Monday, June 30, 2014

Out with the Old and In with the New

The Summer Heat: Considering we do not have air conditioning in every building quite yet, I am glad that this really hot weather held off until the end of the school year. As summer school and outdoor summer camps through the Town of Camillus and other organizations begin, be sure to make sure that your children are hydrated, have sunscreen, and know when to "pack it in" if the temperatures are too warm.

If your children are not attending something that is sponsored or officially run by the West Genesee Central School District, take the time to ask what their temperature and relative humidity policies are. We follow very strict guidelines provided by Section III athletics and backed by our school physician. Summertime camps are fun and can be kept that way if everyone exercises common sense!

National Recognition for Communication: I want to thank all of you who take the time to read this blog, follow our Facebook page, and connect with me via Twitter. The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) recently recognized this blog with an award of "Excellence" which is the highest award possible.  Our Facebook and Twitter pages both received a designation of "Honorable Mention".

While I write this blog, there are people behind the scenes who make sure it looks good on every device, is organized properly, and grammar and spelling is checked thoroughly before being published each week. I would like to give special thanks to Bonnie Russell who wears many hats for us, as well as Sharon Seeley and Karen Piccioni in the District Office for their help each week.

For those who have enjoyed the joke of the day on Twitter, I am wrestling with a few different themes for next school year. I didn't realize how many people read the joke first thing in the morning until I posted the last one on Friday and got an overwhelming reaction! The joke that got the most positive reaction over the course of the school year was: "What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta".  My favorite part of posting those jokes was visiting a first grade classroom at East Hill and having a young man tell me that his dad reads my jokes to him every morning. I innocently asked him if he liked the jokes, and he replied "not really".  The truth hurts!

Board of Education Meetings: On Wednesday night we will have what is called our Re-organizational Board of Education Meeting before our regular meeting. At the regular meeting the high school administration presents graduation statistics, passing percentages, advanced designation rates, CTE endorsements, etc. An advanced look at the data shows we did quite well.

I was most interested to see how our students did with the new common core aligned Algebra regents compared to past Algebra regents. We have been doing a lot of work with our internal math institute re-configuring our curriculum to meet the challenges of the new standards. I knew that the state would probably curve the new exam so that the results would be similar to previous years, but in my mind we exceeded that curve, especially in the areas of eighth graders taking the exam as well as our students with disabilities population.  All of our eighth graders (100%), AS WELL AS, all of our students with disabilities in our 1:15:1 program passed.

This tells me that our curricular changes are working as these results are well above the state curve and are unprecedented for West Genesee. We need to work on our mastery (percent of students receiving an 85% or higher) levels and that work will continue over the summer.

If you are interested in the results of our data, please plan to attend the presentation being given on Wednesday night. The presentation will also be uploaded to the Academics section of our website after the meeting. I feel we are in a good position headed into the next school year.

I am going to take next week off from the blog and try to get away for a couple of days before buckling down for the rest of the summer. I hope that you enjoy this warm weather and I will catch up with all of you soon.