Tag Archives: Webster Central Schools

Time to get your PTSA on

24 Aug

front-and-back-of-card

I get emails from our schools’ PTSAs pretty much all summer. But this time of year, in the short weeks before the school year starts, they start coming in fast and furious.

And with good reason. School PTSAs could really use the support of every single family, but typically fall short of getting that.

Long gone are the days when I was a child, when the only things parents (mostly stay-at-home moms) were asked to do was bring in cupcakes for parties and cut out stars for bulletin boards. As classroom needs and teacher responsibilities have expanded, so has the need for an active and engaged parent/teacher organization.

Present-day PTSAs try to support classroom teachers and administrators in their jobs as much as possible, while also providing enrichment opportunities for students and their families. They’ll run after-school clubs and school-wide activities like festivals and dances; they help within-school events, help coordinate class pictures, create the school yearbook and purchase school supplies, and a hundred other support activities.

This all takes people and money. Most PTSAs rely on a core group of parents who do the bulk of the work. They’d love to have more join the effort, even giving an hour or two (or even a half hour) every once in a while for a special event.

But as a PTSA member, you don’t even have to commit ANY time if you don’t want to. Simply showing your support by purchasing a PTSA membership is plenty helpful.  You can even sign up online. And in addition to helping your school, you’ll get a membership card with discounts printed on the back (like 10% off at local businesses, a free Blizzard at DQ, 50% off at Color Me Mine), and will be entered into three prize drawings:

  • Oct. 1 – Four tickets to Webster Theatre Guild’s October production of South Pacific and a $200 gift card to Hedges
  • Nov. 1 – A one-year family membership to the Webster Aquatic Center
  • Dec. 1 – A one-year family membership to the Bay View Family YMCA (includes access to area YMCA facilities!)

So next time you get one of those emails, don’t trash it. Consider joining your school’s PTSA. You’ll be doing a lot to support your kids, their teachers and administrators this school year.

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New school start times instituted for 2019/20

16 Aug

clock

It’s a done deal.

Yesterday the Webster Central School District officially announced that the proposed change in school start times was approved at the August 14 School Board meeting.

What that means is that beginning with the 2019/20 school year (NOT this school year), the secondary schools’ day will run from about 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 pm., and elementary schools from 7:45 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. (Depending on the school, that time might vary by 5 minutes or so.)

This from the district’s press release:

Throughout the past year, elementary and secondary work groups have been meeting to research the scientific evidence that supports this start time change for our students, along with the implications for our academic program, district transportation, childcare, athletics, and elementary activity period. Rest assured, teams will continue to meet throughout the 2018-19 school year as we communicate to you how this change will occur beginning with NEXT FALL’s 2019-20 school year.

For more information, click here for the WCSD website link. You can also check out this story recently posted in the D&C.

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News from the schools

14 Aug

Rod DeRose temp photo - uncroppedMore good news from the schools this morning.

First, the school district has announced that Rob DeRose will be the new assistant principal at DeWitt Road Elementary School.

DeRose currently serves as Webster CSD’s extended school year coordinator and instructional specialist for humanities/literacy. He will begin his new position effective September 1.

DeRose began his career in WCSD as a special education teacher at State Road Elementary School, and also served as special education department lead teacher for four years. He lives in Macedon with his wife, Carmella, and three children, Jacob (8), Benjamin (6), and Gracie (3).

The Webster Central PTSA has announced the winners of the organization’s 2018 Student Awards.

Each year the Webster Central PTSA recognizes six outstanding seniors, chosen by high school counselors in a blind selection process from the Common Applications. For each award, one student is chosen from each high school, Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas. Each winner will receive $500.

Webster Central PTSA Pursue Your Passion Award

The Pursue Your Passion Award recognizes seniors working to make their dream a reality, who exemplify the principles of Webster Central PTSA and student CARE behaviors. This year’s winners are Brianna Jones (Schroeder) and Dominic Chiara (Thomas).

Webster Central PTSA Academic Excellence Award

This award recognizes seniors who have demonstrated excellence in academic achievement and are pursuing a college education. This year’s winners are Selena Zhang (Schroeder) and Sarah Fischer (Thomas).

Webster Central PTSA Ann Carmody Award for Outstanding Community Service

As its name suggests, this award is given to a senior who has demonstrated excellence and commitment to community service efforts in and/or outside of school, measured by volunteer hours. This year’s winners are Caitlin Glastonbury (Schroeder) and Katelyn Meredith (Thomas).

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Webster is in mourning

11 Aug

barnesEarlier this week, Webster suffered a great loss when Chris Barnes, a beloved teacher, coach, father and friend, passed after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Barnes was long-time coach of the Webster Thomas girls’ lacrosse team, and a teacher at Willink Middle School. He is remembered for both his successes on the playing field and in the classroom, but his main legacy lies in the kind of person he was and how he positively affected the lives of the young women who played for him.

You can read more about all that in a story by Stevie Johnson in the Democrat and Chronicle . I’d like to focus, therefore, on a lacrosse game held last Tuesday in Barnes’ honor.

It was the team’s annual alumna game, which this year was dedicated to Coach Barnes.  All proceeds from t-shirt’s, raffles and food went to the Barnes family.

WROC-TV and WHAM-TV both covered the game. Here’s the transcript from the WHAM story, courtesy Mary Alice and David Moore:

Tuesday night, the Webster Titans showed just how big their collective heart is. They came together to rally around a beloved teacher and coach.

Girls Lacrosse at Webster Thomas is synonymous with Coach Chris Barnes. He started the program in 2003, teaching the young women on the field for Tuesday’s alumni game everything they know about lacrosse.

“He taught me, personally, a lot about passion,” said Webster Thomas graduate Nicole Voci. “Seeing him show up to every practice and every game kind of meant a lot to me, and it made me want to win for him.”

And the players will tell you the lessons from Coach Barnes went beyond lacrosse.

“He’s meant a lot to me,” said graduate Kelsey Quinlan.

Now, the coach’s players are showing him just how much he meant to them, Tuesday’s game was a fundraiser to honor Coach Barnes during what’s become a two-year battle with colon cancer. It never stopped him – he worked right up until his surgery.

“He taught the kids as much about life as he did about lacrosse,” said retired athletic director Scott Morrison.

“His legacy is what he’s passed onto hundreds and hundreds of girls and their families,” said former Barnes assistant and present Webster Schroeder Girls Lacrosse Coach Bryan Hanley, “his spirit and how he handled himself.”

Ever the coach, even when he isn’t on the sidelines, Chris Barnes is still there – in the hearts and minds of his team.

All proceeds from Tuesday’s event will be donated to a charity of Coach Barnes’ choice.

Calling hours for Chris Barnes will be held Wednesday August 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at Willard Scott Funeral Home, 12 South Avenue, and the funeral held the following morning at Immanuel Lutheran Church. For details, click here to read the obituary.

lacrosse alumna

Webster Thomas girls’ lacrosse alumna

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News from the schools

4 Aug

back-to-school-school-clipart

It’s August. We can officially start talking about school again.

First, if you’re new to the district, or if you have an incoming kindergarten student, make sure to remember to register your children. School starts on September 4, so It’s important to do that right away.

Children who will be 5 years old on or before December 1 are eligible to enter school. Students are assigned to schools based on their primary residence. If predetermined class sizes have been reached, a new entrant or an existing student whose family has moved to a new address within the district may be assigned to an alternate Webster school for the school year. (That’s another reason to register early!)

Registrations are taken by appointment at Webster Central School District’s Central Registration Office, located on the third floor of Spry Middle School, 119 South Avenue. Call (585) 216-0029 to schedule an appointment. A completed registration packet, along with all required documents, must be provided during the meeting. Packets are available at all WCSD school buildings and here on the district website.

Remember, children will not be able to start school in the fall without being registered.

And if your new student is a kindergartner, don’t forget to attend the Strive for Five for School Bus Safety Program next week to help your young’un get used to riding a school bus. For more information, check out my blog here.

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Changes are happening at Webster Thomas High School

Clark-Susan web photo

Dr. Susan Clark

Dr. Susan Clark, a former Thomas math teacher and most recently one of the school’s assistant principals, is moving on. She’s been appointed the new Webster Central School District Director of Mathematics and Business. She’s taking over the position vacated by Eric Blask.

Replacing Dr. Clark at Thomas as new assistant principal is Kylene

Anson-Kylene-9411

Kylene Anson

Anson. Anson is currently assistant principal for Willink Middle School’s Blue House. Before coming to Webster, she was a special education teacher in East Irondequoit, and then assistant principal at Victor Senior High School.

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Finally, I snapped this photo yesterday at Plank Road North Elementary School, where it looks like the new playground is almost complete. All of our elementary schools are getting playground upgrades this summer, which will make the start of the school year even more exciting for the kids.

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WCSD invites kindergartners to Strive for Five

31 Jul
strive

New kindergartners practice the proper way to line up for the bus at a previous Strive for Five program. 

August — and the start of the new school year — are just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about buying supplies and getting up early again.

For our youngest students, getting on a big school bus on that first day of school can be a little bit scary. A great program called Strive for Five for School Bus Safety helps allay some of those fears.

The program, designed for 2018/19 incoming kindergarteners, provides children the chance to travel a short distance on a school bus with their parent(s) and to learn important safety procedures for riding the school bus.

The program will start at Willink Middle School, where the bus will pick up participants and bring them to (and from) the transportation department. The buses leave Willink at 6:00 p.m. and returns about an hour later.

While at the transportation department, students will rotate through five stations teaching them the following safety elements:

  • Loading and unloading the bus
  • Proper crossing procedures
  • Danger zones surrounding the bus
  • Appropriate behavior on the bus
  • Emergency equipment

Incoming kindergarteners and their parents (no additional children, please) should attend as follows, if at all possible. IF you can’t make your assigned evening, you can come on another, but they district really likes to spread everyone out as much as possible.

August 6 – Plank South
August 7 – Klem North and Schlegel Road
August 8 – Dewitt Road and State Road
August 9 – Klem South and Plank North

Private and parochial schools can attend any one of the four dates.

For more information on the program, please contact the transportation department at 265-3840.

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Work means play at the elementary schools

20 Jul
plank north 2

A view of the work happening at Plank North Elementary (photo courtesy H. Balsamo) 

School’s out, the teachers are taking a much-needed break, and students are spending their days riding bikes, traveling and hitting the pool.

Nevertheless, there’s exciting stuff happening at the elementary schools.

If you drive by your school in the next few weeks, chances are you’ll see a lot of work going on near one of the playgrounds. Each one of the district’s seven elementary schools is getting new equipment this summer.

At Plank North, principal Craig Bodensteiner said the installation should take only about two weeks. “It’s been so long since we provided our ‘wish list’ of the additional equipment, I’m not sure of all the details,” he said, but he thinks the project includes some additional swings and “green/gold fun stations for our kiddos.”

Bodensteiner added that each of the seven buildings asked for different equipment to add some variety throughout the community.

Click here to see several more photos from the Plank North and Plank South work.

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Plank North students in the news

6 Jul

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Just a quick shout-out to two young Plank North Elementary School students who were recently featured on WROC-TV news.

Gabby and Mia Fallone were interviewed on the July 4th, 5:30 p.m. newscast about the school’s recent Jar Wars competition, which was held in anticipation of the end-of-year Field Day.

There’s a dunk tank at the Field Day every year, and every year a handful of teachers vie for the honor of being the one to get dunked. Their photos are plastered to a series of jars set up in the school’s front hallway, and students drop their coins and dollars into the jar of the teacher they’d like to see in the tank. All the proceeds are donated to Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Jar Wars raised $246.38 this year for the hospital. Gabby and Mia presented the check in person last week, and the event was covered by WROC.

Click here for a link to the video.

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Webster mini mailbag

26 Jun

Just two quick events I want to highlight today which came across my email box recently.

art-festThe first is the third annual Webster Waterfront Art Festival, which will return to North Ponds Park on July 28 and 29.

The event features artists from all over Monroe County, food trucks, entertainment, a wine tasting booth and more.

I’ve enjoyed walking the paths these last two years, checking out the artisans, listening to music, and actually picking up a few Christmas presents along the way. It was a great day when Webster landed this event, and it has been an outstanding addition to the town’s summer events calendar. Don’t miss it if at all possible.

I’ll be posting more details in my blog in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime, you can check out the website here.

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CaptureSummer is also reunion time, and just yesterday I was informed that plans for the R.L. Thomas Class of 1978 40th reunion are under way.

You can check out the flyer to the left for the details, but here they are anyway:

  • Date: Saturday September 8
  • Time: 4 p.m.
  • Location: Ukranian Cultural Center, Jackson Road, Penfield
  • Includes: Buffet dinner, cash bar, laughs, fun times, embarrassing memories and photos.
  • Cost $28 per person.

Registration deadline is August 31. You can download the form and mail it in, but if you do that and it’s hard to read…. well, we Webster kids are smart; I’m sure you’ll figure out another way to register.

Keep up on all the latest details at the RL Thomas Class of 1978 Facebook page and make sure to spread the word!

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Thank you, Webster Thomas GeoTech team!

2 Jun
IMG_20180531_125753670

GeoTech teachers Kurt Mangos and Mike Tuchrello with the new bookshelf.

I’d like to give a shout-out today to the GeoTech team at Webster Thomas High School. The students in this project-based class did an amazing job building a rolling book shelf for the Schlegel Elementary library, where I work.

Librarian Jamie Palmer and I had heard about some of the projects the GeoTech students had completed, including a shed and raised gardening beds for the Schlegel courtyard. So a few months ago, when we started dreaming about a new bookshelf, we approached them with our idea.

I made a pseudo-architectural drawing of our idea, handed it off to GeoTech teachers Mike Tuchrello and Kurt Mangos, and they ran with it. Last week,  much to our surprise,  they wheeled the brand new bookshelf into the library.

The GeoTech team has been busy this year. Mangos said,

We’ve built sheds, raised accessible planter beds, ADA compliant ramps, cornhole game boards, ladder golf games, WTI Chromebook charging stations, many shelving units, walls for sets, etc….

That includes new planter beds at Plank North Elementary, the OTHER school I work at.

GeoTech students receive a technology, local math, and English credit through the project-based learning class.

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