Tag Archives: WCSD

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

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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.

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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

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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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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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Hot chocolate in the morning, courtesy Webster Schroeder PTSA

7 Mar

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So how great would it be for someone to welcome you to work in the morning with a cup of hot chocolate?

That’s exactly what happened Thursday morning at Webster Schroeder High School when the school’s PTSA surprised students by offering them hot cocoa as they entered the building.

Schroeder PTSA Chair Stacie Peters explained in an email that the event was meant to be a kind of “pick-me-up” during what can be a dreary time of year for students.

“This time of year we are dealing with cold weather and very little sunshine,” Stacie wrote. “We thought this timing would be good for the students because it’s in between the Winter and Spring break.”

Stacie continued in her email,

There is nothing that says love like the inviting, comforting scent of hot cocoa with marshmallows on a cold winter morning! We had music playing and as soon as kids started coming in they were greeted with smiles and a cup of hot cocoa! They all loved it and with the music and fun vibe it was just a feel-good start of the day for all the students, many staff came to have a cup as well.

Schroeder PTSA wants to let our students/staff know we care about them and we are so happy to do these little pick me ups throughout the year. We feel if the students are happy, teachers are happy and that can be a ripple effect as their day goes on spreading happiness. Events like this make it possible for secondary parents to still feel a part of their child’s school, that connection is invaluable.

While sponsored by the PTSA, the event had wonderful support from Webster Schroeder principal Paul Benz and a dedicated team of parent volunteers.

Webster Thomas High School PTSA held a similar event for Thomas students in February, and word it it was a tremendous success. Photos from that below:

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Plank Rd. schools’ staff members will play basketball for charity

5 Mar

Plank Rd. North and Plank. Rd. South elementary schools have been neighbors and close friends pretty much forever. But they have never played together.

That will change later this month when the schools host the first annual Battle of the Planks Staff Charity Basketball Game on Saturday March 28, when faculty and staff members from both schools hit the Webster Schroeder High School court for a friendly game of hoops to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital.

The idea for the game came from a conversation a few weeks ago between Plank North principal Craig Bodensteiner and physical education teacher Kevin Sayers as they monitored the bus loop.

“I’d always wanted to do something like this,” Bodensteiner said, and this spring, between the two school breaks, seemed the right time to do it.

“We’re in the middle of March Madness, so everyone is thinking about basketball. And the month of March kind of drags, so we thought this would be a good way to spice things up.” The next step was running the idea by Plank South principal Jennifer Sullivan.

“She’s a former basketball player,” Bodensteiner said, “so she’s very excited.”

We’re talking real basketball here, folks, complete with a referee, announcers, and concessions. About the only thing that might be missing in spots is actual athletic ability. But, Bodensteiner makes sure to stress, skill is not required; what is required is the desire to have fun.

“It’s a great way to bring everyone together,” he said. “Staff members at both schools will enjoy getting together in a non-work environment, and students will love the opportunity to come out to cheer on their favorite teachers, and show some school pride.”

Alumni are also being invited, adding more volume to each school’s cheering section.

It’s going to be a lot of fun and a lot of friendly competition,” Bodensteiner said. But, he added,”If Plank North can get the win, that’s a cherry on the top.”

The First Annual Battle of the Planks Staff Charity Basketball Game is scheduled for Saturday March 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd. There is no admission, but donations are encouraged, and all proceeds will benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital, a cause suggested by Plank North assistant principal Heather Balsamo.

(Big thanks to Kevin Sayers and Shawn Strege, Webster’s Director of Physical Education and Athletics, for so efficiently pulling together the details and arranging for the venue.)

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Webster community mailbag

18 Feb

Some good food and good news from our Webster athletes in today’s mailbag.

St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd., invites community members to attend their annual FREE Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday Feb. 25 (which just happens to be Mardi Gras!)

Dinner will include sausages, applesauce, and unlimited pancakes, served from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church. In honor of Mardi Gras, there’ll be beads and make-your-own mask crafts for the kids (and fun-loving adults). Feel free to come dressed in your best Mardi Gras finery!

All are welcome, so bring your whole family, and invite your friends. Call the church at 671-1899 with questions or to reserve seats .

The folks at St. Martin’s are holding this event in appreciation to the Webster community for its continuing support of all of its programs and missions. While the dinner if free, a free-will offering to support the church’s Little Free Pantry will be gratefully accepted.

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Now this notice about our Webster high school athletes doing great things for our community:

On Tuesday February 11, 2020, Webster Schroeder’s Hockey program organized and executed a successful community service even to address a very important topic: mental health.

Two hockey teams. One Webster. One fight. So many reasons. Beneath their armor of pads and skates, there are kind, caring individuals on our hockey teams who came together to raise awareness of NAMI Rochester (the Rochester chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness) in support of mental health.

The WCSD varsity hockey teams shared an important moment on the ice…where everyone was leveled by a single sheet of paper that signified a reason they fight. For someone, or a principle. Stopping and thinking about mental health and someone or a group of someones who are fighting a battle no one knows about. The boys filled out a sign and held it at the start of the game, both lineups facing the flag and recognizing the fight that may be in us all, even if we don’t know it.

Proceeds from the event — which included a raffle, Chuck-A-Puck contest and wristband sales — will be donated to NAMI Rochester.

 

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Webster Youth Sports Council PosterThe Webster Youth Sports Council will host sport psychologist Craig Cypher and a panel of local and regional health professionals for a discussion about “The Purpose of Youth Sports” on Thursday March 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The evening is billed as a “can’t-miss night of valuable sports-related information for parents, coaches and students.”

The panel will be held in the Webster Schroeder auditorium, 875 Ridge Rd. Child care will be available for children ages 3+.

For more information about the panel members, click on the poster.

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It must almost be spring.

21 Jan

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It MUST almost be spring.

The reason I say that is that I recently saw a blast of flyers from organizers of the 44th annual Community Arts Day, the Webster School District’s annual student show-off day.

Community Arts Day is our school district’s annual show-off day. Students from every one of our elementary, middle and high schools will have artwork on display, including . sculptures, paintings, collages, sketches, and more. There are dance exhibitions, music concerts and martial arts demonstrations. There’s face painting, sand and candy art for the kids, a bake sale, craft vendors, community group exhibits, and food and drink concessions. Most everything (aside from the food, of course) is free, which makes this event an awesome family activity for a (what will probably be) a cold, wintry day.

Lots of details are still coming together, but here’s what the organizers need right now to help make this year’s event run smoothly:

Vendors:

Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or exhibitor for this year’s event can click here  for more information and a registration form. Cost is $25 for exhibitors, $50 for vendors.

Performing groups:

Got a music or dance group you’d like to see on stage at Community Arts Day? Click here for more information and to register. Cost is $25.

Talent Show performers:

The “Webster’s Got Talent” talent show is also one of the most popular attractions at Community Arts Day. Singers, dancers and musicians are invited to participate. Acts should be 2-3 minutes long. So get your act together and register by April 7 by clicking here.  If you have questions, email the talent show coordinator, Jakob@JakobHRothfuss.com.

Sponsors: 

CAD sponsorship levels have been established to help offset the cost of the event. Sponsors at all levels will recognized in signage at both hostess stations at the front and back entrances, on the website’s main page and in several other ways. Sponsorship levels are Bronze ($75), Silver ($125) and Gold ($250). If you’re interested, click here for more information.

Volunteers: 

This event does not happen without a large number of volunteers. There are several ways you can lend a hand, including donating store-bought baked goods for the sweet-treats sale or working a morning, mid-day or afternoon shift in one of the activity areas, lunch counter, arts and crafts, face painting and others. Volunteer sign-up will begin the first week of March. In the meantime, you can find out more by clicking here. 

Volunteers: 

I know this is repetitive. But it’s really important. Please consider helping out, and get your teenagers to join you!

Stay tuned for more information about this terrific family and community event.

 

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The kids are getting out of school early tomorrow

19 Dec

Parents, please remember that the Webster Central School District will be conducting its annual Emergency Preparedness Early Release Drill tomorrow, Dec. 20.

Early Release Drill artStudents at every one of our Webster schools will be dismissed a little early and arrive home by bus a little early.

Tomorrow (Dec. 20) only, buses will leave the schools ate these times:

  • DeWitt Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • Klem North Elementary School, 2:00 p.m.
  • Klem South Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • Plank North Elementary School, 2:00 p.m.
  • Plank South Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • Schlegel Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • State Elementary School, 2:10 p.m.
  • Spry Middle School, 3:05 p.m.
  • Willink Middle School, 3:05 p.m.
  • Webster Schroeder High School, 3:05 p.m.
  • Webster Thomas High School, 3:05 p.m.

Also on this date, activity period at the elementary schools will run and will end 10 minutes early.

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Luncheon concludes first collaborative community reading project

31 May

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Webster community members and their student reading partners.  

I had the privilege to attend a very nice event on Thursday afternoon, the culminating luncheon of the first-ever community reading project.

Organized by Webster Schroeder English teacher Eileen Connolly, the project paired 25 adults from the greater Webster community with 25 students in Connolly’s 10th grade Here and Now English class. Every participant read the same novel — My Dog Skip by Willie Morris — over a period of four weeks in May. Reading assignments were assigned each week. Participants answered questions related to each assignment, recording their answers in a spiral notebook. The book and notebook were then delivered back and forth between adults and students every week so each could see what the other had written.

At yesterday’s luncheon, the adults and students met each other for the first time. My student partner was Kaylee Ziemniack, and I was pleased to be able to spend a few minutes getting to knew her at the luncheon.

Because it was just the first time for the program, there were a few glitches. But in general, it was a terrific experience and clearly adults and students alike got a lot out of it.

I asked Connolly to provide her thoughts on how things went and if she plans to run the program again next year. Allow me to quote her email directly:

Especially because it was our first time through, I was exceptionally pleased with how the program went. While we had a couple of bumps with delivery, every student and every adult read and responded to all parts of the novel. The opportunity to meet the people they’d been corresponding with was a little scary, but students enjoyed meeting and talking to their partners. Once we finished our luncheon, some of the participants also tried their hand at some blackout poetry using text from the novel.

The program gave students a low stress opportunity to do some reading and having adult feedback kept them interested. Students were always excited to open their envelopes and see what their partners had written. Many adults shared their own memories of childhood and provided some context for kids whose experiences are sometimes, but not always, very different from their own. Even the chance to see that people (other than teachers) actually write in cursive was an eye-opener for some students. Student readers had a chance to view how skilled and mature readers and writers interacted with the text. That provided excellent models for all of our students. …

We hope to expand the program to some English 10 classes at Thomas High School as well. I am thrilled that almost every adult said they would not only participate again but promised to get a friend or two involved.

I am so grateful for the many people who supported the program including our Principal Mr. Benz, Secondary Director of ELA, Larry Wahl, District Courier Jimmy Lehman, and my colleague Linda Law. … (Also) the staff of the offices at all the school pick up and drop off points. They didn’t have any advance notice and were very supportive too! At Schroeder, the front office staff, Kelly Dinsmore and Emily Zicari, were wonderful too!

Most of all, I want to extend my genuine gratitude to each and every community member who accepted our challenge to participate. The program taught my students that there are community members who care enough to take an interest in their work and lives. They gave of their most precious gift: time. There is no way to measure the value (short and long term) of that gift.

I would also like to add a thank you to the staff at the Webster Public Library. I arranged to have my packet dropped off there several times, and they were very accommodating.

I’m already looking forward to next year, and encourage others to come on board when Connolly ramps up the program again.

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At the luncheon: Me and my reading partner Kaylee Ziemniak; Noah Vercruysse and his partner   Meredith Feary. Claire Belmont is photo-bombing. 

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