Dr. James Newton
Dear Tonawanda City Schools Students, Parents, Staff, and Residents:
A new school year is upon us and we have many exciting things happening in the Tonawanda City School District.  There are three initiatives that I would like to highlight for the community.

·         TONA 2020 - A community wide shared decision making committee has been meeting to discuss the direction of the school district.  The committee’s role is to develop a recommendation for the Board of Education regarding facilities and shared services.  Discussion items include school configuration and use, as well as identifying ways to increase revenue for our small city school district.  We are hopeful that a long range plan will be developed that will be fully implemented by the year 2020.  Updates are on our website at www.tonawandacsd.org.


·         Capital Project - The Capital Project is well underway. 

o   The athletic field will be used for football, track and field, and soccer.

o   The band and choral rooms are being renovated and, when completed, will look outstanding.  The band room ceilings will go from 9’ to 17’ and the acoustics in both rooms will be fantastic. 

o   The fitness center will have state of the art equipment -  Ellipticals, treadmills, stationary bikes, weight training, and a very innovative TRX Training Zone that offers a unique space for effective and diverse functional training. 

o   We are upgrading our technology infrastructure and addressing safety in the buildings.  Access control of our school main entrances will be installed and surveillance cameras will be updated and increased in the buildings. 


·         Bullying Prevention and Character Education - The Leader in Me and the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program will continue in our school buildings - Bullying prevention is a goal in our district and we will continue to strive to create a climate that is safe and comfortable for all students. 
o   The Leader in Me process has been implemented in the three elementary buildings.  If you are not familiar with the program, students and teachers focus on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for Highly Effective People.  When you walk into any of our elementary buildings, you can intrinsically feel the 7 habits at work.  Students can recite the habits and they are becoming great leaders in our district. 

o   In the middle and high school, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Rules are posted throughout the corridors.  A Bullying definition from Olweus is on the television screens in the cafeteria, so all students will know what is bullying and what isn’t.  Student s in the middle school receive bullying prevention instruction in health, home and careers, and keyboarding.  Some teachers use the Olweus resource Class Meetings that Work.  In the high school, a business course called Modern E-Technology and Online Safety (METOS) has several lessons on bullying prevention.   We would like to see a combination of programs, Olweus and components of the Leader in Me, in the middle/high school as well as incorporating other Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) District wide.  We will continue to build on our outstanding character building initiatives and bullying prevention programs

Increasing student achievement and creating a positive school climate are goals for me as superintendent as well as school staff. 

We also have a new feature on our website to help us better communicate with community residents.  You can sign up to receive information about our district by going to www.tonawandacsd.org and clicking on the Tona E-News link.  You will be asked to provide your name and e-mail address.  E-News items will pertain to district and/or building information.

Thank you for continuing to support our school district.  Please do not hesitate to e-mail me if you have comments, questions, or concerns at jnewton@tona.wnyric.org.  I am looking forward to a great school year.