Superintendent's Brief


Happy St. Patrick's Day,

It's been an exciting and busy week as most of you know. On Wednesday, which marked the 100th day until graduation, leaders from SUNY Schenectady and Ellis Medicine joined us for an assembly at Schenectady High School to make an announcement of the Schenectady Promise 2.0. Last year, we along with SUNY Schenectady, announced the launch of the inaugural Schenectady Promise in which all graduating seniors were automatically admitted to the college. This year, with the commitment of Ellis Healthcare, opportunities upon graduation also include immediate employment at Ellis in a variety of divisions, or a nursing pathway. All Schenectady High School graduating seniors, and their family members, have the option of attending college and now a promise for a career.

Both Ellis and SUNY Schenectady brought members of their teams to talk with students and help get them lined up with a plan for college or work and to let them how they are supported. The college had representatives on hand from student support services, financial aid, EOP, TRIO, academic advisors and tutoring opportunities. Several members of the Ellis team were on hand to talk about the various positions available to students and next steps. They will continue to be in connection with students to help them navigate the process.

Bibi Saleena Mondal, a 2017 graduate of Schenectady High School and 2019 of SUNY Schenectady, spoke about her experience and the support she received while working toward a nursing degree. She is currently an employee of Ellis and student at Ellis' Belanger School of Nursing.

Thank you to Dr. Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady, and Mr. Milton, President and CEO of Ellis Medicine for making the promise with us so that we can provide these extraordinary opportunities to our students. It take a a community. We can't do this work without you. #schenectadyrising

Tyrone O'Mealley, Anibal Soler Jr., Steady Moono and Paul Milton at the Schenectady Promise 2.0 Event

Watch the video to learn more about how we are teaming up with Ellis Medicine and SUNY Schenectady to create access and opportunity.

While you know your children didn't have school today because of a "Superintendent's Conference Day," you might be wondering what exactly that is and if it is important. Superintendent's Conference Days are days set aside on the calendar for all district faculty and staff to participate in professional learning activities related to each person's role in the district. These often include a keynote, workshops, and a variety of sessions led by our own staff. This is an opportunity for all of our employees to engage in skill work that involves collaboration, problem-solving, and learning so everyone performs at their best in the educational setting. These days are important because they address important and current initiatives, provide tools and resources, serve to develop new techniques, allows for thought partnership, mentorship, and provides best practices. At the end of the day, we do this work so that we can be the best that we can for our students.

This month is National School Social Work Month. I can't express enough how much I appreciate the work that our district's social workers do on a daily basis. Social workers play a critical role in helping students achieve success. They serve as a counselor, advocate and case manager, as well as, a vital link between school, home and community. School social work aims to improve academic success, attendance, behavior, social and emotional well-being and safety. In addition to supporting students, school social workers help parents navigate the educational system and point them to resources that address concerns at home. Thank you for your hard work, dedication and commitment to our students.

Social Work Team

Earlier this week, we had our monthly principals meeting. We spoke at great length about data systems and protocols to drive continuous school improvement. The principals shared their data protocols on systems, attendance, course failures, discipline and more. We also discussed the New York State ELA and math testing and security protocols. In the afternoon, our attention was focused on school accountability work and creating action plans for each school. Thank you to our principals for another thoughtful day of hard work and collaboration.


We will be holding four Public Information Sessions regarding the upcoming Capital Project Referendum which will go before voters on May 16, the same day as the budget vote and school board election.

An outline of the $300 million worth of much needed work is available here. It includes extensive work to eight schools as well as central kitchen upgrades and other renovation identified.

60% voter approval is required. If approved, there will be no impact on taxes.

Please attend one of our sessions and learn more about what we have planned.

Public Information Meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Tues., April 4, 6 p.m. McChesney Room Downtown Library

  • Thurs., April 6, 6 p.m., Central Park Middle School

  • Tues., April 18, 5:30 p.m. Mont Pleasant Middle School

  • Thurs. April 20, 5 p.m., Oneida Middle School

Capital Project Referendum Meetings

Last Friday evening we held our Future Chefs competition in partnership with Sodexho. This competition paired four elementary students with four students from the culinary program at SCLA. I had such a great time judging the dishes. Hats off to all of the future chefs. Congratulations to Kaiden whose winning recipe was Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots with Cheese. Thank you to Elaine Reynolds and Sodexho for their work coordinating this fun event for our students.

Kaiden's Bacon wrapped cheese in Chefs competition

Photo: Chef's Competition - Kaiden's winning recipe was Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots with Cheese

Future Chefs Compeitition

Future Chefs Compeition

Future Chefs Competition

Future Chefs Competition

Congratulations to Yael Woods and Olivia Pinesett, students at Proctors as part of City as our Campus Leadership Community, who have been accepted to be part of the summer's Broadway Camp which will rehearse and perform the musical "The Prom!" The performance will be open to the public on July 28 and July 29.

Students accepted into the Summer Broadway Camp

Congratulations to Yates Elementary School who was selected as one of the winners of the Second Step SEL Day social-media contest. The school won a selection of books from one of the Second Step program's booklists. We can't wait to see what bundle of books you get to enjoy.

Also, congratulations to our JROTC Team which came in first and second in a drill competition over the weekend. You make us proud.

The Blue Roses Theatre Company's production of Little Shop of Horrors opened last night and runs through Saturday night. So far, this show has received rave reviews. Earlier this week the Daily Gazette visited rehearsal and featured our students in a photo gallery. See the flyer for show details.

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

I want to give a shoutout to students attending Proctors as part of our City as Our Campus Leadership Academy. They created this amazing podcast on the topic of discrimination. View the episode on our YouTube channel https://youtu.be/bV6TOKIX-JU We should all be very proud of our students.

We have so many great things going on. Together we are breaking barriers and creating extraordinary opportunities. I appreciate all that you do for our students. #schenectadyrising

Have a relaxing weekend. I'll see you Monday.


Anibal Soler, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools


ALUMNI PROFILE:  Precious Riehl

This week's featured alumnae is, Precious Riehl, a 2008 graduate of Schenectady High School who is currently a manager at the NYS Office of Children and Family Services. She credits relationships she built with her teachers for showing her how to lead with love. "There were many teachers who inspired me; my fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Casino, my French teacher Mrs. Widdis, and my dance teacher Mrs. Los. Those teachers always lead with love, and I will always remember that. 



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 Alumni Profiles here.

Photo of the Week

Van Corlaer Security Monitor Jamie Gentile and students spending time with a special St. Patrick's Day visitor.

Van Corlaer Security Monitor Jamie Gentile and VC students getting to meet a leprechaun for St. Patrick's Day.

Our Spring Break STEAM Camp for students in grades 1-5 will run from April 10-14. More than 350 students took advantage of our February camp and we hope even more will join us in April. We've got lots of fun activities planned. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack. Transportation provided. Watch the video for highlights from the camp and visit our website for more:  https://www.schenectadyschools.org/article/1029227. Sign up here.

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