February 7, 2018

Only Four Weeks Until the Classrooms of the Future Summit!

The Classrooms of the Future Summit is a one-day comprehensive program that provides New York State’s education professionals with the most timely information and resources to continue providing safe, healthy, energy efficient learning environments for students, teachers, administrators and the local community.

This year’s program is focused on how to prepare your facilities to monitor your energy usage to create efficiencies that will reduce costs and lessen you facilities’ carbon footprint. Our panel of energy experts will provide insight on the answers to these questions and provide immediate action items you can take back to your districts. In the afternoon, you will hear an update from the Office of Facilities Planning. A number of staff members will be attending the entire day giving you time to meet face-to-face.
Register Now
Additional Flexibility in Facilities Planning Outsourcing

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

Districts will be able to choose whether projects currently in the NYSED review queue that have received partial review by NYSED staff (architectural or engineering review), will be reviewed for an additional fee by third-party vendors retained by CiTi BOCES.
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Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning For Schools Course (G-364)
This two-and-a-half-day course provides school safety teams with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to refine or develop an all-hazards school Emergency Response Plan (ERP) that meets NYS regulatory mandates and to identify how to train and exercise the school ERP.

Participants will learn how to develop a multi-hazard ERP that engages the whole community. Using the newly mandated NYS Guide to School ERP, school team members will learn about the NYS Legislative and Regulatory Requirements, how to develop their Basic Plan, Annexes and how to build useful Appendices that can be used during a critical incident response.
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Valley Central Officials Make Another Push for Stoplight

The Valley Central School District in the Town of Montgomery, Orange County, is pushing hard to add a traffic light where the district’s high school meets the highway.

Last spring, the state Department of Transportation approved the district’s request for a stoplight on Route 17K, but the project hasn’t been scheduled and lacks state funding, Superintendent John Xanthis said.

The road poses a safety hazard for the 3,000 students and employees at the school, Xanthis said. He cited significant traffic, speeding and even cars trying to pass others stopped for students to cross.
There haven’t been any serious accidents at the crossing yet, but Xanthis believes it is only a matter of time.

The DOT’s first study did not find a need for a stoplight, said a spokesperson for Sen. Bill Larkin. But Larkin pushed for a second study -- done during the school’s arrival and dismissal times -- which confirmed the need.
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Remington ‘Not an Option’ as Temporary Middle School

Central Valley will not be taking back Remington School to house its middle school students for the next two years, based on the recommendation of Acting School Superintendent Jeremy Rich.

Rich recommended to the school board last month that the district enter into a five-year binding lease agreement with Herkimer BOCES with the option to buy Remington. A vote on the sale of the building to BOCES could be scheduled in the future.

School Board President Kelly Rowland said that when Rich took over as acting superintendent, community members had raised questions about the possibility of using Remington School when Jarvis School closes for two years for renovations as part of the capital project.

“Mr. Rich has spent the last couple of weeks researching and doing his due diligence on behalf of the board and community to get those questions answered,” she said in an email. “As a result, he was able to share that using Remington is not an option and we will look internally to house our students.”
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Budget Sign-On Letter Increase the Cost Threshold for Certain School Construction Projects

Assembly member Thiele is circulating a letter to get support from his colleagues to add the capital outlay language in the Assembly one-house budget bill.  Hinman will be assisting Assm. Thiele with getting signatures here in Albany, NY.

Currently set at $100,000, the threshold for reimbursement for capital outlay is too limiting and therefor significantly underutilized. As costs rise, it is advantageous to secure small projects in a timely fashion to avoid
inflationary costs.

 However, there are ways you can help too –
(1)   Call your Assembly member’s Albany office  http://nyassembly.gov/mem/ for telephone numbers
(2)   Ask him/her to sign the letter – feel free to email them a copy
(3)   Report back to Hinman who said YES!!!
(4)   Encourage Chapter Presidents to do the same!
Watertown’s New Bus Contract Raises Concerns

Dozens of community members filled the gymnasium of North Elementary School last week to express their concerns over the Watertown City School District’s new transportation contract.
The Board of Education voted unanimously on Jan. 2 to approve a five-year $15.9 million contract with First Student Transport, ending Watertown’s 50-year relationship with Freeman Bus Corp.

At last week’s meeting, the school board set aside 30 minutes for public comment on the issue, and more than a dozen attendees addressed the board members.

Many said they were concerned about the lack of personal attention and overall drop in quality that they believed could occur when transportation is left in the hands of a large company like First Student.
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Study: Few Low-Income Students Opting Out of Tests

Many of New York's poorest children are saying yes to the state English and math assessments, while students in schools in wealthier districts are opting out in far larger numbers.

Those are the findings of a study by High Achievement New York, a coalition of business, urban and community groups that advocates for rigorous standards and against opting out of state assessments.

The group examined the percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunches with the opt-out rate for the 2017 standardized tests. It found that in the state's 50 largest school districts, those with the highest percentage of students getting free and reduced lunches, had an average opt-out rate of 6 percent.

In comparison, districts with the fewest number of free and reduced lunches had an average opt-out rate 10 times higher, at more than 65 percent.
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Upcoming Events

NYSSFA Advocacy Day
March 6, 2018 | Albany

SFMI Critical Issues Summit
March 7, 2018 | Albany

NJSBGA/NSPMA Dual Conference
March 12-14, 2018 | Atlantic City, NJ

Leadership Weekend
May 3-5, 2018 | Watkins Glen  

NYSSFA Presentation at NYSASBO Conference
June 5, 2018 | Saratoga Springs

School Facilities Managers Conference and Expo

September 30-October 3, 2018 | Saratoga Springs

NYSSBA Conference
October 25-27, 2018 | New York City

NYS School Facilities Association
136 Everett Road | Albany, NY 12205
P 518.465.0563 l F 518.465.0579
www.nyssfa.com l info@nyssfa.com

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Association Headquarters
136 Everett Road
Albany, New York 12205
518.465.0563 phone
518.465.0579 fax
800.359.7242 toll free

Upcoming Events

March 5, 2019: Advocacy Day

March 6, 2019: Classrooms of the Future Summit

October 13-16, 2019: NYS School Facilities Managers' Annual Conference & Expo, Saratoga Springs, NY

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