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Teaching is the Core (TiTC) Grant: Student Assessments under review at Southern Cayuga CSD   A state grant focused on improving the quality of educational assessments has been awarded to the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, on behalf of our nine component school districts, which includes the Southern Cayuga Central School District.    The “Teaching is the Core” (TiTC) assessment grant ($280,110) is possible through New York State’s Race to the Top allocation and will provide research-based professional development and direct on-site support to all nine of the component districts in the BOCES.  This one-year project has the potential to significantly impact the way we think about assessments and data analysis in our region.    This project seeks to meet two primary ... more >>
SCCS Special Education Review: SCCS Special Education Review   During the next year, the district will conduct a comprehensive review of our current service model for students with disabilities in order to build the best possible program within our resources.  The process will commence with a review of district policy and procedures and an assessment of the full-range of special education services provided to students of Southern Cayuga.  The process will be inclusive in nature and will seek input from the school community, along with advice from outside experts.  The idea of community is crucial to the reflective process where organizational and individual growth is achieved.  Upon completion, the findings of the review process and recommendations will be presented to the SCCS Board ... more >>
Technology in Action: Technology in Action This will mark the second year of the Engineering by Design course that we have developed for the 8 th grade Technology students.  Last year’s implementation witnessed a learning curve as the students were exposed to many new concepts and processes.  The students rose to the occasion and had a very successful year and set a high bar for future students to overcome.  By all indications though, this 8 th grade class should do just fine and will certainly challenge if not surpass many of the first time records established last year.  Mr. Scheffler will bring his expertise to the classroom from a scientific point of view and will provide many realistic insights to theoretical problems through a co-teaching scenario.  The Project Based ... more >>
Adopting ELA Modules: Initiative:  Adopting ELA modules   We recognize and celebrate the success of our collective efforts in math last academic year and the advancements we made regarding NYS math scores.  With those achievements in mind, we’d like to refocus our combined energy into a new initiative, adoption of the ELA modules K-6.    This initiative will help to ensure our collective UPK-6 curriculum is aligned with the pedagogical shifts (link attached) in the ELA common core as well as minimize the teacher-identified gaps between grade levels. The common core ELA modules identify student skill benchmarks including K-2 strands in listening and learning, skills, guided reading and accountable independent reading.  The 3-6 modules focus on reading, writing, listening ... more >>
National Officer Tour: National Officer Tour at Grisamores Farm On September 24, 2014 the Southern Cayuga FFA chapter took 40 students to Grisamores Farm to go apple-picking for the 2014 National Officer Tour. We listened to a speech given by National FFA Secretary Mitch Baker where he reminded us that “Everyday can be an adventure if you enter the day with the right mindset.”  We enjoyed lunch from a local business and then split into groups so each member was able to interact with a state or national officer!  The apples that we picked will be used to fill backpacks for the Backpack program,  in our food science class to make dessert, and in the 7th grade class for their boxes to send to other agriculture programs across the country.   more >>
Southern Cayuga CSD Planetarium: The SCCS Planetarium was constructed in the spring of 1968 at an initial cost of $166,000.  New York State paid over 95% of the initial construction cost, approximately $157,700, while the seven school districts of Cayuga County contributed $1,030 each.  The actual cost of construction to the Southern Cayuga community was only $155, as 87% of the local expense was actually paid by the New York State Department of Education.   The Southern Cayuga CSD owned the building at a final cost to the district of $155.  As recently as 2005, the Cayuga Onondaga BOCES operated the planetarium.  The CO BOCES provided area schools access to quality programming and provided staffing.  The operational and staffing costs were shared among the school districts of Cayuga ... more >>
Health Advisory: Health Advisory Dear Families,   New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has issued an advisory related to enterovirus EV-D68; a serious respiratory illness that has been confirmed in over a dozen children in New York State.  This virus can cause severe respiratory illness in children especially those with asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions, sometimes resulting in hospitalization. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), school-age children are most likely to get infected with such enteroviruses and become ill because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to these viruses. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) would therefore like to provide the following guidance. According to the ... more >>
START Grant: Southern Cayuga Central School District START Grant   The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Southern Cayuga Central School District an Elementary & Secondary School Counseling Grant.  The Southern Cayuga CSD, in a consortium with four other rural districts in Cayuga County, New York, will implement the START program (Student Assessment & Resilience Team), an evidence-based counseling program in five elementary schools, which will serve over 600 students over three years.  The Southern Cayuga CSD will serve as the lead agency and will collaborate with an Auburn-based intergovernmental agency to expand current counseling programs by over 63%.  The annual award will be $398,080, or nearly $1.2 million for the next three ... more >>
SCCS Students PSA Competition: SCCS Elementary Students Winners of PSA Competition The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights' Speak Truth To Power program sponsored the 2014 Elementary “Everyone Has Rights” Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest.  Contest participants chose one Article from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and created a 60 - 90 second Public Service Announcement (PSA). Our students learned about this topic during ELA Module 1. The 5 th grade Enrichment classes led by Mr. Benenati and Mrs. Troiani wrote and performed   human rights PSAs.  They were video-taped and submitted electronically to NYSUT.  There were hundreds of submissions from across New York State. Out of hundreds ... more >>
COSBA Student Award: COSBA Student Award -- Thomas Stiadle Class of 2014   Thomas Stiadle is the COSBA award recipient representing Southern Cayuga; he also is the Salutatorian of the SCCS Class of 2014.  Thomas is an intelligent, insightful, ambitious young man.  Thomas has the character, integrity and personality that allows him to make a difference among his peers in the most positive of ways.  His refreshing and polished positive attitude is a constant reminder of his drive for excellence. Thomas has taken many of our most demanding courses, numerous college courses on and off campus as well as various electives.  He will graduate with 18 college credits offered through Southern Cayuga and 34 college credits from Wells College.  In fact, much of Thomas’ ... more >>
June Janssen Staff Award: Cayuga Onondaga School Boards Outstanding Staff Award June Janssen   On June 5, 2014, June Janssen was awarded the COSBA Outstanding Staff Award at the Springside Inn in Auburn NY.  June’s passion for helping students deal with and overcome personal challenges is the common thread that runs through her work every day here in the Southern Cayuga Central School District.  Through her years in the school district, June has become a very uplifting and positive energy.  She has always made herself available to assist students and staff with direct health care needs and has provided time to listen, and extend help to many in numerous ways.  June is a leader in the NYS School Nurses Association where she shares her years of experience with others across our ... more >>
PBL Community Center Design:  PBL Community Center Design   Southern Cayuga CSD seventh grade students enrolled in Timothy Amory and Leigh Mills’ Art/Writing project based learning course recently completed an intensive seven week project.   They surveyed various stakeholders in the community, researched examples, read articles, and learned from various guest speakers, including Pam Hamel, an architect with Tetra Tech Architects & Engineers. Class schedules were modified to 80 minute blocks every other day, with Art/ELA alternating with a Science/Math block. From a facility perspective they utilized their studio art room with attached computer design lab allowing for a variety of work group options. In teams (design firms), the students had ... more >>
SCCS High School Awards Night: SCCS High School Awards Night On May 22 Southern Cayuga held our annual scholarship awards ceremony.  Students in grades 11 & 12 were awarded over $400,000 in scholarships, an astonishing amount for a school our size.  We talked about how dedication and drive can lead to great rewards.  Students receiving the awards have put in the time and dedication to be rewarded with scholarships to further their education.  We commend the students receiving awards for their outstanding effort in and out of the classroom.   These awards are made possible through the generosity of many community members and academic institutions.  The students and staff at Southern Cayuga cannot completely express the extent of our gratitude to each local area donor for ... more >>
SCCS Memorial Day Ceremony:                SCCS Memorial Day Ceremony  On May 23, the Southern Cayuga High School’s Current Events class, which includes students in grades 10-12, organized a Memorial Day observance ceremony for the student body and faculty members.  The ceremony included a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem performed by Erica Milliman and Adrianne Torea, as well as poems selected and read by members of the class.  Andrew and Zach VanNostrand performed a stirring rendition of Taps.  The keynote speaker was Southern Cayuga graduate, Class of 1986, Lieutenant Colonel Bernard Connell who currently serves as ‘Commandant of Cadets’ of Purdue University’s ROTC program.  Lt. Col. Connell ... more >>
Anne Frank Celebration: On June 12, 2014, the date of Anne Frank’s birthday, a One Year Celebration (since the planting of the Anne Frank tree in 2013) will be held in the Southern Cayuga School district High School auditorium in Poplar Ridge, a half hour drive from Ithaca.  At 6:30 p.m., a special lecture will take place featuring Rhonda Fink-Whitman, author of the book 94 Maidens ( ). Rhonda is the child of a Holocaust survivor and a Holocaust education advocate from Pennsylvania.   The Anne Frank Tree in the Southern Cayuga School district is a living testament to the life and writings of Anne Frank during the Holocaust.  The beautiful horse chestnut tree also serves as a reminder of the freedom and good fortune shared by residents of upstate New ... more >>
Budget Vote Results: Southern Cayuga Central School District  Budget Approved by Voters   On Tuesday, May 20, Southern Cayuga residents voted to approve the district's 2014-15 proposed budget, with 351 voting in favor and 112 voting against it. The $16.8 million budget carries a $481,057 spending increase over the current year and a 1.9 percent increase in the tax levy.   The tax levy increase is below the allowable limit set by New York’s tax levy limit law.   “We want to thank the members of our community who turned out at the polls and voted today,” said Superintendent Patrick Jensen. “Despite significant mandated cost increases, administrators and the Board of Education made a conscious effort to draft a budget that preserves academic programs ... more >>
Compassion Drive: The students at Emily Howland Elementary donated to the American Red Cross during our December compassion drive.  Throughout the campaign, our students were observed giving generously and many chose to give up their ice cream money to add to the donation container.  Our 6th graders created letters that went home to all elementary families detailing our drive.  The students also created and put up posters throughout the elementary wing and actively asked for donations from our teaching staff and students.  The inspiration to give to the Red Cross began when a 3rd grader, Jade Evener, gave the money she had earned ($300) at her summer lemonade stand to benefit the American Red Cross.  We appreciate the compassion and leadership our students displayed.  What ... more >>
Capital Improvement Project: 2014-15 Proposed Capital Project The Southern Cayuga Central Schools Board of Education proposes a $3,000,000 capital project which would focus on our deteriorating elementary school parking lot, gaining energy performance efficiencies, track resurfacing and dredging our retention pond.  As these costs are prohibitive within our general budget, the alternative is to pursue a capital project which is eligible for a state building aid reimbursement of approximately 81.2 percent.  Underlying drainage issues, winter plowing and the use of salt have severely impacted the elementary parking lot surface.  The project will require replacement of the current drainage system under the parking lot and dredging the retention pond to maximize drainage.  The capital project ... more >>
GEA: Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) The Southern Cayuga Central School District -- like school districts throughout New York -- continues to face a fiscal crisis.  The downturn of the national economy, compounded by new mandates, shrinking state aid and New York’s tax levy limit law, has challenged public schools to provide a high-quality education to all students with significantly fewer resources. “The budget process has been challenging, partly because of significant increases in state-mandated costs and the adverse impact of the Gap Elimination Adjustment,” said Patrick Jensen, Superintendent of Schools.  “The partial restoration of aid is appreciated, but the district’s projected loss for 2014/15 is approximately $929,501.”  ... more >>
Fiscal Stress Monitoring Report: A recent report by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli indicated the Southern Cayuga Central School District was experiencing fiscal stress at the end of the 2012-13 school year.  Eighty seven districts across the state were designated as being at some level of fiscal stress, which includes significant, moderate or susceptible categories.  Southern Cayuga received a susceptible rating, which is the lowest of the three.  The 2012-13 fiscal stress report for Southern Cayuga indicated a decrease in cash flow which was directly related to capital project payments made during the 2012-13 school year that were reimbursed during the 2013-14 school year.  In essence, cash was loaned from the general fund to the capital fund and then reimbursed after July 1, 2013.  As ... more >>

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Patrick Jensen, Superintendent
Southern Cayuga School District
2384 State Route 34B
Aurora, NY 13026

Phone: 315.364.7211
Fax: 315.364.7863

Emily Howland Elementary
Phone: 315.364.7098
Fax: 315.364.7590

Jr/Sr High School
Phone: 315.364.7111
Fax: 315.364.8207