The Valley Central School District held a Viking 21 meeting on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 6:30 pm at Berea Elementary School.
At this meeting, the District provided an updated spending plan and information on the grants under the Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
We invite the community to provide input on the District’s updated plan for these grant monies, either by public participation at the meeting or by submitting questions or comments through a google form by clicking here.
For the 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, each school district receiving a foundation aid increase of more than ten percent or ten million dollars in a school year shall, on or before July 1 of each school year, post to the district’s website a plan by school year of how such funds will be used to address student performance and need, including but not limited to:
- increasing graduation rates and eliminating the achievement gap
- reducing class sizes
- providing supports for students who are not meeting, or at risk of not meeting, state learning standards in core academic subject areas
- addressing student social-emotional health
- providing adequate resources to English language learners, students with disabilities; and students experiencing homelessness
- goals and ratios for pupil support
- detailed summaries of investments in current year initiatives and balance funds spent in priority areas
School districts are also encouraged to seek public comment from parents, teachers and other stakeholders on the plan, take such comments into account in the development of the plan, and include an analysis of the public comments within the plan. These district plans will ultimately be submitted to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and posted on the NYSED website.
2022-2023 Foundation Aid Plan for Valley Central School District
For the 2022-23 school year, the Valley Central School received a foundation aid increase of 12% ($3,593,591). Valley Central School District encourages community and stakeholder feedback as it develops its budget and identifies the needs of the students and District.
On February 11th, the following message was shared with the community: “Information will be shared and discussed regarding the upcoming 2022/2023 school budget at Board of Education meetings beginning on Monday, February 14th through April 19th. Board meetings are open to the public and will be streamed online, as well. We invite the members of the community to observe these meetings, view the budget presentations, and offer feedback as the 2022/2023 budget is developed.”
Development of the 2022/2023 budget was presented to the Board of Education and the public at Board of Education meetings on February 14th, March 7th, March 21st, April 4th, April 19th. A public hearing was held on May 9th. Public comment was available and encouraged. At these meetings and the public hearing, no questions or public comments regarding the budget were received.
At the June 13th Board of Education meeting there were public comments regarding the safety of students and the security of our buildings.
For questions or comments on the use of the foundation aid increase, please contact either:
Brad Conklin, School Business Official: email@example.com
Office of the Assistant Superintent for Curriculum and Instruction: (845) 457-2400 ext. 18142
The District plans to hire seven teachers K-12 to reduce class sizes. For example K-1 classes are projected to have an average of 22 students in each class. One of our goals for reduced class size is to tailor instruction and maximize one-on-one time with students, giving students more time and attention. Additional teachers were added at the elementary level to advance early literacy goals. We believe we will see an increase of 5% per year over 3 years in literacy benchmark proficiency. A math teacher was added at the middle school level in order to increase NWEA proficiency by 5% per year over 3 years. A New Social Studies teacher and a FACS teacher were added at the high school level. The addition of all of these positions will lead to: better teacher/student relationships, more customized instruction, classrooms becoming more collaborative, and topics being explored in depth.
The District plans to hire two school psychologists to address student social-emotional health. School psychologists provide a continuum of services that connect mental health, behavior and learning, school and home, and school and community services. School psychologists have specialized training in child development, mental health, learning, diversity, culturally responsive services, and school systems and law. Their unique expertise lies in how these elements interact to shape children’s behavior, learning, and overall adjustment. Adding school psychologists will decrease caseloads leading to more individualized care. Improving staffing ratios for these professionals is critical to adequately supporting students’ mental and behavioral health.
The District plans to hire two special education teachers, eleven special education paraprofessionals and a Special Olympics coach. By adding more support in the special education classrooms, we will increase individualized instruction and improve relationships. We expect to see a decrease in discipline referrals and behavior issues. Our 15:1 Middle School classes will now have an extra person in the room to address both academics and behavior.
In addition to the above the District plans to utilize the increase in foundation aid for the following priority areas:
- Safety/Security – hiring a Director of Security and Emergency Preparedness and additional support paraprofessionals
- Educational opportunities outside the classroom – additional CTEC spots, additional funding to support educational field trips, funding for drama programs and Odyssey of the Mind
- Technology – additional Chromebooks for students, an additional network specialist, and network security software
- Public Communication – BOCES communications service
- Instructional Supplies/Equipment – funding for new music instruments and equipment for technology classroom
- Reduce tax levy – the increase in aid allowed the District to stay well below the tax cap
Valley Central School District has been allocated $6,335,345 in federal funding as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). All Districts that receive funding are required to post a plan for the use of these funds on their website. Valley Central is utilizing the District’s ARPA to address the academic and social emotional needs of students due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, while also addressing the operational needs of the District.
The District is utilizing ARPA funding to hire additional instructional and counseling staff to support the academic and social needs of students including an elementary counselor, middle school counselor, high school social worker and attendance teacher, a middle school PE/Health teacher, a technology teacher, an ESL teacher and special education teachers. In addition the District successfully implemented a comprehensive summer school program, summer enrichment program, before and after school programs, a social emotional support camp and after-school club, and a check and connect program. These programs were implemented in the summer of 2021 and for the 2021-22 school year and the District plans to continue to offer them for the next two years.
Additional ARPA funding will be used for various instructional materials, facility needs, ADA compliant playground equipment and safety and security needs of the District. All investments of ARPA funds were selected based on the needs of the district and stakeholder input and are subject to change based on student academic and social-emotional needs as well as the evolving priorities of the District and its stakeholders.
The District is continuously seeking input and public comment from parents, teachers and other stakeholders regarding the use of these federal funds. Please contact Ms. Marianne Serratore, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction at Marianne.Serratore@vcsdny.org or Mr. Brad Conklin, School Business Official at Brad.Conklin@vcsdny.org to provide comments.
Goals and Ratios for Pupil Support
Summer School Goals
Pre-K-5 Summer School Goals: This program aims to provide elementary school children in academic need with learning support during the summer, specifically in ELA and Math, in preparation for the upcoming school year. Students will increase their reading benchmark level by at least one level in K-5. The students will focus on key mathematics standards to increase fluency and problem-solving skills. NWEA MAP RIT Scores will increase by 5%.
Middle School Summer School Goals: This program aims to provide middle school students in academic need with learning support during the summer in preparation for the following school year in ELA, Math, Social Studies and Science. The goal is to increase the number of students promoted to the next grade level, improve academic skills, and to increase NWEA MAP RIT Scores by 5%.
High School Summer School Goals: Increase the number of students completing graduation requirements/increase the number of students able to recover course credits/improve academic skills as will be measured on first-quarter report cards.
Summer Enrichment Goals
To increase student exposure to new material: Education enrichment programs encourage students to learn through different methods as they enjoy engaging projects and activities beyond the pages of a book. Enrichment programs can incorporate topics that develop children’s curiosity to learn something new and fun.
To increase skills and interests: Enrichment programs help students identify subjects and skills they might be interested in. Most students engaging in education programs can develop an aptitude for something they may not have tried before.
To increase motivation and positive feelings about school: Enrichment programs help students to build positive connections with the school and staff.
Before and After School Programs and Clubs
Before and After School Programs Goal: To increase skills and increase student achievement on standardized and formative assessments.
Social and Emotional Camp and After-School Clubs Goals: To reduce the number of students experiencing school-related anxiety, to increase the number of positive interactions students have with staff, to increase the number of positive interactions students have with other students, to increase behavior skills, to reduce discipline referrals
Check and Connect Program Goals: To decrease chronic absenteeism, decrease discipline referrals, increase positive staff – student relationships
Culturally Responsive Instruction: The goal is to utilize a Culturally Responsive Instruction Coach to improve classroom instruction and teacher-student relationships. Panorama Climate survey data will result in an increase in positive responses from students.
Analysis of Public Comment
At the June 13th Board of Education meeting, there were public comments regarding the safety of students and the security of our buildings. On the District website (on the ARP grant page) the District has the following message posted: The District is seeking input and public comment from parents, teachers and other stakeholders regarding the use of these federal funds. To provide comments please contact either: Ms. Marianne Serratore, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction at Marianne.Serratore@vcsdny.org or Mr. Brad Conklin, School Business Official at Brad.Conklin@vcsdny.org. The District has not received any comments via email with regards to the use of ARP funding.
Summary of Investments 2021-2022; 2022-2023; 2023-24
- Safely returning students to in-person instruction:
- Maximizing in-person instruction time:
- Operating schools and meeting the needs of students: $37,132; $162,630; $162,630
- Purchasing educational technology:
- Addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, including the impacts of interrupted instruction and learning loss and the impacts on low-income students, children with disabilities, English language learners, and students experiencing homelessness : $267,576; $762,241; $252,991
- Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs: $617,692; $1,018,933; $983,859
- Offering evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs: $564,791; $777,410; $727,458
- Supporting early childhood education:
TOTALS: $1,487,191; $2,721,214; $2,126,938