Tag Archives: Webster Central Schools

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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Webster community mailbag

20 Jul

 

garlic festival

You’ve probably already seen this news, but in case you haven’t: the 2020 Rochester Garlic Festival, scheduled for Sept. 12-13, has been canceled.

The news, which comes on the heels of the cancellation of pretty much everything else this summer, certainly comes as no surprise. But after the festival’s strong return in 2019 after taking a year off, I was looking forward to seeing what it had in store for this year.

But we’ll have to wait until next summer.

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gazeboDid you miss out on attending the terrific, family-friendly comedy act that came to the gazebo a few Fridays ago? (Click here to read the blog I wrote about that show.)  Well, your next chance to enjoy some laughs is coming up on July 31.

Rudolph Valentino will return to the gazebo in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave. on Friday night July 31. He’ll be joined by his co-host and funny friend Kevin Markman.

There’s no admission, and water and snacks can be purchased, if this show will be anything like the last. And you’ll laugh a lot.

Bring your quad chairs and a cooler if you like, and bring a mask in case you have to sit too close to anyone or want to hit up the vendors. But it’s a spacious area, so there shouldn’t be any problem social distancing. The show is slated to start at 7 p.m. But it started late last time so don’t worry if you’re running late.

webster_banner

Finally, some news from the schools.

Congratulations to my former Webster Thomas teaching colleague Carol Saladzius, who was recently hired as assistant principal at Hilton High School. Carol and I worked together for several years at Thomas — me in the library and she a Spanish teacher — and I am happy for her new adventure.

Congratulations also to the Webster Thomas Best Buddies program, which last week was named the most outstanding high school chapter in New York State for 2020.

Best Buddies is a nationwide program which matches special education students with peer buddies who have similar interests.  The peer buddy makes a commitment to reach out to their buddy once a week outside school via email or telephone, and to get together and do something outside school with their buddy once a month.

The program came to Western New York four years ago and Webster Thomas was one of the first high schools to sign up. To read more about the program here in New York State, click here.

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Have you signed your school-age child up for school yet?

Our students will be going back to school one way or another this September, and the district really needs to know how many students to expect. So if your child isn’t already registered for the 2020-21 school year, please do so ASAP.

The New York State Department of Education requires all school-age students age 5-6 (in the given school year) and older be registered in some sort of education program in the district in which they live. This includes students who will be attending public school, those who will be going to private and parochial schools, those who have moved into a new school district, and those who will be home-schooled. (These can be changed at any time, but prior registration is still required.)

If you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before December 1, that child is eligible for kindergarten enrollment. Families new to Webster CSD with children grades 1-12 may also enroll their children at this time. For more information and to download registration packets, click here.

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Plank North celebrates their fifth graders

7 Jun

Much like our high school seniors, Webster’s fifth graders are losing out on a lot of celebration as they near the end of this school year.

Normally these last few weeks of fifth grade would be filled with awards ceremonies, field days and parties. But of course nothing like that can happen this year thanks to the pandemic. So elementary schools across the district are coming up with creative ways to celebrate our fifth graders’ achievements. On Friday night, Plank North Elementary did that by hosting a fifth grade parade through the bus loop.

Staff members spread out along the entire length of the bus loop with banners, flags and decorated cars, and welcomed students and their families with big waves and cheers as they drove through the bus loop. (Most of the families decorated their cars for the celebration as well.) Upon reaching the front of the building, “graduating” fifth grader received awards and gifts from the school, and wished good luck as they head off to Spry Middle School.

Clearly the teachers enjoyed the evening as much of the kids. Even under all the masks they were wearing, you could tell that the staff members’ grins were a mile wide.

Here are some photos from the evening:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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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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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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Seniors, show your signs!

19 Apr

I  love this story, which I saw this week in the Webster Herald.

The Webster Central PTSA has purchased a lawn sign for every graduating senior in our district, from both Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas high schools.

This from the PTSA:

The Webster Central PTSA believes this is an opportunity to show our students the power of community in these unprecedented times and unify our youth across the district. We hope the signs will bring smiles to the faces of seniors, their families, and neighbors, as well as encourage our high school seniors to reflect on their accomplishments and journey through Webster Central Schools.

The principals of each high school will be reaching out to to students to arrange for the sign pick-up.

It’s a simple way for our schools, and our community, to show how proud we are of our young people, and to give the Class of 2020 some recognition in these difficult times. Watch for them as they start sprouting up in our neighborhoods.

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Hot chocolate in the morning, courtesy Webster Schroeder PTSA

7 Mar

hot cocoa #1

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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