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.” ...
Port Byron staff collaborates to make huts for students awaiting pick-up:
The two new huts on the east side of the building at Port Byron Central School District are another example of how multiple departments come together for the safety of students in the district.
The one structure serves as a check-in point to take students’ temperatures when they are dropped off for school each morning, while the other is a safe location for students waiting to be picked up at the end of the day if there’s inclement weather. The huts were constructed by the maintenance staff in conjunction with the technology department, and decorated by an art teacher.
“I think this is just another example of how great the staff is in Port Byron,” Dana L. West Jr.-Sr. High School Principal Michael Jorgensen said. “The first thing you notice is that ...
Streaming Lessons Big Positive at Port Byron:
A quick peek into Amy Alcock’s sixth grade ELA class may seem different this year. While Alcock may be grading papers for students in her classroom, she may also be answering a question from a student down the hall.
This will be the new normal as Port Byron Central School District has incorporated live streaming lessons as way to ensure the health and safety of each returning student and maintain proper social distancing.
According to AA Gates Elementary Assistant Principal Erica Sinicropi, the streaming lessons work together with the district’s pod system, which was designed to limit interactions between students (and staff) throughout the day.
“In order to provide all students with live instruction across multiple classrooms in the safest ...
Links to Virtual Meetings on Reopening:
Virtual Public Meetings Videos
The links to the virtual meetings held August 18 can be found below:
Meeting 1 at 12PM: https://ensemble.cayboces.org/Watch/i7DXr3z6
Meeting 2 at 3PM: https://ensemble.cayboces.org/Watch/f4SPt82K
Meeting 3 at 7PM: https://ensemble.cayboces.org/Watch/s4H7WfZz
Virtual Meetings to Discuss Reopening Plans:
Below is the Zoom link for tomorrow's public virtual meetings to discuss the district's reopening plans. The meetings are scheduled to take place at 12PM, 3PM and 7PM. This link will be good for all three meeting times.
Health Kids Programs Now Accepting Registration:
Healthy Kids has started to open registration for select before and/or after school programs at A.A. Gates Elementary.
The Healthy Kids Extended Day Program mission is to be the leading before/after school and summer camp provider throughout New York State. The program's focus is to provide positive, engaging and stimulating experiences that promote each child's social/emotional, physical and cognitive development.
The Before School Program provides opportunities such as arts and crafts, board games and recreation. The After School Program provides opportunities such as homework time and outdoor play.
To learn more about the Healthy Kids Program or to register your child(ren), please click here!
To learn more about Healthy Kids Program's COVID-19 Policies ...