Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thanks for your support!

On behalf of the Board of Education and myself, I thank everyone who made the time to participate in the school budget vote and Board of Education election on May 21.

I am grateful for a community that continues to be supportive of our schools despite the challenges presented by rising costs and declining revenues, and the difficult budgetary decisions that we have had to make in recent years.

I thank our staff for their commitment to our students and our educational program. In approving the school budget, the community has shown that they value your hard work and dedication, and support our district, our mission and our unwavering commitment to students.

I thank the Board of Education for developing a balanced budget that despite difficult choices, maintains educational programs for our students.

Thanks to everyone who helped get the “message out,” reminding people to vote and supporting our budget process throughout this past year.

These difficult economic times are likely to continue to challenge our schools and our mission to inspire, challenge and educate every student, every day. Going forward, we must continue to work together to come up with solutions that will meet our district goals and mission and that can also earn the support of our community.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Remember to vote Tuesday

The annual school budget vote and school board election takes place Tuesday, May 21 from noon to 9 p.m.

When the development of the 2013-14 budget began, the Board of Education was faced with the challenge of closing a $1.9 million budget gap, due to continued decreases in state and federal aid and rising contractual and operational costs.

Difficult choices were made in closing the gap, including reductions in staffing, the elimination of after-school clubs and the high school summer school program, the consolidation of modified and junior varsity teams, along with other cost-cutting measures. Despite these cuts, the proposed $23.5 million school budget that the community will vote on Tuesday maintains academic programs for our students.

Every resident of this community 18 and older has a voice in the funding and elected leadership of our school district. Whether you’ve been voting for years or will cast your first ballot on Tuesday, whatever your opinion may be, I encourage you to vote. I only ask that you learn as much about the proposed budget as possible before you head to your polling location. Please visit the district's budget web page, where you can find an extensive Budget Q & A, and read the budget newsletter, which was mailed to residents earlier this month. All provide detailed information about the proposed 2013-14 school budget and its impact on our schools and community.

Voting will take place Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m. at four polling sites throughout the city. Every vote matters!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thank you teachers!

Around the country, this is National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10), and it is my sincere pleasure to recognize and thank all the educators who not only teach but also care for and serve as role models for students in Watervliet schools.

Our students rely on teachers more than ever. As the real world becomes increasingly more challenging, we must ensure that our students are equipped with the skills they need to be college and career ready, starting in Pre-K and lasting through graduation day. Despite dwindling resources and ever-increasing expectations, our teachers continue to rise to the occasion and bring their “A-game” for every student, every day. 

Every teacher here plays a crucial role in making sure every student receives a quality education not only this week, but every day, every week, all year long.

I observe so many great things happening in classrooms throughout this district on a daily basis, and I am truly honored to work with such dedicated, hard-working and talented professionals. So please join me in honoring our district’s teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make in the lives of our students and families.

Thank you teachers!