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Special Thanks for a Successful School Year

June 23, 2021

Dear Lake George Families, Faculty and Staff Members, 

When I stop and reflect on all we have accomplished, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. 

We began the 2020-21 school year with a healthy amount of caution, many emotions, and a phased-in approach to bringing students and staff back to learning in-person. I am ecstatic that the bookend to this unique school year features an in-person graduation and moving up ceremonies with attendance restrictions lifted. It is wonderful seeing everyone’s smiles as we celebrate the culmination of all our hard work and efforts. 

Our LGCSD students exceeded our expectations at every turn, raising thousands of dollars for one of our own and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and more. They found ways to continue playing sports (masked) and perform on stage (live streamed) and in concerts (outdoors). They continued to pursue their dreams ~ signing letters of intent to continue their athletic careers in college, joining the military, choosing career paths ~ and helped each other be their best selves (Mental Health Student Task Force panel discussion on anxiety, Advocacy Gallery, Empathy Project). Many of their usual activities went virtual – including Battle of the Books, VEX Robotics tournaments and World Championships, FBLA conferences and competitions – and our resilient students didn't miss a beat.  

I want to give special thanks to my administrative team – Mr. Conway, Mr. Cocozza, Mrs. Coker and Mr. Varney – who led the way forward, alongside me, through the ups and downs, late nights, early mornings, weekends, holidays and vacations. Please join me in also wishing Mr. Varney the very best of luck as he moves on to take the reins as the next WSWHE BOCES Business Official. It is with deep gratitude that I also recognize our 10 LG Retirees for their faithful years of service at LGCSD – Nora Buck, Michele Niedermeyer, Kimberly Everts, Stephen Clark, Katherine Casey, Nancy Bulris-Rowell, Jana Harris, Laurie Skellie, Kathleen Price, and Nancy Duell. We remember Bus Driver Harold “Hal” Odell, and hold his family in our thoughts and prayers. 

A debt of gratitude also goes out to our SROs, office staff,  instructional technology team, buildings and grounds, custodial, cafeteria, and transportation staff, who worked on overdrive to serve and support our students and faculty/staff. Endless hours of cleaning and disinfecting our facilities; preparing the grounds for 37 athletic teams and daily P.E. activities; feeding students at school; delivering meals to homes when students had to learn remotely; and supporting technology for remote teaching and learning – there was truly nothing asked of these individuals that they would not do for our children. 

We could not have gotten through this year without the support of the Lake George PTSO, who bolstered staff with treats and supported parents with virtual evening presentations. Their acts of kindness magically appeared to brighten our days when we needed it the most. Thank you. 

Our teachers and teacher assistants deserve a standing ovation! The debt of gratitude and admiration I have for these professionals is overwhelming. The last 13 months could not have been possible without the selfless acts of every single teacher and teacher assistant who found creative ways to engage students and maintain the joy of learning. Our students experienced drive-through book fairs, physically distanced enrichment activities, and many other opportunities to shine and discover new talents. My cup runneth over; thank you for your steadfast commitment to care for and love our students while providing high quality instruction throughout the pandemic. 

My final note of gratitude is for our parents and our one-of-a-kind student body. Without your commitment and partnership, we would not have made it to our destination. Before you head off to enjoy your summer, please take a moment to read these two important informational items: 

Family Reflection Survey- We need your feedback!

For the last 15-months, we have been thrust into a teaching and learning environment shaped by COVID-19 and the related mandates and safety measures. During this time, students, staff, and families have demonstrated great perseverance, flexibility, creativity, and continued commitment to teaching and learning. We invite you to join this reflection and share your experiences by filling out this short Google Form for each of your children by July 14, 2021. 

Looking Ahead- We need thought partners! 

We are also looking for volunteers to serve on a district level, ad hoc Code of Conduct Committee. This ad hoc committee is charged with creating the K-12 Code of Conduct for the stakeholders in our district. While each building has a Code of Conduct, the district also needs a comprehensive K-12 plan. Please contact Sarah Barton at Bartons@lkgeorge.org if you are interested in serving on this committee. More details to come about this short term commitment.

In closing, Lake George CSD is one of a handful of districts in our region that was able to accommodate all of our students in-person every day. As CDC and NYS guidance continues to evolve, we will be required to update our current reopening plans. I plan to work with the LG Leadership Team and those who facilitated the LG Reopening Committee subgroups to update our COVID-19 Plan. Thank you in advance to the members of the LGCSD Reopening Committee for your continued partnership and feedback with the soon to be “LG Reopening Plan- 2.0.” I will keep you in the loop as we learn more and look forward to your feedback as we begin planning for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2021, our 6th grade LGES Graduates, and to each and every student, faculty member and family on a successful school year. Have a great summer! 

Warm regards, 

Superintendent Rutnik