Lyndonville gets ‘Common Core Institute’ grant

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2014 at 12:00 am

School to focus on English for grades 3 through 8

Photo by Tom Rivers – Lyndonville Central School Superintendent Jason Smith is pictured with teacher Laura Moore, center, and Elementary School Principal Kathy Stewart.

LYNDONVILLE – The school district has received a $63,000 “Common Core Institute” grant to bolster English performance for students in grades 3 through 8.

The State Education Department announced that Lyndonville and nine other school districts in the state were approved for the grants. Lyndonville will have one of its teachers, Laura Moore, go on special assignment from January through June. She will work with Lyndonville teachers and administrators, as well as state education officials to identify effective teaching strategies and emphasize them with the local district.

Moore is a fifth grade teacher. Her class will be led by a long-term substitute beginning in January. Moore will serve as an SED fellow. Elementary School Principal Kathy Stewart will serve as supervisor and administrator of the grant.

Stewart said Moore is well suited to lead the project for Lyndonville.

“Laura is a master teacher,” Stewart said. “She is well respected by her colleagues.”

The grant will pay for the cost of a long-term teaching substitute, as well as travel and other costs for the grant.

Lyndonville made gains in boosting the mastery levels, students who score 3s and 4s, in the math portion of the Common Core for grades 3 through 8. The district jumped from 20 to 38 percent at that level from 2013 to 2014, District Superintendent Jason Smith said.

Moore and “Common Core Institute” grant will focus on raising the English proficiency for students in grades 3 to 8, where 23 percent were at a 3 or 4 in 2014. The district is pushing to have 43 percent at the higher scores by 2017, Smith said.

“The focus will be on literacy,” Stewart said.

Moore will help teachers develop effective lesson plans and other teaching strategies, including connections for students with disabilities or who speak English as a second language.

Smith said it will be a rigorous six months in meeting the objectives of the grant. The goal will be in establishing a sustainable program. As part of the grant, Moore and the district also need to be available to share best practices and their successes with other schools.