The New York State Commissioner of Education, Dr. John B. King, Jr., visited Port Chester's John F. Kennedy Elementary School Thursday morning where he discussed Common Core with teachers and discussed educational challenges bi-lingual teachers face in the district, according to a press release from the Port Chester School District.
Read more information from the press release here:
Dr. King toured various classrooms and then met with a large group of teachers to learn their experiences with the Common Core Curriculum, including two teachers who have been serving as Common Core Ambassadors.
When asked what they were most excited about this year, the teachers attending offered a perspective that was personal: that they are enjoying learning and collaborating with their peers to plan lessons and develop new materials. They also shared their feelings of encouragement that their students are mastering the new skills demanded by the Common Core Curriculum.
The bilingual teachers and Dr. King also discussed the challenge of finding instructional materials that reinforce the same concepts as the English language modules. Currently, about 28 percent of Port Chester students are English Language Learners. JFK is working closely with SED to help expand the modules and materials available in Spanish for bi-lingual and dual language classrooms.
“We would like your department to look at us as a resource,” said Carlos Sanchez, District Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, in response to Dr. King’s query about bilingual and dual language instruction. “Our population is similar to those of many districts in the state.”
In fact, according to Angelica Sante, Associate Commissioner of Education, the module materials translated by Port Chester teachers will be shared with other districts.
Dr. King also met with JFK Principal Lou Cuglietto, Assistant Principal Judy Diaz, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edward Kliszus, JFK PTA officers, and the entire Board of Education.