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Elementary School Transition

In June of 2018, after more than a year of study and community participation, the Board of Education decided to transition to three elementary schools beginning in the 2019-2020 school year: Franklyn S. Barry Elementary School, F. E. Smith Elementary School, and Randall Elementary School. The Board determined that Barry will house grades K-2, Smith will be comprised of grades 3 & 4, and Randall will be comprised of grades 5 & 6. We have begun to prepare for the transition to three elementary schools. The facilities study page has been archived and is available here.

Questions and Answers about the Transition
A list of commonly asked questions (and their answers) is available to view and will be updated throughout the planning process. To submit questions and any suggestions you have, a short survey has been prepared. You can submit questions and suggestions any time and as frequently as you think of them. The questions and suggestions that are submitted are compiled; answers to the commonly asked questions are added to the Q & A document.

District Transition Team
A community-wide committee has been formed to help plan for the transition. Representatives from each of the five elementary schools have volunteered to serve on the committee. The committee will ensure that the transition(s) from five elementary schools to three schools occurs in a way that is congruent with the district mission and vision. Rather than having five separate elementary schools that feed the Junior High School, we want to have a united school system in which students transition from building to building, together. When schools open in September 2019, we want all students to feel that they are beginning in a new school. There are several goals for the committee:
  • Plan for the cultural integration of students into “new” schools in September 2019
  • Identify opportunities to create a common identity for schools within the district
  • Suggest activities and systems to ensure smooth transitions for students from school to school
  • Suggest activities and systems to ensure smooth transitions for families from school to school
The committee will meet approximately once per month. Minutes of the committee will be posted below.
  • September 17, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaufman Center (meeting notes)
  • October 16, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaufman Center (meeting notes)
  • November 13, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaufman Center (meeting notes
  • December 18, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaufman Center (meeting notes)
  • January  15, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaufman Center (meeting notes)
  • March 19, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaufman Center (meeting notes)
  • April 16, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaufman Center (meeting notes)
  • May 21, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cortland High School Library (meeting notes)
  • June 18, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaufman Center (meeting notes)
Building Level Transition Teams
In order to ensure that communication is flowing and that everything that needs to happen to ensure a smooth transition is identified, a “Building Transition Team” structure will be employed in each elementary school as well as the Kaufman Center. Building teams will meet once per month at a regularly scheduledtime. Meetings are facilitated by the principal. Issues and questions that are related to the transition are recorded in this running list.
From the Monday Messages
The Monday Message is the primary way that internal district information is being communicated. Those sections are archived here:

1.7.19: Planning for the transition to three elementary schools continues. Now that requests have been made, it’s time to match those requests with the classes and sections in the three schools. This process will occur in January, with the goal of completing the location assignments by the beginning of February. Preliminary decisions have been made about sections and staffing (work continues on other positions and certifications). Based on our current enrollment, it looks like we will have:
9 classrooms positions of kindergarten
8 classroom positions of 1st grade
7 classroom positions of 2nd grade
8 classroom positions of 3rd grade
7 classroom positions of 4th grade
8 classroom positions of 5th grade
8 classroom positions of 6th grade

Remember, our primary unit of organization is the teacher team. We won't be self-contained nor will we be departmentalized. We will be organized into teacher teams with grouping and regrouping occurring on developmental and learning progress on the essentials.

We will use a six-day rotation for elementary schedules. All special area classes will be 40 minutes in length. These allocations are also based on current enrollment projections:
1 art teacher per building
1 general/vocal music teacher per building
1 teacher-librarian per building
2 physical education teachers at Barry; 1.5 at Smith; 1.5 at Randall

1.14.19: The Facilities Department has been meeting on an ongoing basis to coordinate the transition to Grade Level Elementary Schools. Discussions have included: who will do the moving of the furniture etc. to each school, schedule for the moves, what can be done in advance of July 1, 2019. Here are some updates:
Barry will not have daycare for the month of July and will be the primary focus for initial moves.
Smith is unoccupied for both months of July and August and will be second on the schedule for materials moving in.
Randall is having daycare and Summer school in July. Moves into Randall are scheduled for August.
The ITS Department will handle computer related items.
Some Smart Board heights will need to be adjusted to accommodate various grade levels.
Our Facilities Department staff will be organized into a moving team, cleaning teams, and grounds and maintenance teams dedicated to a particular focus as much as possible based on our personnel.
The possibility of having two trucks for the move period is being explored.
PODs may be utilized for longer term storage during the move.
All personal items will have to be removed from classrooms. The CECSD will not be responsible for any personal items.
Rentacrate will be utilized to move classroom items. Samples will be circulated to the schools for inspection. Colored coded labels for each building will be used. Crates should arrive in mid-June. 

1.21.19: Here is some information related to the transition to three elementary schools:
Teacher staff assignments will be announced on or about February 1st; paraprofessional assignments come later in the year, after Annual Reviews when needs are identified.
“New schools” will spend the day together on the March conference day (elementary).
There will be an early release day for elementary grade-levels to place students into sections on either April 9 or May 14. We will use the early release time and our grade-level meeting time for the task.
Release time for packing is under consideration, but we have to keep an eye on snow days and meeting our SED attendance requirements.

1.28.19: Teacher staff assignments will be announced on or about February 1st; paraprofessional assignments come later in the year, after Annual Reviews when needs are identified.
As recommended by the District Transition Committee, the Board of Education has renamed the schools: Franklyn S. Barry Primary School (Barry Primary), Ferdinand E. Smith Intermediate School (Smith Intermediate), Randall Middle School (Randall Middle).

2.4.19: As we make the transition from neighborhood schools to grade-centers, we have the opportunity to become a more cohesive and consistent school district. This includes branding and communication. As we prepare for our new configuration that includes three “new schools,” we are working on: A common mascot (we’re planning on gathering student input for this), Common logos for our “C,” paw print, and tiger, A defined “purple” to use, A district look to our letterhead (that will parallel for school letterhead), Particular fonts to use in particular situations. Information about all of these branded communication tools will be collected in a “style guide” that will be available on our website. The expectation will be that we will use only the “official” logos and other materials in the future. The consistent use of common images and styles will help to communicate that we are a school district rather than a collection of schools.

2.11.19: Teacher assignments for next year (at the elementary level) were communicated on February 1st. Support staff assignments will come later in the year when we are sure about needs and locations. Please remember that these placements were made based on the faculty we have and the retirements we know. If there are additional retirements or other resignations some changes are possible. In these situations, existing placement preferences will be considered. At faculty meetings, the overall chart of assignments was shared.





Mr. Michael J. Hoose, Superintendent

1 Valley View Drive
Cortland, NY 13045

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