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Community Budget Forum March 4

The Greater Johnstown School District needs your help! We are seeking community members to provide school budget feedback at a Community Budget Forum to be held at Johnstown High School on Monday evening, March 4.

If you are interested in participating in the Community Budget Forum at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, March 4, please complete this online application no later than February 28, 2019. This invitation is open to all!

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100 Acts of Kindness on 100th Day of School

100 Acts of Kindness on 100th Day of School

tokens taped to machineThe 100th day of school is a day of celebration in many school settings. For the fourth year in a row, the Johnstown Teachers’ Association has extended that celebratory feeling beyond the school walls, by enacting “100 Acts of Kindness on the 100th day of School.” This is a way to give back to the community that has long supported education. Last week, Johnstown’s teachers and teaching assistants flooded the streets of Johnstown with kind deeds such as the following:

  • Sending treats (brownies!) to employees at Johnstown City Hall
  • Passing out lottery scratch-off tickets to random people and leaving them on random cars in parking lots
  • Donating children’s books to the local urgent care waiting room and passing out books to children out and about around town
  • Leaving quarters at the local laundromat and at the arcade token machine
  • Donating to cancer research
  • Leaving candy treats on the windshields of parked cars
  • Providing snacks for postal workers, bus drivers, and day care personnel
  • Paying the bill for the next car in the drive-through

Police "Survival Kit" made by studentsOver the past four years, Johnstown’s teachers have often also involved their students in this day of kindness. This year was no exception. The students in Miss Scott’s classroom created “Police Survival Kits” filled with snacks and positive words of inspiration, encouragement and gratitude.  Members of the Johnstown Police Department were so moved by the gesture that they personally visited the students in class.

This is just a sampling of the JTA’s acts of kindness; the list is endless. In the end, well more than 100 acts of kindness were completed, with the hope that these small gestures of kindness brought joy to members of the Johnstown community.

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Upcoming Purple & Gold Events

Upcoming Purple & Gold Events

Pride & Support Sir Bills & Lady Bills Johnstown Logo

Dear Parents,

Now in existence for a number of years, Johnstown Purple and Gold is a booster club comprised of community members who strive to supplement the athletic programs and offerings that are available to all Johnstown students. Each year we provide the funding for the purchase of student athletes’ Varsity letters, pins & plaques. In the past we have also provided the funding for the purchase of banners outside of the high school, safety nets for Knox Field and new chairs for the basketball and volleyball teams.

We are contacting you today with the hopes that you will be able to help us in our newest endeavor. We have a lofty goal of raising $50,000 to purchase new weight room equipment for our recently renovated weight room. In order to accomplish our goal, we have multiple activities scheduled:

Please consider having yourself/student/family/friends participate in one or more of these events. Your generosity will be helping us provide new equipment for the weight room, which ultimately enriches the physical well-being of all the district’s students.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Sincerely,

Joyel H Richardson
Johnstown Purple and Gold
Joyelrichardson@gmail.com

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Warren Student off to Regional Spelling Bee

Warren Student off to Regional Spelling Bee

student holding awardCongratulations to David Jarabek, winner of Warren Street’s January 8th Spelling Bee at Johnstown High School!  David’s spelling prowess has earned him a spot in the Capital Region Spelling Bee scheduled to take place at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady on Tuesday, March 5. You can follow the @CapRegionBOCES event hashtag #CRBee on Twitter for news and updates. The Capital Region winner will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee to be held in National Harbor, Maryland during the last week of May.

The Capital Region Spelling Bee is sponsored by Capital Region BOCES, Hannaford Supermarkets, Proctors Theatre, Sage Colleges, The Times Union, and Upper Hudson Library System.

Good luck to David at the Capital Region Spelling Bee. The Johnstown School community is rooting for you!

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JHS Honor Roll Second Qtr. 2018-19

Congratulations to the following JHS students who achieved Honor Roll and High Honor Roll status for the second quarter:

Honor Roll

Freshmen:

Parker Abrams, Maryann Austin Natalie Baxter, Loryn Blake, Abigail Brownell, Emma Brown, Jaycee Buck, Patrick Clemence, Lena Fonda, Morgan Havlicek, Colin Kowalski, Connor Lago, Kaymen Lewis-Matthews, Anastasija Morse, William Ovitt, Robin Adele Pearce, Lorena Trumble, Austin Vanetten, Justin A VanNostrand, Shaylee Rose Vogel,

Sophomores:

Joshua Billa, Sadie Blowers, Collin Bolebruch, Brodi Brunetto, Hope Buboltz, Anika Byrnes, Bella Collar, Brandon Eiss, Emily Fleming, Landon Hale, Molly Hotaling, Morgan Lane, Cody Massey, Ryan Nawrot, Kaylee Newkirk, Willa Perkins, Jack Preston, Dawson Sanges, Brianna Subik, Hailee Waddle, Mia Yeackel

Juniors:

Zachary Benton, Noah Champlin, Elizabeth Clarke, Cecilia Dennett, Katrina Diener, Allison Duesler, Justin Ferrara, Carolyn Fitzpatrick, Jacob Frenyea, Robert Henry, Lyla Kelly, Spencer Kotwasinski, Brianne Lea Moore, Jasmine Mosher, Abbie Mullins,  Shakeera Myers, Ryan O’Connor, Gabrielle Palmer, Isabelle Petrie, Alexandra Queeney, Justin Sanders, Robin Sear, Alex Shepherd, Lillian Sloat, Julianna Wager, Jenna Weaver, Jake Wesley

Seniors

AimeeLynn Ahumada, Caroline Beck, Henry Bobbette, Jarell Castillo, William Cook Jr., Taylor Denmark, Blaine Insogna, Alexander Jennings, Cheyenne Kearns, Julian Martes, Cameron Miller, Marcus Nellis, Lillian Nevins, Christopher O’Connor, Julian Ottalagano, Jenna Parslow, Cheyanna Passino, William Phillips, Abigail Rodecker, Alexander Sheldon, Amy Snell, Jordyn Stoutner, Jenna Thompson, Christopher VanHoesen, Zachary Vosburgh, MaggieJean Waddle

High Honor Roll

Freshmen:

Carter Ackerbauer, Shawn Ammann, Dylan Barter, Roslyn Chapin, Arianna Christiano, Cecelia D’Amore, Kalena Eaton, Conner Edel, Natalie Flint, Emma Frank, William Gerlach, Madison Handy, Logan Harvey, Madison King, Benjamin Krempa, Bentley Lane, Braeton Lawton, Isabella Lewis, Konner Mancini, Jesse Norris, Ethan Petrie, Hailey Preston, Hannah Richardson, Damien Roth, Larkin Sardella, Luke Solby, Torin Steele, Jared Stewart, Zachary VanAernam, Teianna Vetrano, Jadon Wilson, Mickey Winton

Sophomores:

Bradey Brownell, Sarah Connaway, Grace Giarizzo, Janeyli Gonzalez, Aiden Greene, Nicholas Hadcock, Morgan Hotaling, Hannah Kosiba, Anna Lee, Colleen Long, Jacob Martelle, Cassidy McKeon, Molly Memrick, Samantha Moller-Lopez, Meghan Mraz, Alexandria Petrelia, Cameron Polidore, Sarah Pratt, Taryn Ringer, Sebastian Russo, Kyle Salamack, Kanako Sasaki, Riley Savoie, Sarah Smith, Alison Stegel, Sydney Swedick, Thomas Truckenmiller, Abbygail Vandewalker, Ariana Vuskalns, Haylee Webb, Haley Wilson, Kyle Wood

Juniors:

Anna Crouse, Mallory Dence, Calyer Fagan, Emily Frank, Gina Franko, Charles Gagliardo, Mattew Heroth II, Abigail Hollister, Joshua Hoyt, Bailey King, Emily Long, Noah Massey, Julia Norris, Grace Osborne, Kiersten Pelosi, Abigail Rizzo, Jonathan Ruehle, Chelsea Savage, Samantha Simon, Jacob Stewart, Katrina Trueworthy, Brandon Walton, Myranda Whitman, Meagan Williams

Seniors:

Kacie Adams, Austin Bargy, Zoe Bartholomew, Alyssa Bevington, Benjamin Blackford, Noah Bowne, Allyson Brandow, Charles Brown, Mark Cwiakala, Augustus D’Amore, Sydney Darling, Alfio DeMarco, Conner Diviyak, Janay Douglas, Madison Etherton, Emma Fiore, Grace Fitzgerald, Sophia Frenyea, Abigail Gottung, Brooke Grace, Alexis Houser, Emma Kilmer, Tyler Kortz, Molly Lake, Rachel Lee, Lukas Marino, Joseph Matthews, Megan O’Connell, Victor Orsell, Talia Peconie, Zoe Petrie, Kulvir Singh, Altreyvious Stover, Dalton Town, Brady VanAernam, Bracie Vose, Taylor Vose, Ethan Wager, Olivia Weiderman, Emily Wheelis, Evan White

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Knox 2nd Qtr High Honor/Honor Roll 2018-19

2018-19 Knox Quarter 2 High Honor Roll

Grade 7

Ava Barker, Jena Barker, Jocelyn Bush, Carter Cheney, Abigail Chest, Jaelyn Christman, Colin Cotter, Antonio DeMarco, Lilly Dittmer, Kaleb Dolder, Landon Fosmire-DeRocker, Wyatt Frasier, Anna Giarrizzo, Chelsea Johnson, Parker Klingbeil, Mollie Kortz, Caroline Krempa, Cole Krempa, Abbigail Lewis, Lucy LoDestro, Aaron Lopez, Liam O’Kelley, Mohammed Patel, Mason Rathbun, Jake Ringer, Gianna Rizzo, Holden Rose Caleb Sanjurjo, Emma Smith, Samuel Stearns
Ayden Swedick, Tara Sweeney, Riley Sweet, Zoie Tesi, Marlee Trajlinek, Kelsey Walker, Ashlynn Weaver, Brooke Weaver, Matthew Wheelis, Kurstin Wilson, Marcus Wilson, Hunter Zelich

Grade 8

Claire Anderson, Talia Anderson, Ethan Angus, Cameron Arminio, Isabella Bermas, Ethan Blood, Shyanne Brownell, Jaidyn Chest, Madelyn Connelie, Alex DeMagistris
Tyler Downing, Vincent Ecker, Jayden Elston, Augustus Fagan. Jordan Fox, Lillian Fudger, Amia Hall, Brooklynn Heroth, Olivia Kilmer, Robin Kruggel, Autumn Kurtz
Donald Long, Alexander Lopez, Mercedes Milby, Trey Naselli, Ally Salamack, Ayaka Sasaki, Nicole Simon, Alexis Smith, Kyle Stegel, Molly Sweeney, Nicole Wendolski
Alyssa Whitbeck, Lilia White, Reegan Wilcox, Anthony Zajaczkowski

2018-19 Knox Quarter 2 Honor Roll

Grade 7

Anastasia Abete, Skyler Aguilera, Adrianne Airey, Makayla Atwood, Michael Crisafulli Jr, Shea Donohue, Mathew Ferrara, Alexis Giuliano, Lein Goodemote
Arden Hammond, Ryan Hoyt, Viktorija Izzo, Jacob King, Andrew Lake, Trey Loucks, Jack Miller, Allison Nevins, Maddox Pedrick, Cole Preston, Jisela Rodriguez, Kyra Rodriguez, Sarah Shibley, Ethan Smith, Benjamin Stramezzi, Jordyn Tarbox, Lucas Tate-Pettit

Grade 8

Aislinn Ambrosino, Bryant Bargy, Emily Blood, Peyton Bramer, Alexander Cordone, Roger Gordon IV, Camille Gray, Emilia Haverly, Kelsey Jackson, Braden Jones,, Hannah Maxson, Jessica McDermott, Sara Parent, Vincent Rizzo, Madison Simonds, Makiya Smith, Adam Sweet, Zachary  Tallon, Dakota Witzke, Emily Wood

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Superintendent Kilburn responds to questions about Jan. 29 lockdown

Dear Johnstown families,

Some of you have had questions and expressed concerns about decisions that were made during the Jan. 29 lockdown at Johnstown High School, as well as our school district’s safety procedures in general. Your questions and insights are valuable and appreciated.

First, I want to clarify that, in an emergency situation such as the one we experienced Tuesday, law enforcement assumes complete control when they arrive on the scene until they decide the emergency has passed. Our local police are well-trained to handle all kinds of emergencies, and while it is natural to wonder why certain decisions were made, it’s important that we respect their professionalism and trust that their decisions were made in the best interest of Johnstown students and staff.

Various rumors were circulating in our community about the lockdown, and I recognize that people want accurate and complete information. However, since there is an ongoing police investigation, we cannot provide any more information at this time. Although it’s not possible to address every rumor, we will continue to share the most complete and up-to-date information as it becomes available.

Finally, you may want to know precisely what the school district plans to do to protect your children in an emergency. Although details of district safety plans must remain confidential to preserve the security of our schools, I want to reassure you that our staff is well-trained and prepared to respond to a variety of scenarios. We tell our staff on a regular basis that, in many ways, they are our safety plan: They must be able to think on their feet about what they need to do to protect our students in any space at any given time.

Our students, parents and entire school community are also a critical part of our safety plan. Tuesday’s lockdown was initiated after a student brought rumors of a threat to the attention of the school principal. It’s an important reminder that “see something, say something” is an effective approach.

Some children might find reassurance in discussing with you, their parents and guardians, different scenarios and actions they might take in an emergency; for others, this kind of discussion might increase their anxiety. I encourage you to listen to your children and follow their lead to determine how you can best help them process Tuesday’s events.

Our school counselors and social workers remain available to help our students and families, and I will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Sincerely,

Patricia Kilburn
Superintendent of Schools
Greater Johnstown School District

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Letter from Superintendent Kilburn follows up on Jan. 29 lockdown

Dear Johnstown families,

I want to thank you and our students for your patience and cooperation during yesterday’s lockdown at Johnstown High School. I recognize this was likely a difficult experience for many of our students and our school community in general.

The school district and police undertook the precautions and procedures necessary to investigate the threat that was brought to our attention. However, we know this was not an easy day for students and we are doing everything we can to support them.

While we are trying to make school as normal as possible for our students, we are also making school counselors and social workers available to any student who would like to talk about the situation.

We also want to share with you tips for talking with children from a variety of resources, including the National Association of School Psychologists.

Any time we experience situations like this, we review what happened to identify what we did well and where we can improve. Our first priority is always the safety of our students and staff.

We are grateful to the Johnstown Police Department and other area agencies for their swift response yesterday, and for their ongoing partnership. We also want to thank you, the families of our students, for your cooperation and patience.

If you have any questions or concerns about this situation or about safety at Johnstown schools in general, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Sincerely,

Patricia Kilburn
Superintendent of Schools
Greater Johnstown School District

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Talking with your children after the Jan. 29 lockdown

When scary things happen in the world — whether across the country or in our own community — it can be difficult for us as parents to help our children feel safe and secure. Our approach will be deeply personal — after all, we as parents know our children better than anyone else.

To support you in helping your child, we offer the following tips gathered from a variety of resources, including the National Association of School Psychologists. If you would like additional support in working with your child, please reach out to the school counselor or social worker at your child’s school.

Reassure children that they are safe

Emphasize that schools are very safe. Validate their feelings. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let children talk about their feelings, help put them into perspective, and assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.

Here are some things you can tell your child:

  • Schools are safe places. School staff works with parents and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep you safe.
  • We all play a role in the school safety. Be observant and let an adult know if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous or frightened.
  • There is a difference between reporting, tattling or gossiping. You can provide important information that may prevent harm either directly or anonymously by telling a trusted adult what you know or hear.

Make time to talk

Let your child’s questions be your guide. Be patient; children and youth do not always talk about their feelings readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or yard work. Some children prefer writing, playing music, or doing an art project as an outlet. Young children may need concrete activities (such as drawing, looking at picture books, or imaginative play) to help them identify and express their feelings.

Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate

Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that their school and homes are safe and that adults are there to protect them. Give simple examples of school safety like reminding children about exterior doors being locked, child monitoring efforts on the playground, and emergency drills practiced during the school day.

Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to provide safe schools.

Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. Emphasize the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following school safety guidelines (e.g. not providing building access to strangers, reporting strangers on campus, reporting threats to the school safety made by students or community members, etc.), communicating any personal safety concerns to school administrators, and accessing support for emotional needs.

Review safety procedures

This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.

Observe children’s emotional state

Some children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can also indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort. In most children, these symptoms will ease with reassurance and time. However, some children may be at risk for more intense reactions. Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others. Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.

Take their fears seriously

Don’t ignore or laugh off your children’s concerns. If their behavior changes after seeing or hearing about a major news event, they may be trying to process the information. Encourage your child to talk about what they are thinking. Hearing their perspective will help you decide how much information you want to share. Then help them understand that their fears and concerns are normal by sharing how you felt when you heard about the event.

Maintain a normal routine

Keeping to a regular schedule can be reassuring and promote physical health. Ensure that children get plenty of sleep, regular meals, and exercise. Encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Encourage play

Play is kids’ way to work through lots of things, including fears and worries. If your child re-enacts the news, pretending to be a firefighter or EMT, encourage it. Step in only if playtime gets aggressive toward other children.

Foster empathy

Dr. Michele Borba, an educational psychologist, believes that in times of trouble, one of the best ways to reduce kids’ feelings of hopelessness is to find ways to comfort others and help the affected community. Borba fashioned four elements that parents can use to reassure children that their world is safe and caring: T.A.L.K.

  • T – Tune in to your child’s emotions
  • A – Assure safety and be available
  • L – Listen patiently
  • K – Kindle empathy and do something positive

Look for the positive

Look for the positive parts of unsettling news. Talk with your children about the people who come to help those in trouble instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the event. In the words of Fred Rogers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

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Information about Jan. 29 lockdown at Johnstown HS

At 9:52 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, a Johnstown High School student contacted Principal Scott Hale with credible information about a shooting threat against the school. Principal Hale immediately initiated a lockdown at JHS at 9:54 a.m., and Superintendent Patricia Kilburn ordered the other schools in the district to initiate lock out procedures.

Local law enforcement officers arrived at Johnstown High School at 10 a.m. and immediately set to work clearing and securing all hallways and common areas.

At 11:10 a.m., law enforcement officials lifted the lock outs at all Johnstown schools except Warren Street Elementary School. The lockdown at JHS remained in effect.

At 11:15 a.m., law enforcement officers began escorting JHS students to Warren Street Elementary School. During the time they were at Warren Street, high school students were supervised by adults and had access to restrooms and school meals.

Starting at 11:15 a.m., law enforcement officers worked systematically to clear and secure the entire Johnstown High School building. At 12:58 p.m., law enforcement officials deemed that the school and students were safe.

At 1:08 p.m., law enforcement officers escorted high school students back to JHS, where they continued with the remainder of their school day. Warren Street Elementary School and JHS operated under a lock out until their regular dismissal times, while law enforcement officers remained on site. This step was taken to ensure safe dismissal procedures and allow staff to continue to supervise and monitor students.

“We are thankful for the swift response and support of our local law enforcement,” Kilburn said. “I am also grateful to our faculty for their efforts to care for our students, and we are all proud of our students for their commendable behavior throughout the day.”

Law enforcement officers will continue their investigation, but have determined the school is safe to reopen to students Wednesday.

Kilburn said that counseling services will be available to all students at the schools on Wednesday and in the days ahead.

“Situations like the one we experienced today can be upsetting,” Kilburn said. “I am grateful to our families and the Johnstown community for their patience and cooperation.”

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