Monday, February 4, 2013

Lake Effect

Snow: Well some lake effect snow finally dipped south enough to cause some problems in our District. Our District is approximately 90 square miles, stretching from the thruway to Seneca Turnpike from north to south, and from Solvay to Marcellus from east to west. Normally lake effect stays north of the thruway, and we do not have to contend with it. On Friday, the snow unfortunately decided to dip south of the thruway and blanket about 60 of our 90 square miles.  

I have to commend our Director of Transportation for being in the northernmost portion of the District at the right time on Friday morning (I live in the southernmost portion of the District). I looked outside and even reached out to plow drivers and employees in my "quadrant" and all reports were looking good. Mr. Williams informed me that there was heavy lake effect heading our way from the thruway at a fairly fast pace. 

We delayed and the snow came and sat in the District. We closed, and I was thankful that we did. The snow did not move out of the heart of our District until almost 11:00 a.m. and then came back to visit right around our normal dismissal time. I went home for the day around 5:00 p.m. and the sun was setting and the sky was clear. Crazy for sure; but that is lake effect.

Weekend Events: As you might imagine, all of our Friday events had to be rescheduled for Saturday or beyond. This made for a busy Saturday around the District.  If you passed the high school between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., you saw that it was absolutely packed. The cheerleaders had their annual "Sweetheart Classic" Tournament that drew nearly 50 schools. 

Our musical performers were conducting a "double-full" rehearsal of their musical, Jekyll and Hyde, that opens this Thursday evening. I have to applaud all of our custodians and grounds crews for having parking  lots, sidewalks, and buildings cleared and ready for so many people. Thank you.

Across the street at Stonehedge Elementary and down the road at Onondaga Road Elementary were Enrichment Days.  I have included a picture of some elementary students practicing color guard moves at Stonehedge.  It reminds me why I chuckle when people tell me that I am lucky that our Marching Band wins so many championships. I am not sure who said it long ago, but the more you practice the "luckier" you get.

Spelling Bee: Also a HUGE congratulations to West Genesee Middle School eighth grader Brennan Costello who finished as runner-up in the Post Standard Central New York Spelling Bee. She lasted 19 rounds, which is amazing.  The eventual winner, Maja Cannavo from Manlius Pebble Hill School will move on to Washington D.C. for the National Spelling Bee.  Congratulations and who needs spellchecker or auto-correct anyway?

Strategic Planning: This week is our Strategic Planning process.  What comes out of our planning process will dictate the direction the District will head academically during the 2013-2014 school year. I am excited to work with students, community members, staff, and Board of Education members on such an important plan document.

Budget Planning: We are also working to create our budget document for the 2013-2014 school year.  It is coming together well, and I expect any resulting tax levy to be well under the tax cap calculated for West Genesee.  I also expect that we will not need to make budget related cuts either. This will be the first time in three years that I am able to say this, and I am very appreciative of all of the support we have received from every area of our school community in order to be in this position today.

Have a great week and I am hoping to see you at some of the many events that we have happening in and around the District.