Education Expansion

CATTARAUGUS – The establishment of a full-day prekindergarten program at Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School is becoming more feasible.

During a recent regular meeting of the Board of Education, Superintendent Jon Peterson said the district has applied for a grant through the state Education Department in order to provide better learning opportunities for its youngest community members.

“I truly haven’t been more excited in a long time,” Peterson said following the meeting. “A school district like ours is pretty rural, so we’re all very excited about this (potential) grant from the SED for full-day pre-K. We see the opportunity for our kids to hopefully gain early literacy skills by having a full day of exposure to pre-K, and that will increase their chances of being successful in accomplishing the Common Core Learning Standards, graduating and being truly college and career ready.”

Peterson said the district applied to the grant prior to the Oct. 16 deadline, and is waiting to hear back from the Education Department.

From an educational standpoint, Peterson said the district is now employing the industry standard in terms of student assessment – iReady software. According to Peterson, the iReady software contains diagnostic and instructional components which are intended to assist the district in improving its testing performance.

“It’s been eye-opening, and we definitely have some challenges ahead of us,” Peterson said. “We use the diagnostic component mostly for reading and ELA and math assessments. It produces a lot of data for us to use as instruction for the rest of the year. The instructional piece is what we use mostly in our academic intervention services, which is where kids who score below proficiency levels on ELA and math have to be according to state law. So, by using (iReady) diagnostically and using the instruction component to hit areas that students are working on, hopefully we can get kids at grade level by the end of the year.”

In other business, the board officially appointed its newest member. Wayne Marsh was sworn into duty after he was selected by the board earlier this month to fill a seat that was vacated at the beginning of summer. Marsh will fill the position until its expiration in May, when he may then choose to run in the district’s board elections for a full-length term.