Superintendent's Brief


Good afternoon,

I hope that you are well and have had a good week. I know it's a busy time of year for everyone especially with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I'm sure you are counting down the days and looking forward to the upcoming break. This is a time of year when everyone is easily distracted, especially students, so please remember to be flexible but to stick to routines and work to stay on task as much as possible. Also, please remember the holidays don't mean the same thing to everyone or bring the same joy as they might to you. Please keep this in mind as we get closer to the break. Kids take their cues from the adults in their lives both at home and at school. Be festive, creative, and fun but remind kids what we expect and continue to stress the importance of being in school. We are almost there, so please hang in there. In a few weeks, we will have an opportunity to refresh and reset as we begin the new year.

Police continue to search for Samantha Humphrey, the Schenectady teen who went missing more than a week ago. We are in contact with police and here to assist however we can. We are all hoping for her safe return. If you have any information, please call the police at 518-630-0911 or reach out to an adult at school.

Our Student Support Services clinicians and counselors are available to support any students, families, or staff members who need assistance. Please contact your child's school to make an appointment.

Photo of Samantha Humphrey

We've seen an increase in the number of illness-related student and staff absences lately. The NYS Department of Health is urging everyone take precautions this holiday season and winter in an effort to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses and to protect young children, older individuals, and those with underlying health conditions. This includes the following:

  • Staying up to date on vaccines, including Flu and COVID-19

  • Washing your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds

  • Not coughing or sneezing into your hands; sneeze or cough into your elbow

  • Staying home when sick or symptomatic

  • Wearing a well-fitting, high-quality mask when in public indoor spaces

We continue to partner with our local department of health to ensure that all students, their families, and staff have a healthy and safe holiday season.

Earlier this week our district leaders came together for our monthly Leadership Council Meeting. These meetings are designed to bring all of our school and district leaders together to discuss policies, processes and procedures as well as anything that is new or changing across the district. At this meeting we spoke about our new radio system, a master scheduling tool, grading for equity, upcoming school reviews, communication, and our work across the district with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). As we continue to implement our policy on DEI, we will be seeking participation from all stakeholder groups at various points within the next year. Watch for more on that soon.

We have informational meetings scheduled for 8th graders and their parents regarding the Secondary School Pathways which will provide information on the various pathways available to incoming 9th graders. These include: Freshman Academy, City As Our Campus, Early College High School, and Big Picture Learning. Pizza will be served at 5:30 p.m. with a 60-minute presentation to follow. Childcare will be available. Flyer here. Sessions will be held as follows:

Wednesday, January 3, 5:30 p.m., Mont Pleasant Middle School

Thursday, January 4, 5:30 p.m., Oneida Middle School

Friday, January 5, Central Park Middle School

Please RSVP to your middle school student's main office.
Mont Pleasant: 518-370-8160 Oneida: 518-370-8260 Central Park: 518-370-8250

All 8th graders and their parents are also invited to information sessions on Early College High School Programs that are offered in partnership with SUNY Schenectady. As an Early College Student, students are eligible to earn college credits as a high school student for free. These are credits are then transferable to four-year colleges upon graduation. You can learn more about the programs here. The upcoming information sessions are scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, December 14, 6 p.m., Virtual Session Only: Meeting Link

Thursday, January 5, 6 p.m., SUNY Schenectady Stockade Building Room #101

Wednesday, January 11, 6 p.m., Schenectady high School Library

If you have questions, please email sunyscccearlycollege@gmail.com

Below are photos from the first session of the Early College Program Information Meeting, held last evening.

8th grade information session

8th grade information session

Since last year, I've been talking and sharing information on our work to develop community schools. I'm pleased to share that on December 21, we will be launching and unveiling our community schools. This work requires community collaboration and partnership which is one of our strategic planning pillars. It is constantly a work in progress. We know that our community is rich with resources and talented professionals. Engineers, entertainers, chefs, doctors, entrepreneurs and countless successful business people live and work alongside our students and schools every day. We will continue our work to strengthen the connection. We would love to partner with you to help Schenectady rise. Watch this video to learn more.

Below: Members of our team are out in the field visiting community schools.

Photo:  Members of our team visiting community schools

Congratulations to Tashami Somwaru, a Mont Pleasant Middle School Class of 2020 graduate who has recently been cast as a character in a Disney Plus series called "The Quest." The Quest has been nominated for three Children and Family Emmy Awards. Tashami's family is flying to California this weekend for the awards ceremony. They and the Mont Pleasant teachers and staff are very proud of her dedication, hard work and accomplishments. By the way, her mother is a classroom paraprofessional at Mont Pleasant.

Tashami Somwaru in The Quest

Tashami Somwaru in The Quest

Tashami Somwaru in The Quest

The next Board of Education Meeting will be December 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Schenectady High School Auditorium and via livestream. The link will be posted on website calendar and on board docs. The meeting will include a presentation on Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). MTSS is a framework we use to provide support to struggling students. It focuses on the "whole child" meaning academic growth, behavior, social and emotional needs. PBIS is a tiered framework implemented in our schools for supporting students in all of these areas.

Thank you for all that you do. Get some rest and have a fantastic weekend.


Anibal Soler, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools

Employment Opportunities

We have a variety of employment opportunities including administrative, teaching, office and middle management, custodial, safety and security, secretarial, paraprofessional, secretarial and more.

For a complete listing and to apply, go here.

Student Support Services Newsletter

Get news and updates from our Student Support Service Team in the latest newsletter. Learn about trainings, services, supports and more here.

Student Support Services Newsletter


Interim Reports for students in grades 6-12 will be mailed home December 22

No school for students December 26 - January 2
Students and teachers return January 3

District Offices will be closed December 26 and 27


Alumni Profile:  Elizabeth Mattice

This week's featured alumnae, Elizabeth Mattice, is a 2018 graduate of SHS who currently works as a municipal design engineer in Syracuse. Elizabeth credits science labs, field trips and projects sparking her interest in engineering. "In my freshman year of high school I was able to take a physics class and the hands on activities and labs, such as going to Six Flags and recording roller coaster data, made me appreciate how fun science actually is."


Would you like to be featured?

If you are an alumni of SCSD and would like to be featured, let us know by completing this online form.

You can view other Alumni profiles here.

Photo of the Week

Photo of the week:  These two kindergarten students attempt to blow down a house made of Lego bricks after reading "The 3 Little Pigs"

These two kindergarten students attempt to blow down a house made of Lego bricks after reading "The 3 Little Pigs"

City As Our Campus Student Highlight

Ileana Jackson, a student who is part of our City As Our Campus partnership with Proctors, perform this classic inside the classroom above Proctors Theatre.


GE Visits Students for Career Exploration

As part of our secondary school redesign each Leadership Community at Schenectady High School participates in regular Career Exploration Assemblies with area companies. Early last week, General Electric visited to talk with STEM leadership Community students about a future in renewable energy.

As part of our Secondary School Redesign, each Leadership Community at Schenectady High School participates in regular Career Exploration Assemblies with area companies. Early last week, General Electric visited to talk with STEM Leadership Community students about a future in renewable energy.

Woodlawn Student Council Serving Our Community

The Woodlawn Elementary School Student Council, led by Debbie Borden, helped out at the Schenectady Cit Mission Distribution Center this week. Students helped bag food for the Weekend Blessings Program which serves our schools and community. They packed nearly 300 bags. The student council helps out with this project serving community meals at the dining center several times a year. "We cherish our partnership with the Schenectady City Mission, which is in its 10th year, " said Borden.

Photo:  Woodlawn Student Council at City Mission

Art Show in the The Henry & Miriam Butzel Gallery

The Henry & Miriam Butzel Gallery is excited to announce the second art show of the 2022-2023 school year, Whimsical Moments, Artwork by Julie Branch and Kathy Klompas.

The show will be up from December 12, 2022 through January 13, 2023 in The Henry & Miriam Butzel Gallery.

There will be an opening reception on December 14 from 3:45- 4:45 and 6-7pm.

Flyer:  The Henry & Miriam Butzel Gallery is excited to announce the second art show of the 2022-2023 school year. Whimsical Moments; artwork by Julie Branch and Kathy Klompas.

Schenectady Youth Wrestling

Schenectady Youth Wrestling is a free program open to any Schenectady student in grades 1 - 5. The season begins Monday December 12.  It is a great introductory program into the sport of wrestling. The goal of the Schenectady Youth Wrestling Program is to develop an understanding of the basics of wrestling, respect for all participants, and an introduction to the sport of wrestling. Our hope is that many kids will get excited about wrestling and become a part of a growing tradition in the Schenectady Wrestling Program through Youth, Modified, JV, and Varsity levels. Schenectady Youth Wrestling Registration

Community Notes

Flyer:  CDYMCA Travel Basketball League

Flyer:  Schenectady Connects

Flyer:  Schenectady Connects

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PREVIOUS BRIEFS: For the index of Volume 1 and Volume 2 Briefs, click here.