Back to school

New faces, new lobby, earlier dismissal time on Tuesdays

By Rowan Beck | Contributor

Back to school is right around the corner, and Charlotte Central School is ready to welcomeCCS Exploratory - 2 the 365 enrolled students this year. Those returning to CCS, “Where there’s no better place to learn,” might see a  few changes around the building.

At first blush, you’ll notice the entrance has been given a facelift. Over the summer Facilities Director Dave Le Blanc oversaw the construction of a new lobby using a variety of vendors. The suggestion came from three community-school partnerships: the Safety team, the Sustainability team and the Hopes and Dreams team. All had their reasons for wanting the improved lobby. The Safety team felt strongly a need for increased security. The additional glass doors tick that box while the second set of doors makes the school more energy efficient and pleased the Sustainability team. Finally, as the Hopes and Dreams team wanted, the space is more welcoming, with a more visible staff member to greet visitors. After Jane Akin’s retirement, CCS students and visitors will now be welcomed by Cynthia LaWare.

All funds for the updated lobby came from the “Facilities Updates” line item of the budget.

Another big change for CCS students will be the early dismissal on Tuesday. Rather than the usual 2:55 p.m. dismissal, kids will be let loose on the town at 1:55 p.m. Buses will continue to run their normal routes but an hour earlier on Tuesdays. To ease this change there is a new after-school program on Tuesdays called Imagine Afterschool. See the CCS website for more information.

The new dismissal time on Tuesdays is district-wide. It is meant to allow for more professional development for the teachers. “CCS along with the rest of CSSU is committed to the professional growth of its teachers and recognizes that there is a correlation between the greatest student outcomes and the most highly skilled teachers,” Lead Principal Komons-Montroll said in an email. “CCS along with CSSU also recognizes the fact that the most significant teacher growth comes from short, frequent professional learning opportunities versus long, infrequent ones. For these reasons, the CSSU boards voted to replace four full days of professional development training for teachers with one hour of early dismissals that are tied to our regular staff meeting times on Tuesdays, for the purposes of professional development.”

Last, the school will be welcoming 13 new employees: Monica Littlefield (choral music teacher), Brian Brumley (technology integration teacher), Liz Jones (long-term substitute—K-2 physical education until November 18), Kate Woods (special education teacher), Galen Perkins (special education teacher), Caroline Homan (speech language pathologist), Cassandra Townshend (behavior systems coordinator), Linda Poirier (4th grade elementary classroom teacher), Matt Kent (Champlain College TAP apprentice working in P.E. with Robyn Davis), Donna Ritchie (para-educator), Elaina Waite (para-
educator), Victoria Snyder (para-educator) and Cynthia LaWare (front office administrative assistant).

CCS would also like to send its deepest thanks for their dedicated service to CCS and best wishes in all of their future endeavors to the following retirees: Ed Bianchi (tech integrationist), Stephanie Barton (special education teacher), Rebecca Provost (behavior systems coordinator), Jane Akin (front office receptionist), Cher Feitelberg (4th grade teacher), Claire Aube (para-educator and library assistant), Barbara Ouimette (para-educator) and Martha Edwards (bookkeeper).

Remember that school starts August 31, so those of you driving should plan a little extra time for buses and watch for kids on the road. Keep following The News for future updates, and contact CCS with any questions or concerns at 425-2771.