Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tournament for the Ages!

In my three years in the District I have never seen as many people on our campus as I did last night at the Tournament of Bands. There were people from all over the state, and I was really pleased to hear all of the positive comments about our facilities and about the organization of the event.

Equally impressive was the recognition of our 38 senior Marching Band members with their parents and relatives who were lined up from the 20 yard line to the opposite 20 yard line! 

Next week the Marching Band is taking the show on the road to Detroit, Michigan for their annual regional competition. The only bummer about them going next weekend (planned a year in advance) is that it will conflict with our homecoming celebration, and the band won't be available for our homecoming football game against Henninger High School. With all of the things that our kids have going on, conflicts like this happen every once in a while, unfortunately, but in the end hopefully the Marching Band shows well and our football team gets a win!

Last week was really cool. I had the chance to watch a youngster read for the very first time. The look on his face was priceless, and you could see the new found power that he had as he read his second sentence. This is why I do the job!

I also had a chance to speak with some staff about the education series featured on titled Education Nation ( If watched in isolation this series is really a downer as it paints a negative picture of education in the United States. We are fortunate that we have been ahead of the curve nationally, and evidence of that success can be found at (  If you type 13031 into the search box, you can see how most of our schools in the District rated on a national and global scale (except for Onondaga Road, which you need to input 13219 or the school name into the search box to find it). Interesting information and certainly a "Don't Stop Believing" exercise.

Last week we also learned that West Genesee is going to receive $110,000 over four years to accommodate the provisions set forth by Race to the Top. In the grand scheme of a $70M budget, this amount of money is really not much. By accepting Race to the Top we are required to show improvements in student achievement, overhaul our evaluation system for teachers and administrators, and establish a "data team" made up of at least three people. All good ideas, but in the long run it appears that we will spend more on Race to the Top than we will receive from the organizers of the program. We shall see.

This week is Spirit Week leading up to homecoming. This is a true sign of Fall and a true sign that we are already five weeks into the school year! 

Have a great week.