As the 2016-2017 School Year unfolds . . . you may be aware of significant changes that have been enacted as a result of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act . . . the new reauthorization entitled: “Every Student Succeeds Act” – replacing the previous ‘No Child Left Behind.’ As the school year continues – I will provide updates and mandate expectations which directly impacts both the law changes in Washington DC – was well our students and programs locally, in Liverpool.
As we approach the completion of the first ¼ of the school year, I want to thank everyone for their continued support of our students, our staff, our programs and our school district. We are very fortunate to have an incredibly caring and supportive community willing to share your students with us. As we continue to move along through the school year, we will undoubtedly continue to ask for your partnership in many areas.
Safety and Security Planning: The New York State Education Department has directed school buildings to modify the previous fire/evacuation requirements (included in our Building Safety Plans) to now include 4 lockdown drills (in addition to the 8 evacuation drills). To increase the effectiveness of drill our planning . . . and, in response to potential intruders -- we will vary these drills with different specific scenarios and details. As we began the school year, we prepared our youngest students for these drills in an effort not to scare or frighten them; as the year progresses - these drills will be unannounced.
2017-2018 Budget Focus: A critical part of building safety and security is to reassure everyone that those individuals inside of the building are not at risk while in our care. As we encounter more and more social, emotional and mental health issues within our students, we have the responsibility to respond and react in a proactive manner. As such, planning for the upcoming school year will focus on additional counseling staff, social-emotional services and alignment of our existing staff to optimally serve all of our students. I have asked our administration, faculty and staff to make additional efforts to get to know our students, continue to build relationships, and work in collaborative setting so as to reap as much benefit as possible keeping students at the forefront of our planning, programming, discussions and dialogue. Please take time to reach out and get to know the counselor, social worker, or psychologist in your child's school(s).
Water quality testing: As you are probably aware, New York State recently made significant changes in the water testing expectations at all school building locations. We have tested all of the various sinks, drinking fountains, ice machines, etc. for water quality. As test results were returned back to the district – some areas were identified with levels slightly higher than acceptable levels . . . as determined by the Department of Health and the New York State Education Department. In all cases where this condition was found, we have replaced the water fountain, water faucet, or other potable water equipment. If the equipment was determined unusable – we have discontinued using the source. As such, we will continue working with the Onondaga County Department of Health to resolve any further issues.
Presidential Election Impact: As we all are aware, significant changes in our world will likely follow the shift in national leadership from President Obama to President-Elect Trump. Many of our families have followed the recent developments regarding a couple of our Liverpool High School teachers sharing a speech/comments with students. I will provide another blog with my thoughts/comments.