Saturday April 20, 2013

ZEKE WRIGHT

Staff Writer

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- A local educator is taking a leave of absence to work at the New York State Department of Education while schools across the state reform to meet the latest required changes to their curriculum.

Judith Petrino, a secondary English teacher at Hoosick Falls Central School, said she would be a coordinator at the state Education Department helping schools while they transition to Common Core State Standards as part of the Board of Regents’ reform agenda.

That reform agenda is ongoing and involves significant changes to curriculum and testing in public grade schools statewide over the next few years.

Petrino said she would also be concentrating on outreach and improving the lines of communication between the state department and local districts in her new role in Albany. "I know one of the (biggest) frustrations is communication," she said. "I hope to make a little bit of a difference in how things are communicated."

School board members approved the leave of absence effective May 6 through Sept. 1, 2014. School Superintendent Kenneth Facin said he hoped the school would be kept informed with the "inside scoop."

"We’re wondering how that Dr. Suess Machine works down there." Facin called the appointment of a local teacher a great experience for the district.


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In addition to the Common Core, Petrino said she would also be involved with the changing assessments dictated by the new Common Core curriculum. Beginning this past week and continuing into the next, students statewide in grades 3 through 8 will be taking math and English Language Arts exams.

Tougher standards, and the role they now play in staff evaluations, make those test results uniquely significant this year.

Petrino said the review of that assessment data would begin next month, which prompted her appointment earlier than she had originally expected, next September.

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