Sheriff trains Hudson district in shooter event response

HUDSON–School safety, computer testing and new staff received attention at the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting Monday, May 21.

Superintendent Maria L Suttmeier reported that the district’s teachers, administrators, and support staff had undergone training in a Civilian Response to Active Shooter event. Dr. Suttmeier reported finding this training, sponsored by the county Sheriff’s Office, valuable. “We have to make sure that our students and staff” both stay safe and know what to do in such an event, she said. She also pointed out that this preparedness applies to not only schools but also other public places.

In a related matter, Dr. Suttmeier reported that Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore has called her and promised that “all his officers will get to know all the school buildings inside out.”

Coordinator of School Improvement April Prestipino reported that though the state math assessment exams taken by computer went without a hitch, she got mixed reactions from the students who took them. This year the district held two state assessment tests by computer: 5th grade English language arts (ELA) and 8th grade math. Other students in the 3rd through 8th grades took exams on paper.

For both the ELA and math tests, students who took them by computer said their eyes were strained by looking at the screen. In addition, though “some students were happy to take do the test without writing” by hand, others “wished they could have done more writing” by hand.

Ms. Prestipino said that 8th graders had told her that they did not mind taking the math test online, but they found showing their work–which sometimes requires drawing diagrams–difficult. Now the computer testing industry is experimenting with tablets that will allow test-takers to “draw” more.

Also at the meeting the board announced the hiring of Alyssa Moore, a graduate of Hudson High School, as a permanent first grade teacher, following a year at the HCSD as a temporary teacher. Ms. Moore was born in Brooklyn. Before teaching in Hudson, she taught Head Start in Watervliet. The Capital Region School Job Fair in Guilderland brought in her application for the HCSD. She now lives in Catskill and is going to the College of St. Rose for a master’s degree in Literacy and Special Education. She told the May 21 meeting, “I love it in Hudson and am very grateful to continue.”

Alyssa Moore, a graduate of Hudson High School, is a permanent first grade teacher. Photo by Jeanette Wolfberg

In other business, Dr. Suttmeier announced:

• A parent had written to thank the district for the Warren Street Academy with its Bridge Alternate Transition Program. The parent’s son will graduate from high school this June and plans to enter college this fall, though he might not have graduated had he been in a traditional high school setting

• The district is participating in a SUNY Albany study on school district performance by demographic profile. This will be an opportunity to see what the highest performing districts with the same demographics are doing and consider adopting some of their tactics

• The high school hosted its first Patroon Conference track meet, with teams from many schools participating. This is the first year the district has been able to have at-home track meets.

On June 1 an evening conference about guns and mental health will take place at the high school auditorium. The public is invited. (More information appears elsewhere in this issue.)

The next meeting of the HCSD Board of Education will take place Monday, June 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hudson High School library.

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