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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.

At-Home Learning Resources (Teacher Pages)

Teacher pages for Harry Hoag Elementary School and the Jr./Sr. High School

Teacher Pages

Our teachers have created online platforms of at-home learning resources for our students in grades Pre-K through 12. Each site has materials to give students the opportunity to practice skills, review content and explore topics at home.

If you have any questions about the resources and materials, do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher. Our faculty wants to help and support your child as much as possible. Email addresses are available on our online staff directory.

Borrowing a Chromebook

Families with internet access in grades 4-12 are able to borrow a Chromebook to support at-home learning while school is closed. Families must sign a lease agreement in order to borrow a Chromebook. One Chromebook will be offered per household. However, if a family has at least one student in grades 4-6 and at least one student in grades 7-12, the family will be able to borrow two Chromebooks.

Families of Jr./Sr. High School students in grades 7-12 can pick-up a Chromebook on April 1 from 9 a.m. to noon in the school lobby according to the following schedule:

  • Student LAST Name A – H: Pickup time: 9-10 a.m.
  • Student LAST Name I – P: Pickup time: 10-11 a.m.
  • Student LAST Name Q – Z: Pickup time: 11 a.m.-noon

Families of Harry Hoag Elementary students in grades 4-6 can pick-up a Chromebook on April 6 from 9-11 a.m. in the school lobby.

Parents must sign a user agreement form before a Chromebook will be issued.

WMHT supports at-home learning with on-air and online educational programming

Starting Monday, March 23, our local PBS station, WMHT Public Media, is offering an educational programming block targeted to support in-home learning for students in grades PK-12 while area schools are closed.

For the complete programming schedule, related resources, and additional home learning opportunities, visit https://www.wmht.org/homeclassroom/.

To find any WMHT channel on your television, visit https://www.wmht.org/findwmht/.

Free Wi-Fi for Students

Charter-Spectrum is offering free Spectrum broadband access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees are waived for student households. To enroll, call (844) 488-8395.

Mental health support for families

The Family Counseling Center has started “Warm Line.” It’s a hotline to support people dealing with anxiety and other issued related to COVID-19 and being isolated. Anyone who needs support is encouraged to call 518-725-4310 ext. 333. The hotline will operate 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is staffed by licensed family peer advocates who are equipped to assess the caller’s needs.  The advocates have immediate access to the center’s 24/7 Crisis Team if someone needs additional support.

Additional Resources

Families can borrow Chromebooks

Parents must sign a user agreement form before a Chromebook will be issued.

Families with internet access in grades 4-12 are able to borrow Chromebooks to support at-home learning while school is closed. Families must sign a lease agreement in order to borrow a Chromebook. One Chromebook will be offered per household. However, if a family has at least one student in grades 4-6 and at least one student in grades 7-12, the family will be able to borrow two Chromebooks.

Families of Jr./Sr. High School students in grades 7-12 can pick-up a Chromebook on April 1 from 9 a.m. to noon in the school lobby according to the following schedule:

  • Student LAST Name A – H: Pickup time: 9-10 a.m.
  • Student LAST Name I – P: Pickup time: 10-11 a.m.
  • Student LAST Name Q – Z: Pickup time: 11 a.m.-noon

Families of Harry Hoag Elementary students in grades 4-6 can pick-up a Chromebook on April 6 from 9-11 a.m. in the school lobby.

Parents must sign a user agreement form before a Chromebook will be issued.

School closure extended until April 15

UPDATE APRIL 2: How the school closure affects spring break

Current status updates regarding COVID-19 (As of April 2)


Information for Families

Thursday, April 2

Dear parents and guardians,

Schools have received guidance about how the school closures will affect our spring break, which was originally scheduled April 10-17. 

As we previously shared, on March 27, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order closing schools until at least April 15. Schools are required to continue our at-home learning plan with teacher support, provide meals for students and connect families of emergency workers with childcare resources.

This means students should continue their at-home learning on weekdays through Tuesday, April 14. FPCS will also continue our meal service for families.  

If the closure is not extended, we will return to school on-site on Wednesday, April 15. There will also be classes on Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17, barring any changes. 

FPCS was originally scheduled to have Spring Break from April 10-17. However, the governor’s order includes language about exhausting vacation and snow days while school is closed in order for schools to receive state aid. We will continue to monitor all available guidance and directives and keep you informed if this changes.

We recognize that this is a challenging situation. We’re here to support you through it, and we know that you are managing many personal and professional responsibilities. We would like to remind you of something that we often tell our students: All we can do is our best. We’ll get through this together.

Thank you all for your continued patience, understanding and support.


Friday, March 27

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 public health situation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended an order today, March 27 for the continued statewide closing of schools. As such, Fort Plain schools are closed until April 15. The governor said he will reassess whether to extend the closures again before students are set to return.

Sporting practices and events, rehearsals, shows, school events, activities and after-school programs will continue to be canceled. We will continue our to-go meal program during this time. More information is available at https://www.fortplain.org/to-go-meals/.

Fort Plain was scheduled to have its Spring Break from April 10-17. The latest executive order clearly states that there will be no regular classes until April 15. There is, however, new language in this order about exhausting vacation and snow days. Fort Plain will await further guidance from New York State before making a determination regarding Spring Break. More information is expected early next week.

We know these are challenging times for our families, employees and our community, but we must do what we can to slow the spread of this virus. I encourage everyone to avoid close contact during this time and stay home whenever possible.

We continue to follow guidance from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), the New York Department of Health (NYDOH), New York Department of Education (NYSED) and our local county health department during this time.

Specifically, we continue to seek guidance from NYSED about how these circumstances will impact the school calendar for the remainder of the academic year, including Regents examinations and graduation. Please remember that these questions are being asked all across the country. Our district will do everything we can to support our students. We will share more information as soon as it is available.

State assessments for students in grades 3-8 have been suspended by NYSED. This includes assessments for English language arts, math and science, as well as the K-12 English as a Second Language assessment and the alternate assessment for students with severe cognitive disabilities.

The College Board, which administers Advanced Placement (AP) exams nationwide, has also announced that it will conduct online exams for the 2019-20 school year. The exam content will only cover material taught through early March.

Thank you for your continued patience and support. We will provide you with more information as it becomes available. We will continue to communicate with families via Remind texts and our website.

Sincerely,

David Ziskin
Acting Superintendent of Schools


Resources

  • The Family Counseling Center has started “Warm Line.” It’s a hotline to support people dealing with anxiety and other issued related to COVID-19 and being isolated. Anyone who needs support is encouraged to call 518-725-4310 ext. 333. The hotline will operate 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is staffed by licensed family peer advocates who are equipped to assess the caller’s needs.  The advocates have immediate access to the center’s 24/7 Crisis Team if someone needs additional support.
  • Our local PBS station, WMHT Public Media, is offering an educational programming block targeted to support in-home learning for students in grades PK-12 while area schools are closed. For the complete programming schedule, related resources, and additional home learning opportunities, visit https://www.wmht.org/homeclassroom/. To find any WMHT channel on your television, visit https://www.wmht.org/findwmht/.
  • Tips for talking with children about COVID-19/Coronavirus from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
  • Center for Disease Control
  • New York State Department of Health
  • Travel Precautions

Information about to-go meals for students while school is closed

Meals will be provided to students during the school closure.

FPCS is offering to-go meals for students while school is closed until April 15. There are pick-up locations in the villages of Fort Plain and Nelliston. School families who live in rural areas will have their meals delivered along regular bus routes. Breakfast and lunch will be given at the same time. Meals are for FPCS students ages 18 and younger.

Delivery for Rural Families

Rural areas will have meals delivered to their assigned afternoon bus stop between 10-11 a.m. on weekdays. Someone from the household has to come out to the bus to get the meals. The routes are as follows:

  • Bus 22: Route 10, Budnick Road, Otsquago Club Road, River Road, Fisk Hill Road, Rouse Road
  • Bus 25: Regular route except Reid Street to Town Barn
  • Bus 23: Regular route except Crouse St. and Berthoud Street
  • Bus 17: Regular route except Hancock, Crouse, and Village of Nelliston. A new meal drop-off stop has been made available near the car wash on Oak Street. Meals will arrive between 10-10:20 a.m.
  • Bus 26: Regular route except Division and South Street
  • Bus 14: Regular route except Webster Street and village of Nelliston
  • Bus 18: Regular route except for village students, start after town barn
  • Bus 24: Regular route except Prospect Hill and Garfield Street
  • Bus 10: Clinton & Waddell Avenue, Highland Terrace, Berthoud Street, Ehle Street

Pick-up locations at bus stops in Nelliston

A bus will be available at the following bus stops with meals from 10-11 a.m. on weekdays. Families must go to the bus stop to pick up their meals.

Clinton and Waddell Avenue Stop

Clinton and Waddell Avenue stop will include the following streets:

  • Kellogg Street, Garfield Street from Kellogg to Waddell, Waddell Avenue, Clinton Avenue, Roof Street, Clark Avenue, Gilbert Avenue, Edward Street, Henry Street, Goodrich Avenue

Highland Terrace Stop

Highland Terrace stop will include the following streets:

  • Garfield Street, Highland Terrace, Sunset Drive, Northern Terrace, Parkwood Drive

Berthoud Street Stop

Berthoud Street stop will include the following streets:

  • Berthoud Street, Dahlen Street, E. Main Street to My Shopper, Luft Lane, Brightman Street, Charles Street, Nellis Street, Stone Arabia Street, School Street, W. Main Street to Water Street, Prospect Street, River Street to River Bridge

Ehle Street Stop

Ehle Street stop will include the following streets:

  • E. Main Street to My Shopper to Edge of Town Trailer Park, Edge of Town Trailer Park

Pick-up locations for families in the village of Fort Plain

School families who live in the village of Fort Plain will have three pick-up locations available to them from 10-11 a.m. on weekdays:

  • Catholic Church (Reid Street)
  • Reformed Church (Canal Street)
  • Harry Hoag Elementary School entrance

    Message from new Superintendent John Bishop

    “As your superintendent, I am committed to being student centered, learner focused, results oriented and community connected.”

    Note: John Bishop was appointed superintendent of the Fort Plain Central School District on March 20 during a special Board of Education meeting.

    Dear Parents, Guardians, Employees and Community Members:

    It is with great enthusiasm that I join the Fort Plain school district to serve as Superintendent of Schools. With an official start date of May 1, I am eager to begin my work.

    I am honored and overjoyed to have the opportunity to guide the educational mission at Fort Plain CSD. As your superintendent, I am committed to being student centered, learner focused, results oriented and community connected.

    My philosophy places high value on cultivating systems for communication, collaboration and supporting an academic culture that is focused on teaching and learning. I believe every child can learn and achieve at high levels. Our schools will work to support all students, meet the needs of all learners, and ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn, grow and succeed.

    Over the next month I will be working with Dr. David Ziskin to ensure a smooth transition to the district. My plan is to begin connecting with the school board, administration, faculty, staff and community members, to the greatest extent possible, in the weeks to come.

    I look forward to a time when we can return to normal routines and meet face-to-face. Until then, I wish good health to you and your families.

    Warmest regards,

    John Bishop

    John Bishop appointed Fort Plain superintendent

    portrait photograph
    John Bishop

    The Fort Plain Central School District Board of Education has announced its selection for the district’s next superintendent of schools.

    John Bishop, the current principal of the Poestenkill Elementary School in the Averill Park Central School District, was appointed as the new Fort Plain superintendent during a special Board of Education meeting Friday, March 20.

    Bishop will assume the superintendent’s position in Fort Plain beginning May 1, with a three-year contract.

    “It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead the educational mission at Fort Plain,” Bishop said. “I look forward to serving a school community that is learner focused and committed to a holistic approach that develops the whole child.”

    Bishop has worked nearly 26 years in Averill Park beginning as a special education teacher at the West Sand Lake Elementary School in 1994. He also worked as a special education teacher at Averill Park High School before being appointed assistant middle school principal. He continued his administrative career in Averill Park serving as the district’s athletic director and then the assistant high school principal before being named as an elementary principal in 2016. Bishop also coached for several years including varsity football, varsity and JV girls lacrosse, freshmen girls basketball and JV golf.

    He’s also been president of the Averill Park principals union for two years and has been a varsity soccer official for 10. Before beginning his career in Averill Park, he was a special education teacher at the Wildwood Programs for two years.

    Bishop will replace Acting Superintendent David Ziskin, who is the former Fort Plain superintendent and current district superintendent of HFM BOCES. Ziskin assumed the role of superintendent in February after former Interim Superintendent Kathy Dougherty resigned due to a family responsibility.

    As the BOCES district superintendent, Ziskin worked with the Fort Plain Board of Education as a consultant during the search process.

    “The Fort Plain superintendent’s position attracted a strong and talented pool of candidates, and Mr. Bishop quickly rose to the top,” Ziskin said. “He’s a dedicated educator and administrator who believes

    that collaborative practices, strong community connections and a primary focus on teaching and learning builds successful schools.”

    An East Greenbush native, Bishop graduated Columbia High School and received a bachelor’s degree in special education from the College of St. Rose. He earned his master’s degrees in educational psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and his educational administration certification from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

    He lives in Niskayuna with his wife, who is a middle school teacher in South Colonie. They have two children, a son, who is a senior in high school, and a daughter attending college.

    Childcare for Essential Healthcare Workers/First Responders

    If you hold one of these occupations and you need childcare services, please complete the following survey.

    In accordance with state guidance, Fort Plain Central School District is making plans with community partners to provide childcare for essential healthcare workers and first responders identified by the state. These workers have been identified by the state as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, LPNs, nurse assistants, laboratory personnel, paramedics, EMTs, police officers and employed firefighters.

    If you hold one of these occupations and you need childcare services, please complete the following survey.

    If you have questions, please contact Katrina Canallatos at 518-993-4000 #3074 or katrina.canallatos@fortplain.org.

    Hands-on science workshop electrifies studies about conductivity

    Canajoharie’s media specialist visited Fort Plain with her student interns to give fourth graders a science workshop.

    high school student leads a lesson for fourth graders in a school computer lab
    Canajoharie High School students helped bring science lessons to life for fourth graders at Harry Hoag Elementary during a special workshop.

    Add a little Play-Doh to some wires, and you’ve got yourself a makeshift controller to play video games. Plug the wires into some bananas and you’ve got a digital piano.

    Student uses science kit to create a game controller out of Play-Doh.
    Fourth graders David Hillsgrove, left, and Blake Battisti test out video game controllers they made using Play-Doh and a science kit called Makey Makey.

    It was an electric lesson for the fourth grade students at Harry Hoag Elementary, thanks to Canajoharie High School’s computer science students. Tammy Jones, Canajoharie’s media specialist, visited Fort Plain with her student interns to give the fourth graders a workshop about electricity and conductivity.

    Canajoharie ninth graders Conner Ambridge, Vincenzo Decrescenzo, Skylar Ferrara, Aiden Hoag, Ryley Myers and Henry Yerdon showed the fourth graders how to use a science kit called Makey Makey. It turns everyday objects into touch pads using cables and alligator clips.

    In addition to creating game controllers and musical instruments, students themselves became a circuit. Students joined hands, while a person on one end touched the ground board, and a person on the other touched the banana piano. Students were wowed to hear the banana piano sound off, learning electricity travels through each person to complete the circuit.

    “The fourth graders are learning about electricity and conductivity, and this workshop helped bring their studies to life,” Matt Heiser said. He is the Technology Integration Specialist at Harry Hoag Elementary who worked with Jones to set up the workshops. “Mrs. Jones’ interns did an amazing job and we are grateful that our students had this opportunity.”

    Students hold hands in a circle in a computer lab
    Fourth graders at Harry Hoag got an electric lesson in conductivity from Canajoharie High School’s computer science students. They learned about circuits and how electricity passes through objects.

    Legal Notice – School budget vote and elections

    LEGAL NOTICE

    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 2018-2019 school year will be held in the Harry Hoag District Office Conference Room on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 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 15, 2018 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 2018-2019 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 $230,000.00; (b) expend such sums for such purpose; (c) expend from the Bus Purchase Reserve Fund an amount not to exceed $230,000.00 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 $230,000, and to levy a tax to pay the interest on such obligations when due?

    Proposition 3: Authorization for Increase in the Library Tax Levy:  Shall the annual appropriation to support and maintain the Fort Plain Free Library be increased by $5,000 to $80,000, which sum shall be separate and apart from the Fort Plain Central School District annual school district budget and be raised annually by a tax upon the taxable property of the school district, and which appropriation shall be the annual appropriation for the library until changed by further vote of the electors of the school district, and such tax shall be levied and collected yearly as are other general taxes and such monies paid over to the trustees of the Library?

    To elect two (2) members of the Board of Education to a three (3) year term commencing on July 1, 2018 and expiring on June 30, 2021 to succeed Jami L. Stevens and Mary Beth Hudyncia whose terms expire on June 30, 2018.

    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 16, 2018 between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 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 15, 2018.

    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 14, 2018 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 15, 2018, 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 16, 2018 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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