Superintendent's Brief


Good afternoon,

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.


Level 4

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Number Tested/%

Not Tested/%

Grade 3





605 (92.8%)

47 ( 7.2%)

Grade 4





588 (89.2%)

71 (10.8%)

Grade 5





609 (91.6%)

56 ( 8.4 %)

Grade 6





583 (84.4%)

108 (15.6%)

Grade 7





547 (77.5%)

159 (22.5%)

Grade 8





449 (59.7%)

303 (40.3%)


Level 4

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Number Tested/%

Not Tested/%

Grade 3





590 (90.5%)

62 ( 9.5%)

Grade 4





592 (90.0%)

66 (10.0%)

Grade 5





598 (90.3%)

64 ( 9.7%)

Grade 6





605 (87.7%)

85 (12.3%)

Grade 7





573 (81.3%)

132 (18.7%)

Grade 8





574 (76.4%)

177 (23.6%)

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.

. . . . . . . .

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

National Principals Month:  Nicole Biete, MPMS

National Principals Month:  Karmen McEvoy, CPMS

National Principal's Month:  Tony Farina, Oneida Middle School

National Principals Month:  Dennis Green, SHS

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 Digital Art student, Sophia Gaminde, for being selected to have her digital illustration “Glass” in the Schenectady traveling Art show.

Congratulations to Nathan Pickett this week's "Athlete of the Week." Nathan is a modified football player.

Nathan Pickett, Athlete of the Week

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.

Stewarts donates $2,000 to SHS

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 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.  Check the flyer for upcoming job fairs.


BLT Task Force

BLT Task Force

The Building Leadership Team Task Force came together on Saturday, October 22 at the Boys and Girls Club.


Stewarts Donates $2,000 to SHS

Photo from the check presentation from Stewarts to SHS

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.

Shout out to the Patriot Pullers! Union leaders, teachers, and district leadership participated in CDTA's Pink Bus Pull last Friday. 

Traveling Art Show

Photo from the Traveling Art Show

Photo from the Traveling Art Show

Photos from the Traveling Art Show

Photo from Traveling Art Show

Photo from the Traveling Art Show

7th Annual Leadership Summit America

Annual Leadership Summit 2022

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

Oneida Arts On Instagram

Everyone is in the Halloween spirit, including art classes at Oneida Middle School. Students worked on creating their own calaveras, or decorated skull. Follow @Oneidarts 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

Photo from the Big Apple Crunch

Members of our Central Office Team participated in the 2022 #BigAppleCrunch with FarmOnFarmOn! October is apple month and New York harvests 30 million bushels of apples each year. #SchenectadyRising #FarmOnBite

After School Cheer Program at Paige

Cheer Program at Paige

After-School Cheer Program with Coach Riley was AWESOME These girls and boys rocked it! Stay tuned for the next clinic in December! Check it out on Twitter

Elevating Student Voice

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

Trunk or Treat at Hamilton

Trunk or Treat at Hamilton

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.

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!"

Middle Managers

  • 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

Security Monitors

  • 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

Lunch Monitors

  • Irene Adair, Lincoln

  • Shanora Floyd, Van Corlaer

  • Jazmin Jacobs, Howe

  • Janessa Jones, Hamilton

Staff Notes

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.  

If you have any questions, please email Agnes Phillips at phillipsagnes14@gmail.com or Nancy Sagendorf at nancysagendorf@gmail.com

For more information on the SCSD Educational Foundation or the education grants, visit the website at http://scsdeducationfoundation.org/ 

Community Notes

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

Haunted House at Jerry Burrell Park

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.)
Download Flyer

Hamilton HIll Halloween Party and Festival of Lights

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.

Hamilton Hill Arts Center Free Artreach Afterschool Program

Download Our Mobile App

Download our app

Catch up with the latest student stories, events, and news updates. It's everything Schenectady Schools, in your pocket. If you haven't already, download the app!

📲Download for Android https://bit.ly/3Mzposx

📲 Download for iPhone https://apple.co/3lAXbWA

MOBILE APP SUPPORT Click here to watch a short video on how to set your school and language preferences on our mobile app: hhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saNC9ek2Lqg

Schenectady Rising logo

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