Sunday, April 8, 2018

April 11, 2018

Student Opportunities Abound at South Seneca

Hello Parents, Students, and Community Members:
Our students are given many opportunities to explore.  We strive to find quality programming, not only within our walls, but outside of school when possible.  Please see the stories below as examples.  We will always be looking for innovative ways to get students involved and inspired.

It's hard to believe we're just about 3/4 of the way through the school year.  As the school year comes to a close, feel free to contact teachers, guidance or me with any questions. We want to help students have the best possible outcomes as we finish the year. Thanks for your support.

Tim Houseknecht, Principal

Coming Events:

April 21 - STEPS Day of Service  Click the link for more info.  We're looking for as many students as possible to be involved in this great project.

April 23Save a Life Tour  See link for company details. Students will have access to driving simulators during learning labs or lunches. The more knowledge we can get students about the vital skill of auto safety, the better.

May 2Funding the Future Show  This is a program that's being brought to us free of charge.  This is a unique way of getting students vital financial literacy knowledge. It starts with a rock show and ends with financial literacy!  See the link for details.

Extended Day Program a Big Hit
Our extended day program has proven again this year that the ability to not only meet students' academic needs but to pique their interest and further their passion is the way to increase student participation in an after school program. We have been able to maintain several of our programs that tap into the student athlete population.

Partnerships with outside providers for unique opportunities have increased this year. We continued our STEM program with the Cornell Cooperative Extension and our Outdoor Adventures that hosted skiing this year. Additionally, we have added a horseback riding program with a community business.

Academic support has increased to more consistent availability with staff available four days a week since the start of the spring session. Participation numbers are higher than last year and we hope to see the continued upward trend with dedication and willing support of our staff to not only make themselves available, but to help share their own interest with our students.

New High School Courses for 18-19

Gardening: Mrs. Parsons will be moving to the high school for 9th and 11th grade English next year.  With her move, she is adding a gardening course.  Details of the course still need to be worked out, but it will fit in very nicely with our geographic area and surrounding agriculture industry.

Mr. Matt Barkee will be adding a food industry course.  Students will learn skills like food preparation and restaurant management.  We're very excited about our new courses, which will allow students great career related learning. Mr. Anderson has been recruiting students for these new and exciting courses.

Middle/High School Planning Calendar

With our Building Planner, we're making it easier to find out what's happening in the Middle and High Schools.

From the High School home page, click on the
Ovid Building Planner link under the Calendars title. You'll find the letter days, various events, and even fund raisers. I hope you find this useful.

BOCES Success

Senior Dom Kio has been in the BOCES culinary arts program for the last two years.  He recently served dinners, appetizers and desserts to local school officials at the BOCES budget meeting.  Dom's dishes were delicious, and he has really enjoyed his time at BOCES.  We appreciate Dom's hard work in the program.

Thanks to Mrs. Copp

As Mrs. Fran Copp's career comes to a close, we want to show our appreciation.  She has had a great influence on many students, including Hannah Porter, picture here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February 7, 2018

February 7, 2018

Dear parents and community members:
Thanks for taking a look at our latest High School News.  As with other times of the year, January was a busy month for us. Below are a just a few of the things that happened.  Feel free to contact me at any time with questions or comments.  

If your child is encountering any problems, please let us know.  We have very dedicated and caring staff that is here to help.  A couple of good sources for contacts are our Guidance Department page or our Staff Directory.  You can also check our communication guide, which is linked from both the middle school and high school home pages. Thank you very much for your support. 

Tim Houseknecht, Principal

Congratulations To Our Wrestling Champions

Congratulations to all our wrestlers on a great season, especially Keagan Carmenatty and Quinton Wormuth-Mundell. 
Keagan (left) is the Section 5 Class B 220 lb. champ. 
Quinton (right) is the 285 lb. champ. 
Great job guys!

Support for Hannah Podgorny
Hannah Podgorny, a senior, is challenged with some health issues. The senior class is selling some  tee shirts in her honor.  Please see the post here, which is on the school website.

School Anxiety and Avoidance Summit
The Racker Center in Ithaca is holding this meeting.  Family members, students, school staff, providers and community members are encouraged to attend. Please click here for more information. They still have a few spots available. 

Testing and Project Days - January 22 to 24

Students work in Auto Systems with Mr. Gilfus
During our midterm and Regents testing days, several teachers had special events for students.  The special schedule allowed us to have some longer times that usually wouldn't be available. 

Shown is one of Mrs. Copp's guest artists.
Art students enjoyed two 3-hour sessions on January 24. In the morning, we had painter Kari Ganoung Ruiz with the Drawing & Painting students and in the afternoon we had potter Mary Ellen Salmon with the Ceramics students.

Our Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD) class had a 3 hour project. Shown here is sophomore Brandon Vanselow.

Ms. Guinan and Mr. Ovenshire ran some team building activities.

2 Calendar Issues

If you have a printed calendar, please fix these 2 issues. Sorry for the errors.

  • March 7: This date should be listed as "Early Dismissal" only.  On an early dismissal day, students in the middle and high schools are released at 12:45, and students in the elementary school are released at 1:45.  
  • May 16: The middle and high schools only have one parent conference day on May 8, not two as the printed calendar states.  If you have a printed calendar, please label May 16 as PK-5 only. 

What is Yorkers Club?

Yorkers Club is South Seneca’s international travel club in the high school.

The club has traveled to many destinations, including Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Wales, England & Costa Rica. In March of 2018 the club will go to Germany, Poland, Hungary & Czech Republic! Anyone can join and start fundraising!

A few key points:
  • Students must be in Grades 9 - 12 to travel.  
  • Students vote on the next destination in the Spring, so ballots will be coming soon!
  • 8th graders will be eligible next year, and can vote on the ballot this spring.
Please review this valuable article that covers advantages of student travel experiences.

If a student is interested in traveling, he or she can see Mrs. Sanchez in room 218 to find out more.  Parents can contact her at

Five SS Students Earn Awards

Five South Seneca students received the highest honor from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, announced January 30, 2018.

See the post here from our website.  

Once again, Mrs. Copp's art students are shining.  

Thanks to Mrs. Copp and others for organizing our latest Falcon Flyers events.  Please see this document.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

January 15

Hi folks,
I hope the winter is treating you well. This edition of our High School News focuses on testing.  Our schedule for January 22 to 24 is below, and I've also posted some good links in my first section concerning studying for Regents exams.  

Thanks for your support of our wonderful South Seneca students!

Tim Houseknecht, Principal

Tips on studying for Regents Exams

With our Regents and Midterm testing week approaching, here are some great resources for students:

  • Castle Learning  - Students at South Seneca have accounts to this powerful study tool. 
  • Khan Academy - Khan has quickly become a powerful learning tool for students worldwide. 
  • Past exams on the NYS Education Department site
    • I made a quick video on how to access past Regents exams (linked above). By reviewing old exams and using tools such as Castle Learning and Khan Academy, success on exams can be greatly enhanced!

Regents and Midterms - January 22 to 24

From Monday, January 22 to Wednesday, January 24, we will be holding Regents exams, mid-term exams, and special classes/projects for students in the High School.  The overall schedule is below, and students are currently receiving their individual schedules. 

Monday, January 22:
  • Exams and one US History review session. 
  • No regular classes at the Ovid campus. 
  • Breakfast and lunch available as usual.
  • BOCES classes are in session. Students are expected to attend unless testing. 
  • Regular bus transportation will be provided, including service at the half day point for those who need it.
Tuesday and Wednesday, January 23 and 24:
  • Exams (Regents and midterms).
  • Breakfast and lunch available as usual.
  • BOCES classes are in session. Students are expected to attend unless testing.
  • Regular bus transportation will be provided, including service at the half day point for those who need it.
  • All 9th and 10th grade schedules are full. This includes special classes and project time.
  • Many 11th and 12th graders are scheduled for Regents, midterms, and special projects or classes. 
    • Students in 11th and 12th grade do not have to be in school during unscheduled times
    • 11th and 12th graders should speak with their teachers if they would like to arrange meetings for review or work completion. 
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday, we have taken advantage of the testing schedule to hold some special projects, classes, movies and even speakers. I am excited that these days will provide us some opportunities we would usually be unable to offer. For example:
    • 9th and 10th grade skill building sessions such as ELA camp and Math camp.
    • Workplace lectures for 9th and 10th graders. 
    • Special class project sessions (all grades depending on individual schedules):
      • Studio Art, Ceramics, Drawing, Auto Systems, Computer Assisted Drafting, Wood Production, Digital Media
      • 2 movies for 10th graders that are intended to enhance classroom learning without costing valuable classroom time. 
Thursday and Friday, January 25 and 26:
  • Regular class schedules
The general schedule file is located here and on the high school web page.  If you have any questions about the week, please let me know.

If a student is studying for the SAT test, here's a great way to enhance scores.  Khan Academy has partnered with the College Board to help students.  Khan Academy is always offering new ways for students to enhance their knowledge and scores.  Check it out! 

Martin Luther King
On this remembrance day for Dr. King, I've included a link to his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.  He was a great example for all of us, no matter our color.

School Anxiety and Avoidance Summit
Family members, students, school staff, providers and community members are encouraged to attend this event, which is sponsored by the Racker Center in Ithaca