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District News

Small Group Budget Presentations in April

Community members interested in learning more about the Greater Johnstown School District’s budget are invited to meet with Superintendent Trish Kilburn at a small group budget presentation. *Pre-registration is required in order to attend. You may register online, or by calling the District Clerk at 518-762-4611 ext. 3119 to sign-up for one of the following dates:

  • Tuesday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 10 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Monday, April 29 at 5:00 p.m.

*Please note that these small group budget presentations will only take place if 10 or more participants register. You will be notified by either telephone or email if your chosen time slot is cancelled due to lack of registrants.

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Odyssey Team Headed to World Finals Again!

Odyssey Team Headed to World Finals Again!

Odyssey of the Mind 40 Years PosterThe Johnstown Odyssey of the Mind program has more good news to share!

This past weekend, five Johnstown teams competed in the New York State Finals. The students all did a great job and represented our school district very well. Qualifying for the state competition in Binghamton is an accomplishment in and of itself! At the state level, some of our teams were up against schools that have been competing in this program for many years.

Johnstown Odyssey Coordinator Kristin Meashaw reported that our students and their families spent the morning supporting each other by attending other Johnstown long term problems. She says that it was great to see everyone showing their Johnstown spirit and cheering each other on.

Eighth grade team in costumesThe Knox Junior High eighth grade team, known as the Energetic Engineers, made another impressive showing this year at States. After qualifying for World Finals last year and competing at Iowa State University last May, they again placed second out of 17 teams. Since all first and second place teams advance to the World level, this group of outstanding students will be making a repeat showing. This May they will be traveling to Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

Mrs. Meashaw said, “Not many teams can say they have gone to World Finals. Hardly anyone gets to say they are returning for the second year in a row! This very talented group of Johnstown students are wonderful role models and mentors for the program.”

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SPAC Classical Kids Presentation

SPAC Classical Kids Presentation

Warren Street’s fifth graders thoroughly enjoyed an interactive assembly presented by SPAC’s Classical Kids program, sponsored by Union College.

According to the SPAC website, “The program brings professional dancers and musicians into schools for an interactive assembly that introduces students to their art forms, teaches them about an upcoming performance at SPAC, and offers each student a free ticket to the selected performance during SPAC’s summer classical season. All students that complete the program receive a free Classical Kids Lawn Pass which grants the student, and an accompanying adult, free lawn admission to all ballet and orchestra performances at SPAC until their projected year of graduation from High School.”

Our students are now looking forward to the SPAC summer classical season!

 

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Massey Receives Section 2 Basketball Award

Massey Receives Section 2 Basketball Award

Congratulations to Noah Massey, selected to receive the Foothills Council Section 2 Basketball Scholar-Athlete Award. The presentation was made at a March 10 breakfast in Troy, sponsored by News Channel 13. The event was attended by athletes from the Adirondack League, Central Hudson Valley League, Colonial Council, Independent Conference, Patroon League, Suburban Council, Wasaren League, Western Athletic Conference, and the Foothills Council.

Massey holding a plaque at the awards breakfast

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Trivia Night April 16

Trivia Night April 16

words "Trivia Night" with ???

When: Tuesday, April 16th, 6pm

Where: The Winner’s Circle

Admission: $15.00 per person (includes appetizers)

Teams of 4 – three rounds of trivia

Prizes will be Awarded to the winning teams each round!

Any Questions contact Tracey Hildebrandt
or Kristy Lynch at JHS.

Sponsored by JHS International Club

light bulb with glasses

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WNYT NewsChannel 13 Top Teacher

https://wnyt.com/news/top-teacher-karen-toscano—pleasant-avenue-elementary-school/5269441/?cat=10126

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Long Range Planning Committee Update

Long Range Planning Committee Update

All members of Johnstown’s Long Range Planning Committee were present at its second meeting on Monday evening, February 25, undeterred by the high winds and blowing snow plaguing the area.

Gathered in the Pleasant Avenue library, the group first reviewed additional information pertaining to the enrollment figures originally presented at their January 14 meeting. They then moved on to the evening’s intended purpose, an overview of the district’s instructional program.

Consultants Castallo and Silky, LLC began by presenting information on common grade configuration patterns in New York State, noting that a general conclusion of most researchers is that it is “what” a district does with the grade configuration, not “which” grade configuration it uses, that determines student success. The committee then heard about common issues encountered in grade re-configuration, including length of bus ride for students, impact on parent involvement, grouping students of similar developmental levels, interaction of students, and the number of transitions.

Further discussion focused on Johnstown’s current school/grade organization, student and teacher daily start and end times, current elementary class sizes, recent elementary student ELA and math performance (including a comparison of Johnstown student performance to both Fulton County and NYS averages). The group also delved into elementary special area schedules, special education placement, Knox and JHS course offerings, BOCES participation and athletic participation.

Common takeaways from the information presented included that:

  • The Princeton Plan grade configuration (K-6, 7-8, 9-12) is a somewhat common arrangement.
  • The most common grade configuration of schools in New York and the U.S. is K-5, 6-8, 9-12, although there is no research that indicates that one grade pattern is necessarily better for student learning than another.
  • The elementary instructional program is comparable across all thee Johnstown school buildings (Pleasant, Glebe and Warren).
  • The junior high school program is typical for a school district of this size. The high school program provides many alternatives for students.
  • Class sizes in the junior high and high school are strong.
  • There are an extensive number of interscholastic athletic opportunities available to the students in Johnstown.

The next meeting of the Long Range Planning Committee will take place at 6:30 p.m. on April 8 in the Glebe Street Library and will include a district facilities overview. Anyone who is interested may attend and observe the meeting.

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Orsell Recognized as NFF Scholar Athlete

Orsell Recognized as NFF Scholar Athlete

Congratulations to senior Victor Orsell, who has been named a National Football Foundation scholar-athlete. This award recognizes young men who have excelled on the playing field, in the classroom and in the community. It was presented at a dinner hosted by the Capital District Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame at the Red Lion Hotel in Albany, NY on March 4, 2019.

Coach Hall, Victor Orsell and Coach Beatty at the awards dinner

Head Coach Tyler Hall, National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Victor Orsell, and Assistant Coach Michael Beatty

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Candidates Needed for Board of Education

On May 21, 2019, voters in the Greater Johnstown School District will have the opportunity to elect three individuals to serve three-year terms on the district’s nine-member Board of Education. We need good people to step forward to help shape the future!

Board of Education members must be at least 18 years old, qualified to vote in the school district, able to read and write, and a resident of the school district for at least one year before the election. They cannot be employees of the school. There can only be one board member in a household.

In order to appear on the Greater Johnstown School District election ballot, candidates must file a nominating petition with the School District Clerk, signed by 100 qualified district voters. You may print out a Nominating Petition here, or pick one up at the District Business Office. Completed petitions must be received by the District Clerk no later than 5 p.m. on May 1, 2019. Candidates must also file three campaign contribution & expense statements.

If you would like more information, please call the School District Clerk at 518-762-4611 ext. 3119.

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Teachers agree to two-year pay freeze in new contract

On Feb. 19, the Greater Johnstown School District and its largest employee union, the Johnstown Teachers’ Association, finalized a new contract that will freeze the salary schedule for most JTA members for two years and offer modest pay increases for the final years of the contract, which expires June 2021. The previous JTA contract expired in June 2018.

The salary schedule determines the pay teachers receive according to their years of service in the district. For 126 JTA members, the salary schedule will not change for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years. On June 30, 2020, the salary schedule will increase 1 percent, and a year later it will increase 2 percent. Teachers’ pay will still reflect their years of service.

The district’s 45 teaching assistants will see 1 to 3 percent increases to their hourly wages, with the exact pay raise depending on the individual’s level of certification. Twelve senior JTA members who are not included on the contract’s salary schedule will receive pay raises of 2.38 percent in the first year, 1.01 percent in the second year, and 1.02 percent in the third year of the contract.

“I am extraordinarily grateful to the members of the JTA for recognizing the challenging financial position the district is in and agreeing to a contract that will help us as we continue to develop our 2019-20 budget and long-term fiscal strategies,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patricia Kilburn.

Under the contract, the district will save $180,000 in salaries and benefits during the 2018-19 school year, compared with the previous school year. Kilburn projects the district will save an additional $220,000 in the 2019-20 school year as a result of the new contract.

“I’m grateful that our teachers’ association, board and administration have maintained positive relationships throughout the negotiating process, and want to commend all involved for the support they have shown for our schools and the students of our community,” Kilburn said.

The new contract went into effect immediately.

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