Saturday, February 25, 2017

Welcome to
Arkport Central School 

reparing today's youth for tomorrow's challenges

At Arkport Central School we teach to motivate and equip learners to achieve their maximum potential and prepare them for tomorrow’s challenges.

Districts ask communities to take online survey about possible Arkport-Canaseraga reorganization

online survey graphic of assorted screensAs most residents are already aware, the possibility of combining Arkport with another area school district has been the subject of past discussion, debate and public votes in the community. In an economic climate marked by increasing education costs, decreasing state aid and a property tax levy cap that limits how much local revenue can be raised—not to mention declining student enrollment—the subject is a natural and inevitable one.

After voters cast their ballots in last year’s budget vote in May 2016, both Arkport and Canaseraga districts asked their residents in surveys if they would support a study of the pros and cons of consolidating the two districts. Both communities expressed overwhelming support: 77 percent in Arkport and 82 percent in Canaseraga. Buoyed by that response, Canaseraga Superintendent Chad Groff and Arkport Superintendent Jesse Harper began discussions this year about starting that process.

Both districts have created and posted links to an online survey in an effort to gather questions and feedback from members of both communities ahead of a joint public information/question-answer session scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 9 in the Canaseraga small gymnasium. Click here to go to the survey

There is much to consider before undertaking such a reorganization: Will it save taxpayers money? Will it expand academic and extracurricular opportunities? What does each district stand to gain or lose? Will it bring in additional state aid? (Yes, it’s called “reorganization incentive” aid.) What are the many steps involved?

To answer these and other questions, Superintendent Harper urges residents to take the short, four-question survey and then attend the information session.

What happens when weather delays or closes school?

weather related infographicsDec. 9, 2016 -- With flurries flying, now’s a good time to review how Arkport Central School District handles weather-related closings and delays.

One-hour delay: School will begin at 8:55 a.m. for students.

Two-hour delay: School will begin at 10 a.m. for students.

Cancellation of after-school activities:  

  • All school-related activities are canceled for the evening.
  • Cancellations include all away competitions regardless of the other school’s status.

Cancellation of school:

  • Only those faculty and staff members designated as essential may enter the building.
  • The school is closed for the entire day.
  • All activities for the day are cancelled regardless of other schools’ status.

Ways to get information: School Messenger will be the district’s primary method of communication. In addition, the information will be posted on the district website and Facebook page and disseminated to:

  • Fox Rochester – WHAM ABC 13
  • News 4 – WNLO CW 23
  • Time Warner Cable News
  • WENY
  • WETM (Elmira)

Arkport voters approve $8.2 million capital improvement project

thank you voter infographic

On Thursday, Dec. 8, Arkport Central School District residents voted to authorize the district to proceed with a capital improvement project to address critical facilities and equipment needs.

Arkport residents approved:

  • Proposition 1, 222 votes to 62 votes.
  • Proposition 2, 204 votes to 77 votes.

Click here for more information about the scope of the project.

Voters also elected Mark Young to the Board of Education for the remainder of the five-year term left vacant when former BOE President Stephen Hoyt resigned this fall. Young, who received the largest number of votes (193), will serve until June 30, 2018.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to those who found time during this busy season to come out today and vote,” Superintendent of Schools Jesse Harper said. “This project is critical to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for our students – and one that fully prepares them for the 21st century world that awaits them beyond graduation.”

Actionable lead levels found in six school water sources

Nov. 8, 2016 -- In September 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that requires all public school districts 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.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Arkport received the results of water testing completed on 132 outlets in the school building on Sept. 22, 2016. The results showed that six of the water samples had concentrations of lead that exceeded New York state's "action level" of 15 parts per billion (ppb). The district immediately shut off these affected outlets, none of which is a drinking water source.

To read the complete story, visit the "What's New?" page.

BOE President Stephen Hoyt steps down after two decades of service

photo of Stephen HoytAfter 20 years of dedicated service to the children of Arkport Central School District, Board of Education President Stephen C. Hoyt announced his retirement during the board’s Sept. 28 meeting.

In a Sept. 27 letter to fellow BOE members, Mr. Hoyt thanked them for their hard work, past and future, and said it had been his “pleasure to be a member of this board and a parent of two young men that attended this district.”

“I leave you with the one thing I always asked myself when trying to make tough decisions, ‘Is this what is the best thing for all our students?’ Thank You,” he said.

Board member Jennifer Swarts, who served with Mr. Hoyt for nine years, commended her colleague for a board tenure that outlasted most American marriages.

“You will be sorely missed at the table,” Swarts said, “but I hope that you enjoy some of the extra time gained with your family and by doing some of the things you take pleasure in that you have missed over the past years.”

Former board Vice President Patrick Flaitz will now serve as president. 

District receives state award for its communications

NYSPRA logoSept. 26, 2016 -- The New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA) has recognized the Arkport Central School District for outstanding achievement in educational communications. 

In NYSPRA's 37th annual Communications Awards competition, which drew more than 400 entries from around the state, Arkport received an Award of Merit in the budget publication category for its May 2016 budget newsletter . Fourteen districts or BOCES were recognized in this category. 

Awards will be presented Oct. 28 at the 2016 NYSPRA Awards Luncheon in Buffalo, during the annual convention of the New York State School Boards Association. Each year, NYSPRA sponsors one of the nation's largest awards programs by recognizing outstanding achievement in educational communications. Of this year's 418 entrees, which were judged by communications professionals around the country, only about one-third received awards.


Back-to-school newsletter in the mail, online now

cover of Fall 2016 district newsletterAug. 23, 2016 -- The Fall 2016 district newsletter is off to the printer and should be landing in residents' mailboxes soon. Included in the newsletter are some notifications and policies for you to review, become familiar with and keep on hand throughout the school year. If you have questions about the notifications and policies outlined in the newsletter, please call the district office at (607) 295-7471.

The newsletter is also available online now to view, print or download.

See you back on campus Sept. 6!


2016-17 School Calendar

Arkport Board of Education appoints new superintendent

Photo of Jesse HarperAug. 15, 2016 -- The Arkport Central School District Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Jesse Harper as acting superintendent of schools during its Aug. 10 regular board meeting.

Harper has served as the school’s Grade 7-12 principal and Committee on Special Education chair since 2012. He joined the district in 2005 as a science teacher, and also served as a girls basketball and soccer coach for several years. Superintendent Glenn Niles, who in June announced his plans to retire, will stay on through Sept. 30 in an advisory role.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been appointed acting superintendent of the Arkport Central School District,” Harper said. “I am very grateful to the Board of Education for giving me the opportunity to serve the district and community that has embraced and supported me and my family.”

Read the complete article on the What's New? page.

Check out the 2016-17 district calendar

Aug. 10, 2016 -- 2016-17 district calendar cover pageThe 2016-17 Arkport Central School District calendar – which includes events scheduled throughout the school year, as well as important information about the district, its schools and policies – is now in the mail to residents' homes and available online.

To check for new and rescheduled events throughout the year, be sure to view the district's online calendar.

Grades 3-8 see growth in state test scores

image of exam bubble sheetAug. 10, 2016 -- The New York State Department of Education has released the results of its grades 3-8 English language arts and math assessments in 2016. Local results show that Arkport students exceeded most state averages.

This past school year, 78 percent of students statewide in grades 3-8 took ELA and math assessments. As in the past, students' scores on the tests are converted into a scoring range of 1 through 4 meant to indicate their degree of proficiency in the Common Core standards for the grade level. Scores at levels 3-4 indicate proficiency (4 means that a student excels in the standards), while levels 1-2 indicate a student is below proficiency.

Arkport students' combined levels 3-4 proficiency rates were 42 percent for math and 41 percent for ELA, compared with statewide results of 39.1 percent for math and 37.9 percent for ELA.

Read the complete article on the What's New page.


Reminder about new meningococcal vaccination requirements

graphic of medical kitDon't forget: New York state now requires students entering seventh and 12th grades to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease. Students not up-to-date will NOT be allowed to attend school until they are vaccinated. Parents are encouraged to check with their children’s physicians to determine when or if they need to be vaccinated. Don’t delay; check today!

For details, please visit the Health & Safety page. 

Response to Intervention and Academic Intervention Services Plan

Arkport Central School has updated its RtI/AIS plan in compliance with the recent adoption by the Board of Regents of the amendment of subdivision (ee) of section 100.2 of the Commissioner's regulations relating to the methodology by which school districts shall identify students in grades 3-8 who receive AIS (Academic Intervention Services).  The revised plan is provided below.

State now requires meningitis vaccination in grades 7 & 12

image of syringeNew York state now requires students entering seventh and 12th grades to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease.

Does your child need to be vaccinated before the start of the 2016-17 school year to meet this requirement?

The answer depends on more than just your child's age and grade level. When, or if, a child has previously been vaccinated for meningococcal disease will determine when shots will be necessary under the state's new requirements that go into effect Sept. 1, 2016.

Read the complete story on the Health & Safety page.


District receives communications survey results, plans focus group follow-up

clipboard imageArkport Central School District administrators have received and are now digging into the results of the online surveys conducted earlier this year.

The district partnered with School Communications Performance Evaluation (SCoPE) Surveys to administer three surveys – one each for community, faculty/staff and parents/families – to help Arkport evaluate the effectiveness of its communication with these key groups.

“I want to thank everyone in Arkport who took the time to give us valuable feedback,” Superintendent of Schools Glenn Niles said. “SCoPE has provided us with loads of data, which frankly we’re still in the process of analyzing. But we already have a strong sense of what our community thinks and expects of our communication efforts, and soon we’ll plan next steps to help us understand why.”

Read the complete story on the What's New? page.

Sign up to receive emergency alerts via text message

chalk image of text message

Arkport Central School District recently partnered with the notification service School Messenger to send “short message service” (SMS) texts to school community members who “opt in” to receive them.

The district will use this technology to remind residents about upcoming events and school activities, as well as notify them about inclement weather, safety alerts, school closings and delays or other important information impacting the school district.

Interested? Just text the word YES or OPTIN to 67587. (You can opt out of alerts at any time by replying STOP to any message you receive, or HELP if you need assistance.)

Residents can look up tax bill information online

photo of computer laptopSteuben County has set up a Web page where residents of Arkport Central School District can look up information on their 2014-15 tax bills from last summer, as well as their upcoming 2015-16 tax bills.

Click here to access the page.

State releases math, ELA assessment scores

bubble exam sheet

The New York State Department of Education on Aug. 12 released district and school results for the English and math assessments that students in grades three through eight took in the spring of 2015.

As in the past, students' scores on the tests are converted into a scoring range of 1 through 4 meant to indicate the degree of proficiency in the Common Core Learning Standards for the grade level. Scores at level 3-4 indicate proficiency (4 means that a student excels in the standards), while levels 1-2 indicate a student is below proficiency.

Students statewide have made incremental progress in ELA and math since 2013, the first year assessments aligned to the more rigorous learning standards were administered in grades 3-8.

Overall, Arkport scored above the Steuben County averages in half of the tests administered and above the New York state averages in five of the tests. 

Read the complete story on the "What's New?" page.

Arkport among U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best High Schools


U.S. News & World Report bronze medal badgeArkport Central School has earned a bronze medal in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best High Schools rankings, based on standardized tests scores and other data, the magazine announced in May.

U.S. News today published detailed information online about more than 21,150 public high schools, including school-specific data on enrollment, student ethnicity, location, school type and results of state assessments, as well as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests. Using some of these data and a comprehensive methodology, the news organization gave many of the schools a college readiness index score, with the top-scoring 6,500-plus schools receiving a gold, silver or bronze medal – and in the case of gold and silver schools, a national numerical ranking.

Arkport Central School Closing and Delay Procedures

In the event that the school district commences a "One Hour Delay" the following will occur:
•   The automated notification system will be used to notify staff and students
•   Principals will contact any necessary personnel for supervision
•   All faculty and staff are expected to report to school as close to 8:00 AM as possible
•   Cereal, juice, and milk will be the only items provided for breakfast in the cafeteria
•   Any Regents exams that may be scheduled will take place at their scheduled time
•   Students will be transported to morning BOCES
•   School will begin at 9:05 AM

In the event that the school district commences a "Two Hour Delay" the following will occur:
•    The automated notification system will be used to notify staff and students
•   Principals will contact any necessary personnel for supervision
•   All faculty and staff are expected to report to school as close to 8:00 AM as possible
•   Cereal, juice, and milk will be the only items provided for breakfast in the cafeteria
•   Any Regents exams that may be scheduled will take place at their scheduled time
•   There will be no morning BOCES bus run.  Full day and afternoon students will be transported in the afternoon run.
•   School will begin at 10:05 AM

In the event that the school district commences a "Closure" the following will occur:
• The automated notification system will be used to notify staff and students
• All after school activities are automatically cancelled
• The following TV stations are contacted:  YNN, WETM, and WENY
• The following radio stations are contacted: WLEA/WCKR, WHHO/WKPQ, WHAM

And as always, check the school web site for the most up-to-date information.

Helpful Links for Parents

PTA & NYSUT publication about the Common Core

EngageNY ELA Videos
EngageNY Math Videos

Common Core Math Video Gallery

EngageNY Student Activities 

Additional links are available by clicking on the "Parents" link above, then clicking on "common Core" links on the left side of the page.

Annual Professional Performance Review Information

In accordance with Education Law 3012-d the Arkport Central School District will make available to parents or legal guardians your child’s current teacher’s final rating and composite effectiveness score beginning October 28, 2016. You must make this request to the grade level principal (K-6:  Mrs. Dewey; 7-12: Mr. Harper) and will be required to come to the school for a brief meeting to receive the scores.

To view the District's APPR plan click on the "documents" link on the left of the page.

In accordance with Section 1 of subpart F of Chapter 56 of the laws of 2016, it should be noted that the district is not using any standardized tests not specified by the NYSED.