MS/HS Newsletter

April Edition

Principal's Message: Mr. Salatel

We have made it to marking period 4, and the progress our students have made since September is truly remarkable given the difficult circumstances facing schools over the past year. As I previously stated, this level of success would not have been possible without the commitment and efforts from students, teachers, and parents. I appreciate your flexibility, patience, and dedication in making learning a priority. The last weeks of school will go by quickly. It’s extremely important that we maintain our energy and focus on closing the year strong. The weather will improve, and many special events will take place. Given these factors it’s easy for students to divert their attention away from academics. Together we can reinforce the learning priorities for our students to ensure their continued success as we close out the year. The revised NYS Regents schedule is listed below. Please note that students must earn a passing grade in the Regents courses to receive course and Regents Exam credit for those exams that were eliminated from the June 2021 Regents Schedule.

As previously mentioned in prior GCS Communications, recent guidelines came out from the NYSDOH. Unfortunately, the restrictions were not lifted to the extent we had hoped for in order for us to change our current instructional model. That being said, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns related to your student’s academic program.

In closing, with the warmer weather arriving, I’m asking parents and students to review our dress code and abide by the guidelines established. Once again, I deeply appreciate your support and cooperation with our mission to create a safe and pleasant learning environment for all students.

Mr. Veley's Message:

For Home Spring Athletic Events:

The District has authorized a total of two hundred (200) total spectators per event for outdoor spring interscholastic athletics contests. Passes will not be issued. Event supervisors will track spectators at each home event. Social distancing and mask wearing are mandatory for all in attendance.

For Away Spring Athletic Events:

This will vary from school to school, please follow the athletic schedules to get that information at:

Student Spotlight: Chorus

Congratulations to Bella Sykes (Mixed Chorus) and Addy Capel (Chorus) on being selected by NYSMMA for All State. Your talents and dedication make you very deserving of this honor. Our MS/HS is very proud of your accomplishments.

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The Livingston County Youth Bureau recently announced the winners of their annual Teen Recognition Awards for 2021. Our school is extremely proud that Nick Lamb, McKayla Bugbee, and Angelita Clark earned this prestigious honor. The awards recognize youth in our county who have demonstrated community involvement, exceptional leadership, or have positively influenced others by overcoming a significant challenge. Our MS/HS would like to congratulate Nick, McKayla, and Angelita for representing our school and community in the finest manner.

Bridget McMaster is a GCS sophomore and also a Girl Scout, and she is taking the phrase “make the world a better place” to the next level. For her Gold Award Project, she decided to paint inspirational quotes and sayings inside of the intermediate girls’ bathroom. Mrs. Sattora and our MS/HS deeply appreciate Bridget’s generosity and commitment to our school.

Staff Spotlight: Jane and Doug Phillips

This month we are celebrating Jane and Doug Phillips, who have taught for a combined 53 years at Geneseo. Jane and Doug are retiring from GCS at the end of the school year. Mrs. Phillips has taught at Geneseo for 38 years. She has taught ELA at various grade levels, and during this past school year she served as our MS/HS Reading Teacher. Throughout the years, Mrs. Phillips has also been involved in many extracurricular programs. Mr. Phillips has been a Special Education Teacher in our MS/HS for the past 15 years. He has worked with students at multiple grade levels. We deeply appreciate all that Jane and Doug have done for GCS throughout the years. They are well known for the support they provide our students in their extracurricular activities. We will miss the two of them cheering our students on during competitions and performances. We wish Jane and Doug the very best in their retirements and will greatly miss their presence in our school.

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Community Spotlight: Kathy Root

This month’s community spotlight recognizes Geneseo resident Kathy Root. COVID-19 has impacted our school, community, and nation tremendously. The pandemic required many individuals to take on new roles and challenges never imagined. In Livingston County, one individual’s professional responsibilities changed drastically. Mrs. Root was a key liaison for schools across the county and especially GCS. Since last March, Kathy has logged in countless hours working seven days a week with little rest between days. Her knowledge and leadership skills were instrumental for our school in keeping students and staff safe as we reopened schools. Our MS/HS deeply appreciates all the hard work and support that Kathy has provided us during these challenging times. Mrs. Root started working at Livingston County Department of Health in 1984 as a public health nurse. Prior to this role, Kathy worked in pediatrics for many hospitals. Since being hired by the LCDOH, Kathy has been responsible for many family-centered programs. Some of the maternal/child health programs she’s directed include Early Intervention, WIC, Reproductive Health Center, Lead Poisoning Prevention, Preschool, Communicable Disease, and Immunization. In addition, Kathy oversees hospice, which provides end of life care. Currently, most of Kathy’s time focuses on her role as Director of Patient Services. This year has centered on COVID response with contact tracing, case investigations, COVID testing, and COVID vaccination clinics. Mrs. Root feels fortunate to work in the county where she lives and serve in a role to help improve the quality of life of residents throughout our area.

Geneseo Clubs Find Great Success

Academic Challenge Bowl:

Junior High Academic Challenge Bowl 2020-2021

Congratulations to the Academic Challenge Bowl (ACB) Team for a consecutive undefeated season! The junior high students who represented Geneseo Central School in their back-to-back Championships are Gianna Cucchiara, Anna Ferrero, Jamie Ferrero, Greyson Haigh, Caleb Rice, Noah Rose and Juliette West. The team is advised by Betsy Neiderbach.

In ACB, students are asked questions from all academic areas, as well as sports, arts and current events. It is fast paced, and teams have only seconds to answer the questions. This year’s ACB competition was made more challenging due to COVID-19. Our students practiced and competed from their homes via Zoom and Google Meet. They demonstrated many qualities such as perseverance, adaptability and determination. The team’s strong listening and communication skills enhanced their great teamwork. These essential skills helped them in successfully competing with area school districts. The team beat Byron-Bergen 240-210 points and Wyoming 300-160 points at the first meet. At the last meet, the team continued to demonstrate their strong knowledge in trivia by beating York 330-220 points. At Finals, the team competed against Wyoming and won 280-160 points. We are very proud of the eighth graders who are moving up to high school and are excited about working with a new group of students carrying on the tradition of Geneseo excellence.

MS/HS Page Turners:

Our PageTurners program had a winning season this year with both teams placing first in our division. With all of the challenges faced this year, they certainly proved that “where there's a will, there's a way!”

Both the middle and high school PageTurners clubs had a successful year competing against other regional schools in this advanced-level, competitive reading club. Schools around the region read the same booklist and then compete by answering trivia about each book in a round-robin format. Pageturners is therefore a unique combination of competition and academics that creates an unparalleled experience by mixing a personal, academic activity with a team-oriented competition.

Students pictured below participated on the team; many have been involved for multiple years. Our high school team’s reading list consisted of 13 books this season, spanning a total of 3,894 pages in multiple genres, while our middle school team read 16 books with a total of 3,544 pages. Students were able to choose between the fiction and non-fiction novels that most interested them. The extensive reading list allowed the students to bond as a team as they determined who would read what books to be sure all bases were covered for the trivia-style competitions.

The teams met every Wednesday throughout the year during lunch periods to not only discuss the books we were reading, but also to share their mutual love of books in general. While our team members didn’t get to travel to other schools to compete and meet other like-minded readers, they did enjoy the experience of a virtual competition!

We were very proud to have spent time with these fantastic students over the course of this year and look forward to working with them in the future. We finished the season as middle AND high school champions of the region! Our middle school team will continue on to the regional championship competition to compete for the title on May 15th. Best of luck to our MS team in regionals!

Odyssey of the Mind Competition:

What is Odyssey of the Mind? It is a creative problem-solving program in which students from kindergarten through college can participate in a team approach. Team members begin working together in the fall to solve a predetermined long term problem. The five categories of problems are vehicle, technical, classics, structure and performance. They present their solution, showing their talents in design and construction of a set and performing theatrically, at the first competition, Regionals, in late winter. The multiple hours (200+) of practice to solve a problem over a long term period is condensed into an eight minute presentation. The teams that score the highest in each problem category go to state competition, and those who place in the top two at States qualify for World Finals Competition.

Geneseo Central School had six teams participating this 2020-2021 school year. The program is coordinated by Betsy Neiderbach and coached by many parent volunteers. Our non-competitive primary team consisted of five energetic students (one kindergartner and four second graders) that a senior, Amabella Sykes, co-coached. The remaining five teams successfully advanced to state competition after all placed first at Regionals. The five teams consisted of an elementary (Division I), two middle (Division II) and two high (Division III) school teams. In addition to the challenges that participants experience when problem-solving, making decisions and working cooperatively on a team, students faced another challenge: following social distancing and mask wearing guidelines during practice. Due to COVID-19, teams could not meet in person to compete in both regional and state competitions, so their long term solutions were recorded and submitted virtually on March 8, 2021. Three teams learned that they placed in the top two at State Competition on April 3, qualifying them for World Finals. In addition, due to the impact of the pandemic, all teams that competed in States will be eligible to compete at Worlds.

All five teams will be submitting their recorded performances virtually to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals Competition by April 30. Most teams met during the month of April to make improvements to their solution based on the scores and feedback received from State judges. In mid-May, teams will meet to work on a spontaneous portion of the finals competition in which they will brainstorm solutions to a brand new problem.

Here is a description of the four successful middle and high school Odyssey of the Mind teams:

The Vehicle II Team consists of the following middle school students: Saime Bilgic, Abby Fowler, Noah French, Lena Jones, Liam Ivers, Oliver Ivers, and Jonah Levy. Bryan French and Rachel Jones are the coaches. The team designed and built a ride-on vehicle with special effects that takes a character on a humorous adventure, detailed in a creative set with an ice cream theme. The team is the State Champion, placing first.

The Structure II Team is made up of a majority of middle school students: Emma Conklin, Silas Conklin, Quinn Geiser-Getz, Audrey Rounding, and Alyssa Schlenker. It is coached by Amy Geiser-Getz and Lauren Wisser. The team demonstrated its sense of humor in a “Chips and Balsa” themed restaurant setting in which an unsuspecting character unknowingly avoids traps it doesn’t recognize. After being used to trap the moving objects, the structure, weighing 15 grams and made of only balsa wood and glue, was designed to hold as much weight as possible before being crushed. The team placed 5th at States Competition.

The Classics III Team consists of the following high school students: Refia Bilgic, Daphne Damhosl, Jesslynn Kelly, Ainsley Lyons, Rafael Rutigliano, Willem Schiener, and Emily Sullivan. The team is coached by Don Halstead. Team members creatively designed a 12+ foot long dragon, made of reusable and recycled materials, that is one of a few characters a youngster encounters in a mystical storybook land. The team tied for 2nd place at States.

The Performance III Team is made up of the following high school students: Morgan Curry, Taylor Curry, Jacob French, Zoe Neiderbach, Eleanor Schiener, and Sam Taranko. Sherry and Jeff Curry are the coaches. The team’s Superhero character is in peril and uses special powers from his “Super Socks” to escape. Team members showed great humor in a laundry themed performance with amazing technical features. The team is the State Champion, placing 1st.

We are very proud of these innovative and outstanding students who continue to make our Odyssey program successful, even during this challenging time. This year has been quite a journey, but being able to adapt to change, to think out of the box, and to be resilient has made us stronger in reaching and accomplishing our goals. We are pleased that we were able to accomplish the main goal of providing a safe, almost “normal”, Odyssey of the Mind program this year for our students and families.

Regents and AP Exams:

The Regents and AP Exams schedules are listed below. Please review the new schedule carefully due to revisions made by the NYSED. Our expectation is that all students enrolled in the identified courses will complete their exams. All local exams will be administered during the normal school days during the first few weeks of June. Please contact the MS/HS Main Office if you have any questions or concerns.

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Spring Concerts Update:

We are currently in the process of developing a plan for our traditional Spring concerts. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions of 100 people or less for an indoor event, we are not able to host a live concert. As of now, we are planning for virtual concerts. However, if the current restrictions in place are lifted, we will explore options of having in person concerts. We will communicate our plans to families when they are confirmed.

Some important dates for band students:

Memorial Day Parade: May 31, 2021 (Time TBD) - Pending guidance on spacing regulations for outdoor functions, we hope to present our Marching Bands and Colorguard in some form of a live performance. Stay tuned for details.

Middle/ High School Music Awards Night: Tuesday June 1st, 7:00pm. McCarthy Auditorium

All-Band Recording Workshop:

The morning of Saturday, June 5th, all band and jazz band students in grades 5-12 will have the opportunity to work with a local professional musician to record their current concert pieces here in the auditorium. A schedule for performers will be available soon. These recordings will be released as our spring concert in mid-June.

Geneseo In-House Instrumental Solo Festival:

We are happy to be able to offer a live in-person solo festival opportunity for our band and orchestra students this year. This will be held on Friday afternoon and early evening, June 11th. Registration deadline is Friday, May 14th.

End of the Year Field Trips:

Grade 6 Seabreeze Field Trip:

The Grade 6 Seabreeze Field Trip is scheduled for June 11. Additional information will be provided from the Grade 6 Team when the plans are finalized.

Grade 7 Darien Lake Field Trip:

Sadly, Darien Lake will not be open to accommodate a Grade 7 Field Trip. However, we are pleased to announce that students will be able to attend a field trip to Seabreeze Park. The tentative date for the trip is June 21. Additional information will be provided from the Grade 7 Team when the plans are finalized.

Grade 8 Field Trip:

The Grade 8 Teachers are currently exploring opportunities for our students to attend a Field Trip in June to replace the previously canceled Washington, DC, Trip. Information will be shared with families when the plans are finalized.

Class of 2021 Senior Trip:

We are disappointed to announce that our 2021 Senior Trip to Lake George, NY, is canceled due COVID-19 restrictions. Our Class Advisors are working with the Senior Class Officers to schedule day trips to selected places. Additional information will be shared with families when the plans are finalized.

End of the Year Special Events:

Junior/Senior Prom:

We are hosting a Junior/Senior Prom on May 22 from 5:30 pm until 10:00 pm at Twin Silos in Livonia. Tickets to the prom are currently on sale, and the order form may be found in the MS/HS Main Office. Students are allowed to bring a guest from another school. All COVID-19 guidelines will be strictly enforced. This includes guests completing a Health Screening form prior to entering the event. Students must arrive before 6:00 pm, or they will not be permitted to attend the prom.

High School Awards Night:

In order to comply with NYS guidance, we are currently planning for two separate HS Awards Ceremonies to take place in-person during the day on Wednesday, June 9.

Senior Awards - 9am

Junior Awards – 12 noon

2021 Commencement Ceremony:

The 2021 GCS Commencement Ceremony will take place on June 26 at 11:00 am. We are currently discussing plans that meet the guidance in place from the NYSDOH. The 2021 Class Advisors, Graduation Advisor, Class of 2021 Officers, and I recently met to develop a plan. Our tentative plan is to have an outdoor celebration in front of our school. Based on the success of last year’s Commencement Ceremony, we are confident that we will provide our senior class a memorable and unique event. A more detailed plan will communicated to families as we get closer to the special ceremony.

Important Announcements and Upcoming Events:

Tuesday 5/4/21: Public Budget Hearing - 6:00 pm GCS Large Cafeteria (livestream on Zoom)

Wednesday May 5 through Thursday June 3: AP Exams – please see schedule above

Saturday 5/8: SAT Exam - 7:30 am

Monday 5/10: Grade 6 NYS Math Assessment

Tuesday 5/11: Grade 7 NYS Math Assessment

Thursday 5/13: Grade 8 NYS Math Assessment

Friday 5/14: End of 35 Weeks

Tuesday 5/18: MS/HS No School – Remote Learning Day for MS/HS students

· Same format as current Wednesday classes

· Exception – AP English Literature Exam will take place in-person.

(Students enrolled in this course must report to school by 11:15 am.)

Tuesday 5/18: Budget Vote - 6:00 am – 9:00 pm - GCS Main Foyer

Saturday 5/22: Junior/Senior Prom - Twin Silos - 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm.

Friday 5/28: No School – Memorial Day Recess

Monday 5/31: No School – Memorial Day Recess

Monday 5/31: Marching Band Performance – more details to follow

Tuesday 6/1: MS/HS Music Awards Night – 7:00 pm

Wednesday 6/9: HS Awards Ceremony (Senior Awards 9:00 am, Junior Awards 12:00 noon)

Friday 6/11: Geneseo Instrumental Solo Festival

Friday 6/11: Grade 6 Seabreeze Trip

Wednesday 6/16: Last day of classes for students in grades 9-12

Thursday 6/17 through Thursday 6/24: NYS Regents Exams – please see schedule above

Thursday 6/17: Last day of classes for students in grade 8

Friday 6/18: No School – Juneteenth Holiday Observed

Monday 6/21: Grade 7 Seabreeze Trip (tentative)

Wednesday 6/23 and Thursday 6/24: Grades 6 and 7 half days (11:30 am dismissal)

Friday 6/25: Graduation Rehearsal - 11:00 am

Saturday 6/26: 2021 Commencement Ceremony - 11:00 am