Other school news: Canaseraga students remember Florida school shooting victims

CANASERAGA — Students in Canaseraga and Arkport central schools “are excited about the vote” to select the official colors and mascot for the merged athletic program of the two schools, Canaseraga school board member Nicole McIntosh said last week.

Final candidates for the official colors are teal and black plus green and blue; the mascot will be either Wolves or Night Hawks, Canaseraga Superintendent Chad Groff told board members.

Students at both schools electioneered during March to determine finalists, Groff said.

The final announcement could be made simultaneously in both schools this month, Groff said.

The two schools narrowed the original mascot choice from 50 to four in an effort called Mascot Madness.

Groff and Arkport Superintendent Jesse Harper credited 16 members of the Athletic Council with creating the Mascot Madness format “to generate enthusiasm for the selection process. Kids then lobbied for their favorites,” they said.

The eight members of the Athletic Council from each school include parents, teachers, administrators and board of education members, the superintendents said.

During the past three years the two districts have informally provided students at both schools “shared opportunities to compete in athletic endeavors and transportation as needed,” Groff said at a meeting earlier this year.

Results have included a shared bus schedule for athletes plus a successful increase in the number of students who can participate in a wider range of sports teams. After several years of athletic cooperation, both boards of education this January officially combined the sports programs for the foreseeable future.

A lopsided May 2016 survey response where 80 percent of Canaseraga voters and 78 percent of Arkport voters said they would support another study of the potential unification of the districts resulted in the athletic union and the merger effort.

Athletic Council members are also updating an athletic Code of Conduct for the unified sports program, Groff said. The council will present a proposal to each board, probably later this summer, about an updated code of conduct, the superintendent said.

In another subject, Principal Shannon Gilbert described an assembly with about 45 students from grades six through 12 that discussed the tragedy with 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Fla.

Canaseraga Central students created a presentation about the victims. Groff said the student-produced presentation “was an awesome explanation about how school is really a community where members need to treat each other with respect.”

Students McKenzie Lohmer, Ryan Reynolds and Samantha Thomas prepared the presentation, Gilbert said.

In another subject, Groff said participation in the school lunch program has increased 15 percent to 75 percent and “is outperforming our preliminary calculations.”