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A Message From the Fort Plain Superintendent

To the Fort Plain Community,

Almost four years ago I had the good fortune to be chosen to serve as superintendent of the Fort Plain Central School District. Over that period of time, I’ve learned that the Fort Plain community, students, faculty/staff, and Board of Education collectively form an exceptional school district. I am very happy at Fort Plain and would be content to spend the remainder of my career here as superintendent.

However, a unique opportunity that I did not expect to became available this year. The decision to apply for a new position was one I wrestled with because I have great affection for the Fort Plain students, staff and community. After months of contemplating pursuing the opportunity, I made the decision to apply and recently accepted an offer to assume the position of District Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer at HFM BOCES. My formal appointment is scheduled to occur on May 29. I will assume the position in August.

I am proud of Fort Plain, our school, and the work we have engaged in over the past four years. The Board, faculty, and staff are on a path that truly benefits our students. I assure you that it took a truly exceptional opportunity to lure me from Fort Plain.

It has been an honor to serve the Fort Plain Central School District as superintendent. I will always be proud of our work and grateful for the opportunity.

Very warmly,

Dave Ziskin
Superintendent

HFM BOCES Announcement 

Third-Graders Enjoy Painting Class

third grade class showing off their paintings

Mrs. Sweet’s third-grade class had the marvelous opportunity to receive a professional painting lesson on Wednesday, May 15th. Kathy Canastar, from Little Falls, donated her time to come to teach our students. She has trained under Wilson Bickford, a well-known painter from Gouverneur, NY. Two other volunteers, Lois Scanlon & Jean Ronan, both artists who have both painted with Kathy, assisted the students.

The subject of the painting complemented the current topic in Reading & Science in Mrs. Sweet’s class.

What fabulous products the students produced! Each a unique and beautiful sunset, with a tree & silhouette of a giraffe in the foreground. It was a fabulous opportunity, and all of the students
so enjoyed it!

Eighth-Grade Pathway Exploration

kids in hard hats

A group of eighth-grade students took a trip to the Career and Technical Center (CTC) at HFM BOCES to learn more about opportunities for pathways in the areas of Engineering, Skilled Trades, Construction, and Environmental Conservation.

kids looking at tools

Students were able to have hands-on experiences with constructing a laser pointer and maneuvering an excavator. Students will have the option of attending the CTC in eleventh-grade, but for now, they will have a greater understanding of where their interests may lay.

kids in a classroom

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a fun and motivating trip.

kids learning about construction equipment

Thank you, Jay DeTraglia and Mike DiMezza, for assisting in setting up the trip.

Fort Plain voters approve $20.95 million budget; elect board members

Fort Plain Central School District residents voted in support of the district’s 2019-20 school budget May 21, by a vote of 162 to 30.

The approved $20,950,000 budget plan calls for a 2.2 percent spending increase over the current year’s budget with a 1.49 percent tax levy increase.

Voters also approved two other proposals on the ballot. The use of $377,000 from the District’s Bus Purchase Reserve Fund for the purchase of three new school vehicles was authorized with 158 yes votes and 35 no votes. Expenditures of reserve funds require voter approval; however, since 100 percent of the cost is paid from the fund, there will be no impact on the tax levy.

An increase of $5,000 to the annual appropriation to support and maintain the Fort Plain Library was also approved by voters with 130 yes votes to 62 no votes.

In addition to voting on the budget, residents elected two members of the Board of Education to three-year terms commencing on July 1, 2019 and expiring on June 30, 2022.

Joseph Bartholomew received 171 votes, and Ronald Kardash received 165 votes.

“The Board of Education and Fort Plain school community are grateful for the continued support of our schools by the voters of the school district,” David Ziskin, Superintendent of Schools said. “This budget positions us well to continue our efforts to ensure every student in our schools leaves us prepared for success beyond graduation.”

Eighth-Grade Round-Up

teachers dressed in 20's clothes

The eighth-grade students have had a busy spring, with many special projects and activities keeping them busy!

Students thoroughly enjoyed their latest interdisciplinary unit of America in the 1920s, learning about everything from fashion and fads to favorite foods, moments in history, and cultural experiences.

student with a rocket science experiment

On the Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) front, the students built and launched their own model rockets, learning about the many aspects of propulsion and flight.

teacher helping students

Family Math Night was enjoyed by the many families in attendance, who came together to solve puzzles and play games that integrated math skills.

female students posing

Several of the class’s girls attended the Women of STEM conference at FMCC, learning about education and careers.

eighth grade students in a group

Finally, students traveled to Saratoga Springs to participate in the challenging obstacles at the Saratoga Ninja Lab. Following that experience, they visited historic Congress Park in Saratoga, meeting with retired history teacher Dave Patterson to hear about the amazing history of the Congress Park area.

Fourth-Graders Learn About Circuits and Energy Through Hands-on Experiments

kid's science project on a window sill

In STEAM class, Fourth-graders learned all about the different kinds of energy as well as the transfer of energy and how they work together to make things happen!

The children were able to observe solar energy transferring to mechanical energy with a solar car as well as a solar-powered grasshopper.  They observed wind energy converting to light energy with a windmill generator.

kids working on a science experiment

In addition, the students built electrical circuits that allowed them to witness the transfer of electrical energy into sound, mechanical and light energy.  They had to apply the information learned in class to construct a complete circuit, allowing the electrons to flow from the energy source to the various devices, making them work.

This unit will culminate with the construction of solar ovens in which the children will cook and enjoy some delicious S’ mores!

Kids in a science class

May Newsletter Available

May Newsletter

Volume 35 | Issue 9

Upcoming Events | Free Summer Meals | Sports News | Students of the Month | Unified Basketball | Student Council Honored | Global Students Help Animals | Fifth-Grade Science Student Makes a Discovery | Veterans’ Spring Cleanup | Third-Graders Enjoy Painting Class | Team Tech Interviews Local Reporter | Eighth-Grade Round-Up | Try Me Days at Harry Hoag

Upcoming Events

  • June 6 – High School Awards Night – 6:30 pm
  • June 7 – Jr./Sr. High School Moving Up Day
  • June 12 – Board of Education Meeting – 7 pm
  • June 26 – Baccalaureate – 7 pm
  • June 29 – Graduation – 10 am
  • July 1 – First Day of Summer Meal Program

Free Summer Meals

All kids and teens aged 18 and under are eligible for free breakfast and lunch this summer, at the Harry Hoag Elementary School. Breakfast will be served from 8:15-9:15 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. All meals must be eaten at school and supervision is provided.

Sports News

The NYS Public High School Athletic Association recently announced its spring Scholar-Athlete Team Award winners. The varsity Fort Plain teams honored were: Softball, Baseball, Girls Track & Field, and Boys Track & Field.

*The annual district spring athletic awards ceremony will be held on Friday, June 7th at 6:30 in the Jr/Sr High School Auditorium.

Students of the Month

Congratulations to the Students of the Month for April:

  • Gavin Souza – Grade 2
  • Sean McGuire – Grade 3
  • Owen Castellano – Grade 5
  • Brooke Brown – Grade 6
  • Gabriella Calhoun – Grade 6
  • Tristen Morey – Grade 6
  • Kaedan David – Grade 7
  • Natalie Thibodeau – Grade 8
  • Noah Norton – Grade 9
  • Troy Butler – Grade 10
  • Lauren Weinberger – Grade 11
  • Jenaya Aponte – Grade 12

Unified Basketball

Applause and cheers from a very enthusiastic audience filled the gym on May 9th, as the Fort Plain High School Unified Basketball team took on Gloversville for the annual in-school game.

The Unified Sports League is sponsored by the NYS High School Sports Section V and the Special Olympics. The Unified League combines students with disabilities and student-athletes of similar age and ability. The program aims to provide a competitive high school sports experience for students with varied disabilities to be able to participate in.

The Unified League goal of “teaching sports skills to students with different abilities in a friendly, supportive, and competitive environment” was evident as the student audience fully appreciated the game, while both teams competing supported one another’s players while still maintaining a healthy spirit of competition.

This is the third season for the Fort Plain HS Unified Basketball team, and they will face off against several local schools. The team is coached by Adam Cutspec, Geoff Snyder, Lisa Petty, and Linda Cole.

Student Council Honored

teacher receiving award

The Jr/Sr High School Student Council was one of the community partners recently honored by the Fulmont Community Action Center. The Student Council was recognized for conducting a food drive in December and donating over 1000 cans of food valued at over $1,000. Pictured are Student Council advisor Mrs. Lisa Trembley and Student Council secretary Willow MaGinnis.

Global Students Help Animals

students helping animals

Students in Mr. Will Ryan’s 5th period Global Studies 10 class recently took on a service project, by conducting a fundraiser to benefit the Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter. The students collected spare change during the month of Aril, collecting $100. They selected the Ayres Shelter because of the notable work that they do, the many programs that they have, and their excellent success rate with placing dogs and cats into the perfect “fur-ever” home. Pictured is the class presenting their fundraiser check to Ayres president, Mr. Joe Rosemyer.

Fifth-Grade Science Student Makes a Discovery

owl pellet

Each spring, students in Mr. Hanifin’s fifth-grade science classes dissect owl pellets. This year, student Bradley Rumrill came across a big surprise in his pellet! Owls cannot chew their foods. They swallow their prey whole, and it passes directly from their mouth to their gizzard. Any material that cannot be broken down, or digested, is left behind and packed into a tight pellet that the owl then spits up.

Owl pellets contain bones, teeth, claws, and feathers. Because owls swallow their prey whole, often entire skeletons and intact skulls are found inside of the pellets. These give researchers clues as to where the owl has been living and hunting. Fort Plain students typically find the bones and fur of mice, moles, and voles inside of the owl pellets. Sometimes, they find feathers and tiny bones from very small birds that the owls have eaten. Occasionally, they may find the bones of frogs, toads, and snakes.

Fifth-grader Bradley Rumrill recently found the intact skull of a creature that none of Mr. Hanifin’s students have ever seen before. The skull features a long, pointed snout and a series of very sharp, pointed teeth. Information provided by the owl pellet company shows that the pellets our students received were collected in the state of Washington, in the northwest region. Research by the students has led them to their best guess – a Northern Long-Eared Bat. Take a look at the mystery skull!

Veterans’ Spring Cleanup

group of students sitting on steps

On Saturday, April 11th the Jr./Sr. High School Student Council sponsored a group of sixteen students and two adults, helping the Montgomery County Youth Serving Veterans by cleaning lawns for nine different houses in Fort Plain. The students raked and bagged from 8:00 a.m. – noon, and then joined other volunteer groups for a lunch of pizza and wings. Many of the veterans that the teens helped came out to see the students, thanking them for giving of their time and for their hard work. The volunteers were: Caleb Cochran, Jenna Reese, Mackenzie Wintermute, Amber Kleitgen, Cassandra Harwood, Alanis Rogers, John Kiernan, Gulum Demir, Hayley Hart, Robert Bowley, Grace Hoffman, Willow MaGinnis, Talia Narzymski, Sinem Demur, Juan Hernandez, Lauren Weinberger, Mrs. Linda Cole and Mrs. Lisa Trembley.

Third-Graders Enjoy Painting Class

Mrs. Sweet’s third-grade class recently enjoyed a professional painting lesson with Kathy Canastar, from Little Falls. Kathy has trained under Wilson Bickford, a well-known painter from Gouverneur, NY. Two other volunteers, local artists Lois Scanlon and Jean Ronan assisted the students. Each student created a beautiful sunset, with a tree and silhouette of a giraffe. The subject of the paintings was chosen to complement a current topic of the third graders reading and science lessons.

Tech Team Interviews Local Reporter

Harry Hoag Elementary’s Team Tech students, those who work on the school newspaper, recently interviewed “The Leader Herald” newspaper reported Briana O’Hara. The students asked Ms. O’Hara questions about her education, why she decided to become a journalist, and what training led her to the position that she currently holds. She talked to the students about what makes a quality article, how to go about asking questions when interviewing someone, and what type of research needs to be done before writing about an event or topic. The Team Tech students were able to share their latest newspaper edition and talk about how much fun they have with the design, layout, and process.

Eighth-Grade Round-Up

The eighth-grade students have had a busy spring, with many special projects and activities keeping them busy! Students thoroughly enjoyed their latest interdisciplinary unit of America in the 1920s, learning about everything from fashion and fads to favorite foods, moments in history, and cultural experiences. On the Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) front, the students built and launched their own model rockets, learning about the many aspects of propulsion and flight. Family Math Night was enjoyed by the many families in attendance, who came together to solve puzzles and play games that integrated math skills. Several of the class’s girls attended the Women of STEM conference at FMCC, learning about education and careers. Finally, students traveled to Saratoga Springs to participate in the challenging obstacles at the Saratoga Ninja Lab. Following that experience, they visited historic Congress Park in Saratoga, meeting with retired history teacher Dave Patterson to hear about the amazing history of the Congress Park area.

Try Me Days at Harry Hoag

Elementary SchoolCcook Dawn Surnear and her team have been bringing many new fruits and vegetables to the elementary students this year, through their “Try Me” days. Using the knowledge and recipes that they gained during Farm-to-School training this past summer, the kitchen team have prepared many dishes for kids to try, including strawberry spinach salad, monster pops, kale chips, blueberry soup, and turmeric cauliflower. Many students have enjoyed all of the great new tastes!

Fort Plain Hilltoppers Basketball Camp

Who:
For boys and girls entering 2nd through 8th Grade

When:
July 8th – 12th
9 am to 12 pm

Cost:
$50 before June 21st / $75 after June 21st
(T-Shirt Included)

Where: 
Harry Hoag Elementary School Gym / High School Gym

Camp Directors:
Fort Plain Boys’ Basketball Coaching Staff
Members of the Boys’ Varsity and JV Basketball Teams will assist during the week

Each day will consist of the following:

  • Skill development – Ball handling, shooting, passing, footwork, rebounding, etc.
  • Improving basketball I.Q.
  • Using the Read & React ® system to improve individual and team play.
  • Various Contests & Games (Prizes won daily!!!)

Applications can be picked up and dropped off at the Harry Hoag Elementary Main Office or by mail (address is at bottom of the application).

Feel free to contact us via phone or email:

Casey Russomrussom29@gmail.com – (518) 993-4000 (ext. 3018 ) – (518) 522-7199(c)

Geoff Snydergeoff.snyder@fortplain.org –  (518) 993-4000 (ext. 2107 )

Mr. Hanifin’s fifth-grade science class discover a big surprise in an owl pellet

owl pellet

Each spring, students in Mr. Hanifin’s fifth-grade science classes dissect owl pellets. This spring, student Bradley Rumrill came across a big surprise in his pellet!

Owls cannot chew their foods. They swallow their prey whole, and it passes directly from their mouth to their gizzard, which is a lot like a stomach. Any material that cannot be broken down, or digested, is left behind and packed into a tight pellet that the owl spits up. Owl pellets contain bones, teeth, claws, and feathers.

Because owls swallow their prey whole, often entire intact skulls and skeletons are found inside of the pellets. These give researchers clues as to where the owl has been living and hunting. Fort Plain students typically find the bones and fur of mice, rats, moles, and voles inside of the owl pellets. Sometimes, they find feathers and tiny bones from tiny birds that the owl has eaten. Occasionally, they may find the bones of frogs, toads or snakes.

Fifth-grader Bradley Rumrill recently found the intact skull of a creature that none of Mr. Hanifin’s students have ever encountered before. The skull features a long, pointed snout and very sharp, pointed teeth. Information provided by the owl pellet company shows that the pellets our students received were collected in the state of Washington, in the northwest region.

Research by the students has led them to their best guess – a Northern Long-Eared Bat. What do you think the mystery skull is?

Fort Plain Central School Astro-Not-Yet Camp this summer

ASTRO-NOT-YET CAMP:
Teaching Space Travel and Science Skills to the Astronauts of Tomorrow

WHO: Any Fort Plain Central School student entering grades 3-6 in the 2019-2020 school year
COST: Free
DATES: Monday, July 22 – Friday, July 26
TIME: 9am-2pm (alternate times can be arranged as necessary)
LOCATION: Fort Plain Junior/Senior High School
REGISTRATION: http://bit.ly/fpastro (registration limited to first 50 students)
DIRECTOR: Patrick Petty, Fort Plain Central School Science Teacher, and NASA Solar System Ambassador patrick.petty@fortplain.org

Fort Plain Central School is excited to offer “Astro-Not-Yet Camp” this summer. The camp is a STEM enrichment opportunity with a focus on the science of outer space and space travel. This opportunity is for students entering grades 3-6 in the 2019-2020 school year. Elementary students will get the opportunity to work with older student mentors and take part in fun and engaging opportunities. The camp will take place at the Fort Plain Junior/Senior High School and will be a full day each day from July 22-26!

Activities Include:

  • A modified astronaut reasoning test
  • Identifying the skills astronauts need to be successful
  • Astronaut physical fitness training
  • Simulate working in a space suit
  • Designing/launching rockets
  • Packing for a Mission to Mars
  • Planning a meal in space
  • Preparing and eating dehydrated and freeze-dried foods
  • Designing a Mission Patch
  • Working as a team to simulate a mission in space
  • Writing a letter to an astronaut
  • Hands on experience with space shuttle tiles, pieces of a space suit, models, and other NASA artifacts!

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THIS SUMMER!

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