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School Colonie Central School District News


South Colonie Districtwide News Stories From the 2012-2013 School Year

South Colonie Ranks 17th Among Area School Districts

South Colonie Schools was ranked No. 17 among 85 area school districts in The Business Review’s annual School Report for 2013. A school district’s overall score is a weighted tabulation that takes into account student test score results and graduation rates. At the same time, the district was ranked in the bottom third in the cost per pupil comparison of area districts at 63rd, and high in the state’s list of graduation rates for high school students. The district also ranked 17th in the college bound graduates category, 6th in Social Studies achievement, 22nd in English achievement, and 24th in Math achievement out of the 85 districts. view full report

Spittin' Fire at South Colonie's 4th Annual Poetry Slam

With nothing but a mic and their words, South Colonie students in grades 8-12 took control of Barnes & Noble of Colonie Center Mall for the 4th Annual South Colonie Spoken Word Poetry Slam. full story

South Colonie ESL End of Year Picnic and Awards Ceremony

The South Colonie ESL Department held its 21th annual ESL Picnic at Sand Creek Middle School in June. Families of ESL students from throughout the district gathered together for a pizza dinner, outdoor fun, and an awards ceremony celebrating the students’ progress in ESL this year. view a photo gallery

Teachers and Administrators Approve Concessions for Second Straight Year to Save Critical Programming and Support Services

Faced again with a difficult budget process, South Colonie administrators and teachers, for a second straight year, have agreed to make contract concessions in 2013-2014 to help maintain critical programming and support for the students they serve. Members of the South Colonie Teachers Association (SCTA), more than 450 in all, have agreed to take an unpaid day next school year saving the District approximately $230,000 (staff members will have three days of professional development as compared to the normal four), while Central Office and Building Level administrators throughout the District have agreed to health insurance and compensation changes equating to $102,000 in additional savings for the next school year. full story

Colonie High Graduate Rescuer Reunites With Boston Marathon Bombing Victim

A 1995 Colonie Central High School graduate and now Boston firefighter James Plourde, whose photograph of him rescuing a woman from the Boston Marathon bombing scene has gone viral, was reunited with the victim on NBC Nightly News Wednesday night. view story

NYS Considers More Work For High School Students in Form of an Essay

New York's high school students could soon face a new challenge before they earn their diplomas: a 1,250-word research paper. That is the new proposal by the state Education Department to better prepare New York's students for life after high school. On Monday, the Board of Regents considered the proposal, which could apply to students entering high school as freshmen in the 2013-2014 school year. full story

Fulbright Visitors Enrich District Foreign Language Classrooms

In an effort to increase awareness of the importance of foreign language study and multi-cultures, teachers in the South Colonie Foreign Language Department, grades 5-12, are hosting visiting Fulbright teachers in their classes this school year. full story

District Ranked Among Best Communities For Music Education in the Nation

The South Colonie Central School District has been ranked among the Best Communities for Music Education in the country by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). full story

District Sets Calendar For 2013-2014 School Year

South Colonie Schools has set the district calendar for the 2013-2014 school year. district calendar (pdf)

South Colonie Student Artwork on Display in Albany as Part of March Student Art Month

South Colonie student artwork from several schools is on display in Albany as part of March Student Art Month. The first show is the state-wide NYSATA Legislative Art Exhibit, March 1-8, at the Legislative Building, Well Area, Empire State Plaza, presented by the New York State Art Teachers Association. The second show is the regional Empire State Plaza Art Collection Student Art Exhibit, March 1-15, at the Concourse Level, Empire State Plaza, presented by the Capital Area Art Supervisors (CAAS) group, in cooperation with the State of New York Office of General Services (OGS). Wednesday is the opening reception from 12:30-2 p.m. view a photo art gallery

Understanding NYS's GEA and What It's Doing to Our Schools

Do you understand New York State's GEA and what it's doing to schools like ours? Take a look at this short video ... it explains it well! view video

Invitation to Community to Join District at Three Important Upcoming Budget Forums - First Forum is February 27, 7 p.m., Veeder Elementary School

Please join us for a series of three important public discussions as the South Colonie Board of Education and administration face the challenge of putting together a district budget for the 2013-14 school year in the face of millions of dollars in lost state aid. The first forum will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Veeder Elementary School. Please RSVP today by contacting Jamie Mroczko at 869-3576, X2442. more information (pdf)

New York State schools lose out of $33 million

It was supposed to be model for changing public education. Instead, far less than half the $50 million in a state grant program was awarded, leaving some unsuccessful applicants wondering about New York's commitment to reform. full story

South Colonie Stakeholders Attend 'A Call to Action'

A group of South Colonie stakeholders were among some 400 from the Capital Region who attended Monday night's forum at Niskayuna High School to learn the A, B, C's of advocating for more state funding to avert the fiscal cliff facing all public schools. Monday forum entitled, “A Call to Action,” was part two of the landmark program, “Your Public Schools in Fiscal Peril – Running Out of Time & Options,” which drew an overflow crowd of 1,500 school administrators, teachers, students, community members, and more than a dozen state legislators to Columbia High School on January 31. view news story on the event

Watch the Video From 47-School District Regional Education Forum January 31 at Columbia High School

If you were not able to attend the 47-school district regional education forum held on January 31 at Columbia High School and would like to watch a video of that presentation please click here.

Join Us For 'A Call to Action' and Learn How to Advocate For Our Schools

With the Capital Region still buzzing from last week’s unprecedented regional rally to avert the fiscal crisis facing public schools, educational stakeholders representing 47 school districts will reconvene Monday night, February 11, to learn what they can personally do to advocate for change. full story

Middle School Students Place in Top 10 at Annual MATHCOUNTS Competition

For the second straight year South Colonie middle school students finished in the Top 10 at the annual February MathCOUNTS team competition. full story

State Education Commissioner Calls For More State Aid

State Education Commissioner John King asked lawmakers for $98 million more in school aid, warning that school districts are struggling to stave off insolvency. King asked for a 3.5 percent increase in state school aid next year — or $709 million — up from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed 3 percent — or $611 million — at an education funding hearing Tuesday with members of the state Assembly and Senate. full story

Kindergarten Registration Information for the 2013-2014 School year

South Colonie will conduct Kindergarten registration for the 2013-14 school year in March. Children must be 5 years old on or before December 1 of the year they enter kindergarten. Parent/Guardians of eligible children identified through the previous district census are sent registration packets in the mail about the second week of February. Once the packet is received, please call your elementary school of location to make an appointment for the registration week. For specific information, click here (pdf). Have a new baby? Click here (pdf) to link to the new child in district form. It’s never too early to let the district know, to help us with future planning.

State Executive Budget Continues to Put School Districts in Financial Hole

Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed his proposed budget today to fund New York State in 2013-14. The budget set new funding for full-day pre-kindergarten in high-need school districts, early college programs to help high school students accelerate, and extended day programs that he introduced in his State of the State address earlier this month. The budget, however, continues to put school districts, including South Colonie, in a financial hole. full story

forum logoSouth Colonie Stakeholders to Attend January 31 Regional Education Forum 'Your Schools in Fiscal Peril - Running Out of Time & Options'

With a fifth straight year of significant state revenue reductions looming for the district’s 2013-14 budget and more difficult educational decisions to be made, South Colonie stakeholders are participating in an important event this month to help draw region-wide attention to the fiscal crisis facing all public schools. The district is joining representatives from 47 area school districts on January 31 for a forum entitled, “Your Public Schools in Fiscal Peril – Running Out of Time & Options.” full story

Governor Outlines Education in 2013 State of the State Address

Governor Cuomo presented his State of the State address on January 10, thereby depicting his agenda for 2013. The governor indicated that he plans to expand New York Open for Business efforts with a "one - two punch" - jobs and education. You will note that the governor's education agenda is strongly supported by the report recently issued by the New NY Education Reform Commission. full story

South Colonie Fills 11 School Buses With Toys For Tots During 2012 Campaign

South Colonie’s sixth annual Stuff The Bus with Toys For Tots campaign was an overwhelming success again this holiday season. Families, staff and community residents filled 11 full size yellow school buses with new, unwrapped toys during November and December by donating them at school or by dropping them off at various locations throughout the area. full story

District Sets 2013-2014 Budget Development Calendar

The South Colonie Central School District has set its budget development calendar for the 2013-2014 school year. To view the calendar, click here (pdf).

K-12 Aid To Education Faces Uncertain Future, Despite 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

K-12 education programs would be spared the prospect of the largest across-the-board cuts in history, but only temporarily, under a bill to avert much of the so-called "fiscal cliff," overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. Senate early Tuesday morning. The measure, which passed the Senate 89-8, would delay the trigger cuts known as "sequestration," which have been set to hit just about every government agency—including the U.S. Department of Education— today, Jan. 2. full story

Dealing With The Newtown School Tragedy

Parents: We are all struggling to deal with the senseless tragedy that occurred Friday at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Our school principals are holding meetings of Crisis Teams or other key personnel to determine those things that should be done to help our students. Meanwhile, we continue to look at our security measures in all of our school buildings. For parents who are looking for help in dealing with their children, the website for the National Association of School Psychologists is very helpful. I have attached their tips for parents and teachers. I hope it is helpful to you. Please pray for the victims and their families. Jonathan Buhner, Superintendent of Schools view tips

Local Schools Wouldn't Escape Fiscal Cliff Fallout

New York's school districts will lose an average of $243,000 in federal funding for their 2013-14 school budgets if lawmakers allow the U.S. economy to fall off the so-called fiscal cliff in January. Schools in the Capital Region stand to lose about $80,000 each, according to a new analysis by the New York School Boards Association. full story

District Joins March on NYS Capitol to Demand More Funding For Education

South Colonie administrators, teachers, students, community members and other staff joined hundreds at the New York State Capitol this week to rally for more state funding for education. The event, called the Educate NY Now Express tour, was a response to deep cuts in state education aid combined with a new property tax cap limiting what districts can raise through tax increases. full story

South Colonie Earns Spot on Prestigious AP Course Honor Roll

South Colonie is one of 539 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 3rd Annual APĀ® District Honor Roll for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced PlacementĀ® course work while increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. full story

Thank You For Supporting Our Educational Forum

Thank you to everyone who attended last night's five-school educational forum at Sand Creek Middle School. The auditorium was full, the information was real and the stories were compelling. Please take a minute to contact your state legislators and ask them to reinvest in our public school children by eliminating the GEA. Click here (pdf) to view our losses in state aid. South Colonie representatives are Senator Neil Breslin and Assemblyman Bob Reilly. Here are their web pages where you can submit your messages. contact Senator Breslin or contact Assemblyman Reilly or endorse the educate ny now campaign

South Colonie Hosts Unique Five-District Educational Forum

Faced with four straight years of lost state aid to education and a fifth year of further cuts looming, South Colonie leaders hosted a first-of-its-kind school funding forum this fall that brought a standing-room-only crowd to Sand Creek Middle School. full story

South Colonie Voters Approve Capital Project/School Bus Purchase Propositions

South Colonie Central School District residents went to the polls on Wednesday and approved two important propositions. Voters gave the thumbs up to a proposed $4.375 million capital project to make repairs/improvements at two schools and a $333,000 proposition to purchase three new school buses to upgrade the district’s fleet. The capital project passed by a vote of 785-342 and the school bus proposition passed by a vote of 795-341. full story

Board of Education Holds Tenure Reception

Eight of the district’s finest administrators, teachers, teaching assistants, and social workers were honored by the South Colonie Board of Education in September for their recent tenure appointments. A reception was held at the South Colonie District Office in September where the Board of Education joined Superintendent Jonathan Buhner and other administrators in presenting the honorees with certificates for this accomplishment. full story

South Colonie Wins New York State Writing Award

The South Colonie Central School District has captured a first place award for writing excellence in the 33rd annual Communications Contest sponsored by the New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA). The district earned an Award of Excellence in Writing for the May, 2012, story: "Colonie Central High School Art Student Wins Anti-DWI Billboard Design Campaign." full story

Board of Education Adopts New Tax Rates

The South Colonie Board of Education adopted new district property tax rates for the 2012-13 school year at its meeting Monday night. The new rates are $25.28 per $1,000 assessed value for South Colonie home and business owners, $20.11 per $1,000 in Guilderland, and $16.40 per $1,000 in Niskayuna. For further information on the 2012-2013 district budget and property levy click here (pdf).


Jill PennMeet Jill Penn, New Forest Park Elementary School Principal

A long-time district administrator with a history of championing anti-bullying causes with South Colonie students and their families is the new Principal of Forest Park Elementary School. Jill Penn, who has worked for the district since 1992, and most recently as the Associate Principal at Sand Creek Middle School, started her new position at Forest Park over the summer. full story


District Announces Administrative Changes

South Colonie Schools announces the following administrative changes for the 2012-13 school year: Forest Park Elementary School Principal Patrick Gunner is the district's new Supervisor of Pupil Services and Special Education. Replacing him at Forest Park is former Associate Principal of Sand Creek Middle School, Jill Penn. Colonie Central High School Associate Principal Thomas Nicholson will replace Penn as Associate Principal at Sand Creek, and District Registrar David Pace will replace Nicholson as Associate Principal at the high school. A new District Registrar has not yet been named.

Gunner Named New Supervisor of Special Education/Pupil Services

Forest Park Elementary School Principal Patrick Gunner has been named the district's new Supervisor of Pupil Services and Special Education. Replacing him at Forest Park is former Associate Principal of Sand Creek Middle School, Jill Penn.


South Colonie Districtwide News Stories From the 2011-2012 School Year

The Business Review Ranks South Colonie No. 16 Among 85 Area School Districts For 2012

South Colonie Schools was ranked No. 16 among 85 area school districts (up three spots from last year) in The Business Review's annual School Report for 2012. A school district's overall score is a weighted tabulation that takes into account student test score results and graduation rates. view the entire report

South Colonie Ranks Low in Cost Per Pupil, High in High School Graduation Rates

South Colonie Schools is ranked in the bottom third of The Business Review's recent cost per pupil comparison of area districts, but high in the state's list of graduation rates for high school students. The district ranks 64th in cost per pupil among 91 school districts surveyed at $17,426 per student, while its graduate rate has increased to 90 percent, overall. view cost per pupil comparison

Gay Named Dollars For Scholars Volunteer of the Year

Dollars for Scholars has named Joyce Gay a Volunteer of the Year Regional Award winner for the 2011-12 school year. full story

Thank You to the Community For Overwhelmingly Supporting the 2012-2012 District Budget

The Board of Education and all South Colonie Central School District staff members would like to express their gratitude to the community for passing the 2012-2013 school budget yesterday. “We are extremely appreciative of the support our community has shown for our students and the critical programming that allows them to succeed," said Superintendent Jonathan Buhner. "The significant loss of state support combined with other factors related to the overall economy made the development of the budget very difficult. With that said, thoughtful planning and discussions combined with employees that were willing to give back resulted in a solid plan for next year. We have a great deal to be proud of here at South Colonie and we feel fortunate that a number of critical academic achievement initiatives can continue.”

South Colonie Residents Approve 2012-2013 District Budget, Elected Motto and Gigliello to Board of Education

South Colonie residents went to the polls today and approved the district budget for the 2012-2013 school year by a vote of 1,820-660, a 73-percent approval margin. They also elected newcomer Rose Gigliello to the Board of Education over challenger Christine Badger Mele by a vote of 1,103-974. Incumbent Leonard Motto, who ran unopposed, was also elected to a new five-year term on the school board with 1,526 votes. The new district budget totals $91,886,594 million and represents a 0.78 or less than 1 percent spending increase over the current year and a tax levy increase of approximately 2.6 percent, which is within New York State new tax cap limitation.

Message to Governor: South Colonie Students Producing Impressive Results

While Governor Cuomo Monday named a Blue Ribbon Commission to look at the problems facing public education across New York, South Colonie Central School District students continue to produce impressive results. full story

Understanding the New School Food Regulations

Renee Hanks, Director of Food Services for the South Colonie Central School District, talks about some of the new regulations for cafeteria food on WNYT Channel 13 news. Watch news story

Understanding the New School Food Regulations

Renee Hanks, Director of Food Services for the South Colonie Central School District, talks about some of the new regulations for cafeteria food on WNYT Channel 13 news. Watch news story

Get Informed About the Proposed 2012-2013 District Budget With InFocus

South Colonie residents will be receiving in the mail shortly the May 2012 InFocus newsletter which includes eight pages of information on the proposed 2012-2013 district budget and Board of Education elections. The budget vote will be held on Tuesday, May 15th, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., at the district's five elementary schools. To download a copy of the budget newsletter, click here (pdf).

Board of Education Adopts Proposed Budget For 2012-2013 School Year

Public Vote to be Held May 15th, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The South Colonie Board of Education has adopted a proposed $91.8 million budget for the 2012-2013 school year. District residents will vote on the spending plan on Tuesday, May 15. The proposed budget represents a 0.78 or less than 1 percent spending increase over the current year and a tax levy increase of approximately 2.6 percent, which is within New York State new tax cap limitation. Residents will receive a newsletter in the mail with a complete overview and explanation of next year's budget in early May. For a breakdown of projected budget revenues and expenditures, click here (pdf).

Cooking Contest Features Colonie Central High School Chefs

Move over Bobby Flay! Step aside Gordon Ramsay! The next celebrity chefs could be honing their culinary skills right here at Colonie Central High School. In a kitchen war that mirrored the popular Food Network show Chopped, a reality-based cooking series pitting professional chefs against one another in a TV cook off, five members of the high school Gourmet Club had a challenge of their own. full story or view a photo gallery

No 'Pink Slime' Beef Served in South Colonie Cafeterias

South Colonie Schools does NOT use lean finely textured beef or so called “pink slime” you may have seen featured on recent news reports in its school meals. This was confirmed in a statement (pdf) issued by the district’s beef supplier, JTM Food Group. full story

South Colonie Teachers, Other Labor Groups Announce Salary Give-Backs to Help  2012-2013 District Budget

South Colonie Schools announced today major salary concessions have been made by the district’s 450-member teachers’ union and other labor groups that will help close a projected $3.8 million budget gap for the 2012-13 school year. full story

South Colonie Music Department Presents String Jamboree

The South Colonie Central School District’s music department presented a String Jamboree in March, showcasing the talents of 450 young musicians of the South Colonie orchestra program. The event was presented as part of an ongoing celebration of Music in Our Schools month. full story

South Colonie Food Service Director Attends Georgetown SNA Executive Management Program

South Colonie Food Service Director, Renee Hanks, SNS, was recently selected to participate in School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) exclusive Executive Management Program, taught by top ranked faculty members of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. full story

Four Years of State Aid Cuts Presents Daunting Budget Challenges For South Colonie Schools

Four straight years of flat or reduced state aid to education has presented daunting budget challenges for South Colonie Schools, and preparing the 2012-13 District budget has been the most challenging of all. The District administration and Board of Education have been working since October to close a $3.8 million budget gap caused by multi-year reductions in state aid, unfunded mandates, increased educational costs and a tax cap levy limitation of 2.62 percent to fund programs next school year. full story

District To Offer Special International Menus to Celebrate Foreign Language Week March 12-15

South Colonie Food Services will offer a special international menu at Colonie Central High School, Sand Creek and Lisha Kill middle schools to celebrate Foreign Language Week March 12-15. The menus will feature foods from France, China, Italy and Mexico. For the CCHS menu, click here (pdf). For the middle schools' menu, click here (pdf).

Obama Challenges Governors to Invest in Education

President Obama has challenged state governors to make sure all students in their schools today get the education and skills they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow. A majority of states will spend less on elementary and secondary schools in 2012 than they did last year. But when our economy is struggling, the last place to make cuts is in education, the President said. full story

Best Finish Ever For South Colonie MathCOUNTS Competitors

South Colonie middle school students recorded their best finish in district history at this year’s MathCOUNTS competition held in February at the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna. full story

School Nutrition Professionals, District Welcome Release of Final School Meal Nutrition Standards

The School Nutrition Association (SNA), representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals nationwide, joins South Colonie Schools in welcoming the release of the US Department of Agriculture’s final regulations (pdf) updating the meal pattern for school breakfast and lunch. full story

Food Service Personnel Survey Options For Serving Healthier School Lunches

As part of the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, school lunches must meet new strict federal guidelines in September. On January 12, hundreds of local school food directors attended a food fair at the Polish Community Center of Albany where vendors offered a taste of their products. Most companies offered low-sodium, whole-wheat and low-fat options. South Colonie Food Services Director Renee Hanks attended the food fair and discussed the district's options with Times Union reporter Cathleen Crowley. full story

Teachers And Administrators Move Forward on State APPR Regulations

While Governor Cuomo makes the headlines by criticizing school districts for failing to make adequate progress on developing a new system for evaluating teacher/principal performance, South Colonie continues to move forward on the plan within the timeframe of the law. full story

Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address Focuses on Educational Reform

Governor Cuomo has delivered his second State of the State address. Prior to the address, there was rumor of a new governor's commission to recommend education reform. That prediction came true and was featured in the governor's comments regarding education. No details regarding the new commission have been released as of today. For other highlights of his address that directly affect school districts and students, click here.

Youth Detention Center Students And Teachers Learn Lesson in Giving

Capital District Juvenile Detention Facility houses junior high and high school aged students from all over New York State who are awaiting placement while attending court proceedings. Because this facility resides in the South Colonie School District, South Colonie teachers have been leading the academic program there for the past 14 years. This year, in light of the economic difficulties people have been experiencing in our area, Special Education Teacher Rebecca Oppenneer and Teaching Assistant Roxanne Gillen and their English classes decided to carry out a meaningful lesson in Philanthropy. full story

CEO Says Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Are Ticket to Good Jobs And to America’s Prosperity

Over the past decade, STEM job openings grew three times faster than non-STEM jobs. STEM workers are expected to earn, on average, 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts. Even among workers with a high school diploma or less, those with STEM proficiency will earn, on average, 36 percent more than those without it. Last year, when the unemployment rate reached 10 percent, STEM unemployment remained at 5.3 percent. full story

STEAM: Experts Make Case for Adding Arts to STEM

According to Education Week, the acronym STEM—shorthand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—has quickly taken hold in education policy circles, but some experts in the arts community and beyond suggest it may be missing another initial to make the combination more powerful. The idea? Move from STEM to STEAM, with an A for the arts. full story

Congress Pushes Back On Federal Attempts To Make School Lunches Healthier

WASHINGTON (AP) — Who needs leafy greens and carrots when pizza and French fries will do? In an effort many 9-year-olds will cheer, Congress wants pizza and French fries to stay on school lunch lines and is fighting the Obama administration’s efforts to take unhealthy foods out of schools. full story

Study Shows School Lunch Program Improves Children's Health

A recent study by current and former Iowa State researchers confirmed that the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) improves the health outcomes of children who reside in low-income households. The study of nearly 2,700 NSLP children (ages 6-17) found that the NSLP reduces the prevalence of food insecurity by 3.8 percent, poor general health by 29 percent, and the rate of obesity by at least 17 percent in its participants. full story

South Colonie Ranked 11th in Capital District in Academic Performance by Business First Journal

South Colonie Central Schools placed 11th in the Capital District and 55th among 431 upstate school districts in Business First journal's ranking of school districts by academic performance. The 11th place ranking compares South Colonie among 84 districts in the Capital District, based on an analysis of four years of standardized test results from students in fourth grade through high school. view entire report

The Rising Importance of a Science Degree

According to New York Times article, if you’re trying to figure out what to study in college, a new report suggests you would do well choosing a major in science, technology, engineering or math. full story

Truckload of Supplies Delivered To Help Schoharie County Flood Victims, The District Thanks You For Your Support!

South Colonie Schools delivered a truckload of supplies on October 13th to help Schoharie County flood victims. "We can't thank everyone who participated in this important relief effort enough," said Superintendent of Schools, Jonathan Buhner. "Our community always steps up in times of need and I'm proud to be associated with it." full story

New Cyberbullying Bill Introduced in New York State

A New York State senator has introduced a new "cyber bullying" bill, saying outdated pre-digital harassment laws fail to punish bullies who use the Internet and smartphones to torment others. The bill is a response to several highly publicized cases of teen suicides in the aftermath of some form of online bullying. full story

District Collecting Supplies To Help Schoharie County Flood Victims

In the aftermath of both Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, which devastated hundreds of families in Schoharie County with severe flooding, the School District and the Village of Colonie have set up collection stations at any of the eight school buildings, the bus garage, the District Office, and the Village of Colonie Family Recreation Center. full story

South Colonie Captures Three Awards in NYS Communications Contest

The South Colonie Central School District has captured three awards in the 32nd annual Communications Contest sponsored by the New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA). full story

Superintendent Buhner Reflects on Start of New School Year

South Colonie Superintendent of Schools, Jonathan Buhner, was recently interviewed by Latham Life newspaper as the District prepares for the start of another school year. Here is what he had to say. full story

Court Rules in Favor of NYSUT in New Teacher Evaluations Case

The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union declared a major court victory on Wednesday after a judge ruled that a school district cannot impose a teacher evaluation system where 40 percent is based on student test scores. The NYS Education Department says it will appeal (pdf). full story

girl taking an examSouth Colonie Students 'Making The Grade' On New Gr. 3-8 State Assessments in English Language Arts & Math

South Colonie students, overall, are “making the grade” when it comes to achieving on the new annual New York State assessments in ELA and Math, according to data recently released by the New York State Education Department. full story


Jasan SemoJason Semo Named New Supervisor of Physical Education & Athletics, Replaces Retired David Foust

Jason Semo is the new South Colonie Supervisor of Physical Education, Athletics and Intramurals effective August 15th. He was appointed by the Board of Education Tuesday night and replaces David Foust, who retired on June 30. full story

New York State to Reinstate January Regents Exams This School Year

The New York State Education Department said today it will reinstate the January Regents exams this school year following the announcement by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott that they have secured $1.5 million in private funding to pay for their administration. full story

School Lunch/Breakfast/Milk Prices Increase for 2011-12 School Year

The price of a school lunch will increase 10 cents in September, and the price of a breakfast is up 15 cents due to the rising cost of producing them. The Board of Education approved the rate increase this summer to $1.90 for an elementary school lunch and $2.15 for a middle and high school lunch. The price of breakfast is now $1.15 at the elementary schools and $1.40 at the middle and high schools. Milk also went up a nickel to 55 cents. The rate increase is due to increased costs in food (fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and reduced fat products), gasoline, health care, and the need to repair/upgrade school kitchen equipment. South Colonie continues to offer one of the lowest priced school lunches in the Capital District.

South Colonie Districtwide News Stories From the 2010-2011 School Year


New York State Property Tax Cap Now Official

The New York State Legislature made it official this month in passing Governor Andrew Cuomo's campaign promise to enact a property tax cap on school districts and municipalities. The cap will take effect this coming budget season and affect district planning for the 2012-2013 school year. full story

computer graphicDistrict IT Department Secures $140,000 in Tech Equipment From HVCC For Use at High School

The South Colonie Central School District has obtained 100 new state of the art computers at no cost as part of the ongoing school to college program with Hudson Valley Community College. The computers, obtained by the district Information Technology Department, are Dell Precision T1600’s, specifically designed for the CAD, Engineering and Graphics programs taught by the Technology Department at Colonie Central High School. These machines have both the power and graphics capabilities needed to run the application software. The department also will be getting a state of the art 3D Printer. The total value of this equipment, funded by HVCC, is approximately $140,000. CCHS students who participate in these courses receive college credit from HVCC as part of the school to college partnership.

Budget Thank You Letter From Superintendent Buhner

On behalf of the Board of Education and all of the staff at South Colonie Central School District, I would like to thank everyone for their support and for being involved in the complex budget development process this year. full letter

South Colonie Residents Approve 2011-2012 District Budget 1,548-1,061

South Colonie Central School District residents went to the polls on Tuesday, May 17th, and approved an $91.1 million budget for the 2011-12 school year by a vote of 1,548-1,061. The budget continues to support South Colonie’s key educational initiatives despite a projected $531,000 cut in state aid to the district over the current school year. full story

Dr. John King JrBoard of Regents Elects John King New New York State Commissioner of Education

The New York State Board of Regents voted today to elect Dr. John B. King, Jr. as New York State Education Commissioner and President of the University of the State of New York. The Regents took this action at their May meeting held today in Albany. full story

Boston Marathon logoThree Teachers Compete in 2011 Boston Marathon This Spring

Three South Colonie teachers were among the nearly 25,000 runners (11,462 of whom were women) who competed in this year's 115th Boston Marathon Monday. They were Heather Kurto (Forest Park Elementary School - 3:41:26), Connie Smith (Lisha Kill Middle School - 3:53:09) and Gretchen Oliver (Sand Creek Middle School - 3:15:00)

State Education Commissioner Steiner to Resign

State Education Commissioner David Steiner announced Thursday afternoon that he will resign later this year. In a statement, Steiner said he had informed Chancellor Merryl Tisch of his decision, and that he was "immensely proud of the reforms we've achieved - guiding New York's successful Race to the Top application, designing a new teacher and school leader evaluation system, reforming teacher preparation and certification and implementing a tough re-setting of our 3-8 tests." Read statements released by State Education Department

Second Draft of the Proposed 2011-2012 District Budget Includes Nearly $650,000 in Restored State Aid; District Still Braces for a $500,000 Loss

The South Colonie Board of Education reviewed a second draft of a proposed district budget for the 2011-12 school year Tuesday night which includes $648,774 in restored aid for education by the New York State Legislature. full story

Sherri Fisher Appointed Next South Colonie Assistant Superintendent For Management Services and Strategic Planning

Sherri L.D. Fisher is South Colonie’s next Assistant Superintendent for Management Services and Strategic Planning effective July 1. She was appointed to that post by the Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday night and will replace Beverly Miller, who is retiring. full story

South Colonie Custodian Helps Save Man's Life

A South Colonie custodian helped save a man’s life this spring thanks to quick action and training in the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). full story

District Unveils First Draft of the 2011-12 School Year Budget

Faced with unprecedented financial challenges due to massive reductions in state support for education, the district unveiled its first draft of a proposed budget for the 2011-2012 school year to the South Colonie Board of Education Tuesday night. full story

District Workshops Encourage Middle Schoolers to Pursue STEM Education

South Colonie is heeding the President’s call to encourage today’s students to pursue careers in the fields of math, science and technology so the nation can continue to compete in a global economy. This winter, the Colonie Central High School Math and Science Clubs sponsored two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workshops for Lisha Kill and Sand Creek middle school students. full story

President Obama Urges Education Law Overhaul

WASHINGTON — President Obama has called for an overhaul of education legislation enacted in the Bush administration, telling an audience on of teachers and students on March 14 that Congress should change the No Child Left Behind Act before the start of the next school year. full story

District Releases New Calendar For 2011-2012 School Year

The District has released its calendar for the 2011-2012 school year. To view the calendar, click here (pdf).

NYS Education Department Releases 2009-2010 School Report Cards

The New York State Education Department announced today the release of 2009-2010 School Report Cards for all schools and districts throughout New York State. In addition to school and district information, there is also a School Report Card for the entire state. The view the South Colonie Report Card information, click here.

Six Longtime South Colonie Administrators to Retire July 1

Six longtime South Colonie administrators have announced their retirements effective at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. The Board of Education approved these retirements at its meeting on February 15. full story

South Colonie Teachers Turn to Google Apps Classroom Web Sites to Heighten Home-School Communications

Home-School communications is certainly a lot different than it used to be. Once upon a time, it was common practice for a teacher to hand a student a folded piece of paper and say: “Johnny, please take this note home to your mother.” But in today’s modern world, communications between school and home is just a mouse click away as more and more teachers in the South Colonie Central School District are developing web sites of their own. full story

CCHS Hosts Board of Regents Forum on Changes to Graduation Requirements

Colonie Central High School hosted a New York State Board of Regents forum on Tuesday night to discuss possible changes to graduation requirements. This was the second of a series of forums being conducted by the Regents around the state over the next two months. The forum include some 200 educators including superintendents, school board members, school leaders and teachers. full story or view a photo gallery of this event

Wall Street Journal Article: Regents Calls For Higher Math and Literacy Standards for Kindergarten and First Grade

More requirements for math as early as kindergarten and teaching a greater understanding of literature are among new standards for New York's public schools to be in place by the 2011-12 school year. full story

South Colonie Joins List of EPA Energy Star Leaders

South Colonie Central Schools is proud to join EPA's list of Energy Star Leaders, an elite group of organizations that have improved energy efficiency across all of the buildings in a portfolio. To date, Energy Star Leaders include organizations such as schools, hospitals, supermarkets, commercial real estate businesses and hospitality companies. full story

South Colonie Stuffs 10 Buses Full of Toys For Tots

South Colonie's fourth annual Stuff the Bus with Toys For Tots campaign was an overwhelming success again this holiday season. Throughout November and December, the district's yellow school buses were set up outside shopping malls and at the schools for students, families, shoppers and staff to drop off new toys to help needy children. Because of everyone's generosity, 10 school buses were stuffed with toys and delivered to the U.S. Marine Depot in Scotia in time for the holidays. Toys for Tots, sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps since 1947, provides some 60,000 Capital District children with toys for the holidays. Thank you to everyone for helping make a child's holidays special this year.

CCHS Students Join Al Gore's Online Town Hall

A group of Colonie High School students participated in November's Global Online Town Hall entitled: "Math, Science and the Future of Our Nation." The program was presented by Time Warner Cable and hosted by former Vice President Al Gore. full story

District Energy Conservation Program Tops $3 Million Mark in Savings

South Colonie's very successful Energy Conservation and Management program has now topped the $3 million mark in energy savings. full story

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Follow news and announcements about the South Colonie Central School District on Facebook. Click on the icon to sign up.


Sand Creek Middle School Debuts Two New Cafeteria Ovens

The Sand Creek Middle School cafeteria debuted two new cooking oven this school year. full story

Colonie High School West Wing Cafeteria Staff All Smiles After Winning New Cooler in 'Just Say Cheese' Dairy  Contest

The Colonie Central High School West Wing Cafeteria is home to a brand new dairy cooler this year thanks to the efforts of the dedicated Food Services staff. Back in February, the West Wing staff entered the “Just Say Cheese” contest sponsored by the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, Inc. (ADADC) and captured this prize for their creativity in the kitchen. full story

Dollars for Scholars Phone-a-thon Raises Nearly $3,000 For Scholarships

Thank you to everyone who supported South Colonie Dollars for Scholars' first annual Phone-a-thon, which raised nearly $3,000 in scholarship money for this year's Colonie Central High School graduates. Thirty-two student volunteers from the CCHS Key Club and National Honor Society manned 13 phones on October 18 and received 158 pledges totaling $2,920.

National Honors For Colonie Central High School Taco Pockets Recipe

Colonie Central High School has built a reputation for producing award-winning graduates. After all, you are what you eat. Just ask the high school cafeteria staff. Their latest “south of the border” kitchen creation finished in the Top 10 among recipes entered in a national taste test sponsored by South Colonie meat vendor JTM Food Group of Ohio. full story

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South Colonie Launches New School News Notifier

South Colonie is pleased to announce the launch of the new “School News Notifier” (SNN), a system designed to help keep parents, staff and the community more in touch with what is happening at South Colonie Central Schools. SNN is an opt-in email alert system for which parents and residents can sign up to receive email alerts from the district. With SNN, district officials have the power to send updates and reminders about district activities or information about school closings and delays. Users can choose to receive any or all of the alerts, and they can unsubscribe at any time. Sign up today by clicking on the SNN icon. For more information about SNN, click here (pdf).

bus vote photoVoters Approve Bus Purchase Proposition 653-366

South Colonie voters went to the polls on Wednesday, October 13th, and approved the annual school bus purchase proposition by a vote of 653-366. full story

South Colonie Web Site Captures Second Communications Award

The South Colonie Central School District web site, redesigned and launched on March 1, has won an Award of Honor in the 31st annual Communications Contest sponsored by the New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA). This is the second prestigious award for the district web site since its redesign. full story

School Property Tax Increase Lower Than Expected; Up 1.25% in South Colonie

School property taxes will increase by only about a third of the amount originally projected last spring for residential and commercial property owners living in the Town of Colonie. Based on equalization rates and final assessments recently set by area municipalities, the Board of Education met August 31 and set a new Colonie tax rate of $24.05 per $1,000 of assessed value for the 2010-11 school year. This represents a 1.25 percent or 30-cent increase over last school year’s Colonie tax rate of $23.75 per $1,000. Full story

New York State Wins Millions in 'Race to the Top' Federal Funding; South Colonie Waits For Word on How Local School Districts Will Benefit

New York is among the winners in the Obama administration's Race to the Top program, guaranteeing millions of dollars in new education grants for the state, the U.S. Department of Education has announced. South Colonie will wait for news on how the money will be used to help local school districts. full story

January Regents Exams Back On But Other State Testing Officially Eliminated This School Year Due to New York State Budget Cuts

The New York State Education Department has confirmed it will not eliminate administration of Regents exams in January, 2011, but will continue with its plan to do away with assessments in other subject areas this school year due to state budget cuts. full story

State Education Department/Board of Regents Raise Bar For Student Achievement; Some Test Scores Decline As Expected

Scores released in July on this year’s New York State 3-8 English and math exams showed a sharp decline in proficiency from recent years statewide — not because student performance decreased but because the state has significantly changed its standards of proficiency. full story


South Colonie Districtwide News Stories From the 2009-2010 School Year


State Ed Considering Eliminating Some State Testing Due to Budget Crisis

The New York State Education Department is considering eliminating some state testing next school year due to the state's looming fiscal problems and lack of a state budget. The State Board of Regents voted on June 22 to approve two sets of strategies to achieve cost reductions in the state assessment program. Part of that strategy includes eliminating the January, 2011, Regents exams, fifth and eighth grade Social Studies assessments as well as a variety of state exams in Foreign Language, math and science. full story

District Web Site Captures NSPRA National Award of Merit

The South Colonie Central School District web site, redesigned and launched on March 1, has won a National Award of Merit in the 2010 Publications and Electronic Media Contest. The contest, opened to all public and private school districts in the United States, is sponsored by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). The district web site was recognized in the Internet/Intranet School Web Sites category. There were more than 800 entries in this year's contest. For more on the new web site, click here. For a list of all contest winners, click here (pdf).

South Colonie Residents Approve 2010-11 District Budget 1,645-1,120

South Colonie Central School District residents went to the polls on Tuesday, May 18, and approved an $89.4 million budget for the 2010-11 school year by a vote of 1,645-1,120. The budget continues to support South Colonie’s key educational initiatives despite a projected $3.7 million cut in state aid to the district over the current school year. full story

South Colonie Holds District Art Show

The South Colonie District-Wide Art Show was held at the William K. Sanford Town Library in May. On exhibit was artwork from students in Kindergarten through grade 12. Photo Gallery

Second Annual South Colonie Poetry Slam a Huge Success

Poetry Slam logoWith over 150 audience members, South Colonie's Second Annual Poetry Slam was a huge success. Twenty-five teens from Colonie Central High School and Lisha Kill and Sand Creek Middle Schools competed for the top spot in this year’s slam held April 30 at the Barnes and Noble store in Colonie Central mall. First place went to Sand Creek eighth grader Briana Pagan. Erika Marcucci, Colonie High ninth grader, took second place and third place was won by CCHS 11th grader, Alissa Petsche. FULL STORY

New York State Releases School Report Card Information for 2008-09

The New York State Education Department has released its School Report Card information on every public school and district in the state. Based on some key assessments taken by students in New York public schools, the report cards provide achievement data on districts and schools, as compared to their past years' performances and to other similar schools. Report cards are released each spring for the previous school year. South Colonie's most current NYS Report Card covers tests taking during the 2008-2009 school year.

Five South Colonie Students Participate in Capital Region Spelling Bee

Five students from South Colonie participated in the 2010 Capital Region Spelling Bee at Proctor's Theatre on March 15. The five, who won their school spelling bees, were Nick Chambers, Michael LaChance, Poornima Suresh and Katie Zukowski (grade 8) and Hunter Gerasimovich (grade 6). full story

South Colonie Celebrates National Foreign Language Week

South Colonie students in grades 5-12 once again expanded their borders and celebrated National Foreign Language Week March 1-5. FULL STORY

Welcome to the new has taken on a new life. The South Colonie Central School District web site, first launched back in 2001, has been completely redesigned and re-launched in early March. full story

District Partners With Village of Colonie to Aid The Victims of Haiti

The South Colonie Central School District partnered with the Village of Colonie in February to assist the people of Haiti in their earthquake recovery efforts. Full story

South Colonie Students Named Siena Bookmark Contest Winners

Three South Colonie students were named winners in the Siena College Bookmark Design Contest. The three earned a free week a any sports camp offered at Siena this summer. Pictured at the Siena College Pink Zone Game to benefit the Caption Region Action Against Breast Cancer are winners Nicole Scott (Lisha Kill Middle School), Carleigh Werner (Roessleville Elementary School) and retired teacher Joan Sheehan. Not pictured is winner Nicholas Sterge (Sand Creek Middle School).

South Colonie Middle School Students Participate in MathCOUNTS

Sixteen South Colonie students participated in the national MathCOUNTS competition at the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna in January. full story

District Adds Colonie Central High School To Its List Of Energy Star Schools

Colonie Central High School has been added to the list of South Colonie schools earning the prestigious Energy Star label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  full story

SCTA Earns Red Cross Award For Blood Drives

The South Colonie Teachers Association has earned the 2008–2009 Blood Drive Sponsor of the Year Award from the American Red Cross. SCTA was one of only five recipients from the New York/Pennsylvania area out of 1,000 nominees.

South Colonie Central Schools Recognized For Excellence In Communications

The South Colonie Central School District has been recognized for outstanding achievement in educational communications by the New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA). Award-winning recipients in NYSPRA’s 30th-Annual Communications Awards were honored on October 16 at the annual NYSPRA Awards Luncheon held in conjunction with the 2009 New York State School Boards Association Convention in New York, NY. full story

Full day kindergarten photoSouth Colonie Kicks Off Full Day Kindergarten

South Colonie Schools kicked off its full-day kindergarten program at all five elementary schools in September, providing the early start which is so critical for long term academic excellence. The district-wide full day program replaced the half day sessions formerly offered at Forest Park and Veeder Elementary schools, and the Transitional Kindergarten program at Saddlewood, Shaker Road and Roessleville schools. Beginning on September 9th, South Colonie kindergarten students began their school day in the morning and ended it in the afternoon, just like all of their elementary peers in grades 1-4. full story