Superintendent Q&A: Dr. Kristopher Harrison, Irvington Union Free School District 

How do you feel the current school year went?  

In Irvington, we had another great school year that was highlighted by great student growth and accomplishment.  This was seen in our classrooms, in the theater and in academic and athletic competitions.   

What metrics are important to your school district to measure success? 

It is important to utilize multiple measures in looking at success. We monitor student growth and achievement through local measures and on standardized assessments. Importantly, we consider the entire school experience to monitor progress this includes, but is not limited to: student participation in co and extra-curricular activities, the introduction of and student participation in new programs, clubs and activities, parent and community engagement, feedback on surveys and voter approval of the budget and capital bond project. 

Are you introducing new programs or curriculum next year? 

We are pleased to be introducing an early world language program in grades 3-5 that will expand to K-2 in 2020-21. We are also expanding our focus on instrumental music by increasing our strings instruction. Additionally, the District will continue to expand its focus on supporting social and emotional growth and will expand its investment in our award-winning Science Research Program.  Finally, technology integration continues to be an objective to support student learning. The District will make a significant investment on this front through the purchase of many new devices, updating its infrastructure and introducing a 1:1 Chromebook initiative at the Middle School.  

Are you planning any major renovations to your facilities over the summer? 

The Irvington UFSD is thankful to the school community who demonstrated their overwhelming support of a capital bond project through its approval on May 21st in the related referendum. This project will have a significant focus on increasing school safety and school security, modernizing learning spaces, updating and enhancing school infrastructure and increasing energy efficiency. The planning for these projects will be a primary focus for the school year and much of the construction will begin during the summer of 2020.  

What are your goals and/or priorities for the next school year? 

The Goals for the 2019-20 school year will be developed through the course of the summer and will include initiatives related to: 

  • Continued growth of the overarching goals 
  • Target Strategic Objectives such as: 
    • Development and introduction of the Elementary World Language Program
    • Finalization and implementation of the K-12 Guidance Plan 
  • Update of the Technology Plan 
  • Curricula development/alignment (Social Studies and Science) 
  • Alignment and development of assessments 
  • Increased, systemic use of data District-wide 
  • Collection and analysis of data K-12 
  • Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) 
  • Equity and access for all learners 
  • Maximizing professional learning experiences 
  • School Quality Survey 

2020 will be an election year. Is there anything planned to get high school students engaged in the process? 

Irvington UFSD is committed to encouraging civic engagement and promotes it students being active participant in society.  Therefore, there numerous opportunities will be presented through curricula to educate students on the democratic process and current, related issues (as appropriate) and to encourage all of voting age to register to allow their voice to be heard on Election Day. 

What best practices does your district employ to address school safety specifically concerning an active shooter situation? 

The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. To this end, the District consistently updates and practices its detailed emergency protocols. The District is also consistently enhancing its practices to be prepared for any level of emergency and is grateful for the partnership and support it has with the Irvington Police Department who play a critical role in this work and are consistently visible on our school grounds.

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