Sunday, October 24, 2010

Moving Forward

First of all, it is my pleasure to announce that Gail Glagola, art teacher at the high school, Kathleen Callahan, a mathematics teacher at Camillus Middle School, and Kelli Barbuto, 5th grade teacher at Stonehedge Elementary School, were all named as 2010 Teachers of the Year by the Camillus Optimists Club. They were voted on by their peers and a reception to honor them will be held in November 9th.  Congratulations!

I think that you are going to find the Commissioners discussion regarding changes to graduation requirements for New York State to be quite startling. Nothing is set in stone of course, but when I read the 23 page summary of what will be discussed with the Board of Regents it certainly got my attention. The full report can be viewed here ( but some of the highlights of the proposal include:

1.  Longer school year
2.  Additional graduation requirements beyond the traditional 22 credits
3.  Extra year of Mathematics and Science with extra Regents examinations as well (examinations paid for by the District)
4.  Raising the "passing grade" of a Regents exam from 65 to 70, 75, and 80 respectfully beginning with the 9th graders entering next year and continuing the next  two years.
5. Allowing online credit and allowing students to "graduate" when they complete the credits required for graduation

Most of these ideas are not bad at face value, but in the face of declining dollars and resources some of them will be incredibly difficult to  accommodate. We will see where things go from here.

Our efforts to do something different with addressing the subject of bullying are moving forward. There are many different people in powerful positions beginning different "causes" related to bullying, harassment, and hate, but I really think that a couple of our students (Mike McCartney and Alyssa VanGampler) have something unique with their efforts to record stories of how bullying and harassment have affected real people; not actors. Their start up website, http// is the beginning of what will be an emotional and yet necessary journey to healing for those who have been bullied. This site is created by students and for students, and it will be created on their own time so I would suggest that as the site is populated that you support it but review the material on it before sharing with younger children because I have never heard a bullying story that has been "G" rated. Well done students and thanks for leading the charge on your level while I get things done with programs and policies.

Big week ahead for the Wildcat Marching Band as they prepare for their Dome show this weekend. Aside from football, who ended their season last Friday night, many of our other sports are still in post-season play. Check the website for schedules and information.

Have a great week-