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Grand Island School Board News
2010 page 2


Previous News Page




ATTENTION All Grand Island High School Graduates - December 2010

All Grand Island High School graduates, classes of 2007-2008-2009-2010, are invited to share your suggestions directly with the board of education on how the board could make our schools even better. Which part of your high school experiences worked well? Not so Well? The board members need to hear from you.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
High School Senior Cafeteria
6:30-8:00PM
Please attend this important board of education meeting and bring a friend.


‘Tis the Season for Holiday Cheer at Grand Island Schools - December 2010

See Holiday Performances/Events



BOARD OF EDUCATION 2011 FACILITY COMMITTEE - December 2010

   The Grand Island Board of Education invites parents and community members to consider serving on a committee which will provide the Board with recommendations for a possible future capital project. Committee members will review the state required “Building Conditions” report as well as identify any potential needs for improved/expanded educational space. Meetings will be generally held at least every two weeks from January – May, 2011.
   Interested Grand Island residents should indicate their interest in writing in serving on this committee to:
Janet Schuster
Board Clerk
Grand Island Central Schools
1100 Ransom Road
Grand Island, NY 14072
    DEADLINE TO RESPOND IS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2010


School Board Meeting Agenda - December 2010

See Mon., December 13, 2010 Meeting



School Board Meeting Agenda - November 2010

See Mon., November 22, 2010 Meeting



School Board Meeting Agenda - November 2010

See Mon., November 8, 2010 Meeting



School Board Meeting Agenda - October 2010

See Mon., October 18, 2010 Meeting



Bullying In Our Schools - 2010

See Bullying In Our Schools for complete information on the following.
On October 25, 2010, see how a tragedy that affected an entire country is touching the lives of students in Grand Island, New York. On this day, Grand Island High School and Veronica E. Connor Middle School students will be attending Rachel’s Challenge – a program that stems from Columbine to discourage future violence, suicides and bullying among young students.



Record Number of Students to Perform at Area All-State Ensembles - Oct. 2010

   The instrumental music department at Veronica E. Connor Middle School and Grand Island High School are pleased to announce that a record number of students have achieved a place in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Junior High Area All-State performing ensembles. The ensembles are comprised of students in grades 7 – 9 from the four counties of Western New York. Students were selected on the basis of their NYSSMA solo performance assessments. This year the festival will be held on November 5th and 6th at Frontier High School, Hamburg, NY.
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Eric Riederer – Trumpet

ORCHESTRA
Zachary Jones – Violin
Sarah Dollendorf – Violin
Jillian Sheehan – Clarinet
Eric Albrecht – Trumpet
Adam Bevilacqua – Trumpet
Lauren Rogoza – Tuba
Eric Dudley – Timpani
Marah Killian – Mallet Percussion

CONCERT BAND
Jessica Ackendorf – Flute
Taylor Latvala – Clarinet
Madison Brown – Clarinet
Tim Winder - Clarinet
Ashley Franz – Bassoon
Maggie Chauby - Sax
Tim Utz – Sax
Emily Nobumoto – Bari Sax
Max VeRost – Trumpet
Meaghan O’Leary - Trumpet
Rebekah Gaydosh – Horn
Carly Bernatovicz – Horn
Kurt Laschinger - Horn
Andrew Riederer – Trombone
Ryan Allen - Trombone
McLain Erhard – Snare Drum
Colton McGraw – Mallet Percussion

MIXED CHORUS
Shamus Johnson
Christopher Swagler

ALTERNATES
Emma Smith – Clarinet
Cailin Atkins - Clarinet
Andy Dyet – Trumpet



School Board Meeting Agenda - October 2010

See Mon., October 4, 2010 Meeting



Fall Session of Community Education Underway - 2010

   The Grand Island Community Education Fall session is now underway. Currently there are openings for several classes; including Stained Glass, Quilting, Hall Walking, Latin/Swing Dance, Powerpoint,Youth Basketball and more. Please view our course catalog at www.isledegrande.com/schbd/comm-ed-fall-10.pdf and sign up today.


GI Board of Education and GITA Reach Agreement - 2010

   The Grand Island Board of Education and the Grand Island Teacher’s Association (GITA) are pleased to announce that their cooperative efforts have led to a mutual agreement to a new collective bargaining agreement. The union and Board negotiating teams worked very hard together in negotiating a new contract that addresses the issues of both the teachers and the taxpayers. The new agreement will reflect the difficult economic times, such as by substantially reducing the costs of health insurance by switching to a different health insurance plan that will cost much less in both premiums and employee co-pays. Other changes include adding time to two days each week for extended faculty meetings and collaborative planning and joint work among middle and high school staff. The union and the District bargaining teams worked jointly with mutual respect, and look forward to continuing both professional relations and to further raising the exemplary academic performance of the students of the Grand Island Central School District. The new contract will be drafted as soon as is practical, to replace the current contract which expired August 31, 2009, with a five-year agreement through August 31, 2014.


Revised Schedule of School/Bus Times - 2010


   Please note, the Board of Education approved the addition of a second late bus run for the 2010-2011 school year. A second late bus will run during the fall semester until October 28, 2010. Continuation of the second late bus will be determined at a later time.


GICSD Prepares For The New School Year- 2010


Tracy Beatty, president of the Grand Island Teachers Association, presents a motivational poster to Cheryl Stott for her positive attitude.
Click photo for larger view

   Faculty, staff and administrators of Grand Island Central School District kicked off the start of the 2010-2011 school year during opening day events held on Monday, August 30 and Tuesday, August 31, 2010. Robert Christmann, school superintendent, began the program by welcoming all district employees back to the start of a promising school year. “Each of you here this morning, no matter what role you have within our Grand Island educational organization, has proven yourself to be a critically important piece of our collaborative efforts to become western New York’s top public school district,” states Christmann. Employees were also greeted by Richard Little, Jr., Board of Education president; Tracy Beatty, Grand Island Teachers Association president; Linda Lichtenthal, president of the School Related Personnel Association; and Dr. Karen Karmazin, assistant superintendent of curriculum & instruction.
   During the program, Christmann presented Dan Stinson and Christopher Pyc with the Friends of Education Award. Stinson was recognized for his tireless efforts as chairman of One Island, One Team – a committee dedicated to creating school, community and service provider partnerships to work together to prevent student substance abuse.
   Trooper Christopher Pyc was also honored for his work in creating a safe and supportive district-wide climate in his former role as school resource officer. “His courage, sense of humor and genuine concern for our students and staff have made a positive difference in the lives of countless students, parents and community members. His work gives a deeper meeting to ‘protect and serve’,” said Christmann. Due to recent New York State budgetary constraints, the state police ended its’ School Resource Officer Program and a majority of the troopers were assigned to a local station for patrol. Christmann thanked Captain Hainsworth of Troop A for his continued support and for allowing trooper Pyc to continue to work from the District on the week days he is assigned to duty.
   Christmann told employees, “Resist any desire to lower your expectations. At times, the path of least resistance will be a tempting one to take. The futures of our students will depend, to a great extent, on your continuing to demand the very best work from them day in and day out.” Upon closing of the program, employees returned to their respective buildings to prepare for the first day of student attendance on Wednesday, September 1, 2010.


HSBC in the Community Sends Grand Island Teacher on Earthwatch Expedition - 2010

   On September 24th 2010, Josephine Hegarty, an eighth grade science teacher at the Veronica Connor Middle School on Grand Island, NY will start her class from an unusual location, New Orleans, Louisiana. As part of her educator fellowship, sponsored by HSBC in the Community, Josephine will use satellite and internet technology to connect “Live from the Field” to her classroom and community. Josephine will join Earthwatch Institute’s Climate Change and Caterpillars in New Orleans expedition as a member of a research team consisting of scientists and volunteers determined to collect data and answer the most pressing issues related to climate change.
   The research team will be led by principal investigator Dr. Lee Dyer of the University of Nevada at Reno. The volunteers will assist the researchers in the field and in the laboratory. Work will include collecting caterpillar species and their host plants, identifying and observing them in the lab, and analyzing plant and caterpillar toxins. The information will be used to show how species have been affected by recent extreme weather conditions that have been linked to global warming.
   Josephine is looking forward to bringing all that she has learned back to her classroom. “This is an opportunity to show students what science is outside a classroom.”
   In addition to this fellowship experience, HSBC in the Community will provide a $250 grant to implement a community conservation project of Planting Native Species to further engage students in their classroom and in their community.
   Earthwatch's mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Earthwatch is a world leader in the field of experiential education. Each year, the organization provides field research opportunities for more than 3000 volunteers with a commitment to broaden their understanding of sustainability and conservation research. There is no previous research experience necessary to participate and there are hundreds of expeditions worldwide that need volunteer support. Visit www.earthwatch.org or call 800-776-0188 for more information.
   HSBC and Earthwatch Institute have engaged in a successful partnership since 2000. Together, both organizations have deepened their commitment to promote environmental stewardship, community activism, and a global understanding of the Earth's cultures and environments. Working together with HSBC as part of the Investing in Nature initiative, Earthwatch has placed 2,000 HSBC employees on scientific research projects worldwide, serving as ambassadors of environmental awareness abroad and in their home communities. HSBC has also recently launched the HSBC Climate Partnership, designed to engage thousands of HSBC employees worldwide at local volunteering sites, and ultimately on climate change focused Earthwatch expeditions at dedicated research facilities globally.


School Board Meeting Agenda - August 2010

See Mon., August 30, 2010 Meeting



New Teachers and Staff Prepare for the Start of School at Orientation 2010-2011


Introducing Grand Island’s newest faculty and staff members from left to right: Matthew Ells, Eve Roushey, Meredith Eppers, Benjamin Gallegos, Sara Silvestri, Susan MacPherson, Kelly Joseph, Stephanie Kreutter, Freda Orosz, Christina Kensy, Christina Basta, Ann Van Dusen, Michael Gerster and Carrie Klink.
Click photo for larger view

   Enthusiasm and anticipation were feelings shared by new teachers and staff members of the Grand Island Central School District as they prepared for the upcoming school year at New Teacher Orientation held August 16 - 19 at Veronica Connor Middle School.
   Teaching and learning was the central focus of the orientation. Several workshops examined effective instruction, classroom management, assessment and collaboration. Throughout the four days, participants were welcomed by the Board of Education, teachers, staff, and administrators as they learned about the culture of the district and the individual buildings.
   Goals of new teacher orientation are to become acquainted with the district's culture, expectations and vision; to understand expectations of the superintendent, Board of Education, administration and students; and to become armed with the knowledge to be successful educators.
   Participants commented on the vibrant passion of the teachers, administrators, board members and staff who currently serve as educators in the Grand Island Central School District.


School District Phone Upgrade - August 2010

   The following announcement has been made this week.
   See
"Phone Upgrade & Outage"





Sidway Happpy Campers - July 2010



Click for larger view.
   This summer, Grand Island Central School District offered its second season of Camp Sidway - a summer literacy program which immerses students in a variety of fun, literary based activities. The four week program runs from July 12 through August 6 from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. at Charlotte Sidway Elementary School. Camp Sidway is open to students entering Kindergarten or first grade in September 2010 and is intended to help prevent the regression that often occurs with a long summer break from instruction.
    Students are grouped by age level and classes are taught by certified elementary teachers with class sizes remaining small to ensure students are engaged in meaningful reading and writing activities. All lessons revolve around a camping theme of the week. The students are enjoying the daily activities as they play, learn, make new friends and prepare for the future school year.


Seaman To Fill School Board Vacancy - June 2010

    Grand Island School District trustees met Monday, June 21, 2010 and unanamously voted in favor of appointing Neal Seaman to fill the board vacancy created by the death of George Casey on May 7th. Mr. Seaman and Tom Franz were not re-elected in May 2010.
    Schools Superintendent Robert Christmann was given a one-year contract extension by the board. He is currently receiving a yearly salary of $156,000.


School Board Meeting Agenda - July 2010

See Mon., July 12, 2010 Meeting
See also July 12, 2010 Agenda #2