Fredonia school board addresses low test scores

As part of a recent Fredonia Board of Education meeting, School Superintendent Paul DiFonzo said there were no big surprises with low test scores since schools across New York state were forewarned they would drop this past year due to new Common Core standards.

“The bottom line is, I don’t think it’s a reflection on our teachers at all because I think they did a great job,” he said. “As the (State Education Department) commissioner said, it’s a starting point. The tough part is saying all the things you’ve done in the past, you have to start here and you can’t look back at the data you’ve been collecting. We just need a chance to address these new standards. It’s going to take four or five years to get student scores where we would like them to be … but I trust our staff … will work together to implement the Common Core as we continue to receive modules.”

The board is currently working on a resolution to express disappointment with the state in the rocky implementation of the new testing standards, which have caused scores to plummet. DiFonzo said the resolution will hopefully be introduced during a regular meeting in September.

DiFonzo also gave a quick update on various building projects going on around the school.

“The brick wall renovation is now complete. There’s an actual wall that’s been replaced,” he said. “It’s all set up. All the payments have been made. We’re simply waiting for two change orders from the state to close out the project, but it came in at the cost predicted and everything is being state-aided.”

The energy project is also in the implementation stage, according to DiFonzo. All windows facing outside will have their weather stripping replaced and high-performance, cost-effective lights will be replacing inefficient bulbs throughout the entire school.

The board also approved a contract between the school and the architect firm Clark Patterson Lee for the 2013-2014 capital outlay exception project. DiFonzo said several changes were made in the contract, including a change in the timeframe from May 2014 to March 2014 and an addition stating the pay will not exceed $12,000.

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