Monday, February 6, 2017

A Busy Weekend...

How we are Viewed by Others: My wife and I have been traveling and getting out more since we have had an empty nest, and we recently befriended three Australians who are in Syracuse to take courses on radar systems at Lockheed Martin. When we asked what they had done to learn about Syracuse, they mentioned going to The Dinosaur BBQ, Destiny USA, and a Syracuse University (SU) basketball game.

All three have been in the Australian Air Force, and the one thing they said they were jealous of was how much pride we take in our National Anthem. They observed that at the SU game, and they wished that people in their homeland stood at attention with such pride before their Cricket matches!

During our conversations, they said that they had heard about this big game in the United States called the "Super Bowl", so we invited them to our place to watch last night. They were amazed by the game, the halftime show, and the commercials. They have to fly back home later today, but I hope we reconnect the next time they come here.

District Strategy Around Bullying: Over the past nine years that I have been here, we have worked really hard as a District and community to curb bullying, both in person and online. We have been making tremendous headway, but recently, we have seen a small spike in behavior that may not be bullying or harassment by definition (click here to read the rules we need to follow), but it is certainly mean, and needs to stop. It is happening at all levels, and even one instance is too many.

My hope is that we are just dealing with the weather, but my hunch is that more and more moms and dads are stressed about things at home, work, and paying the bills. Children pick up on those feelings and get stressed themselves. They aren't quite able to handle those feelings like we can as adults, so they make a mean comment, push someone on the playground, or send a nasty message on social media. These situations are not as common as many may think, but they absolutely happen, and need to be dealt with.

This recent increase will pass, but we as a District need to continue to recognize changes in our community, and work to teach students coping skills, how to be held accountable, and how to channel emotions differently. Presently, we use a combination of character education, the CODE program (Community Oriented Drug Education) in partnership with the Camillus Police, Dignity for All Students Training, assemblies, and plain old-fashioned relationship building. At the same time we have more mental health support than ever before, have rearranged our relationship with the Camillus Police to make our School Resource Office more visible in a positive way, and have been working with service agencies to help parents find support at home.

We are a District built on the highest of standards, and in order for those standards to be met, we need to continue to work together. You can help us at home by knowing if your child has a social media presence and if they do, what they are posting to each other. If you have a younger child who comes home to tell you what happened at school, call or contact someone at the school and let them work with you to get both sides of the story, and find a solution. If there is a situation that needs to be brought to our attention please do so, or fill out this online form by clicking here.

Not every situation resolves itself to the satisfaction of a parent, and sometimes those parents take to social media to express their displeasure. Some of those posts are factual, and many are not. If you ever want clarification about something, please contact me. Remember, I was born and raised here, have tremendous pride in what we do, and treat the District and everyone in it like my extended family. We include every possible angle and resource to solve problems.

At the same time, our students have outdone themselves with volunteer work, raising money for local charities, sick children, and their attendance at events and morale building activities has been through the roof. There are great projects going on in classrooms and our class of 2030 is rapidly taking shape! A quick run through my Twitter and other school twitter feeds along with our District Facebook page shows treasure after treasure of the cool things that are happening!

Athletics Update: Congratulations to our girls' hockey team (combined with Skaneateles High School) for remaining undefeated and becoming Section III Champions.

Congratulations also to our indoor track 4X400 Relay Team of Kendall Dombroske, Lauren Ferris, Kelsey Fox, and Carly Benson who are league champions with the best time in Section III. Also to Meg Delia who is the league champion in the 300 meter race.

Be on the lookout for upcoming sports schedules and check out an event. We are making noise in the section and state in nearly all of our winter sports!

Mary Poppins! is Landing at the High School: West Genesee High School students will present the musical Mary Poppins!, at the high school auditorium. Shows are Thursday, February 9 and Friday, February 10, at 7:00 p.m., with 2 shows Saturday, February 11, at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance at or at the door. All seats are reserved and are $12. You can also call the Ticket Call Center at 1-800-514-3849, extension 4. Tickets can be purchased at the door. All seats are reserved.

There is a real energy surrounding this show so you should check it out if you can. Click here to read a full article about the musical and access cast and crew lists.

Don't forget to start dialing the area code 315 before your phone calls starting on February 7! Thanks and enjoy the week!