Superintendent's Office

Matthew J. McDonald                 
Superintendent of Schools
(315) 638-6043

29 East Oneida Street
Baldwinsville, NY  13027
(315) 638-6043

Schedule for Coffee & Conversation with the Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent Matthew McDonald


October 2017 Web Message

Dear District Residents,
I am pleased to report that our students had a great first month of school. Thank you to our students, staff, and parents for your efforts to make an impressive beginning to what will surely be a successful year.
We have already experienced some great achievements by students and staff, considering how early it is in the year. We have a National Merit semifinalist, a New York State finalist for the 2017 Presidential Awards for teaching in Mathematics and Science, several students selected to perform in the prestigious All-State Music Conference, and the Baker High School library has been named the 2017 School Library of the Year by the Central New York Library Resources Council. You can see a full list of District’s 2017-2018 achievements, to date, HERE.
Ensuring our students’ safety is a priority for the District, and that includes internet safety. As we teach students the many useful applications of technology, we are also teaching them how to use technology appropriately and how to avoid predators, bullies and trolls. Staff and parents trust students to make the right decisions and listen to our advice and warnings about avoiding inappropriate behavior and negative influences on the internet. However, we all must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep our children safe. The following website link is a useful resource that provides internet safety tips for parents: 13 Tips for Monitoring Kids’ Social Media.
We have another great resource for parents regarding internet safety as well as other health and wellness topics. On October 18, the District will present "Helping Your Teen Thrive: A health & wellness mini-conference" at 6:00 p.m. in the Baker High School auditorium. Julie Smith, a nationally recognized expert on teen safety in a digital environment, will provide the keynote. Afterwards, parents will select from a wide variety of workshops presented by community members on topics including stress reduction in teens, monitoring your child's mental health, the opioid epidemic, and nutrition for athletes, among others. I encourage all parents to attend. You can learn something new and helpful, even if you have little ones. They will be teenagers before you know it.
Technology and how we, as a district, are using it in our schools is the topic for my next Coffee & Conversation with the Superintendent of Schools.  On October 26, I will host this informal meeting with Richard DeLisle, the District’s director of technology, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in room 2 of the Baldwinsville Public Library. Please stop in and enjoy some coffee while Mr. DeLisle updates us on the different technology our staff and students in grades K-12 are using for instruction.
While I am on the topic of technology, I want to update you on the new STEM courses we are offering at the secondary level to give students more opportunities to explore their talents in this area. At Ray Middle School 200 seventh-graders are enrolled in Computer Science for Innovators & Makers. This is a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) gateway course to introduce students to computer programming. With the addition of this course we hope to increase our younger students’ interest in taking the PLTW computer science and engineering courses offered at the high school.
Durgee Junior High School is offering Computer Science Essentials/Introduction to Computer Science (PLTW). This year-long course is designed to be the first computer science course for students who have never programmed before. The foundational course will prepare students for success in the PLTW Computer Science Program.
At Baker High School, students may now take Introduction to Statistics as an alternate for the third math course they need in order to fulfill the math requirement for graduation.
If you haven’t had a chance to take a peek at Baker’s renovated auditorium, consider taking a tour on Monday, October 23 from 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. We’ll be offering some light refreshments as well. At 7:00 p.m. the Board of Education will begin its meeting in the auditorium with a brief performance from members of Durgee Junior High School’s cast from “Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr.” Everyone is welcomed to come for the tour and stay for the performance as well as the meeting.
I hope everyone is enjoying a productive, healthy, and fun fall season.
Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools
Last updated on 9/29/2017