Return to Headlines

Update from Clarence CSD January 13, 2023

Dear Clarence School Family,

While we want our students to thrive academically, we also want them to develop the skills needed to excel in school as well as in life. For example, we want to make sure our kids are growing their ability to cope effectively with emotions, sustain friendships, and engage in responsible decision-making.

To approach this work in a thoughtful, personalized way, you may recall that earlier in the year we administered an optional Social-Emotional Resiliency Questionnaire to students in grades K-12. The purpose was to give learners an opportunity to reflect and self-report on their own skills in the following areas:

  • Responsible Decision-Making: The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations
  • Relationship Skills: The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups
  • Self-Awareness: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts
  • Self-Management: The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations
  • Social Awareness: The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts

While our administrators, counselors, psychologists, and social workers have used the questionnaire results to better support individual students, I wanted to highlight some general observations regarding the data.

First, at a global level, our students reported little or no significant difficulty in the majority of the areas. This is really good news, and evidence that our kids are making the age-appropriate strides we would expect to see. Second, our elementary, middle, and high school students did express elevated levels of difficulty in the areas of “Relationship Skills” and “Self-Management.” We will use the information to help guide our social-emotional programming here at school, but I also wanted to pass along a couple tips from our mental health professionals for you to consider at home:

  • Help children with organization, goal setting, and time management
  • Provide consistency and routine to create predictability and to reduce anxiety
  • Maintain a home environment that encourages as well as models open communication
  • Support your children’s friendships with opportunities for positive interactions as well as assistance with conflicts  
  • Check out these “Wellness Resources” as well as the “Clarence Virtual Calming Room”

Finally, please feel free to reach out to your child’s counselor if you would like to talk in more detail about the Social-Emotional Resiliency Questionnaire. We appreciate your partnership, and we are committed to cultivating an environment in which all students can thrive.

National Law Enforcement Day

You may know that this past Monday was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. The occasion is acknowledged each January 9, and it is a chance for citizens to honor the individuals who put their lives on the line each day for the safety of others. Here in Clarence, we would like to extend our gratitude to our two School Resource Officers (SROs)—Mr. Mike Ballow and Mr. Dave Dzierba. Both Officer Ballow and Officer Dzierba are retired New York State Troopers who are experts when it comes to building relationships, serving as liaisons with outside agencies, and assisting in developing as well as implementing our safety procedures. Their presence is appreciated more than they know, and we would ask that you thank them for their service if you see them out and about in Clarence.

Community Education

For years, the Clarence Community Education Program has offered a variety of courses that are open to members of the community as well as to residents of neighboring school districts. If you are interested in exploring different opportunities related to arts and crafts, food, fitness, etc. please check out “The Journey” section of our homepage.

Finally—what do the Dolphins and the Post Office have in common? Neither deliver on Sundays. (Have a great weekend, Red Devils, and—GO BILLS!)

Matt Frahm
Superintendent of Schools