Friday, February 14, 2014

Mid-Winter Break Message

National Letter of Intent Signing: This week sure has been busy! Earlier in the week we held our first ever National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Eight of our athletes who will be attending Division I or II colleges and universities met in the high school library to ceremoniously "sign" their intention letters. Mike Burns, our Athletic Director, did a wonderful job focusing on the academic goals of the student athletes as well as how their athletic accomplishments helped to open doors for them. 

Some interesting statistics were provided. First, the cumulative current grade point average of the athletes is 91%. Not shabby at all. Secondly, if each of the athletes stays in school for the next four years, they will receive scholarship money in excess of $1.6M. Congratulations to our student athletes and their families!

Veteran's Tax Exemption Update: At our Board of Education meeting, the Board decided that AT THIS TIME they are not going to approve the "Veteran's Tax Exemption" that all schools in New York State have the ability to adopt. Their decision has everything to do with a lack of information and NOTHING to do with wanting to disrespect the 1,688 veterans living in our District.

The potential tax impact on non-veterans "could" reach $70 per $100,000 assessed value on top of the regular yearly impact of the school budget, which has been between $11 and $14 per $100,000 of assessed value since I have been the superintendent. I emphasized the word could because Onondaga county currently lacks the software to provide exact values and impact. Once the county is able to provide our Board with accurate information, the Board will revisit the topic.

Glitch in Communication Service: Our school news notifier service, "SNN", is not working properly and it is very  irritating. This morning we had a two-hour delay and my normal notification stream is to put the notification on my Twitter account, then send staff an e-mail, continue with an update through SNN, Facebook, Parentlink phone app, the website, and then to the television and radio. This whole process takes about four to six minutes.

Our community has come to rely on my Twitter feed and our SNN service more than the other communication methods, and the SNN service has lagged behind miserably lately. If the company that provides the service cannot correct this, we will be shopping for a new service. Thank you for your patience. Going forward, if the day looks to be challenging when you wake up, please check out other notification methods, as well as SNN, until we can get this issue resolved.

Upcoming Events: There are a lot of sectional and state events coming up beginning tonight right through the end of break week. Our website will have the most up-to-date schedule.

Enjoy the break and I will write again at the end of next week.