Return to Headlines

Update from Clarence CSD November 3, 2023

Dear Clarence School Family, 

I don’t need to tell you that Clarence is filled with individuals who make our school community a special place to teach and learn. To ensure we aren’t taking their contributions for granted, we have begun working on a purposeful way of expressing appreciation through “Red Devil Recognitions” at upcoming Board of Education meetings. Before finalizing the nomination and selection process, however, I wanted to ask for a favor. When you have a minute, I was hoping you might consider taking this 30-second survey. While the questionnaire lists 22 separate traits that are each important in their own right, we are interested in identifying the qualities that best exemplify what it means to be a Red Devil. If you would be willing to select the four characteristics that mean the most to you, I’ll tally up the results and provide an update in my email next Friday.

Emergency Go Home Drill for Middle and High School Students

Each year, New York State mandates that schools practice parts of their “Emergency Management Plan” with an early dismissal drill. While our Elementary Schools practiced their drills in October, the Middle School and the High School will be conducting the annual exercise on Thursday, November 9. Because this is just a drill, all other school activities will go on as scheduled. However, we wanted you to be aware that secondary students will be arriving home 15 minutes early that day in case it impacts your plans for pick-up or childcare.

School Bus Drivers Needed

According to recent studies, more than 90% of school districts as well as private transportation companies are currently experiencing some level of driver shortage. The situation is no different here in Western New York, and because recruitment issues are often cited as a main reason for driver shortages, I wanted to highlight some of the benefits of driving for the Transportation Department here in Clarence:

  • Paid training provided
  • Competitive pay and benefits
  • Positive work environment
  • Flexible work schedules
  • No work on evenings, weekends, or holidays
  • Chance to positively impact kids

If you or someone you know might be interested in driving, we invite you to call Linda Forster (Director of Transportation) at 716-407-9500 for more information. Driving bus can be both a fulfilling primary career as well as a flexible part-time opportunity, and we would jump at the chance to continue the conversation when it comes to the positions we have available here in Clarence. 

Social-Emotional Resiliency Questionnaire

For the last three years, we have given our students a Social-Emotional Resiliency Questionnaire to see how they are doing when it comes to: (1) Responsible Decision-Making, (2) Relationship Skills, (3) Self-Awareness, and (4) Self-Management. 

Once students submitted their responses this past fall, administrators, counselors, psychologists, and social workers reviewed the information to see if there were specific students in need of extra support. In these instances, someone from our building-teams reached out to parents to talk in more detail.

At a global level, however, I did want to note a couple important take-aways. First, overall, our students reported little or no significant difficulty in most of the identified areas. This is really good news, and evidence that our kids are making the age-appropriate strides we would expect to see. Second, our students have shown growth in the areas of elevated difficulty (“Relationship Skills” and “Self-Management”) that we noted last year. Finally, changing dynamics with peers, popularity, hormones, and confidence-levels typically present unique challenges for middle schoolers. After reviewing the data, however, there seems to be something special going on in our Middle School. The feedback from our students was markedly higher than what is usually anticipated for that age-group, and it points to a really strong sense of belonging for our kids in grades 6-8. (Note: While on the topic of Middle School, check out this article to learn a bit more about how the morning news broadcast teaches skills and builds responsibility!)

Nationwide Milk Carton Shortage

You may be aware that many schools across the country are currently being impacted by a milk carton shortage. Because milk is an important component of meals for many of our students, our Food Service Department is currently working on a plan in case we experience the shortage here in Clarence. If we are unable to secure cartons of milk, we will be providing small bottles of water or cups of milk with lids as a replacement. It isn’t an ideal situation, but we believe it is an appropriate solution given the constraints of the temporary shortage.

Scenes from Halloween

As a K-12 public school, our primary focus is on boosting the academic achievement of our students. With that being said, we also know that learning has to be fun! Part of that means creating special moments for our kids, and we thought it might be nice to pass along a brief video from our different Halloween celebrations this past week. We had a ton of creative costumes in our buildings, and we wanted to thank our parents, faculty, and staff for helping to shape the type of memories that lead to an enjoyable school experience. 

I know this email is getting a little long for a Friday afternoon, but I did want to give the following individuals and groups a quick “shout out” for their recent accomplishments. If you see any of them out and about, please let them know they make us #ClarenceProud.

  • Andre Biddlecom, Colby DiLandro, Daniel Geary, Seth Metz, Evan Philyaw, Emily Sciolino, and Summer West on being inducted into the National Technical Honor Society
  • Sammi Jo Payne on being selected to play in the High School All-American Soccer Game
  • Emily Priset on qualifying for the State Meet in Girls Varsity Cross Country
  • Boys Varsity Soccer winning the Section VI Class AA Championship
  • Girls Varsity Soccer finishing their season as Co-Champions of Section VI Class AA
  • Boys Varsity Cross Country winning the ECIC Championship and Section VI Championship
  • Varsity Cheerleading winning the Legendary Cheer Showdown

Have a great weekend, Red Devils.

Matt Frahm
Superintendent of Schools

PS: Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end!