Tag Archives: Schlegel Road Elementary School

Thanks for the love, PTSA!

4 May

When I arrived at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School yesterday morning, I found a scene that just made my whole being smile.

Colorful pinwheels and hand-lettered thank-you signs lined the walkways into school, and half a dozen thank-you messages were scrawled on the walls. The messages were almost certainly the work of the Schlegel Elementary School PTSA, no doubt assisted by students, and they marked the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week.

I’m certain this scene was duplicated at every elementary school in the district yesterday morning, and that we at Schlegel were not the only ones treated to danish, donut holes and coffee in the faculty lounge.

This has been an especially difficult year, and there are a lot of people out there who actually think it’s been a cake walk for teachers because kids were only attending half days. When you’re on the front lines like I am, it’s easy to see how off-base that perception is.

Our teachers and staff members are doing an amazing job, especially given the hoops they’ve all had to jump through. They know that. But it’s always nice when others recognize that, too. Because our schools are chock full of superheroes.

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Schlegel and Plank North staff members are running around the Great Lakes!

28 Mar

Well, not really. They’re talking virtually running, and it’s actually only around Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. But still, it’s a pretty big challenge.

The event is being called the “Tour Around the Lakes,” a virtual race designed to promote teamwork and community, while encouraging everyone to get out and exercise and have a little fun.

The idea is based on the many virtual distance races that have been organized during the pandemic. In those, racers would track their daily miles over a period of several weeks in an effort to travel a pre-determined route — like, for example, from Yankee Stadium to Fenway Park or around the Ring of Kerry. For the Tour Around the Lakes, over the next 11 weeks, racers — working in teams of seven or eight — will try to log enough miles by running, walking or cycling to virtually circumnavigate Lakes Ontario and Erie, a distance of 1100 miles. Progress will be updated every week on the Tour Around the Lakes bulletin boards posted at each school.

The race began last Monday and will continue through June 11. Schlegel Rd. Elementary is fielding six teams, and Plank Rd. North has four. The competition was fierce from the start. It started heating up even before the race started when word got out that bonus points were being handed out for the first teams to come up with team names and photos. The schools will not be competing against each other, but only within their buildings … or at least that’s the plan right now. (An inter-school rivalry might be an extra incentive, however.) I expect much trash-talking will ensue.

The team names already show how much fun everyone is having. The Schlegel teams are Sole Sisters, Fueled by Caffeine, Chicks With Kicks, Ready for Anything, Not Fast Just Furious, and Are We There Yet? At Plank North the teams are Green and Bold, Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow, Heart and Sole, and Get Me an Uber.

The Tour Around the Lakes is similar to an event both schools participated in last spring, a virtual relay. For that challenge, everyone who wanted to take part first signed up for a half-hour relay “leg.” Then on one day April, you would run, walk or bike during your appointed time, and “hand off” the virtual baton to the next relay participant via a text or phone call.

It was a great way to keep staff members connected after the schools shut down in March. Everyone had a terrific time and appreciated having an excuse to get outside and get a little exercise. This year’s Tour Around the Lakes should be no different.

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Snow day at Schlegel!

6 Feb
School administrative assistants Sharon Nairy and Debbie Jackson with their Covid snowman

What’s a bunch of Covid-weary school staff and teachers to do on a beautiful, sunny, 40-degree February day? Go out and play in the snow!

That’s what happened a few days ago at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School, on that glorious Thursday we had (remember all that sunshine?). The idea was the brainchild of Schlegel principal Francine Leggett and Assistant Principal Kate Hesla. They’d heard about another school giving their teachers a chance to strap on some snowshoes and get outside for a little exercise. So they put out a school-wide snowshoeing invitation for Thursday during the time between the morning and afternoon class sessions.

As word got around, they learned that the P.E. department only had child-sized snowshoes. Undaunted, Leggett borrowed more than a dozen sets of shoes from Willink Middle School, and the play date was back on. (“Mr. Lamonica saved the day,” Leggett said.)

Perhaps 15 or 16 teachers and staff members took advantage of the snow day, and one teacher brought out her whole class for a stroll. Several people strapped on some snowshoes and lumbered around the front lawn. Others built snowmen or just took a long walk through the parking lots. It’s possible a snowball was even tossed through the open main office window.

The time to head back inside came too soon. But in the meantime, much fun was had, laughter happened, and there were a lot of smiles under the masks. It was a well-earned and well-deserved break.

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Things are looking good this COVID school year

3 Oct

So we’ve made it to October.

We’re several weeks into the new school year and things — at least from my perspective — are going pretty well.

I’m sure I’m not the only one pleasantly surprised that we’ve gotten this far before having to shut down again due to the virus. I credit that success to the behaviors I have seen in the two elementary schools I work at.

When classes move through the halls, often times the children have their hands out in front of them to maintain social distancing. They are paying attention to the little spots on the floor which tell them where to stand when they’re waiting in line for the restroom. They don’t seem to mind sitting widely spaced from their friends while they’re in their room.

But I’m particularly impressed by the way young students have come to accept the need to wear masks.

The teachers have done a wonderful job making the need for masks seem normal, incorporating it into their class songs and bulletin boards. I haven’t heard about any pushback from the students about the masks (even though the pre-K and kindergarten kiddoes often have to be reminded to pull it up over their noses). Clearly, putting on a mask for school has become as normal for them as bringing their backpack. (Thank you also to parents for supporting that!)

There have been some rough spots, of course. Elementary school arrival and dismissal procedures were rather inefficient for the first week or so as schools tried to streamline their procedures for the large number of children being dropped off and picked up by parents. But things seem to be running pretty smoothly now, allowing teachers their maximum opportunity to be with their morning and afternoon classes.

I understand that accommodating the large number of remote students at the middle and high school levels has also been a challenge which we’re still trying to work through.

Most definitely this year has dealt some very real difficulties to our Webster CSD families, especially those with very young children. But, given the circumstances, I think everyone is doing the best they can.

We just have to keep doing that for as long as we need to. We will weather this storm together.

Schlegel Elementary School staff members rocking their masks for a group photo on opening day.

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Schlegel teachers and students reconnect at drive-by

22 May
Even Whiskers, the Schlegel Rd. mascot, came to the event. Here he greets students with Schlegel Assistant Principal Robin Jennings,

Last night was a really fun night.

The administrators at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School got permission from the district Powers That Be to hold a drive-through event at the school so that staff members and students could reconnect.

The event officially began at 5:30, but staff members started showing up a good hour early to festoon their cars with signs and balloons and set up bubble machines and music. By the time families started driving in, cars were lined up around the school’s parking lot and bus loop. More than 80 staff members were there, representing pre-K through 5th grade, OWL, custodial staff, paraprofessionals, band and orchestra, secretaries and district sentries.

Everyone practiced proper social distancing — parking at least 6 feet apart and staying with their cars — and everyone wore masks. The masks made it hard to see all the smiles, but the distance didn’t damper the excitement at all as family cars streamed by for a full hour and a half.

Schlegel is one of the two schools where I work as a library teaching assistant, so I got to be there. Let me tell you, it was a delight to see all those little faces again in person (not on Zoom) and it was heartwarming to see those faces light up when they saw us.

It was a perfect way to ease the ache in our hearts from not seeing our students every day, and was something that both students and teachers desperately needed.

The slideshow below doesn’t capture the party atmosphere completely, but you get a good sense of how many people were there and how much everyone misses everyone else.


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Virtual relays keeping schools connected

14 May

craig

Plank Rd. North principal Craig Bodensteiner heading out for his relay leg.

A little while ago I posted a blog about a fun way we Barry’s Runners found to stay connected during the pandemic. It was a 12-hour virtual relay, based on 24-hour relay organized last month by Rochester Running Company.

The idea was simple: sign up for a half-hour relay “leg,” run or walk or bike during your appointed time, then “hand off” the virtual baton to the next relay participant via a text or phone call.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. Every single runner commented about how they appreciated the excuse to get out, to be a part of something greater than themselves, and have a purpose.

The following week, my Plank Rd. North principal Craig Bodensteiner asked if anyone had suggestions about how to keep the staff connected as the pandemic dragged on. I immediately knew that a virtual relay was perfect.

We ran our Plank North Virtual 12-hour relay on Tuesday, April 28. Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., 40 staff members, plus a lot of family members and furry friends, logged more than 105 miles.

robin

Even the Schlegel mascot, Whiskers, joined in the fun with AP Robin Jennings.

I’ll bet you know where this is leading….

We had SO MUCH FUN, I then suggested to my Schlegel Rd. principal, Francine Leggett, that we also have a staff relay. That one was even more successful. On Thursday May 7, more than 70 Schlegel Rd. staff members — plus a lot of family members and furry friends — logged an amazing 223 miles.

Everyone at both schools sent me a photo of themselves, or their sneakers, to mark their accomplishment. I put them all together in videos. If you have students at Plank North or at Schlegel, they might like to watch them and see all their teachers!

Click here for the Plank North video

Click here for the Schlegel Rd. video

And stay tuned. Teachers had so much fun and liked the idea so much, you might actually see them organize a virtual relay for their students!

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A heartfelt message to Schlegel Rd. staff

10 May

Last week was Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. It’s normally a time when students like to do something special for everyone who works at their schools. Obviously that wasn’t able to happen this year as it normally does. But one neighborhood came up with a creative way to share their appreciation.

The families from Eastwood Estates (Bannerwood Dr and Halesworth Lane), organized by the Miller family, got together to give a life-sized thank you to their Schlegel Road Elementary School teachers and staff.

eastwood

In the email they sent, they wrote,

We are so thankful for each of you and the investment you have in our kid’s lives! Your incredible hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed (especially in this season of remote learning, new instruction, and uncharted territory)! I’m speaking for my family, but I’m sure the neighbors would agree, we miss having our kiddos being loved on in person by the Schlegel staff each school day. You all are doing such a wonderful job adapting to this new normal! Thank you for being amazing and for teaching, guiding, and partnering with us!

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Webster administrators tops in the field

25 Apr

Congratulations to Spry Middle School assistant principal Jackie Saunders and Schlegel Road Elementary School Principal Francine Leggett for being recognized recently by the School Administrators Association of New York (SAANYS) as outstanding administrators.

SSANYS named Saunders Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year for Region 11, and Leggett Elementary Principal of the Year.

According to the SSANYS website, the organization recognizes educators who “demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and have made exceptional contributions to the educational process.”

Normally, last week these ladies would have been feted at an award ceremony at Midvale Country Club.  The fact they’ll probably be getting their awards in the mail does not diminish the accolades they have earned and greatly deserve.

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It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! (And some school news)

21 Oct

IMG_2044

I want to pass along a few notes from our schools this morning, but first, this photo to give you a smile to begin your Monday.

Maureen Finn forwarded me this picture of the huge pumpkin her husband Tim grew in their back yard on La Baron Circle. Posing with the mammoth melon are his great grandchildren Emma, Ellie , Ella and Charlotte.

Do you have any fun fall photos you’d like me to share with my readers? Feel free to send them along to missyblog@gmail.com.

AND NOW to some school news.

It’s time to start your holiday shopping!

 Schlegel Elementary School will  host its annual Craft Show on Saturday Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school, 1548 Schlegel Rd.. The event will feature more than 60 vendors, sweet treats, raffles, concessions and more.

Bailando con sus amigos!

Also on Saturday Nov. 2, the Webster school district will continue its observance of Hispanic Heritage Month with an evening of salsa dancing at Willink Middle School. Entertainment will be provided by Cinco Con Swing.

The event is free and open to the public! Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with salsa and merengue dance lessons from 6:45-7:45 p.m. After the lessons, dancing will be open until 9 p.m.

Honoring our veterans

Veterans and active duty service members and their families are cordially invited to a free dinner on Friday, Nov. 8 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Spry Middle School, 119 South Avenue, Webster.

This event is sponsored by Spry Middle School Student Council, Spry Middle School Builders Club, Webster-Fairport B.P.O. Elks #2396, Webster Community Chest, Wegmans, and Hegedorns as a way of showing appreciation for servicemen and women and their families.

Reservations are appreciated; please call Ms. Ritzmann at 216-0093.

New graduation dates

The Webster Central School District has announced an important change regarding graduation ceremonies for Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas high schools’ class of 2020.

The location will remain the same as in past years (RIT’s Gordon Field House), but the previously scheduled graduation date of Sunday, June 28, 2020, HAS BEEN CHANGED.

The new dates and times for the Class of 2020 graduation are:

  • Webster Tomas High School: Thursday, June 18, 7 p.m.
  • Webster Schroeder High School: Friday, June 19, 7 p.m.

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Please help spread the word: It’s ONLY A DRILL

25 Jun

The following is a re-posting of the blog I wrote last week about a MASS CASUALTY fire truckDRILL planned for THURSDAY which you’ll want to know about if you live or work or drive anywhere near northeast Webster.

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On Thursday June 27, Town of Webster emergency response agencies in conjunction with the Webster Central School District will be running a large-scale emergency drill at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School.

What that means is that beginning sometime between 8 and 8:30 a.m. you’re going to be hearing all kinds of sirens and see lots of fire trucks, police cars and ambulances descending on the school.

Don’t worry. It’s only a drill. School will be out for the summer, and while there will be students and adults there, they will be acting out pre-determined roles to simulate an actual emergency.

During the drill, Webster CSD, Webster Police Department, Webster Volunteer Fire Department, West Webster Volunteer Fire Department, Webster Emergency Medical Service, and Northeast Quadrant Advanced Life will simulate and respond to a large-scale school incident to test these agencies’ coordinated response. Several other area fire departments and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department will also be involved, and the New York State Police will be on hand to provide support.

Schlegel Rd. will be closed and Special Police will be diverting traffic from 7:30 a.m. to noon to assure the safety of the actors and emergency responders. Local resident access will be allowed.

Please help spread the word to friends and neighbors.

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