ELIZABETHTOWN Five and a half year old Lucas Spilling is much like any other young boy. He loves soccer and playing with his friends, and dreams of being a pilot and he cant wait for school to start.
Spilling, who lives in Lincoln Pond with his parents and younger brother, Gavin, is one of many kids entering kindergarten this year, as part of the Class of 2020.
Focus on reading, problem solving
In Westport, teacher Julie Biselle is preparing for a class of 14. Last week the school held three partial days to orient students before the rest of the school returned.
The smaller school environment provides plenty of one-on-one attention, Biselle said. The school becomes familiar with the students and their families.
Biselle explained that the focus of kindergarten has shifted from preschool activities, since many students have already had that experience.
It's amazing what we expect of them at age five, but they're up for it, said Biselle.
Students at Westport learn through game play, building a good foundation of basic skills. The year focuses heavily on reading and problem-solving.
Educators hope that the decision-making skills acquired by the students over the years will aid the students toward the careers theyll desire when they graduate from high school in 2020.
I want them to be happy. Happy about who they are, what they've become, and have the continuing ability to make the best choices in whatever life decisions they make, said Biselle.
Technology changes the future
There are currently 22 children signed up for the Willsboro Central School kindergarten program, 17 of whom attended Willsboros pre-K program.
Willsboro Central School superintendent Steven Broadwell is as unsure as anyone what the world will look like when the class of 2020 graduates. But logically he convince that technology will be a large part of it.
Educational knowledge, and how that logic is delivered, is rapidly changing for our students, and school administrators need to keep that in mind as we continue to modify our curriculum in upcoming years, said Broadwell.
Technology is also exposing students to the global marketplace that will be facing them.
As the members of the class of 2020 advance in their educational careers, I believe they will be exposed to a more global perspective of education and educational opportunities through technology. They will become more self-learners via the computer, said Broadwell.
Thats something Spillings mother, April, hopes for.I hope he can have a good education in such a small town, said April. That there will be enough advanced classes.
Lucas too has some concerns about his education. Spilling attended Stepping Stones Preschool, in Elizabethtown, part-time. He can already count and knows his ABCs, but hes worried that he cant yet read.
Spilling starts attending Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School this year, starting on Sept. 5. His teacher will be Shana Kirk.
The best thing about my school will be meeting new friends, said Lucas.