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Superintendent Newsletter

August 2016

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome back to the start of another school year! I hope everyone is well-rested after an enjoyable summer and ready to engage our students in learning. I am confident that we will work collaboratively in 2016-17 as we continue to pave the way in innovative educational efforts and prepare all of our students to be truly college- and career-ready.

Joining us this year are some new faces. As of the date of this letter these include:

  • Michael Hurteau - Physical Education Teacher: Middle School
  •  Catherine Pray - Administrative Assistant: Jefferson
  •  Susan Bird - Teaching Assistant: Jefferson

We welcome and congratulate them all on becoming members of our teaching staff and school community!
We also congratulate former HS cook Renee Heller, who was promoted to Director of Food Services over the summer!

Throughout the summer, many educators have been involved in a variety of workshops to improve student learning as well as their own professional growth. Together, this year, we’ll continue the implementation of the district’s five-year strategic plan, Schalmont Advance 2018. We have actually accomplished the majority of action steps outlined within the plan to date but still have work to do in the area of Goal #1: Accelerating the Academic Achievement of all students.

During the first two days of school for teachers and staff, there will be time provided for you to work with colleagues to sort through state assessment results and other data points in order to plan as teams going forward. Our focus continues to be how we can get better at getting better! It’s more important than ever to work collaboratively as educators toward the common outcome of improved student achievement.

Once again, we will be moving forward with technology both in and out of the classroom. We’ve been preparing to introduce another class of freshmen to our one-to-one Chromebook initiative. Of course we are excited to delve deeper into our Schoology implementation as well as year two of our technology plan district wide. Parents and students at the secondary level are really looking forward to receiving real-time information related to their individual class performance.

Our summer crew has been hard at work to make the schools and grounds look fabulous! We have been busy working to determine the scope of a facilities plan to put forth for a public bond vote in November 2016. For now, we have secured the lease of a facility located on Mariaville Road to house our school buses come this fall. It’s a large blue building that you can see from the NYS Thruway. We hope to move our buses there by October 2016. We finally sold Mariaville School and are in the process of selling Schonowe School. Our land purchase was finalized, and the solar company is working on installation of the solar field near the HS tennis courts that will also serve as our second form of egress off the MS/HS campus.

We had the safety team update our building and district safety plans to align with new guidelines and regulations from NYS. These will be shared with you on opening day when you will receive training in all procedures.

It’s definitely feeling like back-to-school time: orientations are happening, practices are in full swing, adults are returning the schools, and hallways and classrooms are starting to fill back up with color as rooms are being readied for students.

Attached you will find the agenda for September 6th and 7th. I look forward to being re-united as a school community soon with all staff and students. I hope you all enjoy the remaining days of summer-see you soon!

Dr. Carol A. Pallas, Superintendent