Watervliet district buys new ELA curriculum

WATERVLIET — Graduating seniors at Watervliet High School were infants the last time the district’s English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum was updated.

That changed Monday night when the school board approved buying ELA curriculum materials for the entire school district.

“We are super excited,” said Susan Toothman, curriculum director. “It’s great for our district, great for our kids. It’s what we needed at this point in time.”

She said the district last bought ELA materials for the secondary level in 2001, and for the elementary in 2008.

Toothman said buying new ELA curriculum has been in the works since last fall. She said after doing research and negotiating costs, curriculum materials from McGraw-Hill for grades pre-K to 5 cost $117,500, while curriculum materials from Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt for grades 6-12 cost $101,233.

In other business, district principals reported annual bullying statistics to the board.

Interim Superintendent John Jarpe said these reports are due to the state every year, but not all districts make them public at their school board meetings.

At North Elementary School there were five reported incidents of bullying and three were found to be actual incidents. At South Elementary School there were six times that teachers gave out “bullying packets” to parents, but no parents filed complaints.

The W-A-Y program had no incidents reported. The middle school had 28 incidents investigated and 11 were found to be actual cases of bullying. The high school reported 12 incidents, but none were actual bullying.

Principals said in all cases, reported and actual bullying, students were met with and the cases were investigated. In instances of actual bullying, students experienced consequences through suspensions, apologies, detentions, parent meetings, loss of recess and/or a behavior plan.

Also on Monday, Jarpe announced that North Elementary Principal Joe Allen has resigned.

The school board will hold a budget meeting at 6 p.m. June 24 in the high school media center.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman