Thursday, May 27, 2010

Almost There

Anyone who has lived in Syracuse for any length of time knows enough not to complain about the weather being too hot. That being said, it has been a challenge for students and staff in a few of our buildings to beat the heat these past few days. We are not running a "Sweating Off the Pounds" program in case anyone asks you.

I recently finished signing all of the diplomas for graduation. I sign all of them in the hopes that all of our seniors will graduate in June. The process of signing diplomas takes about 6 hours.  People ask why I don't just use a stamp and save the time. Providing a personal signature on every document I sign, including diplomas, to me is a non-negotiable. Our children have spent 13 years getting to the stage in June and the last thing I want to give them as a memento is a piece of paper with a rubber stamp signature. I just looked at my diploma from 1989 the other day and my Superintendent did the exact same thing; I just didn't know who he was ;>).

Stan Davis came and spoke to our staff, students, and community about bullying. I found his presentation to be very helpful. He introduced new research that will help us to depart from many of the things that we have tried as school leaders over the years that have simply not worked. 
As we form our committee to refocus our efforts and develop a new direction for our District, we will apply some of his techniques including involving students in the process (at all levels), increasing communication with the home, finding ways to hold parents more accountable for the behavior of their children, teaching strategies to children so they have a better understanding of when something should and shouldn't be brought to the attention of an adult. I am pretty excited to move in this direction and I am hopeful that we will be a better District in this regard when our project is completed.

I am really excited for Kaleidoscope this evening. What a great way to see all of our Fine Arts talent in one location! Good luck to all of our sports teams that have entered Sectional play and have a wonderful weekend capped off with a great parade on Monday.