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    January 10, 2018

Public School Buildings Are Falling Apart, and Students Are Suffering for It

Baltimore students made national headlines last week, with news of children across the city stuck in freezing classrooms, quivering in hats, gloves and winter coats. Four Baltimore schools never opened because of broken heaters, and several others sent students home early.

While schools all over the East Coast later shut down for the “bomb cyclone” that brought snow, hail and devastating wind, Baltimore’s situation was notable in part because the weather that day wasn’t actually that inclement. It was cold, but nothing that extraordinary for January in Maryland. Inside the school buildings, though, boiler systems failed, and some classrooms never warmed beyond 40 degrees. A graduate of Baltimore public schools has since launched a GoFundMe campaign, raising more than $75,000 for space heaters and outerwear.
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New Process for Review of Capital Project Submissions

The Office of Facilities Planning in conjunction with CiTi BOCES (the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation/Oswego BOCES) are gearing up to begin outsourcing of eligible capital project submissions to third-party vendors beginning February 1, 2018.

Districts will be able to choose whether their projects will receive review by NYSED staff, or whether their projects will be reviewed for an additional fee by third-party vendors retained by CiTi BOCES. It is anticipated that the third-party reviews will occur more quickly than the NYSED ones, so districts and their design professionals will be able to make a business decision on whether the third-party review is the optimal choice for their district. If districts choose this option, their projects, once approved by the third-party vendors, will be forwarded to NYSED, so that building permits can be issued.
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Bond Refunding Saves Districts Money on Projects

Four Oswego County school districts have had borrowing they did through the state recalculated so they can save money on capital projects.

Oswego and Fulton city school districts, Phoenix Central School District, and Pulaski Academy and Central School are among 54 districts statewide that are achieving about $17 million in net present value savings as part of an almost $300 million bond refunding delivered by the Dormitory Authority.

The reductions are part of the Dormitory Authority’s School Districts Revenue Bond Financing Program, which provides public school districts across New York state with an efficient financing alternative. Since the inception of the program in 2002, the Dormitory Authority has issued 85 separate series of bonds on behalf of more than 200 school districts statewide.
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Albany Considers Options for New Middle School

Move a beloved elementary school to another neighborhood? Renovate a school that was recently converted to a middle school back into an elementary school?

These are just a few of the options that the Albany City School District board of education is weighing as it considers the difficult task of where to place a third and fourth middle school -- permanently.

The district already operates two permanent middle schools, but with limited space and a growing student body it was forced to open a temporary school this past fall at its old alternative programming site on North Lark Street. But that school alone won't be enough to accommodate a surge of more than 400 new middle-school-age students expected over the next few years, officials say.
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Sherman Students Safely Removed Before Bus Burns

 A longtime bus driver with the Sherman Central School District is being credited with safely removing students from a bus shortly before it erupted in flames Thursday morning.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred on Parker Road in the village of Mayville around 7:15 a.m. Mike Ginestre, Sherman school superintendent, said the bus driver, David Tenpas, noticed the vehicle’s brakes were experiencing problems and pulled over.

Twelve students were evacuated after smoke appeared in the bus.

“He noticed the brakes were running hot,” Ginestre told The Post-Journal. “He’s an experienced driver and did a very great job getting (the students off) and getting them safely to another bus.”
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Too Cool for School? How Districts Decide When to Close for
Extreme Cold

Cold temperatures led to school closings in some New York districts last week as with wind chills dipped well below zero. 

While it's sometimes easy to tell when snow fall will lead to a snow day, when they're talking about low temperatures, it's not so black and white. 

"Wind is tricky and it depends upon the geographic area, so one school district could have a lower wind chill than another," said West Genesee Superintendent Dr. Chris Brown. 

There are a number of factors to look at.

Brown explained, "It does come down to how many walkers you have, what are the other weather conditions? If there is a wind chill it means that there is wind, so is that causing snow to blow? Are the roads icier than normal? What are the police reporting in terms of accidents? How are the village and town plows doing?"
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Upcoming Events

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May 3-5, 2018 | Watkins Glen  

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Upcoming Events

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