Monday, September 22, 2014

A Great Weekend in Central New York!

What a great weekend in Central New York!  I had a chance to attend an outdoor wedding on Friday night, followed by being able to wear shorts and a tee shirt to the Syracuse football game, followed by a warm and humid run at the Race for Respect on Sunday. Not too shabby for late September!

16th Annual Race for Respect: Speaking of the Race for Respect, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who attended. Dedicating a part of your day to walk or run at a school function in the spitting rain, humidity, and warmth is very much appreciated.  We are at a crossroads with this event. The race has been run for the past 16 years and was developed as a way to help celebrate what it means to work together in the school community.  Click here to view a brief video of the event.

About five years ago we started the District Culture Fair that takes place in the winter. This event was designed to promote and celebrate our diversity.  The event is not weather dependent, and in recent years we have had up to approximately 2,000 people attend the Culture Fair. While the Race for Respect draws a few hundred.

Neither are designed to make money; they are designed to promote togetherness. We are going to evaluate both events and make some decisions moving forward. Thanks again to all who attended and volunteered!

Open Houses are a Success:  I would also like to thank our parents for their attendance at our Open Houses.  We often have close to 100% attendance at Open Houses, and that is a sure sign that we are all connected and working together.

Open House at the High School last week left me with mixed emotions.  It was the last Open House as a parent and a superintendent, as my youngest is a senior.  It made me think about why we as parents should attend Open House.

As much as it seems like a social hour for us as parents to catch up with our friends and neighbors, it is also an opportunity to:
  • see your child's teachers in action, 
  • see how your child’s personality connects to that of their teachers, 
  • see how the teachers are going to communicate with both our children and us, 
  • what the grading policies are, 
  • how their room is designed and decorated, but 
  • probably the most significant thing you can pick up at Open House is a teacher's desire. 
I have never selected teachers for my children, and while I know who they are because they are my employees, they cannot fake desire.  No one can. I am really happy with our teachers.  I see enthusiasm, creativity, and a general sense of caring for our children and for what it means at West Genesee.

If you are one of the few thinking twice about attending Open Houses, please attend.  I guarantee it will be worth the traffic, late dinner, and your time! Also, you will establish communication with your child’s teachers and principal, and you never know when you will need each other.

Enjoy the week!