May 31, 9AM UPDATE Our electrical issue has been diagnosed as a failure to a power line serving the MSHS, and NYSEG will be out to service it this afternoon. With the extreme heat today and the reduced power, the Middle-High School students will be dismissed today at 11:15. PM BOCES students will still report this afternoon to TST, and after school activities on campus will be cancelled. WE WILL MAKE A DECISION ABOUT UNDERGRAD AWARDS THIS AFTERNOON, AND ANNOUNCE THEN. Thank you for understanding.
May 31, 6:30am: Please be aware that our Middle-High School building in Ovid is operating this morning on backup electric power using the school's generator. The generator allows us to operate while we address restoration to normal service, although occupants may notice isolated areas of reduced power until service is fully restored. We will make an updated announcement later today as the issue is addressed.
The 5th grade had GREAT time releasing the trout on Tuesday. Thank you to all of the chaperones, Mr. Foster and his crew, and Ms. McCheyne for such a great trip!
Come join on Thursday, June 2.
Dear South Seneca Community, The country is reeling yet again from another school shooting this week, and all our shock and outrage at the news of elementary students being killed at their school in Texas make us turn our attention back home. Understandably, we’ve been hearing from parents today about how we keep our own kids safe in Interlaken and Ovid, and I want to outline that for everyone here: First, we’ve invested capital monies over the last ten years to increase security measures in the buildings themselves, including the transition to electronic access at outside doors, increased layers of entry at the main office in each building (with security cameras on those doors), an overall increase in both the number and quality of security cameras across both campuses, and specialized equipment specifically designed for situations where we might be in a lockdown or lockout status. Of course, as many have reminded us, just because a door can be locked doesn’t help if it is not locked. We send regular reminders to everyone using our spaces that doors should never be propped open or left unlocked unless it’s purposely unlocked to admit the public for an event. Secondly, it is true that South Seneca has never hired armed security guards at our buildings. We do, however, have a close working relationship with all area law enforcement agencies, particularly with the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, which does incredible work in this county. South Seneca has a contract with the SCSO to supply a School Resource Officer (SRO) to the district every school day (and even during our extended day program). We’ve heard some confusion this month about “leave time” for the SRO, but it should be well understood that although Deputy McNabb is primarily assigned to us as our SRO, our contract is not with one person but with the office itself, and SCSO provides other deputies any time Deputy McNabb is deployed elsewhere. Our communication with the Sheriff’s Office is daily, and they provide dedicated attention to our buildings every school day, no matter what the circumstance. It is difficult to overstate how fortunate we are to have them as a close partner, and their office is on call to us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Some have suggested that we should strive for a second dedicated deputy so that we can provide a regular presence in each of our buildings at all times, and it’s something we continue to talk about. It’s certainly true that the role of a School Resource Officer is not the same as that of a security guard, but if we continue to hear that our community would feel safer under those circumstances, we must take that into consideration. Third, we’ve also invested in recent years in a larger full-time number of staff dedicated to student and family support, which includes an ongoing process of knowing each student well. We conduct a weekly meeting in each building to talk about things we notice about kids who are suffering, exhibiting different behaviors, going through traumatic situations at home or with others, or otherwise showing signs of needing help. Each building has two school counselors, a school social worker, and a school psychologist. We’ve used federal stimulus money to create two other positions designed specifically to provide student supports built into the school day. That’s unusual for a school our size. Even more, we enter into agreements with the county to provide ADDITIONAL counselors to South Seneca to take on caseloads. When someone in our community is suffering or showing signs of unusual behavior, we have a team of support to respond and connect that student and family to more services. As we’ve addressed just recently (and will continue to address), we have a well established, formal process to conduct threat assessments any time these unusual behaviors create a potential safety concern. It’s a frequently shared, but still very helpful, phrase that is heard throughout our buildings that if you “see something, say something,” and we follow up every time someone makes a report. The pandemic was enormously disruptive in so many ways, and that included a disruption to our regular routine of emergency drills over the last two years. Even so, staff and faculty remain trained for these situations, and all have protocols to follow under different emergency conditions. We’ve compensated with modified student drills and information for emergency situations the last two years, and expect to return to normal operations for those moving into 2022-23. Never, ever, will you hear anyone say “it couldn’t happen here.” We understand how the nature of a school building can make us vulnerable to a random attack, but we do want our community to know how our ongoing safety plans—revisited multiple times a year—make us as prepared as we can be to protect our children. In the meantime, our own counselors have made themselves available to those who are wanting to talk about this week’s tragedy, and I myself am happy to reach out to people personally who want to learn more. Thank you, Steve
Great weather and free food, can't lose.
Who doesn't need a good car wash after pollen season?
Public Notice May 20: This week we received positive COVID test results for four (6) new student cases.
Public Notice May 20: This afternoon South Seneca was made aware of inappropriate online activity between an adult and a minor, which has been referred to the Sheriff’s Office for investigation. The school district is cooperating with the investigation to facilitate interviews. We urge parents and guardians to speak to children about safe behavior online, and we are always available to help with these conversations if you reach out.
I am writing to thank the parents, staff, and members of the community who have taken the time to speak this week with our administrators and myself about the way we handle threats to student safety. As always, this is the priority above all others, and we are appreciative for the thoughtful questions and honest dialogue on the issue. There are two important concerns that have been the most frequent items in these conversations: 1. How do we process information when someone makes a threat against others, or behaves in such a way that is a perceived threat? 2. When do we decide to make a general public notice to the community about a threat, versus a decision to communicate with a smaller circle of people? We pride ourselves at South Seneca in knowing our student population well, and in responding quickly when behaviors present that are of concern. Adults in the building know to refer concerns to our trained counseling and administrative staff when they are noticed, and those staff themselves are connected to a strong mental health and law enforcement network in the county. We have excellent relationships with the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police, and connect daily with the Office of Mental Health in the county. Any statements or behaviors that are considered threatening are processed in a formal manner using professional protocols: in other words, the processing is not casual, but conducted using an established process. I’m attaching the full protocol along with this letter. The second large question I’ve been asked about this week is about how we communicate to those affected by a threat, and when we decide to do a community-wide public notice. Historically this happens in two instances: when the threat can’t be immediately assessed, or when the threat is deemed credible by the protocol. Some of those I’ve spoken to would prefer that we send a public notice even if a threat is assessed as not credible, simply so the community knows we have completed the process. It’s something we talked about publicly together at last night’s board meeting, and something we will continue to reflect on in the weeks ahead. Our typical practice in those situations has been to speak directly to those involved in the investigation; we do that with personal phone calls, in-person meetings, or visits to homes (often in partnership with law enforcement). The first set of questions in every situation is an assessment of safety: is there an immediate danger to anyone, and is there a danger imminent in the future? Once we are sure safety is addressed, we strive to protect a confidential process as much as possible in a small community. More than anything else, it’s this last judgement call that is our point of reflection moving forward. Should we use a lower threshold for making a general public notice about investigations of behaviors of concern? It’s a question we will continue to consider as we move forward. We welcome the chance to work together to answer it.
Hello Junior & Senior Parents/Guardians. This is Mr. Houseknecht. Just a reminder that our junior/senior prom is this weekend. It is taking place at 7:00 Saturday night at the Seneca Falls Country Club. Please encourage your students to drive very carefully. Anyone attending the prom is WELCOME to join the After Prom Party held here at South Seneca in the gymnasium at 11:30. I have heard some talk that only juniors and seniors would be eligible to come to the after prom party, so I wanted to clear that up. If your student has a guest other than a junior or senior, please make sure they know that their guest can attend the party. The after prom party will be an evening filled with fun activities (65' inflatable obstacle course, scooters, badminton, ping pong, karaoke, movies, dodgeball, man hunt - to give you an idea) and helps promote keeping our students safe on prom night. Thanks so much for your continued support.
We believe in lifelong learning – for our students and ourselves! South Seneca Central School District at a regional Physical Education and Health Conference hosted by @TSTboces, @rsststboces!
Thank you to everyone who voted today! Our budget passed 278-126 (69%) Library, Bus Purchase, Capital Reserve Propositions also passed Proposition to Provide Permission to Purchase Land failed (45%), 183-221 Congratulations to Dan Borst (309 votes) and Ave Bauder (229 votes), elected to three-year terms. Write-in candidate Leon Anderson received 91 votes.
The South Seneca Board of Education will hold its regular meeting Wednesday, May 18 at 7pm in the MSHS Auditorium. Public is invited to participate at this meeting in discussion about building a new Transportation Facility.
We value your feedback! Please join us on May 18 at 7PM to participate in the board's discussion about the building of a new transportation facility at the BOE meeting. We will hold the meeting in the MSHS auditorium on Wednesday, and anyone who is interested in the project is invited to attend. More information about this project can be found at: https://southsenecany.sites.thrillshare.com/page/ovid-bus-garage
Public Notice May 13: This week we received positive COVID test results for six (6) new cases, including four students and two staff members.
South Seneca Central School District is now hiring for an anticipated full-time Elementary Teacher position, commencing with the 2022-2023 school year! Applications can be submitted through OLAS at: https://www.olasjobs.org/JobDetails?jobNumber=SSEN0230275-0010
Join us next Wednesday, May 18 for our K-3 Spring Concert!
This is an opportunity for the community to meet the two board candidates and see an overview of the proposed budget that will go to voters on May 17th. The setting allows for those in attendance to ask questions and discuss the proposal. Join us!
Correction Public Notice May 6: This week we received positive COVID test results for thirteen (13) new cases, including twelve students and ONE staff member.