West Irondequoit CSD update from Aaron Johnson
MARCH 30, 2023
Warmer weather and longer days let us know spring is upon us. A quick reminder, students K-12 do not have school tomorrow (Friday, March 31) for our Superintendent’s Conference Day when staff will participate in professional development.
Compliments to everyone involved in this Spring's Irondequoit High School musical, “Mamma Mia.” The talent and experience were unbelievable (see highlights)! What a way to cap Music in our Schools Month!
Congratulations also to our winter athletes and coaches on a season well played! Many students represented us at the state level, including a magical run by the varsity boys basketball team to the state championship game. You all made memories to last a lifetime. Lastly, our DECA business students continue to impress. We had 24 students compete at the state level and seven will be on the national stage next month in Orlando. Look below my message for more highlights that we should all feel proud of.
This note comes with some necessary gravity. The local threats and school violence in Nashville brought more heartache and worry for schools across the country. As the parent of a first-grader and Superintendent, my focus on school safety never wanes. Since joining the district, our new Director of Safety and Security, Christopher Shellard, has quickly made an impact. He is already deeply involved in our daily operations to develop relationships and understand our people and their needs. He has jumped on plans to ensure training and emergency preparedness. Due to the recent events, we have accelerated plans for functional exercises to practice unexpected crises. Most importantly, our staff is devoted to fostering connections within our school community to ensure every student knows they are valued and appreciated.
In our recent safety and security analysis, national consultant Don Shomette commended our focus on connecting and caring for all students. Additionally, Mr. Shomette highlighted the importance of classroom doors as a primary barrier. An essential element of our proposed Capital Project – learn more at our website (it will be on the ballot May 16th) – is improving these barriers with strategic door replacements and additional protective film in identified locations. The project also includes the construction of an enclosed, second-story bridge connecting Dake Jr. HS to IHS. It will allow students and staff to pass between buildings more safely and securely during the instructional day. A bridge was initially on a proposed Capital Project 20 years ago but had to be cut due to funding. We think now is the time to execute that plan.
The safety and security of our students and staff is always our No. 1 priority – yes, even ahead of instruction.
Attached are resources (see PDFs below) to talk with your children about traumatic events. When we return to school after break, our staff is always available to support your children.
Later today, K-8 families will receive your April school newsletters via email (find them also on your school sites). IHS families will soon receive an update, too. It will include details from your Principal on protocols and preparedness drills that we do in case of an emergency. Please take a few minutes to read that, and do not hesitate to provide feedback to your school/building principal.
Enjoy Spring Recess!
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
For all Superintendent Updates, click here.
LEARNING FROM VETERANS
CLICK HERE to watch Channel 10’s news story on a “Living History” event held Wednesday at IHS. Thirty-six veterans (18 Vietnam vets) from multiple branches of the military spent two-plus hours with 85 students sharing stories and answering questions about their life during and after serving our country. Social Studies teacher Amanda Janas-Tramonto came up with the idea and led the charge organizing this event after seeing a similar one in California. It was originally scheduled to happen in 2020, but was cancelled soon after the COVID pandemic started. Thank you to WHEC-TV for the coverage and to the veterans for their service!
Four West Irondequoit students were chosen by art teacher, Ms. Nassimos. to be in the NYSATA (NYS Art Teacher's Association) Region 2 Student Art Show. Congratulations to 8th-graders Lauren Klingler and Torren Yehl and Listwood kindergarteners Henry Isles and Madelyn Spencer!
IHS photo students showcased!
Congrats to 10 IHS students whose awesome photography work is being showcased in the annual "Through The Student Lens" exhibition running through April 16 at the Image City Photography Gallery. See their names in the graphic! For gallery hours, go to imagecityphotographygallery.com (click schedule).
DECA does it again!
Twenty-four students competed in the DECA State Career Conference, applying their business knowledge learned at IHS, and more than half turned Top 10 finishes in the state. That was highlighted by a first place from sophomores Alley Armitage and Tessa Coeny for their Start-Up Business Plan. See full results and pictures here!
IHS & Dake Jr. HS raised $3,583 for three charities with the 21st annual Adam Milne faculty basketball game in March. Money was donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Michael J. Fox Foundation ($1,416.50 each) and to the American Diabetes Association ($750).
Students in all six elementary students participated in the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge. West Irondequoit increased its donation total to $15,287.30! Thank you to our students and physical education teachers, Renee Gould, Brian Maginn and Kyle Trevas, who led the effort and our community! Students learn how to keep a healthy heart, spread that message to others and they earn prizes based on their donation amount.