MASSENA — With the start of the 2021-22 school year comes the start of Massena Central School District’s goals for the new school year.
Board of education members approved the district goals presented by Superintendent Patrick Brady after having an opportunity to review them and provide comments.
“If the board approves these tonight, we’ll present them out to the staff at the beginning (of the year). We’re already starting to work on that. And we’ll continue working on that through the year,” he said.
The 13-page document contains three specific goals:
— The Massena Central School Board of Education will seek to promote the continual improvement of instructional programs to raise the quality of educational services and student achievement.
— The Massena Central School Board of Education will strive to provide the highest level of programs and services within the parameters of limited financial resources.
— The Massena Central School Board of Education will promote a safe, healthy, and positive learning environment.
“The goals that you see reflect what we had been looking at for improving student achievement and social emotional supports, particularly as a result of the pandemic,” he said.
Mr. Brady’s regular “news and notes” also discussed increasing English language arts and math interventions and literacy, as well as student-based learning.
“As you know, we’re also expanding the pre-kindergarten to a full day this year. We’re excited about that. So that’s part of our goal, to have a successful implementation of that program,” he said.
The superintendent said that, at the high school, they’re exploring a pre-BOCES vocational bridging program for ninth- and 10th-grade students with the trades before they go to Board of Cooperative Educational Services classes.
In addition, he said, there will be some work in special education, plans to start an elementary summer school and “certainly safely reopening school,” as well as “spending some time on diversity, equity and inclusion practices, which does not include critical race theory.”
Earlier in the meeting, resident Linda Barse had told board members that she heard critical race theory would be part of the studies in the district, and she was against that.
According to Wikipedia, “Critical race theory is a body of legal scholarship and an academic movement of US civil-rights scholars and activists who seek to critically examine the intersection of race and U.S. law and to challenge mainstream American liberal approaches to racial justice.”
“It’s not okay. And I know you’re going to be teaching it. I pay taxes. I don’t want it taught here, and it shouldn’t be taught. It is a bullying thing. It is discrimination and you all know it and I am not happy about it,’ she said.
The continuation of work on the district’s current capital project is also part of the goals for the school year.
“That’s a big part of what we’re doing. So there’s a lot there.
Building principals, along with the curriculum director, special services director, a school psychologist and Mr. Brady had met during a June retreat to begin preparing the goals for the new school year. Since then, they had continued to expand and revise them with input from administrators and supervisors.
I have an ambitious group,” Mr. Brady said.
The board will receive updates on the status of the goals in January and June.