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Sherman students begin sports practice

August 27, 2015
Westfield Republican

SHERMAN - A wolf pack spotted in Chautauqua County? You bet! The first season practice of the Clymer, Panama and Sherman Wolf Pack was held on Aug. 17, Sherman Superintendent Kaine Kelly told members of the Board of Education at their meeting that same evening.

While these were traditionally three rival teams, they are now a united group according to Kelly. "There weren't little pockets of kids. They intermingled very well," he told members of the board.

Athletic director Mel Swanson reported that all fall sports, including volleyball, and cross-country , as well as JV and varsity football, began practice Aug.17.

Kelly took the opportunity to inform the board of Education about New York State's decision to replace the Annual Professional Performance Review with new 2015-16 evaluations.

One component of the new APPR is teacher observation. Kelly explained that an independent trained evaluator must conduct one observation, and one observation must be conducted by the principal or other trained administrator.

He also explained that the 2015-16 evaluation rules require teachers to be evaluated in student performance, as well as through teacher observation. According to NYSUT, the new system replaces the three subcomponent system (20% state growth or Student Learning Objectives (SLO), 20% student achievement or growth on locally selected measures, 60% evidence of teaching practice) with a two category matrix system that includes student performance and teacher observation.

According to Kelly, the matrix system uses the following ratings: highly effective, effective, developing, or ineffective. He also said that the state has offered optional second measures, but he does not believe the teachers in Sherman will opt to use them. He told board members, "Our teachers want to keep things as close to normal as possible."

Kelly also sid that the tenure process is now four years instead of three years, and a probationary teacher may be terminated for any constitutionally permissible reason.

In other matters, Kelly pointed out that Wildcat Weeks, the summer learning program at the school, has been a great success. He told the board, "The response around town has been incredibly positive."

Sherman Central School may soon have a half day program for three-year-olds, according to Kelly. If the district receives a grant, there will be a January start-up for the program.

Principal Michael Ginestre told board members that the school years will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 1 when teachers report for Superintendent Conference Day, and classes for students begin on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

"We've been working hard this summer to get ready for the opening day," said Ginestre. "We're very excited to get the kids back and get the year started. This is my fourth first day of school here, and I'm very excited to see the kids again."



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