• Mrs. Galenski
    From the desk of:
    Mrs. Andrea L. Galenski
    Superintendent of Schools
    Cheektowaga-Sloan UFSD
    District Clerk/Secretary: 
    Denise Knaebe
    (716) 891-6402 
  • May 2024 Updates

    Posted by Andrea L. Galenski on 5/14/2024

    It is with sincere appreciation that you reserve just a few moments to read this detailed District Newsletter which highlights the proposed 2024-2025 Budget.  There is valuable information included for your review as you prepare to cast your vote on May 21, 2024 when our annual Budget Vote takes place at John F. Kennedy High School.


    This year, we have continued to enhance and implement what we refer to as our Positivity Push Plans in all schools.  We found them to be so successful in the 2022-2023 school year that we worked hard to further develop individualized building plans for this school year.  Our goal continues to be focused on increasing student engagement through the incorporation of school-wide activities that concentrate on celebrating school spirit and pride, building positive relationships, and maintaining a safe, caring and respectful school environment.  We hope that you were able to attend one or more of your child’s school events this year, such as our Theodore Roosevelt (TR) and Woodrow Wilson (WW) Family Fall Fest, our Evening of the Arts recently held at John F. Kennedy Middle School (JFK MS), and our incredible musical production of The Sound of Music at John F. Kennedy High School (JFK HS).  These are just a few examples of events that join everyone together to share positive moments, to develop relationships, and to celebrate the talents of our students.


    We are all looking forward to the musical gifts that our students will be sharing with all of us at our upcoming band and choral concerts, our drama productions at TR and WW, our JFK Drama One Act Play, and our Spring Fest at JFK MS.  It was a true privilege and honor to have played the flute with our talented music teachers, Mrs. Fitzner and Mr. Prutsman, during the spring concert on April 30th at Theodore Roosevelt.  Music education is such an important component of a child’s educational experience and it strongly contributes to our philosophy of the importance of Educating the Whole Child.  Our excitement is growing for all of our end of the year celebrations such as our field days, field trips, Flag Day ceremonies, our Junior & Senior prom, our Senior Class Day, our most special Class of 2024 Cap & Gown parade through all school buildings, and finally our Class of 2024 Commencement Ceremony.  We look forward to sharing these significant and memorable events with our students and families and sincerely hope you are able to join us for these notable occasions.


    Something that we are most proud of in our District is Restorative Practices and it seemed like the perfect time to share an update on our progress with our community.  The Cheektowaga-Sloan UFSD is currently in its fifth year of implementing Restorative Practices. Over the years, our partnership with the Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition (ECRJC) has provided our District with professional learning, training, consultation work, and support.  During the first three years of our partnership, the ECRJC helped our faculty and staff understand the components of Restorative Practice. Their direct support through modeling and training helped build the confidence of the faculty and staff with this work. Throughout the last two years, our collaboration has focused on our Building-Level Restorative Practice teams taking full ownership of this initiative. Each school now has Restorative Practice Liaisons who work directly with our Assistant Superintendent, Mrs. Janelle Finn, and the ECRJC to implement individualized professional learning plans. The Restorative Practice Liaisons and Mrs. Finn meet with the ECRJC eight times a year for guidance and support. The ECRJC helps us monitor the implementation of our strategic plan, and they are there to provide us with support and guidance with whatever is needed.

    2023-2024 has been a tremendous year for the Restorative Practice Liaisons, who are really taking ownership of their individualized plans in each of our schools. Currently, they are planning community events for their school buildings that include Restorative Circles. This year, the ECRJC collaborated with the Restorative Practice Liaisons to train students in grades 3-12 to be leaders with Restorative Circles. There is nothing more important to us than observing our own Cheektowaga-Sloan Students take on leadership roles and flourish into dynamic student leaders in our school environments.  This year's final goal is to formally build Restorative Practice into our discipline procedures at each building.  We believe that repairing harm and helping students recognize and understand how a situation could have been handled differently is critically important so that learning takes place and better decisions are made moving forward. 

    We are extremely honored to share that the ECRJC has encouraged us here in the Cheektowaga-Sloan School District to share our success with other school districts not only here in Erie County but throughout the State. On December 11, 2023, Mrs. Finn and the Executive Director of the ECRJC were featured on the What’s Next, Buffalo? Podcast. A link to the podcast can be found under the Headlines section of our District website.  We encourage you to take a few moments to view this Podcast if you haven’t already done so.  We are so proud of this accomplishment and look forward to mentoring other school districts in the future.  We have received numerous calls and requests for us to help other districts and even businesses learn our process for effective implementation.  The airing of the Podcast also led to an in-depth interview with the Buffalo News which also included classroom visits to see Restorative Practices in action. 

    I have included some photographs that represent the leadership work that is taking place as well as the important element of parental involvement that contributes to the success of Restorative Practices.  The first two pictures below show our Freshman at JFK High School being trained to take on leadership roles with Restorative Practice.


    These next two pictures below were taken at the Theodore Roosevelt Family First Dinner where our families participated in engaging Restorative Practice Circles