CURRICULUM AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEETING
December 13, 2017
Committee Members Present: Chair - Jennifer Neumeyer; Members - April Cusick, Staci Fortunato
Board Members Present: Edward Hastings, Pia Holmes, Kimberly Martin
Administrators Present: James Anastasio, Donna Madore, Kim Silsby
Others Present: Helen Renko, Brenda Weis, Laurie Rodrigue
1. Cony Department Head Reporting
Laurie Rodrigue – English
Brenda Weis – Wellness
Helen Renko – Guidance
Donna Madore, Assistant Superintendent said this is a continuation of Cony Department Heads reporting out to board members. Jason Morgan was unable to participate but will report next month. Tom Hinds was unable to attend the meeting so Brenda Weis offered to step in.
Laurie Rodrigue, Department Head for the English Department said she’s been teaching at Cony since 1995. There are 10 teachers in the English Department; four at the middle school level and six at the high school level with over 200 years of combined experience. Nine out of the 10 teachers have master’s degrees. Students are required to take English through all four years of high school. English is offered for grades 9 and 10 at the technical, college prep., and honors levels; grades 11 and 12 English is offered at the technical, college prep., AP Lang., AP Lit., and UMA dual enrollment courses. Electives are Creative Writing, Greco Roman Mythology. Other electives offered in the past are Journalism, Communication for Success, SAT Prep, and Mentoring Writers, and Literacy Lab for support for students. The Learning Center at CATC was originally started so students from sending schools could still get an English or Math credit through the Tech Center. There were academic teachers there who would provide that and they would also offer support to the CTE teachers. That was when CATC was a full day program. When CATC went to a half day program, students were able to get more literacy support in their home schools so the number of students that were getting help in the Learning Center quickly dropped to the point where it wasn’t justifiable any more. Teachers at CATC requested to learn more about teaching strategies so Jim Holland has been providing professional development to staff on literacy strategies. Kim Silsby said the English Department also plays a big role in helping Cony teachers increase writing and reading strategies.
Brenda Weis said the Wellness Department serves grades K-12. She teaches health physical education, outdoor education, adaptive physical education, and several other things at the middle and high school levels. There are six teachers K-12 in the district with anywhere from first year to 30 years’ experience , Dennis Dacus, Tom Hinds, Jared Braun, Bruce Hunt and Stephen Vellani. Three out of six in the department have masters’ degrees. Some coach, some take on extra-curricular activities. The Department Head overseas K-12 programs. Middle School students receive 22 days of health and physical education in a year. High school students’ required classes are physical education 1, 2 and health and are ½ credits. (Please see attached class descriptions.) Ms. Weis said they have a fitness room at Cony that students utilize to mainly get the foundation of fitness ingrained in them. The goal for the health course is for students to graduate and be health literate.
Guidance – Helen Renko
Helen Renko said the Guidance Office is one of those offices where they serve all but sometimes spend a lot of time on approximately 10% of the student population. There are four school counselors, three at the high school level, Nancy German, Bonnie Dushin, and Helen Renko; one at the middle school level, Shawn Johnson. She said there is also a social worker, Hope Libby; reintegration specialist, Colin Malone; Lisa Plourde, ed. tech. career specialist; Marcia Burns, Registrar; and a guidance secretary. High school counselors operate in three realms - academic counseling, post-secondary/college counseling, and social/emotional and behavioral counseling. Cony Guidance works very closely with the Health Suite in regards to mental health, behavioral, and physical issues students deal with. Counselors also work as referrals to the social worker, reintegration specialist, or nurse as well as outside agencies, i.e., Kennebec Behavioral Health, Spurwink, Homeless Liaison and other supports to help students with their barriers to education. Counselors do academic and career planning and work as a team to come up with plans for students. A MELMAC grant was written a few years ago and Cony was awarded approximately $30,000 a year to help students explore careers and colleges. She said it allowed us to increase the number of trips to college campuses. High School is unlike elementary when transferring students in or out. It takes all kinds of analyses to see if they are on task to graduate and with the new standards based transcripts; it takes a bit longer to figure out their needs. Guidance frequently interfaces with adult education, CATC, and other high schools. Guidance works with college admissions people, whether advocating for students, learning about new graduation requirements, new opportunities, or new majors. Guidance brings in recruiters and works with college fairs for students. The department provides all school programming for all schools. As department head, Ms. Renko stays on top of all available scholarships and the requirements. The guidance office last year, handed out approximately $50,000 in scholarships at graduation. Guidance also does recruiting with sending schools for students that have choice as to whether or not they want to come to Cony.
Meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.