Back to School message from the Cortland Enlarged City School District

(Photo provided).

With the school year starting before you know it, the Cortland Enlarged City School District has a message for all of its students and their families:

We’ll soon begin one of the most important school years in the life of the Cortland Enlarged City School District: our collection of seven schools have been re-organized into a school district of five. New this year, are three grade centers: Barry Primary School for students in Grades K, 1 and 2; Smith Intermediate for students in grades 3 and 4; and Randall Middle School for students in grades 5 and 6. As our students grow older, they will all attend the same schools in sequential order, experiencing the same culture, climate, curriculum and expectations. 

The planning to welcome new students and create a sense of school community in our three new grade center buildings began last year with the Community Transition Committee. The committee consisted of community stakeholders who worked with Superintendent Hoose to give advice and provide suggestions about the transition. This committee addressed issues of school district identity, welcoming students to their new schools, and answering specific questions. Committee suggestions resulted in student tour videos, informal building visits, open house events and ice cream socials. Also as a result of the committee’s work and the generosity of our community partner, Graph Tex, we now have a district-wide purple tiger mascot instead of a collection of different and unrelated mascots and logos. 

We recognize the importance of acclimating students and creating a sense of community in our buildings. Welcome events are planned at each of the schools. Staff will continue to use Responsive Classroom practices along with the Positivity Project to support the social climate and culture in the buildings. Teachers will use team building and ice-breaker activities to give students an opportunity to get to know one another.

At the High School, students in grades 9 and 12 will come back to school a day early to attend an orientation and informational meetings. Students in grade 9 will be able to get acclimated to the new school, receive and review their schedule, build relationships for social-emotional and academic support, and review academic expectations and extra curricular opportunities. Students in grade 12 will attend a kick-off BBQ, take their senior group photo, receive information about the senior trip, cap and gown ordering, and fundraising. At the Junior High, students in grade 7 will also come back to school a day early to get acclimated to their new school. 

In addition to the various events built into the school day, each school has an organized evening event known as “Curriculum Night” for parents to attend to learn about the curriculum, to meet the teachers and to learn about general procedures/policies. We look forward to hosting parents at these evening events.  As always, please check our district calendar on our website for more information and dates!