Office of the Superintendent
Welcome to the Superintendent's Office
Anthony J. Panella
Secretary to the Superintendent and District Clerk
At any age level, it’s important to have interests outside of work or school that keep you learning and growing. At each of our schools, we have created opportunities for students to develop their interests further. Whether it’s recreation, music, literature or volunteerism, there are clubs, school-based initiatives and special events for students during the day or after school. We call this Student Life and it is one of the three pillars in our Strategic Plan.
We recently reconvened our Strategic Plan council and reconnected with the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester to revise our plan as several initiatives had stalled due to the pandemic. Over the next two years, there will be more opportunities under the Student Life pillar that include extra-curricular offerings, student-teacher relationships, character education, career exploration and readiness and service to community.
Here’s a sampling of some activities that fall within the Student Life pillar.
At the high school, a few students built upon the popular clothes thrifting trend to start a free thrift store for students. They collected, sorted, advertised and it was a huge hit.
Students are able to start new clubs if there is enough interest. A cheese club was started this year and its members all have an interest in knowing more about that dairy culinary delight. Our mental health awareness club was started by several students who realized there was a need to connect with others. They recently held a successful morning coffee talk. The high school Youth Activation Committee Club hosted our second annual Spread the Word Inclusion campaign where students and staff pledged their commitment to promoting inclusion in our school.
In the spirit of service to community, our high school and middle school hold Bald for Bucks campaigns to raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. While most of the participants fundraise as individuals, our middle school used its annual penny wars fundraiser to collectively raise more than $4,000 for Bald for Bucks. At Smallwood Drive Elementary students and staff raised $17,286 to contribute to the American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge fundraiser. Three students were recognized for being the top fundraisers.
At Windermere, a new after school tennis club was hugely popular and students got a chance to play at a local tennis center as a capstone activity. Tennis is a sport where age is no barrier. Other after school club opportunities for students are in musical theater, fiddle, Girls on the Run, zumba, Spanish, chess and art.
A new adult-to-student mentoring program was created at the middle school to build engaging student-teacher relationships. Teachers, staff, counselors, and administrators are paired with recommended students and meetings take place before school, during a study hall, lunch or after school. They start each meeting with some meditation or mindfulness exercises and then spend the time together playing games or sharing a meal, all while working in one-on-one conversations about what’s going on in a student’s life.
These are just a few of the many examples of Student Life opportunities for our students to keep growing and developing their individual interests.