Monday, January 23, 2012

We're Going Through Changes

I have often heard people say that they change things just for the sake of change.  Are you kidding me?  Every time we change in the school environment I lose more hair, get mysterious back pains, and lose five pounds. There are a few areas in which we NEED to change as we look forward to next school year, and I have no problem changing, when change is NEEDED.

The first area of change is in our budget. It has been getting smaller over the past couple of years, and along with a shrinking budget has come the reduction of opportunities for students. As we build the 2012-2013 school budget, we will be answering the essential question, "How do we build a budget that falls within the tax cap, does not take away additional opportunities from students, and does not bleed our reserves?"  We will do this carefully and with an eye to what the future of West Genesee will need to look like in this "new normal" of public finance. I am cautiously optimistic that the significant budget reductions we have made over the past two years, our staff wage freeze, and our state aid picture will create a unique blend that will help us to move ahead in a positive direction. Stay tuned.

If you have been a fan of our "SNN" service you will also be a fan of our new website, which will be released to the public on February 11. We have refined how the site is organized so it is Smart Phone friendly and also will operate more easily for people with disabilities. A video component will also be added a few months down the road to receive small videos of concerts, games, presentations...anything really. Thank you to Bonnie Russell who has helped spearhead this movement. You won't be disappointed.

Another necessary change has been to move our Graduation Commencement to Onondaga Community College beginning in 2013. We have had a great history and experience with the Onondaga County War Memorial, but the new arena at Onondaga Community College will allow us to provide free parking for parents, students, and staff, is less expensive as an overall package, and seating can be better organized to meet our needs. I am excited at this new partnership and very appreciative of what the War Memorial provided for us over the years.

I have heard some rumors that we are having an anti-bullying meeting on January 24. This is just a rumor.  We do not have a meeting on the books yet, and our staff and parents are very busy preparing for the Olweus anti-bullying training. Our new anti-bullying policy also needs three readings before becoming a public document. I would anticipate our next meeting being held in March or April.

Please remember that our next redistricting meeting will be held on February 2 at West Genesee Middle School beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Have a great week. I am quite under the weather...again, so I am hopeful that I can turn the corner during the first part of the week and get back in business.