Sunday, February 28, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I hope that everyone had a restful week. Contrary to popular belief, Superintendents do not get school vacations off, but I did get a chance to travel to NYC the first weekend of break to visit some family. I spent most of the week working on the budget with Mr. Pelton as we prepare for our first public presentation on March 3. I also had some time to organize files and get everything prepared for what is usually for busiest week in February; the week after break.
I am also very proud of the boys Hockey team as they begin to advance through the Sectional process. They are not only showing that they are talented players, but that they are quality young men. Their character shows on the ice and off the ice when they are conducting community service or meeting as a team at a local eatery once a week. Through hard work, dedication, and a fire inside, I feel strongly that these athletes will make a name for themselves in the upcoming weeks.
Several of our Swim team members are also finding success through hard work, character, and determination. A great story about their success can be found here: http://highschoolsports.syracuse.com/news/article/-6951826110020704560/west-genesee-at-state-swimming-qualifier
Over the weekend I got a chance to attend the outdoor Crunch game and I thought it was fantastic. Jets flying over, a parachute guy landing at center ice, a classic hockey fight, and a goal all happened in the first five minutes of the game. Any hint of feeling bad for myself because of what has been written about me over the past week eroded as well when Governor Patterson was welcomed by the "boo birds". I was definitely glad that my family and I were fortunate enough to be a part of history.
There will be a lot going on for us in the next couple of weeks, and I will keep you posted. CYBA should resume play, arrests will be made, contracts are being negotiated, schedules will begin to be developed, the Commissioner of Education will ask all of us to consolidate or disband services, the Governor's budget will be updated, academic awards and college acceptance letters will begin to flow more freely, and Spring sports will begin. Wow. Stay tuned!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
CYBA officials will be providing a zero tolerance statement before the remaining games, will have CYBA "Board" members in attendance at the remaining games, and will provide security/police presence the entire day of the CYBA Championships. CYBA officials will reach out to their parents and coaches before February 22 to let them know about their adjusted schedules, etc...
Anyone not arrested or involved in the incident on Monday, February 8, will be allowed into our facilities as the season comes to a conclusion, and it is my hope that the program is able to return to our facilities next Winter stronger and safer.Chris
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Yesterday began with an investigation into a fight that erupted at WGMS during a high school level Camillus Youth Basketball Association (CYBA) game. I was disgusted and disappointed to learn that many people were fighting at one time (coaches, players, and parents) and several law enforcement officials had to be used to get the regain order. We had to provide counseling to a few youngsters who sat helpless in the stands and who were afraid to come to school the next day. Again, a complete disappointment.
While not a school function or activity, CYBA involves people from our community, and I am sickened by the behavior that occurred. The Camillus Police are working hard to determine how many people will be arrested and the types of charges that will be filed. Because I am not convinced that this was an isolated incident I have asked the Town of Camillus to suspend all CYBA activity at all levels immediately until I am confident that the season can be completed safely. I intend to meet with representatives from CYBA over break to try and determine if this season can be completed safely and what mandatory changes will need to be made for next year if the program is to continue in our facilities.
On another more positive note it has been nice to get into classrooms, and I want to publicly thank maintenance for completing all of the Promethean Board installs. They can now go to their "punch list" and repair damaged units and fix some of the odd problems that we are having with a few of the boards. We are fortunate to have them on our side!
The rest of the week will be budget building, negotiations, building visits, and hopefully final layoff notifications (instructional staff, non-instructional layoff notifications have been completed). I hope to end the week with hair left to recede.
Finally and so I don't accidentally miss a good news event (when I mentioned swimming and hockey having success in a previous post I was informed that our cheerleaders won Sectionals...my apologies) I am going to create a new e-mail address where people can e-mail their good news, and I can then collect it and get it out to you without omissions. We never want to miss good news!
See you soon and thanks for rising above it all..
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I am used to long hours, but this week has pushed even my limits! Three or four days in a row of 16-plus hours can make you loopy. We are really trying to get our budget built as quickly and as efficiently as possible and that has taken a tremendous amount of brain power from our top administration and union officials. This has been happening along with all of the other day-to-day events, happenings, issues, and challenges that come with running a school system that is the size of a small city. I am confident that the result of our work will place us in the top 1% of schools, governments, and organizations that "do the right thing" during challenging economic times.
As a side topic that is somewhat budget related, I would like to address our Board policy concerning solicitations. Basically we do not accept solicitations from businesses or outside organizations that are "for profit". This does not mean that we do not have relationships with many of our local businesses; in fact we have developed some great partnerships. These organizations create scholarships for students, donate money and food to our booster organizations, and help us celebrate our successes. Education Law is very strict about businesses advertising in schools and as such we need to continue to work our relationships through our boosters and through scholarships.
A great example is a recent fund-raiser being conducted by our sports boosters with the help of Applebee’s to provide the District with an updated sound system. Our Sports Boosters will be providing information regarding an evening where the restaurant will donate 10% of their profits to the Boosters to be donated to the school for use to purchase a new sound system for our gym. You won't see the company name in future publications, but they will still be able to help us and we as patrons will be able to help them all the same.
I think that everyone knows that we work very closely with the Camillus Police and that I like to communicate through this blog and Twitter. Well, the Camillus Police Department (CPD) is stepping into the digital age to inform the community as well through a web site called http://www.nixle.com. It is free to police departments and government agencies and is a great way to keep up to date with the happenings of the CPD. I am exploring it's use for the District along with Twitter as another layer of information for people who like to be in the "know".
Our students have celebrated many successes lately so please keep up with their experiences at http://www.westgenesee.org/. I am looking forward to Mame this weekend, the Special Olympics, and the Legislative Breakfast that will be held at our high school on Saturday.
Enjoy the weekend and I will post again next week.