Monday, May 3, 2021

Leadership

Hi, Team Remote Families! This weeks' Positivity Project character strength is Leadership. This strength means that you value each member of your group and inspire people to do their best. Leadership can be both formal and informal. It is concerned with getting others to do what needs to be done while maintaining group morale to ensure readiness to act in the future. This character strength’s focus is on the personal qualities of leaders, rather than the practice of leadership. These qualities include the ability to understand others and inspire them toward a common goal, the capacity to mitigate conflict and mold consensus, and the desire to lead other people. You can read more about Leadership here. In this week's video example, author Jim Collins shares the "X Factor" of great leadership.


District Updates



Teacher Appreciation Week
The first full week in May marks Teacher Appreciation Week! Please join me in honoring our teachers. In a school year unlike any other, they have worked tirelessly to learn new pedagogies and instructional technology tools to make remote and hybrid teaching and learning as impactful as possible for our students. I could not be more proud of their effort! Thank You, Teachers! 



WGMS Student Council Virtual Talent Show
The WGMS Student Council Virtual Talent Show is here! If 5th and 6th graders are interested in participating, please review the linked files below. Auditions must be submitted the week of May 3rd through May 7th.

WGHS Mental Health Night for Teens and their Parents
Please join West Genesee Central School District and Onondaga Free Library online on Tuesday, May 4, at 7:00 p.m. for a webinar on Help & Hope for School and Pandemic Stresses: Sharing Stories and Strategies. Teens and parents are invited to learn about the warning signs of mental health conditions as well as what steps they should take to find support for themselves or their friends. Presented by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Syracuse. NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization. NAMI provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. For more information, visit https://namisyracuse.org/. Please submit questions ahead of time by Monday, May 3, at 3:00 p.m. to gmallore@westgenesee.org. Questions can also be submitted through the Q&A feature during the discussion and will be answered as time permits. Click here for the details for registering/sending an RSVP to receive the link to the event. Space is limited by Zoom and an RSVP is required by May 4 at 5:00 p.m.

WGHS Upcoming Senior Events

Friday, May 7th: Cap and Gown Day
  • In-person Seniors will attend their first period class for attendance and will be dismissed at 8:00 AM.
  • Remote Seniors who plan on picking up their cap and gown can arrive at WGHS prior to 7:40 AM and report to Cafeteria I for attendance. 
  • PTSA and Senior Class will treat the students to Glazed and Confused donuts
  • Seniors will receive their caps and gowns before they are dismissed by 10:00 AM.
  • Contact Jostens with questions about your order: 315-656-5152/larry.dewitt@jostens.com
  • Click here for more information about all upcoming Senior Events.

Snow Days in May and June?!

Every now and again, Old Man Winter goes relatively easy on Central New York. This school year is one of those years! If we have no additional emergency closing days, our “give back” days will be Friday, May 28 and Tuesday, June 1. If we have an emergency closing between now and then, June 1 will be reinstated as a regular school day, followed by May 28 if we have a second emergency closing.

Be sure to check out the various Principal blogs (links on the right of this page) for building-specific information.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Purpose

Hi, Team Remote Families! This week's Positivity Project character strength is Purpose. This strength gives individuals the sense that they are connected with humanity or the universe. People who possess a sense of purpose believe that they were put on earth for a reason. That reason can have all kinds of variety. It could be to create a unique invention, to bring joy through art or music, or to raise their children to become good people. These people have a true calling. Read more about Purpose here

This week’s example is Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. A native of Pakistan’s Swat Valley, she bravely stood up against the Taliban —and survived their vicious attack — for girls’ right to education. Her fight for children’s education worldwide exemplifies her sense of purpose. 



District Updates


Spirit Week
Reminder: This week is Spirit Week!
  • Monday: Hat/Sports Day
  • Tuesday: Beach Day
  • Wednesday: Wildcat Wednesday--Wear Your Blue And Gold!
  • Thursday: Tie Dye Dat
  • Friday: Pajama Day
Thank you WG PTA/PTO District Council!


WGMS

Starting Monday, April 26th, WGMS will welcome back hybrid students to 5 days of in-person instruction per week. Please note that our fully remote students will continue to learn remotely.

CMS
Starting Monday, April 26th, CMS will welcome back hybrid students to 4 days of in-person instruction. Please note that our fully remote students will continue to learn remotely.

WGHS

End-of-Year Dates
  • The last day of classes for Juniors and Seniors is Friday, June 11th (Note: the "Senior Walk" is scheduled for Friday, 6/11, so the last day of classes for Seniors is actually 6/10). 
  • The last day of classes for Freshmen and Sophomores is Tuesday, June 15th.
Important Senior Dates
Note: All senior events are subject to change in response to state and county health and safety guidelines
  • Friday, May 7: Cap and Gown Day (Glazed and Confused Donuts & Cap/Gown Pick Up)
  • Monday, May 24: WGHS Honors and Awards Night
  • Friday, June 4 (Rain Date Saturday, June 5): Senior Ball Under the Stars (& Mock Crash)
  • Thursday, June 10: Last Day of Classes for Seniors
  • Friday, June 11: Senior Walk Day (Chalk the Walk, Senior Video, and Senior Walk Through at Elementary Schools)
  • Friday, June 11 (Rain Date Saturday, June 12): Senior Celebration (replaces After Ball Party)
  • Wednesday, June 16: Graduation Rehearsal
  • Saturday, June 19 (Rain Date Sunday, June 20): Graduation
REMIND App: First, to stay informed, your Senior should join the class on the Remind App. Remind is VITAL for your Senior to receive class information and announcements. The app is free and can be used on cell phones or on PCs through the app itself or by receiving text messages or emails. Students in the following alphabet groups by last name must text the corresponding code to 81010:
  • A – G @wghsclass
  • H-O @wghsclasso
  • P-Z @7caegd
We also have a:
Twitter Page: @senateclass2021 and an
Instagram page: @wgseniors2021

Be sure to check out the various Principal blogs (links on the right of this page) for building-specific information.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence

 Hi, Team Remote Families! This week's Positivity Project character strength is Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence. This is the ability to identify and enjoy that which is admirable in the world. There are three types of goodness in which positive psychology focuses: physical beauty (e.g. a sunset, song, or building); an exceptional skill or talent; and moral goodness (e.g. a character strength). Appreciation of beauty can generate awe; appreciation of a skill can generate admiration; and appreciation of moral goodness can generate moral elevation. All of these feelings (awe, admiration, and moral elevation) help us forget ourselves and find increased joy and meaning in the world. Read more about Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence here

As an example, the video below depicts the "overview effect" that astronauts describe--and their intense feeling of awe. The video is about 20 minutes but it is well worth the time to view.


Ramadan


Ramadan Mubarak! That means “Happy Ramadan” to our Muslim community members. This year, Ramadan begins in the evening of Tuesday, April 13, and ends in the evening on Wednesday, May 12. Ramadan concludes with Eid Al-Fitr, the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.”

If you’d like more information about Ramadan, what it means to our Muslim community members, and how to support students who will be celebrating Ramadan, please click HERE for a write-up from West Genesee High School Senior Sereen Awawda.

Spring Has Sprung!


Reminder: Lowe's Spring Fest promotion continues throughout April.
  • Registration on Lowe's Website
  • April 22: 500,000 tree saplings given out in honor of Earth Day.
  • April 29: Lowe’s Butterfly Quest which helps families create a butterfly garden.


Check out the smile on Remote 2nd Grader McKenna Ramsey's face as she shares a picture of her Lowe's free Garden-to-Go kit! 










Andrew Sorochak and his family also went to Lowe’s, and this time got a piñata filled w mystery seeds! He has to break it open to find out what the seeds are.

District Updates


Spirit Week: April 26 - 30
Next week is Spirit Week! The flier pictured below shows what students should wear each day should they choose to participate. 



6th Grade Family and Consumer Science Classes 
Wednesday, April 21st, marks the last day of FACS classes for remote 6th graders. FACS is a 10-week course and our remote students have fulfilled their FACS requirements. Students are welcome to continue to access Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Boswell, and Ms. Tomi's FACS website for resources. 

NYS ELA and Math Assessments
Fully Remote students are NOT required to sit for the annual NYS ELA and Math Assessments this year. However, if you would like your child to "opt-in" to sit for the exams, you can contact your child's building principal.

NYS ELA and Math Assessments for Grades 3 - 4
The information below is from East Hill Principal Craig's blog:
Our third and fourth graders will take the New York State English Language Arts Assessment next Wednesday, April 21st, and the NYS Math Assessment on Tuesday, May 4th. The test is only one session this year and should take no more than one hour. The tests, administered on the computer, will be given to only in-person students (not remote). Like every other day, please make sure your child comes to school well rested, well fed, and on time. Our fourth graders will also take the multiple choice portion of the NYS Science Assessment on Monday, June 7th.

NYS ELA and Math Assessments for Grades 5 - 6 
The information below is from WGMS Principal Dunhan's blog: 
The New York State Assessments in ELA and Mathematics for grades 5 and 6 will be given in one session and consist of only multiple choice questions. The assessments are computer-based and will be administered in your child’s regular homeroom class. Any student who is not taking the assessment should still attend school and will be able to read during the administration of the assessment. Fully remote students will not be taking the assessments unless parents choose to send their students into the building on the day of the assessments. Please mark your calendars for the assessment dates:
  • April 20th (Tuesday): ELA, MON/TUE Group A
  • April 23rd (Friday): ELA, THU/FRI Group B
  • May 5th (Wednesday): Math, All Students

NYS ELA and Math Assessments for Grades 7 - 8
The information below is from CMS Principal Lozier's blog:
The New York State Assessments in ELA and Mathematics for grades 7 and 8 will be given in one session and will consist of 50 multiple choice questions. The assessments are computer-based and will be administered in your child’s regularly scheduled ELA and Mathematics classes. The science assessment is for grade 8 only and is administered in a booklet format. It will be given in your child’s science class. Please mark your calendars for the dates: 
  • April 19th (Monday): ELA, Mon/Tues Cohort
  • April 22nd (Thursday): ELA, Thur/Fri Cohort
  • May 4th (Tuesday): Math, All Students
  • June 8th (Tuesday): Science, Grade 8 Only

NYS Regents Exams
The information below is from WGHS Principal Ackle's blog:
New York State's waiver request was denied by the US Department of Education. We will be offering the following four New York State Regents Exams: English Language Arts(ELA), Living Environment(LE), Earth Science(ES), and Algebra 1. The dates for these exams are as follows:
  • ELA- Thursday, June 17
  • LE- Tuesday, June 22
  • Algebra 1- Wednesday, June 23
  • ES-Thursday, June 24
We will administer the NYS Regents Exams during the morning sessions.

Below is some further information relating to this year's NYS Regents Exams:
  • We are obligated to offer the exams. If your child has a cumulative 4 quarter passing average and is mathematically able to receive course credit, they do not have to sit for the exam and will receive both course and regents credit. Again, that's IF they are passing the class.
  • For classes that have regents exams that are not listed above, (i.e. Chemistry, Physics Global History, US History, Geometry, Algebra 2) again, if your child is passing the class, they will automatically obtain the Regents/graduation credit without having to take the exam as long as they have a 4 quarter passing average.
  • What happens if my child does not pass a class this year? The student would then attend summer school or some other type of remedial program such as Grad Point. If they satisfactorily pass the course in summer school, they would then be awarded course credit and regents credit (if the course ends in a regents exam). If they do not attend summer school to make up a failed course, they would have to retake it next year AND take the Regents Exam connected with the class in June 2022.

Be sure to check out the various Principal blogs (links on the right of this page) for building-specific information.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Fairness

Hi, Team Remote Families! This week's Positivity Project character strength is Fairness. Fairness means that you believe that all people have value. You approach situations with an unbiased mindset and treat everyone with respect. However, fairness is complex and personal. The Positivity Project highlights how we can look at fairness from one of two perspectives: the justice-reasoning approach, which uses logic and determines right from wrong through ethics, or the care-reasoning approach, which is based around empathy and the willingness to understand the needs, interests, and well-being of others. Read more about Fairness here. Check out the video below as professional tennis player Jack Sock tells his opponent, Lleyton Hewitt, to challenge a point in a great display of sportsmanship in the spirit of fairness.




In-Person Parameters Are Changing...What Does That Mean For Remote?


Now that social distancing guidelines are changing, our in-person modalities are able to accommodate more students in the classroom for more days per week. As you may know, students in grades K-4 are able to attend school in person five days per week as they have done all year. Hybrid students at WGMS will return to school five days per week starting on Monday, April 26th. At CMS, hybrid students will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesdays will continue to be used for Office Hours and planning time for teachers. At WGHS, hybrid students have already begun attending classes on alternating Wednesdays. You might think that following the lead of our in-person counterparts would be a logical next step for Team Remote, but it wouldn't be as simple as it sounds, nor would it necessarily be advantageous for students. 

Asynchronous Learning Trends
Some might consider the scheduled asynchronous learning days as "off" days, but I would like to invite you to think of those days in a different light. Asynchronous learning, while challenging for learners of any age, offers an opportunity to develop skills like resilience and perseverance, as well as dispositions like student agency, which are crucial for future college and career success. Throughout the 21st century, there has been a steady increase in distance learning (i.e. asynchronous) opportunities for students enrolled in post-secondary degree programs. According to a 2018 study from the Babson Survey Research Group, distance education enrollments have been increasing for nearly two decades, with about one in every three students enrolled in at least one online course. 

Based on my teaching experience at Onondaga Community College, I can attest to the fact a teacher's pedagogy will vary based on whether a course is taught face-to-face or is delivered entirely online. For example, I teach Western Civilization courses in both face-to-face and online formats. While the pacing may vary, both formats convey the same content and measure student learning using the same assessments. I would argue that the online version of my course fosters greater student participation as I expect to hear from 100% of the students for every activity whereas students in a face-to-face setting may be more passive during class. At the primary and secondary levels, I am confident that teachers will continue to integrate elements of asynchronous pedagogy into their repertoire in the years to come as they have learned to leverage instructional technology in meaningful ways. Continued exposure to asynchronous learning now has the potential to pay dividends in the future. 

What We Can Do
While I don't want to run through the litany of obstacles that would prevent Team Remote from adopting the same schedule as our in-person counterparts, I would like to share with your some of the measures our remote teachers are taking to meet their students' needs:

Grades 5 - 6
  • Remote Teachers at WGMS may merge sections if possible. For example, our Remote 6th Grade will be merging the Monday-Tuesday sections with the Thursday-Friday sections. Teachers will communicate these decisions with their students and families.
  • Remote Teachers will continue to provide personalized learning opportunities on Wednesdays. Students are welcome to contact their teachers for availability.
Grades 7 - 8
  • Remote Teachers at CMS may invite students to join synchronous classes to bring the M/T and Th/F cohorts together when possible and prudent. Please be advised, however, that oftentimes, the lesson would be a repeat of the same lesson they would present on scheduled synchronous days. Further, class size may be a prohibitive factor. Teachers who are willing to invite both cohorts to thier their synchronous classes will communicate these decisions with their students and families.
  • Remote Teachers will continue to provide personalized learning opportunities on Wednesdays. Students are welcome to contact their teachers for availability.
Grades 9 - 12
  • In-person Teachers at WGHS may invite their remote students to a join a livestream of their in-person classes on alternating Wednesdays. To be sure, many of our WGHS Remote Teachers also teach sections of in-person classes. Teachers who are willing to livestream their Wednesday in-person classes will communicate these decisions with their remote students and families. 
  • Remote Teachers will continue to provide personalized learning opportunities on Wednesdays. Students are welcome to contact their teachers for availability.
All Grades
  • Remote Teachers may implement strategies that require more student-centered activities to be assigned on asynchronous days. I meet with the Remote Faculty regularly and plan on addressing this topic during our upcoming (4/21) faculty meeting. Stay tuned...

NYS ELA and Math Tests for Grades 3 - 8


Fully remote students are NOT required to sit for the NYS ELA and Math assessments for grades 3 through 8. See the memo below from the New York State Education Department (NYSED):

Schools are not expected to bring students into the building to participate in the tests if the students are receiving entirely remote instruction during the testing windows. However, to assist in scheduling, NYSED suggests that schools consider contacting parents of students receiving entirely remote instruction to advise them of the testing schedule and ascertain the parent’s interest in having their child come to school to participate in the test. 
If you would like to "opt-in" and have your child participate, please contact your child's "home building" principal. Please see the appropriate leadership blogs (links on the right of this page) for testing dates.


Elementary Updates


Out of This World Zoom Class!
Mrs. Binns' 3rd grade class recently learned all about NASA from the experts themselves during a recent remote Zoom lesson. Feel free to check it out below:



Secondary Updates


Participation in Government Virtual Food Drive
Before leaving the West Genesee community, our Seniors want to give back! Each year the Senior Participation in Government students individually fulfill a community service requirement to engage in active citizenship. This year we are working in collaboration with Food Bank of Central New York. Donating $1.00 will provide THREE meals to a family in need. The need for food has been further magnified by the Coronavirus pandemic. Please help us contribute to this worthy cause. A gift made through the virtual food drive will provide more food than through a traditional drive, doubling or even tripling the amount of items your dollar can purchase at a regular grocery store. Every dollar raised through this virtual food drive will be used to buy nutritious food for our hungry neighbors. 

Check out the promotional video the students made on TikTok:


Click this link to donate and support our Participation in Government students' effortshttps://www.foodbankcny.org/west-genesee-high-school-virtual-food-drive/


Be sure to check out the various Principal blogs (links on the right of this page) for building-specific information.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Identifying & Appreciating the Good in Others

Hi, Team Remote Families and welcome back from Spring Break! This week's Positivity Project Character Strength focuses on the "Other People Matter" mindset of Identifying and Appreciating the Good in Others. From the P2 website:

Identifying and appreciating the good in others isn’t always what comes naturally. Often, it’s easier to blame others for our problems or find flaws in others to use as excuses for our own jealousy, bitterness, or resentment. The problem is that this negativity usually leads to problems – for ourselves, for the other person, and for our relationships. 
To see the good in others, we must first slow down and take the time to pay attention. Look for the intentions behind people’s words and actions. If you feel slighted, you can use perspective and ask, “Did that person intend to hurt me or did he/she just come across in an awkward manner?” It’s also useful to see the skills and character strengths others possess. Doing so leverages your appreciation of excellence and strengthens your leadership capacity.

District Updates


Since we are fresh off of Spring Break, I don't have much to share in terms of important dates, etc. Be sure to check out the various Principal blogs (links on the right of this page) for building-specific information. I thought I'd dedicate this week's blog to sharing information about some free resources to help make pandemic life less monotonous. 


Free Audio Books for Elementary, Teens & Tweens from Audible 


If you enjoy audio books, you may be familiar with Audible, an online audiobook and podcasting service owned by Amazon that allows users to purchase and stream audiobooks and other forms of spoken word content. In addition to their subscription-based content, Audible also has a free service called "Stories" that offers access to a large collection of audiobooks for kids. Listeners are not required to create an account, nor will Audible ask for any personal information. Listening categories include stories for teens, elementary, littlest listeners, timeless listens, folk and fairy tales, and more. Further, there are also collections in 7 other languages. You can check out Audible's Stories via this link.

Six Minutes--A Podcast the Whole Family Can Enjoy


If anything, this pandemic has given us the gift of enjoying our time at home, especially for those of us that like watching TV and movies. Truth be told, I have exhausted just about all of the shows I have ever wanted to watch on various streaming media services (Ted Lasso on Apple TV has been my favorite!). So now I'm moving on to podcasts. One of the things I love about podcasts is that I can listen to them when I walk my dog or drive my car. Listening in the car, however, poses challenges as my kids don't always appreciate my taste! Nonetheless, I recently discovered a podcast that is a hit with kids of all ages and their families: Six Minutes. I'm about 20 episodes in and I'm hooked. Here's the premise:
Eleven-year-old Holiday is pulled from the icy waters of Alaska with no memory of who she is or where she came from. Are her mom and dad really who they say they are? When she begins to develop incredible abilities, she’ll soon discover she’s not alone in the world.
Who is Holiday? Where did she come from and how did she end up floating in the icy waters off the coast of Alaska with no memory? And what’s the deal with that cool hoverboard? The mystery unfolds in six-minute episodes. Catch up on the award-winning worldwide sensation.

Check out Gen Z Media's Six Minutes website to subscribe and see what other family-friendly content they have to offer. Note: if the above link to Six Minutes results in an error message, try refreshing your browser or use the 2nd link and locate it from the list of shows on Gen Z Media's website.

Free Family Project Kits from Lowes


Looking for some stay-at-home outdoor activities the whole family can enjoy? Lowe's will give away free family project kits every Thursday in April as part of its "SpringFest" celebration. According to syracuse.com, customers can register at Lowe's website for the Garden-to-Go kits. Distribution will be curbside on April 8th and will continue every Thursday through April. 
  • April 8: Garden-to-Go kit sponsored by Miracle-Gro with exclusive recipes from professional cook and food stylist Amanda Frederickson.
  • April 15: Lowe’s Mystery Garden Piñata with mystery seed packets.
  • April 22: 500,000 tree saplings given out in honor of Earth Day.
  • April 29: Lowe’s Butterfly Quest which helps families create a butterfly garden.


Seize Your Summer at OCC


For the past 13 years, I have been an adjunct instructor at Onondaga Community College teaching Western Civilization and World History in both online and face to face modalities. The message below recently came across my email--an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to help students bridge the gap from pandemic life to a brighter future:
Over the past several weeks, in response to the work of our First Year Student Task Force, faculty and staff from across campus have planned an enriching summer program, which showcases topics like College 101; academic prep, especially in Math and English; the tech you need to succeed; academic showcases, and fun and engagement—all built around the 8 Schools at OCC.

“Seize Your Summer” will be offered in four one-week sessions, either in the day or evening, Monday, July 12th through Friday, August 6th. All programming is in-person on the OCC campus and will follow all health and safety protocols.

The program is completely FREE and designed for students of all types – incoming OCC freshmen, prospective OCC students, high school juniors and seniors, adult students, and even students whose plan currently doesn’t include OCC. This is an opportunity for our campus – the “community’s college” – to step forward with solutions and hands-on learning that help people get energized and started on a new beginning that is full of possibilities.

Communication will begin going out this week to students, families, and the community, to let them know about this fantastic program at OCC and how to reserve their spot. For more information, please contact the Seize Your Summer team at 315-498-2150, SeizeYourSummer@sunyocc.edu or visit https://www.sunyocc.edu/summerprep

Monday, March 22, 2021

Humor

Hi, Team Remote Families! This week's Positivity Project character strength is Humor. Humor is a sense of playfulness and lightness. It is a way of looking at and describing the world that brings laughter to people. A person with the strength of humor is skilled at seeing at the funny side of things, bringing smiles and laughter to others, and identifying and communicating the absurdities in life. People with this strength don’t specifically need to be joke tellers, although many are. Read more about humor here.

Check out the video clip below as the late, great Robin Williams portrays real-life Dr. "Patch" Adams using the character strength of humor to lift the spirits of hospitalized children.


Changes to Social Distancing Guidelines

With the recently announced changes to social distancing requirements from 6 feet to 3 feet, there may be some changes to our in-person learning modality, specifically at the secondary level (grades 5-12). However, our remote platform will remain as-is with the designated schedule that is in place. Our remote teachers have worked tirelessly to build relationships with students. Wednesdays are typically set aside for teachers to meet with students for remediation and enrichment,  provide feedback on assigned work, collaborate and plan with colleagues, and contact parents/families with student concerns. We will continue to innovate and provide opportunities for students to learn, socialize, and grow. 

Student Spotlight: Love of Learning




Caught in the Act of Learning: Brian Short

Shout out to remote CMS 8th grader Brian Short. Brian loves taking apart old computers to see how they work. He's also a whiz at fixing computers and has been a fabulous IT department for his mom while working from home!





Caught in the Act of Learning: Hadley Ollis

What better way to demonstrate a love of learning than to work at your own desk? Shout out to remote 4th grader Hadley Ollis and her family for taking advantage of the generous offer for a free desk from our partners at Operation Northern Comfort!



Leprechaun Traps!

Check out the ingenuity and creativity among Mrs. Forsyth's remote 1st grade students who built their own Leprechaun Traps! 


Resource for Remote Music: Family Sing Along 

Looking for some fun activities to do during Spring Break? Check out the link below from Carnegie Hall's at-home sing-along series for families and caretakers with children ages 2 - 5. Thanks to Mrs. Ta for sharing this resource!

Sing with Carnegie Hall

Instructional Technology: Is Your Chromebook Up to Date?

When colleagues and students contact me with a technology issue, I typically ask some basic questions to help troubleshoot:
  1. Have you tried turning it off and on again?
  2. Are you sure that it's plugged in?
  3. Is the browser up to date?
The first two questions are a running joke on the 2006 British sitcom, The IT Crowd (available on Netflix). The third question requires a little more technical expertise. Keeping a browser up to date helps ensure that your computer is safe and secure, protecting you from identity theft, phishing attacks, viruses, trojans, spyware, adware, and other sorts of malware. One of the nice things about Chromebooks is that Google handles all of the security updates in the cloud with no software for the end user to install and run. See below to learn how to manually update your school-issued Chromebook (for reference, I am currently running Version 89.0.4389.90).

Check for updates Yourself
  1. Turn on your Chromebook.
  2. Connect your Chromebook to Wi-Fi.
  3. At the bottom right, select the time.
  4. Select Settings .
  5. At the bottom of the left panel, select About Chrome OS.
  6. Under "Google Chrome OS," you'll find which version of the Chrome operating system your Chromebook uses.
  7. Select Check for updates.
  8. If your Chromebook finds a software update, it will start to download automatically.
Click the animated image below for an interactive tutorial.

Tap here to see an interactive tutorial


District Updates


Important Dates
  • March 22nd: WGMS Progress Reports available on SchoolTool
  • March 27th: Elementary Report Cards available on SchoolTool
  • March 29th - April 5th: Spring Break
Be sure to check out the various Principal blogs (links on the right of this page) for more building-specific information.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Love of Learning

Hi, Team Remote Families! This week's character strength is Love of Learning. Those who exemplify love of learning are intrinsically motivated and engaged in a topic regardless of achieving an external standard. They enjoy learning simply for the sake of learning. They don’t need a prize or a high grade as a reward. Their reward is the process of doing the work and improving. Read more about Love of Learning here.  As educators, we are always looking for those teachable moments that can inspire our students' passions and nurture their curiosity. Check out this article from Edutopia to read more about cultivating a child's love of learning. 


Love of Learning Challenge


colorful elastics
I remember a time when my daughter was in 5th grade and she wanted to get something at the mall. I told her that I didn't have enough money for whatever it was and she proceeded to take some cash out of a duct tape wallet she made. I was stunned! "Where did this money come from?" I asked her. "I sold some bracelets at school" was her reply. Back then, those colorful rubber band bracelets were en vogue among kids her age. She went on YouTube and taught herself how to make some intricate patterns. Clearly, she was motivated by the almighty dollar, but she also thoroughly enjoyed being creative. (Here's a short DIY video from YouTube if you'd like to learn the basics).

What drives your child's passion for learning? Email me a picture that catches your child in the act of learning--it doesn't necessarily have to be an academic subject--and I'll feature it on the blog (rleo@westgenesee.org). Please include the following with your submission:
  • Student name
  • Student grade level
  • A picture that captures your child demonstrating a love of learning
  • A short description of what they are learning
  • Put "LOL" in the subject line of your email


District Updates


Mark Your Calendar

  • March 17th: WGHS Remote Materials Pick-Up (see details below)
  • March 18th: Elementary Remote Materials Pick-Up (see details below)
  • March 23rd: OCC Early College Experience Information Night (see details below)
  • March 29th - April 5th: Spring Break


West Genesee Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

As you may have read in the Superintendent’s Message from February 26th, there is an opportunity for all members of our community to come together as members of the West Genesee Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. We recognize that we need to listen to the voices, experiences, and perspectives of people from diverse backgrounds in order to advance our mission and help all members of our community achieve success. This council is open to all members of our community. Please fill out this Google Form and a member of our team will contact you directly.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our co-chairs:


Elementary Updates


Remote Materials Pick Up
The next materials pickup date is March 18th from 3:00 - 4:00. Students in grades 1-4 also have several items that should be returned on that date. Here is the list of items to be returned and picked up (*new information included). Please let your "home" building principal know if you cannot come at this time and we will arrange for an alternate time.

Free National Park Service Passes for 4th Grade Students
Every fourth grade student is eligible to receive a FREE National Park Service's (NPS) Every- Kid- in-a Park pass. NYS will accept this pass for free vehicle entry admission (with the fourth grader present) for all of their State Parks in 2021. Therefore, the student and anyone in the vehicle will have free entry. This pass is also accepted at state historic sites for the fourth grade student and up to three adults. To read more about the program you may do so at this link: https://parks.ny.gov/environment/connect-kids.aspx.

Secondary Updates


WGHS Pick-Up Days for Class Materials
The next remote material pick-up day will be March 17. There will be two time frames. The first will be from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and the second will be from 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Items can be picked up on the atrium side of the school. Please use the Well Now entrance from West Genesee Street. Future pick-up days will be as follows:
  • March 17
  • April 14
  • May 19
Future pick-up days will be scheduled beyond May as needed.

WGHS Advanced Placement Exams
Please see the link below for a letter that was sent to the families of students who are taking AP exams. WGHS Principal Mr. TJ Vaughan is the point person for AP exams. Students are encouraged to take the exams at the High School (they are paper and pen/pencil exams rather than computer-based), in which case the district will be responsible for the exam submissions to the College Board. If a student needs to request a make up exam, they will need to let Mr. Vaughan know ASAP. All make up exams will be digital and the students will take them at home and submit them on their own. 
  • Letter to Families (includes exam dates/time/location)
  • Concat Mr. Vaughan: tvaughan@westgenesee.org

WGHS OCC Early College Experience
Students who will be seniors next year and on track for high school graduation may be eligible for the Early OCC Program. Students who are interested in this program should contact the Counseling Center for additional information. There will be a parent meeting for those families who are interested in pursuing this option. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 23, at 700 p.m. in the LGI at the high school. Seats will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please call our counseling office at 315-487-4672 to sign up for a seat at the meeting.

Be sure to check out the various Principal blogs (links on the right of this page) for more building-specific information.