Groton on the Inside: Groton Central School takes student success to the next level

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By Linda Competillo

 

The Groton Central School Board of Education and the district’s administrators met on Aug. 7 for its annual retreat, during which the group was updated on school law by the district’s legal team, sampled some of the new healthy menu items that the students will experience this fall, and discussed future plans.

In addition to the board hearing updates on the new STEAM Learning Center from Superintendent Margo Martin, another exciting initiative was shared. I am delighted to report that GCS is extremely proud to be the first New York public school district to sign a district-wide partnership with the Montreal-based education technology company, GradeSlam. This partnership will allow the district leaders at Groton to provide all the students in grades three through twelve with unlimited online academic support for their classes.

Martin said she is eager to make GradeSlam a part of the students’ school routine from an early age so that these students grow and learn with the program. By implementing GradeSlam, GCS will create an environment in which teachers have full confidence in knowing what kind of help specific students are seeking and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Martin hopes that by giving students access to supplemental support for their homework, students will complete their work on a more consistent and independent basis.

‘What exactly is GradeSlam?’ you may ask. It is a company that provides students with unlimited one-on-one online tutoring for any subject, 24/7. Sessions are conducted via chat, creating a learning environment that allows students to interact freely and personally with their tutor. Students with limited internet access can choose to use the service through their cell phones, using SMS messaging to receive help from their tutor.

GradeSlam helps students succeed by delivering interactive academic support the moment they realize they need it. In this learning environment, students enjoy the confidentiality to be honest about what they don’t understand. They also enjoy the privacy to seek help at their own discretion without worrying about what their peers think.

GradeSlam educators have all successfully completed a rigorous certification process, have verified teaching skills and educational credentials, and have undergone United States and Canada background checks.

Phil Cutler, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the company, said “The team at GradeSlam is proud to partner with Groton Central School District. By becoming the first district in New York to implement GradeSlam districtwide, GCSD has demonstrated their commitment to true educational equity. It was evident from our first conversation that Superintendent Martin and her team was the right fit. Our missions were directly aligned - provide truly personalized learning to each and every student. Many school districts claim they are moving toward personalized support, but few are actually prepared to invest in it.”

Cutler also said “Going forward, being a student at GCSD means you are a student who is fully supported, all the time. It is truly a powerful message to parents and families that says ‘Hey, the district has our best interests at heart.’”

Tween Night at the library

Just for teens and tweens ages 9 to 18, the Groton Public Library is the place to be for “Tween Night” from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31 with a showing of “Avengers: Infinity War” (rated PG-13), Minecraft, pizza, iPads, and more. Parents may drop kids off, but please sign them in first, and pick them up by 9:30 p.m. sharp!

Labor Day 5K

 

The 21st annual Groton Labor Day 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run will take place Monday, Sept. 3, beginning and ending at the high school track at 400 Peru Rd. This popular and much-anticipated race is sponsored by and is a fundraiser for, the Groton High School Varsity Cross-Country program. All proceeds benefit the girls’ and boys’ cross-country teams. Each year since the race’s inception, proceeds have been used to help fund trips to other competitions and to purchase team apparel or equipment that may exceed the school’s budget.

Race day fee is $25. There is no fee for the fun run. There will be ribbons awarded to every finisher and plaques and medals for the top finishers in various categories. The top male and female finishers in the 5K will each receive a $25 gift certificate.

Register at runsignup.com/Race/Events/NY/Groton/GrotonLaborDay5k. On-site registration will take place from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. The fun run takes off at 9 a.m., and the 5K at 9:30 a.m. There will be free parking, restrooms, showers, water, and post-race refreshments available near the registration table.

For more information, visit grotonlaborday5k.com or contact Coach Scott Weeks at sweeks@groton.cnyric.org.

Groton on the Inside appears weekly. Submit items to Linda Competillo, lmc10@cornell.edu or (607) 227-4922.

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