The East Syracuse Minoa Central School District is eager and ready to welcome students on Wednesday, Sept. 6 for the 2017-18 school year with a focus on learning, building relationships, invigorating character strengths and enhancing college and career pathways.
This fall ESM will celebrate Makerspaces at Park Hill Pre-k, East Syracuse Elementary, Fremont Elementary, Minoa Elementary, Woodland Elementary, Pine Grove Middle School and ESM Central High School. Pine Grove will introduce the Positivity Project and there will be new course offerings at ESM Central High School.
One initiative launched last year that will be heightened in all schools this fall is “Makerspaces.” In a Makerspace, students explore, inquire, discover, design, invent and understand through mind-on, hands-on making. In Makerspaces teachers facilitate learning opportunities for students to apply their knowledge while supporting personalized learning. In developing curious and creative minds these learning experiences ignite student thinking in the engineering design process for effective problem-solving.
ESM is able to offer all students well-equipped Makerspaces this fall thanks, in part, to grants received from Senator John DeFrancisco, Assemblyman Al Stirpe and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter. The grants supported the purchase of supplies, materials and equipment, such as 3-D printers, for Makerspaces and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning experiences.
Last year, Minoa Elementary successfully introduced the “Positivity Project”, a nationally recognized program aimed at developing character strengths. This fall, Pine Grove Middle School will implement the Positivity Project starting with a sixth grade focus. The program centers on 24 character strengths to develop a common understanding of each character strength, build each students’ self-confidence and strengthen their relationships with others.
Annually, at ESM, all course offerings are reviewed and as needed courses are revised to meet current standards and requirements or sunset if they are no longer relevant for current standards or graduation requirements. Through this process new courses are researched, designed and developed and approved by the Board of Education to meet graduation requirements and the ever-changing career landscape.
Beginning this fall at ESM High School two new courses will be offered. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing & Switching will provide mind-on, hands-on experience to install, configure, operate and troubleshoot computer networks. This course offering is connected to Onondaga Community College, which may also lead to college credit and certification for students. American Sign Language (ASL) Level 1 is also a new course offering, which will introduce students to communication with individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. This course is offered as a distance learning opportunity via video conferencing.
As ESM prepares to commence a new school year it commemorates the 10th year of implementation of the ESM Strategic Plan, a road map in preparing ESM students with knowledge and skills including critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation, essential for success in college, career and citizenship in our global, continually changing world.