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Update from Clarence CSD October 27, 2023

Dear Clarence School Family, 

Each year, schools across the country participate in something called Red Ribbon Week. The oldest and largest drug use prevention campaign in the nation, Red Ribbon Week is a chance for students to show their commitment to living drug-free by joining in a variety of age-appropriate activities. For example, this past week our students have dressed up for “theme days,” answered trivia questions, and remembered to “be kind to their minds.” While the occasion is a fun way to reinforce the importance of making healthy choices, it is also a time for educators and parents to reflect on how to best help young people engage in positive decision-making when it comes to substance use.

When talking with experts in the field of drug prevention and treatment, professionals regularly highlight the fact that children reap enormous benefits from consistent and positive relationships with the key adults in their lives. After all, student brains are still developing, and they need support when making important decisions—even if they are not always sure how to express it.

For elementary-aged children, having open, honest, affirming conversations with adults can provide natural opportunities for kids to talk about drugs and alcohol. When kids feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their thoughts, the discussions often lead to “teachable moments” which tend to be far more valuable than initial exposures to substance use involving social media, peers, or risky situations. At the secondary level, frequent communication with students about their life, their friends, and their interests are equally as important. By regularly checking in, sticking to the facts and discussing expectations regarding substance use, adults can provide the guidance and support teens need to make sound choices.

Finally, because parents are the single most important influence on the decisions children make when it comes to substance use, I have provided a handful of helpful links below. Keeping students safe is our collective responsibility, and we thank you for your partnership and involvement—not only during Red Ribbon Week, but throughout the entire school year.

“Walk for Water” Inspires Students, Raises Money at Clarence Middle School

Ten years ago, students and staff in the Middle School were inspired to begin an annual “Walk for Water” after seeing a local presentation on the Ugandan Water Project and reading Linda Sue Park’s A Long Walk to Water. Each October, Clarence 7th graders reflect on the challenges some communities go through to secure clean drinking water by carrying gallon jugs for a mile as part of an annual fundraiser. Because of their efforts, our students have been able to collectively raise more than $195,000 to provide 52 rainwater collection tanks and dozens of filtration systems throughout Uganda. The project is a reminder that our kids are never too young to change the world, and evidence that our school is filled with some really special people.

Mark Your Calendars for Upcoming Musical Events

If you have a child who participates in Band, Orchestra, or Vocal Music, please make sure to review the “2023-2024 Concerts & Events” section of our website for upcoming performance dates. Our Music Department is quite simply the best around, and I promise you won’t be disappointed once you hear what our students are able to produce. On a somewhat related note, our High School cast and crew are hard at work preparing for their upcoming production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The mystery and family drama will be staged at 7:00 p.m. on November 16-18 at the Middle School, and ticket details will soon be released on the District website.

Section VI Playoffs Set to Begin

As our fall athletic teams wrap up league play (see below for a snapshot of recent accomplishments!), our Red Devils are set to begin Sectional competition. If you plan on coming out to watch any of our teams in action this October or November, please remember that Section VI has begun using the online GoFan ticketing platform. The system can be accessed by clicking this link, and it is actually super easy to use. However, because of poor cell service at a handful of local venues, Section VI recommends that fans have their purchased tickets pulled up on their devices and ready to be redeemed before entering a building or getting to a gate. (Note: If a spectator insists on paying with cash, Section VI has established a $10 ticket price.)

ECIC Champions: 

  • Boys ECIC Golf Champions 
  • Girls ECIC Golf Champions 
  • Girls ECIC Swimming Champions  
  • Boys Football Class A1 League Champions 
  • Girls Soccer ECIC 1 Co-League Champions (Competing in the Section VI Finals at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday at Sweet Home High School) 
  • Boys Soccer ECIC 1 League Champions (Competing in the Section VI Finals at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at West Seneca West High School) 
  • Girls Field Hockey ECIC 1 League Champions 

If you are looking for something fun to do tonight before our undefeated Varsity Football team takes on Williamsville East, please consider stopping by the front parking lot of the High School for the Clarence Cavalry’s “Trunk or Treat”—hope to see you there!

Matt Frahm
Superintendent of Schools

PS: If you follow us on social media, you know that we have therapy dogs like Snickers (Ledgeview) and Tucker (Clarence Center) who regularly stop by to spend time with students. However, Harris Hill seems to have gone in a very different direction this past week with a little help from Nickel City Reptiles. Yikes—I’ll be thinking twice before stopping over to visit our Huskies in the near future!