December 5, 2018

SAVE THE DATE: Civil Service DOF Test Prep Webinar

SFA and SFMI will host a FREE webinar to help members prepare for the upcoming State Civil Service DOF test, to be given on January 5, 2019. Please save the date for the webinar:
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | 12 noon

Registration details will be emailed and posted on the website within the next few days!
Niagara Falls District Settles With Girl Hurt on Playground

A 9-year-old Niagara Falls girl, who broke her wrist 2 1/2 years ago on a school playground, will have $14,300 plus interest waiting for her when she turns 18.

The girl's mother last week accepted a $22,500 settlement offer from the Niagara Falls School District for a claim she filed over her daughter's injury. The $14,300 is what remains after legal fees and medical costs were deducted.

The mother's attorney, Paul K. Barr, filed paperwork in State Supreme Court  last week, asking a judge to ratify the settlement.

That paperwork asserted the girl, who was 7 years old at the time, was pushed off a set of monkey bars by a fellow pupil who previously had been accused of bullying her.

"I unequivocally deny there was any bullying," Niagara Falls School Superintendent Mark R. Laurrie said.
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Fulton Makes Strategic Planning Progress

As the Fulton City School District (FCSD) works through the planning of its Strategic Coherence Plan, administrators have aimed to share components of the preparation process, leading up to the plan’s unveiling later this school year.

FCSD administrators have worked alongside various stakeholders, both inside and outside of the school district, to carefully frame the five-year plan. District officials have decided to first share one of the most important pieces: understanding coherence.

Coherence pertains to people individually and collectively sharing an understanding of what it takes to develop a high-achieving school district. It requires making sense, sticking together and connecting. 

Coherence also requires consistency of purpose, practice and shared commitment to improve student achievement. When large numbers of people have a deep understanding of what needs to be done and see their part in achieving that purpose, powerful things can happen.
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Pine Bush Capital Improvements Go to Voters

Voters will decide the fate of a $76.7 million bond for capital projects at all seven Pine Bush schools on Thursday.

District officials say 76 percent of the money — $58.5 million — will address needs identified in the district’s most recent building conditions survey. That includes replacement of roofs, boilers, electrical systems, windows and ventilation systems, repaving parking lots and complying with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

“We’re playing catch-up with a lot of this,” said Superintendent Tim Mains.

The balance would pay for new things, including security vestibules at all seven schools.
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Cafeteria Controversy: Parents Lunching With Kids

The grade-school lunchroom has long acted as a microcosm of social life. It’s where kids choose whom to sit with, develop friendships, and resolve conflicts. And lunch is one of the few less-supervised periods in most kids’ school days. Over the past several years, however, some school cafeterias have become invaded by a new group: parents.

At some schools, swarms of parents wait in line to be escorted into the lunchrooms and sit with their children, some as old as 10, for a meal. One school district in Darien, Connecticut, found its cafeterias so inundated with parents that this week it announced an outright ban on parent-student lunches. 

As the number of parents joining their kids for a midday meal swells, schools have tried to be accommodating. Most schools value parent involvement, but at a certain point it can become disruptive. 

A middle-school teacher in Connecticut, who asked to be anonymous since she was not authorized to speak on the record, said that she doesn’t think parent-student lunches are a bad thing, but she has seen them cause issues in the past. “The parents would bring pizza for some students and not others. It became a little bit of a circus and I do remember feeling like it was disruptive instead of being just a sweet lunch between just the mom and the kid,” she said. 
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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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