Weekly Feature



2011-02-23 / Local News

Sweet Home District enters social network

by DAVID F. SHERMAN Managing Editor


AT RISK — High waters and floating ice moved down Ellicott Creek in the Town of Tonawanda on Saturday, menacing boat docks. The conditions were the result of the sudden snowmelt. Photo by John Rusac AT RISK — High waters and floating ice moved down Ellicott Creek in the Town of Tonawanda on Saturday, menacing boat docks. The conditions were the result of the sudden snowmelt. Photo by John Rusac The Sweet Home Central School District will soon have its own Facebook page, created to help the district keep pace with its ongoing goal to improve communication.

Public Relations Coordinator Don Feldmann made a presentation to the board of trustees at the Nov. 15 meeting, stating the formal launch date for the page is anticipated to be March 1.

“We might be the first school district in this area to have a Facebook page,” Feldmann said. “Erie 1 BOCES has one. This provides us with another avenue to strengthen communication.”

Feldmann stressed that the page will be one-way in nature, meaning that no one will be able to post comments to what he places on the site. He will be the sole administrator, and no one else will be empowered to post information or pictures.

He said Facebook will be used to highlight upcoming events and functions, as well as to provide updates on the annual budget process.

“It can also be for sports schedules and concerts. The possibilities are endless,” he added.

Superintendent Anthony J. Day approved of the plan, stating that instant alerts to friends of the Facebook page via smart phones will be a great addition to communication.

Feldmann and Day both said the page is intended to inform but also drive viewers to the district website. Nothing will be eliminated because of the addition of Facebook.

Student board member Angelina Bruno suggested the district also consider using Twitter as a messaging vehicle. Feldmann said the Orchard Park School District has a Twitter account, and that Sweet Home will consider Twitter in the “very near future.”

In other action, the board heard a presentation from Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Larry Leaven and district administrators on establishing, meeting and exceeding learning goals.

Leaven admitted it was a deep concept to understand, but stressed it is important to start by clearly communicating the desired outcome to students.

“It’s not a goal if the student can’t envision it,” he said.

Administrators told the board that teachers can no longer use a “one size fits all curriculum” and that lessons must be designed differently based on the need of individual students.

Vice President Marianne Jasen added a dose of reality to the discussion by stating it will be a challenge to implement these new strategies with the possibility of larger class sizes brought on by budgetary issues.

The second open 2011-12 community budget meeting will be held at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, in the Norman C. Vergils Community Center of Sweet Home High School, 1901 Sweet Home Road, Amherst.

The meeting is not a Board of Education meeting. For questions on the meeting, call the office of the superintendent at 250-1402. e-mail: dsherman@beenews.com

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