Update for Columbia Graduation and Goff Elevation Celebration

In response to further changes to New York State guidelines for outdoor gatherings announced earlier this week, Columbia High School has consolidated its three graduation ceremonies and will instead host one graduation for the Class of 2021 on Friday, June 25 on the CHS turf field at 4:00 p.m. Howard L. Goff Middle School will follow the plan for Columbia Graduation and also host one Elevation Celebration for all 8th grade students on Thursday, June 24 at 4:00 p.m. on the CHS turf field. Each student may be joined by up to four guests.

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A school resource officer from the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department is expected to start at Howard L. Goff Middle School in September. The officer, who has not been selected yet, would not only enhance the security of the building, but will also work with students and staff to continue creating a safe school climate.

East Greenbush Central School District had planned to add a School Resource Officer from the East Greenbush Police Department in the spring, but the Town was unable to provide an additional full-time police officer at this time due to contractual considerations.

Superintendent Jeff Simons then reached out to the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department to see if they could provide an officer to fill the position. The agreement would provide a uniformed police officer from the sheriff’s department at Goff Middle School during school hours.

The new position is modeled after the school resource officer role that has existed at Columbia High School for years. Like Officer Jay Martyn at Columbia, the new school resource officer would be available to provide support and programming for other schools throughout the district. Coordination agreements already exist between the two law enforcement agencies involved.

The sheriff’s department is compiling a list of eligible SRO candidates for the district. Both the sheriff’s department and school district will be involved in the hiring process this summer.

“We are looking forward to expanding our School Resource Officer Program in the district,” Mr. Simons said. “This summer, the district has been involved in discussions with the new East Greenbush Police Chief, Elaine Rudzinski and the Sheriff’s office about ways to enhance our existing school safety program.”