Monday, January 12, 2015

Enjoy Your Surroundings

On the Mend: I am almost fully recovered from my surgery which is great because my wife was patient enough to jog the Creekwalk with me at a snail's pace. The most positive sign was when we got to the head of the lake and saw two white swans swimming in the water. That is the first time we had seen swans on Onondaga Lake. A sign of great things to come.

The Hotel Syracuse: Those who read this blog every week know how much I love our city. This week we were very fortunate to get a tour of the old Hotel Syracuse. There wasn't any heat and electricity was limited, but as soon as I walked into the lobby, I remembered being there as a kid. I was allowed to snap a quick picture of the grand ballroom where many of you might have gotten married or attended a wedding back in the day. I can't wait to see the whole thing completely restored!

Back to School: Delays Already? We had a very positive first week back from break. First, please know that I appreciate your patience during the delay day this week. I fully understand that every decision I make when it comes to closing or delaying school impacts about 10,000 of our residents in one way or the other.  The delays, while a pain sometimes, allow students to be able to get to school and learn something and most of our parents can get to work and earn something. Compared to last year, this has been a cakewalk so far (knocking on wood of course).

Students at WGMS are Scientific: West Genesee Middle School held a great Science Fair. What made it great? No volcanoes and all projects looked like they were actually completed by students with no parent help! Those are the best! This picture features two girls that extracted DNA from fruit and let me know (in a very matter of fact way) that if they had some additional materials they could probably clone something.  Alrighty then! Check out the website later this week for more details.

Musicians in the Spotlight: We were able to host the All County Music Festival, and talk about a full house!  Many of these students are nearly experts at playing their instruments, so it isn't tough to sit and listen to near professional quality music on a Saturday afternoon.

WiFi is Here! Our wireless Internet access has been working at the high school since last Monday and it was interesting to see just a few users (staff and students) taking advantage of it that first day. Then the usage jumped to two hundred on Tuesday, and now as I write this it is over five hundred and climbing. We definitely needed it! Be on the lookout for the Wireless Internet to make its way to the other buildings very soon!

Technology is Now in Our Students Hands: Our technology staff have been working hard to get all our new devices into the hands of students and staff.  As a part of our capital project we are rolling out laptops, Chromebooks, netbook carts, and other handheld devices. Notice I did not mention desktop computers. They are on the way out; as they should be, except for our advanced CAD and design/marketing courses. I am really happy with the progress so far.

Answering Your Questions: Lastly, this Tuesday, January 13 is the date for our annual "Talk with the Superintendent". The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the high school large group instruction (LGI) room. Community members are given a chance to ask me questions and engage in a dialogue. Special thanks to the West Genesee PTA/PTO District Council for sponsoring the event and hope to see you there.

Enjoy the week-