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Questions and Answers

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Athletic Questions

 

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Budget Questions

Q. What is the cost to your office of the Long Range Plan including Dr. Timbs’ presentation at the Board meeting of March 18, 2013 and where did this money come from?

We have 120.75 hours in our billing system for the Long-Range Financial Analysis.

120.75 x $134 = $16,180.50

We also have $290.26 of out-of-pocket expenses.

The total invoice is $16,470.76

The invoice includes time spent on research, examination and analysis of the following documentation, data sets and relevant information:

  • Five years of State Aid data contained on the State Education Department website
  • External audit completed in the Fall of 2012
  • ST-3 Financial data
  • 2012-13 Budget
  • 2013-14 Budget
  • Property Tax Report Card
  • All Fund Balance and Reserve history and uses
  • Cafeteria, special funds, cafeteria and capital fund histories and uses
  • Bus replacement schedules
  • All Debt service and long-term liabilities
  • Expense histories and trends
  • Revenue histories and trends
  • PILOT payments
  • Tax cap calculations and variables

As well as development of several long-term projections of revenues and expenditures with fund balance implications, conference calls with the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent for Business, meetings with the Superintendent, preparation of written recommendations and presentation PowerPoint, and presentation to the Board of Education.

These monies have been a carryover since the 2008-2009 budget to be used for anticipated long range facility and financial planning.

Dr. Timbs' Presentation on long range planning

Dr. Timbs' Recomendations

Q. What are the mandates, in addition to instructional mandates, that are required of school districts? For information on mandates, please click here.

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District Questions

 

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Career & Technical Education, Tech Valley, New Visions Questions (January 2014)

Q.   How many students are currently enrolled in CTE, Tech Valley & New Visions?  Tech Valley – During the 13/14 school year, 3 additional student were enrolled – total enrollment 8 students.  New Visions – During the 13/14 school year, 1 student was enrolled (program for seniors only) – total enrollment 1 student.  Career & Technical Education – During the 2013/14 school year 21 juniors began a two year CTE program,including seniors returning for their second year and seniors beginning a one year program - total enrollment 32. Total Enrollment in all three programs is 41.

Q.   Are these programs billed separately?  Tuition Costs:  CTE, New Vision and Tech Valley placements are billed together (Questar III) as one program using a five (5) year average of student enrollment rather than the current year’s enrollment.  The 2013/2014 cost of $473,014 is based on the average of 40.72 students.  These programs are eligible for BOCES Aid – 11/12 53.1%, 12/13 – 51.9%).  As per Dr. Andrew DeFeo, Questar III Assistant Superintendent:  Tech Valley (Full Day Program) is able to be billed together with the CTE ½ day programs due to the program being supplemented with grant funding (State and Federal Grants). 

Q.   What Career and Technical Opportunities is a district responsible to provide?   The District is required to provide secondary students access to programs of career education commensurate with the interests and capabilities of those desiring and having a need for prepatory training  for employment.  The District may offer its own CTE classes, or BOCES classes, or both.

Q.   May quotas be established on the number of pupils a school district sends to a BOCES or serves in its own system in occupational education programs?  No.  Quotas based on unfavorable financial conditions, austerity budgets, or other problems are not acceptable and cannot be used to deny pupils access to occupational education programs. (SED Website). The above legal standard does not require the district to offer every student his or her first choice of program, so long as a variety of other CTE program options are available.  The Board may set its own enrollment criteria, and could use some objective and fair method of selecting students, such as a lottery, for one or more particular programs.  To the extent that students are closed out of a BOCES program, there would need to be some other available option, which could be in-district programs.    (Questar III has an application process.)

Q.   May a local Board limit student enrollment in a particular BOCES program?  Yes, if a student is found to be unqualified for a particular course (NYSSBA, School Law 7:29).  There is a Questar III application process.

Q.   May a school district establish CTE programs on their own campus?  Yes, but these programs must be approved by the State Education Department (NYSSBA, School Law 7:29).

Q.   Is a district required to send interested students to New Visions?  Yes, the state views the New Vision programs under the umbrella of Career & Technical Education.

Q.   Is the district required to send interested students to Tech Valley High?  The district has been committed to this initiative, it is not required.  Tech Valley is an all-day program which is also part of the five day program.

Q.   Does this include transportation?  No it does not.

Q.   Does Tech Valley and New Visions have their own line item?  No, part of the five year average.

 

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ELA

Q. What are the major elements that I am missing in my current ELA program?
1 - I am missing an aligned and articulated Scope and Sequence for instruction in ELA. A scope and sequence defines the individual skills and content that are to be taught at each grade level.  The curriculum should be consistent within a grade (so all get a parallel level of instruction) and articulated (so each grade level builds on the work of the previous grade).  We have curricular units based on themes, which worked well in previous years but the consistency is lacking.

2 - A broad based ELA curriculum plan with a skills based focus. The individual skills required to grow in the areas of  phonemic awareness, phonics, reading comprehension, fluency, vocabulary development, writing mechanics, writing genres, spelling, listening and speaking need to be clearly defined so teachers know what to teach across the ELA spectrum. This includes not just the skills in guided reading (which I think we do well) but content vocabulary, academic vocabulary, spelling, grammar and writing.  For example, our school has writing calendars that direct teachers to what genre’s they will teach, but not the individual skills that must be included.  Without this level of specificity, it is challenging to plan accurate instruction for children.  We do not have vocabulary lists, a unified spelling program, or clear writing expectations for each grade level.

3 - Consistent implementation. When I asked my teachers if we need more consistency within our ELA program, there was complete consistency (48 teachers said “yes,” 0 teachers said “no”). 

4 - Adequate organized resources inside the classroom. We have classroom libraries and leveled books to share, but teachers have to collect materials for every lesson they want to teach... tools are not at their fingertips.  I see teachers extended far beyond their planning periods to collect tools to use to engage learners.  Since every lesson plan is “from scratch” they have limited time to go back and re-plan for the students who require a differentiated experience.  It is essential to have differentiation and assessment materials readily available in order to address the range of learners in their class.

Q. What am I gaining by going to a comprehensive, planned ELA program
1 - I am gaining all of the items that I mentioned above. Journeys 2014 addresses each of the items noted above… with one exception.  Assuring consistency is my job.  Although I will need to create (new) implementation plans, we will implement this set of resources with fidelity… and then determine how to supplement or adjust.

2 - I am aligning the work of my teaches with the NYS Standards. This matters for children.  They are going to go to HS and they will be held to these standards.  A second part of this equation is for the benefit of my teachers.  They are also being judged/evaluated by their effectiveness in teaching the current new York State Standards.  We can have personal opinions as to whether this is correct or not, but the teachers are evaluated by these standards as well.  I would like to guide my teachers away unanticipated harm.

3 - Implementation of these ELA resources will allow us some time to begin the ELA changes before the new Science Standards are required to be implemented.  The proposed “Next Generation Science Standards” are dramatically different than previous science expectations, and I am looking ahead to prepare my teachers for the “next big change.”  I know how big the ELA shift is already and I am concerned how to best prepare my students and teachers for this additional curriculum change.

4 - A plan to address teacher vacancies and curriculum preferences. I have had several teachers indicate that they are retiring this year or are planning to go on retirement in the next few years.  My students need classroom teachers who have clear instructional plans and expectations.  When I became principal a few years ago, a veteran teacher made me a gift.. it was two milk crates full of everything a teacher (coming to my school) would need to read and use in order to prepare for teaching ELA.  Milk Crates!  That is not how someone should be welcomed to the profession. I want every student, regardless of who their teacher is, to be given a great Math, ELA, Science, Technology… program.  I need a way to make teachers who are great at teaching ELA outstanding at fifth grade geometry, and great math teachers wonderful at teaching how to write an informative five-paragraph feature article.  Tools and teacher guides help support the development of these skills.

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IB Questions-verified and confirmed 2/26/15

Q. How many GCS students are currently enrolled in the IB program?
40 students.

Q. How many GCS students are certificate students in the IB program?
34 students (22 juniors/12 seniors)

Q. How many GCS students are full diploma students in the IB program?
There are 6 total: 1 junior, 5 seniors.

Q. What are the goals for the IB program?
The diploma program is a two year academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepare students for life success. IB Mission Statement: The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the IB works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Q. What other schools offer the IB program?
Please visit www.ibo.org/school/ to find all schools that offer an IB program. Within our area, besides Greenville, local IB schools include: Albany, Ballston Spa, Red Hook and Schenectady.

Q. What is the cost of the IB Program (Coordinator salaries, registration fees, Professional Development, advertising)?
Examination fees vary depending on the number of students taking exams. Last year, exam costs (paid for by the students) were $6,804 for 63 exams and this year, $5,720 for 55 exams. Registration fees are paid for by the district. Last year, registration fees were $4,553 for 29 students and this year, $2,880 for 18 students. Professional Development for teachers, if required, estimated cost $5,000. (This amount varies year to year) There are no advertising costs to date. Melissa Palmer is the IB Coordinator as well as the Online District Advisor, Liaison to the Teacher Center and Staff Development Facilitator. Her salary is $77,543 plus benefits of $21,025. The annual fee for the IB program is $10,820.00

Q. What IB classes are currently (2014/2015 School year) being offered?
2014-15 Course Offerings – Total classes: 13

    • AP/IB English HL Year 1 **Co-seated. Students take AP Literature exam during junior year)
    • IB English HL Year 2
    • AP/IB History of the Americas HL **Co-seated. Students take AP US History exam during junior year)
    • IB 20th Century World Issues HL Year 2
    • IB Latin SL
    • IB Spanish SL
    • IB Spanish Ab Initio
    • IB Biology HL Year 1
    • IB Biology HL Year 2
    • IB Math SL Year 1
    • AP/IB Math SL Yr 2**Co-seated. Students take AP Calculus exam during senior year)
    • IB Music SL/HL Year 1 and 2
    • Theory of Knowledge

Q. What is the current enrollment for the IB classes?
The current enrollment in each IB class is:

    • AP/IB English HL Year 1 = 8 + 15 AP = 23
    • IB English HL Year 2 = 10
    • AP/IB History of the Americas HL = 8 + 15 AP = 23
    • IB 20th Century World Issues HL Year 2 = 14
    • IB Latin SL = 8
    • IB Spanish SL = 11
    • IB Spanish Ab Initio = 1
    • IB Biology HL Year 1 = 13
    • IB Biology HL Year 2 = 9
    • IB Math SL Year 1 = 15/
    • AP/IB Math SL Year 2 = 8 + 1 AP = 9
    • IB Music SL/HL Year 1 and 2 = 10
    • Theory of Knowledge = 10

IB Questions-January, 2015

Q. What are the goals for the IB Program?
The IB Diploma Programme is a two-year academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepare students for life success. The IB Mission Statement states: The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the IB works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Q. What other schools in our area offer the IB program?
In addition to Greenville, other IB schools in our area include: Albany, Ballston Spa, Queensbury, Red Hook and Schenectady.

Q. What costs are associated with the IB program? 
The District pays an annual fee along with a registration fee per student.  There is also an exam fee for each IB subject test.  This is similar to testing fees for AP exams.  Some colleges offer a full year of credit for successful completion of the IB Diploma Programme, offering our students a favorable cost/benefit ratio in post-high school graduation.  Credit for individual IB courses is also offered by many colleges.

Q. Which students in the HS will be able to take IB courses?
Any student in eleventh or twelfth grade will be able to participate in an IB class.  Through self-selection, a student may decide whether to partake in the full diploma or certificate courses.

Q. What does co-seating mean?
In some instances, IB and AP curriculum are aligned closely enough to allow “co-seating”; this allows the possibility for a student to potentially earn both IB and AP credit for the same course.

Q. How is the IB program different from AP?
IB and AP courses are both college preparatory courses.  Each one has different exams that students must take to demonstrate proficiency in a subject matter. Families should check with the individual college concerning requirements for college credits. 

Q. What IB and AP scores must a student obtain to receive college credit?
Colleges have specific guidelines for awarding college credits.  In general, students must receive a 6-7 on the IB exam or 4-5 on the AP exam to receive college credit for the subject matter.  Check with individual colleges for their policy.

Q. Why do we need the IB program given the nature of our rural community?
We want our students to benefit from the strong rural community and offer them a wide range of educational opportunities. We live in an increasing competitive world and the demand for global skills is growing. At Greenville we want to ensure that our students have a rich set of opportunities available to them and do not suffer from isolation or negative rural stereotypes.  Technology alone does not solve the issue. The IB program fosters an understanding of different cultures and gives students enhanced critical thinking skills. As technology diminishes geographical distances, allows for remote work schedules and adds new business development we want our students to not only meet these needs but to have an edge over other individuals.

Q. Is the IB program anti-American?
The IB program teaches critical thinking in students and compares different political programs around the world.  Students are challenged to substantiate their opinions and to challenge beliefs.  Many of the students participating in the IB program have remarked that the curriculum has strengthened their understanding of what the United States view of the United States and made them appreciate the values of our county.  Greenville teachers, after attending IB training, develop a curriculum that continues to fulfill the requirements of NYS and also includes the rigor of the IB program. 

Q. What professional development is required?
A continuation of professional development is required by IB as a subject’s curriculum changes.  Greenville’s IB teachers have noticed that the IB training has benefitted all of their courses, IB and non-IB alike, as one Greenville teacher states, “it made me a better teacher.”

IB Questions - verified and confirmed January 2014

Q. How many GCS students are currently enrolled in the IB program? 
46 students.

Q. How many GCS students are certificate students in the IB program?
39 students (16 juniors/23 seniors)

Q. How many GCS students are full diploma students in the IB program?
There are seven total: 5 juniors, 2 seniors.

Q. What are the goals for the IB program?
The diploma program is a two year academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepare students for life success.
IB Mission Statement:  The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the IB works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Q. What other schools offer the IB program?
Please visit www.ibo.org/school/ to find all schools that offer an IB program.  Within our area, besides Greenville, local IB schools include: Albany, Ballston Spa, Red Hook and Schenectady.

Q. What is the cost of the IB Program (Coordinator salaries, registration fees, advertising)?
Examination fees vary depending on the number of students taking exams.  Last year, exam costs (paid for by the students) were $7,488 for 72 exams and this year, $6,804 for 63 exams.  Registration fees are paid for by the District. Last year, registration fees were $5,285 for 35 students and this year, $4,553 for 29 students.  There are no advertising costs to date. Melissa Palmer is the IB Coordinator as well as the Online District Advisor, Liaison to the Teacher Center and Staff Development Facilitator.  Her salary is $74,434 plus benefits of $19,790. The annual fee for the IB program is $10,400.00.

Q. What IB classes are currently (2013-2014 school year) being offered? 
2013-2014 Course Offerings – Total classes:  13

    • AP/IB English HL Year 1 **Co-seated.  Students take AP Literature exam during junior year)
    • IB English HL Year 2
    • AP/IB History of the Americas HL **Co-seated. Students take AP US History exam during junior year)
    • IB 20th Century World Issues HL Year 2
    • IB Latin SL
    • IB Spanish SL
    • IB Biology HL Year 1
    • IB Biology HL Year 2
    • IB Math Studies SL
    • IB Math SL Year 1
    • AP/IB Math SL **Co-seated.  Students take AP Calculus exam during senior year)
    • IB Music SL
    • Theory of Knowledge

Q. What is the current enrollment for the IB classes?
The current enrollment in each IB class is:

    • AP/IB English HL Year 1 = 15 + 5 AP = 20
    • IB English HL Year 2 = 13
    • AP/IB History of the Americas HL = 14 + 7 AP = 21
    • IB 20th Century World Issues HL Year 2 = 12
    • IB Latin SL = 0*
    • IB Spanish SL = 6
    • IB Biology HL Year 1 = 10
    • IB Biology HL Year 2 = 12
    • IB Math Studies SL = 7
    • IB Math SL Year 1 = 16
    • AP/IB Math SL = 7 + 5 AP = 12
    • IB Music SL = 5
    • Theory of Knowledge = 5

*There are no students currenty enrolled in IB Latin because juniors took the one year exam (SL) last year and are taking Latin V this year. Current juniors are taking Latin IV this year but will be taking IB Latin next year. We went from a 2 year IB Latin class to a 1 year and want IB to be the final year.

Q. How much longer will the one time IB student registration fee of $157.00 be included in the school budget?
The District is required to pay the registration fee. Students pay the exam fees.

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General Questions

 

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Safety Questions