Changes in Depew School District as students head back to school
Jeffrey Rabey, superintendent for the Depew Union Free School District, said the students will notice a few changes this year.
“We are in the final stages of our first phase of our capital project, so depending on what building they’re in, students will see some renovations to the buildings that have occurred over the summer,” Rabey said. “That will continue to occur probably until the end of October.”
The schools will also be informing students of a new state law passed and put into effect on July 1. The Dignity For All Students Act aims to ensure a discrimination-free environment in the schools by improving the code of conduct and providing new ways to handle student harassment.
The law prohibits student discrimination against anyone based on race, weight, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability. It also prohibits student harassment on school property or at school functions, as well as written or verbal threats through Internet services.
New procedures for handling acts of discrimination and bullying will be put in place under this law.
“There’s going to be a process put in place for students to be referred to an adult,” Rabey said. “There’s going to be a coordinator in each building. It’ll be the principal or assistant principal of that building. The case will be reviewed by the administrator and be rectified as soon as possible.”
Along with the renovations and the new law, Cayuga Heights Elementary School will see a change in their curriculum.
An educator from China will be teaching the elementary students Chinese language and culture for the next two years.
“It’s one thing that we’re very proud of. We’re only one of three public schools in Western New York to have this opportunity,” Rabey said.
The Depew School District made this possible by working closely with the Confucius Institute at the University at Buffalo and the Chinese Department of Education.
With these new changes and the approaching first day of school, Rabey said parents should get their children into an organized routine early on during the school year and establish contact with the teachers.
“Most importantly create a working relationship with your child’s teacher,” Rabey said. “Make sure you maintain open communication.”