F-F interim superintendent to return next school year

FONDA – A motion passed at Fonda-Fultonville Central School District’s Board of Education meeting Monday will allow interim Superintendent Ray Colucciello to return in September.

“I appreciate the opportunity to continue serving the students, staff and the Board on Fonda-Fultonville. It’s a great team to work with and I’m looking forward to working together to get some additional things done that the board has outlined for next year,” Colucciello said about his extension this morning.

Colucciello started serving as interim superintendent in Dec. 28 on a contract ending June 30.

The district decided to delay its search for a permanent superintendent until it resolved the budget problems it encountered at the time.

Colucciello’s term will continue again in September for one year.

Colucciello said the search for a permanent superintendent will resume next school year, so a new superintendent is selected by the time his term ends on June 30, 2014.

When Colucciello was hired as an interim superintendent, the school district agreed to pay him $500 for each day he worked.

Colucciello said this morning the salary for his extension has not been decided by the school board yet.

Colucciello previously served as superintendent for the Albany, Ballston Spa, Schenectady, Troy and Voorheesville school districts.

Fourth-grade teacher Jim Murray was happy with the board’s decision.

“We’re very happy to hear [Colucciello] will be back in September,” he said.

Grade analysis

Tom Ciaccio, Fonda-Fultonville’s elementary school principal, presented a three-year report card analysis to members of the board at Monday’s meeting.

The presentation showed that some of the third- and fourth-grade English language arts and mathematics exam scores have dropped since the 2009-10 school year.

Ciaccio explained his plans for improving exam scores include:

“Data-driven instruction” with assessments every six or seven weeks to reveal areas of weakness and strength for ELA and math testing.

Summer curriculum with work focusing on writing responses to literature to help improve ELA scores.

Instructional technology for pre-k and kindergarten to help improve ELA and math scores. The number of iPads in the school district will increase from 10 to 25 so that each kindergarten classroom is provided with five iPads. Using the iPad will improve early literacy and numeracy skills for children, officials said.

Grouping students by their ability for 35 to 40 minute intervals so teachers can address each group’s readiness level for the ELA exam.

Changing the third- and fourth-grade math programs from Saxon Math to GoMath by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

GoMath is $2,000 less than Saxon and will prepare students for the state’s Common Core math standards, Ciaccio said.

“We feel like we’re doing everything to meet the challenges and have our kids achieve better scores. Our students have stepped up to the plate and we couldn’t be prouder,” Ciaccio said about some of the changes affecting students.

Other assessments

Assessments of exam scores of students in grades five through eight also were presented at the meeting.

According to the assessments, students are becoming more proficient in ELA and math as they get older.

However, Fonda-Fultonville has plans for improving those scores as well, including:

Quarterly assessments of student exams and data, so teachers can analyze the data and decide what needs to be changed for more improvement.

More utilization of technology.

Teachers in all content areas for grades six through eight are now considered teachers of literacy due to the new Common Core standards. So, teachers of math, science, English, history etc. are capable of teaching students literacy in that subject.


The school board congratulated Kathleen Bush, Marie Cook, Claudia Lathers, Joan Murray, Lorraine Stellato and Sally Ochampaugh on their retirements from the school district.

All six women were either teaching assistants, teachers or network and systems coordinators for the district.

Combined, they served 129 years in the school district, officials said.