Monday, September 28, 2015

Race for Respect!

Race for Respect Means Fall is Here: I am beginning to wonder if all of this nice fall weather is payback for the awful winter we had. Each day seems to be nicer than the last! Certainly the "real" fall will arrive, but it was nice to have a slice of summer greet us for the 17th Annual Race for Respect that was held at the high school yesterday. It was a nice turnout, and I would like to thank all of the event organizers for making the race successful once again. To view a short video of the event, just click here.

Next Weekend Will be Busy: I am hopeful that the weather will hold out at least one more weekend. The largest fundraisers for both the Marching Band and the Athletics programs are going to be held next weekend.

The Tournament of Bands will be held next Saturday, October 3 followed by the Sports Boosters Annual Golf Tournament on Sunday, October 4. We usually "sell out" the turf field for the Tournament of Bands. I look forward to visiting with people from both near and far on Saturday and then playing golf for a good cause with a couple of Board of Education members on Sunday.

Closing Out an Era of the East Hill Playground:  As some of you might remember, part of the Capital Project involves replacing the current wooden castle playground at East Hill Elementary School and replacing it with a more modern and compliant playground called a Playscape. The current playground was built by the hands of many volunteers in the late 1980's under the direction of head volunteers Jane Goot and Mary Anne Clark. Unfortunately, the playground has reached the end of its usable life.

On October 20, at 6:00 p.m. in the East Hill Gymnasium, we will be holding a closing ceremony for the existing playground. We will also get a glimpse of the new Playscape (and basketball court and walking path) that was voted on by current East Hill students.

Part of the ceremony will be to recognize anyone who might have worked on installing the playground. We are also going to dig up and open a time capsule that was placed in the ground when the current playground was officially opened in 1989. There will be a new time capsule placed once we open the new playground.

All are welcome to attend and if you cannot, we will be filming the ceremony and also streaming it on Periscope, the popular social media application.

I have been specifically asked why the current playground needs to be replaced. The short list would include that the current playground is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the wood is treated with a popular chemical from the 1980's that is now banned by the Environmental Protection Agency, the wood is beginning to unsafely sliver, and the wood is bending causing nails and screws to be exposed, along with bees nests. The playground has been recommended to be closed by a third party inspector twice in the past five years.

We have been able to keep it open during the Capital Project because it is slated for replacement. We have, however, had several significant portions of the playground closed for some time.

People are asking if they can purchase or take parts of the existing playground (or the whole thing) before it is demolished in early November. Good question. We are awaiting a legal opinion on that topic due to the chemicals in the treated wood.  If we can, we will accept bids and the highest bidders will be able to come one weekend day (to be determined) to remove their winnings.

Celebrating a Veteran Teacher: Many of you have been asking about services or memorials for our veteran teacher, Jo Ann Macaluso, who passed away recently. A memorial mass is planned at Holy Family Church for this Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

I think we are slated for a couple more nice days of weather, so I hope you can enjoy them. Thank you for your support and have a great week!