Monday, March 10, 2014

Another Weekend that Felt Like Spring

Weekend Events:  Another weekend that felt more like spring, and I really enjoyed seeing many members of our school community at the Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run on Saturday. Almost 4,000 participated in the annual run on Tipperary Hill and by all accounts, everyone had a blast. I keep trying to improve my running time, but I think everyone else is doing the same! Our very own senior, Jack Erhard, finished 29th. He was probably home taking a nap by the time I crossed the finish line.

A big thank you to our Save Modified Sports community group for holding an exciting 3 on 3 tournament on Saturday. It is always great to have events at school, and the Save Modified Sports group holds events that are well organized, timely, and downright fun.

Budget Presented:  Last week I had an opportunity to present the budget for next year and I really appreciate all of you who attended. If you were not able to attend, we have a great web page that will give you all of the information to keep you informed as we head towards budget vote day on May 20. Just click here.

The budget was presented with wishful thinking that we will receive an additional $825,000 back from New York State before April 1, when the state budget is scheduled to be completed. If we DO NOT receive that additional money, we will need to make $825,000 in budget reductions in order to balance the budget. I will certainly keep you posted if that becomes the case.

Incredible Music: We had two incredible concerts last week. One featured all of our chorus and chorale students in grades 7-12, and the other concert was our annual Festival of Bands. Hundreds of our students were on stage performing perfectly. If you closed your eyes, you would have thought you were at paid concerts in the big city. Simply amazing.

Update on Kindergarten: If you are wondering if our full-day kindergarten experience is working, just take a look at this picture that I took while visiting a kindergarten classroom last week. Look closely at her understanding of math concepts AND her handwriting. If I took a picture of the entire class, you would have seen the same thing. I am excited to see what these students will be doing in their senior year!

Every Move you Make: I always tell people that in my role as superintendent it is safe to assume that everyone is watching my every move; including the students. Being a role model becomes second nature pretty quick in my business. The same goes for people we see on television on a regular basis. Of course, we all have a misstep every now and then.

This picture comes from a youngster who had to answer a question about what he did over February break. He explained that he watched the Duke vs. Syracuse game at his cousin's house. The picture is Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim being escorted out of the arena by the police. I think even coach would get a chuckle!

College Entrance Tests: You will see some press over changes to the SAT that are scheduled to take effect in 2016. Without getting into too much detail, the SAT is making changes to become more like the ACT.  Most colleges accept EITHER the SAT or the ACT for entrance consideration. The ACT has gained market share in recent years over the SAT.

As to whether the SAT will be "easier" than it is today, I am always very careful to exercise caution when responding to this question.  Each of us is wired differently. What some people find easy in life, others find incredibly challenging. I would say that the SAT is going to be "different" than it is today. A quick Google search with the keywords "SAT changes" will get you additional detailed information.

Forum for Funding Reform: “Our Kids, Our Schools…Our Future!” Sponsored by Central New York School Boards Association and OCM BOCES will be held this Wednesday, March 12, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the West Genesee High School Auditorium. At this forum, Dr. Rick Timbs will discuss what is at stake if state leaders do not eradicate the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) and provide adequate, equitable and sustainable funding for our schools.

I can't believe that I am still thinking about the possibility of poor weather, but it looks like Wednesday and Thursday could be tricky. It will be nice to put thoughts of poor weather in my rear view mirror.

Have a great week!