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Sherman faculty team-building exercise described at school board’s meeting

February 4, 2016
By David Prenatt (editorial@westfieldrepublican.com) , Westfield Republican

SHERMAN - On Jan. 15, the faculty and staff of Sherman Central School found themselves locked in a room with no way out.

No, it wasn't a classroom nightmare. It was Superintendent's Day or at least a part of it, Sherman Superintendent Kaine Kelly told the board of education at its Jan. 25 meeting. Participants experienced "Escape Room Erie," an innovative team building exercise in which participants struggled for the better part of an hour to find a way out together. The exercise was part of Superintendent's Day,

Kelly told board members that the faculty and staff who took part in Superintendent's Day "had our noses to the grindstone, with Common Core, APPR, and working on horizontal and vertical communication among teachers."

But the highlight of the day was when they traveled to 23 West Tenth Street in Erie for the Escape Room exercise. The facility, which recently opened, describes the experience as "an interactive game designed as a corporate team building excursion in which individuals work with members of their group to find clues, solve puzzles, decipher codes, and do anything else required to escape the room before the time runs out."

Kelly said "at no time were the staff members scared or endangered" as they participated in an Escape Room exercise, which involves locking a group of people in a room and letting them figure out how to escape.

Kelly said that he and Principal Michael Ginestre broke the faculty and staff into 5 teams and transported them to Erie where they were given a 20 minute de-briefing before beginning the team-building experience.

Nothing could be done on an individual basis, and success or failure depended on each person knowing when to be a leader, when to be a soldier, and how to delegate authority, Kelly said. "The overall success rate is about 36%, and the corporate success rate can be as low as 10%. None of our groups made it out," he added.

Both Kelly and Ginestre said that the participants were "energized, excited, and couldn't stop talking about the experience."

In another matter, Kelly told board members that Business First New York has released the latest aspirational performance measure (APM) rates for 426 Upstate New York public school districts.

"This should be an indicator of an individual's readiness for college," said Kelly. Based on socio-economic status, Sherman's rating of 53 percent is a good standing, he added.

In other business, Kelly said that Sherman Central School is now designated as an after school feeding place. Any student who is staying after school while regularly scheduled activities are taking place in a structured and supervised environment, such as curricular or remedial activities, can have a snack.

According to Kelly, students now have access to breakfast, lunch, and after school snacks at Sherman Central School, so "kids are not going hungry since they are getting 2 .5 meals at school."

 
 
 

 

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