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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label Schoharie Central School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schoharie Central School. Show all posts

C-R, Gilboa School Budgets Earn High Rankings, MCS Nears Fiscal Stress in Comptroller's Report

Written By Editor on 2/18/15 | 2/18/15

The state of the local school districts' budgets range from spotless to nearing troubled, according to the State Comptroller's office. The agency did a review of the deficit and debt loads of all towns, villages, and school districts in the county. The local villages had a similar range of issues in their report.

However, with declining enrollment, state aid cuts, and Common Core initiation the local school districts have a varied set of results. The state weighed various factors of fiscal stress in a rubric to establish an average score. The lower the percentage, the healthier the agency is.

Gilboa-Conesville: 0.0%
Cobleskill-Richmondville: 0.0%
Schoharie: 6.7%
Jefferson: 6.7%
Sharon Springs: 13.3%
Middleburgh: 20.0%

Two of the districts rated a spotless record. The only one that neared the Comptroller's Office's rating of 'susceptible fiscal stress' starting at 24.9% was the Middleburgh Central School District.

The audit also looked at the districts' last several years' budget deficits. Lower positive figures indicate a precise control of money while negative figures indicate deficits. Of the last three years, the districts operated at:

Cobleskill-Richmondville: 0.2%
Schoharie: 0.93%
Jefferson: 1.4%
Gilboa-Conesville: 1.8%
Sharon Springs: -1.63%
Middleburgh: -3.8%

Of all the schools surveyed, only Middleburgh was penalized for having deficits all three years. Its 2014 budget was heavily penalized for having a 4.4% deficit.

More information about all fiscal reports is published on the Comptroller's website.

Schoharie Leader 2014: Steve Hoard and the SCS Community

Written By Editor on 12/19/14 | 12/19/14

There have been few parts of Schoharie County that have weathered the last several years like Schoharie. The Schoharie Central School District has had more challenges than any other local organization since 2011.

Flooding damaged most of the school district. The school served as a major community center while Schoharie got back on its feet. The Schoharie Village offices were placed in the Elementary School as needed.

In 2013, beloved Elementary school teacher Rebecca Coughtry died unexpectedly at the age of 60. The school united around her contributions to the district and to her students. It seemed like more than any school district should ever have to bear.

This year was another set of challenges. A series of retirements began to change the long running administration of the school. However, the community has been resilient and knew that it had a base of teachers and staff that continued to serve the community with distinction.

Few, if any, of SCS's teachers was more distinguished than Steve Hoard. Mr. Hoard was at the district for 13 years and quickly became one of the most popular and well respected members of the faculty. His love of Star Wars, history, and of making sure that every student got a fair shot were just several of his positive attributes. For one year, he even served as the Assistant Principal when needed. He was always there to coach and advise, whether for Key Club, track, wrestling, or Student Government. His smiling face and sense of humor were second to none.

You will not find many teachers like Steve Hoard, and the school's loss will be a desperate one to fill. However, the resolve of the community and the SCS campus has shown that Steve Hoard was one of many that made Schoharie the strongest school in the County.

Please make a contribution to the Steven Hoard Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Schoharie CSD PO BOX 430 Schoharie, NY 12157.

Schoharie School Establishes Cooperation with Local Homeschoolers

Written By Cicero on 12/14/14 | 12/14/14

From the Schoharie Central School website.

One of the goals of the SCS Board of Education is to "increase the authentic engagement of ALL parents in the education of their children and reach out to ensure all students are advocated for and provided an opportunity to learn and thrive. We will establish an atmosphere of trust and teamwork and provide our families, faculty and staff with an increased 'voice' through open, honest two-way communication."
Consistent with that goal, Board of Education Member Maureen Bernhardt is now serving as a liaison between the district and parents of homeschooled children. In the voluntary, service-oriented role, Bernhardt seeks to be "a bridge for homeschoolers who want to become more involved in the district" or who are seeking information on various topics.
Bernhardt, who holds an associate's degree in early childhood education, is herself a parent of children who are both homeschooled and attend SCS schools. She hopes to tap her own experience and desire to become more involved in the district by helping other homeschooling parents.
"I have homeschooled my own children in the Schoharie School District for 15 years, and also have children who attend SCS," Bernhardt said. "The district has a very inclusive policy for homeschooled students, offering them many opportunities such as afterschool clubs, activities and intramural athletics.
"While State Education Law prevents homeschoolers from participating in interscholastic sports and credit-bearing activities, there are many extracurricular offerings open to all children in our district,” she noted. “This is just one area where homeschooling parents have had questions in the past."
Bernhardt may be reached via email at, and homeschooling parents may contact district administration for assistance at any time.

Schoharie Mourns Unexpected Death of Beloved Educator

Written By Editor on 11/4/14 | 11/4/14

From the Schoharie CSD website:

he Schoharie Central School District community is mourning the loss of dedicated educator and friend Steven Hoard, who passed away unexpectedly on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014.

Mr. Hoard, who taught 7th and 8th-grade Social Studies at Schoharie Jr./Sr. High School for 13 years, was beloved by staff, students and their families for his caring, enthusiasm and sense of humor. In addition to teaching, Mr. Hoard coached varsity track and wrestling at Schoharie, where he also had served as advisor to the High School Student Government Association and Key Club. He was also known for being an avid Star Wars fan.

The district’s crisis team met Monday night to plan how to best support students and staff, and steps are being taken to provide assistance and support during this difficult time. Grief counselors are available on campus to help the school community cope with the unexpected loss.

SCS is thankful for the support and assistance offered by the Board of Education, former staff, neighboring school districts, the Capital Region BOCES and the community.

Final arrangements for Mr. Hoard are pending.

Mr. Hoard was a resident of Berne who graduated from Mohonasen High School. He is survived by his wife, Nikki and son, Benjamin, and his mother and sister.

Student Escorted Off Schoharie Campus After Unidentified Threat

Written By Editor on 9/17/14 | 9/17/14

From the Schoharie Central School webpage:
A Schoharie High School student was escorted from school this morning, September 17, by the New York State Police regarding a threat made outside of school. At no time were students or staff at risk, and the school remains calm and safe. The safety of students and staff is paramount to Schoharie Central Schools and the New York State Police, and all threats are taken very seriously. The matter is being handled by the New York State Police and the student is not in school at this time. Questions or concerns may be directed to SCS Interim Superintendent Dr. Kathryn Gerbino or High School Principal Dr. Stacey DeLaney.

Video of Schoharie School Board Meeting

Written By Editor on 6/12/14 | 6/12/14

Schoharie Central School held its Board meeting last week, attracting dozens. Watch the video below.

County Residents Head to Polls to Decide School Budgets

Written By Editor on 5/20/14 | 5/20/14

Schoharie County residents will have the opportunity to vote in six local school board elections and decide the fate of several proposed budgets this afternoon into late evening. The following school by school rundown is a brief overview of each district and what voters are being asked to consider in their respective community.

Cobleskill-Richmondville (7am-9pm)

The CRCS Board of Education has proposed a $37,583,403 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of $1,012,750 or 2.77% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 2.36% hike in district taxes.

Three Board of Education candidates - Steven Philbrick, Susan Emerson Strasser and Bruce Tryon - are running unopposed for three seats.

Gilboa-Conesville (12pm-8pm)

The GCCS Board of Education has proposed a $10,112,980 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 2.43% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 1.99% rise in the district's tax levy.

Two Board of Education candidates - Greg Woodcock and Peter Fox - are running unopposed for two seats.

Jefferson (12pm-8pm)

The JCS Board of Education has proposed a $6,299,149 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 3.26% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 2.41% increase in district taxes. 

Two Board of Education candidates - David Lapinel and Laurel Bedford - are running unopposed for two seats.

Middleburgh (12pm-9pm)

The MCS Board of Education has proposed a $20,424,951 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 1.16% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 2.51% hike in district taxes.

One Board of Education candidate - Ernest Kuehl - is running unopposed for the lone seat.

Schoharie (9am-9pm)

The SCS Board of Education has proposed a $21,677,470 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 3.13% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 1.53% increase in district taxes.

Three Board of Education candidates - Maureen Bernhardt, Mark Quandt and James Bleau - are competing for two seats.

Sharon Springs (12pm-9pm)

The SSCS Board of Education has proposed a $8,885,268 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 0.7% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for no increase in district taxes. 

Schoharie School Band to March in Central Bridge, Esperance Memorial Day Parades

Written By Editor on 4/9/14 | 4/9/14

Months of brewing contention between two local communities and the Schoharie Central School District over the use of the school's marching band on Memorial Day weekend has been resolved, according to a press release issued by the school. 

Controversy was ignited last fall when the school dropped Central Bridge from their parade route, citing scheduling conflicts, and was further inflamed by the Esperance Fire Department when they uninvited the band in solidarity with their neighboring community. 

In a meeting held last week between representatives of all parties and Assemblyman Pete Lopez, who mediated the conflict, a compromise was agreed upon in-which the high school band will march in the Central Bridge parade and the elementary/junior varsity squad will do likewise in the Village of Esperance.

Praising the Schoharie Central School District's commitment to volunteer fire departments and emergency rescue squads to join in honoring this country's veterans, Assemblyman Lopez stated that he was "very pleased that his office could help bring everyone together to work through this." He would later add, "this is the right thing to do." 

Central Bridge Fire Chief Scott Johnson thanked all parties involved for coming together and reaching a compromise that will see Schoharie's youth participate in both communities Memorial Day parades, which will be held on Monday, May 26th. Superintendent Brian Sherman added that both bands have been practicing in anticipation. 

Scho-Burgh Tickets Available at Schoharie School Office

Written By Editor on 1/16/14 | 1/16/14

If you are getting excited about the Scho-Burgh game coming up between rivals Schoharie and Middleburgh, tickets are available before the game at the Schoharie High School office. Tickets are $2 for adults and $1 for students. T-shirts are also available for $15 each. You can pick up the tickets through tomorrow-- and they will be available at the door at SUNY Cobleskill.

Schoharie Central School District Overestimated Expenditures, Gaining $2.2 Million in Unexpected Surplus Since 2008

Written By Editor on 12/26/13 | 12/26/13

In an audit recently concluded by the Office of the New York State Comptroller's Division of Local Government and School Accountability, it was revealed that members of the Schoharie Central School Board had "adopted budgets with revenues that were realistic and supported, expenditures were consistently and significantly overestimated," while spending only $676,000 from the school's fund balance when projections had been much higher.

The result of which was nearly $8 million less was spent than was budgeted between the 2008-09 through 2012-13 school years, leaving the Schoharie Central School District with an overall surplus of $2.2 million even after appropriating "on average approximately $1.1 million of unexpected surplus funds each year - totaling more than $5.4 million over five years - to help finance the ensuing year's operations."
Although the Comptroller's Office found that District officials legally maintained the unexpended surplus fund balance in compliance with the statutory limit, they condemned the process of over-estimating expenditures and not appropriating fund balance as not transparent to taxpayers, who had their bills unnecessarily increased over the past half-decade to cover expenditures that would not be realized.

Recommendations included the following:

1. The Board and District officials should develop and adopt budgets that include realistic estimates for expenditures based on contractual and historical data.
2. The Board should discontinue the practice of adopting budgets with the appropriation of unexpended surplus funds that will not be used.
3. District officials should develop a plan to use surplus fund balance in a manner that benefits District taxpayers and provides appropriate transparency of the budget process with public disclosure. Appropriate uses of surplus funds could include, but are not limited to: • Funding necessary reserves,   • Paying off debt,   • Funding one-time expenditures, and  • Reducing District property taxes.
Superintendent Richard Sherman responded to the Comptroller's Office audit by stating school officials would "endeavor to systematically reduce the overall amount of retained fund balance in order to further ease the burden of taxes on our citizens, as long as we are able to realize our fair share of state aid, and as long as the tax certiorari case is decided favorably."
It remains to seen what effect the Comptroller's Office audit will have of the Schoharie Central School District's budgetary practices, which according to the audit include overestimated expenditures in the current budget year that will likely add to the school's ballooning surplus, but the dynamic has changed now that transparency has been introduced into the previously unknown situation.

Education Forum Tuesday at Schoharie Central

Written By Editor on 11/18/13 | 11/18/13

All are invited for an Education Forum at Schoharie Central School on Tuesday, November 19th at 4pm to discuss issues revolving around the field of education. Assemblyman Peter Lopez and Senator James Seward have assisted in setting up the event meant to bring in more perspective on modern teaching.

There is no formal format but much of the conversation will likely revolve around two upcoming bills in the State legislature regarding Truth in Testing and Common Core. There will be an opportunity for educators to speak about the issues and ask questions. These concerns in particular have grown since New York State became involved in Common Core.

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