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A Message from the Principal


December 9, 2016

Dear Parent or Guardian:

In an effort to keep you informed, I am reporting to you that today our 5th grade students took quick and responsible action when they found a knife, with a two inch blade, on the floor in the second floor hallway at dismissal and alerted a teacher immediately.  

Elementary School Principal Mrs. Leuthauser spoke with the three classrooms that were aware of the situation and commended them on their quick thinking, and reminded them of the danger in possessing such an item.  

No child was in immediate danger and and investigation is ongoing to find the owner of the knife.

While only a small portion of the school was aware of the event, I felt it necessary to inform the entire Clinton Elementary School family.


Have a pleasant weekend!



Stephen L. Grimm, Ed.D.



August 24, 2016

Dear Clinton Elementary Families,

Summer has gone by in the blink of an eye and the start of school is right around the corner.  Our first day of school for students is Thursday, September 8th and I cannot WAIT!!  I have missed all the children.  They bring great joy and energy to the building and it isn’t the same around here without them.  

I apologize for the length of this letter, but I feel it is important to keep you informed.  Throughout the year, you can continue to find information about Clinton Elementary through the PTA newsletter posted on the district site or emailed directly to you.  I encourage you to sign up to be a part of the PTA to receive up-to-date information.  You are welcome to volunteer your time, but it is not a requirement.  

There have been some changes in our faculty and staff. Stacy Grucza, 5th grade teacher, is taking a year long leave of absence.  Jen LaBella, Reading Specialist, accepted a position in her home district, and Wendy Karuzas, Office Secretary, retired in June.  We wish them all the best.  

The newest members of our Clinton Elementary family include the following:

  • Ashley Heroux is our year long-term substitute teacher in Kindergarten.

  • Alexandra Roy is our new Third grade teacher.

  • Kayla Mercer joins us as a Fourth grade teacher.

  • Erin Metzler and Erin Higgins are Fifth grade teachers.

  • Heather Cirelli is the Fifth grade substitute teacher for Emily Heintz who is out on maternity leave until February.  

  • Mary Heintz is substituting as our Office Secretary.  

Welcome to all!  I am confident we are going to have an outstanding year with these teachers and staff.  

Several members of our faculty are taking on new roles:

  • Mrs. Stilz is teaching First grade.

  • Mrs. Hullar has joined the Second grade team.

  • Mrs. Houser is our Reading Specialist.

  • Mrs. Murray is our Math Specialist.  


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.  We are proud to report that Clinton has earned the highest percentage of students proficient on the NYS ELA and Math among all of the schools in our BOCES region.  In ELA grades 3-8, 53% of our students are proficient. Math grades 3-8, 61% of our students are proficient.  Even though these scores are impressive, we still have work to do.  Therefore, we are in the beginning stages of 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 me or his/her classroom teacher 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 16th or contact my office to set up a time for us to meet.  

In the past, grade levels would have to have lunch and recess at the same 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:  Lunch Schedule

   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.  Click here for bus routes:   Bus Routes

If you are a parent of an incoming 4th or 5th grader, enclosed you will find a copy of their NYS ELA and Math results.  If you are a parent of an incoming Kindergarten student, you will find a bus tag that needs to be filled out.  Please have your child wear the tag to school so it is visible to the bus driver and teachers.  

Open House is Thursday, September 22 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


Ellen Leuthauser
Mary Heintz
Judy Kowalczyk
Elizabeth Hobaica