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Superintendent letter

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November 2016

Dear Parents, Guardians and Community Members:

As I am sure you have heard by now, the district will be putting forth a capital project bond referendum on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

This $13,853,500 proposed project consists mainly of HVAC work, fixing pipes, plumbing, heating and duct work, deteriorating masonry, cracks in the floors, walls, and tiles, insulating, and replacing windows with more efficient, energy-saving versions. The scope would also include replacing the roof on the Transportation Building 100 and creating a more secure vestibule entrance at the high school.

For the last year and a half, the district facilities committee, the administrators, the board of education and I have been researching and identifying improvements to keep Schalmont a safe and structurally sound school. This proposed referendum is a result of that work.

While the high school entrance is manned by security during school hours, we saw an opportunity with the proposed capital project to create an even more secure entrance and eliminate the number of visitors with direct access to student hallways.

This option would include moving the high school library to the current main office space and converting the library to a "one-stop-shop" for visitors. By adding a vestibule, a more secure entrance will be created. This will then open to the main office area, which will also house guidance, and the nurse’s office, three of the main places visitors go when entering the building. The school psychologist and social worker would also be located in this area. This would reduce the number of visitors in the hallways.

In fulfilling our technology plan for increased mobile learning, the high school needs an area for flexible learning, so this space would also house a Learning Commons. The commons would be a multi-purpose space for instruction, small group learning, media connections, and intervention services for students. As it would be located next to the high school administrators, the area would be supervised without additional cost.

The concept would be to make a more 21st century-focused space that is almost a combination of a traditional library and Starbucks, with the Sabre Café being right outside that would allow students to take full advantage of their Chromebooks while working in a more college-like environment.

The estimated levy impact of this project is $32,000 or 0.1 percent increase on the tax levy. Based on current 2016 estimates, the tax bill for a home assessed at $100,000 within the Town of Rotterdam, for example, would increase by $2.31 if voters approve the proposition. This is only an estimate and subject to change as residents’ individual tax bills are determined by tax rates, which are based on the tax levy, and several factors beyond the control of the district. These include assessment levels and equalization rates, as well as individual property owners’ exemptions, such as the state’s STAR program.

If the project is approved, the plans would be submitted to the New York State Education Department for approval. If all goes well, construction on the new Transportation Building 100 could start next spring.
More details on the capital project can be found on our website: http://www.schalmont.org/capitalproject/

Congratulations are in order

We have had several reasons to celebrate recently.

First, Schalmont teacher Becky Remis was recently named a Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS) Fellows. The award program honors teachers who have served with distinction as science educators in New York State. Recipients are chosen on the basis of their effective teaching and active participation in professional scientific organizations. Their leadership and scholarly endeavors in science education are noteworthy. Becky was honored at the Fellows Recognition Ceremony Nov. 6 during the organization’s annual conference. Congratulating Becky on such a prestigious honor!

Our fall sports teams have performed outstanding again this year. The girls soccer team was Section 2 Champions. The football team made it to the Section Two Semi Finals. Boys Soccer also made it to Section Two Semi Finals. Girls tennis advanced to the First round of Sectionals. The girls cross country team placed second and the boys fourth in sectionals. Girls Swimming and Diving team competed in sectionals and the varsity team is heading to the state championship this weekend! Best of luck to them!

The Schalmont High School Drama Club had a successful perform the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Picnic, by William Inge on Nov. 9-10.

The Middle School Makerspace is going strong and has started to branch out into Jefferson Elementary in the last month. Makerspace is a vibrant, creative environment for students to stretch their problem-solving skills and inventiveness as they tackle projects, such as which team can build the tallest, most structurally sound structure with toothpicks and candy.

Reminders

atures may not feel it, winter is on its way. Please be sure to review the district’s procedures for school closings and delays and make sure your contact information in SNN is correct if you wish to receive text messages/emails about closings. https://snn.neric.org/schalmont/

The district will be closed Nov. 23-25 for Thanksgiving break.

Concert season gets underway Nov. 30 at Schalmont. Be sure to check out our calendar for all the upcoming events as we head into the holiday season.

Sincerely,

Dr. Carol A. Pallas, Superintendent