December 2015

Dear Canandaigua Family,

Last month I did a short rendition of what we are most thankful for in our district. As I said in that message I could have gone on and on. Please always know that we do not take for granted the support we have from you, the faith you put in us each day you send your child(ren) off to school, nor your acceptance that we are doing what is right for each and every child in our district. Please encourage your child(ren) to reach out and accept and support their peers and the adults they see each day; this is a time in our country when we all need to feel loved, appreciated and a part of something perhaps larger than our own family unit. We in Canandaigua are all unique, and as a society we must embrace that and learn from one another. Whatever you believe at this holiday season know that your district deeply cares about your child and will always do the very best we can.

PTSA Fundraiser

We are very fortunate to have a Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) that is active and supportive of our school district. Whether it be volunteering countless hours to making certain our students are prepared for state testing, laminating teacher materials, or planning and executing a fund raiser with direct financial impact to the students, our PTSA does it all. Most recently PTSA hosted a fund raiser with the Harlem Wizards vs Canandaigua City School District Staff and Parents. This was the 3rd such annual event and many in our community were looking forward to the big game. Unfortunately, the event was not quite what it had been in the past and many of us (staff and PTSA representatives) are sad at the suggestive behavior of some of the Wizard players. This is traditionally a family event, but we do not feel that it was this year. We are working together and have informed the management of the Wizards of our displeasure. I am not sure at this time what the outcome will be – we have enjoyed the success of this game in the past and would love to be assured it will meet our standards and we can continue; or we will work to bring another family event to our community that better displays the behavior we support.

On behalf of PTSA and the District we apologize for any uncomfortableness the basketball game brought to your family.

More changes

The Governor’s task force on Common Core is likely to produce more changes for our educational system. Whether you support the Common Core Learning Standards or not, one thing I am positive we can all agree on – constant change creates unrest, distrust and a sense that no one quite knows what they are doing. Last year I was challenged by a few parents about what our district really does with the state test results; and I can honestly tell you that under the direction of Assistant Superintendent Julie Winston we do use those results to inform instruction. Dr. Winston has led a team of stakeholders in the development of protocols using the data we receive from the state, coupled with our own internal (hard and soft) data. So while we are again faced with change, please believe that our district tries to keep up, thinks about what we in Canandaigua might need, and then about each individual student.

As we wind down the 2015 year, I sincerely hope that your family can look back over the year and feel a sense of accomplishment, growth and contentment. I wish you a peaceful holiday season.