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COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS UPDATES & RESOURCES

All Fort Plain schools are closed until at least April 15 due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health situation. For important notices, learning resources, food distribution plans and information about childcare for emergency workers, please go to this page.

Board schedules special meeting Friday, March 20

The meeting will be held via videoconference. Community members may listen to the meeting by telephone.

The Fort Plain Central School District Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Friday, March 20, starting at 6 p.m. regarding the ongoing capital project. To protect the health and safety of the board members, district staff and community, the meeting will be held by a WebEx video conference, with board members and staff participating remotely.

Community members can listen to the WebEx conference by phone by dialing 1-646-992-2010 and entering the meeting access code 478 170 198. Community members can share comments for the record prior to the meeting by emailing them to District Clerk Becky Smith becky.smith@fortplain.org.

Recent guidance from the New York State Education Department addresses the issue of holding Board of Education meetings in light of the circumstances regarding COVID-19:

“Pursuant to Governor Executive Order No. 202.1 issued 3/13/2020, the Open Meetings Law requirements for school board meetings have been temporarily modified, through April 11, 2020, as such:

“Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, to the extent necessary to permit any public body to meet and take such actions authorized by the law without permitting in public in-person access to meetings and authorizing such meetings to be held remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that the public has the ability to view or listen to such proceeding and that such meetings are recorded and later transcribed.”

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Class celebrates 100 days of school

Activities centered on the number 100.

group of students stand before a table topped with plates of grapes and cheese sticks formed in the number 100

Students in the Life Skills class recently celebrated 100 days of school. Life Skills teacher Lisa Petty and math teacher Sue Summerfield organized activities for the students. They read “The 100 Hats Of The Cat In The Hat,” counted 100 items on a mat, made the number 100 out of cheese sticks and grapes, and enjoyed cupcakes. Students and teachers brought items from home and chose items from the classroom that were meaningful to them for the mat activity. 

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Teacher honored for service at 65th annual music festival

Montgomery County Music Association President Pete DiBiase is retiring from Fort Plain this year, capping 25 years of service to the association, its beloved festival and the school district he’s called home for 32 years. 

band director is seated on stage in school auditorium while student musicians hold instruments behind him.
Pete DiBiase, Fort Plain’s band director, was honored at the Feb. 29 Montgomery County Music Festival in Canajoharie. DiBiase, who is retiring this year, was honored for serving as president of the county Music Association for the past 25 years. With DiBiase in the back row from the left are music festival performers Evan Crouse, Sarah Paradiso, Anthony Paradiso, Troy Butler, Taylor Gifford and Seth Wintermute. In the front row are Willow MaGinnis, Jenna Reese, Michaela Stockwell, Rachel Zuppardi and Grace Hoffman.

For the past 65 years, the Montgomery County Music Festival has celebrated the talented student musicians from school districts in Fort Plain, Canajoharie, Fonda-Fultonville and Amsterdam.

At this year’s event on Feb. 29 in Canajoharie, it was also time to celebrate outgoing Montgomery County Music Association President Pete DiBiase. He is retiring from Fort Plain this year, capping 25 years of service to the association, its beloved festival and the school district he’s called home for 32 years. 

The nod to DiBiase was a surprise coordinated by counterpart band directors at the county’s school districts. As the audience was welcomed during the opening speech, the festival was paused to honor DiBiase with a plaque.

When asked to reflect on the experience, DiBiase humbly referred to his students and their performances.

“It was memorable,” he said. “It was a great day of music and a great day of kids.”

It couldn’t have been a more fitting time to honor DiBiase, as March is Music in our Schools Month.

Music in Our Schools Month is annually held in March to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children, and to remind citizens that school is where children should have access to music. It was established by The National Association for Music Education.

The Montgomery County Music Festival is an ultimate celebration of music in schools, preceded by months of preparation. DiBiase says it’s rewarding to see the students bring the teacher-selected musical pieces to life as a  unit. But even better, all the hard work is for a good cause.

“The importance of the festival is not only the concert and the work and preparation that goes into it, but also the scholarships,” DiBiase said. The nominal admission fee to the festival supports scholarships awarded to students in the participating school districts.

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Reading group partners with library for ‘Making a Difference’ initiative

The program is made possible through a local advocacy grant.

Harry Hoag Elementary is partnering with the Fort Plain Free Library to help students learn how to make a difference.

two students seated at desks use pencils to write on paper
Students Alexis Bulely and Rah’Mya Lucas complete an activity.

Library representatives Hannah Gies and Whitney Hubbard visited the fifth and sixth grade students in Eileen Kretser’s guided reading group on Feb. 26 to kick off a five-part series. Every month, Kretser’s students will learn about the ways young people can make a difference in the world. The program aims to inspire students through books and connect them to resources that are available at the library.

“The Fort Plain Free Library has a lot to offer our community, and especially our students,” Kretser said. “Working together will open more doors for our students. I want the students to have as many opportunities as possible to explore what they can get from reading.”

group of students seated on chairs in a circle in a school classroom
Every month, the group will participate in discussions and activities related to books and stories about making a difference.

Gies worked with students during the first session to help them learn about identity. She talked about how a person’s passions can drive them to make a difference. Students picked words to describe themselves and the things they care about. They took turns reading from books about young people who used their talents and passions to bring attention to causes. Then they talked about how they related to what they read.

In future visits, students will learn more about what they can do to make a difference. They will learn where they can make a difference, when to act and why making a difference matters.

“We are thrilled to embark on this collaborative initiative with the Harry Hoag Elementary School,” Hubbard said. She is the director of the library.

The program is made possible through a local advocacy grant awarded to the Fort Plain Free Library. The grant was funded by the Mohawk Valley Library System, the Carol Clingan Library Advocacy Fund and the Foundation for Mohawk Valley Libraries.

We hope our students will be inspired by what they read and want to become an advocate for their own passion project to promote positive change in the world,” school Principal Lauren Crisman said.

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Harry Hoag Elementary School Students of the Month for January

Students were honored at a breakfast celebration.

six students pose with certificates in a school library with the principal

Congratulations to the January students of the month at Harry Hoag Elementary! They are kindergartner Laurie Nightingale, first graders Jacob Dolly and Harley Ostrander, fifth grader Gavin Massie and sixth graders Isis Hammond and Rachel Kamp. Students were honored at a breakfast celebration. Elle Nare was absent and will be honored at next month’s breakfast event.

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Kristy’s Closet provides clothes, toiletries for students in need

The closet was entirely designed, engineered and constructed by teacher Kreig Heroth’s Technology and Design class. 

Group of students and their teacher stand inside a large walk-in closet space
Teacher Kreig Heroth’s Technology and Design class designed, engineered and constructed a closet where students in need can get clothing and toiletries.
A person organizes T-shirts on a shelf in a walk-in closet
School Conduct Coordinator Kristy McFee organizes T-shirts on one of the shelves built by the school’s Technology and Design students. McFee is the point person for the closet.

Kristy’s Closet has opened at Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School, a place where students in need can go to get clothing and toiletries. School officials say it’s made a huge impact on the school, both for the students it’s benefiting, and for the students who constructed the space.

“I’ve had a few customers already. Some of them have hugged me and cried because they were so grateful,” school conduct coordinator Kristy McFee said. She is the point person for the closet. School employees let McFee know if there is someone in need, and she discreetly brings students to the space to let them pick out clothing, shoes, toiletries and other items.

Students Steven Chase, Storm Lounsberry and Bradyn Myers use a CNC router in their Technology & Design class to cut signs for the closet.

The closet was entirely designed, engineered and constructed by teacher Kreig Heroth’s Technology and Design class.

“It was the hardest I’ve ever worked on a project, because I wasn’t just building something for myself,” junior Storm Lounsberry said. “I’m proud of it. It feels great knowing it will help people.”

The school is accepting donations of new and gently-used clothing in all sizes for teens and young adults. Jeans, leggings, sweatpants, sweatshirts and T-shirts are some of the things needed most. New underwear, socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soaps and shampoos are also needed.

person with a surprised look standing in a school stairwell
Kristy McFee, the school’s conduct coordinator, was surprised with news that the closet was named after her. The inset photo shows a sign that was posted on the door. School officials surprised McFee with the sign this week.

The closet was named Kristy’s Closet after McFee, a Fort Plain alumna and long-time employee.

“I’m so excited about this opportunity given to me to spearhead this program for our young adults,” McFee said. “I attended Fort Plain CSD from third to twelfth grade, and I’ve lived here all my life. This is something I can give back to the community that I live in.”

The closet features a variety of wooden shelves and galvanized clothing racks that were all engineered and built by the Technology and Design students. They also designed and cut out wooden labels for clothing bins.

“At the beginning, it was just a project, but as it progressed, they became very passionate about it,” Heroth said. “They put in extra time outside of class because they were really proud to help their community.”

Three students use a table saw
Tyler Vogle, Clayton Welch and Haley Smith use a table saw to cut shelves for the closet.

Students used computer software to design the space and then built a model. Students presented their ideas to McFee and Principal Deborah Larrabee, just like they would at a real job for a potential client. They got feedback and made modifications to their design before they got to work in the shop. Students also had to get pricing estimates from a lumber shop and make sure all of the materials fit the budget.

a person organizes clothes on a clothing rack in a walk-in closet filled with shelves and bins
The closet is filled with T-shirts, sweatshirts, coats, purses, ties, toiletries, shoes and more.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the Technology and Design students,” Larrabee said. “This project gave them real-life experience and an opportunity to apply their talents in a meaningful way.”

If you would like to donate items to the closet, please contact the school office at 518-993-4000 ext. 2125 or McFee at 518-993-4000 ext. 2314.

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Students flex skills in architecture series

Groups designed homes, learning about room placement, hallway connections, utilities and outdoor add-ins.

three elementary students stand next to a model home
From the left are Allyson Rathbun, Isis Hammond and Natashia Hammond.

Students in the Harry Hoag Elementary School Talented and Gifted program recently completed a three week “Young Architects” series. Groups designed homes, learning about room placement, hallway connections, utilities and outdoor add-ins.

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Local business sponsors puppet program at Harry Hoag Elementary

Students learned about emotions, how to make themselves feel happy, and how to get help when they are sad or uncomfortable.

group of elementary students pose in a school library holding puppetsPuppets in Education came to FPCSD! Harry Hoag Elementary School students enjoyed an interactive performance of a program titled “Day of Feelings.”  Students learned about emotions, how to make themselves feel happy, and how to get help when they are sad or uncomfortable.

The presentation was funded by Fuccillo Chevrolet of Nelliston, which also gave ten 25-inch puppets to the school so students can continue their creative education.

Puppets in Education is a program of the nonprofit Vermont Family Network. The program is in its 39th year, serving more than 10,000 children and adults annually to address a range of topics.

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High school names 2Q honor roll, principal’s list

Congratulations to all of the students for their hard work!

Honor Roll

7th Grade

Zachary Briggs, Gabriella Calhoun, Dakota Cooper, Joshua Crandall, Cris-John Fuhs, Country Hammond, JulieAnn Kirby, Jorge Medina, Asaiah Muha, Chad Rogers, Emily Rood, Adriyanna Rouse, Bryce Rumrill

8th Grade

Carter Baldwin, Ezekiel Brown, Kelsey Buley, Courtney Euler, Jasmine Fonda, Ethan Germond, Ayden Hart, Ryan Hazlett, Ethan Hubbard, Rafael Medina Jr., Breanna Steinhauer, Deven Stilson, Marissa Wilder

9th Grade

Amelia Gallagher, Alexandra Handy, Madeline Heroth, Brianna Krutz, Isaac Nichols, Mayreni Quiroz-Romero, Rob Rogers, Corbin Sardina, Aleigha Van Alstine, Phoebe Wagner-Gollinger, Jeffrey Wilday

10th Grade

William Cochran Jr., Jacob Curtis, Brandon Dygert, Michael Harris Jr., Kerri Johnson, Owin Landry, Ella Logan, Tyrell Martin, Kasidy Rouse, Haley Smith, Cheyanne Wahl

11th Grade

Hailie Anderson, Manley Baker III, Hannah Briggs, Kristopher Clapper, Kyle Cook, Samuel Cruger, Jacob Fuhs, Krzysztof Kulczynski II, Joseph LeMoine, Storm Lounsberry, Kaylee Sanders, Justin Schumacher, Megan Telfer, Autumn Todd, Catherine Twitchell, Sarah Vanasse, Eja VanDycke, Damien Young, Zackarie Young

12th Grade

Bailey Battisti, Cassandra Herron, Cheyenne Hisert, Jenna Reese, Franklyn TenEyck, Tyler Vogle

Principal’s List

7th Grade

Jordan Brown, Samantha Darrow, Kaedence David, Yunus Demir, James Douglas, Kaylie Field, Hannah French, Adeline Handy, Ashlynn Hart, Vienna Jackson, Payton Landry, Jasmine Lapi, Addison Parsons, Nevaeh Rivers, Liam Rockwell, Dustin Welch

8th Grade

Mariah Aney, Mason Cook, Aidan Guile, Jordan Hillsgrove, Brady Keane, Monika Kulczynski, Sadie Mollel, Devan Sanders, Payton Skiffington, Alex Smith, Marionna Stephens, Delana Tracki, Vandwane Tulabing, Austin VanGorder

9th Grade

Cameron David, Madison Delgado, Alexis Euler, Andra Fuhs, Stephen Gray, Nura Handy, Ryleigh Hart, Rylee Herron, Ethan Kilmartin, Anthony Paradiso, Raul Rivera III, Alex Rivkowich, Kristin Sanders, Joseph Stinebrickner III, Natalie Thibodeau, Savonna Tyler

10th Grade

Nicholas Blowers, Erin Crouse, Sarah Florian, Keagen Ford, Zachary Hayner, Hailey Hogan, Tucker Jones, Robert Jordan, Emma Karker, Talia Narzymski, Noah Norton, Emma Oldick, Seth Rivkowich, Sophia Rogers
Estee Smith, Levi Thomas, Elizabeth VanDycke

11th Grade

Zavia Allen, Molli Bates, Meranda Battisti, Troy Butler, Evan Crouse, Sinem Demir, Fredrick Hanford, Tiffany Hazzard, Grace Hoffman, Howie Kelley, Olivia Kennedy, Sarah LaComb, Sarah Paradiso, Oleksandr Patyukov
Jose Pipero, Matthew Travis, Landen Van Alstine, Josh Wilder, Seth Wintermute, Rachel Zuppardi

12th Grade

Nathaniel Beam, Selyna DuMond-Halse, Brady Fureno, Ethan Gallt, Taylor Gifford, Cassandra Harwood, Taylor Hoffman, Gabriella Jenks, Pierre LeMoine Jr., Jasmine Livingston, Joshua Nellis, Isabella Page, Ethan Reese, Ethan Schoch, Crystal Smith, Michaela Stockwell, Lauren Weinberger

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PBA donation provides sweet treats to students

Principal Lauren Crisman said the contribution will be used to fund snack shack purchases for students who are otherwise unable to afford a lunch treat.

officer in uniform with a school principal in a school cafeteria
Fort Plain Police Department Cpl. Donald Richards, left, and Harry Hoag Elementary School Principal Lauren Crisman.

The Fort Plain Central School District expresses its sincere gratitude to the Fort Plain Police Benevolent Association for its donation to the Harry Hoag Elementary School cafeteria fund. Principal Lauren Crisman said the contribution will be used to fund snack shack purchases for students who are otherwise unable to afford a lunch treat.

“The Fort Plain Police Department continues to support our district in many ways and your advocacy for student wellness is highly valued,” Crisman said.

The donation was made toward the cafeteria account previously started by the school’s safety officer program.

“By opening this account, officers have the ability to bridge the gap between the police and the community, as well as display human qualities such as selflessness, a quality that can best define the staff at Harry Hoag Elementary,” Fort Plain Police Department Cpl. Donald Richards said. He is the Fort Plain PBA president.

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