by John M. Burkhart

Superintendent of Schools

As I write this month’s article, I can see that winter is almost upon us. The leaves have fallen to the ground, and the cold winter wind greets us when we leave for school in the morning. Snow is in the air and sometimes on the ground. We are awaiting the full onslaught of old man winter. At school our attention also turns to those activities normally associated with this time of the year.

Winter brings those early morning risings to check the weather and make school closing decisions. It is usually between 5:30 and 5:45 AM when we make the decision to remain open, open with a delay, or close. The decision is made in consultation with the Director of Transportation who talks with the Town Superintendent of Highways. I also listen to the weather channel, a scanner, and radio stations to learn of the current weather and road conditions. Once a decision is made to close or delay, I call the radio stations, the Binghamton television station WBNG and start a phone tree to notify the school’s employees. I also call the BOCES principal. Because of the weather conditions in the Catskill Mountains, the decision to remain open or close is always difficult.

We are preparing for the annual dinner for senior citizens. Laurie Little, the cafeteria staff, Mrs. Cole and our students are planning the Annual Senior Citizens Christmas dinner. Andes’ senior citizens will convene in our gymnasium on Tuesday, December 3rd to enjoy a ddelicious meal and listen to our music students perform. Senior citizens (fifty-five or older) wishing to attend the dinner should call Jan Stevens at the school to make reservations.

Basketball practice has started in the gymnasium. Our boys and girls are practicing nightly. Andes’ boys will not compete on the varsity level and therefore only play junior varsity games. Andes’ girls will only play varsity games. Occasionally the girls’ modified team will play immediately before the girls’ varsity game. The teams are looking good, and it should be a successful season. This year the school will not charge admission to home basketball games. For both the boys’ and girls’ basketball games, parents should accompany and supervise their elementary school age children.

The music students in band and in chorus are practicing for the annual holiday concert. It will be held on December 16th at 7:00 PM. It’s good to hear some of the Christmas season favorites sung and played by our students. I am always reminded of our students’ wonderful talent.

In closing, I want to wish everyone in the Andes’ community the happiest of holidays and a prosperous New Year. ~


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