Thursday, September 19, 2013

A blog provides me an arena and/or a platform to share my thoughts regarding various subjects . . . As I ponder what are the essential items needing to be discussed - several come to mind.  I will touch on these one-by-one.

Capital Project Update:  Liverpool endeavored into a Facility Upgrade Capital Project a couple years ago; the project was divided into 3 phases (Phase 1A, Phase 1B & Phase 1C).  Some of the work at each site was strategically planned based on the school-year calendar, the availability of contractors, and when work could be completed per the weather conditions.

As of Fall 2013:  the roof replacement for Willowfield Elem. has been completed; the roof replacement at the Soule Road Complex is about 50%; the roof replacement at the Morgan Road Complex is also about 50% complete.  These components are a portion of the Phase 1A project (which began in 2012 and expected to be finished by late 2014).

Summer of 2013 - the New York State Education Department approved the Phase 1B portion of the Capital Project.  This project includes:

MRC:  HVAC Equipment & Controls Upgrades;
            Exterior Window & Door Replacement;
            Security & Telecom Upgrades;
            LHX Toilet Rooms;
            LHX Tech Room Lighting;
            MRE Point of Entrance;
            MRE Ceiling Replacement;
            MRE Toilet Rooms;
            MRE Computer Classroom;

WFE:  New Main Office & Point of Entry;
           HVAC Equipment & Controls Upgrades;
           Security & Telecom Upgrades;
EE:     New Main Office & Point of Entry;
           HVAC Equipment & Controls Upgrades;
           Security & Telecom Upgrades;

SRC:  New Configured Parking Lot;
           Main Office Point of Entry;
           Security & Telecom Upgrades;

LHS:  Security Equipment Upgrades;
           Pool Dehumidification Upgrades;
           Kitchen Air Handler Upgrades;
           Main Electric Switch Gear & Transformer Upgrades;
           Gymnasium Lighting;
           Security and Telecom Upgrades;

CHE:  New Configured Parking Lot;
           Main Office Point of Entry;

CHM:  New Configured Parking Lot;
            New Main Office Point of Entry;
            New Guidance Office;

Phase 1C (which was recently forwarded on to the NYS Education Department for review and approval - expected in January or February 2014) tentatively includes:  Chestnut Hill Elementary School and Chestnut Hill Middle School Mechanical Systems and Building Windows and Doors.  This project is expected to begin during the Summer of 2014.

3 New Committees Formed:  The Liverpool Central School District is kicking off 3 committees designed to guide future planning (but work as an integral structure).  1)  Facility Planning Committee; 2)  Strategic Planning Committee; and 3) Academic Advisory/Community Outreach Committee.  These committees incorporate district personnel, community membership, professional resources, and parent input.  The desire is for each committee to contribute to the direction, efficiency, planning, and student outcome expectations . . . in a consolidated effort with the Liverpool Central School District to ensure College & Career Ready students prepared for the next facet of their life.

New App for your smart phone, iPad, or iPod:  Earlier this summer, we released an app which is designed to connect you with the school district.  If interested - visit the app store and enter Liverpool Central School District.  The app allows you to connect with the school district's web site - for news, calendar, lunch info, sporting events, notifications, directory, driving directions, etc.  We have linked to about 1,500 smart devices to date.

Re-Districting Update:  The Re-Districting Committee continues to discuss the perimeters regarding school building boundary lines;  the committee is expected to provide the Board of Education a recommendation by mid-November.  For more specific information regarding Frequently Asked Questions, general Q & A, or other notes/minutes/details - please visit the district web page.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

       Here it is . . .First day of school . . . September 5th, 2013.  Kids are excited, parents (at least most) are excited, all of the school staff are excited.  There is a familiar buzz throughout the buildings as the social interactions pick up where they left off in June.

       Kicking off a new school year certainly brings out some thoughts . . . often more questions and than answers.  What's new for this year?  What will the school district roll out . . . What will the New York State Education Department ask of our kids, parents, teachers, and perhaps the school buildings, in general?  Will the U.S. Department of Education add anything new to the Elementary and Secondary Act or Race to the Top Mandates which will impact Liverpool locally?

       All good questions - and certainly time will tell.  As for now - our focus is on meeting the needs of our individual kids and identifying their specific growth potential and matching instructional and learning styles.  As we look back on the hot topic of High Stakes Testing (certainly a buzz word across the state), we have an obligation to help our students meet the expectations for "College and/or Career Readiness" by linking our instruction to the Common Core Learning Standards, utilizing the available and appropriate Data to guide and inform decisions (and discussions), and utilize an observation and evaluation plan to assist with guiding our staff in alignment with needed and necessary professional development.

       One of the roll-out ideas we have discussed at the district  level is to focus our data presentations for goal development and assessment on our "appropriate" audience.  We will be presenting the 2012-2013 goals, action plan and outcomes to the parents and community at the building level in late September and October.  In past years, the focused presentations were developed for the Board of Education; this year it is important to inform the stakeholders who are directly impacted by the building plans -- our kids (along with the Board of Education).  So, having said that - please expect to hear soon from the individual building Principals regarding the plan to present your building's data from the 2012-13 school year along with updates and expectations for the 2013-2014 school year to you.

       I rolled out 3 important tenets in a previous blog -- which I don't think can be understated:

     >  Improve the MORALE among all District Staff;

     >  Develop more TRUSTING and COLLABORATIVE Relationships among ALL Stakeholders;

     >  Celebrate SUCCESS across the District;

       Again, I am confident by linking these tenets with the School District / Board of Education Vision, Mission, and Goals . . . we are on a course for a very successful school year.  Thanks and best of luck with a new school year.

Mark F. Potter