PK-5 Half Day – Tuesday, November 29

There will be a half day for all students in grades PK-5 on Tuesday, November 29 due to parent conferences. Dismissal times: Pre-K (DPS/Genet/Red Mill) at 10:45 a.m., Genet at 11:15 a.m., Bell Top/DPS/Green Meadow/Red Mill at 11:30 a.m.

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The East Greenbush Central School District’s Advocacy Committee set a list of priorities for the 2022-23 school year at its meeting on Tuesday afternoon which includes addressing staff shortages, increasing access to mental health services and advocating for universal pre-k that serves all eligible children.

The Advocacy Committee meets throughout the year to discuss topics that affect the school district and organize advocacy efforts to improve public education. It is led by the Superintendent of Schools Jeff Simons and includes students, teachers, administrators, support staff, school board members and parents.

“Our district continues to provide high quality affordable education to our students and community even during these uncertain times,” Mr. Simons said. “Through our advocacy committee we hope to focus on decisions and trends at the state and national level which affect our schools.”

Anyone from the school community can learn more about the school district’s list of priorities by attending an Advocacy Committee meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for January 12.
 

List of Advocacy Priorities for 2022-23:

  • Advocate for changes in federal, state and local policy and practices to address teacher and staff shortages
    • Modify certain requirements such as teacher certification options
    • Add incentives for prospective teachers
    • Increase pathways to become a public school teacher, especially for individuals in other career fields who have a passion for education
  • Discuss state support for school safety
    • Increase access for school districts to hire School Resource Officers
  • Increased access to mental health services
  • Advocate for true Universal Pre-K that serves all eligible children
    • We offer a Pre-K Program for four-year-old children who live in the East Greenbush CSD, however, we are not able to accommodate all interested families based on cost and classroom space
    • 61 students were chosen through a random lottery from a pool of 128 applicants for the 2022-23 school year
    • Pre-K costs approximately $10,033 per child
      • We receive $5,400 per child in state aid
      • We are covering the rest of the costs through COVID federal funding so that there is no impact on our local taxpayers to provide this program
  • Ensure school stakeholders are engaged in any proposed changes to the state’s current plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • Engage in discussions and options to enable schools to affordably transition to electric and zero emissions buses
    • The East Greenbush CSD supports a move to zero emission buses, however, the state’s current plan acts as an unfunded mandate
    • Our Transportation Department has 102 buses and we typically replace eight older buses each year (the state is mandating all school buses be replaced with electric vehicles by 2035)
    • An electric bus costs about four times as much as a diesel bus, not to mention the infrastructure costs that would be needed (e.g., charging stations, power upgrades from the grid, new lifts and maintenance equipment in the bus garage)
    • Utilize funds from the recently passed $4.2 billion “Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022”
  • Express concerns that state foundation aid increases and federal CRRSA and ESSER funds may not be sustained in order to permit district to provide needed programs for students
  • Impact of inflation on school district expenses
    • Schools are not immune to the rise in costs due to inflation and supply chain issues
    • Our Capital Project has experienced higher costs and longer timelines than anticipated since it was approved by voters in 2017 due to the pandemic and resulting inflation
    • Regular items such as fuel, food, and cleaning supplies have all increased in costs