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Washingtonville school budget plan aligns with district goals of student success

 

Plan includes strengthening the curriculum with a variety of STEM-focused courses

On Tuesday, May 17, Washingtonville residents will vote on the proposed $116,675,305 budget for the 2022-23 school year. The proposal is a $7,051,997 increase over the current year and a 1.8% increase to the tax levy, which falls within the tax levy cap.

The proposed budget focuses on achieving the Washingtonville Central School District’s major objective of preparing students for the future by expanding academic opportunities, based on the curriculum frameworks. Students of all grade levels will be offered engaging, student-directed learning experiences, in the area of K-12 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics). These course offerings will empower students to solve real-world challenges, while inspiring possible future endeavors. With funding from the proposed 2022-23 budget and a Title IV grant, WCSD will begin the implementation of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) districtwide. Built on real-world, hands-on learning, this curriculum will enable students to develop problem solving, critical and creative thinking, collaborative and communication skills. “Our mission is to prepare our students so they will achieve success at Washingtonville schools and for many years after. This catalog of STEAM courses will enhance how our students learn,” said Superintendent Dr. Larry Washington. “They will develop a well-rounded set of skills that will better prepare them for the future.”

STEAM courses designed for the elementary level

WCSD will be incorporating STEAM courses at the elementary level with each grade focusing on a unit of study that supports the P-12 (grades pre-kindergarten through twelfth) next generation science, math and English language arts standards adopted by the New York state Board of Regents. These units of study also support Science 21, the integrated science curriculum WCSD began implementing three years ago. The following modules will be implemented in the 2022-23 school year by grade level:

  • Pre-K: Healthy Habits
  • K: Animals and Algorithms
  • 1st: Designs Inspired by Nature
  • 2nd: Material Science-Properties of Matter
  • 3rd: Weather Factors and Hazards
  • 4th: Input/Output: Computer Systems
  • 5th: Robotics and Automation

Computer Science for Innovators and Makers will be implemented at the middle school level

 At Washingtonville Middle School, sixth grade students will have the opportunity to take Computer Science for Innovators and Makers (CSIM). CISM teaches students that programming goes beyond the virtual world, to broaden their understanding of computer science concepts through meaningful application. Students will solve relevant problems related to wearable technology, interactive art, or mechanical devices. 

 At the seventh grade level, Automation and Robotics will be implemented. Students will trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Using the VEX Robotics® platform, they will have the opportunity to design, build, and program several mechanisms.  

 Students at the eighth grade level will experience App Creators, which introduces the field of computer science and the concepts of computational thinking, through the creation of mobile apps. As they collaboratively design and develop mobile solutions to engaging, authentic problems, students will be challenged to be creative and innovative.

 These courses support the district’s STEAM initiative and provide students with the prerequisite skills needed for elective courses offered at Washingtonville High School.

WHS is offering a full slate of STEAM courses

In 2022-23, Washingtonville High School will be offering two STEAM courses, Computer Science Essentials and Engineering Essentials. Computer Science Essentials (CSE) is an excellent entry point for new computer science learners. Students will have the opportunity for creative expression and exploration in areas such as app development or connecting computing with the physical world. CSE introduces students to coding fundamentals with the creation of usable apps.  Students will transition to programming environments that reinforce coding fundamentals and will learn the power of text-based programming with the introduction of the Python programming language. 

 Appropriate for students in grades nine through twelve, Engineering Essentials introduces students to engineering concepts that apply across multiple engineering disciplines and empower them to build technical skills through a variety of engineering tools. Students will explore the work of engineers and their role in the design and development of solutions to real-world problems, while learning and applying the engineering design process to develop mechanical, electronic, process and logistical solutions to relevant problems. 

In addition, WHS students will also have the choice from an array of STEAM-based course offerings including digital music production and engineering, video games and eSports production, graphic novels and a Syracuse University Project Advance student-led, research-based course. 

These STEAM courses will give WCSD students access to learning experiences that will enable them to gain the skills they need to develop and flourish, not just at WCSD schools but beyond. This is a key component of the district’s long-term strategic plan and the proposed 2022-23 budget fully supports this vision. 

For more information on the Washingtonville Central School District’s proposed 2022-23 school year budget, visit the district website. Washingtonville residents are encouraged to vote on Tuesday, May 17 at the Washingtonville High School gymnasium. Polls are open 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.