An Exciting Time, Welcome 2018-2019

Posted by Shelly O'Boyle on 8/23/2018 11:35:00 AM

It is hard for me to believe that summer is coming to an end, and we are about to start a new school year. I am excited to begin 2018-2019 and wish to share my reasons with you. 

Our district safety committee met regularly last year.  We reviewed and updated our district safety plan and our building level response plans. We practiced our drills, and we tightened our practices. We also looked to make improvements in two areas. The first area was Structural Deterrents:

Structural Deterrents

I am excited to announce that we will be partnering with the Town of Carroll to provide a Security Resource Officer (SRO) that will be present on our campus on a daily basis.  An SRO is a sworn officer assigned to a school on a long-term basis trained to perform three major roles: law enforcement officer, law-related counselor, and law-related educator.  Although we will not have this officer at the start of school, I am hopeful that this arrangement will be made in the very near future.  

The second area that we looked at was Proactive Actions:

Proactive Actions

Being proactive is probably the most important area of focus, since it provides a healthy, safe environment for all individuals in a setting.  We have made one of our district goals to promote and create a safe school climate (located at home base in the following document).  

Create and Promote Safe Climate

The message at the top, ‘Welcome to Frewsburg where School and Community value Behavior, Excellence, Academics, Respect, and Sportsmanship. #Bearpride’ will be introduced this year.  These areas will be discussed with all adults and students.  We want everyone in our district and community to understand what the Frewsburg Bears are about.  Not only will we be talking about this, but we will be visually displaying this message in four areas:  the entrances of our buildings and at the entrances of our town.

The bases represent our areas of focus for the upcoming years.  First base, creating a culture of respect and trust helps us to remember to be kind to one another.  Second base, creating a culture of diversity and acceptance helps us to value individuals.  Third base, culture of social emotional support keeps us vigilant and making sure we are all healthy.  

Each person in our district will be empowered to create and promote a safe school climate where everyone is valued.  The administrators will work with their buildings and all adults and students to start shaping what the action items under each base looks like.   We want buy-in from everyone on our campus, so that means empowering and engaging every person to contribute to this vision. I will be setting the tone and vision for this on August 29.  The rest will be from the bottom up. Our district is committed to building upon an already great environment and making it even better!

As discussed at our public Safety Meeting held on June 13, 2018, this year we will also be rolling out A.L.I.C.E training to our faculty and staff.  For more information on this training, please watch the video by clicking on the link.  

If you have entered our MS/HS recently, you may have noticed the gradual “facelift” the building is receiving.  We are returning to school colors of navy blue and vegas gold.  Door frames and trim have been painted to reflect this.  Our new lockers have been installed and are also navy in color:

Lockers

As I write this, I am waiting to hear when the company is coming to change the center emblem on our gym floors from a panther paw to a bear paw.  I am hoping this will be done before the start of the year, but if not, the goal will be to have it completed prior to basketball season.  While I know that unifying the MS/HS colors with a coat of paint and changing an emblem on the gym floor and making sure our lockers match the trim may be cosmetic in nature, this is being done to instill an even greater sense of belonging and pride.   This does not have to be done by the best and most expensive enhancements. Instead, we can take our already good infrastructure and continually make improvements that show who we are. When you look your best, you do your best. Not only do the people coming into our building notice, but our students and our employees notice.   They begin to subtly realize that we are here for a purpose. They feel that things are being taken care of and ultimately, they are being taken care of. They want to be here. They want to belong. They want to stay. (P.S. RHJ is getting new baseboard and will soon be receiving their “facelift”.)

The Phase 2 of our second capital project (2015-2016) is about to kick off with enhancements to our bus garage to include a concession stand and public restrooms, re-location of our tennis courts, paving of the high school driveway, ceiling and lighting in 4 RHJ classrooms, and bathroom renovations in two additional RHJ classrooms.

Here’s another reason for my excitement...the MS/HS is getting a student branch of the Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union (SCFCU).  This means that a teller and FCS student interns will be located right in our building allowing student access to banking. The branch will be open Tuesday-Thursday from 10:00-2:00. Before you begin thinking that the Credit Union is doing this to drum up customers, please read the following information. The SCFCU is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) which is a financial institution that provides credit and financial services to underserved markets and populations. This certification requires the credit union to make a financial commitment to the community.  The Credit Union educates students to financially plan for the future. They do this by providing lessons to elementary students, encouraging students to save money and teaching them about fiscal responsibility. By the way, do you know that the Credit Union also gives a high percentage rate on student savings accounts?  For example, if a student was to save $5,700, the credit union matches this with $4,300. Here is a letter from John Felton, CEO, that addresses the mission of the SCFCU:

Credit Union Letter

The Credit Union curriculum will align nicely with Mr. Melquist's Business classes which will give our students first-hand experience in a real life setting. Did you also know that students who intern with the onsite tellers could end up getting employed by the Credit Union at an hourly rate of $15.00? Our students will also have the ability to gradually earn credit history and experience credit lines in a safe, educational environment as follows:  

Credit Union

In the area of technology, students in grades 3-6 will be getting new 1:1 devices in September, and the older devices from grades 3-6 will be given to UPK-grade 2. RHJ students will also have the opportunity to participate in First Lego League and Odyssey of the Mind lead by Mrs. Joan Waterman.   Please click on the links for more information about these great opportunities. Seventh and eighth grade students will all participate in four - ten week rotations of our new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics -STEAM Academy. Look for more information on this from classroom teachers.

I hope after reading this information you are as excited as I am to start the new school year.  There’s a lot of good things happening in the Frewsburg Central School District!! As always, I would love to hear from you.  Please stop me when you see me out and about at district events, feel free to call (716-569-7041) or email (soboyle@frewsburgcsd.org), or respond to this blog post.  

Here’s to a great year,

Shelly O’Boyle