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Superintendent's Message
Massena Central School Board of Education Update
April 1, 2016
 
State Budget Passed
 
The 2016-17 State Budget was passed on Thursday, largely on time, though both houses of the legislature continued to pass bills on Friday.  I received the state aid runs at 3:00 am on Friday morning from Assemblywomen Russell’s office.  In terms of funding, Massena faired very well with an increase in Foundation Aid of $2,095,050 over the 15-16 budget.  By comparison this amounted to $1,521,083 over the Governor's proposal of $573,967 in Foundation Aid.  All other aids ran on current law formulas and are the same as reported previously with the Governor’s budget, excepting the Community Schools aid as described below.  Here is a link to aid runs with the usual text pages explaining the formulas for the two years (2015-16 and 2016-17). 
 
Community Schools Aid does not appear on the aid run but districts which received a portion of the $100 million in Community Schools Aid proposed by the Governor's proposal would be required to set aside an equivalent amount from Foundation Aid to support Community Schools. 
Here is a link to a listing of the affected districts, their Community Schools set-aside amounts, and the language on allowable uses.  As shown, Massena would need to set aside $227,985 for this initiative.  We have heard different perspectives on how this funding can be used.  I hope to hear more concrete information in a state budget webinar on Tuesday.

Here is Governor Como’s news release on the budget:  https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-and-legislative-leaders-announce-agreement-2016-2017-state-budget. The release includes quotes from Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

The budget ends the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) and increases Foundation Aid by $627 million.  Both the overall increase and the increase in Foundation Aid are the largest enacted since 2008-09.

As the Governor’s news release notes, the total state budget is increasing by 2.0 percent, School Aid is increasing by 6.5 percent, Medicaid by 3.4 percent, and higher education funding by 2.0 percent.  The remainder of the state budget was held essentially flat.  The same pattern was true in the last state budget. 
 
Attached is a more detailed look at the overall state budget as presented by the firm of Hinman Straub.
 
These are great numbers for Massena.  It will help us keep local taxes low while returning some of what we have lost in the Recession.  Key priorities will be helping students who struggle with math and English and providing support to students so they are prepared to graduate.  We will discuss further at the Finance Committee on Tuesday when we will seek to finalize the budget for recommendation to the full BOE on 4/18. 
 
I really appreciate the work that our legislators have done to provide these resources for our school programs.   I know there are continued concerns about the Foundation Aid formula so distribution across the region appears uneven but they did a great job for Massena and it is appreciated.
 
Massena CSD Class of 2016 Valedictorian & Salutatorian
 
At the Board meeting on Thursday, we congratulated those who had earned the esteemed designation of being the Valedictorian & Salutatorian for the Class of 2016.   
 
Valedictorian
 
Ethan Marcello, son of Krista Vahey-Marcello and Adam Marcello is our 2016 Valedictorian. Here is an impressive list of Ethan’s activities:
 
Sports: Three season athlete competing in Varsity Football, Indoor Track and Field, and Baseball; Co-Captain for each of the teams in his senior year. Participated in various Summer Baseball leagues as an underclassmen including wrestling in Freshman Year.
 
Music: Concert Band all four years; participated in NYSSMA solo festival, All County (Sophomore and Junior years) and Area All-State Concert Band (Sophomore year).
 
Robotics Mechanical sub-team. Participated in the annual Tech Valley Regional Competitions at RPI.
 
Link Crew (2014-16) and Lead to Lead (2014-15)
 
Community Service: Interact Club, Little League umpiring, community dinners, food distribution for St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army Christmas bell ringer and volunteer for local 5k runs.
 
Student Council: Freshman Class Vice President, Sophomore Class President
 
Spanish National Honor Society, President 2015-16
 
Spanish Club, Treasurer (2014-15)
 
National Honor Society, Whiz Quiz, Ski Club, International Baccalaureate Diploma student.
 
Awards and Scholarships: Sports: Football; First Team All-Northern and MVP award (Senior Year), and Indoor Track and Field; Section X Champion in the 600m run (Senior year); Most Outstanding Runner Award (2015 & 2016) Music: Most Improved (Concert Band Spring 2013), Arion Music Award (Spring 2015).  Appointment to the United States Naval Academy(2016); Appointment to United states Coast Guard Academy (2016); NROTC(2016); Clarkson University High School Achievement Award/Scholarship, in recognition of outstanding leadership qualities and academic promise(June 2015); Recognition for Mathematics Excellence, awarded for receiving a score of 100 on all three Math Regents Exams (June 2015); Wanzer Achievement Award for Physics, for highest average in Regents Physics(June 2014); Modern Language Teacher’s Award in Spanish for highest average in Spanish III (2014)
 
Future Plans: To attend the United States Naval Academy, majoring in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and serve a lifelong career in the U.S. Navy.
 
Salutatorian
 
Abigail Matthews, daughter of Leonard and Jeanna Matthews, is our 2016 Salutatorian.  Abigail also boast an impressive record as shown below:
 
Clubs, Sports, and Activities including Musical Groups:
 
At Massena CSD                                    At The Clarkson School in her senior year
Rifle Team   Anime Club                          Golden Knotes
Whiz Quiz       French Club                      The Clarkson School Yearbook (Chair)
Freshman Class secretary                       TCS Ambassador
National Honor Society                            The Clarkson School Council (Chair)
French Honor Society                              Ballroom Dance Club
Envirothon                                              Salsa Dance
 
 
Awards and Scholarships:
At Massena CSD
Wanzer Award in Chemistry
Wanzer Award in Physics
Highest French Average (Fresh & Soph yrs)
Highest Female Overall Average (Fresh & Soph yrs)
Most Improved Air Rifle Shooter
Highest Air Rifle Score and Average
MVP 2015
NAC Section X 2015
Academic All Northern 2014 and 2015
All Northern Athlete 2015
Section 10 All Academic Award in Rifle 2014
 
Clarkson School Awards
Presidential Scholarship Award 2015 and 2016
Clarkson University Honors Scholarship, $2,000
 
 
Future Plans: Abigail plans to continue in the Clarkson University Honors Program in the academic discipline of Computer Science and Digital Arts and Science. Her overall future goal is to obtain a PhD in Computer Science.
 
We want to congratulate these individuals and their families for an impressive record of achievement.  They should be very proud of this exceptional accomplishment.
 
  
 
Rural Schools Association Newsletter
 
Attached is the April 2016 Rural Schools Association newsletter.

JW Leary Junior High
News & Notes

 
  1. The final fundraiser is complete and t-shirts have been ordered for the Junior High Field Experience trip to Boston. The trip will be from May 12 to the 15th.  The chaperone list is being finalized.
  2. Family history projects have been completed by 7th grade students in Tom French’s English Class at J.W. Leary Junior High School and are on display in the lobby and cafeteria for the upcoming Rotary Pancake Breakfast.  The projects were completed in conjunction with the reading of Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  The main character of the book often relates her family history and the importance of that history to her situation in life. The students plotted their family tree on poster board and wrote a narrative about aspects of their family history that are unique or for which they are proud.  The projects also contain artifacts with captions that explain the family's past.
  3. JH art teacher Nicole Charleson’s students are working on value and its impact on art. The students use charcoal to create a value scale and then will use charcoal and value to create a portrait on newspaper.               
  4. The Junior Iron Chef competition took place on Saturday March 12, 2016. Anne Root took a team of J.W. Leary Junior High students to the competition. The team name is "Culinary Raiders" and they made Awesome Veggie Dippers. The first picture is the team and the second picture is of the plated food. The students did a great job!  
  5. Recently JH ELA teacher April Charleson’s students watched a 15 minute video on screencastomatic she had made in order to better study the structure and function of a screenplay.  They had their own screenplay for Harry Potter and marked text as it was done in the video.  Afterward, they had to show their understanding of the structure of script and identify the main components of the structure.  Attached are photos of her first period class.  This is the beginning of the end of unit assessment for To Kill a Mockingbird.

UPCOMING JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL EVENTS
 
7-8 ELA state tests                 April 5-7
7-8 Math state tests                April 13-15
Career Day                             April 28, 2016
Poverty Simulation                  April 29, 2016
Spring Dance                         May 6, 2016
Boston Trip (Field                   May 12-15
Experience)
 
Upcoming Events
 
4/5—Facilities Committee Meeting—4:30 pm—Nightengale Elementary School Tour; Facilities Committee Meeting—6:00 pm—HS Student Affairs Room
4/7—SLL BOCES Annual Meeting—5:30 pm—BOCES Center in Canton
4/14—Policy Committee Meeting—CAB
Last Updated: 4/12/16
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