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2019 Jamfest 2019 Jamfest: The 2019 Cortland Jamfest was a rocking success! Jamfest is a music festival featuring modern and popular music that happens on three separate stages and is an opportunity for students at Cortland Junior and High School to show off their musical talent, beyond the large traditional ensembles such as choir, band and orchestra. Over the years, Jamfest grew from being a simple concert at the Youth Bureau, to a large show with multiple stages that have performances going on simultaneously.   The various showcases of talent that were at Jamfest ranged from senior high school vocalists, to student organized bands and soloist. Music department chair Jen Rafferty said, “With Jamfest, we wanted to include all students that were interested. Each set was 20 minutes long, staggered ...
2019 Elementary Olympics 2019 Elementary Olympics: A cloudy day did not stop the smiles, fun, and friendly competition from happening at the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade Cortland Olympics on June 6th. In advance fo the big day, students from the five elementary schools picked a country to represent, made t-shirts and flags, and prepared for the games. As students arrived at the stadium, high school students greeted them by forming a human tunnel for students to run through. Each class then got a photo under the Cortland Athletics tent. The national anthem played and the games began! Classes rotated through multiple stations including typical track and field events such as the shot put, long jump, and 4x100m relay. Non-traditional events also were held such as the potato sack race, tug o’ war, water balloon toss, hula ...
Public Speaking Class Hosts We Shape the World Event June 4 & 5 2019 Public Speaking Class Hosts We Shape the World Event June 4 & 5 2019: Seniors in Melissa DaCosta’s Public Speaking classes hosted, “We Shape the World” event, modeled after TED talks, on June 4th and June 5th. The popular, non-profit organization, TED is best known for their short (18 minutes or less) and inspirational talks. TED is a global community that strives to build an archive of free information from the world’s most inspired thinkers. The class modeled this event after TED talks and even hosted the event in the auditorium. The students in the public speaking class presented their inspiration talks to an audience of students and faculty members. Talks ranged from music in education to the American dream. Melissa DaCosta said, “each student was able to pick a topic that was meaningful to them. I wanted students ...
Student Council Hosts Leadership Breakfast for 7-12 Students on May 31, 2019 Student Council Hosts Leadership Breakfast for 7-12 Students on May 31, 2019: On May 31st, student leaders were honored with a breakfast and speeches by Student Council President Chauncy Crane and President of SUNY Cortland Dr. Eric Bitterbaum. Chauncy said, “The Leadership breakfast is a way to make people who are leaders feel special, appreciated and noticed. I helped plan this breakfast by asking teachers to select students that exhibited leadership qualities. I then invited Dr. Eric Bitterbaum to come since he is an important leader at SUNY Cortland and in our community. Nick Djafari is the Student Council Vice President and he helped with the planning as well.” Rick Gamel a staff advisor for student council said, “this breakfast was a way to recognize students that may not necessarily have a perfect average, but exhibit qualities ...
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton Visits Smith Elementary School Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton Visits Smith Elementary School: Kristy Buchalla’s 3rd grade students have been studying government and invited Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton to their class to discuss the work she has been doing in Albany. Teacher Kristy Buchalla said, “I wanted to show my students how real government is. Sometimes I think when we talk about Albany and Washington D.C., government seems far away and abstract. That is why I invited Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton in so that she could talk to my students about the work she is doing in Albany.” Assemblywoman Lifton said, “I try to come in whenever I get invited. I really enjoy talking to kids and explaining the work I do in Albany. I picked two bills that I thought would be interesting to the students.” The first bill Assemblywomen discussed was a ...
Leadership Day at Randall Elementary May 31, 2019 Leadership Day at Randall Elementary May 31, 2019: Leadership Day at Randall Elementary School is a way to show parents and community members how students are learning about the 7 habits of highly effective people. The day starts by students greeting guests at the front door of Randall School, which sets the tone for the entire day. Students are leaders; they run the program! Guests  gathered in the gym for a performance by the Randall musical group, the Notebusters. The Notebuster sang, “We Are the World” and several other inspirational songs. After the musical interlude audience members were released to visit students classrooms. Students were prepared to show adults what they have been working on, how the Seven Habits influences their daily work, and other unique projects such as a water demonstration and other ...
Countdown to 2019 Graduation Countdown to 2019 Graduation: As the days grow longer, the number of days our seniors have until graduation grows shorter. Senior year can be fille d with many fun events, academic challenges, and for some students, their last chance to participate on an athletic team. The Senior Prom was held on Friday May 10th. The prom was at Greek Peak Mountain Resort, complete with dinner and dancing. After the prom, the All Night Party began at 11 p.m. and lasted until 4 a.m. The All Night Party was at Hope Lake Lodge indoor water park. The All Night Party offered an after prom safe environment for students to attend. Coming up on Friday May 31st, is the Senior Banquet and Awards Night. This event recognizes seniors that have made contributions to their class. On June 7th and June 8th, the senior class is heading ...
14 Seniors Graduate from TC3 with Associates Degree 14 Seniors Graduate from TC3 with Associates Degree: Graduating high school with your NYS Diploma is an achievement. Graduating high school with an Associates Degree and NYS diploma is a major honor and accomplishment. This year, fourteen Cortland students accomplished this feat. Cortland High School has a partnership with Tompkins Cortland Community College called “College Now.” This program allows high school students across the area to take college level classes while they are in high school. Some students take 1-3 college level classes, however students that complete all of the requirements for an Associates Degree are allowed to take part in the commencement ceremony. On May 23, 2019, Tompkins Cortland Community College celebrated its fiftieth commencement ceremony. As the graduates walked across the stage, parents ...
Special Olympics May 23, 2019 Special Olympics May 23, 2019: On May 23rd, the Cortland Special Olympics Team traveled to North Syracuse to participate in the regional games which has become an annual tradition and celebration. The Cortland team joined more than 850 students from school districts around the region including Baldwinsville, Chittenango, East Syracuse Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt, Liverpool, Lyncourt, Marcellus, North Syracuse, OCM BOCES, Solvay, and West Genesee.   Sending off the Special Olympics Athletes in style, music teacher Steven Russell directed the High School Band to play, “Eye of the Tiger.” The Athletes then walked through a tunnel formed by the band and cheering High School students to get on the bus. This send off was the only the beginning of a very special day!   Once students ...
Voters Approve 2019-2020 Budget Voters Approve 2019-2020 Budget: Cortland Enlarged City School District voters have agreed to the District’s proposed 2019-2020 school year budget. 521 votes were cast, with the preliminary tally being 388 yes votes and 133 no votes on the $49,576,887 budget proposal. A bus proposition for $575,000 also passed with preliminary tally being 388 yes votes and 145 no votes. Additionally, the Cortland Free Library proposition for $392,298 passed with preliminary tally being 369 yes votes and 158 no votes. Preliminary results for the Cortland Enlarged City School District Board of Education are: Judith Murphy (363 votes) Christopher Kuretich (356 votes) Donald Chu (337 votes)   Superintendent of Schools, Michael Hoose said, “Many thanks to all of our community members who ...
Meet the Candidates & Learn about the Budget Meet the Candidates & Learn about the Budget: On May 14, 2019 the League of Women's Voters hosted a meet the candidates panel at the Board of Education meeting. The meet the candidates panel was followed by a budget presentation by Superintendent Hoose and Business Administrator Kim Vile. Here is a recorded video of both the meet the candidates panel and the budget presentation for the 2019-2020 school year.  
High School and 1st Grade Students Collaborate on the Monster Project High School and 1st Grade Students Collaborate on the Monster Project: The Monster Project is a collaborative project between first graders at Barry and Virgil School and the New Media Students at the High School. The purpose of the Monster Project at the national level and the local level is to help children recognize the power of their imaginations and to encourage them to purse their creative potential. “The Monster Project was started as a trend to make aware the systematic de-emphasis of art in public schools. Initial and continued creative exposure is so important to a child’s development” said Jesse Bender, Art Department co-chair. For New Media students, this project gave them a glimpse into someone else's head. It allowed them to make their own creative decisions based on the first graders imaginative and unobstructed ...
Unified Bowling Wins March SCAC Award Unified Bowling Wins March SCAC Award: The Cortland Unified Bowling team was the SCAC team of the month for March 2019. Coach Annette McMahon said, “In our first season as a Unified Bowling Team we had five athletes and seven rotating partners.  During the two practice games and four matches in our division, each athlete and all of the partners consistently encouraged and motivated each other to be their best.  They supported each other, they saw the best in each other and they shared the vision to have an enjoyable bonding season. The team won 15 games out 36, and one match out of 4.  The Cortland Team placed 2nd in our division at the culminating match on March 1st at Strike N Spare in Mattydale. This was an amazing experience for all and can’t wait to do it again next winter!” In 2017, ...
NYS Mentor Program NYS Mentor Program: The NYS Mentor program is a collaboration with SUNY Cortland faculty/staff and Cortland Enlarged School District. Recently, students that participated in the program were acknowledged on campus with a Civic Engagement Leadership Award. The NYS Mentor program works by pairing eight members of SUNY Cortland faculty with eight students from Virgil and Barry ES in grades 4-6. For the past 2 years (2017-2019), the SUNY Cortland faculty have met their paired students at Barry School every Tuesday from September to May to guide, support, increase competence and character. Students participated in a sharing circle each week to work on communication skills. Students did activities in pairs and large groups that range from civic engagement, celebrating and learning about holidays, making ...
6th Grade Students Review Math Concepts by Participating in the Amazing Race 6th Grade Students Review Math Concepts by Participating in the Amazing Race: Math does not always have to be dull worksheets. Sixth grade teacher, Jim Wallis at Parker School figured out a way to make math review exciting and engaging. “When we came up with the amazing race idea several years ago, we found that students really bought into the idea and were highly engaged” Jim Wallis said. The amazing race was held this week at Parker School. The amazing race is a series of math problems that the kids have to solve around the school. Students go to various locations such as the library, health office, gym, hallways, and several classrooms. A card at each location describes the math problem. Students work together in the group to solve the problem. Each student has a clipboard showing all of the work that is required. The group cannot move on until ...
Makerspace now Open at CHS Library Media Center Makerspace now Open at CHS Library Media Center: Makerspaces, the innovation in which libraries have collaborative work spaces for students to make, learn, explore, and share has come to the Cortland High School library. Teacher librarian, Catherine Dymus, has been working to get the makerspace ready for several months. Catherine said, “I wanted to offer our students a new experience in the library. By having a makerspace, the library becomes more accessible to students that do not traditionally enjoy reading. I wanted this space to be dedicated to hands on creativity that all students can benefit from. Whether that means students are working with robotics, puzzles, legos, or coloring, students are using their minds to develop and create, changing the library from a space where you can only receive information to a place of ...
High School Students Visit Canada and Costa Rica High School Students Visit Canada and Costa Rica: Every two years, juniors and seniors who have studied French or Spanish have had the opportunity to travel abroad over April break. This year, fifteen students visited Québec City and Montréal in Canada and Costa Rica. Kelly Chapman, high school French teacher, and Matt Kinsella, high school Spanish teacher, spent over a year and a half planning for the 10 days the students would be spending outside of the country. Mr. Kinsella said, “the foreign language trip is a great opportunity for students to experience things first hand that they have been learning about in their classes throughout high school. The trip gives them a chance to talk with native speakers and practice using the language as well as see the culture for themselves. It is the trip of a lifetime ...
Physics Bus Visits the Junior High Physics Bus Visits the Junior High: The Physics Bus is about doing science for fun! It is a mobile exhibition of upcycled appliances reimagined by kids that showcase s unfamiliar physics phenomena. The mission of the Physics Bus is to awaken interest and creativity in physics for all ages and walks of life -- especially those underserved by science enrichment. It allows for the audience to have self-directed, empowering, positive experiences with physics. Students in Mr. Curtis’ and Mrs. Krichbaum’s  eighth grade science classes were able to experience the Physics Bus on April 10th. Student Isaiah Blumenfeld said, “I enjoyed the Physics Bus. I had a lot of fun with my friends and Mr. Curtis. There were so many cool things that we did and I would like to go on the Physics Bus again. One thing ...
6th Graders Clean Up Garbage as Part of Earth Day 6th Graders Clean Up Garbage as Part of Earth Day: Sixth graders at Barry Elementary School decided to recognize Earth Day by taking action. John D’Antonio’s class researched facts about the earth and went outside to pick up litter from around the school grounds. Mason, one of Mr. D’Antonio’s students, said, “over 166 billion people have burned plastic, cans, papers, metals, glass and other organic resources. These facts are a warning to the sake of our earth and we need to put a stop to it. We as a class have picked up around 20 to 25 pounds of garbage outside of the school. This means to us and the community that no one cares about the environment. Some stuff we found was styrofoam, aluminum cans, plastic bags, a chair, plastic bottles, ect. In ten minutes we picked up twenty pounds of garbage!” ...
8 High School Students Present their Fluency in Seal of Biliteracy at OCC 8 High School Students Present their Fluency in Seal of Biliteracy at OCC: On April 9, 8 students from Cortland High School traveled to Onondaga Community College to present their fluency in the Seal of Biliteracy. The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) recognizes high school Seniors who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English. The intent of the NYSSB is to encourage the study of languages; identify high school graduates with language and biliteracy skills for employers; provide universities with additional information about applicants seeking admission; prepare students with twenty-first century skills; recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools; and affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society. To earn ...



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