Wednesday, July 2, 2025

Welcome to Education Matters

Welcome to Education Matters the official blog of  Dr. Anael Alston, Superintendent of Schools for the Hamilton Central School DistrictIn this area of the website, I discuss a variety of educational matters and concerns and provide information that I hope will be helpful to the Hamilton staff, parents, students, and community members. To suggest topics, please email me at

 I look forward to hearing from you!

Anael Alston, Ed.D.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Regarding April 14th and Snow Days

March 31, 2017

Dear HCS School Community,

In my letter dated March 13th, I informed you that we would have a half-day of instruction on Friday, April 14th in order to meet the required school days as outlined by the State Education Department.  Since then, I have been working with our BOCES and have been informed that we will be able to meet our minimum attendance days WITHOUT teacher/student attendance on Friday, April 14th.  Therefore, no attendance is necessary and school will be closed.

However, if we have to close school again due to weather conditions before April 14th, students will have a half-day of school on April 14th.

In the unlikely event that we have to close school after April 23rd, we will have a Superintendent’s Conference Day (no students) on Monday, June 26th to make up the mandated school days required by the New York State Education Department.

Dr. Anael Alston
Superintendent of Schools

Monday, March 27, 2017

Data Breach at HCS

Dear Parents:

            It has come to our attention that an individual has unlawfully accessed, and may have downloaded or otherwise copied, sensitive information belonging to approximately 10 district students, including their names, identification numbers, class schedules and grades. The District learned of this security breach on or about September 30, 2016.  I immediately contacted the Board of Education, our attorney and local law enforcement to confirm the requirements and obligations the District has.  The District commenced an investigation which included Northeast Cyber Security and Forensic Center, law enforcement, M-O BOCES Regional Information Center and our student management system in which the breach occurred.

            Together with these authorities, the District has been actively working to assess and identify the precise nature and scope of the compromised information. A suspect has already been identified and the District will continue to work closely with law enforcement.  Additionally, the District has taken steps to prevent further unlawful access to our student management system.

            Based upon what we know so far, we believe that the security systems and firewalls that we already have in place have not also been compromised. Nevertheless, we plan a full review of those systems with the assistance of experts in the field of cyber security. Please also be aware that the District has begun the process of making direct notifications to any individual who it knows or reasonably believes was subject to this breach of security.

            The safety and security of our student population is of paramount concern to the District. We will update you as information becomes available.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at (315) 824-6310 or

                                                            Dr. Anael Alston
                                                            Superintendent of Schools

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


 Dear HCS Families,
A State of Emergency has been declared Madison County due to conditions caused by the current winter storm. 
ALL Madison County roadways will be closed to all but emergency traffic effective at 6 PM this evening and will remain closed until 6 AM Wednesday, March 15, 2017.  
This declaration includes:  All county, township, city and state roadways in Madison County.
Travel on these roadways will be restricted to emergency and essential personnel only.  No one should be on these roadways during the duration of this emergency unless absolutely necessaryAll non-emergency and non-essential personne 
l traveling the roadway during this emergency may be subject to arrest and prosecution.
The public is urged to keep updated on weather conditions throughout this storm by tuning into your favorite media outlet or the National Weather Service website.

Please report any emergency by dialing 911.

Your Partner in Education,

Dr. A

Monday, March 13, 2017

Potential Snow Storm on March 14th and April 14th

March 13, 2017

Dear HCS Parents,

At HCS we take student safety seriously.  This includes the road conditions that we transport the students to and from school. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of possible weather related start or end times for HCS, and inform you of the possible change to the school calendar on April 14, 2017.

We have a serious snow storm in the forecast; however, weather forecasting is not always accurate. To help you best plan for family care, please be prepared for the following over the next two days:

-Tuesday, March 14th, 2 hour delay or early dismissal
-Wednesday, March 15th, 2 hour delay or early dismissal

Currently, we have one snow day left in our bank.  In the event that we close school more than one day, we will have school on April 14th and it will be a half day of instruction.

Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and cooperation.

Your Partner in Education,

Dr. A

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hamilton School District Strategic Plan Update #1

Dear HCS Parents and Partners,

As you know we are in the process of creating a comprehensive strategic plan for HCS. The purpose of this communication is to "keep you in the loop" and share a resource that will help you remain aware of what is happening. Copy and paste the below link in your browser to view the Strategic Planning Update page on our District website. You can access this information from anywhere and it is located under the "District" tab on the main website. To access it, simply click "District" and scroll down until you reach "Strategic Planning Update."

On this page you will see a video of the opening of the meeting, reflections of people after the meeting, pictures taken during the meeting and the notes from the group shares.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and visiting the Strategic Planning Update section on our website.

Your Partner in Education,

Dr. A

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The "WHY" of Strategic Planning

Dear HCS Community,

In two years a 6th grader will become an 8th grader, a 7th grader will become a high school student and our current seniors will be sophomores in college, working, finding themselves, or engaging in an activity two years older than they are today. In five years you can expect a similar pattern. Our employees and our beloved institution will be five years older and hopefully better. But hope is not a plan.

Where will Hamilton Central School be in three years? How about five years? I can't tell you at this time. Here is what I can tell you. In five years, Hamilton Central School will be somewhere in the area of fiscal sustainability, advanced technology, high quality instruction, engaged student learning, and community satisfaction. We will get there by design or we will get there by default. Design is better if we want the best for our students. That is the “why” of strategic planning.

Your Partner in Education,

Dr. A

Below is a video by thought leader Simon Sinek on WHY. (optional)