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6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
May 21, 2013—Glens Falls City School District residents approved the 2013-14 school budget today by a margin of 730 "yes" votes to 192 “no” votes – a 79 percent approval rate. The $38.3 million spending plan represents a budget-to-budget spending decrease of $660,465, or 1.7 percent. The approved budget uses $1.7 million in savings from previous years to keep the tax levy increase to 2.5 percent for next school year. Nearly 15 staff and teaching positions are eliminated within the proposal. Some of the district’s special education, health services, and enrichment programs are being restructured into new delivery models.
Voters also approved expenditures from the capital reserve fund for repairs and renovations at several of the district’s school buildings, and the purchase of a replacement school bus. The capital reserve proposition passed by a vote of 728 to 181; the school bus purchase proposition passed by a vote of 665 to 248.
Jeremy Deason and Leslee Kunst were elected to the Board of Education. Mr. Deason will begin a five-year term on July 1, 2013, after receiving 666 votes. Ms. Kunst will begin a four-year term on May 22, 2013, to fill a vacancy that occurred earlier this year. Ms. Kunst received 175 write-in votes.
Summer sports camps are being offered by the GFSD Athletic Department. Students can participate in camps for swimming, diving, soccer, triathlon, hockey, baseball, softball, field hockey and girls' lacrosse. Super Hooper basketball camp registration is also now open! The program runs August 5-9, with the boys' camp in the morning, and the girls' camp in the afternoon. READ THE FULL SPORTS CAMP BROCHURE HERE
Students in Charles Farrar’s and Donna Scott’s second-grade classes are learning about the City of Glens Falls first-hand, by visiting and researching many of the city’s institutions. Their social studies unit began with a trip to the city’s largest employer, Glens Falls Hospital, a 410-bed facility that employs 3,000 people. “Our tour was guided by Cristina Britton and Peggy Mulcahy,” said Mr. Farrar. The tour included stops in the cafeteria, pediatric unit, security offices, and laundry room—where massive dryers and washers tower over the room that cleans 2,000 sheets per day, along with towels, gowns and other supplies. “A student favorite was a machine that dried and folded sheets and pillow cases. Who wouldn’t love that!” said Mr. Farrar. He also reported that students were quite surprised to learn that all the linens for the Snuggery are hand-folded.
In the hospital’s security hub, students watched monitors of 60 security cameras placed throughout the hospital feed. They had a lively discussion about the hospital’s helipad, where services are needed to secure the landing and take-off site for helicopters.
The tour of the kitchen/cafeteria was led by Kensington Road parent Sherry Diffenbach. The children got a behind-the-scenes look at the dry goods pantry, were able to walk into the dairy cooler and the produce cooler, viewed the ovens, and saw the prep area where trays of food are assembled. “The dish washing area was pretty amazing too – over 750 meals a day are served at the hospital, and that’s a lot of dishes!” said Mr. Farrar. Mrs. Diffenbach treated students to bottled water and cookies before they visited the pediatric unit. After touring Kids Cove, students met a special “patient” named Dolly. The students saw stethoscopes, oxygen tubes, blood pressure cuffs, and thermometers—and each got to use the pulse oximetry, a non-invasive method to monitor the saturation of a patient's hemoglobin and pulse rate. Students got their own masks, gloves, and scrub caps as well.
Earlier in April, students visited the Parks Heritage Federal Credit Union in Glens Falls. Their tour included watching a transaction at the drive-thru window, where one student was able to place the transaction back in the pneumatic tube and say “Thank you” to the customer over the speaker. “Going to the vault and seeing where the bank’s money is kept was very exciting for the students,” said Mr. Farrar. “The only problem was the lack of free samples!” Sorting twenty dollar bills was another thrilling moment, Mr. Farrar said, as each child was given the opportunity to sort cash using the bank’s money sorting machine. Each child was also treated to a shiny gold one dollar coin.
Glens Falls City School District is recognizing national Teacher Appreciation Week by recognizing committed and enthusiastic teachers from every one of our schools each day this week.
Wednesday's honoree is third grade teacher Cathy LeRoy, who works with students at Kensington Road elementary school. READ MORE HERE
Check back every day for a look inside some of the most dynamic classrooms around our district.
Several students in Kensington’s newest club used the month of April to raise money and awareness of environmental issues in the arctic. And the result is a $100 donation to the National Wildlife Federation!
The “Stop Global Warming” club held a bake sale in April—to coincide with Earth Day—to raise money for the National Wildlife Federation. The group of fourth-grade students formed the club early this school year. “They had read about climate change at the North Pole, and how melting ice is dangerously affecting polar bears,” said fourth-grade teacher Ellen Cabana. The students created posters full of information and facts about polar bears, and began holding monthly meetings to discuss ways they could help out.
“It has been encouraging to watch these young students reaching out and taking the initiative for a cause they believe in,” said Mrs. Cabana. “I am so proud of them for being responsible, and caring enough about our world to try and make a difference,” Mrs. Cabana continued. The money, along with a letter and photos from the bake sale, was sent to the National Wildlife Federation this week.
Members of the “Stop Global Warming” club include founder Abby Hamell, Lauren Benway, Sara Steves, T.J. Allen, Sara Moore, Annalysse Wilson, Ben Palmer, Catherine Hayes, Eben McGee-Bierman, Lily Murray, Diamond Warney, Jacob Ashe, Brian Donlon, Jacob Powers, and Casey Wolfstitch.
Three Kensington Road elementary students have gotten national –and even world—recognition for their artwork submitted to the twenty-first annual "Draw a Cover for Music K-8 Magazine" contest. “Students from all over the country, and as far away as Vienna, Austria participated,” says music teacher Cari Kassebaum, who worked with art teacher Debbie Sylvia to guide the students’ submissions.
“The rules read that any MUSIC student in kindergarten through grade 8 could participate and enter one drawing,” explains Mrs. Kassebaum. “The subject could be anything musical that was an original work of art.”
Fifty submissions were entered from Kensington Road School, and the following students were recognized:
- Honorable Mention: second-grader Aiden Gormley
- Honorable Mention: fourth-grader Emily Lunt
- Promising Young Artist Honorable Mention: first-grader Tyler Chagnon
Earth Day brought colorful pansies to Kensington Road School’s courtyard, thanks to a donation by Binley’s Florist—and the hard work of second-grade students. The students in Mr. Farrar and Mrs. Scott's classes have been studying curriculum on “Protecting the Earth.” They learned about the importance of recycling and waste management, how people change the environment, and how people protect the environment.
As a culminating activity, the students worked together to beautify the school’s courtyard. Along with the help of Mrs. Peck, the students dug holes, added water, measured their hole, and planted healthy pansies that were donated by Binley's Florist. Students also weeded the garden and picked up trash. The students will continue to water and take care of the flowers throughout the school year.
Bowling can be a fun way to build healthy relationships—and a great way to raise money, as teams from Glens Falls City Schools have proven in this year’s “Bowl For Kids’ Sake.”
Sixty-three bowlers on 16 GFSD teams raised a total of $5,291 at the annual event to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks. “This was the most money raised by a school district and earned us a Pin Trophy,” said coordinator and high school counselor Brian Bombard.
A friendly competition began within the school district for the new “Golden Pin” award that was added to the annual effort this year. The student Golden Pin is going to the Glens Falls cross-country ski team. “This bowling team of Jerry Casertino, Allison Casertino, Ethan Katz, and Caleb Vaughn raised $466,” said Mr. Bombard. The faculty team winner is the School Counseling Office, which included bowlers Arlene Dudley, Brian Bombard, Terry Tobias, and GF alumni Jason Buckley, Kevin Driscoll, and Katie Driscoll (Bartholomew).
Many GFSD students and staff participate as either “Bigs” or “Littles” in the mentoring program that aims to encourage positive outcomes for children through professionally supported one-to-one relationships.
"We see much greater rigor at all levels, and we anticipate assessments to be more challenging.” Those were two of the key points presented at the March 26 Common Core Parent Information Night, which explained how the new COMMON CORE LEARNING STANDARDS are a first step in providing young people with the high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college and careers.
The new standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math were fully implemented in September, and the first year of testing on the new grades 3-8 curriculum begins on April 16.
Last week, facilitators from WSWHE BOCES explained what’s different about the Common Core:
In English Language Arts/Literacy: a focus on non-fiction and careful reading; student ability to discuss reading and write using evidence; and increased academic vocabulary.
In Mathematics: students learn more about fewer concepts; focus on skill building, speed and accuracy; and use real world examples to better understand concepts.
A FIELD MEMO from the State Education Dept. noted that “student scores on the Common Core assessments will not be directly comparable to scores from prior-year tests because the assessments are based on different, more rigorous standards.” To see an example of how tests have changed, compare a 2005 SAMPLE TEST FOR GRADE 3 ELA with a 2013 SAMPLE TEST FOR GRADE 3 ELA.How can families prepare? One of many helpful resources on wwww.EngageNY.org is the handout WHAT PARENTS CAN DO TO HELP THEIR CHILDREN LEARN, an outline that explains what students will be asked to accomplish related to the shifts in ELA and math, and suggests ways parents can reinforce the new skills at home. READ MORE ON THE COMMON CORE PAGE OF GFSD.ORG
Kensington Road elementary students and staff recently came together to support one of their classmates—and vital cancer research.
First-grader Ava Snyder, currently in remission for leukemia, led the charge to raise $339 at Kensington by selling bracelets and "lucky charms" for the St. Baldrick's Foundation for childhood cancer research.
“Ava went around to the classrooms each morning to pass out the lucky charms and collect the money,” says teacher Carrie Krogmann. “She had a blast doing this!” Each of the paper “lucky charms” were posted on the cafeteria walls.
Mrs. Krogmann says Ava and a crew of friends, families, and local patrons also raised a significant amount of money at a hair-cutting event last weekend at the Bullpen in Glens Falls.
Cats, dogs and other animals at three local shelters will soon be snuggled in new blankets, chewing on squeak toys, and eating good food, thanks to the hard work and generosity of Kensington elementary students and their families.
The school-wide “Paws for a Cause” drive to collect pet food and supplies brought in just over 900 items such as treats, grooming supplies, dog/cat chow, and more.
“Donations are going to the SPCA of Upstate NY, Purrs and Paws Kitten and Cat Shelter, and Adirondack Save-A-Stray,” says organizer Nicole Bain.
Ten individuals were honored at the district’s annual Founders’ Day event, held at the Middle School on Tuesday, February 12. The evening was a celebration of committed parents and/or staff members from each school. Each honoree had been selected to recognize his or her service and dedication to go above and beyond for the students of Glens Falls City Schools.
Congratulations and thank you to the 2013 Founders’ Day honorees:
- High School: Coach Kevin Crossman
- Jackson Heights: Third-grade teacher Nicole Cremo
- Big Cross: PTA parent volunteers Christine Aiken and Kristen Greenwood
- Kensington Road School: the entire custodial and maintenance staff: Brian Aiken, Hugh Phillips, Mike Wolfe and Bill Craft
- Middle School: librarian Ann Myers
- District: IT staff member Steve Spory
Congratulations to the KRS Custodial and Maintenance Staff, recipients of the 2013 KRS PTA Founder's Day Award!
Brian Aiken, Hugh Phillips, Mike Wolfe and Bill Craft
Thanks for all you do for the students, staff and our school!!
Monday, Tuesday - FULL DAY
Wednesday, Thursday - DISMISSAL AT 11:30
Friday - DISMISSAL AT 9:30
Children with life-threatening diseases are having their wishes granted, thanks to the generosity of students, staff and families district-wide, who collectively raised hundreds of dollars during the district’s 14th annual Make-A-Wish holiday angel sale.
Teams at each school building helped sell paper angels for a dollar each during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas—and each school put their own twist on the effort. “From the singing ‘angels’ during morning announcements at the Middle School to the Kensington students who manned a cookies-and-hot-chocolate stand in their neighborhood, there have been many ways the students and staff in our buildings have all come together to raise money for such a great cause,” said middle school guidance counselor Kathy Vittengl, who leads the effort.
“Around 15 years ago I decided that I had been gifted with a healthy life and I wanted to give back in some way,” said Mrs. Vittengl, who is a trained Wish Granter and has been volunteering with a local chapter for some time. “When I started working at Glens Falls Middle School, I wanted to teach the kids that it's important to give back and appreciate what you DO have.”
Kensington students Caroline Shaver, Kate Barber, Thea Potter and Ashley Bordeaux took that lesson to heart and set up their own stand to sell hot cocoa, cookies and candy canes on the corner of Sheridan and Coolidge. There was no set price for their home-made treats, just a donation to Make-A-Wish. “Mostly people stopped in their cars,” said Kate. “Two guys gave us six dollars each, so that was helpful!” Ashley added. The four third-graders from Melody Morgan-Srygley's class raised $49 and decorated the corresponding 49 paper angels as well.
100 percent of the money raised through the Make-A-Wish angel sale goes towards granting wishes of kids with life threatening medical conditions.
In the wake of Friday's tragic shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, our Glens Falls parents, guardians and other school community members may be wondering how to talk with children about the tragedy.
See the tips in THIS PARENT TODAY ARTICLE: "WHEN THE NEWS GETS SCARY."
The National Association of School Psychologists also offers THESE TIPS FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS on talking with children about violence.
It is important to remember that children will react to this event in different ways. Some may be very upset while others may exhibit seemingly inappropriate responses. Please give your child(ren) an opportunity to express their feelings openly and answer any questions honestly. Remember that different age levels may have different needs--for example, a younger child may be satisfied with more simplified answers. A calm parental approach will help avoid raising anxiety.
If your child expresses unusual or persistent concerns, please let us know by sending a note to your child's teacher or principal who will forward it to a member of our counseling staff.
Signing the words “thanks,” “family,” and “friends,” students at Kensington Road School performed for a standing-room only crowd of parents and friends at the kindergarten’s Thanksgiving Luncheon on Monday, November 19.
Students had learned the American Sign Language signs for many words within the songs they sang before the lunch. Homemade soup and cornbread followed the performance.
We have had a great start to our school year! Beautiful, painted, self-portraits created by each child during our All About Me unit now hang above every cubby. Making friends and learning the classroom rules and expectations have been undertaken with great success. The students are apple experts now, having completed a two week long study of all things apple, which concluded with a trip to Hick’s Apple Orchard. We are enjoying our classroom Smartboard. One activity we particularly enjoy, in addition to the Smartfall website, is the interactive digital component of our new Math curriculm. Students are able to see, hear, and touch to learn new math concepts. The Fundations curriculum provides a fun way to learn and review the letters and sounds and we enjoy using sign language based motions to act out each letter and sound. Center time is a great time of fun and learning. During our Free Choice Center times students are having lots of fun with playdough, markers, writing boards, sand, and blocks among other things. During our academic centers students are working hard to rotate to different areas to complete math and reading and writing tasks. October has brought a study of spiders and bats as well as fire safety. A special treat was a visit to our school from local firemen with their fire truck. Many fun and educational pumpkin activities filled our days in October too!
The first graders at Kensington Road School had fun rotating through stations and learning about Fire Safety in October. Students were able to watch a fire safety video on the smart board that showed them what a firehouse looks like and all of the important jobs that a fire fighter has. Lights flashed outside as the excited students noticed two vehicles parked out in the parking lot of their very own school! The students were more than happy to take a peek into the ambulance and climb through the front seat of a Glens Falls fire engine. Lastly, students were able to have a talk with two fire fighters who helped them to see that a fire fighter who is fully dressed is not such a scary thing. There was a question and answer session, and we all learned something new! Back in the classroom, each student wrote about their favorite part of the day. We then created a book to give to the fire fighters as a thank you. Two thumbs up to the Glens Falls Fire Department!
First Grade Teachers