Cincinnatus BOE discusses capital project & students’ progress in reading

Cincinnatus Central School superintendent Todd Freeman speaks with the Board of Education at a recent meeting. (Photo Source: Chelsea Horak of The Cortland Voice).

The Cincinnatus Central School District met on Thursday, August 18 in the school library to discuss capital project updates, hear about students’ progress in reading, and make final preparations for the 2022-2023 school year.

The BOE’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8.

Capital Project

CCSD Superintendent Todd Freeman reported that the buildings will be ready for students to begin classes, even with some temporary measures still in place. Floors and ceilings will be completed, and temporary counters are already installed in tech spaces. Nearly all furniture has arrived, and there are backups available in case of any delays for the remainder. The bus garage will have temporary plywood windows to comply with regulations, but the concrete work there and on the handicap ramp have been finished.

The BOE plans to tour the new classrooms soon, and hopes to have a board meeting in one of them for the September or October meeting to give the public a chance to see the improvements as well.

English-Language Arts (ELA)

The board heard a presentation on the UPK-4th grade ELA progress, which is assessed by measuring students’ oral reading fluency. Oral reading fluency measures a student’s accuracy, expression, and rate of reading out loud as an indicator of deep comprehension. 

While the district did not meet their goal of having 60% of students meet or exceed nationally normed expectations, there was progress made from 44% at the start of the year to 47% by the spring. Numbers held steady or dipped slightly for grades 2-4, but showed marked improvement from 24% to 47% for first graders.

Strategies to improve learning next year include using updated tools to monitor progress of all students falling below the national standards, using that data to monitor learning, and increased Literacy Coaching for faculty and Special Education teachers.

School Year Prep

The BOE approved several items for the 2022-2023 school year, including the district safety plan and the student code of conduct, which are both available for view on CCSD’s website. The board also approved a revised agreement with Family Health Network, which provides pre-employment and employment physicals for staff and sports physicals for students, as well as other services.

One major change approved by the board was the abolishment of the elementary school counselor position, which will be replaced by a new social worker. The board weighed the decision and determined that the needs of the students would be best met by a social worker. The contract lasts for 11 months, giving the BOE a chance to reassess for the following year if needed.