Tag Archives: WCSD

More details about Schroeder Drama’s The Addams Family

17 Apr

I just got an email yesterday with some more details about Webster Schroeder’s performance of The Addams Family next weekend.

Shows are scheduled for Friday April 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday April 24 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Of course, thanks to Covid, they can’t open up the auditorium to packed audiences, so they’ve arranged to live-stream each performance, which should be just as enjoyable as the in-person experience (plus, you don’t even have to leave your living room!).

You can purchase live-stream tickets by clicking here. You won’t even have to print off a ticket. Instead, you’ll receive an email with a StreamPass code. Simply click the code link and you’re in. Tickets are $10 each.


Here’s the awesome cast:

Gomez Addams………………………………………..Brendan Mathewson
Morticia Addams……………………………………..Lauren Farrow
Uncle Fester…………………………………………….Jake Horton
Wednesday Addams………………………………..Aydan Baier
Pugsley Addams………………………………………Michael Sofia
Grandma…………………………………………………Bridget McNamara
Lurch……………………………………………………….David Lynch
Lucas Beinecke………………………………………..Zach Gibson
Mal Beinecke…………………………………………..Theo Guth
Alice Beinecke………………………………………….Sara Kidane

Ancestors:

Maggie Anderson, Aidan Jacobs, Anika Peterson, Jack Baker, Hunter Lane, Tony Pellegrino, Liam Cornish, Samantha Morgan, Georgie Prevosti, Sydney Enright, Sam Nagar, Devon Proia, Carenza Glastonbury, Andrew Painton, Maya Richards, Amelya Harris, Ryan Parody, Tyler Young and Kenzie Harris

Make it a night (or afternoon) out (so to speak). Grab a drink and some snacks, pull up a couch, and enjoy a terrific production by some very talented high school students who’ve been working very hard to bring some laughter to all of us during these difficult days.

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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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Webster community mailbag

6 Feb

Blood drives coming up

Three local blood drives are coming up in the next two weeks. The first is Monday Feb. 8 from 1 to 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, 1460 Ridge Rd., and the second on Tuesday Feb. 9 from 1 to 6 p.m. at St. Martin Lutheran Church. 813 Bay Rd.

If you can’t make it to either one of those, a third one will be held on Tuesday Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the American Legion, 818 Ridge Rd.

You’ll want to make an appointement so that the Red Cross can keep everyone safe, and so you’ll be in and out quicker. Click here to do that.

Aside from saving up to three lives with your donation, here’s another reason to take the time: The Red Cross is currently testing all blood donations for Covid19 antibodies, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Important information from the school district

The Webster Central School District has expanded this year’s parent/teacher conference days, which will now take place over four days, March 11, 12, 18 and 19.

On Thursdays March 11 and 18, AM students will attend school during their regularly scheduled class time, while PM students will not meet for class and that time will be set aside for conferences. And on Fridays March 12 and 19, the PM students will have class, while the AM time will be set aside for conferences. This schedule also applies to remote learners.

Transportation will run as usual when class is in session.

If you have children entering kindergarten this September, you should know that kindergarten orientation and registration are open and have gone remote.

If you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before December 1, 2021, that child is eligible for kindergarten enrollment for the 2021-22 school year. In lieu of traditional in-person orientation, Student Registration has a video for parents/guardians of incoming kindergarteners to watch at their leisure, which explaines the registration and entrance process. You can see it at websterschools.org/registration.

The district is also now accepting completed kindergarten registration packets for the 2021-22 school year. Go to websterschools.org/registration to follow the link enabling parents/guardians to complete a 100% online registration process. If you’d like to print out and fill in the registration packet by hand, you’ll also print off the packet from that site. School registration is based on residency. Webster students attend the school assigned to their home address. Use the School Locater Tool on the Student Registration website for placement information.

The safest method to submit registration paperwork is online, but the district understands this is not possible for all parents/guardians. Packets are available for pick-up and drop-off at the Student Registration Office at Spry Middle School, 119 South Avenue, Webster, Door 2 (next to the main entrance). A secure drop box is located in the vestibule from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please do not drop off any original documentation; only copies will be accepted.

Call or email Carla Watkins with any questions: 585-216-0029 or carla_watkins@webstercsd.org.

February Break magic show

It’s time to start thinking ahead to February Break and how to keep the kids entertained. Here’s a good start.

The Webster Recreation Center will host Rich the Magic Man on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. for a Valentine’s Day Virtual Magic Show. Cost is $10 per family. Visit the Recreation Center website and search for program #101207A.

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Pandemic or not, the show must go on

28 Jan

When you’re in theater and a global pandemic keeps you from packing an auditorium with people who want to see your show, what’s a director to do? Create a show which people don’t actually have to be able to SEE.

That’s exactly what the students at Webster Thomas have done with their production of The Webster Thomas Radio Hour.

As the name implies, the show — which actually runs about two hours — is modeled after a 1940s-era radio show, complete with serials, commercials and a musical guest.

The main program is a collection five short plays, all written and performed by students. They begin with a crime drama (The Case of the Missing Mallets), followed by some science fiction (The Adventures of the Time-Traveling Athenians and The Return of Professor Z to the Planet of the Beyond), a murder mystery (Terror Train) and a ghost story (Francis Fisher — Ghost Hunter). Tucked in between the features are several very creative commercials and short subjects. And, in keeping with the old-time radio variety show format, all of the sound effects and musical cues are performed live.

Even though the the play couldn’t be presented in front of a packed auditorium, director Mark Stoetzel has tried to give his young actors as much of a normal school play experience as possible. It is being presented on the Thomas stage, for example. But all of the actors will wear masks and maintain social distancing as they act out their lines, something that isn’t possible with a traditional production.

Stoetzel wrote,

Our students, especially the seniors, really do miss the regular performances with all that entails (tech week, set building days on weekends, creative concession tables, cast parties, much longer rehearsals, etc.). These things were stressful, but in a good way. Naturally, we cannot do most of these things, but we can recreate some of the trappings.

We’ll put a display in the trophy case outside the auditorium like always, with cast head-shots and bios. We’ve put the show’s poster on the kids’ lockers (thanks to Denise Warren, Tanya Yost, and Brian Phares for that – everyone is pitching in!). And we’ve scheduled the recording sessions at night like a regular show, and have allowed each student to invite their immediate families (spread out throughout the whole auditorium). There won’t be a cast party, but they’ll still keep certain traditions alive, like paper-plate awards.

The ensemble held their final rehearsal on Wednesday afternoon. I was pleased to be invited, mostly because I was a little unsure about how this radio-play-on-a-stage would work.

Basically, the Thomas stage became the “recording studio.” Actors’ chairs, microphones and script stands were scattered around the stage, with a table in back filled with sound effects materials for two Foley artists. Signs announcing each feature were stacked in front of the stage for the benefit of the studio audience. And of course, one dedicated cue-card holder stood at the ready to let audience members know when to laugh, applaud, boo or gasp!

Jenna Dow and Brynn Smith perform as Alex Ramirez instructs the audience.

I enjoyed the production tremendously. Each of the features was very well written and very funny. The actors actually acted out their roles as they read their lines, and they were all quite good. There were some humorous references to Rochester and the commercials poked fun at several of the students’ beloved teachers. And the poor musical guest … well, you just have to see the show yourself to see what happens to her.

And you will be able to see the show. After presenting the play to very small, invitation-only audiences Thursday and Friday, it will be posted on YouTube and other media platforms. I’ll let you know the details as soon as I know them, but in the meantime, you can stay up to date by following the cast on Twitter at @wthsfallplay.

It’s a very family-friendly production, by the way, so everyone will enjoy it.

Director Mark Stoetzel, right, gives some final instructions to his cast before a performance.

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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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PN kindergarten teacher makes the news

5 Aug

Capture

As the the very uncertain beginning to the school year draws near, our local TV stations are naturally trying to gauge the mood of students, parents, and teachers as well.

When WHEC Channel 10 went looking for a teacher to interview, they came up with the a perfect spokesperson for all teachers everywhere who are missing their students terribly: Plank North kindergarten teacher Peggy Garritano.

Click here to see the piece.

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Check out this Community Arts Day slideshow

3 Jun

penguins

These penguins, created by Melissa Pennington’s students at Klem North, are a great example of the art you’ll see in the slideshow.

I love Community Arts Day.

This all-day event, which is normally held every April at Webster Schroeder High School, is a terrific opportunity to reconnect with old friends and neighbors, and check out what’s new with many of our area non-profit agencies and organizations.

But mostly, Community Arts Day is our school district’s annual show-off day. Students from every one of our elementary, middle and high schools have artwork on display, plus there are music, dance and martial arts performances.

This year’s Community Arts Day had to be canceled, of course. But I’m happy to report that you can STILL check out some of our kids’ incredible artwork, albeit virtually.

Our district’s art teachers have each taken a selection of their students’ work and compiled photos of them in this Community Arts Day 2020 slideshow. Click through, sit back and enjoy hundreds of  stunning works of art, including sketches, paintings, sculptures, pottery and more. Every single one of our elementary and secondary schools is represented.

It’s going to blow you away. And best of all, you don’t even have to get out of your pajamas to appreciate them this year!

Here’s the link again.

drawing one

Sample pieces from students in Kate Zalewski’s Drawing One class at Webster Thomas.

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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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Seniors are getting celebrated in a big way

1 May

senior 1

Webster Schroeder senior Anya Swinson with her lawn sign.

If you’ve been on Facebook at all today, guaranteed you’ve seen some videos of a great event that’s happening all over town today.

Webster School District representatives are driving all around town today in a mini-parade led by a loudly-honking school bus, handing out lawn signs recognizing every single one of our high school seniors — more than 700 of them.

The school bus is being followed by Webster Schroeder teachers/staff, Webster Thomas teachers/staff, and PTSA volunteers in their cars. The parade is expected to continue until about 3:30, so keep an eye out in your neighborhood!

Click here to see video of the delivery to the home of Webster Schroeder senior Anya Swinson, who will be attending Mercyhurst in the fall. The Webster Central PTSA purchased the signs.

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