On Sunday, April 9, New York lawmakers approved a 2017-18 state budget that calls for an overall increase in education funding of $1.1 billion, or 4.4 percent.
Lawmakers enacted the budget nine days after the April 1 state budget deadline, providing school district leaders with critical state aid information as they finalize school budget proposals for the 2017-18 school year. Voters will consider those proposals during the statewide school budget vote day on Tuesday, May 16.
The overall state aid increase includes $700 million in additional Foundation Aid and growth of $289 million in state reimbursements for designated expenses such as transportation, construction and BOCES services. These are the predominant sources of state funding for everyday school operations and capital improvements.
The remainder of the state aid increase includes additional funding for charter schools and increased state support for a variety of school initiatives, including afterschool programming, prekindergarten and school technology. The $1.1 billion increase is less than the $1.5 billion that the Educational Conference Board, a coalition of statewide education groups, said last fall would be necessary to preserve current school services next year. The Board of Regents had recommended an increase of $2.1 billion.
The budget preserves the Foundation Aid formula for distributing school aid, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo had proposed to discontinue in his executive budget proposal in January. Foundation Aid was enacted in 2007 to ensure all school districts have the funding needed to provide students with a sound, basic education.
The 2017-18 state budget supports several other programs and initiatives related to education:
• Pre-kindergarten: The budget provides an additional $5 million to continue the expansion of half-day and full-day prekindergarten programs for three- and four-year-old children in high-need school districts.
• Community Schools: Total Foundation Aid includes a $150 million “set aside” for community schools, an increase of $50 million over 2016-17. The funding will continue efforts to turn schools designated as struggling, as well as those in other high-need districts, into community hubs that provide academic, physical and mental health care, afterschool programming and other services to students and their families.
• Afterschool Programming: The budget includes $35 million in new funding to expand afterschool programs for students in schools located in designated high-poverty areas. This new funding will create an additional 22,000 spots for students in afterschool programs.
• Technology: The budget includes $5 million to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in nonpublic schools.
• Charter schools: The budget includes a $5.6 million increase in charter school funding.
• Early College High School: The budget includes $5.3 million to add new early college high school programs, with a focus on developing computer science programs, and nearly $1.5 million for the continuation of existing programs.
• Advanced Placement Test Assistance for Families: The budget includes an additional $1.5 million to help low-income students with the cost of taking AP exams.
• Empire State Excellence in Teaching Awards: The budget provides $400,000 for a second round of Empire State Excellence in Teaching awards, providing at least 60 selected teachers across the state with a $5,000 award for professional development activities.
• Cyberbullying: The budget provides $300,000 to fund certain school-based initiatives to combat cyberbullying and other forms of online harassment.
• STAR: More than $3.15 billion of the state budget will fund New York’s STAR (School Tax Relief) and Enhanced STAR exemptions for property taxpayers. The budget does not hold the value of STAR exemptions at existing levels, as was proposed by the governor in January.
On Friday, Mar. 17, the Geology Department at Union College hosted the Ninth Symposium on the physical aspects of the Mohawk Watershed in New York State. The scientific program was partly focused on water quality, in addition to a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal. The meeting highlighted recent and on-going work in the watershed during oral and poster presentations and technical sessions. Fort Plain had two groups of student representatives participate.
The Fort Plain/Canajoharie Environmental Study Team traveled to Union College to present their poster of this past summer’s research. The Team consists of high school students with an interest in science and service. Their mission is to create partnerships with other like-minded groups, such as the Friends of Fort Plain and the Schoharie River Center, to encourage environmental awareness within the local community. This year’s members of the Fort Plain/Canajoharie Environmental Study Team are: Emily Abrams, Baileigh Behan, Michael D’Arcangelis, Zoe D’Arcangelis, Madeline Elliott, Michael Hoffamn, Jason Huang,Quinn Jones, Calli Logan, Patrick Murphy, Julia Stockwell, Bryce Thibodeau, Lexi Veitch, and Mackenzie Wintermute. A published version of their extended abstract
Also in attendance was Harry Hoag Art Teacher Autumn Slawienski and resident artist, Mrs. Bickers, who displayed the fourth-graders recently created mosaic of the Eric Canal. “It was a wonderful experience to be in a room filled with (mostly) scientists and have them asking questions and being completely astounded at what our fourth graders accomplished,” said Mrs. Slawienski.
NOTICE OF BUDGET HEARING, BUDGET VOTE AND ELECTION FORT PLAIN CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
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 2017-2018 school year will be held in the Jr. Sr. High School Auditorium on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
AND FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual District Meeting and Election of the qualified voters of the Fort Plain Central School District will be held in the Harry Hoag School Gymnasium in said District on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at which time said vote and election will be held between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., prevailing time at which time the polls will be opened to vote by voting machine upon the following items:
Proposition 1: To adopt the annual budget of the School District for the fiscal year 2017-2018 and to authorize the requisite portion thereof to be raised by taxation on the taxable property of the District.
Proposition 2: Authorization to Purchase Buses: Shall the Board of Education of the Fort Plain Central School District be authorized to: (a) acquire school vehicles at a maximum aggregate cost of $270,000.00; (b) expend such sums for such purpose; (c) expend from the Bus Purchase Reserve Fund an amount not to exceed $270,000.00 for such purpose; (d) levy the necessary tax therefore, to be levied and collected in such amounts as may be determined by the Board of Education taking into account state aid received and amounts disbursed from the reserve fund; and (e) in anticipation of the collection of such tax, to issue bonds and notes of the District at one time or from time to time in the principal amount not to exceed $270,000, and to levy a tax to pay the interest on such obligations when due?
To elect two (3) members of the Board of Education to a three (3) year term commencing on July 1, 2017 and expiring on June 30, 2020 to succeed Tod McFee, Jeffrey L. Jones, and David Przestrzelski whose terms expire on June 30, 2017.
AND FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that petitions nominating candidates for the office of member of the Board of Education shall be filed with the Clerk of said School District at his office in the Harry Hoag School not later than April 17, 2017 between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00
p.m. Each petition shall be directed to the Clerk of the District and shall be signed by at least 25 voters of the District, and must state the name and residence of the candidate.
AND FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that applications for absentee ballots will be obtainable between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays, from the District Clerk. The District Clerk must receive completed applications at least seven (7) days before the election if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the election, if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter. Absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk not later than 4:00 p.m., prevailing time, on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.
A list of persons to whom absentee ballots are issued will be available for inspection to qualified voters of the District in the office of the District Clerk on and after May 15, 2017 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays prior to the day set for the annual election and on May 16, 2017, the day set for the election. Any qualified voter present in the polling place may object to the voting of the ballot upon appropriate grounds by making his/her challenge and the reasons therefore known to the Inspector of Election before the close of the polls.
AND FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the qualified voters of the School District shall be entitled to vote at said annual vote and election. A qualified voter is one who is (1) a citizen of the United States of America, (2) eighteen years of age or older, and (3) a resident within the School District for a period of thirty (30) days immediately preceding the annual election. The School District may require all persons offering to vote at the budget vote and election to provide one form of proof of residency pursuant to Education Law Section 2018-c. Such form may include a driver’s license, a non-driver identification card, a utility bill or a voter registration card. Upon offer of proof of residency, the School District may also require all persons offering to vote to provide their signature, printed name and address.
AND FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that pursuant to a rule adopted by the Board of Education in accordance with Sections 2035 and 2008 of the Education law, any referenda or propositions to amend the budget, or otherwise to be submitted for voting at said vote and
election, must be filed with the Board of Education at the Fort Plain Central School District on or before April 17, 2017 at 4:00 p.m., prevailing time; must be typed or printed in the English language; must be directed to the Clerk of the School District; must be signed by at least
twenty-five (25) qualified voters, or five percent (5%) of the registered voters of the District who voted in the previous annual election of Board members, whichever is greater; and must state the name and residence of each signer. However, the School Board will not entertain or place before the voters any proposition if its purpose is beyond the power of the voters or is illegal, or any proposition requiring the expenditure of moneys which fails to include specific appropriations for all such expenditures required by the proposition.
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Please publish April 7, 2017; April 21, 2017; May 5, 2017; and May 12, 2017.
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Website beginning March 31, 2017
A Public Hearing on the proposed 2017-18 Fort Plain School District Budget for the 2017-2018 will be held in the District Office Conference Room on Wednesday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m. The annual Budget Vote and Election will be held in Harry Hoag School Gymnasium on Tuesday, May 16, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
In addition to voting on the budget, residents will be asked to elect three (3) members of the Board of Education to a three (3) year term commencing on July 1, 2017 and expiring on June 30, 2020 to succeed Tod McFee, Jeffrey L. Jones, and David Przestrzelski whose terms expire on June 30, 2017. Petitions nominating candidates for Board of Education need to be filed with the Clerk by April 17 between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Each petition needs to be signed by at least 25 voters of the District, and must state the name and residence of the candidate.
Applications for absentee ballots will be obtainable between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays, from the District Clerk. The District Clerk must receive completed applications at least seven (7) days before the election if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the election, if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter.
Absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk not later than 4:00 p.m on Tuesday, May 16.
A copy of the Legal Notice sent to papers is available here. Follow the budget development on our Budget page.
Students in Mr. Cutspec’s, Mr. Bogus’, and Mr. Arndt’s Reading class were recently given the task of creating their very own Subway sandwiches. As part of a daily writing prompt, they were asked to describe their sandwich ingredients and give it a catchy name.
Little did they know, their ideas were sent to Don Fertman, Subway Chief Development Officer and two-time “Undercover Boss,” who selected the three sandwiches he believed showed the most promise.
Sean Alaimo (8th grade) created the Fort Plain Bomb, made of: Salami, buffalo chicken, pepperoni and mayo on choice of bread.
Morgan McFee (9th grade) created The Morganator; a TexMex-based sandwich with tortilla and salsa.
Kayla Alaimo (9th grade) created The Bite, made of ham, salami, baloney, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, oil, vinegar and mayo on wheat bread.
Each of the above student’s received a gift card to Subway and a personal video message of congratulations. An opportunity to ‘Eat Fresh’ as a result of practicing writing skills is pretty neat, any way you slice it. In the words of Mr. Fertman, “Rock on Fort Plain.”
In September 2016, a state law went into effect that requires all public school districts in New York to test water for lead. The law requires school districts to sample all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes in buildings that may be occupied by students and to submit those samples to a state-approved lab for analysis. Regulations call for testing to take place again in 2020 and every five years thereafter, unless the state Commissioner of Health requires testing sooner.
The state established an action level of 15 micrograms of lead per liter, typically referred to as “parts per billion (ppb).” If a sample from a water outlet exceeds this level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of the outlet for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated and follow-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level.
School districts are required to report the results of all water testing to the state Department of Health, the state Education Department and the local health department, and to post the results — along with remediation plans, if required — on the official district website.
Fort Plain Central School District is conducting water testing according to the state law. Results of testing are being posted on this page as they become available.
- Elementary Lead Results November 2016
- Elementary Lead Results November 2016 Letter
- High School Lead Results December 2016
- High School Lead Results December 2016 Letter
Lead-free, as defined by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, is based on the lead content of plumbing materials. Federal laws enacted in 1986, and updated in 2011, limit the amount of lead that can be used in new plumbing and fixtures. A building can be deemed lead-free if it was built after Jan. 4, 2014, or a New York State licensed Professional Engineer or Architect certifies it to be lead-free.
Under New York’s new law, school districts are not required to conduct water testing in buildings designated as lead-free. Fort Plain School District has no buildings designated as lead-free, as defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act, so all are subject to the new water testing law.
Harry Hoag fourth-grade students are putting the finishing touches on mosaic murals they have been working on since September. This is the second year students have had the opportunity to work with visiting artist Linda Biggers, thanks to a $3,000 grant received from the Saratoga Arts Council. Saratoga Arts made this program possible with an Arts Education Grant funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
In collaboration with their social studies unit, students are creating three murals (a triptych) of the Erie Canal. Historian Dave Brooks of Schoharie Crossing kicked off the unit in September with a presentation about the canal. Students then selected images from his presentation that they wanted to feature in their artwork.
Ms. Biggers visits the school a total of five times to instruct and guide students on working with glass to create the murals. She works alongside Fort Plain art teacher, Autumn Slawienski.
Last year’s classes created a mosaic mural featuring historical landmarks and architecture from around Fort Plain which now hangs outside the cafeteria at Harry Hoag. “This program has been so successful, we are hoping to continue next year with plans to depict the current and future projects along the river,” said art teacher Autumn Slawienski.
This year’s murals will be finished by the Christmas break and turned over to Ms. Biggers for grout and drying. They will then be returned to the school for display.
On Friday, Dec. 9, NYSUT LRS Kevin Grossman dropped off 10 boxes of books to SRP President Mark Hisert and FPTA President Pat Hanifin. NYSUT is putting first books in the hands of students with the help of the non-profit organization First Book Inc., and the American Federation of Teachers a NYSUT national affiliate. Books are made available at low to no cost to high-needs schools and nonprofit programs serving low-income families and kids in need.
ALL STUDENTS enrolled in both buildings of the Fort Plain District will receive both breakfast and lunch for FREE this year thanks to the Community Eligibility Meal Certification option for the 2016-2017 school year.
There will be no free/reduced meal forms circulated. ALL district students will receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at no charge, regardless of their family status or income.
The Community Eligibility Program will be in effect for at least the next four years. Any questions can be directed to Lauri Broady in the Office of School Nutrition at 993-4000 #1003.
The Fort Plain Pacers Walking Program will begin on Tuesday, Nov. 1, and run through April 30. Walking is permitted on school days from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Visit the District Office to have your card re-activated for returning walkers, or to sign up. New member cards cost $5.00.
This year, the Board of Education would like to open the Fitness Center to members of our community from Nov. 1 – April 30. The cost is $20.00 per month – payable at the beginning of each month. Hours will be posted once a schedule has been developed.
If you have any questions regarding either program, please contact Becky in the District Office at 518-993-4000 ext. #1000.