New reading program at Ripley showing results | News, Sports, Jobs


RIPLEY — A change in Ripley Central School’s reading curriculum is producing results from kindergarten through second grade.

Micah Oldham, principal of Ripley Elementary School, told school board members that the reader’s workshop program was introduced in the fall from kindergarten to grade two in place of the ELA modules.

“We’ve seen a big jump in student reading fluency and comprehension,” he said. “We also saw real enthusiasm from students about this block of time.”

Oldham said there was a large group of kindergarten, first and second graders who were surpassing grade level expectations.

“We are currently looking for Grade 3-6 teachers to pilot a unit following state testing,” he added.

Oldham reminded council members that March 2 is “Reading Day Across America” which coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss and “is the biggest reading holiday in the country.”

Students will enjoy guest readings at Chautauqua Lake Central School, as well as a walking tour of the Ripley Public Library. Rhonda Thompson, director of the Ripley Public Library, reached out to the school to plan Reading Day activities together across America.

“I believe these walks are beneficial and play a role in introducing students to this wonderful community resource,” he said.

Students will also experience a school-wide drop and read (DEAR) time, and a lunch of green eggs and ham, Oldham said.

Council members were also informed that the district has an abundance of coaches this year.

“A plethora of running coaches is a good problem to have,” said Oldham. “I will be meeting with them next week to discuss expectations, schedules and required training/certifications.”

William Caldwell, District Superintendent, briefed Board members on the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. He said the district continues to seek public feedback from parents, teachers and other stakeholders.

The goal of ARPA/ESSER spending is to combat learning loss, Caldwell said. With that in mind, some of the items the funds are being used for this year include tutoring support, educational supplies, 3D printers, replacement of Chromebooks in grades three through five, replacement of the pre-K iPad and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Class K-5 libraries, he said.

Council members also approved a contract to maintain the district’s fire alarm system at Great Lakes Building Systems at their Feb. 16 meeting. The $6,050-a-year contract between Great Lakes and Ripley Central School will provide the district with 24/7 monitoring, as well as technical support and electronic reporting of all inspection reports.

In other matters, the board approved several staffing items, including appointments to the district substitute roster, after-school drama club teacher appointments, and student teacher appointments for the 2021-22 school year. They also approved several new coaches.

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