Superintendent's Brief


Good afternoon and happy Fall Friday,

As we officially enter Fall and our third full week of school, everyone is becoming more acclimated to the new school year and routines. Most students and staff have the schedule down and know where to go. Students have met all their teachers, found familiar friends and know the arrival, dismissal and lunch routine. School supplies have been distributed and expectations shared. It's now time to shift focus to the ABC's of school: Attendance, Behavior and Coursework.

Why is attendance important? Plain and simple, attendance is a predictor of student outcomes. Every time a student misses a day of school, they are missing a day of learning.

Studies show that absenteeism in kindergarten is associated with negative first grade outcomes. Poor attendance can influence whether a child will read proficiently by the end of third grade. By 6th grade, absence becomes a leading indictor that a student will drop out of high school. Good attendance is essential to academic success. Let's work together to make sure students come to school and are on time every day unless, of course, they are sick. We all play a role in making this happen.

Effective next week, we will begin making automated daily phone calls home each time a student is late or does not show up for school.

Automated attendance calls will be made at approximately 8:15 a.m. for elementary school and 9 a.m. for middle and high school to parents of children who are not in school at that time. Calls will also be made at approximately 5 p.m. to parents of kids who are absent from school the entire day. These notifications are important. If you receive an attendance call, please be sure to reach out to your child's school.

We ask parents to please let us know if your child is sick or must be out for another reason. If there is a problem or if a child does not want to go to school, it's usually a symptom of another problem. Please be sure to talk to your child's teacher, principal or counselor so that we can work together to get back on track.

Behavior is about treating others, both adults and peers, with kindness and respect. We all play a role in a young person's ability to treat others with compassion and respect. It's about treating others as you would like to be treated. We can encourage respect by modeling it in our own behaviors, discussing it and recognizing it. Respect is visible in behavior, attitude, and actions toward others. Make sure kids know that it is not okay for anyone to use disrespectful behavior, including adults.

All of our schools have rolled out positive behavior and social emotional learning programs that provide proactive support to help students develop skills they need as well as promote a safe, positive environment for learning. A positive school climate includes a feeling of safety, respect, engagement, connection and involvement in school.

At this time it is also important that we encourage students to engage in school and to complete all coursework and homework. Whether you are a teacher or parent, you can boost motivation by providing clear expectations, allowing for mistakes, providing positive feedback, and connecting students to what they are learning. Helping students improve learning and study skills will not only help them in school this year but will help them be successful life-long learners.

I encourage any parent whose child is struggling with any one or all of the ABC's to reach out to your child's teacher, principal or counselor. We have resources in your school to support you with attendance, coursework and behavior. Now is the time and we are in this together.

As I mentioned last week, we are planning to offer extended school day opportunities at each of our schools beginning in October. Our programming will include extended school day learning and academic support as well as enrichment opportunities. As part of our planning, we are surveying students to get some input to determine interest and the types of activities they would like included. This information will help guide our planning and staffing. I anticipate we will begin offering the extended programming in a few weeks. We will be reaching out to parents with more details including how to register your child.

This week is Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week so it seems fitting that I introduce and recognize Kayla Ambesi and Ryan Williams, our district's Community School Coordinators. Both have hit the ground running and are working tirelessly to move our community school efforts forward.

Kayla Ambesi, Community School Coordinator

Ryan Williams, Community School Coordinator

Kayla and Ryan have an important role in both the development of our community schools and in advancing the community school strategy which is to ensure that our students have the resources, opportunities, and support that make academic success possible and create strong ties among families students, schools and the Schenectady community. Their work is about creating, strengthening and maintaining the bridge between the school and community. They are critical to successful implementation.

It's important that we help others understand the role of our community school coordinators and that, as a community, we commit to working together to accomplish a shared vision of improved outcomes for our young people. Thank you Kayla and Ryan for your commitment and dedication. We are on our way.
#SchenectadyRising #Coordinators Rock

Earlier this week, I along with members of my team, met with all of our school principals for a day of discussion, connection and to reflect and share how things are going so far this school year. There was great conversation and sharing of best practices as well as things we can do better. We have a great group of school leaders who are committed to supporting their teachers and the success of all of our students.

Principals Meeting September 2022

On Monday evening, I had the great pleasure of attending and speaking at the 24th Annual Schenectady City School District Athletic Hall of Fame and Reunion Dinner held at the Event Center at Rivers Casino. This was an amazing event attended by more than 300 guests who came from near and far. Regardless of where our alumni are living today, the room on Monday evening was filled with the pride of Schenectady. It was a joy to hear the many stories about growing up, attending school and playing sports here. One thing that was abundantly clear is the impact that coaches, teammates and sports have had in the lives of so many over the years. Respect, admiration and love filled the room.

Congratulations to this year's inductees Jack Edwards, Casper Wells and Ernie Marshall, who was inducted posthumously. Some of our current athletes and coaches were on hand to represent today's teams as well as enjoy the celebration of sports history and tradition in Schenectady. Many of our current students know of Casper Wells and enjoyed meeting him. He was a standout baseball player at Schenectady High School, playing on three consecutive Big Ten championship teams from 2000-2002. He played on five Major League Baseball Teams and is a Capital District/NYS Baseball Hall of Fame inductee.

Congratulations and thank you to Bob Pezzano, chairperson, and the SCSD Athletic Hall of Fame and Reunion committee members for planning another successful event. #PatriotPride

Congratulations to Schenectady High School Saxophonist Angel Delaney who was selected to move on to the next round of competition at the Schenectady County Community College Jazz Competition. Please join me in wishing him the best of luck in the competition. Click here to hear him practicing at school. We can't wait to hear more.

I would like to extend a "thank you" to William Rivas for his work on the Inaugural 518 Common Unity Cup this summer. This was a five-week summer sports series that included our district, along with the Schenectady Police Department and other community organizations. The series included sporting events every Tuesday night in August and participation in National Night Out.

If you have a chance, please come out and cheer on our Patriot Athletic Teams. You can find the complete schedule here. You can also download the app to your phone. Simply search for "schedule galaxy" from the app store. Once you download and create an account, you'll have the Patriots' schedule at your fingertips.

Lastly, if your contact information has changed, please be sure to let us know. In addition to the automated attendance calls, we use phone calls, text messages and email to send reminders, updates and alerts.

Have a great weekend. Enjoy your first fall weekend of the year.

Anibal Soler, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools

Calendar Look Ahead

October 6: Emergency Early Release Day. All students will be dismissed 15 minutes earlier than usual.

October 7: Superintendent's Conference Day. No school for students.

October 10: Indigenous Peoples' Day. No school for students.

School Times

Elementary School
Pre-K - Grade 5
7:45 a.m. - 2:10 p.m.
Half Day Schedule
7:45 - 10:55 a.m.

Middle School
Grades 6-8
8:30 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.
Half Day Schedule
8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

High School
Grades 9-12
8:25 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Half Day Schedule
8:25 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.


Importance of attendance chart

Community Schools

Watch this video to learn more about our Community Schools initiative.

Athletic Hall of Fame and Reunion Dinner

Student Athletes at the Athletic Hall of Fame and Reunion Dinner

Schenectady High School scholar athletes and coaches had the pleasure of attending the 24th Annual Athletic Hall of Fame and Reunion Dinner on Monday night.

24th Annual SCSD Athletic Hall of Fame and Reunion Dinner held September 19

More than 300 guests attended the Athletic Hall of Fame and Reunion Dinner.


Congrats to Saxophonist Angelo Delaney who was selected to move on to the next round of competition at the Schenectady County Community College Jazz Competition.

Schenectady High School Saxophonist Angel Delaney practicing in the band room. Angel has moved on to the next round in the Schenectady County Community College Jazz Competition.

Anibal Soler, Jr. with William Rivas at the Unity Cup

Superintendent Soler with William Rivas at a Common Unity Cup event this past summer.

Homecoming 2022

Don't miss the Schenectady High School Homecoming Football Game vs. Saratoga Springs next Friday at 5 p.m.

#SchenectadyRising logo

Athletic Hall of Fame Collages

Jack Edwards Display Board 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame

Ernie Marshall Display Board 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame

Casper Wells Display Board 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame

Alumni Profile

Alumni Profile:  Sean Murray

This week's featured alumni is Sean Murray, a secretary in the Guidance Office at Mont Pleasant and a 2006 graduate of Schenectady high School. Sean credits the music classes he took at SHS, specifically jazz-band, with helping him turn into the person he is today.

"I was always able to be myself and help create music that sounded great. I have so many great memories of jazz-band and being pushed by my instructor to be a better musician each and every day."

Check out other district alumni profiles here.


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.

Instructional Technology Team

Introducing the Instructional Technology Team
Rick DeCarr, Michael Sheridan. Andy Yauchler

The team helps students and teachers get the most out of the technology we have in our district. The Tech Team are people who believe in using the power of technology to help excite and empower students in learning.

Follow the Instructional Technology Team on Twitter

Bookmark the Tech Team's Schenectady Learns page here

Instructional Technology Coaches are Here for You

Guess the Banned Book Video

Banned Books in the SHS Library


SHS Honor Society Offers Childcare During Back to School Nights

One of the 4 pillars of National Honor Society is Service. Last week, SHS National Honor Society students showed their commitment to their community by providing childcare during the September PTO meeting at Paige Elementary, in an effort to make it easier for parents to attend the meeting. The NHS students also provided childcare during Back To School Nights at district elementary schools on Wednesday evening.

SHS Honor Society Offer Childcare During Back to School Nights

Lincoln Elementary School

Lincoln Back to School Night

Lincoln Back to School Night

Mont Pleasant Middle School

MPMS Back to School Night 2022

MPMS Back to School Night 2022

MPMS Back to School Night 2022

Youth Sports Night

Youth Sports Night

Friday, Sept. 30, is Varsity Football and Cheerleading's Homecoming game. Come join us at the game for 5 p.m. kickoff! Youth athletes are invited to wear their jersey/uniform to the game and will be recognized at halftime on the field.

Other upcoming Youth Sports Nights are scheduled for Girls Swimming and Diving on 10/3 and Girls Soccer on 10/4, both at 4:30 p.m. at Schenectady High School.

Fluency Karaoke

Van Corlaer teachers put on a "Fluency Karaoke" performance for students.

Van Corlaer teachers put on a "Fluency Karaoke" performance for students.

Photo of the Week

Pleasant Valley teachers jumped right into Wit and Wisdom lessons during the first full week of school. Ms. L’s 5th grade class translated key documents to Arabic for one of Pleasant Valley's new students.

Pleasant Valley teachers jumped right into Wit and Wisdom lessons during the first full week of school. Ms. L’s 5th grade class translated key documents to Arabic for one of Pleasant Valley's new students.

Community Notes

Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp
Fall Spooktacular
Saturday, October 15
Noon- 4 p.m.
Around City Hall and Jay Street
Download Flyer

Acting Academy After School Program
Students in grades 6-8 are invited to participate in the Acting Academy After School Program at Proctors. Runs October 11 through May 4, Monday - Thursday from. 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. More info & to register: https://school.proctors.org/events/acting-academy/

Download Our Mobile App

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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.