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Update from Clarence CSD December 9, 2022

Dear Clarence School Family,

On Monday, the New York State Department of Health and the State Education Department sent out a letter titled, “Health Precautions for Schools in Winter 2022-23.” Because the document references masks and vaccination, it likely caused concern for some individuals. However, the message did not include any requirements for schools, and we took it as a reminder that commonsense precautions like the following can help to minimize the spread of germs this winter:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Not coughing or sneezing into your hands; sneeze or cough into your elbow.

  • Staying home when sick or symptomatic.

Additionally, we did request another batch of free COVID tests from New York State a few weeks ago. If you are in need of any at-home kits, please feel free to stop by one of our Main Offices or our District Office to pick up the tests.

Franchising vs. Teaming

If you have children attending multiple buildings, you know there are times when it makes sense for us to operate like 6 “franchise owners” using the same Clarence trademark. Most of the time, however, it is more meaningful for us to emphasize the fact that we are all members of the same Clarence “team.” Although you might not have a connection to all the buildings or programs referenced below, I wanted to pass along a handful of highlights as a reminder that each of us are members of the same special school community.

  • While the event was initially delayed by the snowstorm, kindergarten students attending Clarence Center had the chance to march through the hallways during a balloon parade on Tuesday. The parade was inspired by Melissa Sweet’s book Balloons Over Broadway, and it was a ton of fun for students, staff, and families.

  • The renowned child psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner was famous for saying that, “every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her.” I was reminded of the quotation a few days ago when Mr. Mike Stoness, Sheridan Hill Custodian, took time to build a toy car with a student who had been collecting parts for the job. While the two assembled a pretty cool race car, they also demonstrated the importance of connection and positive relationships here in Clarence.

  • On Tuesday evening, Mr. Stroth, Mrs. Mallory, Mr. Bodemer, and our Middle School students put on a fantastic Band Concert. If you missed the event, I thought you might enjoy this performance of “Learn to Fly” by our Jazz Ensemble.

  • The giving spirit is alive and well here in Clarence. From the Interact Club’s coat collection, to Harris Hill’s Mitten Tree, to our National Honor Society volunteering at the recent Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, our students are practicing kindness and gratitude on a daily basis this Holiday Season.

  • Please join me in congratulating Coach Andrews on receiving the NYS Co-Coach of the Year Award for Girls Soccer, and Athletic Director Lehmbeck on being the chapter recipient for the 2023 NYSAAA Liam Frawley, Emerging Athletic Administrator Award. Both individuals are world-class educators, and we are lucky to have them working with our student-athletes here in Clarence.

  • Kudos to Ledgeview Elementary for organizing “The 12 Days of Genres.” The different recordings are the perfect way to encourage literacy while at the same time helping our students to have a bit of fun this December!

Happy Bodhi Day

As you may know, each year on December 8, many of our Buddhist families celebrate the day that Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) achieved enlightenment through meditation. The word Bodhi means awakening or enlightenment, and the occasion is one of the most spiritually significant holidays in Buddhism. If you observe the day, please know that your Clarence school family wishes you a Happy Bodhi Day.

Last but not least, I wanted to say thank you for making time to engage in parent-teacher conferences this past week. Clarence has been a “destination district” in Western New York for many years, and the foundation for its success has been its strong partnership with parents. As we move further into December, please know how much we appreciate your commitment to helping every child maximize their potential.

Hoping this finds you safe, healthy, and well—have a great weekend.

Matt Frahm
Superintendent of Schools

PS: If you have one more minute, I couldn’t resist passing along this clip from our High School Choral Concert this past week as well. Bravo Mrs. Fetterly and her secondary vocalists on this beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”