Warwick Valley School District offers curriculum that helps students deal with stress, improve their school performance

Warwick Valley School District offers curriculum that helps students deal with stress, improve their school performance


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By Abby Wolf

— School can sometimes be stressful: That stress can interfere with students’ ability to pay attention to their subjects, to control their emotions, and can even have a negative impact on their health.

In the interest of helping students manage their stress and also have a more productive experience in class, the Warwick Valley School District board will offer a special presentation at its next work session on Monday, Jan. 28, when clinicians and teachers will discuss their experience with Mindfulness.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach gave a brief overview of Mindfulness and what it can offer students, in his presentation to the school board at Monday night’s regular meeting.

Leach said Mindfulness can help kids “regulate their emotions.” The curriculum will be offered three days a week through the end of the year. Leach intends to have it implemented in all district schools.

He added that PE teachers say that the program helps with discipline, among other things. “It makes a big impact at all levels of school.”

There have been “challenging times locally and throughout the nation the past two years,” Leach continued, so this program is very helpful with regard to stress management.

“Our approach will continue to support stress management and emotion regulation.”

School board president Sharon Davis said: “Some parents may want to participate … I like that we’re not a district that (just) throws an assembly at (this problem).”

Planning for budget season As it prepares for the upcoming school budget season, the school board will hold five budget discussions throughout the winter and beginning of the spring, during the board’s scheduled work sessions. The first of the series will be held on Monday, Jan. 28.

Leach said that the average annual tax levy increase for the past five years has been 1.58 percent (within the state-mandated cap).

The administration is working on finalizing a rollover budget that “preserves existing student opportunities while proposing a tax levy amount below the district’s allowable limit,” according to a statement from the superintendent.

Leach said he hopes to have a preliminary budget ready by the end of January, pending aid numbers from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget for New York State.

Capital projectsThe district is now in phase II of the capital projects approved by the voters in December 2017 and is seeking bids on work to be done over the summer. First up: the middle school. “Our intention is to button up the work,” Leach said, “and be done with it by the next school year.”

The administration expects to get bids awarded by the end of February.

Renovations will include: the library/media center, music room and other instructional spaces. The district will also move the main office to make a more secure vestibule.

‘Stop the Bleed’Doctors, paramedics and other certified instructors from Touro College will offer the Warwick Valley School District a two-hour training program called, “Stop the Bleed, Save a Life.” Participants will learn how to stanch bleeding injuries using tourniquets, bandages and compression.

Teachers, bus drivers and other school staff will learn how to stop uncontrolled bleeding after an injury, allowing them to administer critical First Aid until paramedics arrive.

“We hope to have a good percentage of the district trained,” Leach said, and added that kits will be placed near AEDs (automatic external defibrillators) already in the district’s buildings.

Field tripsThe school board consented to the following upcoming trips:

• The high school cosmetology class, to the International Beauty Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on March 12;

• Middle school to Bethel Woods Museum on May 9, 10 and 16 2019;

• High school music students to Hershey Park, Pa., on May 31, where they’ll be performing, Leach said;

• Middle school fifth grade music students to the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston on June 4 and 5. This trip is “Common Core-aligned to reading, writing and social studies,” according to Davis.

Next • Work Session – Budget Presentation #1 and Mindfulness/Social Emotional: Monday, Jan. 28, Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, 7 p.m.

• Regular meeting: Feb. 11, Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, 7 p.m.




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