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Watervliet schools to participate in a trio of grant-funded programs 

Extended school program to launch this fall offering after-school academic support, enrichment to students

In the next month, Watervliet City School District will roll out a new program that will extend the school day for elementary and junior high school students who are struggling academically. The new program is the result of the district applying for and being awarded an Extended School Day/School Violence Prevention grant through the New York State Education Department.

Called the Watervliet Extended Time Raises Achievement (ExTRA) program, it will extend the school day by providing after-school academic support and enrichment opportunities during the school year and summer months to build upon and reinforce classroom instruction, improve student learning and raise academic achievement in literacy and math through project-based activities featuring robotics, Odyssey of the Mind, drama, art and intramural sports, as well as homework support.

The program will also provide social-emotional support through peer mediation/conflict resolution, anti-bullying student circles, substance abuse prevention and counseling for grades K-12 students. Read more about this program

Elementary students to learn engineering

Watervliet elementary students will soon be learning about engineering and related career choices thanks to a grant awarded to the Capital Region BOCES in partnership with four districts.

Selected teachers in grades 3 and 5 from the Watervliet, Bethlehem, Cohoes and Schenectady school districts will receive professional development in the engineering design process from The Museum of Science, Boston through grant funding from The Bender Scientific Fund of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.

After professional development, teachers will implement a unit from the “Engineering is Elementary” curriculum in the 2016-17 school year. The units, developed by The Museum of Science, help teachers integrate the engineering design process and life skills of creative problem-solving, communication and teamwork. Students will discover new avenues for career choices in the sciences and gain a solid understanding of the part engineering plays in today’s society.

The draft NYS Science Learning Standards emphasize engineering practices, and this initiative will support this future shift in instruction.

Assistance for homeless students

Finally, Watervliet has partnered with the South Colonie and Mohonasen school districts to win a New York State Education Department McKinney-Vento grant that will provide funding to assist approximately 180 students who are homeless through tutoring, subsidized clothing, transportation assistance and other supports.