To: LaFayette Central School District Community
From: Jeremy Belfield, Superintendent of Schools
RE: From the Desk of the Superintendent - week ending July 14, 2017
Date: July 14, 2017
Update on the Onondaga Nation School
The district met with representatives from the Onondaga Nation on Monday July 10, 2017. At this meeting, the district shared that it was aware that the Onondaga Nation desires to have greater say and more control over the operation of the Onondaga Nation School. Additionally, the Nation has expressed a desire for either another school district or some other entity to serve the Onondaga Nation School. This would entail LaFayette Central School District ending the contract with the New York State Education Department and no longer operating the Onondaga Nation School. The LaFayette Central School district currently operates the Onondaga Nation School under a contract with the New York State Education Department that expired June 30, 2016. The New York State Education Department has sent a copy of a proposed contract to the district for consideration. The LaFayette Central School district has expressed to the New York State Education Department that the district is considering not renewing the contract to allow for the Onondaga Nation to explore other options in meeting the educational needs of its students.
Since there is no immediate plan in place for another school district or entity to service the Onondaga Nation School, the LaFayette Central School district has suggested that an interim principal should be appointed for the 2017-18 school year while the Onondaga Nation considers options for the continued operation of the Onondaga Nation School. During the 2017-18 school year, the LaFayette Central School district would work with a newly formed Education Committee to operate the Onondaga Nation School while the Nation leadership explored future options for meeting its educational needs.
The district has requested that an administrative Educational Coordinator position for Onondaga Language and Culture be added to the budget for the Onondaga Nation School. This position would be funded through monies provided by the New York State Education Department and there would be no impact to the local LaFayette Central School District budget. The Educational Coordinator for Onondaga Language and Culture would be responsible for working with the Education Committee, the school district, students and staff in all four of the district schools, and the Onondaga Nation Community to assist in building a bridge between our school community and the Onondaga Nation.
The district would also like to take time to explore the financial and staffing impacts to the district if it was decided not to renew the contract with the New York State Education Department. The district is considering hiring an educational consultant to assist the district in analyzing the impacts of this potential decision. Staff who currently work at the Onondaga Nation School are employees of the LaFayette Central School district. If the school district were to decide not to renew the contract, staff would have to be reassigned to the three remaining schools in the district. Student enrollment counts may change based on this decision which could result in reduced staffing levels for the district. This issue will take several months for the district to study. We hope to conclude the study by the early winter months to allow time to prepare for any changes in staffing assignments.
The LaFayette Central School District has had a long-standing relationship with the Onondaga Nation School. The district is willing to step aside to allow the Nation the opportunity to explore other options for the continued operation of the school. The school district remains committed to serving the cultural needs of the school community and welcomes all students to our schools. We hope that our continued conversations with the Nation leadership will allow for a positive outcome for our entire school community.
On July 27, 2017, Grimshaw Elementary will host a training event for local law enforcement K-9 units. As you drive by the school, you will likely see several police cars from a variety of K-9 law enforcement units throughout Central New York. We look forward to welcoming our local law enforcement officers to Grimshaw on July 27th for this training exercise.
LaFayette Jr./Sr. High
This past week our Booster Club sponsored a Basketball Camp at the LaFayette Jr./Sr. High for our students. Coaches Jerry Kelly and Shawn Kelly put on a fantastic program for our young athletes.
Thank you to our voters for approving the Capital Project. The district met with representatives from Ashley McGraw Architects this week to begin the design phase of the Capital Project. The design phase will take several months. Once the design is completed, the project will be submitted to the New York State Education Department for review and approval. The proposed scope of work is posted on our website. Thank you again to our voters for approving these enhancements to our learning environment for students.
Survey for the LaFayette School Community
As your new Superintendent of Schools, I am looking to hear from you about what makes LaFayette great. I appreciate any insights that you would like to share with me about what you are proud of in our school district and what areas you would like to see improved.
I am looking forward to forming a positive relationship with our students, staff, and families. I appreciate any insights that you would like to provide. Please take a few moments to complete this survey - click here.
Please feel free to contact me at any time to share your thoughts and concerns.
Superintendent of Schools
LaFayette Central School District
315-677-9728 (Office Phone)
315-529-9550 (Cell Phone)