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Update from Clarence CSD May 12, 2023

Dear Clarence School Family,  

Each week, I try to highlight some of the good things that are going on in our buildings. It is important to acknowledge, however, that this weekend marks the 1-year anniversary of the racially motivated shooting that took the lives of 10 innocent people in the City of Buffalo. The needless tragedy impacted all of us, and we will show our steadfast support for our neighbors in Buffalo on Monday with a moment of silent remembrance. I also wanted to pass along more specific information on the different remembrance events that will be taking place in Buffalo over the next couple days. We are committed to creating a school environment in which all members are safe, seen, respected, and cared for, and we thank you for joining us as we denounce hate and racism in all their forms.   

Teacher Appreciation Week

As a former social studies teacher, I can’t resist a quick history lesson as the week comes to a close. In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt convinced Congress that there needed to be a day set aside to specifically honor educators. Since that point, the occasion has been celebrated in different ways across the country, and eventually the National PTA designated the first week in May to be Teacher Appreciation Week.

More than 60 years after Mrs. Roosevelt’s passing, the occasion is still recognized as individuals pause to express gratitude for the teachers and support staff members in their local communities. If you haven’t done so already, I might encourage you to reach out and thank some of the teachers, aides, monitors, bus drivers, cooks, cleaners, or clerical staff members who have made a positive impact on your child. While good teachers improve academic outcomes, the very best educators change lives. The members of our faculty and staff here in Clarence are second to none, and we hope you are proud to be part of such a special school community. 

U.S. History and Government Regents Exam

On the morning of June 1, our students taking Advanced Placement U.S. History, U.S. History, and American Military History will be sitting for the New York State U.S. History and Government Regents Exam. Because this particular test is being offered earlier than it has been in the past, it has taken a good deal of specialized planning to ensure we have the proper setup in place for the exam administration. As a result, only the students taking the U.S. History and Government Regents Exam will be required to attend school on June 1—all other High School students will have a quiet day at home that can be used for catching up on assignments or studying for other end-of-year assessments. (Note: Our Elementary Schools and our Middle School will be in regular session on June 1.)

Clarence’s Got Talent

If you see Heidi Kohler around, please congratulate her on being named as a quarterfinalist for the GRAMMY Museum’s 2024 Music Educator of the Year Award. Mrs. Kohler is a star here in Clarence, and she was one of 212 music educators who received the honor out of the more than 2,000 nominees nationwide.

While on the topic of excellence in the arts, we would also like to give Jonathan Yi a shout out for winning a $2,000 Friends of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Musicians’ Scholarship this past weekend. A talented cellist, Jonathan joins a group from Clarence that has received the award in eight of the last ten years.

Additionally, if you are interested in a “sneak preview” of some of the talented musicians who will be gracing Clarence stages for years to come, check out these clips from the Ledgeview and Harris Hill Spring Concerts this past week.

Finally, I wanted to pass along a quick reminder that our annual Budget Vote and Board of Education Election is coming up on Tuesday. I know the days move quickly this time of year, but I would ask that you make time to vote at some point between 7:00 a.m.—9:00 p.m. on Tuesday in our High School Gymnasium.

We appreciate you, Red Devils—have a great weekend.

Matt Frahm 
Superintendent of Schools

PS: I almost forgot to highlight something that will make you smile as the week comes to a close. After noticing a friend in need of assistance on Thursday, these three young men acted like first responders as they provided immediate support before running to get their teacher. By keeping their cool and caring for a peer, Drew, Shaheer, and Dominic kept a classmate safe and proved themselves to be “everyday heroes.”