

The intensive kindergarten student receives 255 minutes per day of instruction in the course of a full day of school. The additional instruction comes in the way of remedial math and reading.

At the conclusion of the 2016-17 school year, 95 percent of the students in the program tested at core level, with only one student in need of additional support and no students in need of intensive intervention.

“The numbers don’t lie,” Pomposello said. “We give these students the gift of time, and as you can see, it works.”

Other business

• The directors approved the expulsion of two students for the remainder of the school year. The board was not at liberty to discuss either student or the cause of the expulsion.

• Two replacement hires were long-term substitute music teacher Jo Sponsler, at a prorated yearly rate of $42,300, and school nurse Michelle Morcombe at a prorated rate of $46,600 annually.

• Board President Russell Gould asked Superintendent David Piperato to look into the possibility of reviving the annual Chem-Free Party which has taken place at the end of the school year for a number of years, but did not take place last year. Piperato was unfamiliar with the tradition and promised to look into it.