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NEW REPORT CARDS TO REFLECT STATE CHANGES

New report cards going out to Alden Central primary school pupils this fall will educate parents about new state standards, Superintendent of Schools Donald W. Raw Jr. said Tuesday night.

"It's an overall change in philosophy," said Raw. "All the things we're going to be asked to reflect in meeting benchmarks are reflected in this report card."

The biggest change is from a four marking-period system to three evaluations at 10, 25 and 40 weeks. This allows parents and pupils to find out academic weaknesses at critical times during the year when enough time remains to correct and overcome difficult subject or skill areas, Raw said.

For first- and second-graders, the evaluations emphasize target areas in the new assessments. Language arts is broken down into reading, writing, listening and speaking, with information on specific skills. Everything pupils learn in math is outlined from counting pennies to telling time.

The expanded full-day kindergarten also has an expanded evaluation system, detailing progress and skills, rather than just telling parents whether the child is "on level," said primary school Principal Margaret Ryan.

The first report cards and parent conferences are set for Nov. 13 and 14.

Also aiding children in meeting tougher standards is the learning center which opened at the high school this September. In a presentation to the board, reading specialist Terry Gilmore said students are offered much more than remedial help at the full-day center.

Between 40 and 50 students of every skill level come to the center each day for computer time, enrichment programs, quiet study or one-on-one help from teacher and student volunteers. Students can also identify learning styles, matching study skills to their individual needs, said Miss Gilmore and learning center regulars Jason Pierce, Meghan Manley and John Mikulski.

College-bound students also are encouraged to come for help planning, applying and preparing for college. "When half of freshman college classes are dropping out, it's because they aren't able to organize themselves," said high school Principal Timothy Shannon.

"All of a sudden they're on their own."

Free workshops offering additional advice on college admissions are scheduled 6:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 6 in Depew High School. This is the third year of Parent University, a joint effort of the Alden, Depew and Lancaster districts.

In other business the board:

Approved the appointment of John Finkler as chairman of the committee on preschool education and co-chairman of the committee on special education.

Made the following appointments: Pamela Marchewka, part-time English teacher; Patricia Dabb, part-time registered nurse; Edward Carl, assistant varsity wrestling coach; and Barbara Evans, part-time teacher's aide.

Gave approval for planning a high school art course trip to New York City that will be offered in the future to art and music juniors and seniors every other year.

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