Massena to develop 2021-22 school year goals

Jefferson Elementary School students enjoy some attendance rewards in 2017. Improving attendance is one of the Massena Central School District’s goals. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — The Massena Central School District’s goals for the 2020-21 school year were interrupted by the impact of COVID-19, so district officials will try again for the 2021-22 year.

Superintendent Patrick Brady said, rather than focusing on the goals, they were busy with developing reopening plans and reaching out to the community.

“Then we implemented that plan through the school year,” he told board of education members Wednesday night.

District administrators hold a summer retreat to develop goals for the new school year, and those are presented to the board of education for review and approval.

“Many of the metrics we use in our goals such as graduation rates, state testing and chronic absenteeism to measure our success were not there during the pandemic because we had students who were disengaged, and in some cases with remote learning it was difficult to tell whether they were engaged or not engaged,” Mr. Brady said.

He said because of the way education was provided during the pandemic, both in-person and remotely, there was a reduction in student achievement.

“We know we are going to have to work on filling those gaps,” he said.

That will be the focus of the goals they’ll develop this summer. Mr. Brady said those will be similar to goals set in the District Comprehensive Improvement Plan, which Curriculum Director Stephanie Allen presented to the board on Wednesday.

They’ll also be looking at staffing and programs that were approved by the board using federal funding “to focus on areas of overcoming learning loss, social and emotional learning, student engagement, after-school programming, and others to try to raise student achievement and their social and emotional welfare. That’s what our focus will be,” Mr. Brady said.

The superintendent said a date has been set for administrators to hold their retreat, and he would come back to the school board in August with goals for the board to review and approve.

“Then, the opening of school, we’ll present those goals to the staff and begin that work with our teachers and staff,” he said.

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