Superintendent's Council a Catalyst for Change
Copies of an agenda are strewn amidst the plates and drinks on a table at the Lost Dog Cafe in Binghamton, signs this is no ordinary lunch. The topics on those papers represent a continued effort to make changes to the Windsor Central School District from the bottom up.
The lunch meeting is the latest installment of the Superintendent's Council. Superintendent Dr. Jason Andrews meets quarterly with the presidents of Student Councils from all five District schools.
"What I get is excellent feedback from all levels that is direct and honest. It's a group of leaders so I get a lot of leadership. I learn a lot about what is actually happening versus what I think is happening," said Andrews.
This meeting begins with Palmer Elementary Student Council President Aubrey Dixon talking about how Windsor can make Project Lead the Way, the District's effort to create an engineering pipeline, more hands-on. Andrews then asks what the early thoughts are in the Middle School about the newly-opened Mental Health Clinic. He then updates the students on how the District is working to rethink how it generates and reports grades.
"It helps a lot when we get to talk about things. We know the Superintendent will talk to our school and things get changed," said Bell Elementary Student Council President Shelby Goodwin.
Though this is the first year of the Superintendent's Council change has already taken place. Schools have begun giving students stretch breaks in class and there are new choices on the lunch menu.
"The chicken marinara is delicious," said Weeks Elementary Student Council President Sidney Crisanti.
"It's everything from curriculum to chicken soup," said Andrews about the topics up for discussion.
But not everything is about change. The students talk about what has gone well in the District. Goodwin, a fifth-grader, praises her teachers for an end-of-the-year push to prepare her class for sixth grade. Middle School Council President Nate Andrews says his group of teachers has been the best part of his school year. And High School Student Council President Julie Nemcek is impressed at how quickly technology has been integrated into the classroom.
"One thing I like to hear is what progress has been made to the other schools since I've been there, and how things going on at elementary schools are applicable to the High School," said Nemcek.
It's progress that will continue thanks in part to more lunches like these.