Monday, December 5, 2011

White Lights, Big City

It was great to run into so many of you yesterday as I was going to almost every store in Camillus to find five boxes of white Christmas lights. Of course I had five strings of said lights in a box in the basement that worked perfectly last year, but then did not work when we tried to plug them in this year. Must have been gremlins. Anyway, I did find the lights at the last store I checked (of course) but thank you for being concerned! Decorating resumed and all was well by sundown.

I would like to thank all of the staff and students involved in decorating for and attending the winter semi-formal at the high school over the weekend. The decorations were fantastic (New York City theme), and as I walked down the hallway to the gym I thought I was walking along Fifth Avenue. Inside the gym were approximately 800 students, a DJ spinning tunes (probably playing them from an iPod, but spinning sounds cooler), and the New York City skyline. Very well done and an excellent time was had by all.

We are heading towards the new year which means budget planning (which I will discuss in a future blog) and Strategic Planning. If you are fortunate enough to have a job and your employer actually has a plan that they follow, then you know what it is like to work at West Genesee. We take our strategic planning very seriously with the initiatives and goals that wind up making their way into the plan are completed and are provided resources. It genuinely is our guiding document, and we will begin creating our new document right after the new year.

Our redistricting study is moving right along and our community focus group is coming together. The first official committee meeting will be held on January 5, at 6:00 p.m. in the Stonehedge Library. Members of the public are welcome to attend and will be given a chance to speak at the end of the meeting.

If you are looking for things to do. be sure to check out our website at and check the District events calendar. The main events calendar has academic and fine art curricular events; and our athletic calender has all of our sporting events. All of the winter sports teams so far have had strong starts with the boys basketball team tipping off their season this Friday night at Fowler.

Lastly, and most importantly, I would like to address how we are handling all of the recent news related to the sexual abuse of children. While all of our staff are trained to spot and report abuse, there are times when we all go into a heightened awareness for signs of abuse. This is one of these times. When events like we have been reading and watching about unfold, conversations about the events naturally make their way onto buses, into hallways, cafeterias, locker-rooms, and classrooms.

Penn State and Bernie Fine are not topics included in the New York State Curriculum, so we do not teach or really even weigh in about what we think. We do however become very active listeners in case conversations that students are having turn into conversations that might require the help of counselors or building administrators. You should also listen at home to what your children are saying in the event that these events stimulate them to discuss experiences that they may have had.  I wish we DID NOT have to think about or discuss such things, but unfortunately we do and we are ready and equipped to help.

Have a great week!