Jefferson School students

Jefferson Principal Reflects and Looks Ahead

Jefferson School students marched in last fall's Homecoming Day parade. (Darin Reed photo.)

July 21, 2017

Jefferson Primary School Principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide is reflecting on the recently completed school year and eagerly anticipating 2017/18.

“The teachers, staff and I have spent the past year working towards reaching three school-wide goals,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. The principal is spending some time reviewing what was accomplished last year while she simultaneously prepares for the kickoff of classes in September.

The most recent year’s goals included:

Goal 1: In order to improve writing performance by June 2017, 100 percent of classroom teachers will provide explicit instruction in the four genres of writing:
1. Narrative writing
2. Informational/explanatory
3. Argument and research
4. Poetry writing

Goal 2: In order to improve mathematics performance, we will provide students strategically targeted fluency instruction in the Common Core Learning Standard strand - number sense and operations - thereby resulting in improved student outcomes in mathematics.

Goal 3: In order to collaborate with families as full partners in the learning and development of their children we will offer workshops focused on college and career readiness.

“In order to reach our goals, the teachers, staff and I met regularly during meetings to review student work, discuss instructional changes and create ways to engage families in the school community,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. “We continue to grow and seek new ways to differentiate our instruction to meet the individual needs of each child.”

Ms. Capitulo-Saide has been the principal of Jefferson Primary School since August 1, 2012. She came to Huntington after serving three years as principal of PS 101Q-The School of the Gardens in Forest Hills, Queens. She earlier worked for two years as that school’s assistant principal.

Ms. Capitulo-Saide earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Hofstra University and a Master of Science and a certificate in educational administration at LIU-C.W. Post College.

Prior to embarking on an administrative career, Ms. Capitulo-Saide worked in Community School District 26 in Bayside for two years as a dance teacher in a "literacy through the arts" program for students ranging from pre-kindergarten through ninth grade. She then taught grades three, five and six in elementary classrooms at PS 173Q and PS 213 in Bayside from 2001 to 2005.

The new school year is already shaping up to be an exciting one at Jefferson, which will feature a new learning space for teachers and students.

“We are very proud of our school psychologist, Dr. Kathleen Mallen-Ozimkowksi for being awarded a Huntington Foundation Star grant for an outdoor classroom in our courtyard,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. “We are excited to watch the transformation of our courtyard into an outdoor classroom for all of our students to enjoy. We thank our teachers, staff and PTA for their support of this grant.”

Summer vacation still has a long way to go, but Jefferson’s principal is already thinking about what lies ahead. “We look forward to welcoming our incoming students in September,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. “We are busy preparing our classrooms and teachers for the 2017/18 school year.”

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