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BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District held a Board of Education meeting on Jan. 5 for several presentations and updates. 

LETRS & Libraries 

LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) & Libraries was the first presentation. LETRS & Libraries is a professional development program that contributes to the goal of supporting literacy instruction and sharing the crucial role of librarians. This training helps teachers identify reading barriers and diagnose reading difficulties – meeting students where they are at, whether that is below or above grade level. 

In the middle school library from September – November, close to or over 2,000 books (physical copies and on devices) were circulated each month. 

The presentation also addressed the important role that teacher-librarians in the BSCSD play. They have been assisting as Information Specialists in the science department as the department transitions to keep up with NYSED standards. Their job title has changed in recent times to include being Program Administrators and Media Specialists as well; the librarians have begun to teach copyright, plagiarism etc. starting in the fourth grade. The district’s librarians also open up their library spaces for community programs. 

Updates on High School Initiatives 

Spa Academy, for students who excel in nontraditional classroom settings, has 55 enrollees in grades 9-12; 14 students will have earned HVCC credits for Semester 1. The program is closely monitored by administration and a recent student survey showed very positive feedback. 

There are five new proposed courses for Spa Academy in the 2022-2023 school year: Multicultural Literature; Physical Science – Physics; Physical Science – Chemistry; Video Production & Broadcasting; Advanced Video Editing, Animation, and Visual Effects. 

The district is planning on holding an in-house summer school program from 7/22/22 – 8/15/22 in conjunction with the 8/16 and 8/17 Regents Exams. Coming off another school year during the pandemic, the target students for summer school are those who failed courses or transfer students who lack credits/NYSED deficient. During the six-week, Monday-Thursday summer school, students have the opportunity to recover three credits. Breakfast and transportation will be provided by the district. 

The district is also envisioning a new education program for the fall of 2022. The Spa Twilight School will be an on-campus alternative education from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a GED component to cater to a population of students they don’t have education solutions for currently. 


The district is continuing to work on their COVID policies and the bussing issue. The district has exactly the number of drivers needed to fulfill their routes; if any call in, that results in routes being cancelled for the day. Information about the distribution of at-home rapid COVID testing kits will be made available by the end of the week. 

January is the district’s UPK (Universal Pre-K) enrollment and recruitment month. There will be an open house on Jan. 20 at the community center. For more information, please visit the district’s website at bscsd.org, or contact the district office.

Also on Jan. 20, there will be an Early College information night for 8th graders at the TECH-SMART campus. Register to attend in-person or virtually on the district website (bscsd.org). 

In addition, the Board of Education passed a resolution to increase public comment time at their meeting to a flexible 60-minutes (total). The resolution’s first reading was at this Jan. 5 meeting, and it will now be tabled for 28 days. 

Published in Education

Photo provided.

BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District is pleased to announce that Kenneth Slentz will be appointed as the new Superintendent of Schools at the June 6 Board of Education meeting.  Mr. Slentz currently serves as the Superintendent of the Skaneateles Central School District, located in the Finger Lakes region of central New York.

“Mr. Slentz impressed the Board with his years of experience in many different educational capacities, including the time he spent at the State Education Department,” indicated Kevin Schaefer, President of the Ballston Spa CSD Board of Education.

“The Board is in complete agreement Mr. Slentz will be able to lead the Ballston Spa Central School District forward so that our students will continue to be exposed to many great opportunities.  We welcome him and his wife to our community,” Schaefer continued.

Prior to joining the Skaneateles district, Mr. Slentz served for five years as the Deputy Commissioner for PK-12 Education for the New York State Education Department. Over his 24 years in public education, Mr. Slentz has also served as a teaching assistant, as a middle school social studies teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and Principal as well as a Superintendent at both Long Lake Central School District and West Canada Valley Central School District. Mr. Slentz holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from SUNY Geneseo, a Master’s Degree in Education from SUNY Oswego and received Administrative Certification from SUNY Plattsburgh.  Mr. Slentz was chosen through a confidential search conducted by the Ballston Spa Board of Education with help from Capital Region BOCES.  Also included in the process were a small group of stakeholders who represented central and building level administration, teaching and support staff, operations staff and community members. 

“We are confident our exhaustive search helped us find the right person to lead our school district.  Mr. Slentz’s extensive experience will serve our students, schools and the entire community well,” said Sue Filburn, Ballston Spa School Board Vice President.

The Ballston Spa Board of Education would like to extend its sincere appreciation to both WSWHE BOCES District Superintendent Jim Dexter and Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent Anita Murphy for their guidance and help throughout a lengthy search process. Mr. Slentz and his wife Katie have one daughter, Keller, who is a graduate of Skaneateles Central School District. Mr. Slentz will begin at Ballston Spa on August 20, 2018.

Published in Education
Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:40

Scotties Stampede a Success Once Again

BALLSTON SPA – The second annual Scotties Stampede was another success for the Ballston Spa Central School District. Held on May 20, the 5K race and fundraiser brought in over 200 participants. While an exact figure is not yet available, race director Madeleine Petraglia estimates that several thousand dollars were raised at the event.

Proceeds from the race will go to support the Ballston Spa Partnership for Innovation in Education Fund, a part of the larger Community Foundation for a Greater Capital Region. Some of the programs that the fund supports include Sponsor-A-Scholar, the robotics club, “Performing & Fine Arts” programs, STEM enrichment initiatives, and the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School. Many of these programs are key reasons why Ballston Spa Central School District has recently been highlighted as featuring one of the best high schools in the nation, being ranked 1,374 out of 22,000 schools by the US News & World Report’s Best High Schools list.

This year’s top three male finishers were Joey Vesic, 16, of Malta – who finished first overall across the entire race – Tyson Evensen, 35, of Saratoga Springs, and Vincent Mascardi III, 15, of Malta. The top three female finishers were Gabby Schreffer, 23, of Betnal, Dana Wiwczar, 41, of Malta, and Katherine Quinn, 20, of Niskayuna. Full race results can be found online at www.albanyrunningexchange.org.

Additionally at the event, the Ballston Spa Teachers Association distributed over 1,200 free books to attendees through their Book Bonanza program. This brings the total number of books the group has distributed over the course of 2017 to over 9,500.

The third annual Scotties Stampede is tentatively scheduled for May 19, 2018.

All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com

Published in Sports