Sunday, October 17, 2010

Administrivia and More

The end of the Fall sports season is drawing near which means that Winter is right around the corner. If you have children playing Winter sports as I do, this is also when stress re-enters the household. It is very difficult to have children understand that they are going to school in a Class I AA environment, which means that we are in the largest, most competitive division that New York State athletics has to offer. Winter sports (no pun intended) teams which have the fewest number of participants, in turn, have the largest number of cuts. 

As I always explain to my kids (they might understand it 5 years from now) "if you give it your best and you don't make the team then it is what it is, and if you don't give it your best and don't make the team, then it should eat you up until the next time you can try out".  What is nice about this community is that there are dozens of other recreational and organized sports programs available so that if a child wants to participate in basketball, for example, but does not make our team they can still find a place to play.  As I tell everyone, I just want kids to be happy first, and learn something second.

I occasionally get asked if the Board of Education ever reviews its policies. This is a great question because in many schools the answer is no. Here we have an active policy committee consisting of three Board members who meet three to four times a year to make policy updates or add and subtract policies from the manual. I have liked this approach since I have been here because it gives me a chance to make sure that the policies that I am charged to enforced are complete and accurate for the times. 

Our anti-bullying task force is scheduled to meet for the first time on Tuesday, October 19 at the high school in the large group instruction room.  If you are not on the committee but would like to become a member, please give me a call 1-315-487-4682, shoot me an e-mail, or just show up.  Our second meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 16.

I have also received some questions about Race to the Top, the federal initiative to improve student performance and hold teachers and administrators accountable for their performance as well. We are going to work with our local BOCES to have them help us collect the student data required to complete our improvement plans, and we are going to work with our Teaching Center to help us to revise our evaluation systems for administrators and teachers.  There was $110,000 allocated for these over the course of 4 years which means little money to accomplish a lot, but we will take it.

I have figured out how to use my Blackberry to send better pictures of our students in action to Twitter.  My Twitter handle is  If you connect you can just see what is going on each day in the buildings or you can increase your involvement by sending me messages or having my posts "pushed" directly to your phone.  I intent to hold a community "Social Media" night so people can come in, sign up, and learn to use some of the technology that we are using to communicate.  Stay tuned.

All for now. Have a wonderful week.