BY BARRY WARNER
The Pearl River school administrators, teachers and staff are ready to motivate and engage their students in learning says School Superintendent Marco F. Pochintesta.
He told The Rockland County Times that the current budget includes the expansion of kindergarten to a full-day program. Small-group and individualized teacher-directed activities, as well as child-initiated tasks, are essential to a successful kindergarten program, explains Pochintesta. For most children, the full-day program can help increase academic achievement, while reducing the probability that children will be retained in early elementary grades.
This year’s budget includes a restoration of some of the cuts in staffing and programs that were made over the last several years. Positions returned include a full-time guidance counselor, a part-time school psychologist, a .6 high school art teacher, a freshman boys basketball coach plus two assistant coaching positions with boys soccer and field hockey.
New STEM courses will be introduced including energy and robotics. Energy sources will be explored including solar, wind, synthetic and biofuels. Programming and building robots applies technology, engineering and math concepts. 21st century skills incorporated into the curriculum include core competencies, such as collaborating, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving, in order to help students thrive in the modern world.
There are tailor-made opportunities planned to bring the school and community together in events, such as college and career days. Capital reserve funds will be used at the high school to renovate the exterior steps by the flagpole entrance, replace the boiler and generator.
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