Position to assist students in need of additional help
By Jenna Baker
The New York Mills Elementary is looking to hire a full time Elementary Interventionist. At the January school board meeting, Elementary Principal Judith Brockway requested the position be made open to applicants, with the role beginning Feb. 16, and running through the remainder of the school year. Upon the end of the academic year, the position would be re-evaluated for the 2021-2022 year.
This position will work with students in both reading and math, providing extra help for those who may need it for a variety of reasons including falling behind due to distance learning.
Brockway informed the board that this role would work with many students who need the extra assistance, but at the same time may not qualify for special education. She noted that hiring an interventionist would “start the COVID recovery process” in terms of education and that the role is a “vital part of how we help students in the future.”
Board member Kristina Ehnert expressed strong support for the position, noting that “anything we can do to help is going to be significant.”
Brockway explained that a portion of the CARES and federal recovery program funding the school received will be used to cover the cost of the position. The board unanimously approved the role and the hiring process has begun.
High School Principal Michelle Young informed the board that failures were up for the first semester of this school year, noting the added challenge of distance learning. She explained that at the middle school level, the recovery is more remedial, while at the high school level, the recovery of the credits is needed to meet graduation requirements. Young explained that efforts are in place to make sure these students complete the coursework needed to meet the standards.
Athletic Director Matt Radniecki was also present at the meeting to give an update regarding online streaming of events. Radniecki explained that a Pixellot camera is being installed in the Sports Center, which will allow for activities to be watched both live and as recorded events. These events will be streamed through the NFHS network, which does require a subscription. The cost of the subscription is approximately $12 a month or $70 per year and would allow for people to view any event including NY Mills home ones and any other school that has this system in place.
Radniecki also informed the board that he has been keeping busy with the distribution of the limited number of spectator tickets allowed for each home and away event, noting that a concrete record of who is attending is needed in order to conduct contract tracing if necessary.
Overall, he explained that winter sports are going very well and that the athletes and coaches are taking the precautions needed and masking up.
In other news
• Both the administration and the board expressed gratitude for the paraprofessionals as the week of Jan. 25 was Paraprofessional Recognition Week. Young described the group as gracious and flexible during the last year and said they provide phenomenal support.
• Brockway shared that music teacher Rebecca Imsande is currently working on recording concerts for each elementary grade level. Once completed, these will be shared on Facebook.
• Superintendent Blaine Novak provided an update on the building project, informing the board that the high school portion will begin at the start of staff workshops at the end of the school year and is scheduled to be complete, on Aug. 26. He noted that the high school project is larger in terms of space than the elementary portion and that the ventilation in the Sports Center is of top priority.
• Novak also shared with the board the option of E-Learning Days for the next academic year. These days would be used as a replacement for snow days, utilizing distance learning. E-Learning Days will be evaluated and reviewed by staff and the board with further discussion and any action at future meetings.