The Dutchess Region continued in its mission to build thriving, academically-excellent school communities through transformational leadership in 2017–18. Our schools were greatly energized by capital improvements and a new program emphasizing the literary arts.
Teachers and administrators participated in an in-depth professional development course at Mount St. Mary College, which focused on two strategic initiatives; fortifying a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum, and applying data analytics to enhance classroom instruction.
The emphasis on STEM is also benefiting younger students, as our kindergarten classes have received the Dash and Dot robotics program. This course gives children hands-on experience in coding, which in turn enhances problem-solving and decision-making skills.
A number of Catholic schools in Dutchess have begun to participate in the Discovery Education training program. This state-of-the-art program creates a dynamic classroom environment with a vast library of streaming content shown on Smart Tvs. This stimulating approach taps into a young person’s natural curiosity and desire to learn.
Our Dutchess schools have been re-invigorated by a number of major capital improvements, including a new playground at St. Peter School in Hyde Park. With beautification completed over the summer through the volunteer efforts of parents and families, renovations were truly a school and community-wide effort. The space, which includes a state-of-the-art, four-panel rock wall, elevates the entire school by creating a stimulating and interactive learning environment. Thanks to a generous donation by Claudio Cares Foundation, St. Mary’s School in Wappingers Falls has a brand new technology lab, and our schools remain grateful to the Poughkeepsie Public Library System for its Little Read Program in which our students participate.
St. Denis-St. Columba students are enjoying a new reading resource room, while students at St. Mary’s in Fishkill, children were provided with new SMART boards and an upgraded WiFi system. Students at St. Peters now enjoy a new playground.
Additional regional initiatives included anti-bullying programs, a Saturday math academy, new student enrichment programs, and an even greater emphasis on the Archdiocese Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP).