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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 ...
Junior High Students Work on Monthly Book Reports Junior High Students Work on Monthly Book Reports: Choice is one of the Cortland Enlarged City School District’s top ten ingredients of engagement. Students in Mrs. Murphy’s class have the opportunity to choose a new book every month and write a book report on the book. Donna Murphy said, “not only did I want students to be able to choose their own book, but part of my rationale of completing this unit was to reinforce and reteach literary elements. We start this project in September and I structure it so that the task of reading a book is broken down in smaller, more manageable segments. For example, I give the students a formula that allows them to figure out how many minutes per day to read in order to finish the book in one month.” Once students finish the book, they are able to complete a book report ...
April 11 is #LoveMySchoolDay April 11 is #LoveMySchoolDay: April 11th is #lovemyschoolday! The hope of the social media campaign is that educators across the world will unite to leverage the positive power of social media to inform as well as inspire our school community and improve the culture of education. The event dates back to 2014 to Author and Superintendent John Wink’s (@johnWink90) blog post. Last year, the hashtag generated over 3,000 tweets and trended quickly. We want to create a school culture where teachers, students, and principals  are empowered to share on social media the reasons that they love to work in their school. We want to “tell our story” and share the great learning that is taking place. Please use the hashtag #LoveMySchoolDay in addition to #WeAreCortland if you are tweeting about what is ...
Students at Parker School Practices Yoga Students at Parker School Practices Yoga: “Tree pose, boat pose, plank, cat cow, downward dog” could be heard from the Parker Elementary school gym on Friday, March 29th. Students followed yoga instructor, Sophia D’Addario from The Cortland Yoga Nest, which has recently relocated to downtown Homer, as they went through these poses. This yoga study stemmed from a project that the sixth graders are doing in Mr. Wallis’s class. As part of the 6th grade unit on the novel, Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson, students broke up into groups to study different forms of meditation. Yoga was one of the chosen forms. In the novel, Touching Spirit Bear, a young boy named Cole Matthews is sent to Alaska to live on a remote island in lieu of going to prison for being a juvenile delinquent. Cole’s attitude ...
CHS Celebrates International Week CHS Celebrates International Week: The mission of the International Club at Cortland High School is to enhance cultural awareness,  support student learning of foreign languages, and to encourage students to become more aware of the global community. Toward that mission, the International Club has put together a celebration of National Foreign Language week from April 1st to April 5th. The planning for this event started several weeks ago, with surveys being sent out to staff. The International Club then created door labels which have the teachers name, room number and primary subjects taught written on it in Spanish, French and also Portuguese. Additionally, teachers that provided their family's nationality/ancestry on the survey, have a name tag with flags from their family's nationality prior to arriving ...
Kindergarten Students Learn About Masonry Kindergarten Students Learn About Masonry: Building a house without modern technology such as power tools, running water, or electricity can be a difficult process. Building a house in colonial times without modern technology is even harder! The kindergarten students in Mrs. Morse’s kindergarten class at Virgil Elementary are exploring how people in colonial times built houses. Students learned what a bricklayer, mason, and carpenter were in a colonial town. Students also learned how to identify the tools used by bricklayers, masons and carpenters. Mrs. Morse’s son, Britt Morse, a Cortland School Class of 2005 alumni, happens to be a skilled mason. Britt came to show the kids the tools of masonry and demonstrate how to build a wall. Using tools such as a striker, trowel, hammer, cinder blocks, level, string, ...
Spring 2019 Sports Preview Spring 2019 Sports Preview: Although winter continues its tight grip on Central New York, Cortland Athletics has already made the transition to spring with several varsity programs kicking off action over the past few weeks. The final stretch of the academic year promises to be jam packed with excitement, so be sure to make your way out to a game, meet or match this spring and cheer on our Purple Tigers! Athletic Director Tim Wagoner said, “We look forward to warmer weather and the fields drying up. Our teams are eager to get outside and start practicing on the track and fields. Please visit our school website to see up to date spring sports schedules using Schedule Galaxy .” With schedules just starting to get underway, we sat down with all of our varsity head coaches to get an outlook on ...
NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete Teams for Winter 2018-2019 Season NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete Teams for Winter 2018-2019 Season: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), believes that the athletic participation of students enhances their academic performances. To support this belief, the Scholar/Athlete Team Award Program began in 1991. Varsity teams who have 75% of their team earn a 90% or higher GPA during their sport season qualify for the NYSPHSAA award. Individuals can also qualify, if the team does not, with an average of 90% or better. 2018-2019 Winter Scholar Athletic teams from the Cortland High School are as follows: Boys Basketball, Boys Indoor Track and Field, Boys Ice Hockey, Girls Basketball, Girls Bowling, Girls Volleyball, and Girls Indoor Track and Field. Athletic Director Tim Wagoner said, “I am so proud of our student athletes. Each season students ...
Modern Band Students Learn Songwriting Modern Band Students Learn Songwriting: Songwriting can be described as the art of taking a blank canvas of words and stringing them together to make meaning. It is not something that often is taught in high school. Cortland’s modern band program is one of the few music programs in the state that caters to students who are eager to learn how to write and perform their songs using instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. Thanks to a grant from Cortland County local songwriter, Chris Merkley, has been working with students in the modern band class throughout this semester. On Friday, March 23rd he brought his whole band,“Digger Jones,” to explain and demonstrate the songwriting process. Music teacher Jon Keefner said, “Songwriting can be an excellent way of enabling students ...
High School Students Learn Archery in PE Class High School Students Learn Archery in PE Class: In the downstairs gym at the high school, physical education teacher Sean Mack can be heard saying, “the range is hot, pick up the quiver, make sure the fletching is placed correctly.” This new vocabulary seems second nature to the high school students. Students line bows, draw their bows, aim and fire. The archery unit is new in high school physical education classes this year. Athletic Director, and head of the physical education department, Tim Wagoner said, “thanks to a grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Convservation we were able to get the teachers trained in the summer. The DEC also loaned us the equipment for archery, so we did not have additional strains to our budget to do this unit.” The National Archery in the Schools Program, (NASP) ...
STOP Time at Junior High STOP Time at Junior High: In their second year operating as an independent school, the Junior High School has been focusing on trying to have more opportunities for students built in their school day. By operating on their own schedule, that is separate from the High School, the Junior High School decided to implement STOP time. STOP is an acronym for study, try something new, or play. During this time, the gym is open for them to play basketball and other organized games. The auditorium is also open for quiet “chill” time, and teachers classrooms are open for students to come and get extra help or recieve enrichment. In Mrs. Francey-Henry’s classroom, she gets most of the students that either really like math, or who need to improve their math. With some inspiration from Pinterest, ...
Alex Ryan Competes at NYSPHSAA Indoor State Track Meet Alex Ryan Competes at NYSPHSAA Indoor State Track Meet: NYPHSAA, combined with the PSAL, et. al., Indoor Track and Field Championships, a.k.a. "States" was held on Staten Island at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex. The Cortland High School Athletics program was represented by Alex Ryan, who ran in the 600-meter event. The track was a banked, six-lane track that could also be lowered to a flat eight-lane track (which they did for the wheelchair 1-mile race) on the second floor, creating a thundering sound when the athletes ran in front of the stands each lap. Coach Paul Drexler and teammate Andy Ryan, along with Coach Luke Parker, Dan Ruggiero, Tyler Stevens, and family/friends accompanied Alex to States. Before Alex’s race, he used the “warm up track” to dispense of some nerves, literally warming up with ...
Science Honor Society Starts at Cortland HS Science Honor Society Starts at Cortland HS: It was at a STANYS (Science Teachers Association of NYS) conference that Cortland High School Physics teacher, Charles Canestero first heard of the NYS Science Honor Society. Canestero said, “immediately when I heard about the Science Honor Society, I thought we should definitely bring this to Cortland High School. The more I looked into it, the more I thought this would be a great opportunity for our students and be something really special.” The New York State Science Honor Society was established in 1991 and was the first statewide Science Honor Society in the United States. Its purpose is to encourage an interest and understanding of science and science-related careers, as well as to recognize the academic achievement in science of high school students.  ...
Science Olympiad Finishes the Season at Cornell Science Olympiad Finishes the Season at Cornell: Our Cortland Science Olympiad Team finished out the 2018-2019 season with an intense competition at Co rnell University on February 16th. At Cornell, the Cortland High School team was competing with the top 60 high school teams in the nation. Club advisor Charles Canestaro said, “we really got to experience a large competition at Cornell. Our team got to compete with some of the best Science Olympiad teams in the nation.” All of the events were grounded in different scientific fields such as biology, chemistry, forensics, engineering, math, earth science and physics. Students that have interest in each field could dig deeper and learn about specific topics. Some events include: Duct Tape Challenge where students use engineering principles and duct tape to build an ...



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