Office of the Superintendent
Welcome to the Superintendent's Office
Anthony J. Panella
Secretary to the Superintendent and District Clerk
One thing I know for sure is that the coming school year will require a level of fluidity and flexibility from everyone within our educational community. An important lesson learned from the pandemic is how quickly regional situations can change and that school districts must be able to pivot to meet the new reality. At Amherst Central School District, we have worked hard to adjust proactively and that mindset will continue throughout this school year.
This summer, six reopening committees with over 100 stakeholders representing the community, students, parents, board of education, teachers and staff developed a comprehensive reopening plan that meets and exceeds state Department of Health and NYSED guidelines. At the core of discussions has been how our new procedures will impact three broad areas: health and safety, social and emotional learning, and teaching and learning.
Our planning work has also been framed by the knowledge that our plans are living documents that will adjust as state education and health guidelines are either pulled back or expanded. As such, our district has a broad communication structure in place to share new information as it becomes available. Throughout this school year, email will remain our primary form of communication; however, we will also use other methods such as text, automated voice messaging, and social media to share news and information with ACSD families. Our district website should be the go-to resource as it can be updated quickly.
A look back at the end of the 2019-20 school year proves how successful we were in maintaining the traditions that are such a strong part of being an Amherst Tiger. Our June 28 commencement ceremony included a pre-recorded segment and an in-person component with four sessions at our turf field. Our Class of 2020 graduates had the chance to walk a stage in front of their parents or guardians. Students at the middle and elementary levels had their chance in the spotlight as well through car parades, personal visits, and virtual ceremonies. We knew how important it was to end the year recognizing the hard work of our students.
While staff and students were away from our buildings, work continued on Phase 3 of the Capital Improvement Project at Amherst Central High School with improvements and renovations to the cafeteria, career and life skills classroom and art room. Window replacements at both the high and middle school, which was started under Phase 2 last summer, also continued this summer.
As we go forward, this school year will be remembered as one of reinvention. I am proud of the strong team of dedicated educators within our district and what we have accomplished and will continue to accomplish with the best interests of our students in mind.