OSWEGO, NY â€“ When the Class of 2024 walks through the doors of their respective elementary schools next month, they will become kindergartners and something much more â€“ Buccaneers.
Oswego is starting a district-wide initiative: â€œBuc Pride,â€ according to Bill Crist, superintendent.
â€œEverybodyâ€™s a Buccaneer, right from the get go,â€ Crist explained. â€œWe want to instill school spirit, Buc Pride, from the elementary level right through graduation. Buc Pride, a connection with their school and district as a whole, should be a focal point for all students.â€
Oswego administrators continue to strive to student achievement, increasing the graduation rate while decreasing the dropout rate, Crist added.
â€œWeâ€™re optimistic that the initiatives we have in place are showing gains,â€ Crist said.Â â€œBut, that doesnâ€™t mean we arenâ€™t going to look for other options to help our students improve. Weâ€™ll do everything we can to ensure the students are ready for graduation, and beyond.â€
Students around the district will notice some new educational tools available to them, the superintendent said.
For example, he pointed to the implementation of new SMART Table in various locations in the district, which will allow creative learning experiences for primary age youngsters.
â€œThis will provide our teachers with flexibility in terms of content and teaching style,â€ he explained. â€œThe SMART Table is the first multi-touch, multi-user interactive learning center that allows groups of early education students to work simultaneously on one surface.â€
Nine of them will be installed in the district.
Technology continues to be at the forefront of education.
Elementary schools and Oswego Middle School students will have the opportunity to use netbooks.
These are small laptop computers that will enhance and supplement teacher instruction and learning.
Some ideas include games, which will reinforce math concepts and facts, creating a digital archive.
Teachers can record themselves teaching important concepts and post it on-line for students who are absent or the special education may also want to use this to reinforce a variety of ideas and concepts.
Some elementary schools will have flip video cameras where teachers and students can record performances, projects, field trip and presentations.
Two new administrators will be at the helms of Riley Elementary and Oswego High School.
Mary Beth Fierro was named principal at Riley, taking over for Dr. Randy Richards who left the district at the end of the last school year to take a superintendent position.
The board of education will accept Patricia Oughtersonâ€™s resignation at its Aug. 24 meeting.
She had been principal at OHS for one year; her resignation is effective today (Aug. 20).
â€œWe are looking for a new high school principal. There will be some discussion at the board meeting as to what the next step will be. Weâ€™d like to have a qualified individual in place for the start of the new school year,” the superintendent said.
Construction, as per a voter approved referendum a few years ago, continues around the district.
At Oswego Middle School, an addition was completed with four new classrooms and a new entrance way for improved safety and accessibility.
Meanwhile, Oswego High School saw the completion of newly renovated science classrooms, and entranceway that will be painted in â€œBuc Blue and White.â€
Fitzhugh Park and Minetto elementary schools also have newly renovated entranceways for improved safety, security and accessibility.
Minetto and Fitzhugh Park elementary schools have new boilers to improve energy efficiency.
Riley also has newly refurbished tennis courts adjacent to its playground.
Oswego Middle School, Charles E. Riley Elementary and Fitzhugh Park Elementary now have renovated kitchens to improve efficiency and service.
There was also â€œa tremendous amount of construction and renovation work throughout the district this summerâ€ with flooring, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, ceilings, duct work, paving and other aspects of maintaining and improving the infrastructure of district owned facilities, according to the superintendent.
â€œOur goal is to have all students graduate and graduate on time,â€ Crist said. â€œWe want the students, their families and all the (districtâ€™s) staff working toward this goal all year and truly believing that all students will graduate.â€