Mount Vernon — Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, Superintendent of the Mount Vernon City School District, and his team of administrators and principals presented the “State of the District” address Thursday, May 12th.
Dr. Hamilton explained that each school is giving its own “State of the School” address to parents, but the district-wide presentation was an opportunity to show city residents all of the improvements made over the past year and update residents on statistical information on its student body. Highlights of the presentation include:
- The Superintendent’s Office is now providing a greater level of engagement with families, the community, as well as state and federal officials after a realignment of central office procedures and protocols to enhance customer service. The district also launched its Family and Community Engagement Office.
- Mount Vernon passed its largest bond ever for capital improvements ($108 million). About $50 million is bookmarked for physical repairs to the school buildings and the rest will go toward implementing the 20/20 Vision and athletic fields.
- The district now has 8,209 students, an increase of 19 over last year and an increase of 149.
- The district is looking into more benchmark and formative assessments to drive its instructional practices. It is also revising curriculum mapping to ensure that programs are vertically aligned. So, a student will see a full, continuous curriculum spiraling upward through 12th grade.
- Students read nearly 100,000 books this year in its Ongoing Literacy Initiative (OLI) reading challenge. Students who meet the district’s reading challenges will be invited to an end-of-year carnival.
- The district implemented four full-day pre-kindergarten classes, which will be used as a model for expansion to full-day pre-K districtwide under the 20/20 Vision.
- Career and Technical Education enrollment is the highest it has been in four years as there has been an 83.3 percent increase in course options over the prior year. Information technology has experienced the highest rate of growth with an increase of 122 students, or 36.4 percent.
- Human Resources has introduced two professional development coordinators and is redesigning professional development and training for both principals and administrators as well as teachers.
- The number of students enrolled in advanced math courses (Algebra 2, PreCalculus, Calculus, Statistics and AP Calculus) has more than doubled – to 496, from 231 the previous year.
- The district inked a $44 million energy performance contract, the largest of its kind in New York State history. There will be no cost to taxpayers. In 15 of 17 buildings, a total of 34 boilers will be replaced. There will also be 15,000 light fixtures changed to highly efficient LED. New windows and doors will be installed at Mount Vernon High School and new ventilation and air conditioning systems will be installed in schools, among other items.
About Mount Vernon City School District: With more than 8,000 students in 16 schools, the Mount Vernon City School District is committed to providing a quality education to its children as well as developing programs that meet the diverse academic and social needs of its students.