Student shares book they wrote

Gr. 1 Shares Books They Wrote

Students read together

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First graders shared the non-fiction books they wrote in March with classmates from other grades.

Students first borrowed books on animals from the library then filled in a graphic organizer, a visual map that helped students organize what they learned. First graders then wrote their books, complete with a Table of Contents, and shared it with other students.

“You can ask any 1st grader what the best part of the project was and they will reply ‘sharing it with other students at GD’,” said Teacher Jennifer Kelleher. Great job!

Students in Washington, DC

Gr. 8 Enjoys Trip to Washington, D.C.

Eighth graders has a busy class trip this year with visits to the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, the Holocaust Museum, Mount Vernon, National Archives and numerous other sites.

Students and adults jump rope

Jump Rope for Heart Raises $3,400

Jump_Rope_for_HeartWynantskill UFSD would like to thank Liza and Shay Kerwin for organizing this year’s Jump Rope for Heart as well as everyone who supported the event.

“This year, approximately 70 students and families attended and we raised $3,400 for the American Heart Association,” said Ms. Kerwin.

Dr. Thomas Reardon serves breakfast to students

Board Announces 5-Year Contract for Dr. Reardon

The Board of Education announced at the Feb. 16 meeting that it has agreed to a new 5-year contract for Superintendent Thomas Reardon.

The agreement keeps Dr. Reardon with Wynantskill UFSD until at least 2022. Dr. Reardon’s original contract was set to expire in 2018.

“Dr. Reardon has been excellent in all aspects of his performance,” said Board President Andrew Lanesey. “He has developed excellent relationships with everyone: students, staff, parents, and the community at large. We are glad we were able to secure his service.”

“I sincerely thank the Board for their support of me and the direction we’re taking the district,” said Superintendent Dr. Thomas Reardon. “I truly love it here. Wynantskill is a wonderful community. I couldn’t be happier to continue to call it home.”

Students pose for photo

“Start With Hello” Program Confronts Student Isolation

Start With HelloGardner-Dickinson joined hundreds of schools across the country this past week by participating in Start With Hello, a program that confronts social isolation in schools.

The program, created by Sandy Hook Promise, encourages students to reach out to classmates who may feel isolated and create a school culture of inclusion and connectedness.

“No one at Gardner-Dickinson should feel isolated,” said Principal Mary Yodis. “It’s not okay for one child to eat alone. It’s not okay for one child to have to play alone.”

The school began Start With Hello a week earlier when School Counselor Amy Murphy visited classrooms to teach students how to recognize and reach out to classmates who may be isolated.

“Start With Hello fits in perfectly with what we try to do at Gardner-Dickinson,” said Dr. Yodis. “We were able to take advantage of Sandy Hook Promise’s resources and use them for one of our main district goals, building a culture of acceptance and tolerance.”

Throughout this past week, team building exercises helped students work together in small groups that were randomly assembled. Activities such as writing song lyrics, Lego building, and playing games encouraged students to interact outside their normal groups of friends.

Ms. Murphy organized Mix It Up lunches where students had to eat with someone different. Students were given ice breaker questions to ask each other, quickly finding out that they had more in common than they thought.

In the classroom, teachers incorporated Start With Hello in their daily lessons. Fifth graders in Dan DiSotto’s class, for example, partnered up with different classmates and used icebreakers to get to know each other before working together.

“Students found they had a lot of things in common that they didn’t realize,” said Mr. DiSotto. “Even after a few days, you’re seeing students in line asking how they’re doing because they now have a connection.”