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.

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)

Monday, December 12, 2016

From 2 Hour Delay to HCS Closed (12/12/16)

Good morning,

We've moved from a 2 hour delay (5:34am call) to  closing school (around 6:12am) due to mechanical failure. One of the town plow trucks broke down and the town will not be able to have the roads clear to transport students on our buses. No school today. Safety first. 


Dr. A

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

School Performance Scan (for faculty and staff) on December 5th

Dear Colleagues,

Please take some time to fill out the School Performance Scan on Monday, December 5, 2016. Thank you in advance. 


Dr. A

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Strategic Planning Update: 11/29/16

Dear HCS Community,

Please take a moment to watch this brief video on where we are in the strategic planning process.

Dr. A

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Prepare for School Closings

Prepare for School Closings

Dear HCS Friends and Family,

As a school district, we know of the many plans for childcare that come with snow and other inclement weather conditions. I want to take a few moments to outline our district’s procedures for closings and delays and request your understanding as we begin the winter months.

From early November through early April, district, county, and town transportation personnel cover district roads beginning around 4:45 each morning. This coverage includes roads in all towns in our school district. In some weather conditions, district personnel speak with Department of Transportation personnel as well. If there is a safety concern, I am notified and will speak with the transportation director. Sometimes I will drive the roads myself to get a better feel for conditions.

In the vast majority of circumstances, the decision to close or delay is made by 6 AM and called into local television and radio stations. Decisions to delay are made for one of two reasons: 1) when the weather bureau has indicated that the conditions present between 6:45 - 8:0– a.m. will be temporary and improving weather is expected, or 2) the weather bureau has expressed uncertainty and I feel we may need more time to make a decision on whether school should be closed. I encourage everyone to listen to more than one local station since these stations are barraged with calls and many make inadvertent mistakes as to what district is delayed or closed. Finally, please see below for our communication procedure.

Communication – The school district will also communicate delays and cancellations through the media listed below:
  • Channel 3 & 5 Syracuse
  • Channel 9 Syracuse
  • Channel 2 Utica WKTV
  • Local radio stations
  • HCS website:
  • HCS All Call (this is the last step in our process

Early Dismissal – An early dismissal will be called only in the event of an extreme emergency. On these occasions, the Parent Alert System will be used to notify parents. Students will be dismissed only after we know that the parents are aware of the event and have made plans to meet or pick up their children. If children are taken to another building in the District, the information will be communicated through the Parent Alert System.

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


Anael Alston, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools