Friday, December 15, 2017

What's New

Merger advisory committee holds first meeting

graphic design of handshake with Arkport and Canaseraga logosDec. 14, 2017 – The process to study a possible merger between Arkport and Canaseraga school districts officially got underway Dec. 11 when an advisory committee comprised of 16 volunteers from both districts met for the first time in the Canaseraga cafeteria.

Arkport and Canaseraga are each represented on the Annexation Study Advisory Committee by four community members, two teachers, one school staff member and one administrator. They will attend a total of four meetings between now and June.

Monday’s meeting – led by education consultants Alan Pole and William Silky of Castallo & Silky, who are conducting the merger study – focused on two areas: past and projected student enrollment in both Arkport and Canaseraga; and the current academic and extracurricular offerings of both districts. 

Some key takeaways presented by the consultants:

  • The student enrollment of a newly formed district would be approximately 670 K-12 students.
  • A merged staff would allow the new district to streamline its workforce or add more courses.
  • Performance on state assessments is more alike than different between the two districts.

More than two dozen residents attended.

“There were some great questions from both the committee and members of the audience,” Superintendent of Schools Jesse Harper said. “We’re off to a good start.”

“I was very encouraged with the number of local residents who attended the meeting,” Canaseraga Superintendent Chad Groff said. “Getting the details firsthand is always a plus. The committee members, meanwhile, worked diligently to digest the large amount of information begin presented by Mr. Silky and Mr. Pole. I appreciate their willingness to be part of this important process.”

All information presented at the meetings will be posted on each district’s website.

The committee will next meet Feb. 7, 2018, to discuss facilities, transportation, staffing and finance, and then again on April 16 to review a draft report from Castallo & Silky. A final report will be presented to the boards of education on June 18, and then public hearings would be scheduled through July and August. If both boards agree to move forward, an advisory referendum would be scheduled for October. Finally, if a simple majority in both communities votes yes, a final referendum would be held in December 2018.

For a printer-friendly version of the presentation delivered during the meeting, click on the link below.

Time to review procedures for snow days & delays

snowflake imageNow that we've had the season's first snowflakes, it's a good time to review how Arkport Central School District handles weather-related closings and delays.

When school is closed or delayed because of weather or other emergencies, early morning announcements will be made over local broadcast stations, including TV stations YNN, WETM and WENY and radio stations WLEA/WCKR, WHHO/WKPQ and WHAM. In addition, Arkport will use its automated notification system to send recorded voice messages to families’ phones.

Here are more details about the different procedures employed for one- and two-hour delays and school closures:

One-hour delay procedures

  1. The automated notification system will be used to notify staff and students;
  2. Principals will contact any necessary personnel for supervision;
  3. All faculty and staff are expected to report to school as close to 8 a.m. as possible.
  4. Cereal, juice and milk will be the only items provided for breakfast in the cafeteria;
  5. Any Regents exams that might be scheduled will take place at their scheduled times;
  6. Students will be transported to morning BOCES; and
  7. School begins at 9:05 a.m.

Two-hour delay procedures:

  • Steps 1-5 above.
  • There will be NO BOCES bus run. Full-day and afternoon students will be transported during the afternoon run; and
  • School begins at 10:05 a.m. 
School-closing procedures:
  • The automated notification system will be used to notify all staff and students; and
  • All after-school activities are automatically canceled.

Arkport Board of Education appoints new superintendent

photo of Jesse HarperThe Arkport Central School District Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Jesse Harper as acting superintendent of schools during its Aug. 10 regular board meeting.

Harper has served as the school’s Grade 7-12 principal and Committee on Special Education chair since 2012. He joined the district in 2005 as a science teacher, and also served as a girls basketball and soccer coach for several years. Superintendent Glenn Niles, who in June announced his plans to retire, will stay on through Sept. 30 in an advisory role.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been appointed acting superintendent of the Arkport Central School District,” Harper said. “I am very grateful to the Board of Education for giving me the opportunity to serve the district and community that has embraced and supported me and my family.”

A native of Syracuse, Harper earned a Bachelor of Science degree in material science in 2002 and a master’s degree in education in 2003 – both from Alfred University. He earned his certificate of advanced studies in educational administration in 2010 from SUNY Brockport. Before Arkport, he worked as an adjunct chemistry professor at Alfred State College and a permanent substitute teacher at Alfred-Almond Central School.

“We are pleased Mr. Harper has accepted our offer to lead the district,” Board of Education President Stephen C. Hoyt said. “We’ve had a front-row seat to Jesse’s achievements here in Arkport for the past 11 years and now look forward to watching his commitment to our students and staff continue to shine in the years ahead.”

Harper and his wife, Michelle Grillo, who teaches high school English at Cuba-Rushford Central School, have two sons: Otis, 3, and Leo, 9 months.

“I have always taken great pride in being a member of the Arkport faculty, and that will only grow in my new role, as we work together to maintain an outstanding learning environment for our students.”