Johnsburgh Central School Superintendent Mike Markwica is getting ready to welcome back his student body for the Sept. 6 start of the academic year.
The class bells will start ringing Sept. 6 at Johnsburg Central, the first day of the new academic year for students.
School Superintendent Mike Markwica will have two new staff members. Kristen Mosher and Heather Olesheski are joining the ranks of Jaguar educators.
Mosher will come on to take over Jill Peterson's place in second grade, as Peterson is retiring. Mosher has already done two long-term substitutions with the school, one in kindergarten and the other for second grade. In total, she's been subbing off and on for the district five years.
Heather Olesheski will assume the role of computer lab aide from a staff member who left for a new job. She will also provide academic intervention services (AIS). The AIS is part of standardized testing. Students score from 1 to 4, and students with a 1 or 2 get extra time reinforcing lessons that they tested poorly on the previous year.
Olesheski is a certified social studies teacher. In the computer lab, she'll direct a computer-based class that will instruct students in the use of presentation software, like Photoshop and Powerpoint in the elementary computer lab.
Markwica said he's busy with the annual performance plan review. A major component is teacher evaluations. Part of the new requirements take into account how well a teacher's students perform on state exams as part of the teacher evaluation.
Right now, parts of the performance review are being contested in New York's appeals courts, and some of it has been found unenforcable. Markwica is maneuvering carefully so that he still implements the requirements that are legal while avoiding those that aren't.
New York is also joining the Common Core Standards. Forty-three total states are a part of the initiative that standardizes curricula and testing in the many states participating.
A big difference between Common Core and the older New York curricula is that Common Core covers only a few major principles in a class, but does so in great depth. As a result, there's much less review the following year, said Markwica.The older curriculum would cover many things through the year, and years following would spend more time reintroducing briefly covered materials from the last year.
Markwica noted that an annual international trip has changed. In previous years, the French class would visit Paris, and the Irish literature class would visit Ireland. This year, the trips will be combined, so students in both classes will visit the Emerald Isle and the metropolis on the Seine.