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Student Artwork Brightens District Office
David Smith was surprised when he and his family received an invitation to visit the Waterloo Central School District Office on the evening of Aug. 30.
David, who will be a sophomore this fall, was one of 30 Waterloo High School art students invited to see their artwork on display.
“It’s really cool,” David said. “I honestly didn’t expect a piece of mine to show up here.”
CLICK HERE to see more photos
Yet, there it was. David’s sectioned grid drawing of a photo featuring an orange, lemon, strawberries and grapes was one of the pieces chosen to hang in the hallway for the upcoming school year.
“There were a bunch of different fruits, so there was some diversity to it,” David said. “Every section is different than the other section. When you look at it, it could be two different photos.”
The art on display was selected by High School Art teachers Sarah Carey and Dana Brabant based on the “Best of Show” from the teachers’ picks from the 2021 Spring Art Show.
“What you see here is the best of the best,” Carey said.
Waterloo Superintendent of Schools Terri Bavis said the artwork enhances the atmosphere at District Office.
“I think that it’s important to have kids’ artwork on the walls,” Bavis said. “I don’t know why you wouldn’t have student artwork on display every day. Every Spring the Art teachers come over to District Office to display artwork from the year’s success, and we enjoy it.”
While the artwork in the halls changes each year, Bavis has also purchased other pieces that are on permanent display in her office and conference rooms. This summer marked the first time that she has invited students, families and Board of Education members to see the artwork.
Angelina Cardinale, who will also be a sophomore this fall, attended with her family members. Her introspective self-portrait, which was created with markers and watercolors, featured Angelina blowing a bubble.
“I kind of think of it as when the bubble pops, my personality comes out,” Angelina said. “I was just going to do a self-portrait, but Ms. B (Brabant) told me that it should have some meaning to it.”
Ava DiSanto’s piece, “Nemo,” was also chosen.
“I was looking for a circle, but a transparent one,” Ava said. “I looked at fish eggs, frog eggs and then a Nemo just came to me and I saw a photo and went with it.”
“We’re very proud of her,” said Wendy DiSanto, Ava’s mother. “We couldn’t be more proud.”
The Art Department extends its congratulations to all of the students selected and also thanks former Studio in Art student Jasmine Hennigan for her assistance with matting, framing and labeling the pieces.
Matt Parker Named WEA Teacher of the Year
Matt Parker, a fourth-grade teacher at LaFayette Intermediate School, has been named the Waterloo Education Association’s Teacher of the Year for 2021.
Parker, who is entering his 20th year in the district, was honored in front of district employees during opening day ceremonies at Waterloo High School on Wednesday, Sept. 1.
Parker spent the first 16 years of his career teaching computer science before moving to fourth grade four years ago. Colleagues praised Parker , who is also the Co-Director of the District’s Teacher Resource Center, for his willingness to help students and staff with technology as they navigated the challenges of the past year.
“I am truly humbled,” said Parker, who was nominated and selected by WEA members. “I have sat in the audience for many years as a special-area teacher and never thought I would get this award. It is not something I expected. All of the things I do for people and kids is not for recognition, it’s just what I do.
“I would like to thank my parents, fourth-grade team, all of my colleagues at LaFayette, my building principal Shaun Merrill and everyone throughout the district who has supported me as much as I have tried to support them.”
Eight co-workers from LaFayette announced Parker as the recipient of this year’s award. Jason Bullis, a special education teacher, and fourth-grade teacher Kathleen MacGeorge led the presentation while colleagues Heather Schuessler (Patience), Kristen O’Connell (Ambition), Kristen Lamson (Reliable), Paula Thomas (Kindness), Theresa Patchen (Encourage) and Josh Rice (Resources) displayed cards listing some of Parker’s qualities. After all of the qualities were described, the group flipped their cards to show the first letter of each quality and spell P-A-R-K-E-R.
Merrill, who taught alongside Parker before becoming an administrator, said that Parker has always been on the cutting edge with technology and excels at student engagement. He described stopping by Parker’s room and seeing a lesson posted on two or three boards as Parker encourages his students to think outside of the box.
“He is always trying to connect students to something that they can create,” Merrill said.
Bullis said his colleague has a way of making people feel special.
“It’s his giving nature and his core ability to make everybody feel valued and appreciated,” Bullis said. “Whether it’s technology or classroom teaching, all of the students can benefit from him.”
Parker credits his late grandfather Richard Parker, who was a welder by trade, and his wife, Mary, with inspiring him to become a teacher.
“He always placed a big focus on education,” Parker said of his grandfather, who was one of 16 children. “Every time that I went to his house as a kid it was a big lesson in history.”
A Weedsport native, Matt and Mary Parker are high school sweethearts who have been together for 26 years. They have an 8-year-old daughter, Grace.
“She kept me on the straight and narrow and encouraged me to work through things,” Matt Parker said of his wife, who is a high school social studies teacher in Weedsport.
Parker, a self-described “beach bum” and avid outdoorsman, also loves sports, especially the Boston Red Sox. His name will be listed on a plaque at Waterloo High School along with the names of previous recipients.
Dear Waterloo Families,
Our early release day for teacher professional development will be on Fridays this year. In previous years this professional development time has occurred on Wednesdays. This year it will be on Fridays, which will assist in providing a continuity of instruction for our extended day programming. For our elementary school students, those who are participating in Waterloo’s extended day programming after dismissal from the regular school day, Healthy Kids will be available for families who need day care on Friday afternoons. We are awaiting pricing from them. The Elementary Principals will share that information when it becomes available to us. The morning extended day program will still be run free of charge by Waterloo Staff on Fridays.
Elementary dismissal times on Fridays only are as follows:
Skoi-Yase Primary School
UPK/Kindergarten students 2:05 p.m.
1st grade 2:15 p.m.
2nd grade 2:25 p.m.
Buses depart 2:20 p.m.
LaFayette Intermediate School
Buses depart 2:40 p.m.
Parent pick up follows bus departure
At the Secondary level, all students will dismiss on Fridays only at 1:17 p.m.
If the times above impact your transportation needs please contact the transportation department 315-539-1515.
Please contact your child’s Principal if you have specific questions regarding dismissal, or extended day programming available, free of charge Monday-Thursday each week, to all students this year. Our extended day programming is funded through our Federal ARP funding.
FALL SPORTS PRACTICES UNDERWAY
Preseason practices for the 2021 Fall Sports season began on Monday, Aug. 23 with athletes taking to the fields (football and boys and girls soccer), courts (girls volleyball) and course (cross country) to prepare for the upcoming season.
CLICK HERE to see a gallery of photos from practices this week and good luck to all of our Waterloo athletes and coaches this fall.
Staff Spotlight: Director of MTSS Coordination Molly Lahr
Molly Lahr always felt supported by her community while growing up in Waterloo.
A two-sport athlete who also participated in musicals, plays, and Girl Scouts, Lahr hopes to provide a similar foundation for current Waterloo students and staff in her new role as the District’s Director of Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).
Lahr, a 2010 Waterloo graduate, started on July 1 as a teacher on special assignment after spending the 2020-21 school year as an Administrative Intern at LaFayette Intermediate School and Waterloo High School while also serving as the MTSS Coordinator for WCSD. Her new role is aimed at carrying out the priorities of Safe Space, Wellness, Academic Success, and Teamwork outlined in the District’s new strategic plan.
Lahr, who earned her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Building and District Leadership from the University of Rochester in February, says MTSS is “about building a system where every child succeeds.”
“MTSS is a systematic approach for academic and social-emotional learning,” Lahr said. “It can be supports, enrichment, or whatever else a child needs. I believe in asset-based learning and highlighting what kids are great at.”
Lahr earned both her Bachelor's and Master’s degrees from Syracuse University and was hired as a reading teacher at Waterloo Middle School in 2015. Waterloo Superintendent of Schools Terri Bavis was immediately impressed with Lahr when she arrived in the District in 2016.
“There are certain people that you meet who you instantly know are innate leaders and Molly is one of those innate leaders,” Bavis said. “What makes her so special is that she is just one of the most positive and gentle people that I know, and those are qualities that make a great leader.”
Even though she was a young teacher, Bavis encouraged Lahr to take on additional leadership roles as a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Facilitator and Coach and the Waterloo Middle School Character Education Chair.
“She was a strong advocate against bullying and helped develop a program for sixth graders that showed them how to be a Waterloo student,” Bavis said. “She has really been proactive in shaping positivity in the school community.”
Lahr knew she was making a difference in the classroom and realized she could do even more after being selected to attend the Regional Leadership Institute led by current West Genesee Superintendent of Schools David Bills.
“During that class, I realized how much impact you can have on kids with educational leadership, and I kind of fell in love with it,” Lahr said.
She also knows that the MTSS program is not starting from scratch.
“Although my job title may be new, these concepts are not new,” she said. “Waterloo has been working toward parts of this for several years.”
Lahr has spent her summer preparing for the return of students and staff in September.
“I am going into this year understanding that relationships are the most important piece right now,” she said. “In order to do my job well, I am going to have to listen first. Then, we are going to start to build steps that are in line with the strategic plan.
“At this point, the biggest thing is that I can’t wait for teachers to be back so that we can get started on this very important collaborative work.”
Lahr will also have the benefit of continuing to work alongside many of those who have made a difference for her and countless others.
“A lot of people who helped instill that sense of community in me are still in the District,” Lahr said. “I learned that choices have impact and that I really wanted to be a difference-maker in my community.”
Molly Lahr can be reached at Molly.Lahr@waterloocsd.org
WCSD students, staff help "Fill The Bus"
The United Way of Seneca County held its annual Day of Caring "Fill The Bus" school supply drive on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.
CLICK HERE to see more photos from "Fill The Bus"
About 20 student-athletes from the Waterloo Central School District volunteered at the event at the Fayette Fire Department. Students sorted and packed items that were donated to help needy students in the four Seneca County school districts. Items collected included crayons, colored pencils, markers, pencils, paper, binders, scissors, notebooks and backpacks.
Christal Kent, WCSD's Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, organized participation in the event. Coaches Keisha Bree and RJ Ellison volunteered as did WCSD Board of Education President Ellen Hughes and Vice President Coreen Lowry.
The donated items were loaded on a bus and returned to the District by the Transportation Department.
NIGHT SPORTING EVENTS EXPECTED TO RETURN TO TOM COUGHLIN STADIUM THIS FALL
The first phase of a $4 million capital project to upgrade the Waterloo Central School District’s athletic facilities is underway.
New lights and light poles have been installed at Tom Coughlin Stadium on the high school and middle school campus on Stark Street. Infrastructure work and testing is expected to be completed by the end of the month, meaning evening events are on schedule to return to the multi-use facility in September.
“We are so glad that we will be able to bring night sporting events back this fall,” WCSD Superintendent of Schools Terri Bavis said. “Our students begin dreaming of playing under the lights when they are little and it is great that they will have that opportunity again soon.”
“Night sporting events bring such a sense of pride to our community,” WCSD Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Christal Kent said. “We are excited that our students, their families and the communities will have the chance to take part in night games this fall.”
Bruce Knowles, the project manager for Watchdog Building Partners of Rochester, said that each of the LED lights on the six poles is focused on a specific point to help maximize illumination and reduce light pollution. Watchdog is WCSD's construction partner on the project.
The capital project also includes new lights for WCSD’s baseball and softball fields, tennis courts and the Waterloo Little League complex. Construction on the next phases of the athletic capital project will begin this fall.
Work also continues on a $19 million capital project focused on safety, accessibility maintenance and repairs throughout the district. WCSD voters approved both capital projects by a decisive margin last December.
Waterloo Central School District American Rescue Plan Funding 2021-2022
To ensure the continued support of students at our schools, on June 21, 2021 the Waterloo Board of Education approved 56 new positions through our Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding. These positions are a District Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Director, who will directly support and coordinate social emotional learning in each school, a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for restorative practices and academics to support our Secondary Administrators, a District Wellness Coordinator, four Building Wellness Coordinators so that our Building Wellness Teams can get established this fall, a School Psychology Intern, an additional School Nurse, and Intervention Teachers at all levels. We have also planned for extended day programming for both before and after school for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5. Inclusive in this plan are Response to Intervention (RtI)/ Enrichment Program Directors and Extended Day Program Coordinators at each elementary school, in addition to Literacy Partners and tutors to assist with extended school day instruction. We have also added funding to provide transportation for more secondary students, so they are able to fully participate in academic assistance and extra-curricular activities after school. Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Coaches, and Parent Academies to pay for speakers and workshops that may be of interest to our parents and guardians throughout the school year.
We have also included in our plan ELA and Math Response to Intervention (RtI) Data Coordinators at the elementary level and Secondary Data Coordinators at both WMS and WHS. These positions will enable us to better track our assessment results at each building to inform our instruction, create individualized learning plans for student and increase student achievement.
Additionally, we have added organizational supports to assist with our Professional Learning Community (PLC) Model. These include four content area department chairs and seven grade level chairs at the secondary level.
We have planned for a part-time Public Information Officer/COVID Mitigation Response Officer to assist with communications and planning.
4 open air pavilions are being constructed, one at each building, to encourage time spent outdoors when weather allows. We have also planned to purchase multiple supplies and materials for students throughout the school year including school supplies and art materials for students to have at home to assist with their academic needs outside of school, snacks for students participating in the extended day programs, and developmentally appropriate literacy materials and books that can be kept at home to assist students in building their literacy skills with their families outside of school.
This plan will continue to be revisited and adjusted based on stakeholder feedback to support student needs and/or additional state or federal guidance.
January 8, 2021
The Waterloo Central School District is using new technology to improve the Board of Education governance process. This will allow the Waterloo Board of Education to maximize the effectiveness of our board meetings with increased transparency, providing a basis for more efficient and open communication with the public.
BoardDocs Pro uses a structured, collaborative workflow that is specifically designed to meet the unique needs and legal requirements of public school boards. Electronic distribution will not only save time and resources, but it will also provide more convenient public access via the Waterloo Central School District’s website to agenda items and other board-related information. This process will allow interested parties to review information prior to meetings. After the meeting, individuals can review the agenda items and see what action the board took, complete with voting results. All documents associated with the meeting are automatically archived and can be accessed by date or by using the system’s comprehensive search feature.
The new board management features can be accessed via Waterloo’s website at https://go.boarddocs.com/ny/waterloocsd/Board.nsf/Public. For questions regarding this initiative, please contact Jamie Excell at 315-539-1501.
January 4th, 2020
The federal and state moratoriums on evictions are currently scheduled to be lifted in January 2021. Due to this, there may be an increase in the number of families who will experience a loss of housing. Governor Cuomo has announced an expansion of the state’s rent relief program. Eligibility criteria has changed and applications will be accepted until February 1st, 2021. Click here for more information and to apply.
Also If you have questions on your rights or need referrals for housing there is a Statewide hotline: 833-503-0447, open 24/7. They will soon be able to answer questions in all languages with interpreters. This is a referral line only — hotline workers aren’t able to answer specific legal questions, but they will be able to direct you to the courts, clerks offices and other resources in your region. If you don’t get through the first time, keep trying!
If you lose your housing or are living in temporary housing please let your school know! We are here to help!
IF YOU SHOULD NEED IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE FOR EMOTIONAL HEALTH PLEASE:
-call or visit Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) at Clifton Springs
-call Finger Lakes Lifeline 2-1-1
-contact the National Crisis Text Line by texting the word: HOME to 741-741
All Students. All Staff. One Family
The MISSION of the Waterloo Central School District is to put kids first every day. We support each student on a personalized journey to realize their goals. Our caring community develops learners and leaders.