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Update from Clarence CSD May 10, 2024

Update from Clarence CSD May 10, 2024
Updated

Dear Clarence School Family,

On Tuesday, May 21, all qualified residents of the Clarence Central School District will have the opportunity to vote on the 2024-2025 school budget as well as in the Board of Education election. To ensure that individuals have the information they need to make informed decisions, we will be mailing home paper copies of our “2024 Annual Report to the Community” after our Budget Hearing this coming Monday.  The document provides detailed information on revenue sources, anticipated expenditures, and program highlights from our Red Devil community. We would encourage you to call or email if you have any questions, and we hope you will take time to vote on May 21 from 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. in our High School Gymnasium.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

As we move further into May, I wanted to underscore the significance of Mental Health Awareness Month. Now, more than ever, our students are asked to navigate a range of stressors involving academic pressures and social dynamics. Even more concerning is the fact that students attending high-achieving districts like Clarence often experience elevated levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

To help ensure our kids have the support needed to thrive, we added school counselors in each of our elementary schools, a Middle School social worker, and an additional High School psychologist two years ago using federal grant dollars. While the funds are no longer available, we have made a commitment to sustaining the positions in the long-term so that our mental health supports more closely resemble what is found in similar sized districts.  

The good news? By close to doubling our counseling capacity as well as providing all elementary school students with ongoing instruction involving mental health, emotional wellbeing, and career development, we have begun to see measurable growth. When we have asked students to share their perspectives on social-emotional screening questions, they have consistently reported feeling more energetic, less nervous, and increasingly connected while at school.

Additionally, we are proud of the fact that over the past year, our team in the Family Support Center (FSC) linked students with community mental health providers for more than 1,500 counseling sessions. These are all really positive indicators, and a reminder that we have an ongoing responsibility to cultivate a learning environment in which every single child can reach their full potential. If you are interested in reading more about the topic of helping kids learn self-regulation strategies, check out this article from the American Psychological Association that was shared by a colleague at Harris Hill.

Tuesday Marks Second Anniversary of Shooting in Buffalo

I wanted to acknowledge the fact that Tuesday marks the second anniversary of the racially motivated shooting in Buffalo that took the lives of 10 innocent people. The needless tragedy impacted us all, and we will show our steadfast support for our neighbors in Buffalo on Tuesday with a moment of silent remembrance. Hate has no home in Clarence, and we thank you for partnering with us as we denounce racism and violence in all their forms.

High School Student Groups to Host 26th Annual Senior Citizens Prom

We are pleased to share that our National Honor Society, Student Council, and Music Department will be jointly hosting the 26th Annual Senior Citizens Prom at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 16 in the High School Cafeteria. The evening will involve dinner, dancing, and live music, and individuals can register for the event by clicking this link.

Save the Date: Annual Jack Hesslink All-Elementary Track Meet

Each school district has its own distinct culture that is made up of unique beliefs, rituals, symbols, and ceremonies. Here in Clarence, a tradition that makes our school community special is the Jack Hesslink All-Elementary Track Meet. Since 1957, the event has given students in grades 3-5 the chance to compete in different track events, and it is likely the longest annual districtwide elementary track meet in Western New York. We would like to thank our Physical Education Department for organizing the event, and we hope you will consider stopping by the Clarence Stadium at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21 to cheer on our students.

Graduation Information

With June on the horizon, our Class of 2024 Graduation Ceremony is just around the corner. If you are the family member of a senior, please note that graduation this year will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 29. The location for the ceremony will be the Clarence Stadium, and our High School Administrative Team will communicate additional detail in the near future.

Finally, please join me on congratulating Jordan Brandau, Emily Glaude, and Kyle Priset on being named Section VI/All-WNY Scholar Athletes for the winter season! We couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments, and we are thankful for all the ways they represent the best part of our school community.

To all our Red Devil moms—please know we are wishing you a Mother’s Day filled with appreciation, joy, and cherished moments with loved ones.

Matt Frahm
Superintendent of Schools