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Displaying items by tag: Saratoga Springs City School District
SSCSD Board of Education Meeting: Updates as of Nov. 9
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs City School District held a Board of Education meeting on Nov. 9 to discuss upcoming events and hold presentation from the music department, athletics/physical education department, and on the Legacy Project.
The next COVID-19 vaccination clinics (Pfizer) are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 4. All spots are filled for the Nov. 13 clinic, but there is still availability for the Dec. 4 clinic, with spaces reserved for students ages 5-11. Parents and guardians should check their email for a link to register. For more information visit the district’s website at www.saratogaschools.org.
On Monday, Nov. 15 there will be a BOE Budget Development Workshop from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the administration building. The workshop is open to the public but will not be streamed.
As of Nov. 8, a link went live for all BOE policies to be available online. The link is: boardpolicyonline.com/?b=saratoga_springs_city. The site will be updated quarterly.
Both the Varsity Cross Country and Varsity Girls Swimming/Diving teams have recently finished sectional competition and are headed to states. The Varsity Girls XC team finished in 8th place for their 30th Section 2 title, while two boys from the Varsity Boys XC team are headed to compete in states this weekend – Mason Talarico and Ryan Bush. Two swimmers will also be competing in the states meet – Maddy Wood and Rachel Love. Rachel Love, who is a 3-time sectional champion in the 200m and 500m freestyle, will be signing a letter of intent to swim at Texas A&M.
The SSCSD has the most sport offerings in the Suburban Council and has been able to maintain every sport team and level throughout the pandemic. With 500 contests in the fall season, they are hoping to increase back to 1,000 contests in a regular season this coming winter and spring. Registration for sports was affected by COVID, but as winter sign-ups are underway, the number is trending back.
Monday, Nov. 15 marks the start of the winter sports season for JV, Freshman, and Varsity teams. Nov. 29 is the start date for Modified.
Throughout the season, the athletics department will continue to follow recommendations from the Saratoga County Health Department. The district will continue to welcome spectators to winter season contests, and masks will continue to be required for all indoor sports. Unvaccinated “high risk” athletes will be tested during the winter season; “high risk” sports include basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and cheerleading. As rosters are finalized, students will be asked to provide proof of vaccination to their school nurse to streamline to the testing process.
To watch the full meeting and presentations visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pMEYrB8OBI. For more information about the Board of Education, see the district’s website: www.saratogaschools.org.
Saratoga Springs City School District Board of Education and Budget Vote To Take Place In May
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs City School District will hold their Board of Education and Budget vote in May.
The Board of Education (BOE) and Budget vote will take place this year on Tuesday, May 18. Petitions will be accepted until April 28, therefore a list of who is running will not be made public until April 29, the following day.
Each year there are three BOE vacancies for three-year terms, and community members are encouraged to run for the seats on the board. Individuals who are seeking election to the BOE must submit a petition with a minimum of 50 signatures from district residents.
Normally, the minimum number of signatures needed is 100, however Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that small city school districts lower the minimum number of signatures needed this year.
Petition packets can be picked up at the MacFadden Administration Building at 3 Blue Streak Boulevard in Saratoga Springs, or packets can be sent by mail or email. Interested candidates can get their petition through the mail or an email after filling out the Board of Education Petition form found on the school district’s website (saratogaschools.org/district, see Board of Education tab, Board of Education Petition Information).
Completed petition packets are due to the Business Office by the deadline of April 28 at 5 p.m. On April 29, at 8 a.m., a drawing will be held for the order of the candidates on the ballot.
The proposed budget is expected to be adopted on April 20. The school district’s website states the following about its contents:
“The 2021-2022 budget will be unique as it will reflect expenses related to COVID-19 and other costs associated with funding materials, supplies, technology and staffing for hybrid and remote learning during the pandemic as well as potential reductions in Federal and NYS aid.”
More information will be made available as the election and budget vote date nears. Any questions related to the Board of Education petition form may be directed to Brenda Roberts at 518-693-1450.
Fastest in the Nation
SARATOGA SPRINGS – There might not be any records left to break in the near future if Kelsey Chmiel continues at her current pace.
Competing in the 77th Annual William F. Eddy Meet at Schenectady High School on May 20 alongside 11 other Saratoga athletes, Chmiel, a sophomore, competed in the 3,000-meter race event, finishing with a dominant 9 minutes and 18.09 seconds, putting up the best time in the country for the spring 2017 season so far as well as setting the sophomore girls national record in the event. As one might expect, a performance that put national records to shame also left her competition on the day in the dust, as her closest competitor, Burnt Hills senior Eva Scott, finished the race close to a minute and a whole lap behind her at 10 minutes and 9.66 seconds. This was Chmiel’s third year competing at the Eddy Meet.
This performance continues Chmiel’s recent streak of standout performances and broken records. Back in March, at the 2017 New Balance Nationals Indoor national-level track & field event, Chmiel competed in the 2-mile event and ended up with a time of 10 minutes and 12.94 seconds, besting the state record and narrowly edging out the national record as well. Just a little before that, at the NYSPHSAA State Championships, Chmiel set the previous record in the 3,000-meter event for sophomores. At least year’s Eddy Meet, she set the all-time record for the 1,500-meter event in Section II with a time of 4 minutes 23.81 seconds, and also put up a time of 9 minutes and 48.25 seconds in the 3,000-meter race, a time she would best by over 30 seconds just one year later.
“It makes me excited,” Chmiel said about her collection of record-breaking runs. “But I think it also makes me work harder... I’m just gonna keep working at practice and hopefully lower my times.”
“She’s very competitive, she’s very analytical,” assistant coach Linda Kranick said of Chmiel’s consistently excellent performance. “I think this is the fourth national sophomore record she’s broken this school year... Kelsey has high aspirations, and works very hard.”
Kranick, who has been coaching track & field for 37 years and has coached with husband Art Kranick at Saratoga Springs High School since 1985, reckons that Chmiel is one of the best runners she has worked with in her career, if not the best, given her consistent record-breaking performances. Some of this she attributes to the advances in coaching techniques over the years that have allowed them to train faster and faster athletes, but it mostly comes down to Chmiel’s hard work and innate talents.
“Kelsey is very humble, very modest,” Kranick said. “And she understands that she has even farther to go.”
Elsewhere at the meet, senior Mimi Liebers bested the competition to finish first in the 100-meter hurdles event. Liebers will be competing in track and field at the College of the Holy Cross in the fall.
Putting a Face to History: Korean War Veterans Speak to Saratoga Students
SARATOGA SPRINGS – History came alive recently for students at Saratoga Springs High School (SSHS).
In the intimate setting of the SSHS teaching auditorium, a little over three classes worth of local students gathered for an assembly on May 24 where seven members of the Adirondack Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association came to share stories from their times serving their country. In attendance to share their stories were Bruce Blackie, Roger Calkins, Eugene Slavin, Paul O’Keefe, Edward Bushey, William Reid, and Robert Garland. After each speaker rose to give the audience a salute, Blackie spoke first, introducing the group’s intention to shed a light on what many have termed the “Forgotten War.”
“What we wanna do is put a personal face on what you read in the history books,” Blackie said. He continued, noting the historically significant facets of the Korean War: it was the first war in American history with no formal congressional declaration to mark the country’s entrance into it, and it ended not with a victory on either side, but with a ceasefire that holds to this day.
Calkins spoke next, first noting how each speaker had lived through WWII, which ended just five years before the start of the Korean War, and how at the time the feeling of peace was such that few thought that it would ever end, let alone so soon after. He then took students through the shape of the lands controlled by the North and the South over the course of three years, starting with the divisions of the country made by the United States and the Soviet Union after WWII, see-sawing back and forth from Northern to Southern control, before finally ending with the current dividing line at the 38th Parallel, currently known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
“It all happened very fast,” Calkins said.
O’Keefe spoke next, bringing a much more personal angle to his talk, telling the story of how he came to be involved in the war, and how things went for himself and his friends afterwards. O’Keefe graduated from Mechanicville High School only four days before the war began. Alongside himself, a good friend of his from school, Raymond Waldron, was also drafted, and he told the audience to remember that name, as he would be coming back to it. Before basic training, O’Keefe had never held any sort of weapon before.
“Not even a BB gun,” O’Keefe said.
Speaking of his time on the battlefield, he noted how the life of a soldier felt like being an animal.
“Your home is now a hole in the ground,” he said, telling the students about foxholes.
Coming back to his friend Waldron, O’Keefe told the story of how surprised he was to see a friend from home in the army with himself. Later on, he told students about how Waldron went on to attend Ithaca College, and eventually became a coach and respected athletic director at SSHS, despite at one time being among their bitter rivals on the sports team in Mechanicville. Waldron’s esteem within the community was so great that a street was named after him, Coach Waldron Way, just off of Washington Street in Saratoga Springs.
O’Keefe concluded his portion by highlighting the some of the graduating Blue Streaks who would be going on to attend military academies in the fall, including student athletes Hunter Choy and Will Navin, who were in attendance.
After each speaker had told their stories, they opened up the floor for student questions. Choy and Navin each came with the kinds of specific questions befitting soon-to-be members of the Armed Forces. Choy asked about the tactics employed by the forces they interacted with in Korea, to which many of the men recalled the overwhelming numbers mobilized by the Chinese, who fought on the side of North Korea alongside the Soviet Union. Navin wanted to know about the public’s perceptions of the war at the time, which according to the men was something like ignorance, as many people seemed unaware of the war. Upon returning home from combat, a few speakers recalled how many people at home were not aware that they had been gone for so long on account of the war.
Along with sharing stories from their times in the service, the speakers also stressed how important it is to honor those servicemen and women who were not lucky enough to come back, an appropriate message so close to Memorial Day.
“It is a day to remember those who never got to take their uniforms off,” O’Keefe said about the upcoming day of remembrance.
All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com.
School Budgets Pass Across the Board
SARATOGA COUNTY – Voters across New York State took to the polls at their local schools to vote on proposed budgets, board of education elections, and the odd proposition. Across the board in Saratoga County, budgets were passed and propositions were approved. Here are some of things that area voters decided to approve:
Saratoga Springs City School District:
-$122,712,342 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Purchase of six 66-passenger school buses, four 30-passenger buses, one 23-passenger wheelchair bus and one SUV: Passed
-Establishment of Capital Reserves Fund to ““finance future construction, general improvements, reconstruction and renovations”: Passed
Ballston Spa Central School District:
-$90,340,742 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Purchase of buses and vehicles, $907,000: Passed
-Public library funding, $55,650: Passed
-Creation of Ballston Area Recreation Commission, $30,000: Passed
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District:
-$64,492,019 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Creation of student-held school board position: Authorized
Schuylerville Central School District:
-$34,849,537 2017-18 budget: Passed
-Bus leasing proposition: Passed
-Schuylerville Public Library funding: Passed
South Glens Falls Central School District: -$57,842,074 2017-18 budget: Passed -Purchase of five buses, one with wheelchair option, and one vehicle: Passed
Galway Central School District: -$21,058,918 2017-18 budget: Passed -Proposition to purchase four school buses: Passed
Mechanicville City School District: -$25,480,499 2017-18 budget: Passed -Proposition to purchase school bus: Passed -Sale of 0.44 acres of land on Elizabeth St. to Saratoga County for $1,000 for expansion of the Zim Smith trail: Approved
Holocaust Survivor Shares Story with Saratoga Students
SARATOGA SPRINGS – In a talk full of warmth, humanity, and disarming humor, Holocaust survivor Hedi McKinley spoke to an audience of Saratoga Springs High School students about the horrors she escaped and about the things she hoped people would take away from her story.
The school’s Loewenburg Auditorium was packed for the assembly on May 16. According to Ron Schorpp, a teacher who helped bring McKinley to the school, eight classes had confirmed that they would be coming beforehand, with an estimated 12 showing up in total. In addition, students had permission to leave their classes to attend if they wished.
McKinley was 18-years-old in Austria when she remembers the Nazis arriving in her hometown, noting that November 1938 had been the coldest month for the country in 20 years. Around 10 p.m. one night, she answered the door to find two boys, about 16, ordering them to get out. While they were told not to bring any of their possessions, McKinley managed to hide the house keys in her bra, which she credits with saving her life. With the help of her then-boyfriend Max – being half Jewish and half Catholic, he was permitted to wear a Nazi armband and stay safe on the streets – she fled to England, where she had been able to secure a travel visa by writing letters to names in a phone book asking for a job as a scullery maid. While she made it safely out of the country, she would lose at least 12 family members to the Holocaust.
In one of her moments of unexpected humor, McKinley noted how she had a rough time making it as a maid at first.
“I couldn’t do anything,” she said. “I couldn’t even boil and egg.”
Later, thanks to an American uncle, McKinley was able to come to America, albeit without Max, who deemed the country “fascist.”
After finishing her story, McKinley took questions from the audience, most of which were about her life since making it to America as a refugee. She talked about returning to Austria and her hometown, a painful trip which she nonetheless makes frequently. Since she now receives sums of money from the Austrian government as recompense, she prefers to give the money back to the people of Austria. On these return trips, she spends the money on “whipped cream and chocolate cake,” as well as Austrian white wine, which she recommended heartily. She also told her story of visiting Max years after leaving him to go to America, humorously noting that he married a woman who “looked just like” her. Ultimately, she was glad not to have married him. One of the biggest eruptions of laughter from the assembly came when she recounted first seeing Adolf Hitler in a procession through her hometown.
“He was not a very good looking man,” she said.
Photo header by Thomas Kika.
School Budget Vote 2017: What You Need to Know
SARATOGA COUNTY – On May 16, residents across New York State will be able to vote on the proposed budget for their local school districts. In the interest of helping potential voters in the Saratoga County area make an informed decision, we have gathered together information about what will be on the ballots for a number of major local school districts.
Saratoga Springs City School District residents will be voting on four major things: the 2017-18 budget, the Board of Education election, and two propositions. This year’s proposed budget amounts to $122,712,342, which calls for a 3.64-percent spending increase over last year. According to the district’s website, this proposed budget was designed to “preserve the outstanding quality of education for students within the district.” On the Board of Education election ballot are three candidates running for three-year terms: Anjeanette Emeka, who works in academic affairs at SUNY Empire State College, Jennifer Leidig, President and CEO of Ambiance Commerical Systems and Vice President of Ambiance, and Dr. Stephan Verral, a Board Certified Dermatologist in private practice at Gateway Dermatology in Glens Falls and Malta.
Proposition Two will authorize the district to spend $1,075,000 on six 66-passenger school buses, four 30-passenger buses, one 23-passenger wheelchair bus and one SUV. Proposition Three will authorize the creation of a “Capital Reserve Fund” to, according to the district website, “finance future construction, general improvements, reconstruction and renovations.” The fund would pull from existing funds and would not result in a tax increase.
Ballston Spa Central School District residents will be voting on a proposed 2017-18 budget, to fill three Board of Education seats, and on additional propositions. This year’s proposed budget is $90,340,742, and represents a 2.1-percent spending increase, which would result in a 0.6-percent tax increase across the district. On the Board of Education ballot, voters will chose between candidates Michael O’Donnell, Katie Thimineur, Lillian McCarthy, and Jeanne Obermayer to fill three seats. Propositions on the ballot this year include a “School Vehicle Replacement Proposition” that allows the district to spend up to $907,000 to purchase and replace buses and vehicles, permission to collect $55,650 for public library funding, and $30,000 for the Ballston Area Recreation Commission.
Schuylerville Central School District residents will vote on a proposed 2017-18 budget, to fill two Board of Education seats, and on a few propositions. This year’s proposed budget is $34,849,537, representing a spending increase of 2.1-percent. The district’s website claims that this budget will allow for the continuation of programs and services for students, and for the continued “investment in literacy and technology with the continuation of a literacy coach and technology integration specialist.” On the Board of Education ballot, voters will choose from Stanley Barber, Michael Bodnar, and Veronica Wood to fill two seats. Additional propositions will include a proposition for bus leasing and another for the Schuylerville Public Library budget.
Finally, voters in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District will vote on a 2017-18 budget, on three Board of Education candidates, and on an additional proposition. This year’s proposed budget is $64,492,019, which will represent a 2.48-percent spending increase. The Board of Education ballot will include candidates Peter Sawyer, John Blowers, and Don Marshall. Proposition Two would authorize the district to create a new Board of Education position to be held by a student from the high school.
The state-wide school budget vote will take place on May 16, from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Visit your district’s website to find out where your polling place will be this year.
Saratoga Girls Lacrosse Continues to Dominate
SARATOGA SPRINGS – A strong season is continuing apace for the dominant Saratoga Springs High School varsity girls lacrosse team.
In a league game against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake on their home turf on April 22, the Blue Streaks dominated the visiting team from start to finish, ending the game with a strong 16-6 victory. The team made good on their intentions to dominate the game from the beginning, putting up the first point of the game, and by halftime, they had massive 10-1 lead. This win puts the team 5-0 in league games, with their only loss coming at the hands and sticks of Niskayuna in a non-league game. Coming up soon will be big games against formidable teams, including Shenendahowa, Shaker, and Bethlehem.
“We have really excellent momentum,” Coach Elaine Lotruglio said. “We’ve had one loss, and it was close. I think we’re in a real good place [going forward].”
Lotruglio was impressed by the rhythm of the game, noting that the younger team was really coming into its own. Compared to previous years’ teams, this team skews much more towards the lower grade levels, with five freshmen and four sophomore players. Lotruglio guesses that by the time these young players make it to their senior year, their familiarity with one another will make them a force to contend with.
“They love to be together,” Lotruglio said about the team’s chemistry. “They pass well, and they’re learning each other’s moves, so to speak.”
A strong practice routine is also helping the team put up impressive numbers, in particular their warm-ups developed by the players themselves alongside assistant coach Elise Britt, a personal trainer and Maple Avenue Middle School health teacher. Lotruglio also noted how the team pulls certain shortcomings from each game they play so that they can work towards fixing them in future practice sessions.
Alongside the younger players, this season’s team has four senior players, Olivia Oskin, Cameron Parry, Emily Fischer, and Francesca Mangino, the latter three of which have signed their letters of intent to play inter-collegiate lacrosse in the fall. Lotruglio also highlighted the skills of sophomore Lindsey Frank, junior Ellen Payer, and junior Katie Wendell.
“They all just have a lot of fun together,” Lotruglio said.
All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com.
Quiet on Set: Local Students Help Produce Anti-Bullying PSA
SARATOGA SPRINGS – A director discusses the specifics of scene D-14 with his actors and crew, stressing that 5-6 shots will be needed. Meanwhile, a short ways away on the set, other actors patiently wait on their marks, going over their lines and directions for the upcoming shots. All the while, the cast and crew eagerly await the completion of the last few shots so that can finally take their lunch break for the day.
But this film set is not in Hollywood, or somewhere else far off. It’s right here at the Saratoga Springs Public Library (SSPL). And that cast and crew is not made up entirely of film industry professional. Rather, it is composed of local students, learning about film production for a good cause.
Filmmaker Mike Feurstein returned to the Saratoga Springs area for a five-day film residency as part of the Don’t Wait to UnMake a Bully program, a partnership between his How to UnMake a Bully program and Lisa Bradshaw’s Don’t Wait Project. Through the program, Feurstein works with students in districts nationwide, using roles on a film set to teach them about treating others with respect and how to avoid being a bully. After the in-class lessons, students take what they learn and use their new skills to help produce an anti-bullying PSA. This most recent residency ran from April 17-20, with filming at the library taking place in the last three days.
“We meet the classes for the first time on a Monday and talk about bullying, kindness, citizenship, digital citizenship, cyber security, and things like that for the first 45 minutes,” Feurstein said. “The second 45 minutes is learning how to make a movie, and we learn all the roles, and I tie the roles into civic responsibility. So the sound guy is a good listener, and the director is a good leader as well as a good listener. So we tie in the jobs of a movie set to how you should e behaving in a civilized society.”
This is Feurstein’s second time working with students on a project in the SSPL, having worked there for the first time two years ago. This year, he is working with students mostly from the Saratoga Springs City School District, as well a few from South Glens Falls and Burnt Hills. The short film that they came up with has an appropriately library-inspired theme, with villainous characters coming out of various books and possessing the bodies a various children, causing them to act like bully.
“The Queen of Hearts is acting all boisterous and bossy,” Feurstein said. “And the Wizard of Oz is acting boastful”
According to Youth Services librarian Kali Nagler, the film will premiere to the families of the students and the public in a special screening on June 15, and in the fall, they will feature the film as part of a planned anti-bullying awareness day alongside the first film produced in 2015. The film will also be shared on Feurstein’s YouTube channel, “Unmaker Mike.”
“I think a lot of them are learning that making a movie is hard work,” Feurstein said. “And it’s collaborative, they have to work together, they have to listen.”
All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com.
Crowded Classrooms: Dorothy Nolan Parents Speak Out
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Parents at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School –one of the five elementary schools in the Saratoga Springs City School District (SSCSD) –are worried about how large class sizes are affecting their children’s education. Dorothy Nolan has twice as many students as the other grade schools, yet has a total of four less sections (classes) when comparing it to the current student population.
Parents are demanding that the school board add a third grade section which was removed in 2015/16 and also, that they do not go through with cutting a second grade section in 2016/17 as planned.
Without these changes, parents have projected that second grade sections will have a 20.4 percent higher class size than other grade schools and third grade will have a 24 percent higher class size.
“We created our own task force, the Concerned Parents of Dorothy Nolan. We have about 300 parents involved so far,” said Jessica Marriott, whose son will be going into third grade next year. Marriott took data provided by the school board and used it to create documents and graphs that project what second and third grade class sizes will be, which she presented at the last board meeting on April 21.
“This is our first year in the district,” she continued. “Had I known what I know now, that the classes were so large, I would have chosen one of the other elementary schools. I would not have moved to this neighborhood.”
However, according to Michael Piccirillo, Superintendent of SSCD, changes cannot be made to class sections until total student enrollment has been accounted for, which won’t be until the end of the summer.
“Our process, which we’ve used for 20 years, is to monitor the enrollment in sections across the elementary level. We’ll be making adjustments closer to next school year to account for enrollment fluctuations.” said Piccirillo. “We have a lot more movement from outside the district over the summer than people think. Families move and enrollment levels can go up or down significantly. Often, enrollment will fluctuate into September, and it can fluctuate dramatically.”
“We understand their concern about class size,” added Piccirillo. “But we’re not ready to make any decisions.”
Projections also show that even though class sizes at Dorothy Nolan are larger than other elementary schools, the projected class sizes are still below the district’s target class size of 27.
“If it goes above that target size of 27, we’ll add another section,” said Piccirillo, who noted that adding sections is factored into the budget already, just in case the need arises.
Nevertheless, parents feel that the target class size of 27 is are still too large and also, too dated.
“We need to look at what other schools are doing and reexamine our target class sizes,” said Marriott. “Our target class sizes have been around since the 1990s. Students have different needs nowadays. We need to give them the best education they can get in the modern age.”
Fellow concerned parent Jackie O’Donnell is also worried about her son, who is moving on to third grade at Dorothy Nolan next year.
“Third grade is the transition into intermediate – it’s when teachers start asking them to be more independent and it’s also the first year of state testing,” said O’Donnell. “We started realizing how inequitable it was for our kids at Dorothy Nolan. They’re going into middle school with different experiences than other kids in schools with lower class sizes. Dorothy Nolan students are not on an equal playing field.”
One parent of a Dorothy Nolan second grader, Brad Thomas, is going one step further to see change happen at the school: he’s running for the school board.
“My reaction to the meeting [on April 21], and the reason I’m running, is that it’s not interactive enough,” explained Thomas, who has been a teacher at Burnt Hills for 22 years. “All problems can be solved or worked on successfully if you have that kind of dialogue between parents and school district personnel. The great thing about the 21st Century is that it’s easy to join in and follow that dialogue.”
If elected, Thomas plans to use social media as an avenue to build engagement between parents, board and administration. He also wants the board to take the initiatives parents have been taking to make conclusions about class sizes, such as what Jessica Marriott did.
“Planning is a full time job. Instead of the board presenting the data, the parents are. Why isn’t this core idea being presented by the board and administrators?” questioned Thomas.
On the other hand, Piccirillo noted that the district does care about class sizes, but it’s also just one factor of many when it comes to success in the classroom.
“Research is inconclusive when it comes to class size and student achievement. You have to get down to a really low class size, like 15 students, for it to really have an impact,” said Piccirillo. “We have high quality teachers and there is a lot of support for them, such as math and literacy coaches, reading teachers, teacher assistants – we have a lot of resources we can and do use to support students.”
Though final decisions are not ready to be made yet, parents are still asking for more open conversation with the board and administration.
“We can all sit down, look at the numbers and figure out a strategy,” concluded Marriott. “Together, we can make things better for this important school that makes up nearly 30 percent of the elementary population in the district.”
The next school board meeting is coming up on May 10, and will focus on the school budget and voting on May 17. For more information about SSCSD, visit saratogaschools.org.