2021 Apex Awards:
This year marks the 13th annual APEX Awards. Every year, the Port Byron Senior High Student Government looks to recognize and honor those within the school and local community for their service, character, and courage. To assist with this years' nominations, Student Government sought input from the entire school district and Alumni Association through an online survey. The response was overwhelming, with more than 100 individuals identified as potential nominees. This is the second year a survey was used to seek nominations, as it offers Student Government the opportunity to learn about individuals whom they may not otherwise have been familiar with. Members of Student Government then formed six small committees (one for each award category), reviewed the nominees for their category, ...
First Year Using the New Athletic Complex!:
After COVID-19 shutdown in-person learning last spring, it also halted the opportunity for Port Byron athletes to train and compete on the district’s new state-of-the-art athletic complex.
After a long wait, student-athletes are excited to finally get to compete at their new facility.
“For two year’s we have been off the track, the last time I ran on our track was eighth grade. It was cool to have my senior year be the closure we needed,” said Port Byron senior and student-athlete Grace Ford.
The athletic complex features a new track, baseball and softball fields, turf for the main stadium, as well as a new PA system, Wi-Fi connection, and video scoreboard.
The process started in 2016 when the Port Byron Central School District ...
Port Byron Drama Club Presents: Random Acts of Comedy:
Port Byron Drama Club Presents: Random Acts of Comedy
“The Audition” - A new theater teacher is shaking things up for the high school drama club. Though the hopefuls range from shy to outrageous, and from diva-like to determined, everyone has an opportunity to showcase who they are and what they got. A hilarious and heartbreaking look at the madness of auditioning and the actors who brave the process for that spotlight.
“13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview” - When two college recruiters at a prestigious university need to fill one final spot to keep their jobs, thirteen eccentric, dimwitted, and slightly insane high school seniors are eager to come in for an interview. What seems like a simple task turns into a nightmare when the applicants ...
2021-2022 Budget Approved:
The Port Byron Central School District 2021-22 budget was approved by voters 175 to 70. The Port Byron community has also approved the proposition allowing the district to support the Port Byron Library.
Additionally, board candidates Joseph Verdi (198 votes) and Melinda Quanbeck (202 votes) were re-elected to the Board of Education.
As always, the district thanks the community for its unwavering support as we continue to work for what is best for our students.
2021-22 Budget Vote Information:
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
9AM - 9PM
Athletic Center Lobby
2021 Budget Proposal:
Total Budget: $22,729,686
Proposed Budget Increase: $436,041
Proposed School Tax Levy: $6,345,748
Estimated School Tax Levy Increase: 0%
1) Budget Vote
2) Library Fund
3) Elect Two (2) Board of Education Candidates
Town Budget Presentations:
Montezuma - May 4, 2021 at 6PM at the Town Hall
Throop - May 5, 2021 at 6PM at the Town Hall
Conquest - May 6, 2021 at 6PM at the Town Hall
Mentz - May 10, 2021 at 7PM in the Lehn Library
To view the district's 2021-22 Budget Newsletter, please click here.
District Welcomes Roden as New SRO:
The Port Byron Central School District has found a familiar face to patrol the hallways.
Mike Roden took over as the district’s new School Resource Officer (SRO) earlier this month. Roden, a retired Auburn police officer, has lived in the district for more than a decade and his son attended school in Port Byron.
“As a district resident for over 15 years, Officer Roden has a vested interest in helping to keep our school and community safe,” Dana L. West Jr.-Sr. High School Principal Mike Jorgensen said. “We are thrilled with the additional layer of school security, but the position of School Resource Officer extends beyond safety. Officer Roden will use his time in school to foster positive relationships between our students, their families and ...
Class of 2021 Val & Sal Announced:
Valedictorian Madalyn Jordan
Madalyn Jordan’s family always told her to never put a limit on herself, and Jordan followed that wisdom all the way to being named the class of 2021 valedictorian.
Jordan said she is proud to finish at the top of her class, especially with how difficult the last year has been due to COVID-19.
“I think especially with everything going on, it’s so easy to fall behind,” she said. “So I’m really proud of myself for sticking with it.”
Jordan said at this point she isn’t surprised by the curveballs COVID-19 is continuing to throw, noting that students are adapting to the challenges of the last year.
“Actually, I think the changes have made me a better ...
Letter From the Superintendent - Changes to School Day:
Spring is a season of change and we are in the midst of making some significant adjustments in the school day to better serve students and lift some of the restrictions put in place this past fall to limit the spread the COVID-19. While we make some changes, the core protocols to ensure that students and staff remain safe will not change.
The big change for parents and students will be the expansion of the school day by a half hour. Dismissal time will be at 2:30PM beginning on Monday April 5. The bus runs and car pickup times will be simply be a half hour later. Inside the school day, changes will be made in the scheduling of students in the West Building and to a lesser degree in the Gates Building.
The changes are basically ...
O'Brien Receives Honor from State Organization:
Port Byron Superintendent Neil O’Brien was recently chosen to receive the New York State Council of School Superintendents’ Appreciation Award for 2021.
O’Brien will be honored at NYSCOSS’ Virtual Winter Institute and Lobby Day on March 8.
“A great choice,” said Mike Ford, the director of leadership development at NYSCOSS. “[O’Brien] has been a tireless advocate for students across the state. He is smart, witty, and tenacious. Proud to call him a friend.”
O’Brien is finishing up his 17th and final school year in the district. He is set to retire in June, with current Dana L. West Jr.-Sr. High School Principal Mike Jorgensen in line to be his successor.
O'Brien described his run as remarkable and rewarding, ...
Graduation Rate Exceeds County, State Numbers:
The graduation rate for the Port Byron Central School District remains well above the average for the county and state for 2020.
With a 90 percent graduation rate, Port Byron is seven points higher than all of Cayuga County (83 percent) and five points higher than New York state (85 percent). The graduation rate for Dana L. West Jr.-Sr. High School is at least 90 percent for the second straight year and the third time in the last four years.
The Port Byron administration is ultimately striving for 100 percent.
"Our promise to the community is to always find ways to grow and increase opportunities for our students," High School Principal Mike Jorgensen said. "At the same time, it is also nice to take a minute and celebrate our successes. Helping our students ...
Port Brewin Open For Business:
The first order came flying in before Port Brewin was even open this year.
The first purchase at Port Byron Central School District’s café was made online Tuesday, a day before orders began to go out. The aptly named Port Brewin – a name created by one of the students through a naming contest – features a menu that includes various flavored coffees, teas and smoothies, as well as some other treats.
This year, all orders must be placed online through a smartphone application with money preloaded onto student accounts. The orders are then delivered at certain times for each classroom to ensure no disruptions to instruction, as well as the freshness of the delicious beverages being served.
“We are excited our students have an opportunity to access ...
A Note From Superintendent O'Brien (12/29/20):
The new year brings hope and dreams of a return to normalcy, but it also forces us to deal with difficult decisions in regards to the ever-worsening pandemic in Port Byron and Cayuga County. It is this light that I wish to share with you several important changes that we will be undertaking to help us navigate through the current crisis.
We have decided to continue remote instruction for students until January 11 due to the county having reached seven percent of the population currently under quarantined or having the virus. Besides this incredibly large number, we are fearful it is likely to rise with the two major holidays.
Five or so days following each holiday will be strong indicators on the impact family celebrations will have on the spread ...
Board Meeting - December 14, 2020:
To view the Board of Education meeting from Monday, December 14, please click the link below!
Port Byron superintendent Neil O’Brien set to retire:
The Port Byron Central School District’s Board of Education accepted longtime Superintendent Neil O’Brien’s resignation Monday evening and approved Mike Jorgensen to replace him at the end of the school year.
O’Brien’s last day in the district is June 30, with Jorgensen, currently the principal at Dana L. West Jr.-Sr. High School, set to take over July 1. O’Brien has led the district for nearly two decades, but said the time is right for the transition.
“At the end of the year, I will be finishing my 17th year. Long by any standard, and in the world of a superintendent, the word ‘ancient’ comes to mind,” O’Brien said. “The journey has been remarkable and rewarding. I could never have dreamt that I ...
SGA Gets Creative to Continue Activities:
Port Byron Central School District’s Student Government Association has had to get creative.
Spirit Week was centered around Halloween activities instead of Homecoming, Veterans Day commemorations were done via Zoom, and the current food drive is off to an encouraging start despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Even in a pandemic, the SGA has still found ways to carry on with its usual activities, albeit in sometimes unusual ways.
“They’ve been incredibly creative in finding ways to take everything that we normally do and still do it,” SGA co-advisor Kimberly Kanuck said. “Instead of having a usual Spirit Week connected with Homecoming, they’ decided to do a Hallow-week connected to Halloween. … They did a great job doing the Veteran’s ...
Port Byron Holiday Plant Sale:
To sign up for our After-Prom Holiday Plant Sale and reserve your wreath or poinsettia, please click the following Link:
Holiday Plant Sale Sign Up Sheet
Port Byron Holds Thanksgiving Dinner Distribution:
Port Byron community members came together to save more than 60 families’ Thanksgiving feasts this year.
Staff and Board of Education members teamed with students and members of the community for the district’s second annual Thanksgiving Dinner Distribution Monday. The volunteers raised or donated money for the meals, collected the food from Ed & Jean’s Market, and packaged the products for delivery in time for the holiday.
Each family received packages that included traditional Thanksgiving fixings such as turkey, pies, rolls and more.
For Dana West Jr./Sr. High School Principal Michael Jorgensen, the event showed how tight knit the Port Byron community is.
“This is another example of why the Port Byron ...
A.A. Gates Principals reinforce PAWSitive behaviors:
Each Friday, the principals at A.A. Gates Elementary are taking students aside from their classrooms, but not for any wrongdoing. Really, it’s the opposite.
Elementary Principal Julie Podolak and Assistant Principal Erica Sinicropi briefly take individual students out of their classes in the morning to reinforce positive behaviors by acknowledging their good deeds and presenting them with a “good news” certificate. One student each week also gets picked for a positive call to their home.
Any staff member can submit a student to be acknowledged with a PAWSitive Office Referrals, which focus on students in UPK through sixth grade who have gone above and beyond to practice the school’s building-wide PAWS expectations to Practice respect, Accept responsibility, ...
AA Gates Curriculum Night:
Welcome to the first-ever AA Gates Virtual Curriculum Night! Check out the videos below to meet with your child's teachers and staff!
Welcome to UPK
Welcome to Kindergarten
Welcome to 1st Grade
Welcome to 2nd Grade
Welcome to 3rd Grade
Welcome to 4th Grade
Welcome to 5th Grade
Welcome to 6th Grade
A Welcome From Our Counselors
Port Byron creates arcade room for students:
Port Byron students have a new spot to relax during their free periods.
The school set up an area for table tennis in the cafeteria and converted one of the art rooms into an arcade area with gaming systems, air hockey and foosball. With the weather turning colder and students being unable to go outside during their free periods, Dana West Jr./Sr. High School Principal Mike Jorgensen was seeking an alternative way for students to unwind.
“We tried to build something that our students would like to use and enjoy when they had extra time during their day,” Jorgensen said. “High school students are not used to being in the same room for the entire day.
“It’s a nice way for students to de-stress when they can’t enjoy outdoor activities.” ...