Dear Science Academies of New York (SANY) Community Members, parents, guardians, teachers, and students,
Words cannot express our sorrow and grief for the senseless tragedies that unfolded over these past few weeks. As we continue to mourn the lives of those lost in the Buffalo, we are now facing as a nation an atrocious event that unfolded yesterday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts are heavy with grief, disbelief, and deepest condolences for those families and community members impacted by these two unfortunate events.
As a parent of four young children, I can only imagine what the families and community members in Uvalde, Texas, are feeling at this moment. No family should ever experience the pain of losing a child, especially in a school environment.
As a parent, guardian, student, teacher, or community member, you might wonder what steps we have in place for your child's security, safety, and well-being. First and foremost, our top priority remains the safety and well-being of all of our students, teachers, faculty, and staff.
To help ensure the safety of all, we keep our school doors locked and have visitor protocols in place; and each school building has a single point of entry that is monitored by staff. Security cameras are installed throughout our schools and outside our facilities.
In addition, we have a district safety coordinator who serves all of our schools, and we work collaboratively with local law enforcement to share information to keep our schools as safe as possible. We always strive to evaluate and improve our use of technology to facilitate prompt and effective communication within district buildings.
As a district, staff members have participated in multiple levels of active shooter training. This training focuses on what employees should do in the event of an active shooter in the district building. Schools also hold regularly planned lockdown drills to practice in the event of an emergency.
While the district has many procedures, tools, and plans in place, we must never become complacent when it comes to the safety of our students, teachers, faculty, and staff. Let this serve as an excellent time to remind all of us, especially students, that they should tell a trusted adult if they see or hear something concerning. The phrase "see something, say something" continues to hold significance, especially with the role social media plays in the lives of children and adolescents.
With these two recent tragedies, it has likely evoked many emotions in our school community. We recognize that some children react to tragic events such as these right away, while others respond much later and can vary by age. If you have any questions or concerns about best supporting your child, or if your child would like to speak with someone, please reach out to their teacher, counselors, or school administrators.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Buffalo and the entire Uvalde community during this devastating time.
Dr. Tolga Hayali, ED.d
As we all get ready to start mid-winter break, I have been reflecting on the ways each and every one of our Atoms have been able to make an impact at school through your academic work, your interactions with your fellow classmates and teachers, but more importantly how you are helping make a difference for those who need it the most in your community. To say I am impressed with all of your efforts is an understatement.
Here are just a few of the ways Atoms are giving back to their communities:
- Earlier this month, Syracuse Academy of Science and Citizenship announced they will be hosting a Band-Aid Drive which will benefit the patients at Golisano Children’s hospital.
- Syracuse Academy of Science High School is hosting a Donation Drive to benefit the Dunbar Center - a local organization that strives to enhance the quality of life, break the cycle of generational poverty and develop racial equality in the greater Syracuse community.
- Finally, the National Honor Society students at Utica Academy of Science High School challenged its fellow classmates and teachers in a Kindness Challenge. Their efforts not only with the Kindness Challenge but with various acts of goodwill, charity and kindness have been recognized by Assemblywoman Buttenschon who acknowledged the Atom’s perseverance and willingness to spread kindness in the middle of a global pandemic. It is with all of these little events, that help make a difference in the lives of others and remind me that we are many Atoms, one Family.
While we all get ready for break, I challenge you to take a moment, pause and reflect on all that you have accomplished thus far not only in this school year, but academically, and in the world around you.
On behalf of everyone at SANY, I want to wish all of our students a happy, healthy, restful, and safe mid-winter break!
Dr. Tolga Hayali
Hello SANY families,
As we get ready to celebrate the holiday season with family and loved ones that are near and dear to us, I wanted to take a brief moment to reflect on all that has happened this past year. A year that none of us will forget, but more importantly how we all united together and were able to conquer herculean obstacles that were presented each day. To say that I am proud of our students, teachers, faculty and staff is an understatement. This year reminds me greatly that we are many Atoms, one family.
Indeed, 2020 will be a year for the history books: the global pandemic, its impact on our daily lives, the educational structure, tragic loss of life, and sacrifices made by so many of our front-line heroes. Much will be written about this time period in our lives, but for me and for SANY, here is what I will remember.
Earlier this year somehow, some way, you all found a way to rise to the occasion and rally through these difficult times. From adapting, overcoming and evolving to a new style of learning and educational system, to working tirelessly in the face of great unknown to persevering through periods of tremendous uncertainty. You did all of this with great success not only in your professional lives but your personal lives, as well.
Despite the many challenges this year faced, there were glimmers of hope that shined through the darkness. Earlier this month vaccines arrived and are being administered to those who needed it the most in New York state. Many of our front-line heroes throughout the country are receiving the first round of the vaccine, with promise that others will be able to receive the vaccine soon.
Earlier this month, SANY announced the approval of Citizenship and Science Academy of Rochester, with a projected opening in September 2021. It is with all of your valiant hard work, dedication and commitment that we are able to bring our successful model of STEM education to the citizens of Rochester, New York.
Someday, when we look back at this period and reflect upon how we lived through these challenging times, I will always be reminded that it was because each and every one of our Atoms, their families, teachers, faculty and staff. Many Atoms, one family. We wish you a very happy holiday!
Dr. Tolga Hayali
Tuesday, July 21, 2020—Educating Students of Color
You’re Invited to a Free Online Town Hall presented by the Mohawk Valley Frontiers, Jr. Frontiers, and Jr. Frontiers Alumni Impact Coalition in cooperation with The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties.
Tuesday, July 21, 10 a.m - Noon
A group of panelists will examine the challenges confronting educators when working with students of color and best practices to address them. Teachers, educators, parents and students are welcome to attend this educational event.
Zoom Meeting ID: 82338312175 Password: 610115
This event will also be on Facebook Live, www.facebook.com/foundationhoc
Friday, July 10, 2020—Due to supply chain interruptions caused by the global pandemic, all SANY uniform orders must be placed by July 31. All orders must be placed online and shipped directly. Order Now!
Syracuse Academy of Science ➡️ www.sascs.org/uniform
Utica Academy of Science ➡️ www.uascs.org/uniform
Syracuse Academy of Science and Citizenship ➡️ www.sasccs.org/uniform
Dear SANY Family,
On behalf of our grieving school community, I am writing to express my sincere sorrow about the death of George Floyd and the deeply troubling circumstances surrounding his death earlier this week. Videos from eyewitnesses clearly show Mr. Floyd was in custody, handcuffed, and pinned to the ground while a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. Before he lost consciousness and died, Mr. Floyd was able to say he could not breathe. His wrongful death comes while we still grapple with the death of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed 26-year-old black woman who was shot by police in her apartment, and the death of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old black man who was shot while jogging in a Georgia suburb.
With families, colleagues, and loved ones, we grieve and stand committed to calling for justice for George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. We speak against the utter absence of humanity in these acts. Hatred, bigotry, and violence against anyone anywhere shatters peace and affects all of us.
As a community, we wish for true peace everywhere, but it can only grow where the evils of racism and ethnic and religious bigotry are rooted out. I encourage you to be unwavering in your dedication to fostering and demanding respect for all. I call on everyone in the SANY family to stand together with renewed vigor to end racism by sowing the seeds of peace every day, everywhere.
Let us unite to build a better future based on peace, justice, and equality for all.
Science Academies of New York