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District History

Reflecting on the remarkable journey of progress and growth that has shaped the South Colonie Central School District throughout the decades, we are reminded of the district's rich history. The Town of Colonie, once a wilderness, has evolved over three centuries from a Dutch patroonship to a prosperous farming community, and ultimately to a major suburb and commercial center.

The present-day South Colonie Central School District emerged from six common school districts: West Albany, Roessleville, Colonie Village, Maywood, Karner, and Shaker Road. These districts shared the Union Free Roessleville High School, which saw its first graduation class in 1933, serving grades 7 to 12 with half-day sessions for much of its existence. 

In 1949, a significant milestone was reached as the six common districts were centralized, and the new district was approved by voters with a margin of 1,083 to 680. With an initial budget of $437,070, the district welcomed 1,953 children across its six schools. Back then, the district owned three buses, with two others under contract. Salaries for teachers ($2,650/yr), substitute teachers ($12 a day), and bus drivers ($1.50 an hr.) were vastly different from what we see today, yet the dedication to education was just as strong.

In 1950, the South Colonie Board of Education made a visionary decision to purchase 55 acres of land at the end of Hackett Boulevard. The construction of Colonie Central High School took place on this land, ultimately replacing Roessleville High School in 1954, and marking another milestone in the district’s growth.

Over the years, the district continued to adapt to changing populations by opening new schools, expanding existing ones, closing some, reopening others, and even selling a few. Enrollments saw fluctuations, with about 8,750 students in the early 1970s, decreasing to around 5,200 in the mid-1980s, and experiencing growth once more to nearly 6,000 students during the 50th-anniversary celebration in 1999. Today, the district serves a little under 5,000 students, dedicated to providing quality education and fostering a bright future for the community.

As we honor the history of the South Colonie Central School District, let us cherish our past, embrace our achievements, and look forward to the continued progress and excellence in education that lies ahead.