Mantua – At the last meeting of the Crestwood School Board, the 2014 District retirees were honored for their combined 255 years of service in the District. Middle School Principal Julie Schmitt, Intermediate Principal Michelle Gerbrick, Director of Pupil Services Mike Maglionico, and past School Board member Martha Phillips spoke on behalf of the retirees, sharing laughter and a few tears as they thanked their colleagues and wished them well. Superintendent David Toth remarked, “I’d like to commend these people for their efforts and dedication and thank you for your service. You’ll all be missed.”
Next up, District Treasurer Jill Rowe presented an updated five-year-forecast for the district. The forecast represents budget cuts and payroll reductions, as well as considerable savings in forecast healthcare costs. Regarding the improved budget, Ms. Rowe stated, “It took a lot of hard work to get here.” In similar news, Superintendent Toth shared that he and his team had completed several grant applications that would help provide Crestwood with resources to become a 21st century learning campus.
The Straight A grant is valued at between $1 million and $15 million, and could provide funds for online courses, STEM classrooms, and resources for a media center that would be available to the community. Other grants include a federal health and wellness grant to cover the cost to employ additional therapists and guidance counselors to the District, and a grant to fund a K-grade four summer reading program. Grants will be awarded later this year. Mr. Toth explained, “It’s part of my job, and my team of administrators, to find money to help our kids and teachers to the betterment of Crestwood.”
In other news, Primary School Principal Cindy Ducca and Intermediate Principal Michelle Gerbrick explained the latest changes and how their schools are working with the Third Grade Guarantee. They highlighted plans to help those students in danger of scoring below the acceptable target reading scores, and outlined the many ways the school is currently intervening and providing additional support to the students and their families. In addition, a summer reading program has been implemented. Afterward, School Board member Dave Becker commented about the dangers of becoming too test-focused, stating, “We want to develop a love of reading, not a fear of testing.”
Later, Crestwood High School teachers Angus McDougall and Sarah Moore shared their thoughts on teaching the American Experience Academy, a cross-cultural class in experiential learning. According to McDougall, the class helps students develop a unique skill-set that helps them, “engage with learning.” McDougall shared that the program benefits the district in many ways, including as a collaborative opportunity among other buildings within the district, serving as a field trip destination for classes at the Intermediate School. In addition, next year’s program will incorporate a journalism element, where students will write articles and shoot photos about various aspects of the Academy.
The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be held on Monday, June 2nd at 7 pm in the High School Library. In addition, previous meeting minutes and video recordings of school board meetings can be viewed at crestwoodschools.org.