Monday, November 5, 2012

Doing What Is Right

Hurricane Sandy Relief Kits: Well, that was quite a week we had!  It has been a long time since I had to prepare for a possible hurricane. Fortunately, by an absolute sliver, the brunt of the storm missed us but pounded many in the downstate area.  At West Genesee we mobilized quickly trying to figure out what would be the most help to those in immediate need.

Many larger organizations are collecting cash for displaced people, but thanks to Caroline Flaherty, Split Rock Parent Teacher Organization President, Heather Valerino, Camillus Middle School Parent Teacher Organization President, and Todd Freeman, Split Rock Elementary School Principal, a great idea has emerged for our students to contribute. They have collaborated with the other Parent Teacher Organizations and Associations, our other building principals, and student groups at the high school to create emergency kits to be delivered to those in need downstate.

Students at all grade levels are getting fired up to help. As soon as we have a complete list of needs for both adults and children in the hardest hit areas, we will ask our community to help collect the items. Our students can then put these items together as "relief kits" and we can have the kits shipped as soon as possible. We are working to spread requests out among our whole community so that it will feel like you are only adding one more thing to your shopping cart the next time you are at the grocery store. If you are able and willing to help, thank you. Our students are going to learn a great lesson in volunteerism for a very important cause. Let's work statewide for Wildcat Pride.

BOCES Update: Last week I also had the opportunity to tour our local BOCES, where many West Genesee students are attending classes. I was able to visit Special Education settings, Cosmetology, Building Construction and Trades, Medical Technology Labs, the Culinary Institute, the Alternative Education program, and the GED program. I must say that I was very pleased with what I saw.

BOCES provides some outstanding programs for our students, many of whom go on to be very successful in different trades that we rely on today. What I found most fulfilling was their emphasis on reading, writing, and math. In the culinary classroom, for example, I was able to watch two of our students create some desserts for a meeting that was going to be held that night.  The teacher of that class, however, was being held accountable not for how the dessert tasted or looked, but how the student wrote out the directions to make the dessert which includes nutritional information.  I have always been a BOCES supporter, and my visit affirmed my feelings.

Redistricting Transition: Our redistricting transition planning is complete, and you can find all of the documents from the last meeting (that would have been held had the winds and rain completely stayed away!) on the website in the Redistricting section. Building principals will be organizing letters, welcome packets, and agendas in the coming weeks to be sent to families that have children being redistricted in the next school year. Many thanks to those who served on the committee.

Have a wonderful week, and I hope to see many of you at the various events and activities that are happening in our schools.