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January 11, 2013

State Education chief visits North Country schools

(Continued)

Through his conversations with area educators throughout the day, he said, he found there are variations in the degree to which teachers are comfortable with implementing the new standards, but school administrators are working to improve that comfort level.

“I’ve been impressed by the commitment of the principals and teachers to get the work done (and) get it done at a high level for the sake of their students,” he said.

King also noted that some area school teachers he spoke with seemed to embrace the Performance Review as an opportunity to develop professionally.

TWO THREATS

Two major challenges facing schools in the region, as well as in many states, King said, are a lack of resources and declining enrollment.

“Those two things together, I think, are a threat to educational solvency, and it’s really important that we figure out as a state how to ensure that students in small communities that may be losing population still have access to a world class education,” he said. 

“And certainly one of the things we propose at the department (of education) is to think about how to use regionalization to try to make sure you preserve opportunities for students and also to think about how you use technology to give students access maybe to courses or learning experiences that would be hard to support financially in a small community.

While at NCCS, the commissioner also took time to speak with students he met in the hallways, asking them what they most like and dislike about the school, as well as the types of activities they were doing in their classes.

Justin Trombly, an NCCS junior and vice president of the Student Council, told King that he most enjoys the people who comprise the school community.

“It’s generally a very warm and excepting environment,” he said.

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