MORRISONVILLE - The news keeps getting better for Morrisonville Elementary School.
The school was recognized for its continued excellence by the Supporting Successful Strategies to Achieve Improved Results Project, also known as S3TAIR, during a Saranac Central School District Board of Education meeting Feb. 22. This is the second time the school has received recognition from the statewide initiative, which identifies schools that have implemented and sustained curriculum that aids students with disabilities.
Principal Bradley J. Ott said S3TAIR regional facilitator Job Thomas returned to the school district to inform the board Morrisonville Elementary has been selected to be a mentor school - one of 14 such schools to achieve that level of excellent and receive a $10,000 grant.
"That was quite a surprise," said Ott.
The grant, explained Ott, will assist the school with helping S3TAIR document what Morrisonville Elementary has done to become a standout school. The money will help with hiring substitute teachers so S3TAIR representatives may conduct interviews with staff, pay for travel when staff members are invited to speak at other schools, and other necessary items for helping S3TAIR conduct its research.
Last March, Morrisonville Elementary was observed by S3TAIR and found to be one of approximately 50 schools validated for outstanding practices in three instructional areas - reading/literacy instruction, positive behavioral intervention and supports, and effective delivery of special education instructional services. However, Morrisonville Elementary was and continues to be the only school in the entire state to receive validation in all three areas.
School district superintendent Kenneth O. Cringle said the award is "a tremendous achievement and honor for the Morrisonville community as well as the Saranac district" because the district's educational practices mirror one another throughout the school system.
"The Morrisonville staff, administration, students and parents deserve special recognition for their outstanding efforts in striving to meet the needs of all students," said Cringle. "Their collective efforts in the pursuit of excellence is admired and applauded.
In addition to announcing the grant, Thomas presented Ott and Cringle with a plaque and special banner celebrating Morrisonville Elementary's designation as an "Effective Practice Mentor School."
Cringle said the overall S3TAIR recognition helps substantiate the district's instructional practices are effective in achieving its mission of "promoting the growth of all students."
"We're appreciative of the project's discovery of us," added Ott. "It was very nice to have our board of education hear directly from him."
Thomas will be working with Morrisonville Elementary staff in the weeks to come to further document "their work and facilitate the school's opportunities to assist other schools in the state," said Ott.
"They've acknowledged our instructional practices, but now they want to see the inner workings, how we operate, with the intent of making these types of things available to other schools, should they want to replicate some of what we do," said Ott. "I'm very proud of my colleagues and very thankful that we've been able to stick together and learn from each other."
Morrisonville Elementary is now featured on the S3TAIR Project's Web site, www.s3tairproject.org.