Hello Watkins Glen School Community!

We have made it to our first extended holiday break of the 22-23 school year. I want to take this opportunity to wish the WG School Community a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

Thank you to everyone that stopped in for parent/teacher conferences. It is great to have visitors back in our buildings!

Below are a few updates:

WGCSD Mascot and Imagery:

As I communicated last year, we have moved away from using Native American imagery to represent Watkins Glen Schools. Our imagery has shifted to the unique geography of our School District. I also communicated that our athletic team’s name would remain “Senecas” to pay tribute to Seneca Lake as our most significant geographic feature.

Throughout the last year and over the summer most of the native imagery throughout our District has been removed. All further removals will be done through capital improvement work.

Throughout the fall, we began the work of creating updated and modernized imagery for our athletic teams. Our next step was to garner student input on design and selection.

However, on November 17, 2022, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) ordered that all school districts in the state (who have yet to do so) to remove native mascots and associated imagery from the public school system. Specifically, the order states, “the court’s decision establishes that public school districts are prohibited from utilizing Native American mascots. Arguments that community members support the use of such imagery or that it is ‘respectful’ to Native Americans are no longer tenable.” The order also states that “should a district fail to affirmatively commit to replacing its Native American team name, logo, and/or imagery by the end of the 2022-23 school year, it may be in willful violation of the Dignity Act. The penalties for such a violation include the removal of school officers and the withholding of State Aid.”

While we have heard that our proactive decisions are on track with the State’s directive, I have been advised to pause all work on this topic until we receive additional guidance from NYSED.  

With that said, we have pressed pause on this process. Please know that student input will be gathered and valued regardless of team name, imagery, and mascot.

You can expect more information on this topic in the weeks that follow.

Winter Weather Reminders:

With winter weather upon us I want to remind everyone of our processes for inclement weather delays and closings:

  • All communication regarding emergency closings and delays will be announced through our automated communication system. This will include a phone call, a text, and an email. If your information has changed, please reach out to our District Registrar to provide an update.
  • All decisions are made with input from the WGCSD Transportation Department in consultation with State and local Highway Departments.
  • With that said, our goal is to announce all closings and delays as early as possible.
  • When school is closed, all after school events are cancelled or rescheduled.  
  • When school is delayed, there is no AM BOCES for our Career and Technical Education (CTE) Students.
  • When school is delayed, our Building Leaders adjust the time schedule to maximize learning time.
  • When school is delayed, breakfast and lunch will be served.

In Closing:

We have had a great fall consisting of championships won, great individual accomplishments by our student-athletes, a recent COVID-free week, fun filled pre-kindergarten family nights, field trips, spirit weeks, theme days, elementary town hall meetings, and a large amount of student achievement and learning. We are excited for what the Winter season will bring!

As always, I thank you for your continued support and positivity!

That is all for now WG!  

Have a GREAT holiday weekend and Go Senecas!


Kai D’Alleva 
Watkins Glen Central School District
Superintendent of Schools