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LIBRARY FOCUS: Keep the spirit alive with holiday activities at BPL

The tree is lit and the presents are wrapped but the season is far from over, folks. Come on down for help with your own preparations or a chance to enjoy some free entertainment in his expensive season.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Federal lunch changes cost schools

School lunch purchases are on the decline. According to the New York School Nutrition Association, more than 19 million fewer meals were sold across the state during the 2012-13 school year than the year before. In the 2011-12 school year, 94 million meals were sold, but in 2012-13, only 75 million were sold.

LETTER: Thanks for supporting the Marching Bees

To the editor: On Nov. 27, the Baldwinsville Central School District Marching Band had the privilege of representing Baldwinsville, Central New York and the entire state of New York in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This great honor would not have been possible without the support of the Baldwinsville community, as well as the surrounding CNY communities.

LIBRARY FOCUS: BPL offers a break from the madness

The trees are lit, the malls are packed and holiday madness abounds, but you can still find sanctuary and holiday helps at your library. Step back and enjoy an art display made of flowers past and pressed or update the family and your word processing skills with our Wired Wednesday classes. We also have books, magazines and craft databases full of last minute holiday ideas. Stop in soon and see what we can do to make your holiday a happier one.

State offers scholarships, assistance with higher ed

Fall is the time of year when many graduating high school seniors start to look toward the future. According to the New York State Education Department, in 2010, 82 percent of high school graduates in New York entered postsecondary education which includes either two- or four-year institutions.

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Marching Bees gear up for Macy’s parade

B’ville-area residents gathered ‘round the TV to watch the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will have another reason to be thankful next week: C.W. Baker High School’s Marching Bees band will march in the parade. The Marching Bees are the first marching band from Central New York to participate in the parade, and the first New York band in about a decade.

B’ville schools lose $111K to Agrana PILOT deal

Due to a change in the PILOT agreement for Agrana Fruit, the Baldwinsville City School District will lose $111,000 from its tax levy for the 2014-15 school year. Assistant Superintendent for Management Services Jamie Rodems explained the issue to the BCSD Board of Education at its Nov. 3 meeting.

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Baker, Corcoran students work to improve diversity

If you want to teach tolerance and respect, it’s best to start young. That’s exactly what students from Baldwinsville and Syracuse are doing. Through InterFaith Works of CNY’s “Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism” program, a group of Baker High School and Corcoran High School students spend a few days a year “shadowing” each other at school. The goal is to start a dialogue about race and create connections with each other. A group of Corcoran students spent the day immersing themselves in Baker life Oct. 29.

State Board of Regents approves new graduation options

In the hopes of both improving graduation rates, the New York State Board of Regents last week approved a plan to add flexibility to its graduation requirements. On Monday, Oct. 20, the Board of Regents agreed to create a 4+1 pathway option, which would allow students to opt out of one of the social studies exams currently required for graduation. Instead, they could take a "comparatively rigorous" assessment in career/technical education (CTE), science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the humanities, foreign languages or the arts.

BCSD tops in county in administrative efficiency

The Baldwinsville Central School District has been named one of the most efficient in the state for administrative efficiency, according to a Western New York publication. Business First, a Buffalo-based magazine, annually examines data from the New York State Department of Education for 432 Upstate school districts, looking at district spending, staffing levels and debt service to rank districts according to administrative efficiency. Baldwinsville ranked No. 11 statewide, making it the top school in Onondaga County. It beat out 97.7 percent of schools in the state, earning a five-star rating for being in the top 10 percent. Liverpool (No. 25) and North Syracuse (No. 22) also ranked in the top 44 districts statewide, earning five-star ratings, as well.

Despite lower scores, B’ville students rank high in region

Despite the Common Core’s shake-up of state education standards, students in the Baldwinsville Central School District showed generally positive state assessment results last school year. Joseph DeBarbieri, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, presented the New York State Student Achievement Data Report for 2013-14 at the Oct. 6 Board of Education meeting. “We are right where we need to be,” DeBarbieri said.

Yale professor hosts ‘emotional intelligence’ workshop for parents

Marc Brackett is “trying to build an emotionally intelligent New York.” Brackett, director of the Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence, is teaming up with OCM BOCES to host interactive workshops for parents and teachers to learn how to raise emotionally intelligent children — that is, children who can manage their emotions effectively throughout life’s ups and downs. Brackett will be holding three “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Matters” workshops next week: one for parents Sept. 30 at Fayetteville-Manlius High School, and two for educators Oct. 1 on the OCM BOCES campus in Liverpool.

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OCM BOCES opens new Innovation Tech high school in Liverpool

For too long, we’ve been doing education the same way — and it’s doing our students a disservice. At least, that’s what the administrators at Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES believe. And they’re trying to address the problem by introducing a new kind of instruction in Central New York. OCM BOCES held an official grand opening for its new Innovation Tech high school Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the facility at the Lee G. Peters Career Training Center in Liverpool. Classes began Sept. 3.

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National Braille literacy program held in Syracuse

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of New York, the Syracuse community and the Baldwinsville Central School District effectively made history this summer. The three organizations teamed up to host the first NFB Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) in New York state. The successful inception of the program in 2014 lays the groundwork for the program to become an annual opportunity for blind children within traveling distance of Syracuse and also provides a framework of success so that the program might be offered in strategic locations in the future to serve blind children across the state.

B’ville schools celebrate series of firsts

Wednesday, Sept. 3 wasn’t just the first day of classes for the Baldwinsville Central School District — it was the beginning of full-day kindergarten classes, a new computer science program and incoming superintendent Dr. David Hamilton’s career at Baldwinsville.

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