Fort Plain residents!
Voters approved the
$19 million budget for the 2015-16 school year
on May 19 176 to 25. This budget represents a spending increase of $200,000,
or 1.06 percent, and a tax levy increase of zero percent.
Find out more
Community invited to meet local authors on June
On Friday, June 5, Harry Hoag Elementary
School will be hosting an Author and Literacy Event thanks to a
grant from the New York Newspapers Foundation. During the day
students will enjoy presentations by Chris Grabenstein (Grades 3 -
6) and Iza Trapani (Grades Pre-K - 2).
In the evening from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., the
event will be open to the community. The event will feature
presentations by Grabenstein and Trapani. There will be local
authors to meet and greet, book signings, and representatives from
Fort Plain Free Library and Literacy NY. The authors' books will be
available to purchase, thanks to Mysteries on Main Street. Come and
enjoy this event for families and the community.
Applications for Pre-Kindergarten available
Applications for the 2015-2016
Pre-Kindergarten program are available for pick up at the kiosk or
the Elementary Main Office after 8:00 a.m. If you have any
questions you may call the Elementary Main Office at 993-4000 ext.
Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School Students of the
The students are nominated for this honor by
teachers or other staff and selected by a vote of a committee of
teachers. A plaque which contains a group photo of all students of
the month will be hung in the school lobby at the end of the school
year. In addition, each student of the month receives two slices of
pizza and a 20-ounce fountain drink donated by Nice N Easy Grocery
Shoppe. (full story)
Fort Plain Board of Education tables merger
During the Apr. 15 regular meeting of the
Fort Plain Board of Education, following a previous joint school
board meeting with Canajoharie Central School District held on Mar.
31, the Board entered into lengthy discussion and debate regarding
possible options for the future of our school district. The Board’s
consensus was to continue to pursue shared services with all
neighboring districts and perhaps sometime in the future, consider
further merger possibilities. Therefore, the Board of Education has
decided to pursue a search for a new superintendent who will assume
duties of the District on or about July 1, 2015. The Board wishes
to invite any community members who would be interested in
participating in focus groups to contact the District Office at
518-993-4000 ext. #1000 for consideration.
Read more here.
Fort Plain BOE adopts 2015-16 budget proposal
The Fort Plain Central School District Board
of Education adopted the $19,000,000 school budget proposal for
2015-16 on April 15. The proposed plan reflects an increase of 1.06
percent – or $200,000 - in spending over the current year and
carries a tax levy increase of zero percent. The proposal will be
put before voters on May 19.
Read more here.
Notice of Budget Hearing, Vote, and Election
To the qualified voters of the Fort Plain
Central School District, Fort Plain, NY: NOTICE is hereby given
that the Public Hearing on the School District Budget for the
2015-2016 school year will be held in the Jr. Sr. High School
Auditorium on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Read the complete
Final state budget approved by the State
The Fort Plain Central School District
expects an estimated $225,217 in state funding as part of the final
state budget approved by the State Legislature.
To receive the aid, legislators approving the
budget are requiring that the district retool its teacher
evaluation plan – known as the Annual Professional Performance
Review (APPR) – under a new set of undetermined rules. The plan
must be approved by the State Education Department by November 15.
The amount includes a $2,748 restoration of
the Gap Elimination Adjustment – or GEA. This represents a partial
restoration of the amount that has been deducted annually from the
district’s promised state aid since 2010. The GEA has been used as
a way to help the state balance its budget. Statewide, nearly $10
billion in school aid has been removed from districts since the GEA
was introduced. Legislators have agreed to end the GEA permanently
“I'm glad to see our district will benefit
from an increase in state aid, but I'm disappointed to see that the
GEA still remains,” said Superintendent Douglas Burton.
Letter to parents regarding upcoming state
tests from Superintendent Douglas Burton
A letter was sent home recently with
Fort Plain elementary students regarding the upcoming state tests.
Fort Plain Board of Education held a special
joint meeting with Canajoharie School Board on Mar. 31.
Kindergarten Registration for 2015-16
Registration of all children in the Fort
Plain Central School District who are eligible to start
Kindergarten in September will begin Mar. 11. A child must turn 5
years old on or before Dec. 1, 2014 in order to be eligible to
attend school. To prepare for registration and screening, please
contact the Harry Hoag Elementary School office with information
about your child before April 12 by calling 993-4000 ext. #3059.
Notifying the school will ensure that you receive all of the
necessary registration and screening information when it is sent
out in April. Screenings will be held May 12, 13 and 14.
Teaching is the Core: Assessment Review
As a result of the NYSED Teaching is the Core
Grant awarded to the HFM BOCES-led consortium, Fort Plain School
District had the opportunity to review student assessments related
to APPR. Our local assessment review team which is comprised of
teachers and administrators who have been trained on the assessment
review process, reviewed # assessments.
Based on this extensive review, our
recommendations are as follows:
• Keep # assessments - 20
• Modify # assessments - 39
• Eliminate # assessments - 0
• Create # assessments - 0
The review team is also designing an action
plan for implementation in the 2015-2016 school year and beyond to
continue to focus on the assessment review process. The plan will
ensure that teachers are continuing to design and use assessments
that will inform instruction and support student learning.
Fort Plain CSD receives Arts Education grant to
2015 NYSCA FMAG Arts in Education
Fort Plain CSD was recently granted a $3,000
New York State Council on the Arts Fulton-Montgomery Arts Education
grant, which will help fund creation of a mural at Harry Hoag
Elementary school. Friends of Fort Plain (FOFP) is the applicant
organization in partnership with the school. Students will learn
about murals and mosaics and work together to create a mural based
on local Mohawk River history.
The mosaic mural will be installed on an
outdoor wall in the school courtyard, a place where everyone can
enjoy it. Boston-area mural artist Joshua Winer (http://schoolmosaics.net/)
will work with the elementary art teacher and grade 4 teachers to
coordinate participation of all 57 fourth-grade students in the
project. He will spend eight days in residence at the school.
Stewart's Holiday Match will give $1,000 grant
to Fort Plain CSD's Fitness Center
Funds will be used for annual equipment
maintenance and training for volunteers who staff the center
after-school and evenings.
It is the third consecutive year that
Stewart’s has funded the fitness center. Donations to the Stewart’s
Holiday Match program set a new record in its 28th season; raising
funds which will help support hundreds of local children’s causes
year round. From Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day, Stewart’s
customers donated over $770,000 to the program, which is then
doubled to more than $1.5 million with the Stewart’s match. After
this year’s funds have been distributed, the Stewart’s Holiday
Match program will have allocated more than $20 million since the
program’s inception in 1986. (from Stewart’s website:
Harry Hoag Elementary School teacher drafts
poem to Governor Cuomo
Harry Hoag Elementary School fourth-grade
teacher, Jade Vangorder, recently penned a poem titled "At the
expense of a child." It was featured on Education Speaks, a blog
devoted to a thoughtful discussion of the issues shaping public
education in New York’s Greater Capital Region and beyond.
Read her poem
Harry Hoag Elementary School establishes new
Honor Society chapter
Harry Hoag Elementary School has established
a chapter of the new National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS) to
recognize their most outstanding students. Staff at the school were
notified recently that their application to begin this prestigious
new national student recognition program was approved by the
national office and that they may now undertake the process of
selecting new members.
Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School Honor Roll and
Principal List students
The Principal's List and Honor Roll students
have been named.
Click here to read more.
Fort Plain students embracing PTECH experience
The new Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Pathways
in Technology Early College High School opened for the 2014-15
school year with 50 ninth-graders and a mission to redefine
secondary education through project-based learning and cutting-edge
technology in a collaborative environment. Four Fort Plain students
— Dakota Eller, Gregory Kirby, Zachary Rogers and Grant Stevens —
were selected for the inaugural PTECH class.
“You work with other students as a team to
solve problems and learn from our mistakes to become better,”
Rogers said of working in groups. “Everything becomes more
interesting, and that gives you the desire to learn more.”
Read the full story
After 14 years at the helm of Fort Plain
Central Schools, District Superintendent Douglas Burton, is
Douglas Burton, FPCSD Superintendent, announced his retirement at a
recent Board of Education meeting, effective June 30, 2015.
“In the years I’ve been here, I’ve been fortunate to work with a
supportive board of education, teachers, and administrators who
have always put the needs of Fort Plain students first and
foremost,” said Mr. Burton. “I’m confident that going forward, they
will continue to make those tough decisions while putting student
needs at the forefront.”
The Board of Education has not made a formal decision on their
plans to replace the superintendent at this time. Options include
opening a formal search for a new superintendent and/or appointing
an interim superintendent. The board will make a decision during
their March 11 board meeting.
Harry Hoag students learned about Native
and fourth graders were
treated to a visit from a Native Pride Dancer through the Bureau of
Lectures Tuesday morning, Feb. 24. This Arts in Education program taught
students about the beauty, symbolism and skill of Native American
music, dance, and dress. The performance included traditional
stories, musical styles and insight into the history of Native
Students of the Month announced for January
students are nominated for this honor by teachers or other staff
and selected by a vote of a committee of teachers. A plaque which
contains a group photo of all students of the month will be hung in
the school lobby at the end of the school year. In addition, each
student of the month receives two slices of pizza and a 20-ounce
fountain drink donated by Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppe. (full
District Superintendent Doug Burton urges
Senator Amedore and Assemblyman Santabarbara to sign a bill to end
"The GEA has had devastating effects on the
students of Fort Plain Central School District since it was
introduced in 2010-2011," he states in his letter. "We have had to
cut both staff and programs and that has continued to erode the
educational opportunities for our children."
READ THE ENTIRE LETTER HERE.
Learn more about the impact of GEA in this
YouTube video produced by Capital Region BOCES Communications
Gov. Cuomo calls for $1.1 billion school aid
increase and education reforms, with no mention of the GEA
According to language in the Governor’s proposed budget bill, if
the Legislature does not enact the education reforms he outlined,
districts will not see an increase in state aid next year or the
Update: No aid increase for next two years
unless Legislature approves Cuomo’s proposal
According to language in Governor Cuomo’s
proposed budget bill, if the Legislature does not enact the
education reforms the Governor outlined in his budget address on
Wednesday, Jan. 21, districts will not receive any aid greater than
their 2014-15 amount for each of the next two years.
Congratulations to the Canajoharie- Fort Plain
Girls Cross Country Team
were 2014 Western Athletic Conference League Meet Champions, League
Dual Meet Co-Champions, and finished 3rd at the Class "C" Sectional
Meet (the patches they are holding).The girls were also New York
State Scholar/Athlete Team Award winners which means the team's
grade point average was over 90% for the first quarter.
Shown in photo: Emily Marsh; Back row from left to right:- Carolyn
Adams, Lexi Kane, Breanna Hazzard, Gabby Bridgewater, and Lexi
Veitch. Absent from the photo was Cheyenne Munson.
Students at FPHS learn coding
The Fort Plain Students
Participate in “An Hour of CODE”
The ninth-grade students at Fort Plain High
school were introduced to programming as part of An Hour of Code,
an international program that teaches programming.
Mrs. DeKalb’s students enrolled in Key
Essentials (keyboarding) participated in online programming
interactive lessons available at code.org. Some students were
actually able to code their own online game within the 43 minute
class period. (full
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara rallies
together with Fort Plain and Amsterdam School Districts
Together, they ask for an end to the Gap
Since its inception in 2011, the Gap
Elimination Adjustment has cost over $4 million in lost revenue for
Fort Plain. In a district with an annual budget of approximately
$18 million, this loss of funding has translated into a 22 percent
reduction in staff over the years along with program cut-backs.
“Public schools are being asked to do more
and more but without funding to back it up,” said Superintendent
Douglas Burton. “We don’t anticipate recovering the lost funds, but
we do expect the unfair distribution of funding to end.” (full story)
Fort Plain utilizes grant money to Strengthen Teacher Leadership Roles in the District
Fort Plain teachers and administrators are
aiming to improve instruction through The Strengthening Teacher and
Leader Effectiveness 3 (STLE3) grant awarded by the New York State
Education Department for the 201-15 school year.
The $100,000 grant advances professional
development and instructional leadership in New York state school
districts. Aspects of the grant program also allow teachers and
principals to share what they’ve learned with educators in their
home districts, building a network of peer professional development
that can be sustained into the future. (full
Special Education Department review
The New York State Education Department P-12:
Office of Special Education has initiated a Special Education
Quality Assurance (SEQA) Special Education Programs and Services
Focused Review in Fort Plain Central School District during the
2014-2015 school year. The purpose of this review is to assess the
district's compliance with selected federal and State laws and
regulations governing the education of students with disabilities.
The review will be conducted by the SEQA
Eastern Regional Office and will include representatives from the
school district. The review process will involve a review of school
records of a representative sample of students with disabilities,
classroom visitations and interviews. In addition, meetings of the
committee on special education will be observed. Further
information may be obtained by contacting the SEQA Eastern Regional
Office at (518) 686-6366 and/or by contacting Fort Plain Central
School District at (518) 993-4000.
Is your emergency contact information
Fort Plain Central School District has
contracted with Public School Notifications from One Call Now. This
calling system will make it easy for school to quickly communicate
with parents, teachers, staff and communities in the case of an
emergency. Officials are still in the enrollment process and
training, but parents are being asked to make sure their contact
information is up-to-date with their most current telephone number.
Please contact your child’s school secretary to make any necessary
changes to your emergency contact information.
Fort Plain CSD receives a $35,613 grant to
manage school records
Fort Plain Fort Plain continues
to seek alternative means for funding
Administrators were notified this week that
Fort Plain Central School District has been awarded a $35,613 NYS
Local Government Records Management grant. This grant will fund a
more efficient way access to semi-active school files and a better
way to handle requests for records. (full