Category Archives: Our Schools

School to start; tax collection to start

Hannibal Central School District taxes will be collected Sept. 1 to Oct. 2 with no interest and Oct. 3 to Nov. 1 with a 2 percent penalty.

The tax roll will be closed on Nov. 1, and no tax payments received or post-marked after this date will be accepted.

The tax bill must be included with payment. Payments can be made in person 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays or mailed to: Hannibal Central School, attention: tax collector, 928 Cayuga St., Hannibal, N.Y. 13074.

Receipts can be found at or property owners can send a self-addressed stamped envelope with their payment.

All taxes are turned over to their respective counties on Nov. 1.

Hannibal schools embark on strategic planning adventure

According to District Superintendent Donna J. Fountain, the Hannibal Central School District is enthusiastically beginning a strategic planning process designed to create specific goals and strategies that will guide the district during the next five years.

The strategic plan will consist of a core team of approximately 30 members with representation from parents, staff, administrators and members of the community.

This group will develop the major components of the plan and work with specific task forces who will investigate areas designated by the district.

Currently, the district has identified three task forces in the areas of student achievement, family/community engagement and enhancing the student experience in Hannibal.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to involve a wide range of stakeholders in developing this comprehensive plan which will reflect the views of our community, together with our staff,” Fountain said. “This is the first time in our district’s history where we have embarked on something as rigorous and far reaching as this. It is a very exciting time for the students, staff and community of Hannibal.”

Enthusiasm abounds

PLC Associates Inc., based in Florida and New York, a consultancy which has worked in more than 400 schools, has been selected as the organization to lead the process.

Penny Ciaburri, chief executive officer of PLC Associates Inc., along with Diane Reed, an associate of the company, who both hold the credential of outside educational expert by the New York state Department of Education, will be facilitating all activities of the planning process.

According to Ciaburri, “Hannibal is in an outstanding point to begin this process. They are highly enthusiastic and clearly see the opportunity for improving student achievement and better outcomes for students.”

Ciaburri added, “This process is very powerful. We will put data in the hands of our teams, along with the research and best practices of successful schools and then, in a highly participatory manner, involve everyone in decision-making.”

Reed, also a veteran superintendent of 14 years in a district recognized as a significant “gap-closing, high-achieving” district, explained, “This strategic plan will serve as a blueprint. Not only will it provide direction and focus for the district, but the school and community will be able to work side-by-side in implementing strategies specifically designed to improve results for students.”

High expectations

“I believe that by bringing everyone together, we can do great things for our students,” said board president Erin Hess.

The core team will begin its work in early October, mapping out the components of vision, mission, core beliefs and specific goals.

The task forces are set to start in November. The core team and task forces will deliver the plan at the April 9 Board of Education meeting.

During the process, the district will hold a number of discussion sessions for the community, families, staff and students.

These are called cafés and provide an opportunity for various groups to discuss interests and needs as well as respond to survey data that is being collected district-wide.

Staff has recently participated in the School Performance Scan; students completed the Student Voice. This fall, the community will have an opportunity to offer perspective through the Community/Family Engagement Survey, which will be available in late September.

Communication pledged

The district promises to maintain ongoing communication throughout this process.

Information will be available on the district website. Updates will be shared at monthly Board of Education meetings and groups including Home and School.

For more information on the process or becoming involved, contact Internal Facilitator Tammy Farrell at or by phone at 564-7900, ext. 3004.

Superintendent Fountain added, “This is a turning point for our district. The strategic plan will set us on a positive trajectory to ensure that all students receive an outstanding education and graduate from Hannibal ready to take on the challenges of college or a chosen career.”

Smart Board training for teachers planned

The Oswego Public Library will offer a free guided excercise in Interactive Smart Boards for educators.

Smart Boards are used in many modern classrooms.

Workshops will be 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 5 and 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 6. in the Library Learning Center.

The Library Learning Center is located on the lower level of the Oswego Public Library and is open Monday through Saturday. All programs are free and open to the public.

Call the library at 341-5867 to register for workshops or for more information.

Kindergarten bus orientation planned

The Fulton city school district will conduct a practice bus run for kindergarten students Sept. 3.

The buses will start their runs about 8 a.m. and arrive at their respective schools about 8:30 a.m.

At the elementary schools, the bus driver will talk to the students about bus safety.

The buses will begin the return trip  about 9 a.m. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children.

Kindergarten classroom orientation will be held in each building from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 4. Bus transportation will not be provided for the orientation.

The first full day of school for kindergarteners will be Sept. 5, with busing provided.

Fulton schools score $4,000 literacy grant

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded $4,000 in grants to support youth literacy programs in the Fulton City School District.

“Youth literacy grants from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation are awarded at the beginning of the academic year to help make a distinct impact on the communities we serve by supporting programs that improve education and enhance literacy,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“At Dollar General, we are passionate about our mission of serving others and it’s exciting to see the real difference literacy and learning makes in people’s lives,” he said.

A complete list of grant recipients may be found online at and grant applications for adult, family, summer and youth literacy grants will be available in January 2014.

Bodley senior portrait retakes set Aug. 27

G. Ray Bodley High School seniors are reminded that retakes for their Fultonian yearbook senior portraits will be taking place Aug. 27 at the high school. School Pictures of Rochester will be at GRB from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the auditorium.

Any students who missed their portrait opportunity in June are strongly encouraged to attend, as this is the final opportunity for individual portrait sittings.

There is no charge for first-time portraits and a $5 fee for retakes. For retakes, students are asked to bring their original proofs.

Students intern at area sites

More than 150 students took part in internships this summer through SUNY Oswego’s Experience-Based Education program, among them several local students. The interns, with their class year and major in parentheses, include:

  • Leah M. Phillips of Fulton: Oswego Hospital in Oswego (senior, human resource management)
  • Elizabeth Rice of Fulton: IBN Financial Services Inc. in Liverpool (senior, business administration)
  • Genna Tripoli of Lycoming: New York State Golf Association in Syracuse (senior, business administration)
  • Jacquelyn M. McGuire of Mexico: Children’s Museum of Oswego in Oswego (junior, business administration)
  • Jeremy T. Pekarek of Minetto: Seward House in Auburn (senior, history)

The Experience-Based Education program at Oswego places students in internships and career awareness opportunities that allow them to earn college credits while garnering valuable life experience.

Last year, more than a thousand Oswego students took part in experiential learning while working at hundreds of businesses, nonprofit agencies and government offices, not counting the hundreds of student teachers working in area schools.

SUNY Oswego named among best in Northeast

The Princeton Review has released its list of best colleges in the Northeast for 2014, and SUNY Oswego is on it.

The 152-year-old college on the shore of Lake Ontario has been on every regional best list produced by the educational services company. The first edition appeared in 2003.

Oswego is one of 226 institutions recommended in the “Best in the Northeast” section of the website feature “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” which went live this month on The Princeton Review does not rank colleges on its regional lists.

“We chose these as ‘regional best’ colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher. “Our ‘regional best’ colleges constitute only 25 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges — a select group, indeed.”

From several hundred schools in the Northeast, Princeton Review crafted its list based on data collected from the schools, visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of Princeton Review staff as well as of college counselors and advisers.

Princeton Review also takes into account what students at the schools reported about their campus experiences on an 80-question student survey.

The Princeton Review quotes SUNY Oswego students saying that they “have a lot of opportunities to work with professors on research and other projects outside of the classroom to help build real-world experience” and that Oswego’s “amazing professors” “really care about what you do and want to help you in every way to make sure you do well.”