Down To The Wire

Despite several delays in the third phase of its building project, Sherman Central School District will be ready for students by Wednesday, Superintendent Kaine Kelly told board of education members during a recent meeting.

Phase three included renovations to the science and chemistry labs, stage construction and revised sound system in the auditorium, as well as reconstruction of the press box on the athletic field.

“We’re all set for opening school. We’re ready to roll,” Kelly said. “The building project is progressing. I have been assured that the science rooms will be completed and ready for students on day one.”

Kelly said he has received questions about whether the press box would be ready for use.

“Our guys will make sure,” he said. “They will get it framed up. Even if we don’t get it completed, it will be functional for our first game.”

After the year begins, the district will review “punch lists” concerning the construction, Kelly said. These identify areas of the project that were missed or that the district is not happy with the outcome.

In other business, Kelly noted that teacher growth scores would soon be released to the public by the state Education Department. These scores will seem much lower because of the switch to the Common Core system of testing initiated by the SED this year. This drop was anticipated because of the shift, but should not be seen as an indication of poor performance, he said.

“Compared with county and regional scores, we did fine. In most places we are right where we should be,” he said.

Kelly also told the board that he has received a lot of emails from the SED concerning the Annual Professional Performance Review plan. While Sherman submitted its plan three weeks ago, the SED has been inundated with submissions and may not be able to review the plan before the Aug. 30 deadline, he said.

Regulations stipulate that the APPR must be reviewed and approved by the deadline of the district would lose its state aid. Because of the backlog, however, the state will allow districts to withdraw their submission and choose “option three,” which would classify the district as “still in negotiations” and roll over last year’s plan, he said.