Monday, January 30, 2017

Now What?

National Events Affect our Students: I have written year after year that I am NOT politically affiliated. I vote how I feel in each election (but I ALWAYS vote). Not being a Democrat or a Republican does not mean that I do not care about their policies and practices because they impact me as a person and impact the students and parents that we serve at school.

Case in point. we spend a lot of time educating students about bullying, harassment, mental health, and doing the right thing. At the end of some weeks, and especially in January, we as administrators can be drained from helping students and parents work through highly stressful situations. We normally use the weekend to recharge, and we are right back at it.

As news filtered out about President Trump's new approach to immigration, I saw the protests and anger that followed; I then realized just how much of a melting pot our District is when I heard from English as a second language and English as a new language teachers that some of their students were sad and upset that they may have to leave the country. These are completely documented immigrants and refugees, but I can understand their concerns, and it adds another layer of the support that we will be giving our students.

These students have friends, maybe even your children, so please take an extra pause if they want to have a conversation about what is happening with the election and some of the policy changes that have been coming out of Washington, DC. It is really causing some children a lot of stress.

Students Give Optimistic Speeches: The future of the nation is in good hands. Last week, several of our students participated in the Camillus Optimists Oratorical contest and their speeches were uplifting and very motivating. The students represented themselves, their families, and West Genesee very well, and I am proud of each and every one of them. Click here for a list of participants and other details.

Update on Smartbond Grant: Last April we applied for a grant called a Smartbond that has money available to increase the amount of technology that our students have access to.

We heard from the reviewers last week and it looks like we are going to be approved shortly. This will allow us to purchase about 3,000 pieces of equipment for students to use in the form of iPads, Chromebooks, netbooks, laptops, etc. We have solid equipment now, but this grant will help us to get closer to having a device available for every student. Good stuff!

Thanks for reading, stay warm this week, and I hope to see you at one of our events.