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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away!

A steady rain was not enough to dampen the spirits of the 320 learners as they made their way along the sidewalk and up the steps of the school this morning to start another school calendar. It was either their enthusiasm that fended off the effect of the rain, or the fact that today's downpour paled in comparison to what we experienced ten days ago when flood waters of the Hudson threatened the school. I guess we are all getting used to the rain. Oh well.

Speaking of the Hudson River, Heatly is beginning a new course in the high school this year. The subject of the new curriculum is a comprehensive examination of the Hudson River from a broad perspective that embraces the history, geography, transportation, commerce, literature, science and politics of this famous American tributary. Since Heatly is located along the edge of the river it seems appropriate that we use it as the basis of a new elective course that will serve to expand learning opportunities in our high school. The class can be selected as either a History or an English credit because the units of study will provide learning experiences in both domains.

Naturally, when we decided to bring the river into the classroom we only intended to do so on a conceptual and intellectual level, although the river itself nearly entered the building on a very real level a week and a half ago. We want the class to offer an up close, in depth look at the importance of the river, without the river pouring in their classroom.

The addition of this class is another step toward increasing instructional experiences for our learners in an effort to provide them a more robust curriculum that will better prepare them for the future. We have also added on-line classes from a menu of over 100 different high school courses. In this manner we hope to strengthen the ability of our graduates to compete for a seat in the college of their choice. Our goal is to become more competitive with other schools in the region. This year we will explore the possibility of presenting a school-to-work internship program for 2012-13 as well as college level classes in high school. Despite being a small school we maintain BIG ideas for the future.

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