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The Center for Therapeutic Academic Excellence Program (CTAEP) is a small, school-within-a-school concept for high school students who require a more supportive, therapeutic setting to meet graduation requirements. Students who have been overwhelmed in the traditionally larger high school setting or who have school-related anxiety thrive in our alternative setting with small classes and highly individualized attention from our staff.

As part of a proposal to address enrollment growth concerns at Bell Top Elementary School, CTAEP would move to Genet Elementary School for the start of the 2019-20 school year. Please note, this is a proposal and would need Board of Education approval.

Q: How many students are in CTAEP?
A: CTAEP serves 12-24 students from grades 9-12.

Q: How many classrooms does the program use?
A: The program utilizes three classrooms. The students enrolled include 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders who all need to meet their respective academic requirements. The CTAEP staff teach on a rotation to meet these grade-level requirements for students, covering 15 different core and elective credit bearing courses and preparing for 5 to 6 different Regents Exams each year.

Q: How many teachers and staff work with the students?
A: The program has three subject-area teachers, two teaching assistants and a school psychologist working with the students each day.

Q: How long has this program existed?
A: The program started in 2014 at Bell Top Elementary School.  We are currently in our fifth year.

Q: Have there ever been any discipline issues with these students.
A: No. There have been zero incidents from this program on the district’s VADIR annual report (Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting) since the program began. This program is not a placement for students with behavioral or discipline issues. The students are good school citizens with no discipline issues. Due to school-related anxiety they require a smaller, more supportive setting.

Q: Where would the program be located in Genet?
A: CTAEP would utilize three classrooms on the 2nd floor, East wing.

Q: How did the district decide on this location?
A: The district completed a space review at Genet including Superintendent Jeff Simons, Assistant Superintendent Lawrence Edson, Pupil Personnel Services Director Helen Squillace, Bell Top Principal Martin Mahar, Genet Principal Ana Yeomans, incoming Genet Principal Wayne Grignon and the school district’s architect Steve Wyckman.

The 2nd floor, East wing at Genet was deemed appropriate for the CTAEP program and equivalent to what is currently provided at Bell Top. It has the same number of required classrooms, restrooms for the sole use of the high school students and a set of double doors would be installed. Our Director of Facilities is looking into an access control system for the double doors both upstairs and downstairs which would enable locking from both sides but access from both sides for staff with access cards. We need to ensure that the system complies with SED fire regulations.

Further improvements to the restrooms are scheduled to be completed within the planned capital project in the summer of 2020.

Q: Will the high school students interact with Genet students?
A: There would be very limited interaction among CTAEP and Genet students. CTAEP students would arrive by bus at 7:40 a.m. each day, be welcomed by a teaching assistant, enter school through the East wing doors, go up that set of stairs and into their classrooms. CTAEP would use the gym for Physical Education class during their first period before Genet’s school day begins and then return to their classrooms upstairs. For lunch, a teaching assistant would go to the cafeteria, collect lunches on a cart and bring them to the students to eat in their classrooms. The students would go down the same set of stairs and out the same door for dismissal. Students who need to see the school nurse or go to the main office to be picked up for an appointment would be escorted by a teaching assistant.

There would be opportunities for Genet teachers to include CTAEP students in classroom activities at the request of those teachers. We have found both younger and older students benefit from these types of activities in our schools. The CTAEP students would of course be supervised and Genet parents would be notified prior to any such activity.

Q: I heard Genet students are losing their MakerSpace classrooms. Is that true?
A: Even with the move of CTAEP, Genet students and staff would retain one MakerSpace classroom for special lessons and projects. The process for teachers reserving space in the MakerSpace classroom would not change.

Q: How has East Greenbush Central School District communicated the proposed rezoning plan?
A: The district has communicated the proposal in the following ways: email sent to all parents of current Bell Top, Genet and Red Mill students on Wednesday, December 19; personally called the small number of families who would be rezoned for next year; news story posted on district website on Tuesday, December 19; FAQ posted on district website on Thursday, January 3; sent out in district’s E-News on Friday, December 21; submitted to The Advertiser on Wednesday, December 19; press release sent to local news and published in the Times Union (December 21), Troy Record (December 24) and News10 (January 4); information shared on district Facebook and Twitter accounts; and the district hosted community meetings for staff, parents and community members at Bell Top on January 7, Red Mill on January 8 and Genet on January 14. The proposal has also been discussed at recent Board of Education meetings.

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