Superintendent of Schools

  • Mbystrak   Superintendent of Schools
      Matthew J. Bystrak

     

    Dear West Seneca School Community,

    The start of the school year is an exciting time for all members of our school community.  New backpacks and smiling faces are just some of the signs that the new school year is upon us.  The district has been a busy place this summer in preparation for the arrival of our students.  From maintenance staff working to ensure our facilities are in top shape, to our teachers engaging in professional development activities to enhance their ability to educate our students, a great deal of work takes place over the summer months that makes us stronger as a school district.

    Last spring, our Board of Education approved a new attendance policy for the students of our district.  The rationale behind this policy change is that poor school attendance is a common factor among many of the students who struggle most within our district.  Upon closer examination we found that, for many of our older students with attendance issues, the pattern began early in their academic careers. The new policy was developed over the course of several months of intensive work by a committee charged with enhancing our policy and developing new strategies that encourage consistent school attendance.  Good school attendance is critical to student success and needs to start at the earliest grade levels (i.e. pre-school and Kindergarten).  Below are some strategies for helping your child to develop good school attendance habits. 

    • Have regular conversations with your child about school and be sure to stress the importance of consistent attendance.
    • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine and have school bags packed and clothes laid out the night before school.
    • Avoid scheduling appointments and vacations while school is in session.
    • Do not negotiate with your child if they resist attending school - attendance is non-negotiable!
    • Develop a back-up plan for getting your child to school if something comes up (e.g. a neighbor or family member).
    • Keep in mind that a pattern of being late to school can easily lead to bigger attendance problems.
    • Reach out to your child’s school if you see a developing pattern of school avoidance. We can help!

    In other matters, our capital improvement project is fully underway as we solidify and submit our design plans for approval by the NYS Education Department.  Work on Phase 1 of this project is scheduled to begin next spring and will focus largely on new roofs and athletic facilities.  We will be hosting a community forum on the project this fall outlining our progress and the phasing of this project.

    Each new school year brings with it the promise of personal growth and development for all of our students.  September is an opportunity to reflect upon the year that has passed and set new goals for the future.  Best wishes to all for an outstanding school year!

    Matthew Bystrak
    Superintendent