Highland Board of Education goes on tour

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Delayed by the weather, the Highland Central School District Board of Education made up for lost time at its rescheduled meeting on February 19. Board members, as part of their executive session, were treated to a VIP tour of Highland Elementary School’s classrooms for English Language Arts (ELA) and writing. Board members met with faculty to discuss how these classrooms benefit their students.

Students of the Month for February
As always, the highlight of each Board of Education meeting is the presentation of the student(s) of the month presentation. Gianna Nesheiwat, a first grader at Highland Elementary School, is this month’s elementary student of the month. With a contagious smile, Gianna was praised by Principal Freer for her high marks in the last marking period. Gianna’s family and friends were in attendance to celebrate this honor.

Lena Tran, a sixth grader and February’s student of the month at Highland Middle school, was praised by her music teacher, Mr. Rizzi, for her amazing musical track record. Ms.Tran plays piano, at what is described as an almost expert level, the flute and, more recently, the saxophone. Along with her service to the school, Ms.Tran is the perfect choice for student of the month.

Last, but not least, the Board of Education’s very own student representative, Christine Poluzzi, was named student of the month at Highland High School. Poluzzi, a senior, aspires to become a dentist. She is currently deciding between two of the nine colleges in which she was accepted. Poluzzi serves as president of peer leadership, student council, is an editor of the yearbook, and participates in many other school organizations. Congratulations to all of this months honorees.

Recycling, the UN, and the Global Citizen
Highland Elementary School, along with 44 other schools in New York State, is competing in a recycling challenge sponsored by Clynk. Their goal; to become the Clynk Champions of New York. As part of the contest, each schools fills as many green Clynk bags with recyclable bottles and cans and returns them to their local Clynk center. Prior to this contest, all recyclable bottles and cans at the elementary school were thrown away with the regular trash.

Highland’s local Hannaford Supermarket has agreed to match 50 cents for every dollar raised by the school. On average, student’s are filling one large green Clynk bag per day. Currently in 5th place, Highland Elementary School is getting their faculty and staff involved in the project as well. The Clynk Champion school will receive $1500, while the second place school receives $1000. With the popularity of the contest, the elementary school will be hosting recycling programs in the near future. The Clynk contest ends March 22.

Nineteen students from Highland High School recently attended a model UN conference in Boston. At the conference, students had the chance to participate in various committees, both creative and ones focused on specific regions, including the Committee for Rare Diseases and NATO. As always, the Highland High School students did not disappoint. Ishani Bansal’s paper for the World Health Organization Committee won Best Position, while a paper by Sai Golkonda paper for the SOCHUM committee received an Honorable Mention.

The sixth graders at Highland Middle School are on their way to becoming global citizens. The Global Citizen project pairs up ELA and art classes to create parts of display that will be included in a time capsule. The time capsule will be opened during the class’s moving up day ceremony in 8th grade, providing as a reminder of what global citizenship means to each student. On Friday, February 22, students will have the opportunity to talk to five speakers who inbody the global citizen, including a member of Sparrow’s Nest, and a volunteer fireman.

A Master Plan Update
Representatives from CsArch returned to Highland to give board members a review of the proposed projects that will be completed under the district’s master plan. Approved in May 2018, the 8 million dollar master plan is almost ready to be submitted, with a expected start date of Spring 2020. Under the plan, Highland High School will see the most construction, with upgrades to the septic system, front entry and parking areas. Students will see changes at the start of the 2020 school year, including the location of the school buses will drop off and the flow of traffic for parent drop. These changes will ensure the safety of pedestrians and will create one central entrance to the school. The number of available parking spots on campus will also increase to 291 spots. Keypads will be added to other entrances for faculty and staff use.

Highland Middle School and Elementary will also see upgrades next spring. Repairs to the basketball courts, including new hoops and blacktop, and the replacement of emergency lighting, will take place at the middle school. Highland Elementary will receive a HVAC system update to the older parts of the building. CsArch will present the Board with regular updates as the project goes forward.

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