Clymer Central School’s UPK Receives Quality Stars Rating

CLYMER — Clymer Central School’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program has received a three out of five star preliminary rating from the New York State Quality Stars program.

During the latest Board of Education meeting, Building Principal Brianne Fadale said during her report to the board that a three out of five rate is very good.

“Quality Stars is a state run program for UPK programs,” Fadale said. “They work with the state hand in hand and they have basically a quality assurance type program from nutrition to instruction, classroom environment, physical activity, child development, they have all of these domains and you basically have to submit evidence of how your, basically in all of these areas, how you are doing.”

Fadale said that the school collects evidence of how the UPK program is run and submits it for review. Just by entering the program and continuing to do what they are doing Clymer’s UPK program received their three out of five rating. Now, Fadale said they can focus on where to improve.

“A lot of what I would say you get dinged on is, sometimes there’s just different things like you don’t have a policy written for your practice, or you don’t have like evidence on paper,” Fadale said. “That’s really where I noticed where we don’t have stuff that’s handed out. For example, we work a lot with parents but do we have education opportunities for them to work with child development, or just interacting with them.”

Other examples Fadale gave were; having a handbook for UPK but there may be sections without all of the pieces in there that they can add, and other small things like communication, policies and practices. Fadale added that she felt the school did very strongly in the classroom environment, which she said she considered the most important part of working with kids.

It is also the first time Clymer’s UPK program has gone through the process.

“Honestly, I feel like with the classroom environment I really don’t have any problems and I think we are very solid there with our staff, our instruction, with our curriculum, that’s awesome,” Fadale said. “I think it’s all these little pieces — and I say little because I think that’s the most important part when we’re working with kids — but we definitely have some things that we can make better.”

Future plans include a UPK handbook designating specific things parents need to know for UPK and spelling things out more for them to be used as a resource. Other parts the program looked for that Clymer did not have included something about the history of the school, and other things like that that Fadale said makes UPK better but also helps to improve every grade. The state program also helps with funding for classroom materials, and can fund a significant amount of certain projects. The program is already set to help fund some of the project that will turn the school’s old playground area into an outdoor space for the younger kids.

“So, very positive,” Fadale said. “Our first rating, it’s good. Always room to improve but for our first go around I think that’s excellent.”


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