Three new teachers join Harry Hoag faculty

The school year isn’t new for just the students at the Fort Plain Central School District’s Harry Hoag Elementary School.

Four new teachers are entering their first year with the district across the school and they all come from a variety of backgrounds.

Ashley Smith

Photo of new teacher Ashley SmithSmith will teach kindergarten this year.

After getting her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the State University of New York at Cobleskill she earned her master’s from the College of St. Rose (Albany) also in Early Childhood Education.

“My favorite kind of ice cream is chocolate peanut butter cup from Stewarts,” she said. “I like to hang out with friends, go fishing, and spend time with my family. I am looking forward to working with my fellow kindergarten teachers, meeting all of my new students and their families, and fulfilling my dream of being a teacher.”

Smith grew up in Fort Plain and has always wanted to be a teacher in her hometown.

Denis DeRider

Photo of new teacher Denis DeRiderDeRider will be a 15:1 Special Education teacher this year.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Cortland where he majored in Sports Management and Marketing. He stayed on at Cortland to get his master’s degree.

“I am looking forward to meeting all of my new students,” Rider said. “I really enjoy coaching soccer, hiking, kayaking, and anything else outside.”

Incidentally, his favorite kind of ice cream is Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food.

Elizabeth Bauer

Photo of new teacher Elizabeth BauerBauer joins the Harry Hoag team as a new speech and language teacher.

“I’m looking forward to helping students learn and grow their vocabulary and improve their verbal and written communication skills while doing things that are fun and interesting,” Bauer said.

She majored in Communication Disorders and Sciences at the State University of New York at Geneseo as an undergraduate and then earned a masters in Speech/Language Pathology from the College of St. Rose.

Bauer enjoys chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, hiking, camping, skiing, and playing with her sons.

6 things to know coming into the school year with Cookie Monster!

The first day of classes is right around the corner (September 6)!

There is nothing to be nervous about though!

From kindergarteners right up through Seniors here are a few things that you want to think about leading up to the start of the school year thanks to help from a very experienced correspondent.

6. Get your health/medical forms in

New York State requires certain immunizations on file at the school for all students entering various grades, plus, all Fort Plain athletes need to have their physical forms updated annually.

Contact our school nurses if you have any questions.

5. You better believe it…being organized makes it waaaayyy easier.

Cookie Monster doesn’t believe it GIF

A 2008 study, analyzed reasons behind the low grades in grades 3-12. The root of problems – late work, unpreparedness, lax attitudes – was related to organizational methods, or lack thereof. Here are some tips to manage time to make it easier!

4. Get into a solid sleep routine

Cookie Monster falling asleep GIF

According to the College of Holy Cross and Brown Medical School, there is a relationship between sleep patterns, sleep quality, and school of performance of adolescents attending middle school, high school, and/or college.

3. Read!

Cookie Monster reading a newspaper GIF

Those who keep reading, keep learning! According to a work from the University of California, Irvine, “a voluntary summer reading may represent a scaleable and cost-effective policy for improving reading achievement among lower-performing students.”

2. Start to think creatively

Cookie Monster’s deep thoughts GIF

Creative thinking and problem solving are closely related to academic achievement according to a study in the International Interdisciplinary Journal of Education. It may seem a little obvious, but thinking about the world a little bit differently will help you get prepared for the school year!

1. We are getting ready too!

Here in the Fort Plain Central School District we are also gearing up for the start of the year.

All students enrolled in the Fort Plain Central School District, regardless of family income, can receive free breakfast and lunch during the 2017-18 school year as the district is continues to be a part of the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

Cookie Monster eating his cookies GIF

Students who wish to receive free meals simply report to their building’s cafeteria. SCHOOL MENUS

And, finally, thanks to the “Smile Committee,” of Hill and Markes, Inc. over 60 fully-stocked backpacks are available for students in Harry Hoag Elementary School this fall.

Cookie Monster with his School Supplies GIF

Students will still need to bring appropriate clothing and footwear for Physical Education classes, a lunch box if they intended to bring a meal, and a book bag. A student may still bring their own supplies from home if they so choose. READ MORE

See you on September 6!

September 2017 Print Newsletter

Fort Plain Newsletter Header

As seen in this week’s PennySaver

September 2017 VOLUME: 34 ISSUE: 1

Fort Plain Newsletter September 2017 Printable PDF


Harry Hoag Elementary School Changes Start, End Times of School Day

The instructional day now begins at 8:05 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m. Please plan accordingly. Thank you!

All buses will be present at the dismissal of elementary students. Parents picking up students can do so outside of the kindergarten wing. The current Jr/Sr High School bell schedule remains the same (8:00 a.m.
to 2:38 p.m.)

Remind Alert System

REMIND is our free, safe and simple mes- saging tool that helps the school share important updates, event reminders, and weather advisories. Sign up to receive REMIND messages on your phone by texting @fpcsd1 to 81010

Free Meals Continue

All students in grades PK-12, regardless of their family status or income, can receive both breakfast and lunch for FREE again this year, thanks to the continuation of the Community Eligibility Meal Program for the 2017-2018 school year. Menus are available in the school cafeterias, in the main offices of both buildings, or on the web.

Athletic Programs

The Fort Plain Central School is a member of the Western Athletic Conference. The conference is comprised of 13 schools and is the largest league in Section II.

The conference’s member schools are: Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Canajoharie, Duanesburg, Fort Plain, Galway, Mayfield, Mekeel Christian Academy, Middleburgh, Northville, OESJ, Saratoga Catholic, Schoharie, and Sharon Springs.

We are also a member of the NYS Public High School Athletic Association and the NYS Coaches Association.


The Fort Plain PTA is a member of both the national PTA and the New York State PTA. The group serves students from both schools with many activities and events throughout the school year, and also provides pro- gram funding for things like field trips and assemblies. Membership information goes home to families each fall. The Fort Plain PTA is currently looking for volunteers willing to serve as officers or chairmen. Contact the elementary school office for further information.

District News

Environmental Study Team at Work

Some members of the Fort Plain Environmental Study Team spent time this summer excavating along the Erie Canal lock in Fort Plain. They joined students from across the county and state, to begin an archaeological exploration of the former Erie Canal lock off Hancock Street in the village. Archaeologist Zach McKeeby, of the Schoharie River Center, led the students in excavation work, followed by cleaning and analyzing their findings, before presenting those findings to the public. Stu- dent groups were each assigned a one meter by one meter plot, carefully digging in horizontal levels about 10 centimeters deep at a time. As each layer was uncovered, the students discovered items – including a glass button, bottle caps, a pipe stem, copper gaskets, mechanical gears, ballast rocks, and a pipe decorated with an American Eagle design. Some of the students participating in the archaeology project included: Bryce Thibodeau, Patrick Murphy, Mackenzie Wintermute, and Willow McGinnis.

Baseball Players Earn All-Star Honors

At the close of the school year, the New York State Sportswriters Assocation released its 2017 All-State Baseball Teams. Drew Fureno was the only local player to earn First Team honors. Drew is a catcher, shortstop and pitcher.

According to the Amsterdam Recorder, he finished the season batting .368, with 29 stolen bases and 16 runs batted in. Pitching this season, for the first time since 7th grade, Fureno worked to a 1.96 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 25 innings. He will continue his baseball career by playing for LeMoyne College this fall.

Selected to the Fourth Team was sophomore Bryce Thibodeau.

According to the Recorder, as a first baseman and pitcher, Bryce hit .400 with 2 home runs and 27 runs batted in. He went 6-2 on the mound, with a 2.33 ERA. Thibodeau will return this spring as a junior.

Emory Sammons: Team USA, Takes on Worlds

Emory Sammons, a senior at the Fort Plain High School, represented Team USA at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships in Traka, Lithuania. Sammons and the three other members of his Quadruple Sculls Team won the B Final and finished No. 7 in the world. Switzerland won the event overall.

Sammons earned a place on the United States National Team after winning at the NYS Scholastic Rowing Association State Championships, and then winning at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championships. Sammons is a member of the Saratoga Rowing Association.

Back to School: HS Parent Portal

Parents can access student schedules, report cards, progress reports, attendance, discipline, and daily announcements through the use of the Jr/Sr High School Parent Portal. To register to use the portal, simply send your name, your child’s name, and a valid email address to: A user name and password will then be emailed to you.

Back to School: Medication Policy

In order for the school nurses to administer medication, including even non-prescription medications such as Tylenol and cough drops, families must note the following information:

  • All medications must be delivered to the school nurse in the original container from the store or pharmacy.
  • Medications may not be sent in with students.
  • Written parental permission to administer over-the-counter medication must be current and on file.
  • A physician’s order must be on file in order to administer prescription medications.
  • The physician’s order must include the name of the medication, dosage amount, and frequency to be given.

Any questions may be addressed by contacting Mrs. Hayes or Ms. Cumm in the School Health Offices, at 518-993-4000.

Back to School: Attendance Procedures

Parents are reminded to send in a written excuse each time a child is absent.

The note should include the date of the absence, the reason for the absence, and a parental signature.

If a child is (or will be) absent from school for two days or more, homework may be requested. Phone calls requesting homework should be made first thing in the morning, to allow time for teachers to gather work to send down at the end of the day. Students arriving late must report to the reception kiosk for a pass. When possible, they should have a written excuse for being tardy. If a child needs to be picked up early from school, a note should be sent in that morning outlining who will be picking the student up and at what time.

Elementary school students who are being picked up during the course of the school day may not leave the building on their own. The child must be signed out by the authorized adult, and the receptionist will call them out of class at that time. Please call the main offices of either build- ing with any questions about attendance procedures.

40th Annual Cross Country Invitational

Fort Plain will host the 40th annual Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, September 16th. Last year, over 800 runners
representing 28 schools from 4 different NYSPHSAA Sections took part in the day’s eight different races.

School Supplies Donated

The “Smile Committee” of Hill & Markes, Inc. of Amsterdam recently took on the project of providing school supplies to local students, for families who can use some assistance with getting their children the supplies that they need. The “Smile Committee” donated 60 backpacks to the Harry Hoag School, with each pack fully stocked with all of the supplies that an elementary school student needs to get the new year off to a great start.

Thank you Linda Vidulich and Yvonne Masi, who visited the school and represented the Hill & Markes, “Smile Committee!”

District Updates Communications

Visitors to will see a new school website, redesigned to better serve the community with timely information, coverage of special events, and links to district services of all kinds. The district’s new Public Information Specialist is Ben Meyers, of Capital Region BOCES. Mr. Meyers oversees the district’s website, social media accounts, and media relations. He also provides photography and videography services, and will work hand-in-hand with district administrators to cover school events and bring important information to our families and the community. Mr. Meyers splits his time with the Canajoharie School District, and can be reached by email Visit the new website today, and be sure to like us on Facebook at Fort Plain Central School.

Annual Pesticide Notification – Pesticide Notification

NYS Education Law Section 409-H requires all public and non-public elementary and secondary schools to provide written notification to all persons in parental relation, faculty and staff, regarding the potential use of pesticides periodically throughout the school year.

The Fort Plain Central School District is required to maintain a list of persons in parental relation, faculty and staff, who wish to receive 48-hour written notification of certain pesticide applications. If you wish to be added to this 48-hour notification list, please contact the school with your name, address, telephone number and email address.

This information can be sent in by mail to: FPCSD District Office, 25 High St, Fort Plain, NY 13339. Contact the district office at 993-4000 with any questions.

Fort Plain wins $500 grant from Walmart

The Fort Plain Central School District won a $500 grant from Walmart earlier this week.

The funds will be used by social studies teacher Katie Sacco to purchase books for a classroom resource library to help seventh-grade students become familiar with concepts in early American history, including such terms as conquistador and mercantilism.

The grant was written by Laura Whalen from Capital Region BOCES. The grant team has won over $52 million for its associated school districts.

Backpacks delivered to Harry Hoag Elementary School for those in need

We would like to extend great thanks to the, “Smile Committee,” of Hill and Markes, Inc. who raised enough money to fund a donation of over 60 fully-stocked backpacks for students in Harry Hoag Elementary School this fall.

Also, specific thanks to Linda Vidulich and Yvonne Masi who dropped off the backpacks this morning to Principal Lauren Crisman.

Packs will be given to students in need at the start of the school year. However, even though supplies are limited, if you know a student that could benefit from the donation contact the Harry Hoag Elementary School Main Office at 518-993-4000 ext. #3013.

Start times announced for fall varsity sports

The 2017 fall athletics season is set to begin on August 14.

Here are the start times and places from Fort Plain Athletic Director
Charlie Karker, (518) 993-4000, ext. #2134,

For assistance accessing PDF files, contact the Communications Office or

More documents and information can be found on the athletics website.

  • Golf – 9:00 am. at Canajoharie Country Club
  • Volleyball – Varsity & JV – 8:00-11:00 am. at the High School gym
  • Girls Soccer – Varsity & JV – 9:00-11:00 am. at the Sports Complex
  • Boys Soccer – Varsity 8:30 am. at the Sports Complex
  • Football- Varsity & JV – 8:30 am. at Canajoharie HS
  • Cross Country – Varsity – 8:30 am. at the Canajoharie Track & 5:30 pm. at Fort Plain High School

Emory Sammons, Team USA Junior Men’s Quadruple Sculls finish 7th in World Championships

Emory Sammons was already one of the best rowers in New York State.

Now he is among the elite in the world.

Sammons and the Team USA Junior Men’s Quadruple Sculls won the B Final (06:17.890) at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships on August 6 in Traka, Lithuania. With that finish, the team is No. 7 in the world.

“I think the best part of this experience has been the ability to train and get to know some high caliber athletes,” Sammons said. “Something that I learned was how much time and effort needs to be put in to become a competitive athlete at such a high level. I have been told it’s a lot of work but I never truly understood until I was shown it.”

Switzerland won the event overall.

Team USA was sixth in its semifinals race (06:13.230), third in Repechage 2 (06:09.200), and finished fourth in its first heat (06:19.780).

“These are some things that we have worked out previously, but when the heats came we didn’t really make it happen, so we were able to make the changes,” Sammons said to about the 10-second improvement between the opening heat and the repechage that qualified the Americans for the semifinal.

Before the international competition, Sammons finished second in single sculls at the annual Scholastic Rowing Association of America national championship regatta in Pennsauken, NJ by 8/1000ths of a second (05:26.737) in late May. He won the Scholastic Rowing Association of New York State a few week prior by 1.8 seconds (5:44.5) earlier that month.

Photos of Sammons/Team USA in action in Traka, Lithuania (copyright protected)

B Final

Sammons, Team USA – Junior Men’s Quadruple Sculls Individuals

Harry Hoag Elementary School instructional day to start at 8:05 a.m., end at 2:45 p.m.

The start of the instructional day at Harry Hoag Elementary School in the Fort Plain Central School District will move back seven minutes to 8:05 a.m. with the start of the 2017-18 academic year. Dismissal will also move back seven minutes to 2:45 p.m.

The new times will allow for a smoother dismissal process.

All buses will be present at the dismissal of elementary school students. As in the past, parents picking up students can do so outside of the kindergarten wing.

The current Junior/Senior High School bell schedule – 8 a.m.-2:38 p.m. – will remain the same.

For more information contact the district office at (518) 993-4000.