Let’s hope spring has arrived with the calendar change. May is full of many events and celebrations. Be sure to check our district calendar on the website for the many opportunities that include art shows, music concerts, family fun nights, elementary graduation ceremonies and much more.
The months of April and May provide time to reflect on the academic progress each student has demonstrated while preparing them for the New York state assessments. But, it is not just about the NYS assessments, we continue to look at multiple measures of success. We have honored our Top 20 of the Class of 2018; they have great aspirations for the future, and will work hard to reach their potential to do remarkable things following graduation.
The month of May brings us closer to graduation day. The Class of 2018 is preparing for year-end assessments and celebrations honoring their accomplishments. We look forward to the graduation ceremony on June 20 at the RIT Field House. This is a special moment for our graduates and for their families, our staff, our board of education and the community. Once a Spartan, always a Spartan! In addition, many of our juniors and seniors were honored at the academic varsity letter celebration in April; thank you to John DiCaro for his message and inspiration.Our students earn a varsity letter, along with a chevron for each consecutive marking period they have earned an academic average of 95 percent or better. Thank you to our dedicated staff that have provided strong academic instruction aligned to a rigorous curriculum. We are so proud of our academic Spartans! Together we teach and inspire excellence for all learners.
Please keep the Gates Chili Education Foundation in mind to thank a teacher and/or staff member this year, and/or perhaps donate in honor of one of our graduates. Donation forms can be found on the website (gceducationfoundation.org). Thank you in advance for all donations that directly impact our students. The official Relay for Life event took place on April 20. This year, the event was themed Family Rodeo Carnival. Thank you to our student-led Relay for Life team, they are an outstanding group of students who care so deeply and have the leadership skills to make a difference in our community.
Summer is just around the corner. Our work does not stop during the summer months. We have many programs available to our students and families that include summer recreation programs sponsored by the Gates and Chili recreation departments. We are glad to partner with them to provide summer opportunities for all our students. Gates Chili CSD will host summer school programs focusing on the needs of our early learners needing some additional time to meet or exceed grade level expectations. We will also offer the free meals program from several various locations during the summer months. In addition, we have a food bus debuting this summer, bringing free meals to our neighborhoods throughout the Gates and Chili communities. Thank you to Deborah Beauvais and her team, they do an amazing job!
The capital improvement project work will begin this summer at the high school. There will be roof work on the high school building, and site work in preparation for the new track and turf field on the main campus. Our student-athletes will compete this fall off-site. We have planned a special homecoming and hall of fame induction at St. John Fisher College on Sept. 28. Stay tuned for details. In addition, our boys and girls soccer and field hockey teams will have their senior recognition games played at St. John Fisher College in October. Our hope is that our spring sports teams will have full access to the turf for their season, and then be up and fully operating in the fall of 2019. Go Spartans!
Be sure to check our website for the schedule of games for our Unified Sports Basketball program. We have partnered with Special Olympics and Section V to offer this program for our high school students. Gates Chili CSD will host the culminating event. This event will be a tournament for several of the Monroe County teams participating. Thank you to our Youth Activation Committee students for helping to bring awareness to this program. Good luck to our Spartan athletes competing!
The board of education approved the 2018-19 budget on April 10 in preparation for the May 15 vote. We are preparing the budget brochure to be mailed to each home for our community to review, and several public forums will be presented to local businesses and service organizations throughout the month of May. With the conservative use of reserves to ensure sustainability of the district and going out at our tax cap levy limit of 2.51 percent, we have closed the budget gap without a direct impact on student programs. The budget increase is 2.57 percent. The ballot will also include a proposition to purchase 15 new buses and one SUV; a proposition to create a new capital reserve, capped at $10 million; and a proposition to approve the use of an energy performance contract to earn an additional 10 percent in aid for the capital improvement project; and the election of three board members for three-year terms, and one board member to fulfill a vacant two-year term. I look forward to meeting our community members during our public forum events.
In addition, I hope to see you at the many events coming up as we close the 2017-18 school year. Thank you for supporting the Gates Chili school district. Happy May!