Weekly Feature

2017-09-13 / Editorial

New school year presents more opportunities for students

Superintendent Williamsville Schools

In a district the size of Williamsville, planning and preparedness are essential in order to ease the transition from summer’s end to the classroom. Last week, we welcomed back nearly 10,000 students, and thanks to the outstanding efforts of our staff at every level, I am happy to report that we had a smooth start to the 2017-18 school year.

It was a very busy summer across the district, with voter-approved capital project work taking place at several schools, plus the completion of the new athletic fields at East and South high schools. These state-of-the-art facilities, along with the new athletic field complex at North High, which opened a year ago, are a great source of pride for our entire community.

It has been incredibly gratifying to witness the public support for the project and the excitement about the new fields throughout our community. It speaks volumes to our students and all area residents that we were able to bring this vision to fruition and invest in the future of our youth.

Grand opening ceremonies for the new athletic fields are planned for 6:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at South High, and at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at East High. Please join us and see the amazing work we accomplished together as a community.

As we look to the future, Williamsville’s award-winning music program will be the focus of the district’s next capital project. More than 50 percent of our students participate in music ensembles, beginning with choral groups in grade three. Enrollment in our music program has outgrown the usable space, especially at the high schools. Preliminary plans call for upgrades at the middle schools and new music suites at each of the high schools.

The final scope of the project will be determined in the coming months, and voter approval in 2018 will be necessary.

A key goal for the district this year is to gather candid feedback from our stakeholders about what’s important to them when it comes to educating children and what our future priorities should be. With the support of the Board of Education, the district will develop and administer surveys to parents, staff members and the community at large with the intent to use the data collected to effect meaningful change and decision-making.

More information about the survey process will be shared soon, and when asked, I hope you will take the opportunity to answer some questions and share your insights with us.

Finally, all of our schools are now on Twitter, so it is easier than ever to keep track of what’s happening across the district. We look forward to a productive, successful year.

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