Monday, December 17, 2018

Lessons Can Come from Anywhere

We continue to be going full speed ahead into the long holiday break. Believe me, two full weeks off was something that I was not a fan of. Due to the number of required days of staff and student attendance contractually required, and where in the week Christmas and New Year's Days fell, it called for a two-week break. It will go quickly I am sure, but when you see it on a calendar it looks like an eternity!

Art Comes in Many Forms: I had a pretty cool experience on Saturday night. I attended an art installation located at the Gear Factory on South Geddes Street. If you have been following along in this blog, I had mentioned that our Design and Manufacturing students made skateboard decks that were then given to art and photography students to be creatively decorated. The art installation on Saturday night was to show them off (there were other boards made by adult artists as well). They will be on display at West Genesee in the early spring and then auctioned off, with the proceeds benefiting the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center
(stay tuned for info on that).

As I stood in the building and observed the art, it hit me. I had been in that building almost 48 years ago, as a child in foster care through the Department of Social Services. It is where my mom and dad picked me out, adopted me, and took me home all those years ago. How full circle is that? At any rate, suffice it to say that I will be bidding on a many of these boards when the time comes!

Positivity in Practice: I have struggled to get into the holiday spirit this year, but I ran across a situation during a building visit last week that changed that. Each of our buildings participates in a character program called the Positivity Project and the students learn traits for each along the way. A recent trait was "humility" and second grader Connor Hussong exemplified that.

During lunch last week, he saw a friend choking on his lunch. Connor did not hesitate to get up from his lunch, pat his classmate on the back until the food dislodged, and got him some help. He didn't attract attention to himself or the situation. He saw a situation, helped, and went back to what he was doing. I am very proud of Connor, as was our School Resource Officer, Anthony Gucciardi, who made a special trip to Connor's building to thank him as well. Good things do happen and great lessons can
come from anywhere. Nice job, Connor!

School Bus Safety Pilot: We are going to pilot a program that is so new, it doesn't have a name yet. In an effort to help keep students safe, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office, Camillus Police Department, and the school are working together to help stop people from passing stopped school buses.

Officers will ride on select bus routes.When a car passes the bus while its red lights are flashing, they will radio to a patrol car(s) that will pull the offending cars over and issue tickets. We hope that this will spread the word that passing stopped school buses and putting children in danger is not cool. It will start shortly, and I will report back when I can as to how many cars were stopped.

A Busy Week: If you are looking for something to do, we have several home athletic contests this week (schedules are available from the District, Athletics, and school home webpages). The big "sleigh ride" concert is this Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the high school. It is going to be a very busy but great week!

District Office Building Update: Lastly, we are having some minor work done to the District Office over the break, but it will cause us to close the building and for us to work in other areas of the District. The building will be closed from December 22 through January 6. If you email or call the office, however, we will respond, and it will be business as usual for us through the break.

Thanks and enjoy the week!