Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Second Week!

Another successful week and as usual, lots of stuff going on. First, at the state level they have already cut our state aid this year. We don't know exactly how much less we specifically will receive, but they have given the go ahead to cut both school aid and STAR, another area of revenue for the District. I am confident that our budget plan will accommodate these cuts, but I am longing for the day when we can just have a regular school year.

Speaking of the economy, check out this morbid look at unemployment rates around the country  It is a time lapse look at unemployment across the country that you can watch unfold as a movie. Good times. I hope it gets bad reviews!

Now on to some pleasant news. First of all, I really enjoyed myself at the various open houses around the District.  Not only did I get so see hundreds of parents, I ran into a guy that lived in the same dorms as me during undergrad at Buffalo State College. As some of you know, I used to work undercover security for K-Mart that used to be in Western Lights Plaza when I was in high school.  I met the State Trooper who used to help me "book" shoplifters and he and I also used to work out together at the same gym. Two people that I had not seen in over 20 years and I see them both in one night! Small world.

This week we also learned that Steve Frank, one of the coolest music teachers and musicians that I have ever met, has  been selected to be inducted into the SAMMY's (Syracuse Area Music Award) Hall of Fame as a Music Educator. For more information please check out the Syracuse New Times. Well done!

In an effort to do as much as we can for our students with disabilities, I met with Professor Alan Foley from Syracuse University. We had a great conversation about how we can provide the latest and most appropriate assistive technology for our students. We are going to begin the process of creating an articulation agreement where we will work exclusively with the University and have our children involved in a "Matching Technology" project that will connect our staff, students, parents, and graduate students.  This is long overdue and I am excited to move this project forward.

Also this week, we were able to negotiate with  Lowes and Benderson Development (thanks Paul Pelton and John Driscoll for the leg work) to get access to the back parking lot at Lowes and to cut a hole in the fence and create a pedestrian walkway to our back ball fields. We hope to have this completed by the Spring so that spectators can get easier access to our varsity fields in back of the high school. This is a complete 180 from Lowes' stance last year and I am appreciative of their change of heart.

Lastly, for this week I would like to feature our Boys Varsity Soccer Program.  In high school athletics it is rare to see such a turn around of a program without a huge switch in players. Our soccer team has struggled with winning, attitude, and representation in the past. In 8 short months, and with the help of our new coach Al Loucks, our soccer team is representing themselves, their parents, and our community.  They are on the road to victory but more importantly, they are on the road to respect.  They have a big game on Monday, September 20, at 7:00 p.m. on our grass stadium against FM. I know that soccer is not popular in the United States but respect and responsibility are. If you can make it for even the first half or part of the game I know that the boys would greatly appreciate it. This is not meant in any way to take the spot light off of all of our other successful programs, but a positive change this drastic must be noted.

If you have taken the time to read all of this; thank you!  I know I can be long winded sometimes, but there is so much going on that I feel you should know that sometimes it takes a few paragraphs to do it!

Have a great weekend and thanks for the continued support.