OSSINING, N.Y. -- Ossining Superintendent of Schools Ray Sanchez held an informal community discussion with parents and community members on Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Claremont School.
Sanchez provided a look at summer work accomplished by both students and teachers accomplished, gave an update on facilities improvements made throughout the district over the summer, and discussed other initiatives.
Among other topics, Sanchez described how more than 420 Ossining students participated in an Extended School Year summer program, other students participated in a Future Health Care Leaders Program, and 32 students took advantage of Ossining’s popular Summer Innovation Academy.
The superintendent also noted staff professional development work over the summer included developing and revising an English language arts curriculum, Science 21 training, and a five-day New Teacher Orientation that put more than 30 new teachers through their paces in getting to know the District.
Thanks to community support for a bond issue last year, Ossining worked throughout the summer to work on significant renovations to Anne M. Dorner Middle School, renovated science classrooms, completed a new Park School playground, renovated the Roosevelt School, developed a cutting-edge “Maker Space” at Ossining High School, completed an analysis of safety and security District-wide, and moved the Central Office to a new location at 400 Executive Blvd. in Ossining.
In answering questions from residents who attended the discussion, Sanchez noted that Ossining’s biggest challenges will include grappling with consistently increasing enrollment in Ossining, one of few districts in the region to see an increase.
“Ten years ago, we had 700 fewer students in Ossining than we have today,” he said.
He also noted that because Ossining received a state grant, it will offer a full-day pre-kindergarten program at the Park School in the fall. The district is also offering parents the option of participating in an early drop-off program and an after-school program to meet their needs. There will be a small fee for those extra services.
Ossining will continue to advocate on behalf of the district to receive more state aid, which Sanchez said is out of sync with the needs of Ossining, thanks to a freeze in the state aide formula.
“What makes Ossining so unique is that the dialogue in our classrooms are so rich because of our diversity,” said Sanchez. “ We’re doing our best to meet the needs of all of our students” with programs like the successful dual language program in the elementary schools and a partnership with Westchester Community College to provide college courses to Ossining High School students.
From a report by Ossining Schools/Southern Westchester BOCES.