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ELA date changes continue to frustrate area superintendents

West Genesee modified sports programs say, "Thank you" to the community

The Camillus Middle School girls soccer team was one of many modified sports programs at the Sept. 9 varsity football game against Corcoran to say, "thank you."

The Camillus Middle School girls soccer team was one of many modified sports programs at the Sept. 9 varsity football game against Corcoran to say, "thank you." Photo by Christina Alexander.

— It has come as no surprise the topic of conversation at West Genesee Board of Education meeting on a rainy Wednesday evening was the recent spring break date change school districts now face in Onondaga and Madison counties so it doesn’t conflict with the English Language Arts state assessment exams.

West Genesee Superintendent, Christopher Brown wasn’t shy, addressing his dissatisfaction with the change to the board members and parents in the audience, like many other superintendents around the area.

“This change has been difficult,” Brown said, “because our school calendars were approved in the spring, we have already planned several open houses and concerts that we will now have to change because of the schedule alteration.”

Brown sympathized with the parents and faculty who have already scheduled this time for family vacations and getaways. He plans on using his well-read blog Notes from the Superintendent to compile “raw data on the financial impact on parents and the school district” and present in the form of a letter for the Board of Regents and Commissioner of Education. The blog and electronic newsletter will act as a vehicle to get to the word out to the community.

“Many parents are still going to take their children on these trips during the originally scheduled break week,” Brown said, “which will mean that our participation percentage on the state tests will be lower than normal.”

Fundraising efforts continue to impress

A rousing round of applause filled the library as parents and volunteers of the Save West Genesee Modified Sports campaign stood up and introduced themselves in front of the board members. John Petosa introduced the men and women who dedicated a great portion of their time to meet their $75,000 goal needed to fully fund its modified sports programs.

Parents and community members established the West Genesee Modified Sports Boosters Inc., to raise money for this year and the future in order to avoid the recent budget cuts to its modified sports programs. The goal was met when the West Genesee Sports Booster Club, Inc. presented a check in the amount of $10,000, putting the non-profit organization over the $50,000 mark. The Alec Baldwin Foundation matched it, presenting a check for $25,000 to the Northrop family on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

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