KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education appointed Craig Shull as high school principal at Tuesday’s regular meeting. Mr. Shull is currently the elementary/middle school assistant principal. He will take over at the high school in July, when current Principal William Schneider retires.
School Superintendent George Zini said that the search committee looked at over 40 applicants for the position. He told the board at the June 5 meeting that he was “thrilled” to recommend Mr. Shull for the position.
Mr. Shull was a middle school math teacher in the district from 2003 to 2011, according to a press release from the district. He served as assistant principal in Scotia-Glenville Middle School in 2011-12, and then came back to Ichabod in 2012 as an assistant principal.
Math and the middle school was another topic discussion at the meeting. Parents of 8th grade accelerated math students came out of the meeting to tell the board about the pressure their students are feeling about the Common Core math exam the students had taken that week. The 8th graders are taking 9th grade math and have to take the Common Core test along with the other 9th grade students. Ann Plourde said that her daughter’s class was learning some of the information needed for the test the day of the exam and she said that the students were asked to take afterschool review classes that meant transportation issues for parents. She said of her daughter, “She has really doubted herself in math.”
“The implementation has been a mess from the state,” Mr. Zini said of the Common Core curriculum. He passed out contact information for state Education Department officials and urged parents to write letters.
The board did decide to not give “field tests” to students in 3rd, 4th and 6th grades. The tests are used by Pearson, a major educational publishing company that creates tests for the state. The company picks sample schools in the state to take practice tests to help the firm develop test questions.
“I don’t think there is a whole lot of value in them,” Mr. Zini said of the field tests.
Both Primary School Principal Suzanne Guntlow and Elementary/Middle School Principal Tim Farley agreed that they would rather use the time for instruction rather than testing. “We don’t get to see any of the results,” Ms. Guntlow said.
Also at the meeting the board:
•Accepted a check for $23,800 from the Booster Club to pay for a new scoreboard that will be installed at the field this summer. The Booster Club also donated a golf cart to the district that can be used for moving equipment and personnel
•Heard from Internal Claims Auditor Rich Phillips, who reported that the district has made positive changes to deal with its finances
•Adopted a resolution to fund the $2.3 million capital improvements project voters approved in May. The construction project, which is being paid for by reserve funds and borrowing that will be reimbursed by state building aid, still needs state Education Department approval.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, July 8 at 7 p.m. in the High School Auditorium.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .