Summer 2017 Updates

Posted by Mrs. Andrea L. Galenski on 8/25/2017

I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for another successful school year filled with rich learning experiences, ongoing collaborative planning which has resulted in progressive teaching and learning opportunities, and enduring memories for our students, teachers, staff and families. 

It is important for me to take this opportunity to acknowledge our entire school community for your continued patronage with passing our 2017-2018 Budget this past May.  I am truly grateful for your loyalty to our schools and your trust in our leadership.  Words cannot accurately express the appreciation that I have for your unending support and commitment in working together with us to guarantee that our students are given the most valuable educational experience possible in the Cheektowaga-Sloan School District. 

Our philosophy of educating children continues to be grounded in the notion that education is more than just academic success—it is about Whole Child success.  I could not be more proud of the programs that we have implemented which capture the very essence of educating the Whole Child

Our 7 Habits/Leader in Me Program is now well on its way to District-wide implementation beginning with our youngest learners at Theodore Roosevelt and continuing through grade twelve at JFK HS.  Our students have learned about the importance of leadership, responsibility, possessing outstanding character and working together to appreciate each other’s differences.  Our students as early as in Kindergarten are leading the way in our schools and taking on leadership roles to help them practice and strengthen these critical skills.  We will be continuing work with the 7 Habits/Leader in Me in September and we look forward to continued success with this Program.

We will be implementing a new K-5 Literacy Program in September called, Lucy Calkins--Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop.  In continuing our belief that we must work together in order to achieve the greatest success, we developed a Literacy Committee this year with teacher and staff representatives from grades K-5. This Committee has worked tirelessly to study, learn, read, and observe this Program in action in the Sweet Home School District, so that we are best prepared to begin Readers’ Workshop in our classrooms.  This Program focuses on surrounding children with books at various reading levels and giving students long periods of time to read each day.  We have made a commitment to purchase libraries of books for each classroom so that our teachers have the resources that they need to make this Program a true success.  Readers’ Workshop will bring consistency in reading instruction, reading assessment and reading progress to our schools which is something that we have longed to do for many years.  We look forward to providing you with feedback about the success of our first year of implementation.  This is another example of what we are able to provide for our students and teachers because of the dedication from all of you.  We are very excited about this new teaching and learning endeavor. 

Finally, it is important for me to continue to highlight another successful educational opportunity that we have provided to our students with your support.  Our two Academic Learning Centers at JFK MS and HS, otherwise known as our ALCs, have brought an extraordinary amount of learning opportunities to all students ranging from those who may be struggling with a particular subject to students who may be ready for challenging experiences.  Our ALCs help students raise their averages, they offer tutoring by either certified teachers or peers, they offer credit recovery programs, students receive additional instruction to help them better understand concepts and content material from difficult classes, students can sharpen their skills with teacher guided SAT /ACT preparation, students are able to participate in programs, such as the International Math Olympiad Team at JFK MS to enrich their learning, and more.  Most importantly, our ALCs support the Whole Child by promoting a nurturing and supportive learning environment, developing self-confidence and creating a positive mindset about learning. 

These are just three examples of what we are most proud of this school year.  It is always important for me to highlight the tremendous teaching and learning that takes place in our District.  Our students must always be our leading priority and we must continuously review student data and reflect about student learning and use that to inspire and invigorate us to work together to move our District forward toward greater success.

During the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the unveiling of our new Greenauer Auditorium and at the Jazz Concert in May, I had the opportunity to talk with so many families many of whom I have known for years.  Those conversations continue to warm my heart, bring meaning to this leadership position, and remind me why relationships are the single most important factor as we educate children—relationships between children and their teachers/administrators, relationships between teachers/administrators and parents, and relationships between you, as our community, and all of us.  I am grateful for the relationships that we have, for the lasting communication and connection that you have in our schools, and for your ongoing commitment to developing the strongest partnership possible so that our students feel supported both at home and at school. 

It is my sincere hope that all students, teachers, staff, families and our community experience a summer filled with beautiful memories, precious time with friends and family and peacefulness.  I look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on September 6, 2017.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Andrea L. Galenski

Superintendent of Schools