WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 28, 2022 | VOLUME 2 ISSUE NO. 10
It's Friday! I know you are probably ready to get on with the weekend. Things have been quite busy and I know we are all ready for a little break.
I'll start today with a little about the New York State Assessment results for students in Grades 3-8 that were released earlier this week. Results on the state assessments across all grade levels are not anywhere where we want them to be nor are they the only indicator for gauging student achievement. As the New York State Education Department (NYSED) emphasized in their release, there are multiple measures of learning including these exams, that are used to help shape individualized learning plans so students have the supports they need. The state test results should not be used in isolation. They, along with other diagnostic tools, should be used to help us identify achievement gaps and determine where students need additional help and support.
NYSED also stressed that due to the disruptions and impact of COVID-19, test results from this year should not be compared to results from previous years. Multiple measures are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs.
Some news reports shared that our district has "zero percent proficiency in mathematics." This is not the case. While none of the 8th grade students who took the math assessment scored in the proficient designation, there is a caveat. Eighth graders who take accelerated Algebra did not take this exam. They instead take the Algebra Regents exam. Therefore, their proficiency level is not included in these results. 118 eighth grade students took the Algebra 1 Regents Exam and 80 and out of the 114 students passed (70.17%) with a three or higher.
Also, please note that the assessment results do not include the entire student body. In total, 744 students opted out of the math assessment and 586 out of the ELA assessment. Also note in terms of eighth grade math results, 303 students did not take the Grade 8 mathematics assessment.
Below is a chart of our district results. Levels 3 and 4 are considered proficient.
47 ( 7.2%)
56 ( 8.4 %)
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
62 ( 9.5%)
64 ( 9.7%)
We continue to dig deep within the data, using both state assessment and iReady data, our district's assessment tool, to identify individual student needs, grade level needs, and trends, so that we can continue to provide support. This year we intensified our efforts and are bringing a more focused approach to mathematics with the addition of an assistant director dedicated to mathematics. We also provide academic intervention services, literacy programming to support literacy deverlopment across the content area, and are vetting math curriculum resources to best support Tier I mathematics instruction. Tier I means a valid and reliable core curriculum that is aligned with the standards. We did recently launch a new literacy curriculum. Extended day and summer programming is also designed to provide intervention and supports to students. This last summer, we had the highest enrollment in the Summer Enrichment Program. We are currently planning for the implementation of an extended day learning program in each of our schools with a focus on after-school learning and supports.
The 2022 tests were the final year of state tests aligned to the Common Core standards. In Spring 2023, the math and ELA tests for grades 3-8 will assess students on the Next Generation Learning Standards for the first time. We will be sharing more about the new standards with you.
While none of us want our assessment results to be as they are, I do know how hard everyone in our district works and the care and support everyone in our school community provides to our students. We have many many, many success stories that don't show in the state assessment results. I appreciate everyone in our schools and school community who help us move forward. We are all in this work together - school, home and community - and we have to keep at it. I am confident that as we move forward, we will begin to see the growth that we want and expect.
If at any time you have questions or concerns about your children's progress in school, please do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher. Please continue to work the ABC's of school: Attendance, Behavior and Coursework. Please be sure your child is in school every day unless they are sick. Encourage your child to engage in school and to complete all course work and homework. For those of you with young learners, please take time to read with them every night. This is huge and in the long run will make a difference.
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This week I'm happy to recognize our secondary principals as we wrap up National Principal's Month. Thank you Middle School Principals Nicole Biette, Tony Farina , Karmen McEvoy and Schenectady High School Principal Dennis Green. Please join me in thanking them for all they do for our students and community. #thankaprincipal
We are hiring for a number of positions and if you are not part of our team already, I hope you will consider joining us. We are looking to hire paraprofessionals, nurses, safety personnel, secretaries, custodians, cleaners, and lunch monitors now! There are two upcoming job fairs where you can get information, questions answered and apply for a position. The first is November 3 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Center City SUNY Campus. The other is our own job fair on November 15 from 4-6 p.m. at Steinmetz Career and Leadership Academy. On November 15, we will conduct on-site interviews and even do contingency hiring where possible.
Last Saturday, our Building Leadership Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) task force launched a reboot. Thank you for the team members for their participation in this important work. There will be more to come regarding DEI efforts.
Also earlier this week, the Community Schools Advisory Committee came together to discuss steps moving forward. I am grateful to all who show up for the work to develop our Community Schools and are committed to supporting our students and families and strengthening our community.
This week our district's Traveling Art Show opened at City Hall. The show includes 25 pieces of artwork representing all grades and all schools. Thank you to Mayor McCarthy, who presented certificates to the student artists. The show is on display through December 21 and then travels to The Electric City Barn. Thank you to Daryle Redmond, Assistant Director of Fine Arts, the art teachers, and all who have a hand in coordinating this amazing show. You can find more photos below.
Congratulations to Nathan Pickett this week's "Athlete of the Week." Nathan is a modified football player.
Thank you to Stewarts Shops for their generous donation to Schenectady High School as part of the grand opening celebration at the new store at 1020 McClellan St. We have a community that cares and always steps up to support us.
Congratulations to the Reading is Fun Program (RIP) who recently announced that the program was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Wright Family Foundation. The funding will cover expenses for RIF's "Spring Into Reading is Fun" event on May 22 - 28, 2023. This will benefit some of the youngest readers from our schools. We appreciate the efforts and support of the Reading is Fun Program as we all strive to develop strong readers.
Earlier this week was Diwali, a Hindu religious festival. I know many in our district celebrate and I hope Diwali brings happiness, prosperity and joy to you and all your family.
Thank you for all that you do. We are partners in this work and by working together, we will continue to move our district forward. #schenectadyrising
Have a restful and fun weekend. See you next week.
Anibal Soler, Jr.
November 10: Half Day of School for Students in Grades Pre-K through 5, Parent Teacher Conferences
Dismissal will be at 10:55 a.m.
November 11: No School, Veterans Day Holiday
District Offices are Closed
November 16: Half Day of School for Students in Grades Pre-K through 5, Parent Teacher Conferences
Dismissal will be at 10:55 a.m.
November 23 - 25: No School, Thanksgiving Holiday
NOVEMBER BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETINGS
November 9: 6:30 p.m., Schenectady High School and Livestream.
November 30: 6:30 p.m., Board Work Session, Mont Pleasant Middle School Schenectady Room and Livestream
WE ARE HIRING NOW!
DEI TASK FORCE MEETS
The Building Leadership Team Task Force came together on Saturday, October 22 at the Boys and Girls Club.
THANK YOU TO STEWARTS SHOPS
Thank you to Stewarts Shops for their generous donation to Schenectady High School
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Shout out to the Patriot Pullers! Union leaders, teachers, and district leadership participated in CDTA's Pink Bus Pull last Friday.
Traveling Art Show
7th Annual Leadership Summit America
Schenectady High School Assistant Princpals Mr. Millington and Dr. Pina and seniors Alex A. Singh, Isabell Grevely, and Lillie Greenwood attended the 7th Annual Leadership Summit America in Albany this week.
Oneida Arts on Instagram
Jahnel Group Visit to SHS Stem Leadership Community
The Jahnel Group, a Schenectady based software company, visited the STEM leadership Community at SHS . Co-Founder and COO, Jason Jahnel, along with 2007 SHS grad, Jessie Zweigenthal, who serves as the company's Director of Employee Engagement spoke with students.
Next month, students will take a field trip to the Jahnel Group offices to learn about career opportunities at the software company. Watch highlights from the visit on our YouTube Channel.
Big Apple Crunch 2022
After School Cheer Program at Paige
Elevating Student Voice
Students come together at Capital Region BOCES to strategize how to authentically elevate and amplify student voice.
Trunk or Treat at Hamilton
Schenectady Police Scare-nectady makes two stops at our schools
On Thursday evening, Schenectady police held their annual SCARE-Nectady patrol event. The route included a stop at Mont Pleasant Middle School and a stop at Woodlawn Elementary. Check out the photos!
The following were appointed by the Board of Education on October 12. If you are new to our district "Welcome to Schenectady!"
Julia Ciaccio, Instructional Support Specialist, Central Office
Shannon Kane, Athletic Trainer, Central Office
Jacqueline Servideo, Community Learning Center Project Manager, Central Office
School Safety Officer
Mitchell Harvard, SHS
Malany Alvarado, Yates
Rory Cook, CPMS
Emily Lilac, SHS
Tyler McLeod, Paige
Nevin Sheldon, SCLA
Culture and Community Engagement Specialists
Nyemiah Greggs, Hamilton
Esai Sylvain, Paige
Katie Adamek, Central Office
Desire Hunter, Paige
Janice Lawrence-Simmons, Central office
Bianca Rivera, Central Office
Natalie Brennan, Keane
Jennifer Claus, Special Education, Pleasant Valley
Katherine Fisher, Social Work, Keane
William Gathen, English, WIEC
Beth Hollenbeck, Remedial Reading, Paige
Judith Iannuzzo, English, SHS
James Jacoby, Math, WIEC
Alison Kosinski, Social Work, Howe
Epiphany McGee, Social Work, SCLA
Thomas Mueller, School Counseling and Guidance, Lincoln
Ariana Schrader-Rank, Art, King
Zenobia Stapleton, Paige
Jacoba VandenBerg, Special Education, Yates
Emily Wells, Social Studies, Oneida
Tawana Bellamy, SHS
Rebecca Graham, SHS
Gerardo Pedragon, Keane
Elena Ponzo, SHS
Elizabeth Rivera, SHS
Azmary Sultana, Woodlawn
Irene Adair, Lincoln
Shanora Floyd, Van Corlaer
Jazmin Jacobs, Howe
Janessa Jones, Hamilton
SCSD Educational Foundation Grants to Teachers
The Schenectady City School District Educational Foundation (SCSDEF) is once again awarding grants to teachers. $50,000 will be available this year, with awards of up to $4,000 per grant recipient. Applications will be accepted October 31 through November 28.
This will be the only opportunity to apply this school year.
To apply, click here.
Please review the grant guidelines and selection criteria.
Winners will be announced by email in December before the holiday break.
For more information on the SCSD Educational Foundation or the education grants, visit the website at http://scsdeducationfoundation.org/
Haunted House at Jerry Burrell Park
Just a Little Bit of Love Inc. Presents the Annual Haunted House on October 31 from 6-9 p.m. at Jerry Burrell Park.
Enjoy Hot Dogs, Popcorn, Candy Bars, Trunk or Treat
Hamilton Hill Halloween Party & Festival of Lights
Saturday, October 29
1-4 p.m. at the Hamilton Hill Arts Center Sculpture Park across from the Hamilton Hill Arts Center.
Enjoy free food, treats, candy, music, face painting. Wear your costume and paint a pumpkin.)
Hamilton Hill Art Center Free Artreach Afterschool Program
Hamilton Hill Arts Center offers a free Artreach Afterschool Program. See the flyer for details and special classes.
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