Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Keeping Busy

This summer has been anything but boring. Both days of the John Pepper Lacrosse tournament went very well, summer school is nearing completion, and the Marching Band is headed into their yearly "band camp".  We have also had the excitement of paving on West Genesee Street that has caused a few hiccups, but as I watch the finished product take shape, I think it will be worth the few inconveniences we have had.

Assessment Results: On Wednesday the New York State Education Department will release the Grades 3-8 Assessments results. In a letter from the Commissioner (click here), he clearly states that results will be markedly lower statewide and that a new baseline is being created. We will take a very close look at our data and make sure that it is accurate and make improvements as needed. These results will also bring up the questions again about standardized testing and where they belong in K-12 education.

With this being the second year of the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards along with the second year of the related standardized testing, we will be watching intently to see if any of the state level mistakes will be corrected. If not, we will be taking some steps as a District to suggest an alternate path to measuring student effectiveness. I believe that this second year is important because sometimes initiatives take longer than a year to mature and this particular testing initiative has some pretty clear paths to take in order to be corrected. We will see.

Supply Drive: On August 24 our PTA/PTO District Council will hold another school supply drive.This has been very successful in the past and has helped many families in need. You can find information about this event by clicking here and as always, thank you for your support.

Community Reading Project: As we start the school year, I would like to let you know that one of our high school English teachers, Mr. Keith Newvine, is initiating a community reading project called "One Book, One Town, Everyone Reads". He has selected a book called Petey by Ben Mikaelsen.

This book is about a child who cannot advocate for himself as his disability prevents him from doing so. Another student befriends him and helps him to have a voice with other students. It is an inspirational book and fits right in with our anti-bullying theme of "no more standing by". Click here for a flyer about the book which is at a reading level that is appropriate for nearly all grade levels. The author of the book will come to West Genesee in February to continue our discussion. We hope that you will help us to support this community initiative.

Enjoy the rest of the week!