Dear Gowanda Community,
It is hard to believe that a year has passed since I became the superintendent of the Gowanda Central School District. The first year for me was definitely a learning experience. As with any new endeavor, there were ups and downs. Fortunately, the ups heavily outweighed the downs. We made much progress last year and it is my intention to keep that momentum going by continuing with our initiatives that we started last year, while moving forward with some new ones. Last year I listed some expectations that I had for the District and I want to make sure I list them once again since they are the cornerstone to what we are trying to establish at GCS. It is our desire to keep these ideals in mind as we strive for excellence in all that we do. They are as follows:
- Maintain a safe and nurturing environment and making all decisions based on what is best for the children of the Gowanda Central School District.
- Form positive relationships with students, fellow employees and the community members of the Gowanda Central School District.
- Establish a vertical curriculum aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards encompassing grades PreK -12.
- Keep the identity of the elementary, middle and high schools, yet be able to view the process of educating our children as a PreK – 12 endeavor.
- Maintain a high level of moral character and setting a positive example for our students.
I feel that we made quite a bit of progress last year. We added a Director of Curriculum and Assessment to our staff in November, Paula Troutman, who worked with the principals and teachers on a daily basis to align the curriculum to the Common Core Learning Standards; we began the process of RTI (Response to Intervention) which allows us to identify learning deficiencies in our students and plan interventions to immediately meet their needs. We are developing ICT (Integrated Co-Teach) classes to insure that all of our students are being educated in an environment of equality taught by high quality educators; we are expanding our current PreK program as well as our elementary and middle school summer school programs; we added summer school for all of our incoming kindergarten students so that all of our children enter school with the skills necessary to be successful. We partnered with Pine Valley Central School to increase the numbers and competiveness of our football teams. We added modified girls’ lacrosse, JV baseball and JV softball to our athletic program to give more students the chance to participate. We have applied for numerous grants and federal funds to keep our programs viable while keeping the cost of the taxpayers to a minimum. We began the process of researching a capital project to repair our track, update our academic and athletic facilities also to increase the safety of all of our buildings. We added additional science and math teachers to better prepare our students to enter into our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program and created a committee of school employees and community members that meet to discuss ways to more closely connect the school with the community and to share services as well as opportunities between us.
This year we will begin an iPad initiative in the elementary school as the beginning of our quest to make the Gowanda Central School District a one-to-one technology district where students will have full, equal access to technology. We will continue to work with the community to plan events and foster positive partnerships so that both can benefit and grow together. We will continue to look for additional state and federal revenue and practice fiscal responsibility to keep and grow our programs, yet keep the cost to our taxpayers at a minimum. We will continue to align our curriculum, increase our STEM offerings and train our teachers and staff to be able to provide the best education possible to our students.
My door is always open and I will make myself available to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. If you have any ideas or thoughts on how we can continue to grow and improve the Gowanda Central School District, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to call me at (716) 532-3325 x6301.
Thank you for your continued support of our children and our school.