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Superintendent's Message: Happy New Year!

As we turn the corner into 2018, we find ourselves looking ahead.

We have had much to celebrate so far this school year, including:

  • Outstanding learning experiences in and out of the classroom
  • Tremendous musical and dramatic performances and artistic endeavors
  • Fierce athletic competitions
  • Heartfelt community service projects
  • Valuable professional learning opportunities for staff
    The day to day hard work that makes success possible for our students
  • A special 50th anniversary for the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District.

We also know that many more exciting opportunities lie ahead of us before the end of June!

As we begin the new year, we encourage all our students to work hard and make the most of every learning opportunity and push themselves to do their very best. We appreciate and ask for the continued support of our families and community as we promote these goals. Our entire staff continues to model this spirit of hard work and continuous improvement by committing to their own professional learning. For example, many of our teachers continue to participate in Learning Walks; opportunities to visit classrooms in other area schools and learn new strategies from grade level and subject area colleagues.

Likewise, Midlakes teachers host these same opportunities for our neighbors, so they can learn from the great work going on in our classrooms. The professional dialogue that stems from these visits continues to benefit our students by contributing to new and innovative practices.

On March 16, the Midlakes staff will participate in a Regional Conference Day for the second consecutive year; this time with the Naples and Marcus Whitman School Districts, and focus on the theme of “Connecting for Kids”. George Couros, a well-known educational consultant and author of The Innovator’s Mindset, will deliver the keynote address and two additional breakout sessions, while staff members from all three districts will lead additional workshops to share best practices for advancing the learning and overall success of students.

Regional collaboration enables us to maximize resources to make the best possible professional development opportunities available to our staff. We are proud of our educators for their growth mindset and their commitment to learning and adapting to meet the unique needs of our students.

Meanwhile, the district leadership team has begun the careful process of developing the proposed budget for the 2018-2019 school year. The district has been fortunate over the past several years, through the restoration of state funding, to be able to rebuild programs and expand opportunities for our students.

Forecasts related to the 2018-2019 New York State budget are not as promising and there is significant uncertainty regarding anticipated state aid to schools. The district leadership team and Board of Education are dedicated to the strategic development of a 2018-2019 school budget that meets the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students while being respectful and responsible with our community’s financial resources. We remain hopeful and will continue to lobby for fair and equitable state funding, but we will also be prepared to make difficult decisions in the best interests of our students.

As always, we will be guided by the vision and mission of the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District:

Our Vision Statement:
To create a community of learners and leaders who demonstrate the 21st-century skills necessary to compete and thrive in a global society.

Our Mission Statement:
The Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District will enable students to demonstrate college and career readiness by displaying: Strong Moral Character • Critical Thinking Skills • Perseverance •  Cultural Awareness • Innovation

By working together in a spirit of transparency and collaboration, we are confident that we will continue to accomplish these goals and advance the achievement and development of our students as lifelong learners.

Matthew Sickles
msickles.@midlakes.org