Degrees and Certifications:
Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from SUNY AlfredBachelor's Degree in Early Childhood/Childhood Education from Alfred University Master's Degree in Literacy from Alfred University Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from SUNY Brockport
Mrs. Jessica Hess
Supporting children as they learn and grow has always been an integral part of my life plan. 15 years ago I started my journey in education as an elementary teacher for the Andover Central School District. During my time in Andover, I taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. In 2012, I moved to the Canisteo-Greenwood Central School District where I taught first grade and K-7 math and reading intervention. My leadership experiences while at Canisteo-Greenwood and my current position as a Board of Education member for the Hornell City School District have prepared me for my role as an administrator. In 2017, I joined the staff at Belfast Central School as the PK-4 Elementary Principal and Director of Pupil Services. I am so excited to be a part of the Belfast school family!
I have lived in Hornell my entire life where I graduated from Hornell High School. I then went on to Alfred State College to get my Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. I also attended Alfred University where I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood/Childhood Education and a Master's Degree in Literacy. I earned my Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from SUNY Brockport.
My husband Mike and I have two teenage sons, Kolby and Riley, and a wheaten terrier named Khloe.
Degrees and Certifications:
This year, the elementary grades are working on improving student behaviors through a plan called PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). This is a movement to get all adults; from classroom teachers to cafeteria workers, from bus drivers to secretaries, to use the same language and have the same behavioral expectations for all of our students. When behavioral expectations change from location to location and from adult to adult, our students are easily confused about what is expected of them. This can lead to them making poor behavior choices. In order to better support our students, a PBIS committee was formed and behaviors for several areas were identified. We also created words to help students remember particular behaviors such as KAHFOOTY, PLANT, and THINK.
On the first day of school each of our students wore their PAWS t-shirt which were graciously donated by the PTO. We held an assembly in the auditorium where students were introduced to the PAWS rubric, language, and the expectations for each area. This was also repeated by classroom teachers throughout the first week. In order to encourage students to think about the choices they make with their behavior and to do the best they can, students are able to win prizes for their PAWS-ome behavior! I have also challenged our students to earn 1,000 PAWS tickets by November. If they can, one student will be chosen from the PAWS tickets that have been collected to throw a pie in my face! Our students are very excited about this opportunity!
Degrees and Certifications:
Stop, Drop, & Celebrate
This year we have decided to replace our traditional K-4 quarterly awards ceremonies with an opportunity for our students to STOP, DROP, & CELEBRATE! their work. We will provide them with opportunities to work towards goals that will be more aligned with our curriculum, allow our students to strengthen their growth mindsets, and create a more trauma sensitive environment. During a traditional awards ceremony, we call names for students to come up and receive a paper certificate for various categories, including academic subjects and special classes. These awards had varying and loosely set criteria and many times we found the same students receiving awards. We found these ceremonies had little effect on motivation throughout the quarter and in some cases, left students feeling defeated.
To motivate and engage ALL students, we will designate 4 days (11/21, 2/14, 4/30, 6/25) this school year for students to STOP, DROP, & CELEBRATE! their learning. Each student will choose one piece of work that demonstrates their achievement of that quarter's goal to share with their class and other classes throughout grades K-4. On these dates, student work will also be highlighted on the BCS Facebook page for parents and community members to see. This way, all parents can share in the celebration without having to change work, sleep, or childcare schedules and arrangements. For our celebration on 6/25, parents and family members will be invited into school to view student work as they share their personal success from the year.
Our goals for the STOP, DROP, & CELEBRATE! days will be as follows:
*Quarter 1: Overcoming Challenges
*Quarter 2: Kindness
*Quarter 3: Working Toward a Goal
*Quarter 4: Personal Success
By celebrating student work in this manner, we hope to achieve the following:
*Every student is celebrated
*Students are given an opportunity to take ownership and pride in what is displayed
*Students get to see genuine work samples and expectations of their peers
*All parents get to share in the celebration
*We will be able to build a culture of mutual celebration and uplifting of peers
If you have any further questions, please contact your child's teacher or Mrs. Hess for further clarification.
***We will still be awarding students who demonstrate top notch PAWS behaviors with the TOP DOG award.***