'23 Fall Reflections Express Community Newsletter

'23 Fall Reflections Express Community Newsletter
Posted on 11/16/2023
'23 Fall Reflections Express Community NewsletterDear Friends,

The 2023-2024 school year is in full swing and our staff and students are working and learning together once again. At the beginning of each new academic year, we are filled with feelings of excitement and rejuvenation. The fall time is a renewal season in education where students and staff begin afresh. We have had a great start to the year and are pleased to share some updates with our community.

From new and exciting academic opportunities to school safety upgrades, Express athletic accomplishments, and more, this late fall 2023 newsletter provides you with the latest and greatest highlights so far this year. Forever optimistic, we know the best is always yet to come.

The quick and evolving landscape of technology continues to advance our output in terms of both academics and school safety. This summer, our technology team installed nearly 300 new Promethean boards across our classrooms. These new generation smart boards can record lessons, share recorded lessons with remote and absent students, screen share in real-time for hybrid and blended learning situations and more. This smart technology improves the student experience, providing seamless ways in which students can access their curriculum and instruction. Of course, with tech savvy students comes security interventions. I encourage you to read more about how AI (Artificial Intelligence) is playing a part in student digital safety in schools on page 5.

Elmira takes a proactive approach to ensuring the safety of all students, staff, and families. We believe that safety truly begins with the social and emotional wellbeing of our students and families. The district employs school social workers, school counselors, student support counselors, and psychologists who assist the District in identifying early warning signs in students and early intervention/prevention strategies. The district also has a strong partnership with Chemung County for use of the HOPE and TIG suicide prevention programs. In addition, we employ a school based mental health program at each grade and building level. Additionally, school safety continues to be at the forefront of our capital improvement planning. We have installed a variety of new upgrades to our building and technology infrastructures that meet 21st century security needs in our schools.

Of course, all these procedures and software upgrades work best when we are united as a community. Safety begins with all of us, each taking the responsibility to ensure our collective wellbeing. If you see something, please say something. Trusted adults in our schools are safe confidants that can help mitigate concerns. New this year, we have added a “Conflict Resolution Form” to our website for students and families to complete if they are experiencing conflict or observe conflict that needs adult intervention. This can be found on the District homepage at elmiracityschools.com. This is just one more way in which our families can reach District personnel.

As always, our goal is for each student to enjoy their school experience, feel safe among peers and staff, and reach graduation by earning a diploma. There are many stages and ages throughout the course of a student’s path and as educators, creating great experiences for young people is our life’s work.


Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District

>>View or Download the Fall Reflections 2023 EXPRESS Newsletter (.pdf)