Indian Lake Central School international students Zdenek Vhynls (left) and Karl Friedricks are formally welcomed during Sept. 17 ILCSD Board of Education meeting.
Karl Friedricks and Zdenek Vhynls are Indian Lake Central School’s first international students, and during the Sept. 17 Board of Education meeting, the two young men had a chance to meet and get acquainted with the members of the School Board.
Friedricks is from Hamburg, Germany and Vhynls is from the Czech Republic. Bob and Julie Gundel are hosting both students.
When asked what their biggest surprise was so far, they agreed that it’s the small size of Indian Lake, but that it was “cool” that everyone knows each other. Asked whether they are bracing for our winters, both said they were used to cold winters but are expecting the winter here to be colder than they experience at home.
School Superintendent Mark Brand said the young men were fitting in well and will be playing sports. He also expressed pride and thankfulness for Bob and Julie Gundel coming forward to host these important students.
Nora Harrington, ILCSD English teacher, was in attendance at the meeting and readily expressed how pleased she was with the high quality and proficiency both students have in the English language.
When asked by Board members if they had studied any American history prior to arriving in Indian Lake, Vhynls said that beyond the American Revolution, he had not, but he was looking forward to the opportunity of learning and understanding more about the history of the country.
“They are sharing information and knowledge about their countries’ history and culture with their fellow students as well,” Harrington said, adding that this broadening of horizons is just one of the many benefits the international program brings to all students.
Board President Jon Voorhees closed this segment of the meeting by explaining to the two students how important they are to the school and the community as a whole. He offered all the help and the ear of the Board of Education with any problems or suggestions that the students may need or have in a spirit of partnership to enrich the program for all students and the community at large.
ILCSD Principal Dave Snide opened his report with an overview of the First Day Celebration that focused on the Indian Lake environment with hikes to Rock Lake, Johns Pond and an Indian Lake History Tour offered by George Virgil. Snide also acknowledged Stewart’s Shops for the donation of ice cream cones to students at the close of the program.
Snide said there will be two parent/teacher meetings in this school year as opposed to an open house. The meetings will be held on Nov. 20 and April 24.
Superintendent’s conference day focused on the subject of “security” and the safety of students. A bullying scenario was used as a learning exercise for this section of the conference. Other areas of coverage during the conference were Common Core and the Annual Professional Performance Review process. Snide made the point of how the Common Core will have “tremendous import on our educational system, especially between grades 3 through 8.” He said the goal is to get all states on the same page as far as curricula. Throughout his presentation, the principal alluded to the complexities of the process of matching up Core with modules.
Board President Voorhees expressed some concern with the fits and starts of the process and programming saying that he appreciated the objectives of Common Core, but, “I just don’t want to loose a generation of students getting from here to there.”
Superintendent Brand opened this segment of the meeting by reporting that there is no new information regarding the pellet boiler.
He went on to discuss a school advocacy program and meeting to take place in Queensbury. The objective is to get as many school board members, town board members, administrators, teachers and members of the interested public in front of as many legislators as possible to advocate for schools and let them know where school districts stand. He recommended that the Indian Lake School Board be represented at this meeting and bring as many people as possible. He intends to put invitation letters together for county and local representatives to attend. The meeting will be on Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Queensbury High School at 409 Aviation Road.
Discussions about the utilization of the school facilities by the Black Fly Challenge and the upcoming Snocade/Winterfest ensued. Black Fly Challenge welcome is open and porta-potties are to be supplied by the organization as part of the approval to use the facilities. As in the past, limitations will be placed on the use of the School. As far as Snocade/Winterfest, both the superintendent and board members agreed that the school wishes to be part of the event.
The next meeting of the School Board will be on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in the ILCS cafeteria.