TALKing Points:  Dr. Donna DeSiato

  • Lecture mode was for teach and test:  We need to design something authentic--real world work and real world problem solving
  • Strategic plan guides all instruction in the district:  It is a living document and it is how we make decisions and allocate our resources
  • Technology is an acceleration in the processIt has to be the right match to support the curriculum

Objectives of the ITD TALKS Learning Tour
  1. Understand the elements necessary to create a world-class 21st century learning environment and school through observation and engagement with students, teachers, administrators and partners involved in 21st century teaching and learning transformation across the PK-12 continuum in the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District.
  2. Gain perspectives about how the integration of technology is an accelerator in achieving the vision/mission/goals of a 21st century learning district.


8:00 - 8:30:      Welcome & Introductions/Coffee
8:30 - 9:00:      Dialogue with Student Panel
9:00 - 9:30:      21st Century Learning & Integrated STEM Learning via Tandbeg
9:30 - 10:15:    Learning Tour of ESM High School Programs
10:30 - 11:30:   Dialogue with ESM Teacher Panel
11:30 - 12:30:   Lunch at Central High School prepared by ESM Future Chefs of America

The Community

The 72-square-mile suburban district has a resident population of more than 22,000 and encompasses the Villages of East Syracuse and Minoa. As part of Central New York's four-season region, the district is minutes from the City of Syracuse's downtown amenities. In fact, according to the latest edition of the Places Rated Almanac, Syracuse ranks in the top 10% of Best Places to Live.

The area boasts of more than 44 universities and colleges offering professional and cultural opportunities, including Syracuse University and Le Moyne College. Recreation opportunities abound with more than 50 state, county and city parks and 40 golf courses.

The nationally renowned Everson Museum of Art is among the museums and galleries in the area, as is the Museum of Science and Technology. The Syracuse Opera and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra serve the area musically, while Syracuse Stage leads the list of theatrical offerings.

The Carrier Dome, home to Syracuse University athletics, is the only domed stadium in the Northeast. The sports scene also includes the Minor League Baseball Triple-A Syracuse Skychiefs, as well as the American Hockey League's Syracuse Crunch.

Housing is affordable and the quality of life makes the region an attractive place to live.

About ESM

ESM is one of few districts in the area with a State/District-funded pre-kindergarten program serving ages 1-4. ESM also has a full-day kindergarten program. The district features a standardized curriculum throughout its four elementary buildings, aligned with the New York State Learning Standards.

Pine Grove's middle school program is built around the Seven Essential Elements of a Standards-Focused Middle Level School Program. Pine Grove embraces and supports team teaching and the implementation of research-based practices.

ESM is proud to be one of just 11 schools in New York State designated as a comprehensive high school. ESM offers 23 courses for advanced placement and college credit, with Career and Technical Education Programs that include a student-run credit union, cosmetology, culinary arts, early childhood education, automotive technology, construction technology and design technology.


The East Syracuse Minoa Central School District will be an exemplary 21st Century learning community whose graduates are prepared to excel in a complex, interconnected, changing world.


The East Syracuse Minoa Central School District will prepare students for the 21st Century by engaging all learners in meaningful learning experiences that meet the highest educational and ethical standards in a caring, collaborative learning community supported through partnerships with parents and families, businesses, civic organizations, and higher education.

Belief Statements

We believe that:

  • Each individual has dignity and worth
  • The capacity to learn for each individual is boundless
  • Curiosity and exploration stimulate innovation and learning
  • High expectations and challenging curriculum lead to greater achievement
  • Effort and perseverance are essential to achieve one's personal best
  • Positive relationships are fundamental to success and growth
  • Collaboration within and among school, families and community partners is essential to meet the needs of each student
  • Acceptance and mutual respect encourages students to take the risks necessary for academic and personal growth
  • Education prepares students to become productive and responsible citizens who contribute to their communities
  • Students need to develop their strengths, confidence and resilience to meet the challenges they will face throughout life.

Goal I:  Increase student achievement through high expectations supported by a consistent, comprehensive focus on teaching and learning.
Goal II:  Build capacity within the system to support and nurture a continuum of learning through the implementation of research-based effective practices resulting in improved student achievement.
Goal III:  Strengthen parent engagement and community partnerships to support learning and achievement.

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