Call to Order – 7:30 p.m.
- BRAC : Ms. Belmont, Ms. Burgess, Ms. Garrigan-Piela, Ms. Noeth, Mr. Noeth, Mr. Pratt, Mr. Romanowski
- Board/Admin : Mr. Mann, Ms. Taylor, Mr. Simons, Mr. Edson, Mr. Garab, Ms. Squillace
- Guests: Mr. Adam, Ms, McGrath, Dr. Steele (CASDA)
Attendance Zones Study – Count Me In Initiative
Mr. Adam and Ms. McGrath provided a handout of the “Count Me In” initiative to capture information on children ages birth to five years old. Resident families have been asked to submit a student census form to the District to be entered into the registration system. The census information is designed to help the District plan for future enrollment for each school, determine class sizes, allocate classroom space, and plan staffing needs.
Mr. Adam reviewed the process to contact families using a variety of methods including website, paper form, email flyer, social media, and digital sign. There were 238 responses, of which 124 new students were identified. Mr. Adam presented a chart of new students in the census by entrance year and building. The registration system has 196 students for entrance in the 2020-2021 year, 157 in the 2021-2022 year, 92 in the 2022-2023 year, 97 in the 2023-2024 year, and 40 in the 2024-2025 year. Mr. Adam said the following individuals and groups may not have participated in the survey: parents with children not in day care (stay at home moms), parents without an older child enrolled at school, unaware residents, and families in apartment complexes (may be a transient group).
Dr. Steele said it was important to keep the baseline data to track progress in the information collection over a period of years. He said it was a fantastic initiative by the District.
Mr. Adam reported that the data was from the period September 12 to October 21. The website will continue to accept information, and a follow up article is planned. It was suggested that the budget newsletter be used for the “Count Me In” initiative since it is mailed to all residents.
Mr. Garab hoped that the data would improve planning for class size sections. He said that his building could have placed a section at grade five or kindergarten this year, but chose grade five. Fortunately, the section numbers were reasonable in the end. Mr. Edson advised that average class sizes were 20.2 for the current year, with no building varying by 0.6 of the overall elementary average. Some individual grade level classes are higher or lower due to principal preference to not have multi-age classrooms.
Mr. Simons said that three classroom spaces opened up at Goff this year and four classroom spaces will open up at Red Mill next year. Questar BOCES is consolidating their programs at the Schodack Central Schools site, and therefore, did not need the spaces at East Greenbush. Mr. Simons attested to the growth in enrollment and the need for classrooms as part of BOCES filing with the State Education Department.
It was suggested that a connection be made with real estate agents and apartment complexes that could potentially pass out the information upon purchase or lease. Mr. Adam will review.
Attendance Zones Study Update
Dr. Steele spoke about the uniqueness of the initiative. He continues to review data and information for preparation of the draft report for the November 18 meeting. Dr. Steele spoke in favor of the annual CDRPC enrollment study. He also believed that the Niskayuna model of flex zones may be beneficial to consider for the District.
Adjournment – 8:28 p.m.