Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Determination, Different Approaches, and Drive

End of Summer/Beginning of the School Year: Well, the diet begins today. I got plenty of exercise over the summer, but Syracuse favorites like Byrne Dairy, Gianelli Sausage, and Hoffman hot dogs at the New York State Fair have made more fruits and vegetables an absolute must! It was well worth it. I only went to the Fair five times, which is a little low for me, but I did get to see some great live music from my favorite local blues band Dr. Kildean, Culture Club, the Charlie Daniel's Band, ZZ-Top, and Chicago. It is a good thing I know all of the short cuts to the parking lots, and I am already looking forward to next year!

Speaking of next year, it is here! The 2016-2017 school year has begun, and with it comes smiling faces from students and staff, school buses on the road, and new goals for the year.

The Three D's: At opening day for our employees last week I emphasized that we are going to continue to improve our high school completer rate (currently 93%, NYS average 78%) through the "three D's; determination, different approaches, and drive." Determination and drive are pretty self-explanatory.

After assessing all of the resources that we provide students and families, we have determined that we need to take a different approach regarding student attendance. We have excellent average daily attendance in all of our buildings, but a high school completer rate of 93% means that sixteen students, give or take, are not getting across the stage by the time they are seniors.We discovered that many of the students who did not complete high school over the years had poor daily attendance, came in late or left early on a regular basis, or were truant.

We need to get ALL students to school every day so they have the best opportunity to learn and to find success. If you have children in our schools you can help us by making sure that they get to school, unless there is a legitimate reason for them not to be there. We would like to raise the completer rate roughly two percentage points per year until we get into that 97%-100% range. It will take all of us to get there, and I appreciate your continued help and support from home.

Looking Forward: I am keeping this blog short this week so you can concentrate on getting the school year started at home. Thanks for calling the West Genesee Central School District your home, and I am looking forward to greeting you at our open houses and curriculum nights. Please feel free to explore all of the Capital Project updates when you are in the buildings!

Thanks and enjoy the week-