Sunday, June 18, 2017

Wrapping up the Year...

As the year wraps up, and the weather is finally feeling like summer, I just wanted to share with you a fun event for the family.  Our West Genesee Special Education Parent Teacher student Association is hosting their annual picnic on Thursday, June 22 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at Shove Park. It is always a fun event, so feel free to email to rsvp or just join the group that day.

Enjoy the end of school year activities with your children.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Special Graduation Ceremonies

We all have days in our jobs that are frustrating, but this past week I was reminded of why I love mine. I was so fortunate to be able to attend two very special graduations at BOCES. Nothing is more rewarding, or moving, than to watch students who have overcome so many obstacles in their lives graduate from high school.  

 On Thursday Nikki, Courtney, and Megan all graduated at a ceremony that was celebrated at the OCM BOCES, Liverpool Campus. These young ladies have overcome struggles at home as well as school, academically as well as emotionally, and have persevered to reach their goal of graduating from high school. Of course they could not have done it without the support of family and staff at BOCES who helped them reach that goal. Courtney gave one of the most moving graduation speeches I have heard. It brought tears to my eyes. I could not have been more proud of them all.

On Friday, Kyle graduated from the OCM BOCES McEvoy Campus in Cortland. This young man has grown and progressed in the past two years more than any of the staff that have worked with him had hoped and expected. He was smiling through the entire ceremony and gave a wonderful speech that expressed his thanks to all who helped him. I don't think there was a louder cheering section for Kyle, nor a dry eye after his speech.

To see the pride on the faces of these students, as well as their families and friends and the staff that have supported them through their journeys, was a wonderful reminder of why I decided to be a Special Educator. I wish them the best in the next step in their lives.

Now on to one more graduation on Saturday, I am hoping to make it through that one without many tears; it will be a challenge, but I'm excited to watch my own children and their classmates move on to the next phase of their lives as well!

Enjoy the sunshine now that it's finally here!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

It's June...

Can you believe it is June already? Where did this school year go? In a few short weeks the children will be done with school, some will have moving up ceremonies to "graduate" to a new building in the fall.  I've spent the last few weeks in CSE meetings for all of our students who are moving up to new buildings next year.  Its wonderful to have so many parents attend the meetings and even more fun for me to have our 8th graders attend their first CSE meetings! They all have done such a great job - some talking and asking questions, just others listening but all very respectful and looking so grown up and ready to move on. It's been the highlight of the annual review season for me this year.

I am also very excited about graduation this year! My own children, Andrew and Shayla, will be graduating this year and going off to college next year., and I will get to see a truly great group of seniors graduate. I started at West Genesee when they were in Kindergarten, so I feel like I've watched them all grow up. I'm sure I'll shed a tear or two but couldn't be prouder of them all!

Recent Events
As the school year wraps up, there will be many events at the buildings for our students to partake in. I love to try to get to them when I can. Special Olympics was last week so I just wanted to share some pictures and video that celebrate's our athletes.  Click below to view a video of the event.

Our Unified Sports Basketball team has wrapped up its first season. The final games were exciting as ever to watch. The team had the support of fans, family, teachers, cheerleaders and even the Wildcat mascot! The players earned a medal and t-shirt and each district a plaque to mark their participation in the season. I can't wait to see what the next season brings.

Hopefully the rain will end soon and we can all get outside and enjoy some nice weather.

Take Care,
~ Sue

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wrapping Up the Year with Great Events!

It's hard to believe that it's May already, but it sure is nice to hear the birds chirping and to see the sunshine and everything blooming and growing! As we wrap up the year there are some upcoming events I wanted to share with you.

West Genesee Unified Sports Basketball Team
Unified Sports
You may have heard about our Unified Sports team at the high school this year from Dr Brown's Blog, signs at the high school, the District e-Newsletter, or on twitter. I was thrilled to attend the first games that we hosted at WGHS. There were more smiles and cheers than I have heard at any other sporting event!

I am excited to attend more games.The next home games are on May 3 and 8, both at 5:30 p.m. with the final culminating event on May 23 at 5:30; all games are at WGHS. Come out and support our athletes, and I guarantee you will enjoy the games!

Special Olympics
The Special Olympics are coming soon too! On May 18 we will have a number of student athletes compete in the Special Olympic Games at CNS High School. The games run from 9:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. with a rain out date of May 25. They are requesting that all families, parents, and non-participants remain in the bleachers as they expect over 800 athletes. What a huge event to be part of!

LDA Summer Programs
The LDA of CNY will once again be offering their summer programs. The programs offer students an opportunity to learn by doing fun activities and to meet new friends. The SAIL program offers classes in reading, writing and math as well as art and technology. The Learning without Borders is geared for students 14-16 years old focusing on building confidence, team skills, and community experiences. The flyers for both programs are attached here:  SAIL and Learning without Borders.

The end of the year will be here before we know it, so take some time to enjoy the sunshine and some of the upcoming events.

Take Care

Monday, March 27, 2017

Another Upcoming Event

Another  Upcoming Event
Well, there certainly is not a shortage of things going on in the Syracuse area! I received an email from a student at Nazareth College with information for an event being held in April for middle and high school students. She is part of an organization know as Best Buddies which  is a nationally known organization that promotes inclusion through building friendships with those who have an intellectual or developmental disability. 

A Friendship Ball is being held at the Sheraton Hotel this April 21. This is an all inclusive dance for those who do and do not have a disability; to dress up, meet people from all over the area, and make some lasting friendships. The middle schoolers will be separated from the high schoolers and college kids for more age appropriate peer engagement. No one is required to have a date or formally dress up, we want everyone to come feeling comfortable and to have a good time with their friends and getting to know more people.

If your student would like to attend this event you must register online, the deadline it register is April 14.  For a flyer with more information please click here.  If you'd like more information about Best Buddies, visit their website at


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Great Special Education Events

Last Friday morning I gave myself a little time to watch Good Morning America with a cup off coffee, a rare treat for me. I was intrigued to see that they were covering the Special Olympics World Games in Austria with none other than one of my favorite reporters, Robin Roberts! It topped off my week to see national coverage with a well known reporter at this event. The interviews she did with athletes and families were top notch. The coverage has continued through the weekend and early week. I've seen ice skating and snowshoe races; very exciting! To see more information on this amazing event click here.

Upcoming Resource Fair at West Genesee
Here are the details I promised in my last blog for the Resource Fair that will be held by the West Genesee Special Education PTSA. It will be held on Wednesday, March 29 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the West Genesee High School. There will be a variety of agencies represented and a wealth of information on various topics. For the flyer to this event click here.

Stay warm, and here's hoping spring will appear soon!  

Thursday, March 9, 2017

As We "spring" Towards Spring!

There is still a lot going on as we move through the year! Here are a few more things going on in and around our District as we "spring" towards Spring!

Our Bus Drivers and Attendants as Part of Our Team 
I recently had the opportunity to join Kara Lux as she did a presentation for our bus drivers and attendants. Kara is a speech/language pathologist at Stonehedge Elementary School who is doing her Administrative Internship this year. She created a presentation for our drivers to share strategies for helping some of our students with special transportation needs have a safer, and hopefully more enjoyable, ride on the bus. 

It was obvious from the conversations we had that so many of them care about our students and helping them be successful as they start and end the school day. The drivers were wonderful to share information with, they asked questions and shared their own experiences. Both Kara and I were glad to have had the time to  talk with them. They truly have a uniquely challenging job. We appreciate their willingness to work with us and their commitment to our students!

Transition Conference Day at OCC

On March 13 there will be a Transition Conference Day at OCC presented by SUPAC and supported by the CNY Special Education Task Force. This day will include presentations as well as the opportunity to talk with professionals regarding transition planning. This workshop is for families and students. Click here for more information.

Resource Fair
Our West Genesee Special Education PTSA will be hosting a resource fair  March 29. This event includes agencies and groups from around the area who help support students with with disabilities and their families. Stay tuned for details; I will send them out as soon as I have them!

Stay warm this weekend, sounds like it's going to be a cold one!