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Anna Devine to Robert Graves Transition

  • 12/14/12 Update
    Summary of Q & A from 12.12.12 PTA Meeting at 
    Robert Graves Elementary School

    On December 12 2012, the Robert Graves Elementary School PTO hosted a joint meeting with the Anna Devine PTA. Parents had an informal Q & A session with Superintendent Paul Padalino about the redistricting process. The following informational summary is provided for parents who were unable to attend the meeting. 

    One of the most popular questions related to when teachers will know the school they will be assigned to teach at during the 2013-2014 school year. 

    “Our goal is to have teachers’ assignments by February 1 2012,” Dr. Padalino told the group. “This way, we will have February – June to work out the rest of the details for the transition plan.” 

    Many of the parents’ questions related to how bus times would be handled. Parents expressed concern about this period of unstructured time.
    Dr. Padalino shared:

    1. Transportation is contracted out to vendors. They are responsible for the hiring and   staffing of school buses. 
    2. Transportation routes are 50% complete.
    3. Video monitors will be installed on every bus as a deterrent to misbehavior. 
    4. Bus monitors will not be used on a regular basis but may be used in special circumstances. 
    5. The District hopes to pilot the Peaceful Bus program this Spring. 
    6. There will not be separate buses for students in Grades 5 and 6. 
    7. Parents of Bailey students are encouraged to send students on the bus rather than drop them off due to limited space for vehicles.  

    An article about the Peaceful Bus Program is available here. Additional info about the Peaceful Bus program is available here

    Class schedules at the Middle Level were another topic of discussion. ‘We are looking at flexible block scheduling,” said Dr. Padalino. “We are also looking at the possibility of making 10th period mandatory.” (Currently 10th period is optional for Middle School students – they can choose to stay for extra help or extracurricular/enrichment activities, or they may take an “early” bus home.) 

    “Your fifth grade student will not have seven teachers,” Dr. Padalino assured parents. Currently, the District is researching having teams of either two teachers or four teachers for Grade 5 and 6 students. 

    1. The District will provide professional development for Middle Level educators who will be teaching Grade 5 students. 

    2. Students will continue to have recess. 

    3. When students do change classes, they will primarily be in the same wing of the building, with the exception of special area classes like physical education and art. 

    4. On average, class sizes in Grades K-2 will be in the 19- 22 student rang, and classes in Grades 3-4 have around 25 students.

    Other Questions

    1. Will students and parents have the opportunity to meet next year’s teacher during the current school year? Yes. More information will be provided after February.

    2. Will band be offered to third grade students? It is possible – it is part of the scheduling process. 

    3.If New York State decides to extend the school year by 300 hours, will this impact our students next year? No. 

    4. Will there be “Art on a Cart”? No.

    5. Will intramurals be offered to Grade 5 students? Yes.
    6. Three schools have fourth grade students who will move to a new school next year, and then to Middle School. What extra support will be offered to these students? With redistricting, support staff (such as school psychologists) will be centrally located instead of traveling between buildings, offering more support opportunities for students. Principals will also be responsible for ensuring these students get the support they need. 

    7. Will seats be assigned in the cafeteria? This is a school management decision and is the responsibility of each principal. It is possible seats will be assigned, but students will have flexibility to request switching cafeterias. 

    8. Will special education students be returned to their home schools? As much as possible, yes. 

    9. Will there be diversity in both middle schools? Yes. 
    (rough estimates below - calculated 12/13/12)

    J. Watson Bailey
    Hispanic – 14 %
    American Indian/Alaskan – 1 %
    Asian – 2 %
    Black - 15 %
    Multiracial – 3%
    White – 65%

    M. Clifford Miller Middle School
    Hispanic – 11 %
    American Indian/Alaskan – 0 %
    Asian – 2 %
    Black - 18 %
    Multiracial – 4 %
    White – 65%

    11/20/12 Update

    Events and Plans for Transitioning:
    November 20: 6:30PM, in the school cafeteria, the Anna Devine PTA is sponsoring a meeting for parents and Board of Education members to share ideas regarding repurposing plans for Anna Devine Elementary after the building closes this summer

    December 12: 7:00PM, at Graves Elementary, a combined meeting of the Graves and Anna Devine Elementary PTA’s. Dr. Padalino, Superintendent of Schools, will be available to answer questions about transitioning

    Winter 2013: Mrs. Linton will visit Anna Devine to share more details with the students about the Middle School

    January-June 2013: Graves and Anna Devine grades K-3 students will participate in a Pen Pal program connecting students of the same grade together from both schools.

    June 6: Anna Devine grades K-3 students and their teachers will visit Graves Elementary for the morning and during the lunch blocks to visit classrooms, tour the building and enjoy a barbeque lunch and recess with the Graves students. More details will be shared later in the school year. 

    Spring 2013: The Anna Devine PTA will sponsor a “Garden Replanting Event.” Volunteers will be needed to transplant perennial flowers, trees and bushes from our school garden, to the garden at Graves Elementary. More details will be shared later in the school year.


    Fall Festival at Robert Graves: The Fall Festival at Robert Graves was a sunny afternoon filled with games, laughter, and community building. " It was great to witness the Robert Graves and Anna Devine communities coming together, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our parents volunteers and teachers," said Superintendent Paul Padalino. View the video