By Sandy Rigas
At Immaculate Conception School, the 2022-2023 school year has gotten off to a roaring start and the future is bright, says Caitilin Dewey, principal, noting that “we are cooking with gas!”
A surge of late August enrollments has given the school every reason to hope and have faith in its continuing viability in Allegany County.
“We’ve got a galloping class of students in our pre-K three-year-old class, and as the program has always been a ‘starter crop’ for the K-8 classes, this is just what we needed,” says Dewey.
Through the years (148 to be exact) that ICS has served the community, enrollment has risen or fallen, and the school has always been able to keep the doors open and adapt to best serve the needs of the student population. This year’s enrollment has prompted the use of multi-age groupings for the Kindergarten through 4th Grade classes and ICS’s tradition of academic excellence is far from suffering.
“We have highly qualified, capable, resourceful and creative teachers who are meeting this challenge with aplomb. They are meeting the students where they are and fostering their growth and achievement,” Dewey explains. “Our students are receiving even more one-on-one attention in the process.”
The recently released New York State Eighth Grade 2022 test scores in both English Language Arts and Math support this tradition of academic excellence. “Immaculate Conception School is the only school in Allegany County to have had 90% or more of their students earn a score of 3 or 4 on both the ELA and the Math tests administered this past spring,” Dewey said.
Music classes are moving to a different beat this year with J.D. Struckman joining the faculty this past summer. The Strings Orchestra program is in progress under the direction of David Peralta.
Fifth & Sixth Grade students are participating in Family & Consumer Science classes, taught by chef Brian Decker. They have been working on a unit concerning food and kitchen safety, which has included a recent trip to the Giant Food Mart produce department.
The ICS Home & School Association, which had been dormant for years, has undergone a revival under the parent leadership of Shaye Cornell Reagan and Heather Francisco.
In addition to being unofficial ambassadors for the school, the HSA has decided to concentrate its efforts on providing social opportunities for ICS families outside of school hours, assist with fundraising events, and provide encouragement to faculty and staff.
The first HSA social event on the calendar is a “Family Skate Night” at Funland Skate Center on Baldwin Road in Wellsville: Tuesday, October 18 from 6 – 8 p.m. Admission and skate rental are on HSA!
Funland’s Concession stand will be open during the event.