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The Boynton Connection


									    The Boynton Connection
                 A Newsletter of the Boynton Middle School PTA,

         Letter from the PTA President                         netted over $1,800 for our kids (see page 4 for related
                                                               story). Stepping up to the plate for upcoming events are
 Involvement is Key to the ICSD Political Process and          Lisa Bonniwell who has agreed to be our PTA Dance and
 Boynton PTA Activities                                        Activity Night Coordinator (next dance is December
                                                               10th), and Duane and Cindy Twardokus, who will
 This has been one of the most active Falls our PTA has        coordinate this year’s Italian Dinner that accompanies the
 seen in years…not only in terms of our activities, but in     Boynton Variety Show in February. If you are available
 terms of some issues we have addressed as a community.        to chaperone the next dance, please send an email to Lisa
 Involvement is key to making the ICSD and our Boynton         at or if you can send in a snack
 Community a better place.                                     or treat for the night, please send an email to Tina
 Involvement - ICSD:                                           Hallock at Interested in helping
 The last PTA meeting had record attendance to hear from       with the Italian Dinner? Send a note to Duane and Cindy
 ICSD administrators and ICSD Board representatives            at Both activities not only
 regarding rumored changes to the Math curriculum for          contribute to a great sense of community at our school,
 entering freshmen at the high school. Please see page 5       but bring in needed funds to support enrichment activities
 for the excerpt from out DRAFT meeting minutes that           such as field trips and afterschool clubs. In addition, with
 dealt with this issue. I can’t say how important it is for    the tightening district funds, PTA monies are called on
 parents and teachers to stay engaged in what is happening     more and more to supplement needed supplies for our
 in our district. Let your voices be heard. Follow Board       kids.
 decisions in the local newspaper and by watching the          Involvement – Meetings of Interest:
 meetings on the local TV station. If you support or           Finally, please join us for our next Boynton PTA Meeting
 disagree with an idea being considered, please let the        on Monday, January 10th at 7 PM when our own Dr.
 Board members know by attending the Board meetings            Susan Eschbach will lead a discussion on Sex and the
 and speaking or sending an email to the Board clerk           Middle Schooler. This is a great opportunity to enter the
 ( and superintendent. When              world of our kids. Dr. Esch offers some great insights, as
 Board elections come up, educate yourselves on where          well as suggestions for how to have a positive impact on
 candidates stand on the issues so you can support those       the decisions your kids make going forward. We hope to
 candidates that best represent your values and concerns.      see you there!
 Several local candidate forums are sponsored each year.
 Furthermore, the local newspaper publishes candidate          Wendy Bakal, Boynton PTA President
 answers to questions each election season.                    256-0669,
 Involvement – Boynton Activities:                                                    Future PTA Meetings
 Thanks to the hard work of parents, Michelle O’Connor                   Monday, January 10th 7PM
 and Danyel Logevall, all parents and staff should have a                Monday, March 14th, 7PM
 copy of the Boynton Directory. And also, a big thank you                Monday, April 11th, 7PM
 to Tina Mollenkamp and Leslie Byron, who along with                     Monday, June 13th, 7PM (ice cream social)
 several other dedicated parents, organized a very                       We anticipate the usual budget-related
 successful International Night and Silent Auction which                 districtwide PTA meeting in May at IHS.

                                                                                          IN THIS ISSUE
      Next PTA meeting:                                       Letter from PTA President. ......................................1
     Monday - January 10th                                    Principals’ Corner, Beauty & the Beast...................2
                                                              Library News, Concert Info., Honor Band................3
    Boynton Cafeteria - 7 PM                                  International Night Thanks and Update....................4
          Sex and the Middle Schooler,                        Dance Chaperones, ICSD New Superintendent.......5
       A Discussion led by Dr. Susan Eschbach,                SEPTA, BoxTops, Go Green, Learning Web...........6
              Boynton’s Health Teacher                        Math Issue Discussion Excerpt.................................7

December/January 2010-11                                                                                                                      1
                         Principals’ Corner                                 BOYNTON PTA BOARD 2010/11
 We have just completed the first ten weeks of the year. We are excited     Wendy Bakal, President
 about the events that took place this past quarter: Halloween Dance;
 International Night and the Student of the Quarter Assembly.               Lesley Greene, Co-VP for Publicity
                                                                            Robbert van Renesse, Co-VP for Publicity
 Many folks have asked “How does my child become a Student of the
 Quarter?” Students are nominated and selected for the award by their       Tina Hallock, VP for Membership
 grade level team of teachers. The selection criteria are centered on the   Karen McAllister, Treasurer
 child’s overall citizenship at Boynton and their academic contributions.
                                                                            Andrea Hazard, Recording Secretary
 With the end of the quarter come the first report cards of the new year.   Alexa Varrichio, Corresponding Secretary
 If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s progress,
 please make sure that you work with the teachers before contacting         Tina Mollenkamp, PTA Co-Council Rep.
 administration. We also encourage you to setup a parent/teacher meeting    Corinne Frantz, PTA Co-Council Rep.
 with your child’s team of teachers. Unlike elementary schools, Boynton     Steve Kirsch, Teacher Liaison
 schedules these conferences throughout the year at your convenience.
 Parent/Teacher meetings are helpful for both families and teachers.
 Conferences are arranged through the guidance office (274-2225).
 With the start of a new quarter come winter sports, clubs and rehearsals       Boynton PTA Key
 for the annual musical. As a reminder, please do not pick up your            Vacancies for 2011-2012
 students in the bus loop after school. Please use the north parking lot.
 In our second quarter, we kick off our annual “Food Drive” to support               PTA President
 the local community. Families can participate by sending dry goods in         Vice President for Publicity
 with their children every day leading up to the December break. It is              Newsletter Editor
 important for middle school aged children to develop a strong sense of
 service-learning and doing all we can to support our community. Please
 partner with us, not only during the holiday season, but throughout the
                                                                            Please email submissions for
 year as well.
                                                                            The Boynton Connection to editor
 From the two of us, we wish each family a joyous and safe holiday          Brenda Ross,
 season and look forward to a wonderful new year in 2011!                   Deadline for the next issue is January
 Mr. Trumble & Ms. Myers

                                   Make Plans NOW to see
                  the 2010-2011 Boynton Middle School Musical production of

          Showing in Boynton’s McCalmon Theater
           Thursday, December 16th @ 7:30 P.M.
            Friday, December 17th @ 7:30 P.M.
           Saturday, December 18th @ 2:00 P.M.
           Saturday, December 18th @ 7:30 P.M.
            Sunday, December 19th @ 1:00 P.M.
            Sunday, December 19th @ 4:00 P.M.

               Adults: $9.00 - Students: $7.00
      Information regarding the purchasing of tickets to
                       be announced.

December/January 2010-11                                                                                          2

                                         Library News & Notes
 The Boynton library is often home to special events. This month, we'll be featuring "Health Day" for the 6th
 graders on November 12. Students from Ithaca College will set up "booths" to inform and entertain our kids
 about various health issues. Past topics have included the impact of a high-sugar diet and whether video games
 are good or bad for kids (conclusion: both the quality of the game and the quantity of time spent makes a
 difference). Already on the schedule for later in the year is the Cornell sponsored Math Day.
 Our new book club is off to a great start! The Boynton Book Brigade, hosted by reading teacher Roz Guterman,
 had its first meeting on October 26. The children read The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. This month we'll
 be reading The Wednesday Wars, about a middle school kid in the 1960’s, stuck alone after school with his
 English teacher. His teacher encourages him to read Shakespeare, which seems like a real battle at first, but
 ends up being a positive experience. The BBB book club is modeled on those delightful adult clubs in which
 the group reads a book together and discusses it in an open-ended, life-connected fashion. It sure builds
 excitement about reading!
 Educational technology is also part of the library news. Many of you know that our computers are getting old,
 and we'd like to replace them, but there's no money in the district budget. So, our technology committee has
 dedicated this year to finding alternative sources of funding. We welcome your input or participation. You can
 drop a line to me (Lillian Moss) at or Diana Riesman at Thanks!
 Lillian Moss, Teacher-Librarian

                    Mark your calendars NOW for Boynton Middle School’s
      Winter Band Concert                 Winter Orchestra Concert                Winter Choral Concert
      January 13 at 7 PM                    January 20 at 7 PM                     January 27 at 7 PM
       IHS Kulp Auditorium                   IHS Kulp Auditorium                   IHS Kulp Auditorium

                           2011 Statewide Middle School Honor Band
                       Features Record Number of Boynton Band Members
 The New York State Band Directors Association has announced that a record number of students from
 Boynton Middle School have been selected to participate as members of the 2011 Statewide Middle School
 Honor Band. 93 students are chosen from thousands of applicants to participate in the the statewide band. The
 students will travel to North Syracuse, New York, on March 4-5, 2011, to rehearse and perform at the New
 York State Band Directors Association Convention.
 The participating students include;
 Keara Byron, Zsofia Szegletes (oboe), Caoilinn Andrews (clarinet), Annie Barnett-Young (euphonium/alt),
 Katie Henderson (flute), Andrew Newman (alto saxophone)
 Matthew Lin (percussion), Gabriel Miller (percussion/alt), John Peterson (trumpet), Joshua Tokman (tuba),
 Madeline Hause (flute), Sarah Cohn-Manik (tuba), Rishi Verma, Daniel Erickson, Max Mollenkamp
            Congratulations to all of the students for this outstanding accomplishment.

December/January 2010-11                                                                                     3
                            Danke Schoen ~ Gracias ~ Merci ~ Thank You
                      A chorus of Thanks goes out to the following businesses and individuals,
                      who made our International Night and Silent Auction a HUGE success.

  Cornerstone Veterinary           Vein and Laser Centers              Corning Museum of     La Tourelle and August
         Hospital                    and Sundara Spa                         Glass                   Moon
        Moosewood                      Karen McAllister                       Rasa Spa        Ceremonies and Event
                                                                                              Planning of the Finger
 New York Coalition for                  State Theater                Business is Blooming
  Healthy School Food
                                            Hair Etc.                      Ithaca College
                                                                                             Rooks-Henderson Family
         Blue Stone
                                        Hangar Theater                   Cornell Athletics
                                                                                                    Wal Mart
   The Johnson Family
                                             Rogans                      321 Your Choice
                                                                                                 Kitchen Theater
         Bess' Best
                                        Barb Behrman                      Ariana Blossom
                                                                                                   Greek Peak
                                      Hilton Garden Inn                         LMT
                                                                                                  Alexi Zentner
      Camille Doucet
                                           Kilpatricks                  Home Green Home
                                                                                              Just a Taste and Tapas
         Hetty Krol
                                    Cayuga Lake Cruises                     Sheldon Hill                Bar
        Sarah Davis
                                        Corks and More                    Mahogany Grill      Ecolibrium Financial
         Barb Neal                                                                                  Planning
                                       Dr. Jamie Loehr                    Italian Carryout
 Orthodontic Group of the                                                                       Marie Richardson
                                         Lauren Comly                     Joe's Restaurant
      Finger Lakes
                                                                                              Hensforth Eggs, part of
                                   Country Inn And Suites                 Salmon Family
         Satori Spa                                                                          the Sustainable Chicken
                                  John Thomas Steakhouse                   Gimme Coffee      Project at Steep Hollow

  Dear Boynton Family,
  Thank you for the lovely evening we enjoyed at International Night. Your dish-to-
  pass was delicious and I enjoyed getting to know you better while chatting and
  bidding on Silent Auction items. Didn’t the band and orchestra play beautifully?!
  I look forward to the next concert. And in addition to some great conversation,
  yummy food, and an awesome concert, we raised $1,941.00 for the PTA!
  I want to encourage you to start planning your international displays for next year!
  I look forward to learning about your cultural heritage.
  In gratitude,
  Tina Mollenkamp

December/January 2010-11                                                                                               4
                           Attention All Boynton Parents and Guardians!

 The next Boynton Dance/Activity Night will be December 10th at 7 PM. This dance will be sponsored by
 the Boynton PTA.

  Ÿ We need a minimum of 10 parent/guardian volunteers to chaperone the dance for it to happen.
  Ÿ Volunteers will be stationed at front door to collect money, at bathrooms, around the dance floor, and at
    concession for selling pizza etc.
  Ÿ Parent/guardian volunteers need to arrive by 6:30 PM.

 If you can volunteer at this event, please contact Lisa Bonniwell at
 These nights are a great way for the kids to socialize in a supervised and safe environment while raising
 much needed funds for the kids' enrichment activities at school.
 Popular DJ Justin Coffman will be DJ-ing for this dance!!

          A Boynton Welcome to ICSD new Superintendent, Dr. Luvelle C. Brown
 The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Luvelle C.
 Brown as Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Brown succeeds Dr. Judith Pastel who retires December 31
 following her nearly fifteen year tenure. Dr. Brown will assume his duties in January. The initial contract
 date is through June 30, 2014.
 Dr. Brown has been the Chief Information Officer of the Albemarle Public Schools, Virginia, since 2006.
 His recent responsibilities have included leadership of Albemarle’s strategic planning and accountability
 measures. He has served as Albemarle’s Director for School Improvement, and as a building leader and
 principal in both Albemarle and Richmond, Virginia. Albemarle County is home to the University of
 Virginia from which Dr. Brown received a B. S., Certification as an Educational Specialist and Ed. D.
 “I am honored by the Board’s vote of confidence. Ithaca is a national leader in excellence and equity.
 Through collaborative work with the entire community I am confident I can assist the ICSD to become a
 world-class leader in public education,” said Brown.
 Dr. Brown was chosen from a nationwide pool of 49 applicants completing an eight month selection process.
 This democratic process included an online survey, and numerous focus groups and community panels.
 Stakeholder group representatives and individual citizens participated.
 “We are confident Dr. Brown will continue to drive forward the District’s mission and goals,” said Board
 President Robert Ainslie. “The Board’s shorthand of ‘raise the bar and close the gap’ for all ICSD students,
 is well appreciated by Dr. Brown,” added Ainslie.
 “Dr. Brown is an innovative, inspirational leader who is known for being closely connected to the
 community”, said Board Vice-President Seth Peacock. “Dr. Brown has an impressive record of success in
 managing complex change. He has proven he is the right person for this job,” said Peacock.
 Dr. Brown is married and has one daughter. The family will relocate to the Ithaca area.
 Links to additional information about the new ICSD Superintendent:

December/January 2010-11                                                                                        5
      Ithaca Special Education Parent                                 Go Green Facts
       Teacher Association (SEPTA)                      Did you know that Boynton has high efficiency
 We are parents, teachers and administrators involved   modular chillers with ice storage tanks? Air is
 with providing children with the best possible         cooled through the use of ice created at night
 educational opportunities. We meet on the first        during off-peak hours thereby minimizing
 Wednesday of each month at the Beverly J Martin        costly daytime electrical usage and reducing
 School at 7 PM.                                        reliance on high-emission electrical power
 For further information send an email to: Earl Hall or Samantha Preston                Also, Boynton has a ‘green committee’ that is                                     working to foster sustainability awareness and
                                                        improve the environment; often these actions
                                                        result in savings. Students are learning how
         THANK YOU Mr. Carroll                          our behavior impacts the world we live in.

       A big thank you to art teacher Donn                Ÿ To find out more about Boynton’s Green
      Carroll for his many years of inspiring               Team contact Maria Rabb,
                  students in art!                
                                                          Ÿ To learn about ICSD’s Green Initiative
      Happy Retirement from the Fine Arts                   visit the ICSD website and select Green
                Booster Group.                              ICSD in the menu.

       The Learning Web’s Volunteer                              Box Tops for Education
        Community Service Group
                                                        Did you know that certain products your family
  Attention Sixth, Seventh and Eighth graders and       buys, like granola bars or sandwich bags,
  parents! Are you looking for something fun and        provide a chance for our school to earn free
  different to do this spring? Join The Volunteer       money! (I know there's no such thing as free
  Community Service Group! Make new friends,            money but this is about as close as you can
  have fun and help the community. Last year we         get!) Here’s how it works:
  cared for animals at the Tompkins SPCA, made             1. Buy favorite Box Tops products (visit the
  for dessert at Loaves and Fishes, organized a               Box Tops for Education website, for a
  pirate day for Northeast Kids Count kids, and               complete list of Box Tops products,
  more! We'll be meeting once a week after           ).
  school at Boynton beginning the last week in
  January through the first week in April. The day         2. Cut the Box Top seal from each package.
  we will be meeting will be announced at a later          3. Send Box Tops to school with your child.
  date.                                                       ( Put them in an envelope marked “Box
                                                              Tops for Education” and drop it off at the
  Want to find out more? Please contact Ani
                                                              main office.
  George at 275-0122 or
  for an application which are due January 17th.        Lets get lots of money for our school!
  This program is sponsored by the Joint Youth          Betsy Rudolph, Box Tops for Education
  Commission of Tompkins County, and is open to         Program Coordinator
  youth who reside in the Town of Ithaca, the  , 257-
  Village of Lansing and the Village of Cayuga          7638.
  Thanks so much and see you soon!
  Ani George

December/January 2010-11                                                                                   6
  Excerpt from DRAFT minutes of the October PTA Meeting related to the Math Issue:
 V. Understanding Secondary Math Instruction: Dr. Judith Pastel and IHS Principal Don Mills
 ICSD Superintendent Judith Pastel began by stating that no conversations about eliminating honors or AP
 high school math classes have occurred at any board of education meetings, executive team meetings, or
 administrative team meetings. She mentioned that she can not answer any questions related to last year’s test
 scores as these are still embargoed. During the embargo period some administrators and educators are able to
 review the test scores, but cannot share this information. The embargo will be lifted sometime in November.
 At that time results will be made public and can be discussed. She also mentioned that, according to state
 law, middle schools must offer at least two accelerated classes. In ICSD, the accelerated offerings are math
 and science. There are no plans to eliminate these offerings.
 ICSD board president Robert Ainslie reported that board discussions often revolve around how to get more
 kids into AP and honors classes. He also mentioned that there are different levels of honors classes, and that
 there is no budget advantage to eliminating honors classes.
 Boynton Principal Jason Trumble mentioned that changes in middle school instruction will lead to positive
 changes in the high school. He reported that heterogeneous math as a pilot was introduced into sixth grade in
 2009/10 and is being introduced into seventh grade this year. In heterogeneous math, two teachers co-teach
 math to students with a range of abilities. Students who perform well have the opportunity to transfer to
 accelerated math at any point. The heterogeneous math program is popular and there is a waiting list to get
 Other comments by Judith Pastel:
  Ÿ NYS is currently adopting new curriculum standards, but the district doesn’t know what changes are to
    be made. She thinks we need to improve math performance in elementary and middle school, as by high
    school it is difficult for a child who is behind to catch up. Currently, the district is focusing on improving
    performance in middle school.
  Ÿ She defines tracking as giving students with different abilities the opportunity to take different classes.
    She defines trapping as not providing a student an opportunity to move up if they are put on a certain
    track. She thinks it is important for students in lower grades (5, 6, and 7) to have the opportunity move
    up as they are able.
  Ÿ She wants to eliminate the Introduction to High School Math course (current lowest level class) and have
    students take pre-algebra instead.
  Ÿ She wants to fund math coaches to work with teachers.
  Ÿ She says that 28-30% of students receive a free or reduced lunch. In Ithaca, a lot of poverty is situational
    (graduate students and postdocs with temporary low income) rather than generational.
  Ÿ By 2013 the district needs to ratchet up the number of students that have to pass state assessments in
    English and mathematics. Two out of the three past years’ students with disabilities haven’t passed.
  Ÿ Most classes aren’t homogeneous (even within Honors/Regents)- students have a range of ability, and
    differentiated instruction is critical.
  Ÿ In other countries not all children take tests, as is the case in the US, so performance can’t necessarily be
 A parent asked if there are plans to introduce heterogeneous math in eighth grade. The response was that this
 isn’t really an option as integrated algebra has a specific curriculum and a Regents exam.
 There were also discussions on whether it is better to integrate students or have separate instruction for
 students with varying ability levels. One person commented that the focus of the evening’s discussion was
 on top students, whereas more attention needs to be paid to struggling students. Generally, it was agreed that
 the goal of education is to have all students perform to the best of their ability, and that all students should be
 able to meet the state education requirements.

December/January 2010-11                                                                                          7
 Boynton Middle School                                                                Non-Profit Organization
 Ithaca City School District                                                                U.S. Postage
 1601 N. Cayuga Street                                                                           PAID
 Ithaca, NY 14850                                                                           Ithaca, NY 14850
“Change Service Requested”                                                                    Permit No. 361

                     DECEMBER                                                   JANUARY
                                                                             Staff/Dept. Meeting 3:45 PM -
   8                Staff/Dept. Meeting 3:45 PM            5
                                                                                    Right To Know
   10                   Dance/Activity Night                           BMS Winter Band Concert Dress Rehearsal
                                                                            1 PM, Kulp Auditorium - IHS
                      Musical Dress Rehearsals
                    5 - 9 PM McCalmon Theater                      All County Chorus Reading Rehearsal 4 – 6 PM South
   15                                                                    Seneca; PTA Meeting 7 PM, Cafeteria
                   In-School Musical Performance
                                                                            BMS Winter Band Concert 7 PM
   17               5 Week Marking Period ends                                   Kulp Auditorium – IHS
                                                           14                     Dance/Activity Night
              Musical Performance: Beauty & the Beast,
   16                                                      17            Martin Luther King Day, No School
                    7:30 PM McCalmon Theater
              Musical Performance: Beauty & the Beast,     19                 Staff/Dept. Meeting 3:45 PM
   17                                                                     BMS Winter Orchestra Concert 7 PM
                    7:30 PM McCalmon Theater               20
                                                                                 Kulp Auditorium - IHS
   18         Musical Performance: Beauty & the Beast,
                 2 & 7:30 PM McCalmon Theater            21 - 22        All County Chorus Festival, South Seneca
                                                           22                       Saturday School
              Musical Performance: Beauty & the Beast,
   19                                                                     Superintendent’s Conference Day,
                   1 & 4 PM McCalmon Theater               24
                                                                                       No School
                      Progress Reports Issued;
   22                                                    25 - 28                     Regents Exams
                    Staff/Dept. Meeting 3:45 PM
                                                                            BMS Winter Choral Concert 7 PM
   23            7 Gold – The Rink 12:00 – 3:10 PM         27
                                                                                 Kulp Auditorium - IHS
 24 - 31              Winter Recess, No School             28                   2nd Marking Period ends
                                                           31                  3rd Marking Period begins

 The Boynton Connection                                                                       Dec/Jan 2010/11
 Wendy Bakal PTA President                                                      
 Send submissions to Brenda Ross, editor                                        

December/January 2010-11                                                                                           8

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