Friday, November 15, 2019

November Updates

Millard Hawk Elementary
Click on the following links to see parts of the wonderful Veteran's Day celebration at MHE. and

Hastings-Mallory Elementary  
Click on the following links to view parts of the fantastic HME Veteran's Day Celebration. and
Brewerton Elementary
AA Cole Elementary 
The Boys Varsity Volleyball team played the semi-final match in Oswego Wednesday night against a strong Buccaneers team, and gave a great effort as they came up short. Even though the team lost, they played a hard fought game. The volleyball team had an amazing season, and we were all proud of them. I want to give a shout out to Coach Balintfy for a terrific season. The team finished with a 5-13 record. Our Girls Varsity Volleyball Team finished the season going 9-9 and lost a hard fought battle in the semi-final game in sectioanl competition. "The Central Square girls volleyball recently took a quick pause in their pursuit of a postseason berth to take part in childhood cancer awareness month."

The Girls Varsity Soccer Team had an incredible season as they were ranked #3 in the State at one point and #1 in sectional play before losing the rubber match to a very strong J-D team, which they had beaten earlier in the season. The girls played their hearts out and should be extremely proud of their outstanding achievements this season. They finished with a record of 16-2-1, finishing the season being ranked #11 in NY State. 

The Boys Varsity Soccer Team also had an amazing season going 10-6-1. The boys upset powerhouse PSLA Fowler High School 6-1 which is very impressive considering that PSLA Fowler finished with a 15-3-1 record. The Redhawks also had a terrific victory over ESM in this amazing game, seen here,
The Boys Cross Country Team finished 5-3 and qualified for sectionals, which is fantastic, while the Girls Cross Country Team finished a perfect 8-0, and were League Champions and also qualified for sectionals. Our Varsity Football team played hard this season and were fun to watch as they finished the season with a 3-5 record. The Boys Golf Team broke a school record as it was the first time the team qualified for sectionals. Our talented Girls Gymnastics Team also had a great season as they qualified for sectional competition. Our Girls Tennis Team finished 6-8 in the league and 6-10 overall, and were also very impressive to watch! With all Fall varsity sports combined, we had a total of 65 wins and 51 losses, which is an excellent reflection of our strong sports program at Central Square. 
Capital Project Updates
The following link will provide you with a detailed update on the 2017 Capital Project as well as the 2019 Safety & Security Capital Project (Timeline) update:
Since we were able to utilize CSI as a swing space for the 2019-2020 school year, the contractors were able to get so much more done with the renovations to Millard Hawk Elementary (MHE) than they would have been able to do had they not been able to close off a large portion of MHE. By closing down a huge part of MHE, contractors were able to
work throughout the day and evening hours. The following link was filmed two weeks ago ( and as you can see from this very brief clip, they are making great progress. With this great progress comes a wonderful opportunity.  We have been told by our Construction Management firm that since the contractors are ahead of schedule at MHE that they are 99% sure (and will be 100% sure within the next two weeks) that the massive portion of MHE consisting of 12 renovated classrooms will be ready by Christmas break. This would be a huge benefit for the following reasons:
  • The classroom windows can be abated and installed so those rooms do not have to be completed over the summer.
  • We have a lot of flooring to replace over the summer that could impact the classroom work. With the classroom work completed, contractors can focus on the floor work.
  • Teachers can move to their classrooms sooner instead of waiting until September.
  • Contractors can stay in Central Square working on our project rather than leaving for another project.
  • With the amount of floor and door changes we have to close the main office. With the additional classroom work (that we want to start now) we can ensure that the project will be substantially complete by September.  
  • We also very well may have the security project work starting this summer. We need to have as much of the phase 2 work completed so we can start the security project.
Central Square Middle School got a new heating system and chillers (seen in these pictures) that were badly needed.

AA Cole Elementary got a new heating system (seen in these pictures) that was also badly needed. The other school's heating systems were also upgraded last year during phase 1.
The Fine Arts Program at CSSD is Amazing!

The PVM Band, consisting of the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band, put on an outstanding performance at Millard Hawk Elementary as the PVM auditorium was completed gutted and will be a state of the art performing arts center for the 2020-2021 school year. The student performers were fantastic and Band Director, Mr. Ron Haldeman, gave a well deserved shout out to our Director of Facilities, Mr. Paul Brissette, and his crew for all that they have done during this massive capital project, especially how they are transporting all the instruments and equipment to and from PVM High School and the MHE auditorium.
                    PVM Drama Production
The PVM Drama Club were absolutely outstanding throughout their dinner-theatre production of, "Death by Dessert," which I saw Friday night.  It was held in the CSMS cafeteria because that is a larger venue than the PVM cafeteria and it was at full capacity with two sold out shows.  This shows how flexible the Director, Mrs. Schantz, and her cast and crew are because with the PVM auditorium under heavy construction for the year, they had to improvise so the show could go on...and did it ever!!!! Click on the following link to see two of the actresses in action: Their excitement was infectious, as the audience, which included many staff members and proud parents, siblings, grandparents and friends, went home after receiving a wonderful show and delicious dinner.  Our Director of  Food Services, Mr. David Bartholomew, and his dedicated food service staff, prepared a truly delicious meal for each guest, and he too was dressed in character.

Marching Band Success in 2019
Our Redhawk Regiment Marching Band hosted another packed stadium of spectators for our annual Home Show this Fall as we finished in 2nd place among a strong group of bands. The Redhawk
Regiment also competed wonderfully in the Championships held in the Dome, finishing 4th with the smallest of margins between us and 2nd place. As always, this group sounded and looked amazing!

We would like to thank local historian and Veteran, Robert Good, for setting up his amazing military history collection in the PVM library.  Students got to see remarkable pieces of history as these pieces were showcased the entire day on Thursday, November 14. Several teachers including veteran social studies teacher, Mrs. Heather Gullo, was extremely impressed and commented on how engaged her students were as they had the chance to get an up close and personal look into history.  It was very meaningful for our students and staff as so many at Central Square have a long history of military service in their family going back several generations.  I saw students really exploring these artifacts with a heightened sense of interest and enthusiasm. 

The Positivity Project at MHE
Some of our schools are piloting the Positivity Project and they absolutely love how it is impacting their students' behavior and the overall atmosphere of their school.  For more on the Positivity Project click on the following link, I have included a few very brief video clips from Millard Hawk Elementary's Positivity Project assembly this morning, which was outstanding,, and the awards in this clip, The program focuses on the 24 character traits below. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

October Updates...

The Girls Varsity Soccer Team Continues to Shine
The Girls Soccer Team finished their regular season with an amazing 14-1-1 record. They take on the winner of Tuesday's CBA vs. Indian River game, and we host the winner at the friendly confines of PVM High School's Redhawk Stadium. This has been a truly remarkable season, highlighted by their victory over an extremely impressive Jamesville-Dewitt, that had not lost a regular season game in two years.
Smart Schools Bond Act 
The Smart Schools Bond Act was passed by NYS Referendum in November, 2014 with the first applications being accepted/approved in May 2016.  The Smart Schools Bond Act allocated $2 Billion dollars to all NYS School Districts for the purpose of improved learning and opportunity through the funding of educational technology and infrastructure improvements. For all information on the Smart Schools Bond Act: 
The Central Square School District was allocated $4,076,734 to be used to upgrade our technology.

The District is submitting the 2nd in a series of investment plans to NYS Education Department. This second plan focuses mainly on interactive white boards for classroom instruction.
Our District has been able to make great strides in the area of instructional technology, most notably was the successfull 1:1 Chromebook initiative where every K-12 student in the District was given access to a Chromebook as an instructional tool throughout the school day. We also have iPads for our PreK students as an alternative device. The required public hearing, which is part of the submission process, was held at the Board of Education meeting on October 21, 2019. 
The Field Band Home Show

The Field Band Home Show held on Saturday, October 19, was another example of the amazing community that we have at Central Square, and of course, the extremely talented student performers that continue to bring great pride to our fine arts program at Central Square.  We cannot thank the student performers, instructors, supportive staff members and parents, and all of the parent volunteers working behind the scenes with the moving of all the instruments and props and working the concession stand for six hours in the cold. We truly have such a wonderful sense of community here and we thank you all!!!
Veterans Day Celebrations 
Veterans Day is very special across our District as we have such an enormous amount of community members that are active/retired from the military.  Each year we are very proud to have between 5 and 8 seniors enlist in a branch of the military/ROTC, which is a testiment to the level of committment and service to our Country that makes our community so very special.  Each school does something in their schools in rememberance of Veterans Day because we want all students to experience the pride and appreciation that we have for our veterans. Check the website of your child's school to see more details on the events that are planned by clicking on the following link and selecting "Select a School" at the top left of the screen, and then scroll down and click on the word "Calendar" seen in the lower right corner of the screenshot below. Here is the link to our District website: 

Board Recognition Day
These incredibly talented students presented each of our Board of Education members a beautiful piece of student created artwork at the October 21 Board of Education meeting, which served as another example of the creativity that our students possess. A special thank you to PVM art teacher, Mrs. Staats and all of the art teachers throughout our District that inspired such an amazing illustration of artistic extression from our talented students.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


College and Career Pathways Spotlight on PVM senior, William Monica, and his CTE pathway...

To view the quick spotlight on this amazing student and hear how he earned a scholarship to Ohio Technical College where he plans to focus on diesel mechanics, click on the following link, 
This year's homecoming was one of my favorite because the theme was "Heroes" and some of our elementary schools, AA Cole, seen above, highlighted, hometown heroes, including fire fighters, police, officers, military, and all first responders, which was a wonderful idea!!! After graduating from Paul V Moore High School in 2018, now, Airman First Class, Andrew Martin III, enlisted in the Air Force.  He is stationed in Minot Dakota and he flew back on Friday to surprise his brother and sister (both are students at PVM High School) at our Homecoming Pep Rally.  It was an amazing illustration of family, patriotism, and community for all in attendance that had the opportunity to witness this special homecoming for the Martin family.  Click on the following link to view this touching moment:
Brewerton Elementary Principal, Mr. Brett Bowden, is also a recreational pilot and he invited me up in the plane he rents to provide me with a perspective of our District that most superintendents will never have.  I'm so glad I agreed because it was an experience I will never forget.  Our District is absolutely beautiful and enormous!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The great transformation continues...

If you have driven through the District this past year and into this current summer you have experienced what a district-wide capital project looks like.  Our schools have not had significant work done on them in many years and were in need of the large scale construction project that was approved by our community at the 2017 referendum vote.  Last summer (During Phase 1) we got a much needed new track and turf field as it replaced a turf field and track that had far exceeded its lifespan and was on the verge of becoming a safety issue for our athletes, band members, and high school students utilizing the stadium during physical education classes, as the surface of the turf had grown increasingly hard over time. 
While all of our schools have experienced upgrades during last year's Phase 1 of the capital project including new roofs on all schools as well as significant infrastructure, electrical, and technology upgrades, the scope of work needed at Millard Hawk Elementary (MHE) was the most substantial.  It is because of this that we are housing our MHE pre-kindergarten classrooms, and our 4th and 5th grade classrooms next door at CSI, which formerly housed our 3rd-5th graders that transitioned from Millard Hawk Primary.  Being able to utilize CSI as a "swing space"  allows the construction work on MHE to be accomplished in one year instead of three years, which is a huge cost savings to the District as well as avoiding the massive inconvenience of having to have students in classrooms that were continuously being worked on during the night shift, which would have been a logistical nightmare. To also save the District the money of hiring an interim principal and building secretary to be in CSI for the 2019-2020 school year, while also providing students, staff, and parents/guardians there with the same level of support that they had at MHE, my office and my secretary's office will be housed in CSI for the school year.  Having been an elementary principal for four years prior to coming to Central Square, I am excited! By being able to close off a large portion of MHE for the entire school year to be worked on was clearly the way to go.  The progress on that portion of MHE has already been amazing, seen in these pictures.

While each of our schools are experiencing significant constructional upgrades, all eyes are on the auditorium at Paul V. Moore High School where we are getting a brand new performing arts center that will compliment the success of our fine arts program.  All of our schools utilize the PVM auditorium for concerts, theatrical shows, awards presentations, and music/talent performances and the auditorium has not had significant upgrades in decades. The auditorium will be under construction for all of the 2019-2020 school year, so I will provide updated pictures on the construction progress throughout the school year. Once the 2018-2019 school year came to a close, the construction workers wasted no time getting into the auditorium, seen in these pictures: 

Monday, July 1, 2019

2019 Commencement Ceremony

To view the 2019 Commencement Ceremony, click on the following link, (It states that if you are interested in purchasing the video to contact them, but let it keep playing, it is all there on this link) 

To view still photos from the event, click on the following link,  

Congradulations students and staff...ENJOY YOUR MUCH DESERVED VACATIONS as we prepare for the 2019-2020 school year!!! 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Wrapping up a wonderful year...

We had 5 students graduate from the Exceptional Education Program at CiTi BOCES this past week.  All of these students (Jonathon Anderson, Jason Harris, Lincoln Marion, Angelica Moot, Shelby Rennie) worked so hard and overcame major challenges to achieve this success, and it was very special to see them cheering for their peers.

Senior, Ryan Merkel (seen to the right), was one of a handful of students selected to give a speech at the New Visions Graduation held at SUNY Oswego last week.  Rayan's speech was extremely articulate and well received among the full crowd of peers and spectators. For more information on this program click here, to all of our Central Square students that graduated from this impressive program: Alexander D'Aoust, Ryan Merkel, Yesha Patel, Brianna Purdy, Joshua Roderick, Sierra Scott, Kiara Sterling).