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In the News

Daily Gazette, September 18 2017
A look inside Howe Elementary's new wing

Teachers get excited by the little things: clean whiteboards, lights that dim, easy-to-use curtains and magnets. A new addition at Howe Elementary has both the little and the big things in it.

"You get to see that everything is magnetic; I can't get over it," Howe first-grade teacher Deborah Hunziker said as she showed off her new room, especially the litany of magnetic holders attached to her whiteboard. "Teachers spend most of their careers trying to stick things on surfaces that don't stick."

The new wing extends the main corridor of the building south, offering a mix of old and new. The new space includes four classrooms on each level and houses the school's youngest grades.

Read Story Here  


WNYT News Channel 13, September 18 2017
Library of Congress donates dozens of books to Schenectady school

At a time when kids all seem to be glued to their smartphones and tablets, some students in Schenectady were getting excited about books.

Keane Elementary in Schenectady received more than 80 donated books on Monday. They came from the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program. They have thousands of books available for donation every day. They are either duplicate copies, or items they just don't need to keep any longer.    Story Here


Daily Gazette, September 15 2017
Schenectady grad appears on 'America's Got Talent'

In high school, Ezra Masse-Mahar was one of those kids who never seemed to stop moving. Whether he was breaking a diving record at Schenectady High School or dancing at Merritt Dance Center, his energy was infectious.

That energy has propelled the 2008 graduate, as part of the Diavolo dance company, to the final rounds of TV’s popular “America’s Got Talent” competition.

Diavolo is an innovative dance company that incorporates intricate structures and almost every style of dance into what they call “Architecture in Motion.”

Diavolo's final performance on the show is Tuesday evening, and it will be a bittersweet show for Masse-Mahar and for the entire Diavolo dance company. That's because Kellie St. Pierre, a member of Diavolo and Masse-Mahar’s girlfriend, was recently in a boating accident that severely injured her arm.  Story here


WAMC, September 7, 2017
Schenectady Schools Begin Year with Increased State Aid

For many students in New York, today was the first day of the new school year. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, Schenectady’s public school district is celebrating a big increase in state aid over last year.

The Schenectady City School District is the recipient of a $15 million increase in state aid this year and a $7.5 million hike in Foundation Aid.

Republican State Senator Jim Tedisco, who advocated for the tweaks in the Foundation Aid formula in the state budget, appeared outside Mont Pleasant Middle School Thursday morning with Schenectady Superintendent Larry Spring.  Story Here


Daily Gazette, September 07 2017
What school will be like this year for Schenectady's sixth-graders
 

Agrade class at Oneida Middle School.

The students, who went to four different schools last year and had never met before Thursday, bantered back and forth as they spelled out examples of ways to follow their class’ three core rules: Be safe. Be respectful. Be responsible.

“It’s fun," Nasir George said of sixth grade. "You get to do fun activities, make a project, have a pizza party."

“No one said anything about a pizza party,” Jaeden Ruiz interjected. 

Pizza parties aside — and pizza was on the menu for lunch — the students looked ahead with optimism to sixth grade. They said they were excited to gain more independence and freedom. 

“There’s no drama,” Nasir said.   Read Story


Daily Gazette,  September 06 2017
Teachers' classrooms are works of careful planning

Teachers at Yates Elementary on Wednesday enjoyed quiet halls and sporadic meetings, as they put the final touches on their classrooms and awaited Thursday’s influx of students.

Each teacher’s room is the result of careful efforts to maximize space, minimize stress and cater to the particular needs of students and the class's educational goals. 

In Chris Rakus’ third-grade room, he unpacked plastic rulers while a student teacher sorted through dozens of books, dividing the texts based on complexity.   Read Story


Daily Gazette, August 25 2017
Finishing the job:  August grads celebrate, lift district rate to 67 percent

It took them a little longer, but they have now caught up with their peers: Schenectady High School graduates.

Dozens of students and family members filed into Schenectady High School’s auditorium Thursday morning for the district’s second graduation ceremony of the year, this time for students who finished credits or passed final Regents exams over the summer.

Joseph Crippen fell just one class short of joining the rest of his classmates for the June commencement at Proctors. But he stuck it out, making it through a forensics course over the summer. He said the hardest part of high school was “staying focused and not slipping up.”

“I was a little bummed, but I just wanted to get it over with,” said Crippen, who plans to start classes at Hudson Valley Community College in January.

Read Daily Gazette Story

 

Daily Gazette, August 13 2017
Training goal:  Boost literacy, reading skills in Schenectady schools

It seems simple: get students to sit in a small group and discuss the plot, characters and themes of a book.

But for teachers, a lot goes into helping students develop the skills and habits to participate in constructive conversations about the literary elements of a book. 

"How do we get kids to talk about books, so they are deeply engaged — so they are going to a deeper level," said Linda Doud, a reading specialist at Central Park Middle School. "We need to teach kids to do that; we can't expect them to know how to do that on day one."

Doud and around 60 of her colleagues in Schenectady fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms spent last week at Union College trying to answer those kinds of questions as part of the school district's second summer literacy institute for teachers. Another group of 160 teachers and school leaders went through a training for kindergarten through third-grade classes at Schenectady County Community College.

Read Daily Gazette Story

 

Daily Gazette, August 10 2017
Schenectady senior among playwright contest winners


Schenectady High School senior and playwright Morgan Hughes likes ambiguity, at least on stage.

“I feel like a lot of questions are raised rather than answered,” Hughes said of her play, “Curiosity Killed the Cat.”

It’s one of six selected to premiere this week at Capital Repertory Theatre as part of the Young Playwright Contest. 

According to Margaret Hall, the director of the plays and the Summer Stage Young Acting Company, the number of submissions has grown each year, topping over 40 submissions this year. 

Read Daily Gazette Story

 

Daily Gazette Editorial, August 10 2017
School pilot helps close learning gap

A bunch of kids watching movies, playing spy games, dancing, swimming and drawing might not, on the surface, seem like a significant summer learning experience.

But for school districts like Schenectady — anxious to close the learning gap that deprives low-income students of years of education, puts them behind their higher-income peers, and ultimately contributes to more high school dropouts and difficulties finding careers as adults — this might just be the best investment a school district makes.    Read Editorial Here


Times Union, August 04 2017
Can summer school be fun?  These Schenectady kids say 'yes'

"I thought it was gonna be boring, just sitting around and learning what we already learned," said the 12-year-old, donning a backwards baseball cap and jeans on the program's last day.

But this wasn't your typical summer school. The Schenectady City School District's new summer enrichment program turned out to be part school, part camp — long 10-hour days that started at 8 a.m. and involved hanging out with friends, going to the pool, playing outside and three square meals a day.

OK, so in between all that stuff was some reading and math, students admit, but it was mostly on computers and kind of fun so did it even really count?

According to their teachers, it did.   
Read Times Union Story 

Daily Gazette, August 04 2017
Schenectady's Ahmed a national champion

Schenectady High School distance standout Maazin Ahmed never got a chance to run for a New York title at the end of the spring track and field season. Sickness affected his training.

A national title will have to do.

Before a huge crowd at Eastern Michigan University's Rynearson Stadium Tuesday, Ahmed earned a national championship in the 1,500 meters.

"I had enough to kick at the end, so I kicked," Ahmed said of his victory in the age 17-18 division at the AAU Junior Olympic Games. "I feel it definitely made up for states, being one place at the qualifying. Winning a national title is a big deal."  
Read the story here

Daily Gazette, July 30 2017
Project Lit puts new spin on summer reading in Schenectady

As beats boomed from a nearby speaker and basketballs rattled around the rims at Jerry Burrell Park in Schenectady on Sunday, Amar Waring proudly held up a copy of a book in the “Skylanders” series.

Waring, who will start first grade at Martin Luther King Elementary School in September, had just checked the book out of a mobile library a few steps away.

“I think this program helps him have something to read in the summer,” Amar’s sister Enid said, noting access to new books is difficult for students in non-school months.  Read Story Here

 

Daily Gazette, July 29 2017
'Pilot' summer program offers small classes, fun

The lights dimmed, a soothing voice filled a Martin Luther King Elementary classroom last week. More than a dozen students sprawled out on a large rug, eyes closed, breaths measured.

“We are going to take a little journey to the land of mindfulness,” the voice said, easing out of speakers. “It’s a place inside of you, where you are safe and strong, a place that puts a smile on your face.”

A handful of teachers lined the perimeter of the rug, breathing and relaxing alongside the students in a “mindful moment,” a chance to calm and re-center themselves.   Read Story Here

 

Daily Gazette, July 20 2017
Schenectady schools to focus on student trauma

Educators are trying to think differently about their students’ academic and behavioral challenges, eyeing stress and trauma as the root of much that troubles the city’s schools.

“When you see a kid’s (poor) behavior, instead of thinking, 'What’s wrong with you?' you should be thinking, 'What happened to you?'” said Andrea Tote, district director of pupil personnel services.

That subtle semantic difference could be the key to a much broader shift toward a district climate more tuned into the lives and needs of students — and one better able to respond to those needs. Schenectady school leaders are calling it the “trauma-sensitive” model.    Read Story Here


Daily Gazette, July 14 2017
Schenectady High grad spreads message of belief at camp

Rashaun Freeman remembers the day it all clicked.

It was his junior season at Schenectady High School, and providing the inspiration was University of Texas big man James Thomas, who just a few years before had helped lead the Patriots to a state basketball championship.   Read Story Here


WNYT:  Schenectady City School District kicks off Summer Enrichment Program

Daily Gazette, July 8, 2017
Summer education program pilot starts Monday

Around 650 elementary school students will head back to class Monday for a four-week long summer enrichment program, an initiative district officials hope will go districtwide next year. 
Read Story Here


Times Union, June 23 2017
Graduation 2017 Photo Gallery

Times Union, June 22 2017
Anger diverted into energy

Lakeesha Scruggs has her sights set on continuing her education at one of the historically black colleges in the Atlanta area.

That wasn't always the case for this feisty Schenectady High School student who admits she had anger problems.  Read Story Here

Daily Gazette, June 22, 2017
For immigrant family Schenectady graduation is dream come true

For over 20 years, Noorullah Khwajezada of Pakistan traveled to the United States to spend six months working from a food cart in New York City.

He rented an apartment in Queens and woke up each morning at 3 or 4 to take his cart into the heart of the city to sell coffee and hot dogs. His days lasted 12, 13, sometimes 14 hours. All the while he endured over 6,800 miles of separation from his wife and four daughters, who still lived in Pakistan.  Read Story Here

Daily Gazette, June 19 2017
8th-grader runs Schenectady schools for a day

Clad in shirt, tie, dress pants and shoes, Mont Pleasant Middle School 8th grader Alex Ally dropped into a social studies class Monday morning.

With Schenectady Superintendent Larry Spring at his side, 13-year-old Alex quietly observed the room for barely two minutes before he and Spring stepped out as quietly as they had arrived.

“So what did you see?” Spring asked Alex as they moved back into the hallway.
Read Story Here


Daily Gazette, June 17 2017
Despite family struggles, Schenectady student headed to college

It’s the way the story usually unfolds on the big screen or in books: the student works hard, finishes school and goes on to the beautiful college campus to study heady ideas.

“As cliché as it sounds, in movies and books it’s always that’s what you do: you go to school and high school and graduate and go to college. It’s what you do,” said 17-year-old Keylynn Belrose-Westfall, who graduates from Schenectady High School next week. “I only saw that in movies; I never saw people around me do that.”  Read Story Here

June 14 2017:  Daily Gazette:  Hamilton Elementary students visit Tang

June 05 2017:  Daily Gazette:  Schenectady grad hopes to return to alma mater, as a teacher

June 02 2017:  Daily Gazette:  School gets mobile tech facility  

May 17 2017:  Daily Gazette:  Group brings music, inspiration to students 

May 16 2017:  News 10:  Group reminding kids, teachers about the importance of music, arts

May 17 2017:  Daily Gazette:  Avramidis sets Pats record

May 15 2017:  WAMC: 

Officials Gather in Schenectady to Celebrate Receipt of Increased School Aid


May 15 2017:  
News 10:  Schenectady schools thankful for increase in state funding

May 15 2017:  Times Union:  Schenectady School District seeks more funding from state

May 15 2017:  CBS6:  Schenectady school district announces impact of funding increase

May 14 2017:  Daily Gazette:   Police brutality at center of district-wide common read

May 07 2017:  Daily Gazette:  Students talk it through with peer mediation

May 05 2017  Daily Gazette:  Schenectady Wins Suburban Council Division Title

April 28 2017:  WTEN10:  Schenectady hires former NBA player to coach girls basketball

APRIL 30 2017 Daily Gazette:  Artistic expression on view along Schenectady street

April 17 2017
Daily Gazette:  Schenectady schools to expand after-school orchestra program

April 06 2017
Daily Gazette:  Schdy school budget:  'A wide range of possibilities'

April 03 2017
Daily Gazette:  Find out how much your school would get from $64.5M bond

April 03 2017
Daily Gazette:  No budget extenders for districts as deadlines approach

April 02 2017
Daily Gazette:  3 Sch'dy school board seats up for grabs

March 31 2017
Daily Gazette:  Schools wish list stands at $5 million

March 31 2017
Daily Gazette:  Gazette All-Area Boys' Basketball Team

​March 28 2017
Daily Gazette:  SCCC music students win Texas competition

March 22 2017
Daily Gazette:  Schenectady schools fret loss of after-school programs

March 12 2017
Daily Gazette:  $54M+ school project would focus on 5 elementary schools

March 11 2017
Daily Gazette:  For Sch'dy students, a chance to get back on track

March 03 2017
Time Warner Cable News:  Black Ink Comic Book Documentary Seeks Support

March 11 2017
Daily Gazette:  For Sch'dy students, a chance to get back on track

March 01 2017 
WNYT:  SHS Basketball Player John Ryals is named to the WNYT All-Star Team

February 26 2017
Daily Gazette:  All aboard:  Making dreams come true one student at a time

February 25 2017
Daily Gazette: Schenectady native score big on Shark Tank

February 21 2017
CBS6:   Schenectady set for Saratoga Springs rematch after win over CBA

February 20 2017
Daily Gazette:  Schenectady's strategy pays off at track sectionals

February 19 2017
Daily Gazette:   Sch'dy schools make cafeteria upgrades with surplus cash

February 06 2017
Daily Gazette:  Room a safe haven for anxious MLK Jr. Elementary students

February 05 2017
Daily Gazette:  With city life outside, a calm place at MLK Elementary

February 11 2017
Daily Gazette:  Sch'dy schools budget proposal eyes added support

February 11 2017
Daily Gazette:  Teachers give input on school budget ideas

February 03 2017
Daily Gazette:  Expect to see Chiarito in winner's circle again

January 27 2017
Daily Gazette:  Schenectady Hall of Fame inductees announced

January 22 2017
Daily Gazette:  Obama's Legacy lives on in young people of color

January 17 2017
Time Warner Cable News:  Hamilton Elementary Teacher Named Teacher of the Year

January 17 2017
News 10: Hamilton Elementary School teacher named Schenectady Teacher of the Year

January 19 2017
Times Union:  Schenectady teacher of the year from Hamilton Elementary

January 18 2017
Daily Gazette:  Elementary school writing coach named 'Teacher of the Year

January 17 2017
Daily Gazette:  Young gives sound advice to Patriots

January 12 2017
Times Union:  Mentoring friendship 'an easy fit

January 11 2017
Times Union:  Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar marks National Mentoring Month

December 27 2016
Times Union:  Patriots' Jenkins drops 30 on Nisky

​December 27 2016
Daily Gazette: District to plan for 'full funding'

December 31 2016
Times Union (Blog):  Class AA Boys is a Logjam at the top

December 23 2016
Daily Gazette:  New glory days for Schenectady hoops

December 21 2016
Daily Gazette:  Patriots' defense smothers Burnt Hills

December 16 2016
Daily Gazette:  Piotrowski is always looking a frame ahead

December 14 2016
Daily Gazette:  Patriots know how to finish

December 15 2016
Daily Gazette: If these kids could give .... and receive

December 12 2016
​Daily Gazette:  Schenectady, Niskayuna schools look to expand partnership

December 11 2016
Daily Gazette:    Second-graders make gift bags for ill children

December 05 2016
Daily Gazette:  Suburban Council more wide open this season

December 02 2016
Daily Gazette: Education Foundation awards $26K in teacher grants

December 01 2016
Times Union Editorial:  Help communities succeed

Daily Gazette:  
Hometown Health clinics up and running at two district schools 

Times Union:  Schools offer medical services

CBS6:  Local students offered new option for health care

Time Warner News:  Sick at School?  Students now have option down the hall

WGY:  Schenectady Schools Open County's First School-Based Health Centers

PYX106:  Better Health for Schenectady Kids

November 17 2016
​CBS6:  Bus Safety Poster Contest Winners Announced

November 17 2016
​Daily Gazette:  High school musicians excited for Gazette Holiday Parade

November 11 2016
Times Union:  Oneida Middle School celebrates reopening Photo Gallery

October 30 2016
Daily Gazette:  Stars on Stage:  Six high school performers ready for limelight

October 09 2016
Daily Gazette:  Schenectady teacher teams key to freshman transition

October 09 2016
​Daily Gazette:  AVID students take extra steps to succeed

October 06 2016
Daily Gazette:  Schenectady girls' soccer has sister act

October 06 2016
Daily Gazette:  Schenectady girls' soccer has sister act

October 03 2016
Daily Gazette:  Griffin goes from golf hacker to team anchor

September 28 2016
​Daily Gazette:  School renovation project may be slated for Schenectady voters

September 2016
Daily Gazette:   Backpack program provides students with fuel to succeed

September 11 2016
Daily Gazette:  August graduates lift 2016 Schenectady High success rate

September 09 2016
Daily Gazette:  New year, new middle school for some Schenectady students

August 29 2016
Daily Gazette:  Schenectady teachers 'guardians of equity' at orientation

August 24 2016
Times Union:  Redistricting attempts to balance enrollment, poverty and capacity

August 23 2016
Daily Gazette:  Schenectady football looks to bounce back

July 18 2016
WRGB:  Schenectady native Rashaun Freeman gives back

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