A Message from Elementary School Principal Beth Genchur
Hello Homer-Center Families, Students, and Community Members,
The past year and a half has been some of the most challenging and yet rewarding years in my educational career. I have witnessed teachers, students, and families adapt their instruction and learning on a dime. I watched as students thrived with the use of new technology and programming. I am simply amazed at the amount of support that was given to our school family throughout all of this. I will forever be proud to be a member of the Wildcat family! This year, as I step into the role of Elementary Principal, I am embracing the idea of taking the positives that emerged from the last few years and blending them with the items that we have been missing as well as adding a few new items to make this a fantastic year.
Last year we experienced a tremendous boost in our technology resources. We were able to achieve one-to-one status, which means that every student in our district was assigned their own device. Again this year, our students in grades K-2 will use an iPad and students in 3-6 will receive a Chromebook. These devices will be assigned similar to a math or reading book. Devices will be sent home nightly in the event that we would need to switch to remote learning, for any reason. In addition, the district applied for and received approval for the use of five Flexible Instructional Days (FIDS). These are days when students would attend school virtually due to a school emergency, weather, or any temporary circumstance that would prohibit students from coming into the building. On these days, students will be able to log into their computer and receive instruction from their teachers at home. Throughout the year, students in grades K-2 will continue to utilize the Seesaw platform as a part of their instructional lessons and 3-6 will remain with the Google classroom.
Perhaps one of the things that we have missed most over the past year and half is seeing programs and families in our buildings. As the restrictions are loosening we are planning on cautiously opening our doors as well. The Board has approved our Health and Safety Plan. As a part of that plan, Homer-Center School District will not require the wearing of masks yet will promote the wearing of masks by students and employees, particularly those who have not been vaccinated. We will continue to make adjustments as recommended by the C.D.C. and the PA Department of Health throughout the 2021-22 school year in order to maintain in-person instruction. However, due to Federal regulations students will be required to wear masks on school buses. We hope to have families in the building for events such as Back to School Night, Conferences, holiday parties, as well as other family engagement activities. Health and safety will continue to be a priority, but we want our schools to begin to welcome back the community.
New this year is our Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) coordinator. Mrs. Turk, who has been our 6th grade math teacher, will be filling this role. She will be working with our school team to improve our interventions programming in all areas, but with a particular emphasis in math. We want to improve not only the types of interventions that we are able to provide our students but also increase the opportunities to receive interventions. To ensure that this is possible, we have restructured our grade level schedules to allow for a MTSS block in each grade, everyday. During this time, students will be able to be provided with intervention and enrichment in both reading and math. We are very excited for this opportunity and look forward to seeing our students flourish this school year.
I also want to extend a special welcome to Wendy Williams, our new Special Education Director and Elementary Assistant Principal. I have had the privilege of working with her in her capacity as a member of the IU Training and Consultation Team. She comes to us with both experience and energy! She is very familiar with our district and programming and I am excited to see what new ideas she will bring to our building. If you see her please extend a warm welcome to her!
I am excited to begin the 2021-2022 school year. While summer is filled with rest, relaxation, and planning, I thrive on the building being full of students and teachers. We have an amazing team of teachers and staff that are ready to begin our next chapter. I look forward to welcoming everyone back this year!