A Message from the Principal


    August 24, 2017

    Dear Clinton Elementary Families,

    It is that time of year again when our building becomes alive with excitement and anticipation for a brand new school year!  The pencils are sharpened, the classrooms are ready, and the teachers, staff and I cannot wait for the children to arrive.  As principal of Clinton Elementary, it is my pleasure to welcome everyone for a fantastic year. Our first day of school for students is Thursday, September 7th.  The First Day Coffee, hosted by the PTA, will begin at 8:30am in the Brick Garden in front of the Elementary School for all adults to enjoy.  

    In the wake of the events that occurred in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday, August 12th, protests and celebrations have taken place across our great nation.  This is a nation many of us are proud to call home because of its diversity, educational system, and opportunities that exist.  Regardless of the opinions of people we read about and see on the news, our district’s mission remains unchanged, “Clinton Central School proudly educates and empowers students to realize their potential and become thoughtful, contributing members of society.”  We will continue to ensure all students receive the education they deserve and have come to expect in Clinton.  Federal and state laws and educational policies and regulations ensure all students receive an education in an environment that is safe and conducive for learning. The Dignity for All Students Act that was signed into law in New York in July, 2012, clearly states that inappropriate comments and actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, disability, religious practices, and sexual orientation will not be tolerated on school grounds or at any school function.  Students and parents and guardians, thank you for committing to making Clinton Elementary School an ideal learning environment for all those who attend.  

    Clinton Elementary proudly welcomes the newest members of our Clinton Elementary family:

    • Heather Cirelli            3rd Grade
    • Ashley Heroux            Kindergarten
    • Katie Parker            Library Media Specialist
    • Mareesa Tomaino        Special Education
    • Alisa Capponi            Teacher’s Aide

    Several members of our faculty are taking on new roles:

    • Mrs. Tickle will be teaching Second Grade.
    • Ms. Higgins has joined the Kindergarten Team.
    • Mrs. Eagan joined our WINN Team.  

    We had two weddings this summer, Mr. Ferrone married his bride in early August and Miss Metzler, now Mrs. Muzio, married soon after.  We wish the newlyweds many years of health and happiness.  

    Our district’s mission is to provide each student with instructional support to foster academic, social, and emotional growth for all students. At Clinton Elementary, we work to meet the needs of all our students by implementing Guided Reading and What I Need Now, or WINN in each classroom.  

    Guided Reading is an instructional approach to teaching reading that involves a teacher working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar reading behaviors and can read similar levels of texts.  The goal is to help students develop strategies to apply independently. Work focuses on processes integral to reading proficiently, such as cross-checking print and meaning information, rather than on learning a particular book’s word meanings. During guided reading, teachers monitor student reading processes and check that texts are within students’ grasps, allowing students to assemble their newly acquired skills into a smooth, integrated reading system.

    WINN, What I Need Now, is a daily block of time to address the needs of all the students from intervention to enrichment.  Students are placed in small homogeneous groups to work on targeted skills.  The block of time is an all hands on deck approach.  The instructional team is comprised of the classroom teachers, Math and Reading Specialists, Special Education teachers, and teaching assistants.  

    Teachers work in collaborative teams to build shared knowledge about essential learning and pacing.  They designate a time to deliver first best instruction each day.  They administer common formative assessments and they ask the following essential questions to guide their actions:

    • What do we expect each student to learn?
    • How will we know if they have learned it?
    • How will we respond if they do not learn it?
    • How will we respond if they have learned it?

    The first few days of school can be a very exciting time or it can be trying for some.  If your child is anxious about coming to school, please let his/her classroom teacher or me know.  We are more than happy to help with the transition. If your child feels it is necessary for you to walk them to their classroom, parents are welcome to do so for the first week of school.  Please discontinue this practice by September 18th or contact my office to set up a time for us to meet.  

    In the past, grade levels would have to share their lunch and recess time.  The combination of the two grade levels put a strain on the children and the lunch and recess monitors.  The safest and most practical practice is to schedule a lunch and recess time for each grade level within the cafeteria time frame.  Some grade levels will have recess before lunch.  If your child goes out for recess prior to lunch, we will have them clean their hands before they eat.  The following is our lunch/recess schedule:

    Grade Level






    *First Grade



    *Second Grade



    Third Grade



    Fourth Grade



    *Fifth Grade



    *NOTE: Recess is before lunch.

    Enclosed you will find the bus route listing and a bus tag for your child.  Please have your child wear the tag to school so it is visible to the bus driver and teachers.  Students riding buses are asked to be ready for boarding by 8:00am.  You may see that you will adjust this time as we solidify our routine.  Bus riders are dismissed from class at 3:00 and walkers are dismissed after the buses depart our circle.  The first few days are usually slightly delayed as students learn the procedures.  Cars are not permitted in the front of the school in the morning while buses are present and from 2:00pm until buses leave the school grounds.  

    Open House is Thursday, September 21st with - Kindergarten, First and Second from 6-7pm and Third, Fourth and Fifth from 7-8pm.  This is a great opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and to see the classroom.  It is also a time for you to schedule your Parent/Teacher Conference.  

    Whether you are a new Clinton family or a returning family, the year ahead will be a rewarding experience for your child. A commitment toward working with, understanding, and nurturing each and every child are some of the many reasons why Clinton Elementary is such a wonderful place for children to learn and grow.

    Communication is the key to success. Please know that you are always invited to schedule a time to meet with your child’s teacher or me to address any questions or concerns. We also like hearing accolades!  

    I look forward to an awesome year with you and your child.

    All the best,

    Ellen Leuthauser

    Elementary School Principal



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  • Principal
    Ellen Leuthauser
    Mary Heintz
    Judy Kowalczyk
    Elizabeth Hobaica