SINCLAIRVILLE - Chautauqua School Board Association members learned about the plan for education known as P-16.
At a dinner meeting recently held at Cassadaga Valley High School, they were told the P stands for pre-kindergarten and the 16 designates the educational path through four years of college.
They also learned that David Steiner, the new state education commissioner, can be considered an OK guy.
Edith Byrne, Fredonia School Board member, said Steiner spoke at the NYSSBA Convention she attended.
"He's a breath of fresh air who is student centered. He talks the talk, but the question is: can he break the red tape so he can walk the walk?" she said.
Susan Benson, Erie-2-Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and Joseph Yelich, Jamestown High School principal and P-16 committee chairman, both spoke about the program.
Benson said it is designed to keep students in school and help them become successful. She spoke of providing students with a seamless transition through their school years so they can successfully graduate.
"We are partnering with the business community, mental health and colleges to bring needed services to the students," she said.
One of the programs, known as Michelangelo, identifies master teachers and videotapes them so that student teachers can observe their teaching techniques.
In several instances, the students and the master teacher's classroom are "connected" via video cameras so there is a real time communication between the two.
Yelich spoke about the Tapestry Team which uses money provided through a six-year, $9 million federal grant awarded Chautauqua County to enhance systems of care for youth and their families.
"We want to conduct an inventory of school districts to identify which programs they are using and which programs are working," he said.
He asked that each school district provide a point person - an individual who would be available to provide a flow of information.
He went on to explain the Tapestry partnership programs available at Jamestown High School are designed to help students and their families.
"This is a consolidated effort to remediate the problems students face," he said.
This partnership includes social services, mental health and probation, he said.