January 2019 District Newsletter
January Calendar
  • 1/01 New Year's Day, District Offices Closed
  • 1/08 Board of Education Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • 1/21 Martin Luther King Jr Day, District Offices Closed
  • 1/28 Staff Work Day, No School for Students
Grading and Reporting January Message
Our school district has identified a statement of purpose when it comes to grades and report cards. It was developed by a program review committee last year, based on feedback from students, teachers, and the community:

The Cortland Enlarged City School District believes in standards-based instruction, assessment, and reporting. Grades are intended to inform parents, students, and other stakeholders about progress toward learning standards.

We believe:
  • Academic performance should be reported separately from work habits and social behaviors.
  • Grades should reflect the degree to which standards are mastered.
  • Feedback should identify areas of strength and potential growth.

Over the next few years, we will be examining our grading and reporting practices to ensure that they are aligned with this purpose statement. No specific changes or timeline has been identified at this time. Our Council for Instructional Excellence, which includes all of our grade-level leaders, department chairs, team leaders, and administrators, will be examining our practices over the next few years to make sure our grading and reporting practices are aligned with the purpose statement. If and when specific changes are identified, we’ll communicate this information through many channels.
Superintendent Hoose Speaks About Transition
This is the first video of a series that Superindent Hoose will be releasing regarding the steps the District and the District Transition Committee are taking to prepare for the transition to 5 elementary schools from 3. As always check out the "transition planning" page on our website under quick links for the most up to date information.
Social-Emotional Learning and
Academic Learning Go Hand in Hand
Our school district is committed to the success of each and every student. This commitment includes all aspects of success and well-being: academic, social, and emotional. While we have many systems in place to support our students academically, many students also need help developing their social and emotional skills.

This year we have begun to use Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) data to plan instruction and support to achieve the social and emotional skills critical to success in school and beyond. Classroom teachers in grades K-8 recently completed their first round of social-emotional screening for students. The screening tool, Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), is completed by the teacher reflecting on skills students demonstrate in the classroom. Students do not participate in the screening. 

The purpose of the DESSA tool is to help school staff promote the healthy social-emotional development of all children. The screening is strength based and focuses on eight SEL competency domains. The information received assists teachers in developing whole class activities to develop and support positive, caring classroom environments for all.
JH Students Learn About Ghanaian Drumming & Dancing
On December 5th, students in the Junior High general music classes had a special guest from Ghana: Sulley Imoro. Sulley began learning African drumming and dance from his father when he was 8 years old. His father, a popular traditional dancer, was known throughout Ghana. Sulley was eager to follow in his father’s footsteps. “Anytime in the village when we didn’t have entertainment, my father would bring the drums out and play,” he said. Read more...
Internships Now Available for High School Students
The Career and Technical Education team has been working hard to bring back our high school internship program. The District’s Program Review Cycle for Career and Technical Education was completed last year and a number of recommendations were presented to the Board of Education. Recommendations included establishing clear career pathways, expanding those pathways, and adding some new courses. Read more...
Journalism Class Publishes First CHS Voice
The journalism class at CHS is off to a great start this year, with some major changes taking place. The class has a new teacher, website, and print edition. Samantha Gifford is in her first year teaching the course, her second year teaching at Cortland High School. Prior to coming to Cortland, Samantha taught at Watertown High School. Read more...
New Traffic Pattern at the High School Starting January 1st
There has been an increasing need to ensure our buses get out in a timely manner from the High School. When our buses leave on time, our students arrive home sooner and the amount of time spent on the bus is minimized. Therefore, all traffic leaving the high school at dismissal will be routed toward South Main Street from Valley View Drive starting January 1. This will occur for a brief period of time each afternoon.
Now Hiring! Substitute Food Service Helpers
Join our team of dedicated employees! Make a students day by serving them a hot lunch! Follow the school schedule and enjoy evenings and weekends off. Call 607-758- 4102 for more information.
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