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CPCS reviews ‘13-’14 school programs, looks ahead to fall

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COLTON - While students are home for the summer and graduations take place this weekend, Colton-Pierrepont Central School officials reviewed some newly instituted programs earlier this week and are already looking forward to the new school year.

Guidance counselor Heather Rousell presented her 2013-2014 program overview to board of education members this week and reported a high level of success.

“We started offering college credit through Paul Smith’s (College) for two classes - English and physics. Next year we are planning to add statistics and public speaking for college credit through Paul Smith’s advanced studies program,” she said. “We also have a program with SUNY Potsdam that has been going on for French and Spanish at the fourth and fifth levels.”

Ms. Rousell also pointed out that there are 25 graduating seniors from the district, 19 of whom will be attending college.

Twelve students will be receiving technical endorsement from Seaway Tech, three will be joining the military and three are employed or will be seeking employment in their field.

“A new program that we instituted - I worked with (Director of Pupil Services Lianne Knight) - to kind of create this process for the student support team. It’s something that’s been here off and on in the past,” Ms. Rousell said. “We created a process for teachers to refer students they were concerned about - academic concerns, behavior concerns, attendance concerns, anything. There’s a team in the elementary and a team at the high school level.”

The counselor said that the group meets, brainstorms and comes up with an intervention plan. The high school team met five times this school year, the younger crew got together 19 times and the program served 39 students.

Ms. Rousell’s ideas for next school year included expanding the college visits to outside the immediate vicinity of Colton. Typically, CPCS students will go on field trips to Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Canton and St. Lawrence University.

The faculty member concluded her presentation by talking about the highly successful backpack program.

The program is a joint effort between the district’s guidance office and the PTSA.

Program members delivered bags of food weekly to approximately 35 students in kindergarten through ninth grade.

“We started the program in December of 2012. We went through (Superintendent Joseph A. Kardash) for his approval. We received a grant through the Brookfield Foundation and the core of that grant was either food, shelter or clothing. So we decided to go with the backpack program,” program member Karen Hockey said. “We were also able to connect with the Neighborhood Center for December of this year and they pack for our holiday breaks and long weekends, which is helping tremendously.”

Ms. Hockey said that the program members are looking to expand the number of students for next year.

Breakfast meals that were sent home with students consisted of two juice boxes, a cereal bar and oatmeal. Lunch included a box of macaroni and cheese, either a soup or canned pasta, as well as canned vegetables and two pieces of fruit.

Mr. Kardash was particularly appreciative of Ms. Rousell’s and Ms. Hockey’s efforts with the backpack program.

“Huge compliment to both of you on the backpack program - getting it organized and keeping it running,” he said. “It was one thing to take a grant and turn it into the backpack program. It’s a whole different level to take that and make it a perpetual thing. It’s a big credit to you guys for keeping that going.”

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