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Skaneateles hosts Junior High All-County: Skaneateles High School was alive with music on Friday and Saturday, as 335 student musicians rehearsed and performed during Junior High All-County. Along with their teachers, students rehearsed Friday afternoon and evening and during the day Saturday before performing a standing-room-only concert on Saturday afternoon. Students represented 17 districts from throughout Onondaga County. Participation is by audition only. Skaneateles music teachers received high praise for organizing the successful event. They hired outstanding guest conductors from Cleveland, Buffalo and Rochester to work with the students. Local students who qualified for All-County were: Josh Pickup (orchestra) Jonathan Neibuhr (band) AJ Teixeira (band) Connor Gell (band) Katie Olsen (chorus) Maddie Anna (chorus) ... more >>
One-man show targets bullying:  There was only one guy on the stage, but Skaneateles Middle School students were riveted recently by four totally different characters who took them on a suspenseful and uncomfortable journey about the realities of bullying and cyber bullying. In two assemblies (one for sixth graders and one for 7 th and 8 th graders) solo performer Tim Collins wore various hats to show struggles students face as instigators, bystanders and victims of various types of bullying. His visit was sponsored by the Middle School PTC.         . TBH (To Be Honest) is a one-man show about cyberbullying, teen dating violence and bystander intervention. STANDING BY, STANDING UP depicts four young men challenged by bullying. This highly acclaimed educational theater piece depicts ... more >>
DECA Club will compete at the State Competition: Students in Dan Mulroy’s business class participated in their first ever DECA competition on January 6 th at Le Moyne College and took home several first and second place trophies!  Eleven other local high schools with well over 300 students competed.  Skaneateles looks forward to competing again in the State Competition in March.  DECA or Distributive Education Clubs of America is an international association of high school and college students and teachers of marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service.   more >>
Brothers inspire others; MS clothing drive a success: From the SKANEATELES JOURNAL | Reyan and Amaan Usmani may be short on words, but they are big on heart. The two brothers — Reyan, a Skaneateles Middle School seventh-grader, and Amaan, a State Street Intermediate School third-grader — led the effort for the second year in a row to collect used coats and clothing at the middle school and purchase new items for those in need around the area. This year, Middle School Principal Gary Gerst said, the Usmanis waited until after the holidays to start the clothing drive, a timeline that the principal noted worked out just fine with the lack of cold weather until recently. Gerst said the school put out notice of the drive in its announcements, and he included in the news updates he puts online. From there, the ... more >>
Artists recognized at Scholastic Art Awards: Congratulations to Skaneateles students in 8 th through 12 th grades who earned a total of 40 awards in the 2016 Scholastic Art Awards last week. The works will be on display in the halls of the Whitney Applied Technology Center at Onondaga Community College through February 26.  In addition, photographs of pieces will be featured on the screens at Skaneateles High School and on our Skaneateles Schools Facebook page in the coming weeks. Only a small portion of the winning work is pictured here.   We will continue to feature different pieces, including an award-winning video. Scroll down to see more.                  Gold Key, Liz Williams, 10 th  grade, photography             ... more >>
Butler is new interim business official: Joseph Butler has joined the Skaneateles Central School District as interim business official, replacing Assistant Superintendent Doug Tomandl. Butler, who started on January 14, will work about three days per week through June. In addition to budget planning, contract negotiations, mentoring and performance management, Butler’s duties will include assisting Superintendent Ken Slentz in recruiting a new full-time business administrator.  Butler has 40 years in the business, including 27 years as business manager in the Liverpool Central School District. Most recently, he has worked as an internal claims auditor in the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District. He has a BS in Accounting and an MBA as well as a certificate of advanced study in Educational administration. In ... more >>
All-State musicians praise local programs: The three Skaneateles High School students who recently attended the NYSSMA All-State conference gave high praise for the experience – and also applauded their opportunities and teachers here at home. Jackie Aberi, Sam Smith and Jim Drancsak were among elite musicians chosen from throughout the state to perform at the festival. Aberi was in the Women’s Choir; Drancsak played violin in the Symphony Orchestra and Smith was the bassist for the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Orchestra teacher Karen Veverka said that the role of bassist for the Vocal Jazz Ensemble “is usually reserved for a musician the NYSSMA audition committee feels is one of the top bass players in the state. Sam fit that bill!”    The Symphony Orchestra performed Les Preludes, ... more >>
Pilot program fosters self-regulation: Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.   --  Charles Swindoll Second graders at Waterman School were introduced to The Zones of Regulation, a curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control.  For the kickoff event, students rotated between classrooms to learn about four color zones representing various states of alertness and feeling. This pilot program is the result of a grant awarded to teachers Doreen Richichi and Laura Vincent by the Skaneateles Education Foundation. If successful, the district will continue it into third grade next year. http://zonesofregulation.com/ Self-regulation is something everyone continually works on, whether cognizant of it or not.  “We all encounter trying circumstances ... more >>
Local graduation rate reaches 96%: Educators in the Skaneateles Central School District took time to celebrate briefly this week when the NY State Education Department released graduation rates for 2015, showing local rates going from 93 to 96 percent and spotlighting a dramatic increase in graduation rates for local students with disabilities – from 43 percent in 2014 to 81 percent in 2015.   After complimenting staff, administrators moved on to address important questions about how to improve in a way that is helpful to all students.    “There is MUCH to be proud of in what these numbers reflect from kindergarten to commencement and I offer my most sincere thanks and appreciation for the work that sits behind the success of our students,” Superintendent Ken Slentz said in an email ... more >>
DECA members earn prizes and praise: Skaneateles High School students competed this week for the first time in DECA – a co-curricular, student-centered organization that works to enhance the education of students with interests in marketing, management and entrepreneurship.  Business teacher Daniel Mulroy just started the Skaneateles chapter and was amazed at how well his students did in this regional competition, attended by more than 300students from 12 area schools. Eight of the 18 Skaneateles students placed first or second in the competition.  More details soon! more >>
The future: a look at enrollment and what it means: An enrollment study conducted for the Skaneateles School District and released this week confirms what yearly enrollment figures have suggested: in general, the school-aged population in Skaneateles is declining. The study also predicts that recent trends will continue into the foreseeable future, and will eventually level off. Interestingly, the decline here mirrors the decline throughout most of Central New York, and it also reflects a trend throughout the country, consultant Edward P. Caffarella said during a meeting with the district’s Strategic Planning Advisory Committee on Wednesday, January 6. “What you are experiencing, virtually every school district in Central New York is experiencing,” Caffarella told the committee, adding that there is similar declining ... more >>
MS clothing drive continues through Jan. 15: The Middle School is collecting new or gently used clothing for children in need (especially jackets, sweatshirts, mittens and hats … but all clothing ) through the end of the day Friday, January 15.  The clothing will be donated to organizations that help local families. “This clothing drive was initiated by one of our students last year and was so successful that the same student requested that we do it again,” said Principal Gary Gerst.  “We anticipate the majority of clothing donated will be used, but in good condition.  If you have new clothing that you would like to donate...that is great too!” Please leave donations in the main office or if you are in the building after 4 PM, it can be dropped off on the table in the main lobby. ... more >>
Lessons in sharing and giving: When he met with kindergartners just last year, Marvin McQuaid talked about the importance of caring for animals through the winter. And he talked about the importance of sharing -- and giving -- in general. "All we ever have in this life is what we share. That's all you ever have — what you share," he said when visiting. This year, in his honor, kindergartners made donations to the Pet Food Pantry in Auburn that he started with his wife, Marylou McQuaid. McQuaid died in August. He had visited Skaneateles kindergartners for five years to read books, discuss the needs of animals and collect food for pets over the holidays. His wife is continuing the mission along with some helpers, said teacher Kristin McKee, who has helped coordinate the pet food drive at ... more >>
PTC speaker is huge hit: Skaneateles High School students and staff are still talking about the funny, lively and inspiring messages they heard Thursday, December 17, from inspirational speaker Matt Bellace.  A combination psychologist and stand-up comedian, Bellace urged students to make healthy life choices. He gave humorous examples and practical wisdom that everyone could benefit from hearing.  Throughout the classrooms and hallways of the high school, people raved about the experience, calling it one of the best assemblies ever. Thanks go to the PTC. Bellace used his background in neuropsychology (and his experiences with a brother who “made poor choices”) to tailor his program to the developmental stage of his audience.  He promoted “natural highs” and delivered ... more >>
Collaborating for the gingerbread man: This is a story about how collaboration brought the gingerbread man to life this holiday season.   The third grade team at State Street Elementary School was looking for a large gingerbread man cookie cutter.  They searched and asked and were unable to come up with one anywhere that was large enough. (At least 12 inches tall).   Teacher Mary Whirtley contacted teacher Heather Buff (known for her technical wisdom) to see if it was possible to 3d print something like that.  “Of course it can be done,” Buff told her.     Buff (who was out that day) asked Middle School technology teacher Scott Stagnitta if he could help.  “It was a pretty tight timeline so he set right to work, designed it and printed it.  He said he could have ... more >>
Two advance in Poetry Out Loud: Skaneateles High School seniors Aimee LaFrance and Allison Priest took first and second places in the recent in-school contest for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The two winners go on to compete in the regional POL Contest at Storer Auditorium at Onondaga Community College at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23. The NYS competition will be Monday, March 14, at the Everson Museum in Syracuse. The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Nine students participated in the third annual Poetry Out Loud school contest at Skaneateles High School – the most ever, ... more >>
Squires gives encore, says goodbye: Terrance (Terry) Squires took a final bow with his string students at the State Street School December 8 annual holiday concert. He has been teaching young musicians in Skaneateles nearly 20 years, after a previous long career with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. At the conclusion of the evening concert for parents, Squires and his beginner orchestra received a standing ovation after playing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, and so they performed an encore. This time, the students played the song again and Squires sang along, with the words to the ABC song. Superintendent Ken Slentz said it was so perfect and touching to see the “elementary school professor of music” singing with his students that he (Slentz) and others sat there grinning from ear to ear. ... more >>
Middle School students are Santa's helpers: This is the sixteenth year that the Middle School Student Council has spread cheer by buying gifts for countless children and families. How to define the results of the annual Skaneateles Middle School shopping spree at Walmart? 25 feet of receipts More than 65 carts filled to the brim with games, puzzles, dolls, Play-Doh, sleds, skateboards and other toys. Nearly $14,000 spent, thanks to donations from Todd’s Fund, Dave Pirro Foundation and the Skaneateles Middle School Student Council (with special discounts provided by Walmart). A busload of tired but happy students and chaperones who worked in 13 groups to carefully select toys and other items for the children on their lists (spending an average of $1,000 in 90 minutes, with each item under $15. ... more >>
Music for the season: The sounds of the season can be heard in school hallways as musicians and their teachers prepare for upcoming concerts, listed below. December 10: 7th and 8th grade Holiday Concert at 7p.m., High School Auditorium December 13: HS Choral Concert, 2 p.m., High School Auditorium December 16: HS Band and Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m., HS Auditorium ... December 17: 1st Grade Winter Concert, 2 p.m., Waterman School Auditorium December 18: Renaissance Dinner, 6:30 p.m., Welch Allyn Lodge (Tickets are $50.00) December 23: Third Grade Holiday “Around the World Concert”, 2:30 p.m., State Street School more >>
Dancing to learn science: Students in Maureen Collier’s life science classes learn some important lessons while doing the Mitosis Square Dance. They learn the steps of mitosis by acting out the major DNA events through dance. “In this activity, the some students volunteered to be ‘chromosomes’ and the rest of the class was the ‘cell membrane’,” Collier explains.  During "Prophase" the student chromosomes are in pairs (doing a little do-si-do), which then leads to "Metaphase" where those pairs line up in the middle just like during the cell cycle.  Curriculum Coordinator Ella Briand happened to stop in and catch the action. “This is great,” she said. “I love that students get physically involved ... more >>

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Kenneth G. Slentz, Superintendent
45 East Elizabeth Street
Skaneateles, NY 13152
Phone: 315-291-2221


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