Monday, July 18, 2011

Position Available for Board of Education

The West Genesee Central School District is seeking interested candidates to fill a current vacancy on the Board of Education. The Board of Education will be interviewing interested candidates in late August and making an appointment in September. 

For more information please contact Paul E. Pelton at (315) 487-4563, or,  or submit a resume and/or letter of interest to West Genesee Central District, Attention District Clerk, 300 Sanderson Drive, Camillus, New York 13031.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Early Summer Check-In

I hope that all of you are getting some time to relax so far this summer.  I have been able to take a couple of much needed days off to recharge and now I am ready to work straight through until the start of the school year to make sure that everything is in good shape to start the year. 

We ended the year on a very positive note in spite of the budget challenges that we faced. Our initial high school graduation results are very favorable with a few students completing some summer school work that will be factored into the overall results at the end of August. I would project our Regents graduation rate to be in the neighborhood of 98% or a little higher and our completion rate to be at 90% or greater (State averages for both are in the 60% range).

Summer School looks different for us this year. To save money we have decided to share Summer School with our local BOCES and invite Onondaga Central, Westhill, Solvay, and Marcellus to join West Genesee Students at West Genesee Middle School for Summer School courses.  Admittedly, BOCES is still working on a traffic flow pattern that works most efficiently but that should be ironed out by the end of the week.  Classes in general are running smoothly as well as the many town camps that use our facilities.

Community member John Petosa is actively leading a group of citizens to try to raise the money necessary to restore the athletic cuts that were made for next year. The group needs to raise approximately $70,000 and they have been working through e-mail campaigns, flyers, and a website (http://, where donations can be made.  This is not in any way affiliated with the school as New York State Law strictly prohibits soliciting by or in school districts. My personal opinion is that the State better begin to think about and discuss fundraising supplements to fine arts and athletic programs statewide as this new tax cap comes into play.

Speaking about the tax cap, as you may have heard Governor Cuomo has passed a tax cap for schools and governments. The cap allows a school or municipality the opportunity to raise property taxes by the cost of inflation or 2%; whichever is less. In my opinion and to the Governor's credit, he finally stood up and said that schools will have to cut to accommodate this change just like private businesses have had to do. At least he is telling it like it is. If you remember earlier in the year the Governor was telling people that schools could just use reserves, which just doesn't and cannot work long term. 

For West Genesee, and as an initial look at the impact of the tax cap, we will have to make reductions in excess of $1M for the 2012-2013 school year. Not as much as the $5.63M that we just cut for the 2011-2012 but substantial when considering that we have already cut 15% of our workforce over the past three years. The rough ride continues and what schools will be able to offer moving forward will be drastically different than what we had available as kids ourselves.

As always, we will fight the good fight and continue to make West Genesee one of the most desirable school districts in the area. Enjoy these warm summer days and I will post again soon!