December 01, 2015
Superintendent: Dr. L. Oliver Robinson
5 Chelsea Place, Clifton Park, NY 12065 • 518-881-0600
11/26/15-11/27/15 - Thanksgiving Recess - No School
12/24/15-1/1/16 - Winter Recess - No School
1/16/16 - Community Conversations, 9:30 am, Gowana Cafe.
1/18/16 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School
The Shen Inventors Program is holding a brief informational meeting for all elementary and middle school students and parents on Tuesday, 12/1 at 7pm in the Gowana cafeteria. Anyone interested in the program is welcome to attend.
Paving will be taking place on Shenendehowa's campus between November 30 - December 18 after 6 p.m. Please plan accordingly.
Pursuant to BOE 8460 policy and regulations, all foreign travel by student groups shall be postponed until the following Worldwide Travel Alert issued by the State Department for Americans traveling overseas is lifted: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/worldwide-travel-alert.html. The advisory expires on February 24, 2016. The district will continue to monitor the situation and make an informed decision.
Check out the Middle School Counselors
Please like the Middle School Counseling Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Shen-Middle-School-Counseling-1654780561473209/timeline
Follow the Middle School Counselors on twitter at https://twitter.com/ShenMSCounselor
The Shenendehowa Teachers Association
and the Shenendehowa Central School District have reached an
agreement on a four-year contract for the period of July 1,
2014 through June 30, 2018.
The agreement provides a 1.5% increase and incremental step increases for each of the four years. The district will realize cost savings through an increase in employee health insurance contributions from 13% to 15% by the end of the term and a 15% contribution for all new hires after January 2016. Additional incentives were provided for health insurance buyout, potentially saving the district a significant amount based on the number of employees making the selection. A notable change to the contract was the cleaning up of the salary schedule for coaches, providing greater equity between male and female sports, as well as between various levels (Varsity vs. JV).
The contract also provides clarification on the use of professional days, ensuring that time is maximized and focused on improvement efforts. It also stipulates time for before-school hall duty at the middle schools, ensuring the safe supervision of students.
The President of the STA, Megan DeLaRosa, stated, “This was a long and difficult negotiations process for both parties. We were able to remain professional and focus on long-term goals in reaching this agreement. In the end, we were able to craft an agreement that not only acknowledges teachers and related-service providers know what our students need, but also supports our continued growth as professionals. Coming to agreement ensures continuation and enhancement of the quality programs and services necessary for increased student achievements.”
Superintendent Dr. L. Oliver Robinson, stated, “Considering the fiscal times, it was important to settle a contract that is affordable and preserves quality teachers. The education landscape is in flux and we need to provide a sense of constancy and consistency for our teachers and students. Settling this contract does exactly that for the next several years.”
Shenendehowa is seeking sealed bid proposals for the purchase of surplus land behind the Shatekon Elementary School.
The 34.334 acres of vacant land is located between Moe Road and Maxwell Drive. The property is zoned TC3, allowing a variety of commercial and retail uses, with access from Moe Road and Southside Drive.
A formal Request for Proposals (RFP) is available by clicking here or by contacting the district's Finance and Operations office at 5 Chelsea Place, Clifton Park, NY 12065. The district’s criteria including qualifications, amount of purchase and compliance requirements are outlined in the RFP notice. All questions about the RFP should be directed to the Kathleen Wetmore-Chase in the Finance and Operations office at 518-881-0623.
Responses to the RFP must be received no later than 11 a.m., January 4, 2016 in the district's Finance and Operations office at 5 Chelsea Place, Clifton Park, NY 12065.
As legislators begin to prepare proposals for public education, the Shen BOE, district leadership, union leaders, and PTA Council prepared and distributed a position statement (Joint Advocacy Letter). Based on the idea that students and schools deserve to have proposals and laws that support and promote the provision of high quality educational opportunities, the priorities are outlined below:
Priority #1: Fairly and Fully Fund Public Schools-GEA, Foundation Aid and the Education Tax Credit
Priority #2: Repeal and Rewrite the APPR Law
Priority #3: Revamp Assessments to Align with High Quality Standards
High School students Jared Gentner,
Aniela Wilcenski and Braedon Williams, members of the Class
of 2016, have been identified as semifinalists in the
National Merit Scholarship competition.
These young people are among more than 16,000 semifinalists nationwide to earn this recognition. The next step in this process is for a semifinalist to fulfill requirements for advancement to finalist standing. This is a prerequisite for consideration for a Merit Scholarship award. Students must also have an outstanding high school academic record, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and submit SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance.
The following 15 Shenendehowa students
have been named Commended Students in the 2016 National
Merit Scholarship Program. These seniors were cited at a
ceremony at school and presented with a Certificate of
Commendation by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Commended students include: Bryan Brown, Jeong Yeon Cho, Matthew Cotroneo, Luther Gordon, Dietrich Hartman, Amy Luo, Iain Methe, Chen Qu, Kelly Quinn, Nicholas Roig, Paul Schuck Jr., Annelies Vanderveen, Sandra Wiedmann, Abigail Winslow and Ellen Yang
About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being honored for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarship awards to be offered next spring, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2016 National Merit Program by taking the 2014 PSAT/NMSQT Qualifying Test.
Shenendehowa Wrestling Booster club is
sponsoring the Shenendehowa Wrestling Club for all students
The program runs from December 7th through March 31st. See attached sheet for more information. Click here for more information and the registration form.
To all SHEN Softball candidates in grades 8 – 12: There will be a prospective player informational meeting on Monday, November 16th at 7pm in the HSE little theater. If you are interested in learning about the softball program and/or plan to try out in the spring please plan on attending. Additional information can be found at www.shensoftball.com.
The High School Drama Club is sponsoring a food drive to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Food donations will be accepted in the lobby outside the HS West auditorium during performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream on November 12-14.
The Shenendehowa High School Drama Club will present William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the High School West Auditorium on Thursday, November 12th at 7:00pm, Friday, November 13th at 7:00pm, and Saturday, November 14 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. Come be entertained and enjoy the hard work of over 50 students in the cast and crew! All tickets will be sold at the door, $10 General Admission. www.shendrama.com
On Friday, November 6th Shen High
School launched a partnership with “Got Your 6” which
means I’ve Got Your Back. Got Your 6 is a nationwide,
not-for-profit organization that works to normalize the
depictions of veterans on film and television to dispel
common myths about the veteran population. Got Your 6
ensures successful veteran reintegration and empowers
veterans to lead here at home. This is their first ever
partnership with a high school.
Shenendehowa High School has begun to integrate Got Your 6 research and materials into relevant classes.
Additionally, the school’s athletic
department will be supporting Got Your 6 through a variety
of events across the winter sports season. Got Your 6
Night for boys basketball will take place on December 22.
The athletics department is bringing awareness to this
campaign through special warm-up jerseys. The number on
the back of each jersey is 6, signifying our partnership
and our commitment to teamwork. Tickets will be pre-sold
and include a special Shenendehowa/ Got Your 6 t-shirt. A
portion of all proceeds for this event and others will be
donated to Got Your 6, to support this worthy cause.
Joining Shenendehowa to announce this partnership was the Got Your 6 team from Washington, DC: Kate Hoit, Janeen Wynn, Matt Mabe, and Julia Tivald.
Congratulations to senior Connor Olney
who is participating in the prestigious All-National Honor
Choir sponsored by the National Association for Music
Education (NAfME) in Nashville, TN. This year 673 students
were accepted into honor ensembles from 49 states and
On October 28, during the 2015 NAfME National In-Service Conference, Connor will join other exceptional young musicians in Nashville, Tennessee, to showcase their expert musicianship and perform a gala concert starting at 9:00am. The performance will take place on the world-famous Grand Ole Opry House stage, known for creating one-of-a-kind entertainment that’s been referred to as the “home of American music.”
High School to College Transition Information Night For Students & Parents on November 5, 2015 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in the Shen High School East Little Theater.
The following awards were announced at
the Northeastern Region PTA Presidents and Principals
Kathy Moran Okte Elementary - Cindi Zagorski Memorial Teacher of the Year Award
Sarah Lilholt, Shenendehowa High School - Youth Humanitarian Award In Memory of Stanley Marcus
Shane Cronin, Orenda Elementary School - 5th Grade Outstanding Youth Award
Maxwell Hoffman, Gowana Middle School - 8th Grade Outstanding Youth Award
Gowana Middle School PTA - Newsletter Award
Shen Athletics held its 7th annual Hall of Fame Induction and Dinner Ceremony at the Hilton Garden Inn in Clifton Park. Congratulations to the Class of 2015: (front row L to R) Laura Toole-Smith ’80, Bob Hill, Gene Gould (represented by his widow Joan Gould), Kelly Toole-Conte ‘81, (back row L to R) Norm Hayner ‘81, Ken Hayner ‘78, Dave Marra ‘84, Dr. Kirk Gleason, Dan Tebbano ‘99
After an extensive search, we are pleased to announce that Andrew Hills was appointed as the principal of Arongen Elementary School by the Board of Education last night. Most recently he has served as the principal at Tanglewood Elementary School in South Glens Falls. Previously, he taught social studies at Shenendehowa High School for four years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education/History from the SUNY College at Potsdam. He received a master’s degree in Education Administration and Policy Studies from the University at Albany and School Administrator and Supervisor Certification from New York State. He is scheduled to start on Monday, November 30.
Shenendehowa High School Mostly A Cappella and Chamber Choir present a concert version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers on Saturday October 17 at 7:30pm and Sunday October 18 at 2:00pm in the High School East Auditorium. Tickets are $10.00 for Adults and $5.00 for Students and will be available at the door. Proceeds from these performances will benefit the choral program at the High School. The cast of The Gondoliers are members of Chamber Choir and the chorus parts are performed by Mostly A Cappella. 
Ms. Gloria, Ms. Belinda, Ms. Mary, Ms.
Heather and Ms. Valerie are members of the SEATeam (Shen
Education Awareness Team). They are presenting bus safety
and anti-bullying messages to all K-5 students.
The transportation department hopes this sort of education will help reduce bullying; make students safer as they wait for, ride and exit the bus; encourage students to wear their seat belts; and reduce the number of bus referrals due to poor behavior.
Friday, Oct. 9, is the annual “Go Home
Early” evacuation drill. All students, K-12, will be
dismissed 15 minutes earlier than the normal dismissal time
and sent home with the following exceptions:
• Students who have athletic contests or practices will be dismissed to designated areas with their coaches and held there until the 15 minute emergency dismissal period ends. Coaches will inform athletes of the designated location.
• Y-Care students will be dismissed to their Y-Care provider.
The New York State Education Department requires all school districts to hold an annual "Go Home Early" drill to ensure that students and staff are prepared in case an emergency ever requires school grounds to be cleared and students to be transported home or to another location.
Shen’s Shining Stars Colorguard looking
for new members!! Colorguard is an activity that
incorporates performing with flags, sabers, and rifles.
Shen’s Shining Stars was created as an opportunity for
students in grades 6-12 who have a physical or intellectual
disability to take part in a unique activity that promotes
exercise, self-expression, and lasting friendships. The link
below is our own Shen Shining Stars performing last year
We are holding and information/clinic
night on Wednesday October 7th at 6:30-7:30pm in the Gowana
Gym. There will be a hands on clinic for students as well as
an informational meeting for parents. Stop by and see what a
great opportunity this is for the students at Shen!!
Please direct questions to: Scott Snell (Color Guard Director) at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or to Judi Weatherhead (HS Speech-Language Therapist) at: email@example.com
EXCITING NEWS!!!! New this Year: The guard will perform at the Times Union Center for halftime of the Harlem Globetrotters Basketball Game in addition to their regularly scheduled performances.
October 15th, 2015 (Thursday, 6:00pm) High School WEST
Parents of students learning English are invited to learn more about English as a New Language and meet the ENL teachers. Parents will learn information about the schools and will be able to have their questions answered. Light refreshments will be provided and child care will be available.
October 28th, 2015 (Wednesday 6:30 – 7:30pm) Skano Cafeteria
Kathleen Strangis, Academic
Administrator for ELA & Social Studies (grades K-5 )
“Social Studies directly equips students with the foundational knowledge and skills that are necessary to understand and ask important questions in a rapidly changing world.”
Homecoming T Shirts will be on sale to the public starting Tuesday, 9/29, through Thursday, 10/1, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm in the HS East Main Lobby. High school students can buy shirts during their lunch periods. All shirts are $8 and include admission to the game and a donation to SFA Senate and CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services.
The PSAT will be administrated on
Wednesday, October 14 during the school day to all
Shenendehowa students in grades 10 and 11. Administering the
test to 1,600 students on that day severely limits our
capacity to allow non-Shenendehowa students to participate.
However, in recognition of the fact that there will not be an alternative date for the PSAT test at Shen, the district is allocating 20 slots for Shenendehowa homeschooled students in grade 11 (only) on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students must inform the high school principal (phone number 881-0310) by Friday, September 25, of their intent to take the PSAT and must pick up a Student Guide Practice Book at the Counseling, College and Career Center.
Otherwise, homeschooled students can access the link below to search for schools in the region that are offering the test.
Friday night, Shen Varsity Football welcomed the Junior Plainsmen. The Cheerleaders, Colorguard and Shen Dance Team performed for a huge crowd at halftime. 
The Shen Dance Team is holding their first dance clinic on Sunday, September 20th from 12:00-3:00 in the Koda gym. All kindergarten through 5th graders are welcome. Please visit the Shen Dance Team’s website for more information.
The entire Shenendehowa community is
deeply saddened by the loss of Haley Birken, a junior at
Shenendehowa High School, who died after a brief illness.
She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
During the high school announcements, students were made aware of her passing and of the support available at the high school today and in subsequent days. We extend our deepest sympathy to the Birken family and all those who knew, loved and/or taught this very special young woman.
The High School Drama Club will hold auditions for their fall production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Saturday, September 12 at 10am at High School West. Sign-in will start at 9:30am in the lobby of the HSW Auditorium. All students currently in grades 9-12 are eligible to participate in the club. Please see www.shendrama.com if you would like to interview to join the crew or audition for the cast as there are forms that can be downloaded there and brought on Saturday. Email Mr. Lotano – firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Changes to Immunizations requirements
for 2015-2016 school year
With the start of the new school year, parents should be aware that there have been changes to the 2015-2016 immunization requirements for students entering school.
Among the changes are requirements that all children have their complete series of MMR, DTaP and polio immunizations prior to beginning the new school year. Previously, the final doses of each vaccine could be administered up until age 6. Parents should consult with their child’s physician regarding their immunization schedule. Documented proof of immunizations must be sent to the school nurse.
For more information on the immunization changes, requirements, and forms please contact your child’s school nurse.
The Shen Varsity Cheerleaders are holding a clinic for children grades K-8th on Sunday September 13th from 1-3pm at the Shatekon Gym. The children will also perform at halftime of the Friday September 18th home football game. Please contact Lauren Berger at Lauren.Berger4@gmail.com if you would like to sign your child up.
The Shen colorguard will be sponsoring a food drive for CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services on Friday evening September 11th at the home football game. We are looking for non-perishable items. Items can be dropped off that evening either outside of the choir room at High School East or at the entrance to the football stadium. This is a great way to support an outstanding organization right here in our own community!!! Thank you in advance for any donations brought that evening.
Congratulations to Tony Dzikas who was selected as the New York State Public High Athletic Association Basketball Coach of the Year for all classes. Tony is now in the running for the National HS Basketball Coach of the Year award presented by the National Federation of State High School Associations. A tremendous recognition for Tony and the Boys Basketball Program!
The Shenendehowa Athletic Department is
pleased to announce the 7th class for induction into the
Shenendehowa Athletic Hall of Fame. The Dinner and Induction
Ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 15th at the
Hilton Garden Inn in Clifton Park. Reservations for the
event can be made at:
Ken Hayner ‘78, Norm Hayner ‘81, Kelly Toole-Conte ‘81, Laura Toole-Smith ‘80, Dave Marra ‘84, Dan Tebbano ‘99, Coaches Bob Hill and Gene Gould (deceased, Lifetime Contribution Dr. Kirk Gleason
We are beginning the recruitment and
hiring process for the Arongen Elementary School Principal
Interested candidates are encouraged to apply through www.olasjobs.org no later than September 21st.
Additional information will be available on the Shen website, Human Resources page.
The Board of Education accepted the
resignation of Arongen Principal Ben Roberts with
appreciation for his work with the Arongen students, staff
Mr. Roberts has accepted a position as Elementary Principal in Long Island.
Robert Melia, assistant superintendent for data management and quality control, has been assigned acting Arongen principal effective September 1 until a new principal can be hired.
He will work with the Arongen community to provide the necessary day to day support. He will also be collaborating with Erika Ryan, Shatekon principal, to ensure a smooth opening.
Seven Shen schools were designated as Reward Schools by the NYS Department of Education and the Board of Regents: Gowana, Acadia, Chango, Karigon, Tesago, Okte and Skano. These schools are among those in NYS that have made the most progress or have the highest performance with no significant gaps in student achievement.
Shenendehowa High School is one of only four local schools to make Newsweek's top 500 public schools in the nation for college readiness, ranking 301: http://www.newsweek.com/high-schools/americas-top-schools-2014
We are pleased to announce that in addition to the mental health services provided by Shenendehowa staff, the district is collaborating with Saratoga Center for the Family to offer private mental health services in the school setting. Student Empowerment Services will be provided by a master-level, licensed clinician to improve access and availability of mental health services for our students in need.
Benefits include convenience for the family, decreased time out of the classroom and improved communication between therapist, school staff and the family to build student success in school, staying in school, avoid lengthy waiting lists, convenient treatment option
Student Empowerment Services at Shenendehowa is a 12-month program that will be begin in September 2015 and will be offered at Arongen/Shatekon Elementary School and Shenendehowa High School. To refer your child for individual mental health counseling please contact your child’s school counselor or contact the intake coordinator at Saratoga Center for the Family at 587-8008 ext 304.
Please see the attached flyer for more information or go to https://sites.google.com/a/shenschools.org/student-empowerment-services/
Congratulations to Elementary Librarians Liz Bailey, Susan Kirby-LeMon, and Kate Pierce who contributed to the book Think Tank Library.
Shenendehowa has earned the 2015 Kerr
Cup All-Sport Championship with a record winning margin, the
New York State Sportswriters Association announced. The Kerr
Cup All-Sport Championship is conducted by the New York
State Sportswriters Association. The competition awards
points to New York State Public High School Athletic
Association school teams based upon results in 15 boys and
13 girls state sports tournaments throughout the school
year. The school’s teams scored points in six boys and five
girls sports. Shenendehowa scored 57.17 points in the
seventh annual competition to easily beat Victor (Section 5,
44.5 points) and Bronxville (Section 1, 43.17 points) for
the Kerr Cup. The winning margin of 12.67 points eclipsed
the previous record margin of 4.16 points by Burnt
Hills-Ballston Lake in 2009. With 42.17 points, Shenendehowa
led the state in overall scoring for boys points, another
first for the program.
About the Kerr Cup
The New York State Sportswriters Association created the NYSSWA All-Sport Championship at the conclusion of the 2008-09 school year as a way to determine the most accomplished school athletic program in the state. It was renamed to the Kerr Cup in 2011 to honor Neil Kerr, the Syracuse newspaper reporter who helped found the NYSSWA in 1967. The competition is conducted among the 700 schools that belong to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, which is not affiliated with the NYSSWA. For more about the Kerr Cup, visit http://NewYorkSportswriters.org/asc
on the Internet. [ ]
Congratulations to Ken Hayner-78, Norm
Hayner-81, Dave Marra-84, Dan Tebbano-99, Kelly
Toole-Conte-81, Laura Toole-Smith-80, coaches Gene Gould and
Bob Hill, and Lifetime Contibution Award Winner Dr. Kirk
They will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame on October 15th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Clifton Park. Tickets on sale August 1. Go to our athletic page for more information.
According to Advanced Placement, 88.4% of Shen students scored a 3 or higher on their exams...3 is considered the threshold for college credit. The state average was 65.6% and the national average was 60.6. Since 2011, we have increased the number of students taking AP courses by 26.7% and the number of exams taken by Shen students has increased from 577 to 890 (35.2%) and we still saw an increase in achievement from 83.9 to 88.4% scoring 3 or higher on the exam.
The Shenendehowa school district has had a longstanding commitment to excellence, with 91% of our graduates pursuing college. The district is committed to do even more, with the goal of providing every child with the potential to attend college or post-secondary education. To the end, the district has partnered with College Board and Naviance to provide free test prep and test administration. 
The Suburban Council Athletic Association recently voted to restructure the modified- and freshman-level athletic teams for girls and boys soccer and softball beginning with the upcoming 2015-2016 school year. The Council’s intention was to help preserve lower-level athletic programs across the 16-school, athletic conference. Many area schools have experienced difficulty fielding freshman teams which has resulted in Shenendehowa facing opponents with teams comprised of primarily middle school students. While the decision to make these changes was not a Shenendehowa decision, we are part of Suburban Council and we comply with the decisions. 
School may be out for summer but things don't slow down at our transportation department! A group of 20 school bus drivers attended a state-mandated, 30-hour School Bus Driver Basic Course for new bus driverd who have been employed by the district but have not yet reached one year of service. It covers everything from knowing the bus, special education transportation, laws & regulations, student management, bus evacuations, leadership and more! Transportation is also busy with routing for the upcoming school year, finalizing summer school transportation, conducting basic Course for new drivers, training prospective drivers, and much, much more.
A number of school rankings were produced in the month of June. Shen results solidify our place as a high achieving and cost efficient organization are as follows:
• Shen ranked #7 out of 84 school districts, click here.
• Tesago ranked #1 out of the public elementary schools in the region. Chango ranked #5 and Skano ranked #15, click here.
• Acadia Middle School ranks #1 this year out of 92 public middle schools in the region, Koda ranks #6 and Gowana ranks #10, click here.
• Shenendehowa High School again ranked #9 out of 85 schools in the region. Shen High School also ranked #6 for graduation rate, click here.
• Shen ranked #3 in English test scores out of 84 school districts, click here.
• Shen ranked #6 in Science test scores out of 84 school districts, click here.
• Shen was rank #6 out of 481 Upstate School Districts for Cost Effectiveness, comparing classroom performance with school expenditures, click here.
• Shen is ranked #24 in the ranking of the 431 Upstate school districts spanning 48 counties, click here.
• Syracuse.com has created a database for schools that send the most students to college - Shen is at 91%, click here.
The High School Counseling, College & Career Center in High School East will be closed Monday, July 6th and Tuesday, July 7th for painting and maintenance. For assistance, Counseling Center will be re-located in the attendance office for those two days. Thanks.
The Transportation Department will be
switching to a “route number” only system. By switching to a
number only system we will be able to communicate routing
information to you at a much earlier date (beginning of
August, instead of towards the end of August). This also
allows us to deal with routing issues a lot earlier than we
currently do. The route number only system will be used at
all three program levels and we will no longer use the
picture system to identify which bus a child needs to ride.
Also, it will not matter what the bus number is that services your child’s bus stop, the route number will be the main identifier. The route number will be, as is currently the case, displayed in the second window on the passenger side of the bus.
We know change can be a challenge, but we are confident, with your help, this change can be implemented successfully. Please email at email@example.com should you have any questions related to school bus transportation.