Dear Southern Cayuga Friends,
It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome everyone to the 2018- 2019 school year. First of all, I want to express my appreciation to the Southern Cayuga community for their continued support for our students and schools. Thank You!
I’m pleased to report a successful start to the school year as we welcomed back 700 students to the district. Southern Cayuga prides itself on small class size, a nurturing learning environment, and an academic team devoted to the success of our students, while also maintaining the second lowest tax rate in Central New York. Our Regents scores remain impressive and our 3-8 assessment results continue to improve. Our goal is to equip our students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that will enable them to be successful in life.
We’ve been busy over the summer and just completed a major capital project, the replacement of the elementary roof and locker room renovations. I am also pleased to report that J&B Installations replaced the roof on the planetarium. Thank you to Bob Parker for the generous donation and Tony Cavallaro for leading the first stage of work to restore this unique facility. The next phase of construction will start in the late spring and focus on the replacement of all major mechanical systems in the building. If all goes according to plan, the planetarium’s grand reopening will take place in September 2019.
Over the next couple of months, the district will be exploring the potential installation of a large solar array project on our property. The solar array would encompass several acres and generate over 1 Megawatt of electricity, satisfying approximately 75% of our current usage and creating significant district savings for the next 25 years. The project cost would be covered by the State of New York, a $250,000 NYSERDA grant, and a portion of our current utility costs. Southern Cayuga would emerge as a local leader in renewable energy and the system would generate significant operational savings. The district is partnering with Eisenbach & Ruhnke Engineering of Utica, NY to request proposals.
As we look ahead to the new year, the faculty and staff will continue the transition to the Next Generation Learning Standards, conduct a comprehensive review of our curriculum, and focus on the emotional and mental health of our students. Details regarding each of our district initiatives have been outlined in our professional development plan located on our district webpage.
Have a Great Year!
Patrick Jensen, Superintendent of Schools