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Our “Best of the Blogs” section includes thoughtful insights on school leadership being shared through blogs maintained by AASA members. This representative sampling of five bloggers, through an RSS feed, will change periodically to showcase other member blogs, so check back regularly. If you are aware of others, contact magazine@aasa.org.

  • Giving Thanks

    Notes from the Superintendent|11/24/2014

    Being Thankful: As we head into Thanksgiving week, I would like to thank all of you for your support throughout the past seven years. We would not be where we are as a District without your willingness to be a part of our "Wildcat" family.

    There are a growing number of our community members who are struggling more than ever. If you are aware of someone who needs some help, or a family to celebrate Thanksgiving with, please consider offering a hand.  We don't need to write, tweet, e-mail, or talk loudly about these opportunities; we just need to help those in need. Thank you and enjoy the holiday!

    Swimming Update: Our girls swimming team completed their season over the weekend with impressive performances. Those receiving special recognition were: Olivia Castro who finished sixth in the 100 freestyle and 15th in the 200 freestyle. The 400 medley relay team of Rebecca Kanoza, Kaitlin Dunning, Shannon Cahalan, and Olivia Castro finished 20th. We are very proud of the efforts of the whole team, and we are looking forward to the future. Congratulations!

    Veterans' Tax Exemption: Last week our Board of Education was brought up to speed regarding the Veterans' Tax Exemption that is available to be given by school districts across New York State. The next step for the Board of Education is to hold what is called a Public Hearing to formally discuss their options and receive feedback from the community. That will happen at our next Board Meeting which will be held on December 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Stonehedge Elementary School library. The Board of Education has until March 1, 2015 to ultimately make a decision about which direction they would like to take.

    Advancing to the Next Level: We would like to congratulate the top twelve spellers who will be advancing to the Post Standard Spelling Bee. (Click here to see the article with the names of those students.) Our own District level competition is always so great that whoever advances is definitely skilled enough to win it all. Good luck!

    Fame! JR. at WGMS: West Genesee Middle School students were "on top of the charts" when they offered a joyous performance of Fame! JR., this past weekend. Congratulations to the cast and crew for an inspired performance!

    Other Weekend Events: It was great to see so many West Genesee community members at two events over the weekend. The first place was the annual Jingle Bell Run for the Arthritis Foundation that was held at Onondaga Community College, and the second was the Frozen Dome Classic hockey game that was held at the Carrier Dome on Saturday night. I always tell people that we are the smallest large community that I know. My experience of interacting with so many people outside of our four walls proves that time and time again.

    Congratulations to those being inducted into the National Honor Society this evening and have a great short week filled with family, friends, and... turkey!

    Chris

  • Guest Blog: Purposeful Digital Learning

    Abbotsford School District Blog|11/24/2014

    Principal Brad Hutchinson (Abbotsford Virtual School) challenges us to rethink how we approach learning through technology, and celebrates some of the exciting digital learning initiatives unde

  • Winter Has Set In

    Today Matters|11/19/2014

    And the delay saga continues. Ohio's recently passed legislation requiring at least a minimum number of hours of seat time in the classroom to eliminate the five calamity days previously given by the state for severe weather. Northwest Ohio, as with many other districts across Ohio, is bound to have problems meeting the required hours without making up days after the school year.

    Winter has set in already! Today is another 2 hour delay--but we are grateful that conditions were good enough to hold classes each day this week after the delay. Time will tell how bad this winter will be--perhaps it's an early start with an early spring season to follow! No one would be happier than the school administrators and staff, (and parents and students), who have to battle the uncertainty of whether we are in session or not, and dealing with the worry of traveling safely.

    Thanks to all the bus drivers and the conscientious administrators who make the best decisions they can for the district's students. Today matters.

  • Run Like the Wind

    Notes from the Superintendent|11/17/2014

    Cross Country Runners Compete: "Run like the wind!", they cheered.  "You can do it!", they yelled. "We are proud of you!", they said. All were shouts going out to our cross-country runners competing at the Federation Championship this weekend in Poughkeepsie, New York. The girls team of Carly Benson, Grace Craig, Lindsay Weaver, Elise Dunshee, Kendall Dombroske, Maria Matkoski, and Sarah Ferranti competed and placed 13th. In the individual competitions, Will Randall placed 18th and Carley Benson placed 6th. Nice work and a great way to end the season. Now they can start their winter sports today!

    Musicians Perform at Ithaca College: Over the weekend our Chorale performed at the renovated Ford Hall at Ithaca College where they had a chance to both compose AND perform. There was also a concert for parents in Hockett Hall. There are great acoustics in both halls and when you combine great sound with fantastic performers and conductors (thanks Mr. Alvaro!) special things happen.

    The Board of Education Switches Locations for Meetings: Speaking of special things happening, the Board of Education is going to hold a few meetings this year in different buildings so they can become familiar with the facilities that will undergo changes and improvements through our Capital Project.  This Wednesday, November 19, the Board will hold their meeting at Camillus Middle School in the Large Group Instruction Room. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m., with a tour starting at 6:00 p.m. The meeting on December 5 will be held at Stonehedge Elementary School in the library.

    Veterans Tax Exemption to be Discussed: One of the topics at the Board meeting will be a Study Session regarding the Veterans Tax Exemption. You might remember that last year the Board of Education just did not have enough information from Onondaga County to make an informed decision. We have received a variety of informational and financial pieces of data from Onondaga County that will be shared with our Board members so they can be more informed about the exact impact of the exemption on Veterans and non-Veterans. Because so many media members read this blog, I am quick to point out that the Board of Education is not close to making an actual decision at this meeting; they will simply receive more updated information than they had last school year.

    Thankful to the Emergency Volunteers in our Community: Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks, and I want to give some early thanks to all of our volunteer emergency organizations that cover our District.  Fairmount Fire Department, Camillus Fire Department, Taunton Fire Department, WAVES Ambulance, the Onondaga County Sheriffs, the New York State Police, and the Camillus Police Department. Brave men and women (many who work for free) to keep us safe, provide helpful tips, and are wonderful community partners. One of these amazing people is Camillus Police Officer Mike Schreyer. You can usually find Officer Schreyer at many of our school functions. On Friday night he was in a parking lot in the community saving someone's life. Again, great people and thanks for your service!

    Enjoy the week-

    Chris

  • Guest Blog: The Team Effect

    Abbotsford School District Blog|11/17/2014

    “Use the group to change the group.”  - Micheal Fullan

  • The World Keeps Turning

    Today Matters|11/17/2014

    No matter what we face in life, the world will continue to turn. "New isn't hard, it's just different". I heard this recently from another educator as they described working with a student who was working through an assignment. The student was feeling apprehensive, wanted to get it right, and expected to grasp it immediately, even though it was a new concept and a few steps further into territory he hadn't been in before. Much like the new territory I find myself in as we begin a school treasurer search and almost simultaneously replace the position of superintendent's secretary.

    My concern for the district is that it is a seamless transition, as much as that can be possible. The Vantage staff is excellent, and I am grateful to be surrounded by good people. Staff shouldn't feel apprehensive. New isn't hard--it's just different.

    I'll miss these two individuals immensely. Best wishes to both as they move on to new challenges.


  • Guest Blog: Nature K Taking Root

    Abbotsford School District Blog|11/11/2014

    As we look to expand learning opportunities for children in our district, one of our intentional objectives is to reconnect our students with the natural world.



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