May 2019 District Newsletter
5/03 K -12 Selected Art Show at Cortland Free Library
5/14 Early Dismissal for Students K-6, 12:30 p.m.
5/14 Public Budget Hearing & Meet the Candidates, 6:30 p.m.
5/21 Budget Vote, Various Locations, 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
5/21 Community Transition Committee Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
5/21 Board of Education Meeting, 9:00 p.m.
5/24 No School for Staff and Students
5/27 District Offices Closed for Memorial Day
Early Dismissal Dates
All K-6 students will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. on May 14 and June 21. This is AFTER all students have had their lunch. Our faculty and staff will be using this time to prepare for the transition to three elementary schools. Please reach out to the principal with any questions.
Budget Information
Each year, the school budget process becomes more and more difficult due to a number of factors that have affected the state, local, and national levels. Albany continues to shift the tax burden to the local level while federal support for public education is decreasing.

We began this budget process with an increase in health care costs, contractual obligations, and a large increase in out-of-district placements of students requiring specialized programming. As you are aware, the Board of Education made the difficult choice to close two elementary schools and move to grade centers in an effort to reduce and eventually eliminate our dependence on reserves. Reserves are similar to your own savings account and should be used sparingly as they are finite resources. As we reduced costs we remained mindful of student needs as we worked to control spending. We are, after all, here to educate children in the most fiscally responsible manner possible. 

The 2019-20 budget being proposed to the voters has a modest 2% increase in the tax levy with a 0% increase in the overall budget. This is after two years of 0% tax increase in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years and 1.2% last year. These increases are not enough to keep up with inflation or the spiraling costs mentioned above. The only option has been to reduce expenditures across the board. Over 70% of our costs involve employees. We were able to eliminate several positions through attrition by not back-filling retirements. This would not have been possible without re-configuring our elementary buildings and moving to grade centers. There were difficult choices that the board and our community considered to remain fiscally responsible and to provide a sound education in a fiscally responsible manner. Read more...
Library Updates for the Months of May and June
There has been so much going on in our libraries to prepare for our transition to three elementary buildings. The librarians have been weeding, reorganizing, and sharing books and resources. Due to the many changes that will happen beginning in early June, we are asking that all library materials be returned by Friday, May 31st.

During the month of June, the libraries will be in flux. Some of us will have shelving removed and furniture replaced. In addition, all of the libraries will be boxing up books to send out to accommodate our new grade level centers. We will still be seeing/teaching classes but instead of checking out books, the students will have the opportunity to select and keep discarded books that the District will no longer need. In addition to these oldies but goodies, the students will have access to a variety of E-books.

To access the E-book collections, students can log on to the District web site at . A list of the databases with access information will be available in each of the elementary libraries for students to take home as a reference.

TUMBLE BOOKS : There are many books in this collection along with activities that help with comprehension including games and puzzles that are related to the books.

OVERDRIVE : Once your student finds a book that he/she is interested in reading, click the book and it goes into the student’s book bag. It can be downloaded from there.

MyON : This database tracks your student’s reading and periodically gives a reading assessment to show his/her growth across time.

These E-book collections are available year-round to our students. Please encourage your child(ren) to use these excellent resources.

Please email or call your librarian if you or your student(s) have any questions regarding E-book access and/or summer reading opportunities. We are always happy to help!

Happy reading!
It is Not Too Early to Think About Summer Reading!
We would like to remind our students that summer is a great time to visit our local library and read!
High School Students Visit Costa Rica and Canada
Every two years, juniors and seniors who have studied French or Spanish have had the opportunity to travel abroad over April break. This year, fifteen students visited Québec City and Montréal in Canada and Costa Rica. Kelly Chapman, high school French teacher, and Matt Kinsella, high school Spanish teacher, spent over a year and a half planning for the 10 days the students would be spending outside of the country.

Mr. Kinsella said, “the foreign language trip is a great opportunity for students to experience things first hand that they have been learning about in their classes throughout high school. The trip gives them a chance to talk with native speakers and practice using the language as well as see the culture for themselves. It is the trip of a lifetime for the students and I am so glad that we are able to provide them with this opportunity.” Read more...
Kindergarten Registration
& Screening Dates
Steps to register your child:
  • Child must be 5 on or before December 1, 2019. Children who turn 6 before December 1, 2019 must attend school.
  • Parents are urged to call (607)-758-4106, prior to April 20, 2019, to make a registration/screening appointment and to receive a pre-registration packet.
  • All students must have an appointment prior to the school registration/screening dates listed below!

All screenings will take place at Barry Primary School
Dates for screenings:
  • Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Friday, June 28, 2019
  • Monday, July 1, 2019

May is Kindergarten Meet and Greet Month
We will host two meet and greets this month for parents  and  students to meet our staff and do some fun activities. You can choose to attend one of the following dates:

Dates:    May 13th  or  May 22nd
Location:  Barry Primary School
Time:      6:00 - 7:00 PM 

Please call 607-758-4130 to sign up for your evening of choice if you have not already done so. Ask to speak with Cheryl Loope.
"New" School Welcome Videos
In an effort to make the transition smoother for our students next year, the District Transition Committee came up with a plan to develop “welcome videos” with student tour guides, showing the students around their new schools. Teachers will use these videos to show their students around their "new" school. The videos can be accessed from the District website, under quick links, transition planning, then click videos.
Barry Primary
Smith Intermediate
Randall Middle
We are Hiring!
We are looking for a 10 month keyboard specialist! The application is due on May 3. The work days are the same as the students which means no night and weekends!The new entrant rate is $12.19 an hour.
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