State of the District
January 2022 Version
There are numerous topics that I could write about given the current state of affairs in our region, state and country. Nothing I say can or will change current reality, but I certainly can and will offer a whole lot of positive happenings in our District that we can celebrate and be grateful for. This is not to say we are perfect or that we don’t need to improve in some areas because there is always room for growth and improvement. However, I choose to accentuate the positives as we can never get enough of them injected into our daily lives.
We have been both diligent and a bit lucky to keep school open everyday this school year. A credit to our staff, students and parents/guardians. The vast majority of us agree that kids need to be in school, taught by teachers in-person, while going through normal cycles of growing, maturing, and developing alongside their peers. Learning is social and happens in a variety of ways. Isolating students in a room in front of a computer screen all day long is not the solution. It will be necessary as a backup option if we need the days and hours of instruction to complete the school year.
We offer a wide array of educational opportunities both academic and extra-curricular in our District, unmatched in most places. We could speak to any one of these topics at great length, but for the purposes of space, below is a sampling of the highlights:
- Full Day tuition free Pre-K school for 3 and 4 year olds
- Ongoing investments in technology resulting in technology rich classrooms, current infrastructure, and 1–1 devices for students
- A full year’s worth (and more) of college credits (ACE) can be earned free of charge
- A quality Middle School that focuses on age-appropriate development
- An Elementary School that truly embraces the whole child in all their academic, social and emotional needs
- Improved academic performance resulting in our “District in Good Standing” status
- Numerous athletic and extra-curricular opportunities for all students
- Variety of after school and summer programming available
- Many scholarship opportunities available to Seniors
- 93 Career and Technical Education students attend a BOCES vocational program and 14 students attend a P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) program
- Graduation rates that are competitive both regionally and state-wide
- Dedicated high quality staff at all levels and in all support areas of our operation
- Staff willing to “go the extra mile” to improve all students’ opportunity to succeed
- Improved climate and culture which has a positive and direct tie in to student achievement
- Staff willing to pitch in and do whatever it takes to ensure consistency, continuity and to keep us open
- State-of-the-art school facilities that are second to none
- Major upgrades in classrooms/technology, large gathering spaces, lighting, STEM labs and all outdoor areas and fields
- Up-to-date schools that allow for quality 21st century academics and extra-curriculars to thrive
- Schools that are as safe on the exterior as they are on the interior
- Preparing for our Capstone Project with details coming soon…May 2022 vote…please stay tuned
A critically important component to having quality schools is ensuring the long-term fiscal health and stability of the District while balancing quality, high end programming and staffing with what the taxpayers can afford. We continue to meet and exceed this goal with all of the above-mentioned positives along with eight years running of a decrease in the tax rate per thousand dollars of assessed property valuation. Remember, the District is responsible for one-third (1/3) of the overall calculation of the local property tax rate. We are responsible for the tax levy amount and have no input on your local property assessment, or the state issued equalization rate (by township).
In summary, I firmly believe we are continuously improving on a positive upward sloping trajectory and ultimately poised for a bright future. Stay with us as partners and we will continue to make great strides together! Let’s end with a special thank you to parents/guardian and community members for your continued support and flexibility throughout all these changes we continue to experience.
Joe DioGuardi, Superintendent