Friday, September 6, 2013

Great First Week!

Great Opening Week: Watching a Kindergarten student step off of the bus for the first time is just like watching an astronaut step onto the moon for the first time. In that first step you can see excitement, nerves, and hesitation all at the same time. I watched one of our youngsters step off of the bus and lean backwards from the weight of his backpack meeting gravity! I have no idea what he possibly could have had in there on the first day of school. Algebra and Chemistry books come a little later in the game.

I would like to thank everyone for a wonderful opening week. Parents, students, and staff were patient, upbeat, and positive as we worked through some of the usual growing pains of starting a new school year. Transportation is settling down as drivers know who they are picking up, where they go, and the best ways to complete their bus runs. This will get even more refined in the coming week.

Girls Lacrosse Coach is Recognized: Congratulations goes out to Bob Elmer who is a teacher at the high school and our Girls Varsity Lacrosse Coach. He is being inducted into the US Lacrosse (Upstate, NY Chapter) Hall of Fame on October 20. Mr. Elmer has been the lacrosse coach since 2000 and has won 12 League titles, 9 Section III Championships, and 6 New York State Championships. He has also had the privilege to coach a total of 26 All-Americans, and counting. We are very proud of Mr. Elmer and would ask you to congratulate him if you see him.

We Have an App for That: Have you downloaded our app yet? To date approximately 1,400 parents and students are using the app. You can check schedules, grades, lunch account balances, sports scores, events calendars, and much more. For more information about the app and how to download it, click here.

Progress We Have Made: If you have been following our progress since my arrival in 2008, you know that we have worked successfully through some pretty challenging times. We had to lay off staff, freeze wages, change offerings, and share services in order to weather the economic storm that we were faced with. With your support we were able to navigate that difficult time and we have stabilized and are working in a positive direction once again. We went from hiring four people in 2010, to 82 people this school year. We have kept our taxes well below the "tax cap" for West Genesee, and we have continued to find academic, fine art, and athletic success.

Capital Project is Next: Since our resources were previously limited, the next phase of our plan is to work through a Capital Project that will take care of some of our needs and provide for future considerations.   This link will take you to a very brief presentation about the highlights of the project we are proposing. I am also going to dedicate a blog to the project where I will explain each category (security, technology, repair, energy efficiency, general maintenance, and reserve funding) in much more detail.  I will release that next week so that everyone has all of the facts and details as we lead up to a project vote on November 12. I will also outline dates when I will present the project in person and answer any questions.

I am out of town this weekend, so best of luck to our sports teams and Marching Band as they head into their first games and competitions!  I will be checking the app and Twitter (@cbrownwgcsd) for updates!