Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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.

Arkport Board of Education adopts 2015-16 budget proposal

The Arkport Board of Education voted April 8 to adopt  a $10,582,207 budget proposal for the 2015-16 school year that calls for a 0.51 percent decrease in spending compared with 2014-15 and carries a 1.35 percent tax levy increase.

The fiscal plan includes all existing academic programs and services; maintains all current extra- and co-curricular activities that take place after school; adds a summer remedial reading program for elementary students; introduces new, college-level course offerings at the high school level; restores student driver education to the school day; and increases staff development opportunities.

The district’s $10.6 million budget proposal decreases spending by $53,935, compared to the 2014-15 school year, while increasing the tax levy by $43,101. District residents will vote on it 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 19.

Read the complete story on the district budget webpage.

School officials considering new bell schedule

school bell graphicThe district is considering changing the current bell schedule in the fall. The changes being considered would eliminate late-start Mondays, improve common meeting and planning time among the staff and help the district maintain our current level of intervention time.

We will be posting a brief survey on the district website in the near future, to give community members an opportunity to respond to the potential changes. We would greatly appreciate your input, so please look for the survey on our website sometime next week.

State adopts 2015-16 budget
Schools to see more aid in approved state budget; increases tied to another reboot of teacher evaluation system

Budget logo graphicAfter an unusual state budget process that included a mid-session change in Assembly leadership and preliminary school aid data that was withheld from school districts by the governor, the Arkport Central School District expects an estimated $476,946 increase in state funding over the current year as part of the final state budget approved by the State Legislature. (That figure is based on estimates for BOCES and high-cost aid and could decrease by the time those actual amounts are known later in the year.) To receive the increase, legislators approving the budget are requiring that the district retool its teacher evaluation plan – known as the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) – under a new set of undetermined rules. The plan must be approved by the State Education Department by Nov. 15.

Read the complete story on the district's budget page.

April is School Library Month
Where Learning Never Ends: The School Library Media Center

School Library Month posterThis year, during the month of April, schools across the country will bring special attention to their libraries and to the professionals who staff them, as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of School Library Month.

The American Library Association (ALA) first designated April as School Library Month on April 1, 1985, and it has been recognized annually ever since. In this anniversary year, the ALA is returning to its inaugural theme of “Where Learning Never Ends: The School Library Media Center.” While the theme is as fitting today as it was then, school libraries have changed, and the role of the school librarian/media specialist has been redefined in the 30 years since School Library Month was introduced.

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

Get the facts about test refusal

exam bubble sheetA growing number of parents and caregivers statewide are planning to instruct their children to refuse to participate in standardized tests administered in public schools across the country this spring.

Administrators in the Arkport Central School District understand that parents have questions and concerns about the tests, which are scheduled to take place in April for students in grades 3-8. 

“While we support parents’ rights to have their child refuse to take the upcoming state assessments, we urge them to make that decision after thoughtful and informed consideration,” Arkport Superintendent of Schools Glenn Niles said. “We are concerned about the incomplete and, in some cases, inaccurate information about test refusal that is being voiced, namely that the tests have no value, that they are overly punitive to teachers, and that the information the tests provide are not used.”

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

Regents approve plan for new statewide science learning standards

students study test tubesIn January, the New York State Board of Regents approved a strategic plan to enhance science instruction for students in grades K-12. According to the plan, updated state standards in science are critical for developing “scientifically literate citizens who are better prepared to pursue college and career pathways.”

The state’s new Statewide Strategic Plan for Science and P-12 Science Learning Standards was created as a guide for how to develop and implement new science standards; it is not the standards themselves. It also does not outline when such standards would go into effect. Instead, the plan provides goals and objectives for identifying new state science standards with input from stakeholders such as K-12 teachers and school administrators, higher education and industry representatives, parents, students, professional associations and government officials.

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

2015-16 School Calendar Approved By BOE at the March Meeting

The Arkport Central School Board of Education approved the 2015-16 school calendar at its regular meeting on March 11, 2015.

Click on the document below to download the 2015-16 school calendar.

Library book memorials: a way to remember or celebrate

Photo of library book memorials and plaqueBook memorials are donations made to the Arkport Central School Library, usually in memory of a member of the community who has passed away, but also can be in celebration of a milestone or important event. These donations are tax-deductible and enable the library to purchase books and other media to supplement and enhance the library collection.

If you would like to make a memorial donation, please contact Ashley Poulin at (607) 295-7471, Ext. 2229, or via email at apoulin@arkportcsd.org.

The library has received a number of memorials in recent months we would like to recognize: 

 In Memory Of  From
 Thomas Griffin   Lynda Hally
 Mary L. “Peg” Hover William S. Locke Family
 Jennifer B. “Jenny” Morey Mrs. Saxton’s Class
 Murray Mahany William S. Locke Family
 Patrick Mahany  Marge and Jim Goodspeed
 Tim Mahany  Marge and Jim Goodspeed
 Ruthie Newell Marge and Jim Goodspeed
 Ruthie Newell Darla and Dick Kennell
 Ruthie Newell  Linda Kennell
 Darwin Torrence Marge and Jim Goodspeed

What is the GEA?

There's been plenty in the news lately about the state’s Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA, especially since two state lawmakers introduced a bill in January 2015, calling for its ouster. But what exactly is the GEA and what does it mean for school districts?

The video above, produced this year by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, might help.

The GEA law was first introduced for the 2010-11 fiscal year by then-Governor Paterson as a way to help close New York’s then $10 billion budget deficit. Under the legislation, a portion of the funding shortfall at the state level is divided among all school districts throughout the state and reflected as a reduction in school district state aid.

The GEA has left a hole in many school district budgets — including in Arkport — in recent years. In the previous five state budgets, New York’s schools have lost more than $9.53 billion cumulatively to the GEA. At the GEA’s single-year peak in 2011-12, more than $2.56 billion in state school funding was withheld. While districts have seen a partial restoration each year since, the total amount schools are losing to the GEA in the current year, 2014-15, stands at about $1.04 billion.

Update: No aid increase for next two years unless Legislature approves Cuomo’s proposal

According to language in Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget bill, if the legislature does not enact the education reforms the governor outlined in his budget address on Wednesday, Jan. 21, districts will not receive any aid greater than their 2014-15 amount for each of the next two years.

Read the complete update on the district's budget page.

Governor calls for $1.1 billion school aid increase and education reforms, with no mention of the GEA

Under the Executive Budget Proposal outlined by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 21, state funding for schools would increase by $1.1 billion next year – provided state lawmakers go along with a series of education reforms that he described as “ambitious” in his combined budget address and State of the State message.

The reforms Mr. Cuomo proposed include an overhaul of the existing teacher evaluation law, more stringent tenure requirements, funding to expand preschool programs, lifting the cap on charter schools, and a new turnaround process for the state’s lowest performing schools.

An additional $1.1 billion in state aid next year would represent a 4.8 percent increase over the current year. The governor did not detail how the money would be distributed, and district-by-district breakdowns are not yet available.

The governor also did not address the Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA, which is the mechanism through which the state has diverted promised school funding over the last five years to meet other budget priorities. In that time, schools have lost more than $9.52 billion cumulatively to the GEA, and they are still owed $1.04 billion.

The overall proposed increase in aid falls short of the $2 billion or more that the New York State Board of Regents and leading education groups have called for to meet the needs of students next year.

Read the complete story on the district budget page.

Merger advisory committee to discuss finances at Arkport

This discussion topic for February's school/community merger advisory committee meeting will be finance.  The meeting is scheduled on Monday, Feb. 2 at 6:00 pm in the Arkport Central School Performing Arts Center.

Last week's follow-up meeting minutes and outline can be found by clicking on the "Merger Study" link on the right of this page.


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.

2014-15 School Calendar

Click on the document below for the 2014-15 school calendar.

US News and World Reports Ranks Arkport Central School Among the Best

To read more about this award click here.

Congratulations faculty, staff, students, administration and community for letting your hard work show through!

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-c(10)(c) 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 18, 2013. 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 2014, it should be noted that the district is not using any standardized tests not specified by the NYSED.

Standard Work DayResolution for Employees* RS 2418
Office of the New York State Comptroller
New York State and Local Retirement System
Employees’ Retirement System
Police and Fire Retirement System
110 State Street, Albany, New York 12244-0001

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Arkport Central School District, Location code 74605, hereby establishes the following as standard work days for its employees and will report days worked to the New York State and LocalEmployees’ Retirement System based on the time keeping system or the record of activities maintained and submittedby these members to the clerk of this body:

Title Standard Work Day(Hrs/day)


Standard Work

 District Clerk  7
 Treasurer 7
 Tax Collector7

On this 10th day of December, 2014.

Meghann Khork, District Clerk, Date enacted: December 10, 2014.

I, Meghann Khork, clerk of the governing board of the Arkport Central School District, of the State of New York, do hereby certify that I have compared the foregoing with the original resolution passed bysuch board, at a legally convened meeting held on the 10th day of December, 2014 on file as part of theminutes of such meeting, and that same is a true copy thereof and the whole of such original.

I further certify that the full board, consists of 5 members, and that 5 of such members were present at suchmeeting and that 5 of such members voted in favor of the above resolution.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto Set my hand and the seal of the Arkport Central School District.

*To be used for all employees. Please list Elected and Appointed Officials on the form (RS2417-A) Standard Workday and Reporting Resolution for Elected and Appointed Officials.