The fall athletic program has started. Be sure to join us on the middle school and high school campuses for competitions that include cross-country, field hockey, football and cheerleading, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.
Homecoming was Sept. 28 on the campus of St. John Fisher College this year, due to the capital improvement project installation of a new track and turf field. The football game followed our dessert reception to welcome the newest inductees into the Gates Chili Central School District Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to Matthew Bowers, Class of 1999; Renee Calleria Manuele, Class of 1993; David Olivo, Class of 1983; Heather McKane Rogers, Class of 1989; and Jeanine White, Class of 1985.
Our staff districtwide participated in professional development aligned to our quality school rubric goals for 2018-19 with a focus on instructional practices that are student-centered. Staff learned how to explore the individual interests of each child to personalize learning by building appropriate and meaningful relationships with students and families.
In addition, we are committed to exploring culturally responsive teaching practices throughout the district. This, along with a focus on relationships, will enable us to ensure that every student is successful.
The teaching staff also took a close look at benchmark data points to inform instruction throughout the year. Our assessment results will be released early in October. We anticipate cause for celebration in many areas, but also opportunities to drill down in areas where results are not meeting expectations for high performance.
Our Elementary Back-to-School nights, Meet the Teacher Night for sixth grade and the high school open house were well attended this September. The Middle School Meet the Teacher Night for grades 7-8 is scheduled for October. We value and appreciate the support from our parents and guardians, as we partner together to ensure that our students want to come to school, engage in learning and commit to excellence.
The board approved the annual audit performed by our external auditors, following a thorough overview with our facility and finance committee and the full board in September. This process sets the stage for the district to begin preparing the 2019-20 school budget. We are already receiving projected increases in health insurance and retirement benefits that will impact the budget process. The district continues to look carefully at balancing the annual budget with a commitment to provide programs that meet our 21st-century learners’ needs, all while staying within the limits of the property tax cap levy limit. More to come, be sure to look for updates as we begin the budget process this month.
Lauren Poehlman recently joined us as the newly appointed assistant superintendent for business. Lauren joins us with a wealth of experience in both private and public education accounting. Please join me in welcoming her to the Gates Chili family.
Thank you to Steven Ayers for his leadership as interim. We wish him a healthy winter in sunny Florida and hope he will be thinking of us as winter approaches. Also, a special thank you to Doug Ackert, serving as interim custodial supervisor. His leadership and vision for the department has been terrific; he navigated us through the summer to ensure we were ready to open the new school year. We wish him the best as he begins his now official retirement.
The board of education approved the district goals for 2018-19. These goals align with the quality school rubric and speak specifically about the critical elements needed to become a high-performing school district … student-centered to improve academic achievement.
We will use the dimensions of the QSR — student development, learning environment, educational program and school culture — as a compass to guide our work. The goal-setting process at each level will provide a framework for action that focuses on rigor, relevance and relationships. We have much to be proud of, but we also have work to do. Our students and their families deserve this; it is our commitment to this that will improve our district and likewise help our communities grow and thrive. Be sure to check out my Twitter feed (@gateschilisupt). In addition, be sure to visit our website for new and updated stories, announcements, and a calendar of events and activities.
The capital improvement project construction has begun. This summer was the beginning of the initial improvements at the high school that included roof work and the installation of the new track and turf. The bid documents have been released for work to begin at both Florence Brasser Elementary School and Paul Road Elementary School this fall. The designs for both the middle school and the high school auditorium have been submitted to the New York State Department of Education and are already under architectural review. We are hopeful that NYSED will approve both for construction to begin as early as the summer of 2019. We will continue to work on final designs for both Neil Armstrong Elementary School and Walt Disney Elementary School this fall, with an anticipated submission date to NYSED for review before the end of the calendar year.
This is an exciting time for the district. We continue to be so grateful for the Gates and Chili communities’ support for this project. It will certainly provide facility improvements that will align with our program improvements that are student-centered and culturally responsive. Thank you!
Best wishes to all for a healthy and happy fall season! Thank you for supporting and trusting the Gates Chili Central School District in providing an educational environment that enhances, empowers and engages all students in the learning process. My sincere gratitude to be serving as the district’s superintendent.