Heard it through the grapevine: a place for you to nip those rumors about the district in the bud...

In an effort to improve communications the district has created this format to provide people with a place to get answers to questions and to address rumors and inaccurate information that sometimes circulate through the community.

NOT ALL QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED. It may take some time to get answers to certain questions.

For individual or private concerns, you should contact the school or district office by phone. We will not answer comments about specific individuals by name.

However, for issues that we think impact a number of people in the community, we will provide a response on this page for all to see. Please submit your comments and/or questions in the white box on the right. Questions will be posted on this page for a couple of days, then moved to an archive page or deleted.  Questions are e-mailed to the district's public information office. The PI Officer determines who could best answer the question and directs the question to that person. Once, the PIO receives the answer it is posted.

Please check the archive pages to see if a question on your topic has already been answered or to search the entire grapevine for previously asked questions, enter a keyword/topic below:

Custom Search

If your questions does not get answered it may be because it is in the archives. Check out the Grapevine Questions A-Z page and search topic areas.

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For some unknown reason, I am not receiving emails from SIS Messenger anymore. How can I receive these again without logging into the Parent Portal? Thank you!

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Roadrunner has a “rate limit” on the number of e-mail messages that look the same from the same sender. The number of parents in our SIS system with Roadrunner accounts exceeds that “rate limit” making delivery of messages inconsistent.
Shenendehowa’s IMS department has made a request to Roadrunner to increase the rate limit but there is no guarantee that the company will do so. We recommend that parents with Roadrunner accounts contact their provider with this issue.

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When are the tennis nets set up?

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As soon as the ice and snow is gone and the courts are accessible and safe for use.

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I was wondering if you could help me with my sons 4th grade math question. A carpenter has several boards of equal length. He cuts 3/5 of each board. After cutting the boards, the carpenter notices that he has enough pieces left over to make the same length as 4 of the original boards. How many boards did the carpenter start with?

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Sorry, I gave up trying  to help my kids with math in 3rd grade. Have your son ask his teacher.

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National Day of Silence is Friday April 11th. Will both high schools be participating as in years past?

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The high school principal has not been approached yet by GLASS who typically coordinates this.

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I was curious if shenendehowa sells plain lettermen jackets to students who are not really into sports but who are into supporting and wearing their schools colors with pride and honor.

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The school does not sell them, but several local stores sell them.

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Thank you for doing such an excellent job with ALL of these thousands a questions on SO many topics. I appreciate your professionalism in all of your answers. Can the hand dryers in the high schools be replaced, they barely blow out any air and they actually are costing the district more $ to run because of this. New ones would dry quicker and help keep our students healthier. Thanks!

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Thanks. We are looking into it.

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You seem annoyed regarding the questions about juniors parking, taking senior spaces, etc. What I don't think you understand is how frustrating it is when there are juniors "getting away" with driving to school when others have been told "no" by the school. To say that you hope "they will do the right thing" is ridiculous. I've seen monitors strolling the parking lot checking for permits. After being told that juniors are parking at the pool, and other locations, the monitors should stroll over there as well. They have the time, esp. now that the weather is nicer.

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We understand.

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Is HS graduation on a Thursday this year, not Friday?

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Yes, June 26.

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Would you consider posting the packets of scholarships that are in the counseling office that tells us what is required for each scholarship onto the website so we could access these from home?

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They are listed in the counseling newsletters posted on line: http://www.shenet.org/high/HS_Guidance/counselingcenternewsletters.html

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What gpa would a student need to have to be in the top 20%? My son is looking at colleges but can't tell his chances because many schools look at ranking.

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That varies from year to year. Rank is not THE determining factor for admissions, colleges look at GPA, strength of schedule, essay, recommendations, SAT scores, etc.

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As a senior, I am curious as to when final cumulative GPAs are calculated. Does at stop after the 1st semester or does it carry all year long?

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 Final cumulative GPA’s are calculated after final senior grades are completed. This information is what is sent as the final transcript information to colleges in the beginning of July.

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I have heard of sophomores getting class rankings from their counselors. Are these accurate? I thought that class rankings were only for seniors. Please help me clear up these rumors.

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While class rankings are in the system, they are unpublished and unofficial until the beginning of senior year.

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My daughter is a middle school student and has informed us that her English teacher provided her class with a Common Core practice assessment and considered it a test to her grade. I believe many parents would agree that this practice is proving that teachers are educating our students to focus on the state assessments and using non essential testing to grade our students. Who would be the appropriate contact to raise attention of this issue.

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Part of the problem is that all of these words are getting muddled together. Teachers have always used their own testing to determine if students understand and have mastered the material. This is not teaching to the test, it is teaching to the standards (currently called the Common Core) to assess effectiveness.

Standards-based education is not new. The  reform in the United States began with the publication of A Nation at Risk in 1983. Since then, the state and federal government have set, changed and updated the basic standards for schools every few years (under many different names--NCEE, ESEA, Compact for Learning, NCLB, Common Core).

Standardized testing has also been done for years to make sure school districts are preparing students to master the material (thus meeting these standards). The standardized tests have also been changed and updated every few years to match the changing standards. Each time this has occurred, school districts have seen a decrease in scores at first, but then the scores level out as the curriculum and pedagogy are adjusted.

The state tests at the gr. 3-8 level are important because they tell us if the district's curriculum and pedagogy needs to be adjusted to ensure students are on target for meeting the standards and more importantly for passing the Regents exams that are required for graduation. Think about it...it wouldn't make sense to have the first standardized test a student takes be the "high-stakes" Regents exams. These tests help students get used to standardized testing, helps the district identify areas for improvement and identifies students in need of extra help.

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I was just informed that questions sent via a school computer are automatically filtered out. Please tell me as to WHY that is possibly the best way to go about it? I'm sure you get many junk ones from school computers but you surely get just as many questions with serious intent sent by students during a lunch or study hall period. This is highly unreasonable as seeing it is not common knowledge that those questions get filtered out and kids get frustrated when they think their questions go unanswered while you answer the other ridiculous ones people send in

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Not true. In fact, approximately 80% of the questions we get and answer are sent from an internal IP address. However, many of the internal questions have already been answered like the 10-20 times a week we get asked why juniors are stealing senior parking spaces.

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When I wrote about the the Saratoga county sheriffs department. I was not referring to the DARE program. I was referring to information given last school year after the incident in Sandy Hook. We were told that the sheriffs would be coming to all schools, walking the halls, talking with teachers and students. Making everyone feel more comfortable and getting to know our local police force.

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After Sandy Hook, the Sheriff's Department sent deputies to the schools to introduce themselves to the building principals. At that time, they noted that they would increase their patrols on school property, which they have. The NYS Police have also drive through the campus on a regular basis.

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Can you tell me if the process and timeline for the HS National Honor Society is still spring junior year application and induction or has that changed? Thank you.

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No, it hasn't changed.

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I would like to know why there is no mention or photos congratulating the students who won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals for History Day. The students have been working on their projects and presentations since September. The winners are competing again in April for a chance to go to Washington. This seems to me to be much more prestigious than a sports trophy.

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Every achievement by a Shen student, whether academic, athletic or in the arts, is equally deserving of an announcement on our website. Instead of sending a grapevine disparaging the accomplishments of another group of students, you could just ask the teacher or coach of History Day to notify the webmaster because we post everything submitted by a staff member.

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Why is a student marked "unexcused" when late to school if he/she misses the bus? I am always on time to school, and the one time I am late to school, is because my bus arrived about 6 minutes early that day. I understand your policy says to be out at the bus stop 10 minutes before the pick-up time, however, when it is about 5 degrees outside, and the bus stop is on the other side of your neighborhood, sometimes this is an issue. I do not like that I am considered "un-excused" to being late for this reason.

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Because missing the bus is not an excused tardy/absence. http://www.shenet.org/DL_BOE/BOE_Policies/BOE7000policies/BOE7110R.htm

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I had to laugh while reading through recent grapevine comments and responses. One of the questions regarding taking Health class was answered "What is more important than your health" and the very next comment regarding salad bar at the HS was answered that "it is too labor intensive and not enough staff to set up the salad bar". Kind of contradicting yourself huh? Is health important or not?

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Salad is not the only healthy lunch option.

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I sent you two questions that were serious questions that I really needed to get information for, but they have gone unanswered. Yet you have the time to answer a question about grilled cheese, seriously? And don't tell me to look in your archives for my question because I find it highly unlikely that it is even in there and it is a waste of my time to go through all the questions to see if there is one somewhat similar and still relevant to the information I was seeking. There was not even a topic related to what I had questions on listed in the archives.

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What's your question?

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My son ia a Junior and has a 90 average for his 3 years. Approximately what percentile is he?

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Please contact your son's guidance counselor or we will get bombarded with follow up questions for 92, 78, 85, and on and on :)

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What classes receive weighted grades besides Honors and AP classes? Do college classes earn a multiplier?

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Please see board policy: http://www.shenet.org/DL_BOE/BOE_Policies/BOE7000policies/BOE7223.htm 

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i heard there is a hot tub in the teacher lounge, is this true?

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No.

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In response to a post on 3/26 in regards to School Policy on Vomiting. Each case is different. There are so many reasons for a student to vomit. My child suffers Migraines and if medication is not taken early enough, many times it leads to vomiting. It's non contagious and there is no reason for me to keep my child home the next day if they're back to normal.

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That is why it is a recommendation, not a policy. The school physician recommends that if your child is sick (vomiting, fever, etc.), you keep them home until they are symptom free for 24 hours.

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What happened to the Saratoga County Sheriffs Department program that was to be implemented in the school district? I was under the understanding that their presence would be in our schools on a regular basis.

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The DARE program was cut by the Sheriff's Department.

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Is it true there's no 8t grade semi this year? We are really looking forward to a tri building dance to meet other 8th graders before we go off to high school with Eachother..

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No.

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Just to clarify, there IS a policy from our school physician, Dr. Anthony Marinello with regard to vomiting. A child must be free of vomiting for 24 hours before returning to school! This policy is also in effect for diarrhea as well as temp 0f 100 or higher. (Must be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing meds before returning to school.) If any parent would like verification of this policy, please contact a Shen school nurse for a letter from Dr. Marinello.

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There are education laws set by the state and federal government and there are school district policies set by the Board of Education. There is no Board of Education policy. The school physician recommends that a child be free of illness for 24 hours before returning.

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This is in response to the question about juniors driving to school. So, as long as we don't park in the HSE parking lot, we can park elsewhere, right. You said monitors don't check other locations.

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Is it okay to steal something  if no one is watching? Most laws and rules in a civil society are followed based on your own personal honor code. We can only hope people do the honorable thing.

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Are there any area in high school east where you could work with little to no noise/disruptions?

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The library and study halls.

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Can you stop letting the juniors park in the parking lot? Our senior class is already over 700 kids, the last thing we need is a bunch of juniors stealing our parking spaces.

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Thanks for the feedback. Please let Mr. Chandler know which cars should not be parking in the lot. However, please note that some juniors are allowed to park there because of special circumstances.

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When do the COGAT test results with QUEST recommendations for next year come home?

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Parents will receive results via US mail by April 11, 2014.

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Will there be an English Honors 10th grade class offered anytime soon? It's quite strange how students choosing to take AP World as a 10th grader can only take English 10, since the only other option for a higher level class is World Culture/World Literature. I think there should be a more challenging class offered for students.

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We are considering an English 10 Honors option for the 2015-16 school year.

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This is in response to the question about juniors driving to school. So, as long as we don't park in the HSE parking lot, we can park elsewhere, right. You said monitors don't check other locations.

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No.

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I've heard about a theater camp in July. However I cannot find any information about it on the website.

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Shen Summer Adventures Musical Theatre Camp, http://shensummermusicals.weebly.co
Hairspray Jr. June 30- July 11
Into The Woods Jr. July 14-July 25
Ages 9-15
Registration is open now!

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Why is 9th grade honors global called 'honors' if it is actually the first half of AP? They use a college level textbook( The World And Its People AP Edition) yet the class is not weighted or even properly named. Why is this?

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Global History & Geography 9 Honors is called Honors because it is an Honors level course. While it may feel as difficult as the AP course – and use the same textbook as the AP World students will use in Grade 10 – the assignments are not at the AP level yet. For example, students are introduced to the skills of document-based essay writing at the AP level – but not expected to independently write DBQ essays. Since New York requires two units of credit in Global History, we are able to more gradually introduce students to the skills and the expectations of an AP course by developing an Honors-level course for grade 9 students.

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When is senior prom? And how much will tickets cost when they go on sale?

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The Senior Ball is May 31st. Ticket cost is to be determined as fundraising efforts continue.

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Is this the last year for IRISH FEST? Why would Shen discontinue this annual event, so loved by students?

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The course is being combined with others that will celebrate many cultures. Perhaps they will have a similar celebration.

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Does Koda have an 8th grade moving up or graduation ceremony? I've received no information.

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June 12 and invitations/information will go out in May

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Which day in April will both high schools be participating in The National Day of Silence?

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That has not yet been decided.

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Is it true that shen is doing a volleyball tournament over at east like they had the dodgeball tournament? If so can you give me information?

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There will be a volleyball tournament and the seniors are putting together the info for students.

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What are the guidelines for reporting middle school and high school absenses? When should the school notify parents? My child was absent for a day, but told the teachers in advance and asked for missing work in advance. The teachers did not notify the school office. I received a phone call at 3pm from the school office asking why my child was absent. If this absense was not planned and I expected my child to be in school but he/she was not, 3pm was very late to be calling the parent! While I understand school offices are busy, a child who is not in class for 1st period should be reported to the parents ASAP. Why is that not done?

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It is the parents/guardians responsibility to contact the school for absences, even planned ones. Perhaps the attendance office was very busy. They typically try to verify absences very early in the day.

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Where is the Junior Prom being held this year?

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Saratoga City Center.

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can a junior buy tickets to senior prom if they are going with a senior

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No.

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If my senior is enrolled in two English classes will she be practicing twice a day for graduation?

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She will be part of two presentations by the administration about graduation, but they may not be on the same day.

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Do you know when the shen summer adventure information will be posted? It seems like it is later than last year. Thanks!

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It is posted now.

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recently heard about the passing of an 11th grade boy at Shen, such very heart breaking news. I was told there was a moment of silence held for him at the high school, on Monday. Is this all this student gets to be honored and remembered? Not long ago the passing of the two Shen students basically shut down classes for days, and many other ways to remember them. This was great for them, but think this recent passing should be remembered in some of the same ways.. Is the school planning anything?

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The entire community grieves any time a young person passes away. Every situation is assessed by the school's crisis team and strategies to deal with it are determined based on the needs of the students and the families involved at that time.  It is important to note that all of the activities, including the candlelight ceremony, the memorial in the auditorium, as well as the fundraising efforts for the two students last year, were all initiated and organized by students, parents, and community members. The school simply supported these activities in order to help the community grieve and support our young people in their sorrow.

We typically do not make public announcements without reaching out to the family first. In this case, we were not able to reach the family, so we sent an SIS message to High School families only to let them know of the student's passing and that crisis counselors would be available to students to help through the grieving process.

The high school principal and counselors  met with members of the Math Team and History Day competition participants before homeroom, along with their advisors, since the student was an active and accomplished member of both groups.

A team of counselors and administrators visited each of his classes throughout the day to provide some additional support and guidance to students and staff.

The principal met with members of the Junior Class Council to discuss some ideas they have on how best to memorialize him as their classmate and friend. This will likely be done in a ceremony later this spring in the Memorial Garden when the weather is warmer and his family may be ready to participate.

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when will the 14-15 school year calendar be published? reservations for school hot vacation spots for school breaks are filling up quickly!

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It is posted now 2014-15 school-year calendar

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What is the policy for transparency for the various booster club income/expenditures? All these clubs put pressure on athletes and parents alike (membership in some booster clubs is MANDATORY as is participation in fundraising events!) Yet, there is such a secret about where the cash goes. If you have the nerve to ask its like you made a huge social gaff. Non profits have a reporting-does Shen have any requirements or oversight in place?

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All coaches have to provide financial records from booster club activities to the Athletic Director at their end of season meetings. If there is a concern over a particular booster club, please contact the Athletic Director.

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Why was the modified girls lacrosse coach permitted to cut the number of girls on the team to 19 or 20? And then make kids return to tryout the Monday after the majority of the team was picked. Modified teams should accept everyone unless the number is onerous. Both JV and Varsity seem to have 24-25 kids and last year's modified team had as many. This is just wrong. No one should cut kids at the modified level unless the number is too large to handle. I am disheartened the school permits this. We have lost sight of the value of sports and being on a team for the 7th and 8th graders in the quest to win. Why isn't the athletic director involved in this decision making-26 girls is not too many to have on a team especially as the 7th grade team only has 18 or so.No one should have been cut and shame on the coach that decided having a better modified team was more important than our kids self-confidence.

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At any level of interscholastic sports, including modified, areconcerned about the safety of all players. The athletic director is aware that cuts were made. Most schools in the Suburban Council have cut at the modified level in different sports for various reasons, including numbers and player safety.

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Can police pull someone over for speeding in the schools?

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Yes.

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It was brought to my attention that an elementary aide took 20 days off to work their other job. The board of ed approved this? I requested time off to care for an ailing family member and was denied.How is this possible when the CSEA contract forbids taking time off to work another job?

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We have no knowledge of this rumor. Please contact HR.

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do you like your job and is it possible to intern with you because you are the man

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Yes and thanks, I think.

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My daughter was told, as a junior, she could not drive to school. She has junior friends who are parking at various locations on campus (at the pool, HSW, elementary schools) getting away with it. Don't we have monitors checking cars. Rules should apply to everyone, don't you think.

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Yes. The rules should apply to everyone. No, we don’t have monitors checking the pool or the elementary schools.

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I've asked before why the gymnastics team got cut and I still want to know the answer

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It has been answered before, not enough schools had teams for competition.

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April is national grilled cheese month, so will the cafeterias be serving grilled cheese everyday that month?

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No.

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Is a high school health class required by the state or something because to me it just feels like a huge waste of time and money

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Yes, it is required. What is more important than one's health?

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So many high school students really enjoy the salad bar for a healthy and fresh lunch choice...I love that SO many choose that. Anyway, why can't it be offered at least 3-4 times per week instead of just once a week and sometimes, not even offered at all. Let's support our students in healthy food choices.

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Glad students like it. The salad bar is very labor intensive and we do not have the staff to support the salad bar everyday.

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Where is the "Grades" tab on the Parent Portal? It seems to just have disappeared.

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It is off while teachers enter grades. The schedule for this is on the login page when you use a computer…if you are using the app version for an Apple or Windows mobile device, you cannot see the schedule as it does not display that information.

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Are bus drivers allowed to smoke on the bus when there are no children on the bus? My children say their afternoon bus smells very strongly of smoke when they board in the afternoon.

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Smoking is not allowed on school property including school buses.

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I heard that for girls soccer tryouts, the coaches plan to take mostly 9th graders for the freshman team next year. I hope this is just an incorrect rumor. I would expect tryouts will be fair to all 8th and 9th graders. School sports teams should be based on skill, not grade level. If it is open to both grades, then neither grade should receive preferential treatment. These 8th graders have worked very hard to potentially make the freshman team. Can a coach choose to discriminate based on grade?

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The freshmen team is for freshmen (9th grade) students and 8th graders who have met the requirements of selection classification. We receive just as many complaints about the number of 8th graders who take spots on freshmen teams as well.

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Hi, could the district PLEASE get hand dryers that really work in the restrooms. I know it sounds silly, but being in several schools for various activities...no wonder our children are sick...the restrooms need updating and simple fix of new, working hand dryers, PLEASE. Thanks!!

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We will look into this.

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what is the school policy on children and vomiting? I heard there was a child who vomited IN class and was in class the NEXT day.

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We don't have a vomiting policy. However, our school physician recommends that a child be free of vomiting for 24 hours before returning to school.

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Saw another drug deal in the middle of the hallway at high school east, you would think Shen would do something at this point, but nope.

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Did you report it? See something, say something.

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What is the weighting for PAF and for SUNY language classes?

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The weighting is 1.03. SORRY, THIS WAS A MISTAKE...it is 1.06

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My password for the Google Drive account doesn't seem to allow me to sign in (my email is formatted correctly and I use the exact password which is used for my signing into the Shenendehowa computers). If you could perhaps provide instructions or correct any errors I may have assumed, I'd appreciate your time. Thank you in advance!

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To enable your Shenschools.org Google Apps account users must first login to a Windows PC on the school network and change their password (Ctrl + Alt + Del) . This will synchronize your new password with your Google Apps account. If that doesn't help please submit a helpdesk ticket including your username . Students can ask their teacher or librarian to submit a ticket for them.

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Does Shen purposely do something to slow down cellular networks on their campus? I ask this because whenever I am using data on the bus, the speed is fine, but once we enter the Shen campus, the connection becomes way too slow to be usable. If you are going to slow down people's cellular networks, you should at least make it so that the new Wifi in the school actually works, which as of right now, it does not.

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No, cell reception is adversely impacted by distance from cell towers and the physical construction of the buildings. More importantly, it is a violation of the Shenendehowa BYOD policy for students to use their cellular data plan while at school.
http://www.shenet.org/district/DITIC/byod/byodfaq.cfm

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why is the internet broken !!!? Can you fix it asap?

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If you submitted this grapevine, then the internet is not broken.

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I am wondering why the bloody, rated R version of "Macbeth" (Roman Polanski, director) was shown at the High School. From what I understand, this movie was shown to children with learning disabilities as well. Who in the world made this horrid decision? This movie contains nudity as well as graphic bloody scenes. What's next, "Game Of Thrones Popcorn Party?"

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We have no knowledge of that, contact Mr. Flynt at 881-0310, ext. 61415.

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What time is the high school dodgeball tournament at?

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5:30pm.

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Where tickets for Junior prom already sold this year? Is it true there 70 dollars?

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Not yet and yes, they are $70.

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My middle school grandchild says you do not buy tickets in advance for the MS tri-building musical Camp Rock. If this is not true, how do I buy them if I live out of state?

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We do advance tickets for families of cast members only. All other tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the show. In my experience, as long as they are there before the show starts at 7pm, there will be tickets available. I’d be nervous to make an exception, because then it will open the floodgates for other people requesting advance tickets.

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What happened to the wifi at High School West? When will students be able to access the network regularly?

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HS West was transitioned to the new wireless network. Instructions for connecting to the new wireless network can be found here: http://www.shenet.org/district/DITIC/byod/connect.cfm 

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For next year I got recommended to take algebra 1. I know some people who got recommended for algebra 1a. What is the difference between these two courses?

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Algebra 1 is the Algebra curriculum taught in one year; Algebra 1A is the first of a two year stretch course for students who need more time to learn the content.

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My Physics teacher told our class that we have to stay during the next two times that we have an off-lab period. Is he allowed to do this?

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Yes.

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I am curious if it is a state mandate or district decision to give the children a grade on their report card on their ability to sing on pitch. I have an elementary school student who loved chorus until she came home with a "2" on her report card in her ability to sing on pitch. I assumed that music teachers would foster a love of music instead of handing out grades based on innate talents. Is this part of the common core?

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The music portion of the report card is intended to inform parents of their child’s current level of specific skill demonstration. It is not connected to the common core nor it is a state requirement. Most importantly, it is not intended to dissuade any student from wanting to sing in chorus, rather it is a summation of current ability based on the teacher’s interpretation/assessment. If there is specific concern about the mark you should contact your child’s music teacher directly.

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Are students allowed to change instruments once they get to the middle school? My son is in orchestra this year in fifth grade and wants to switch to trumpet next year and was told he wouldn't be allowed to. Thank you for your help.

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In most cases, it is not recommended that students switch instruments.

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Why does the archive page have specific topics but not specific questions? I looked up healthy snacks and got a sex ed question instead.

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There are thousands of questions, so they are broken down by topic to make it easier to navigate.

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Very disappointed to see the lackluster support of the Girls Basketball Team. From the non-existent student section to the absence of anything online regarding their Section 2 win. It was quite an accomplishment for the team. I wish the school had done more to get the community out to support the girls!

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The results of that game were posted on Twitter that night and on the website/Facebook the next day.

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I want to thank the District for making the GRAPEVINE available to all. I know that there are several people who might not communicate their concerns in the most diplomatic way but there are more of us who find it very helpful. The person in charge of managing it is doing a fabulous job.

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Thanks, it is a collaborative effort.

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I understand parking is extremely limited in the elementary schools, but there are some serious issues going on in the Arongen parking lot when parents are picking up their kids after school. This past week alone I have seen the bus drivers struggle to pull out with out hitting cars that are illegally parked, not to mention parents driving past these buses while their stop signs are out, and handicapped spaces being used by cars not displaying appropriate handicap placards. It is the responsibility of the bus aides to remain on the buses for the children's safety, NOT be in the parking lot having to direct the buses so they can get out without getting in an accident. What will it take to get this changed?

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All good points, we have similar issues in all of our parking lots. Drivers...please follow the follow the rules for the safety of our children.

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Will the cafeteria ever serve lobster?? I just love me some shellfish.

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Never say never, but probably not.

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What college did you go to??

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Oneonta.

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Does Shen have a bus to go to the YMCA after school? If so, which route number?

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Yes. Several buses service the YMCA for daycare services. Call transportation office for details.

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Why does Shen NOT provide feedback on student report cards for Phys Ed, Art, Music, ELA and Computer Lab specials until the 4th grade? How are parents to know student progress in these classes for grades 1-3? Thank you.

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We will consider this feedback the next time we revise the primary level report card, thanks.

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When do seniors rehearse for graduation?

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In June during English classes.

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How many excused absences are permitted at the elementary and middle school levels before a note goes home?

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Please follow this link http://www.shenet.org/DL_BOE/BOE_Policies/BOE7000policies/BOE7110R.htm  for our attendance regulations.

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Hello! I understand there is an 8th Grade Dance in May, but find little about it on the Shen website. Would you be able to give me a bit of info? When is it? Where will it be held? Who is invited? What is the dress? Thanks so much

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May 2, 7 p.m. in the middle school green gym and it is for 8th grade Shen students only. It is a dressy event.

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I think this is really going to the extreme. Why can't 6-8th kids allowed to take water to the class. Apparently, they need a written permission to get their water bottles to the class.

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Middle schoolers are allowed to have water bottles.

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I have been to the high school many times and often I notice students flaunting around packs of cigarettes. I thought this school was a tobacco-free zone? Why isn't this rule being in forced? I don't want my children to pick up on this dangerous addiction.

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If you see someone with cigarettes, they should be reported. They are illegal on school grounds.

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Is it true that the requirements for Senior Privileges are being changed for next year's seniors? And if so, what are the changes?

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Not that we know of.

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Will there be an Honors English class for tenth graders next year who are taking AP World History?

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There will be a small number of students who will be admitted into Literary Decisions and this will count as the honors level of English 10. This will be a select group. Interested students should speak with their counselor. English 10 Honors will be offered in 2015-2016.

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WHEN WILL RESPECT DAY BE CONSIDERED RESCUDELED

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That has not been decided.

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I am curious about the counseling center in the high school and where their attention is being directed? My senior was told she should apply to an additional college ( a local community college) regardless of 1) whether she had any intention of going there, and 2) after being accepted to 2 choice schools? I feel that with everything that NEEDS to be completed by seniors to have the counselors encouraging them to apply to schools "just because" is ridiculous. Shouldn't our students and counselors be focusing on things that need to be done, not things that will beef up the numbers of Shen with college acceptances?

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The advice to apply to a community colleges is likely to have a back up plan in the event that life circumstances change. Admission to the community college does not impact "the numbers for Shen" if students have been accepted elsewhere. It was a recommendation and as with all suggestions this one may be taken or not.

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When will the board review and approve and publish the 2014-2015 school calendar?

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It is still under review.

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Do 10th graders get class ranks? If so, when and where can you get this information. Thank you!

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The high school administration and Counseling, College and Career Center have the internal rankings but they are not publicized until much later in a student's high school career.

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There's a kid on my son's school (HSE) that is going around saying he is in the Navy and wears Navy ranks. This is but only illegal but it is also disgusting... I tried to contract the principal but recieved no response. I hope that this can be fixed.

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The principal, Mr. Flynt, is not aware of any such individual. He also has not been contacted by anyone about the issue, but would certainly be interested in hearing more about this.

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What is the procedure for my child to Refuse taking the NYS State Tests?

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The Shenendehowa Central School District does not allow or condone students “opting-out” of taking assessments, local (district) or State assessments.

Specific to NYS assessments and in accordance with the federal requirements and Sections 100.3 and 100.4 of the Commissioner’s regulations, all students in public and charter schools in grades 3–8 must take all State assessments administered for their grade level. This includes students who were retained in these grades. There is no provision in statute or regulation allowing parents to opt their children out of state tests. Schools are required to assess students anytime they are in the school building during the test administration or the make-up administration window. The failure to comply with the requirements provided above will have a negative impact on a school or school district’s accountability, as all schools are required to have a 95% participation rate in State testing. It will also affect individual teachers’ ability to understand the needs of their students and use the information from tests to shape curriculum and plan accordingly.

Test taking is an important part of instruction and the educational programs here at Shenendehowa. Tests are considered part of a “course of study” under the authority of the Board of Education. The district fully endorses and supports the use of ability, achievement, diagnostic, readiness, interest and guidance tests as part of the total educational process to the degree to which tests help the District to serve its students.

There are numerous programmatic benefits of taking assessments, as well as possible detriments of not doing so. Testing provides an evaluation of content mastery and skills in various courses of study, and is used to shape future instruction. Assessment data (local and State) are critical to formulating a complete understanding of a student’s academic needs, such as Academic Intervention Services (AIS). Test results are also used in the determination of single subject or whole grade acceleration at the elementary level, such as the case with math. Further, assessments allow teachers to reflect on instructional practices.

If a student refuses to take an assessment, the student will be removed from the testing room so as to not create a distraction for other students. The student will be allowed to do school work in another location. However, a specific alternative activity may not be provided. The scoring implications will vary, but inevitably they are not positive for the student.

If a student has anxieties about testing, the district is willing to provide advisement or counseling support, as well as possibly look for more conducive ways to complete the respective assessment. We encourage parents to help prepare students to take assessments by sending reassuring messages, and taking simple steps such as ensuring a good night’s sleep and eating breakfast.

Teachers and students have worked hard to ensure proper preparation for the various assessments, and we want our students to do their very best, knowing that learning is a continuous cycle focused on improvement.

While we appreciate your advocacy on behalf of your child, we are unable to permit your child to opt-out of the assessments. Please know we will administer the assessments in the most comfortable manner possible.

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Could you tell me what time Shen will be graduating this year?

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1:30 pm on June 26, 2014 at SPAC.

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When is the spring middle school band concert

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Check the events calendar: http://www.shenet.org/events/index.asp

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I was trying to reach the archives to see if my question had already been answered but it said there was an error, and wouldn't open it up. Can someone please fix this problem?

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Which archive subject?

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I'm just curious why there isn't a traffic director by highschool east in the mornings like there is in the afternoons, I think it would be a good idea to consider in the future.

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They are stationed elsewhere.

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Why is that on days like today (snow is forecast to-get heaver thought out the day) Shen stays open and closes later then the rest of the area schools? Is it more important to receive the state/fed funding or watch out for the kids safety on days like today? Even if they are dismissed 1 hr early kids will be late getting home on bus because the buses will be slowed by traffic, slippy condition and general of roads. Wouldn't be better off to stay home and have a snow day? Shen only has used 1 snow day to date.

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State funding is not based on whether or not we use snow days. We have used two snow days to date.

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I often hear people speak how they cannot believe the way kids talk to adults. However, after seeing the comments and questions posted here I can understand why many kids speak the way they do and I give the District credit for continuing to respond to rude and curt posts.

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We encourage all adults to model how we want children to behave.

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My work vacation is always scheduled a year in advance. Can you estimate if 2015 graduation day? would it be the 3rd week or 4th week of June?

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That cannot be predicted at this point between the Regents determining the testing schedule and SPAC determining when we can use the facility.

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So I am picking up my daughter at HSE today during the snow storm early release and as you can imagine the traffic was crazy. Mr. Flynt was standing in the snow directing traffic so everyone got out in an orderly fashion. The guy is awesome. Thank you Mr. Flynt!!

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:)

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what is the goal of not closing the school when the conditions of the roads obviously dictate that they should? Today was one of those days, thus posing a risk to the students coming home at 3 when a half day was clearly the prudent call. Now an email was just sent that all of the buses are running late. Is it a badge of honor to not close when all other schools do?

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The goal is to provide instruction to students. No, it is not a badge of honor.

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Why do we pay a principal a six figure salary when all they do is transfer your complaint that occurs in his school to the department chairperson. They don't even bother to contact the parent they just transfer it to the department chairperson handle it. Bothers us that he can't even pick up the phone to contact us, he has to have someone else handle to his dirty work.

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Different administrators have different responsibilities. It is proper protocol for the principal to put you in touch with the administrator who can best help you.

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I think it's interesting about the favoritism going on in the Shen athletics community through coaches. Maybe you should look that over

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You should contact the athletic director with specifics.

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Why is the athletic trainer never in his office when he says he will be? I have several injuries which require attention but am unable to receive care because he is not doing his job. I have heard multiple other people say they have the same problem. This needs to change

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The athletic training room is open every day by the end of fourth period. Students are able to see him between periods 5 through 9 for injury evaluations and treatments. After school hours are spent covering the many athletic practices and games that occur each day.  Students wishing to be seen during the day should have a study hall monitor call in advance or students can also request an appointment time to ensure that he will be available. Contact information can be found on the athletic page of the district website.

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How many tickets for graduation does each senior get?

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No tickets are necessary for graduation.

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Just curious...the commision from the soda machines in the faculty/staff rooms...what is it used for? Thank you.

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The money is deposited into individual building-level association accounts. The association members in the building determine how the money will be spent.

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Spring courses begin the wk of March 17 & brochures will be mailed to residents within the next week; online by the first wk of March. You couldn't have spelled out "week". Isn't this supposed to be a model?

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Sorry.

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how many students are in the 2014 class?

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As of today 716.

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Why are students in HSE not allowed to use the new touch screen computers in the library after school? They are much faster and allow us students to be more efficient in our work. We are allowed to use the computers in the lab but these are very old and slow.

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Computers are always available to students after school. The location of those computers varies based on staffing for that day. Computers in the labs are only 3 years old and operate at the same speed on the network. Please don’t be shy and talk directly to Mr. Davidson with any questions you may have about library policies or procedures- he will be happy to talk to you.

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When is LOTE fest?

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Thursday, March 20.

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Please clarify the color printing rules to the teachers and students. Some require a project to be printed in color but not allow a student to do so in school. We do not have a color printer at home and my children had to find ways to get around the color printing restrictions.

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At the high school if a color copy is required, the student should speak with Ms. Fazio in the library for permission to print in color. We try to limit the amount of color printing due to cost concerns.

At the middle school, it was decided years ago that students could print in color only if required by a teacher (in which case the teacher completes an authorization form) due to high use (and expense) of color ink,

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My son has been having a hall monitor really getting on him. He feels it is bullying at this point. He is not a "trouble maker" and obeying all the school rules. Who do I talk a High School East to get this fixed?

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Mr. Flynt or Mrs. Drago who supervises the monitors.

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It's a little thing. In the HS announcements online each day (which is a GREAT service...thank you!) the headings like "Class of 2014 Seniors", "Class of 2015 Juniors" are centered to make it easier to read. Except the "Class of 2015-Juniors" is not centered...and hasn't been for over a year. Could it please be centered to make it a bit easier to quickly find my class news? Thanks!!

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We will work on it.

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Shen needs a better system for calling subs. The lady is really unfriendly. I suggest doing an automated system like troy, or getting a nicer lady.

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We have two sub callers for teacher subs and they have worked for the district for several years. If there is a specific concern, contact the office of human resources.

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Can you take driver's ed in the summer if you graduated that year?

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No.

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I picked my child up an hour early on Thursday, February 13 due to the horrific road conditions. I have seen it posted on here about the fact that parents reserve the right to do so in case they are not comfortable with the superintendents decisions regarding the weather/road conditions. I followed proper procedure. Why then, was he issued an unexcused absence for the last period he missed?

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The reason why you picked up your child doesn’t negate the fact that he missed the period. Parents have a right to sign their child out of school early, for a variety of reasons...some are excused and some are unexcused. Signing out because you think the roads are unsafe is unexcused.

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I attended the Winter guard competition in Albany this past weekend and think all of the guards did a wonderful job! There were two things that bothered me however and I would like some clarification. First, one of the coach's young daughter participated with one of the younger guards. I have asked many times if my younger child would be able to participate and was told the program was not open to her. Why is it open to the coach's daughter? My second concern is with the oldest guard. I noticed that there was a girl who graduated last year particpating. Does the guard have an open door policy when it comes to alumni or is this just more favoritism?

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In regards to the younger daughter of the coach participating, there was a need to have more equipment time so the guard would not be penalized so the daughter was added for the 11 seconds that she performs in the show. This solution has been utilized before in order to have the least impact on all of the other performers. If you have concerns please address them with the director. In regards to the alumnus who performed. A current student in the guard was in Italy for a school trip so the alumnus filled the spot for the one and only show so the show did not have to be rewritten for the one performance.

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Any ASL (American Sign Language) options for LOTE?

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We do not offer ASL. The languages offered at Shen are Chinese, French, German, Latin and Spanish.

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Please review the parents rights on entering the elementary schools and going to classrooms. Having made arrangements ahead of time by email with a child's teacher to delivery a school project or a birthday treat to the classroom, I inevitably get stopped by the school office and they won't let me walk to the child's classroom before the bell, even when arrangements have been made with the teacher. Is there ANY time that is acceptable to help a child to their classroom when they have too many thing to carry on their own.

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It is a common expectation that all Shenendehowa schools provide a welcoming and inviting atmosphere to our parents and visitors. Each school has specific safety protocols that require visitors to sign into the office. Each school will also have specific building wide protocols that have been established to assist students and parents when dropping items off. These protocols are established to create a positive and safe school environment that also limits disruptions to the educational process during the school day. Please check with the building principal to see what the appropriate process is in your child’s school.

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I am the mother of 2 Chango students and am extremely concerned with the proposed roundabouts that are being planned for Exit 11. One of those roundabouts will be on the Chango Drive intersection. So many of our children ride their bikes or walk to school. I would never let my child cross a roundabout...it is way too dangerous. To make things worse, the roundabouts they are planning are sub-standard and non-conforming. How can we allow this so close to our school? Can Shenendehowa please help the parents who are fighting for our children's safety.

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The district has reviewed the various studies related to the safety of the roundabouts and found no concrete reason to file an objection. It does not impede bus transportation and it has minimal impact, if any, on students who occasionally walk to school. Clearly, the safety of students is of great importance and the district will continue to monitor the situation.

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im concerned about my daughter needed summer school this year. When does it start and for how long? thanks

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Those details have not been finalized but summer school is typically for 6 weeks beginning after July 4.

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My daughter is currently a sixth grader in 7/8 math. What class would she take next year if she continues to succeed in this class?

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Math 8/Algebra

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Ill start by saying, please don't direct me to the BOE policy for an answer. It's very vague and I've heard different things from people, So here goes....how is the medal awarded at graduation for a 95 or above for each quarter of HS calculated for honors and AP students that don't receive the 95 quarter grade but if it was weighted would be a 97 quarter grade? And what about the Shen letter awards? is the weighted averaged considered for that? Please just answer the questions straightforwardly without directing me somewhere. Thank you for your time.

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Awards given at Shen include the weighting of averages.

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I'm curious to know when Shen will know and release the HS regents testing schedule for June? Thanks!

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It is located on the NYS Education Department website: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/schedules/

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At what time does the high school building for students to come in? I have to bring in a project soon and can only get there at 6:45 ish

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They typically are opened by 6:30am.

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Is the school really hosting a 50/50 raffle? In New York it is illegal for people under 18 to participate in or assist in the conduct of a raffle.

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We are unaware of such a raffle in school.

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There is a coach who is working with your student athletes during the fall, winter and spring seasons, however he only seems to be approved by the board of education for the spring season. He is listed on one of the team's website as a 3rd year coach but doesn't seem to appear on any of the minutes. Is this allowed?

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The coach holds a valid coaching license and works in a non-paid capacity in two sports.

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I wanted to respond to the January 21st comment about a teacher holding a concert the same night as ski club. First of all, ski club is extra curricular, and band or chorus is a class that students signed up for a long time before ski club. Also, I spoke with the teacher, and it is NOT true that the student would receive a failing grade if they didn't attend. He/she gave my son a make-up assignment to complete. Just wanted to clear up this issue, and support our wonderful music teachers at the middle school!

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Thanks.

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I drive my 9th grade student to school each day and it appears that I am one of the few parents who follow the drop off procedures of using the designated drop off locations. Each morning there are many parents who are driving up "close" to the circle or drop off at the Café entrance. I find it extremely inconsiderate as well as a traffic hazard. There are cars going in every direction. If you are driving your 9th grade student to school, please respect the designated drop off areas. They have been set up for a reason.

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True.

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Why was Irish Lit cut from the High School Program of Studies?

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Irish Lit will be included in a new course that is being developed.

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Where do we find the yearbook form online for the personal yearbook?

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Go to the high school extra curricular page and you will find a link for the yearbook club.

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Can you please tell me what sports (male) have modified teams for 8th graders besides football? i cannot seem to locate this information.

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Modified Football, Modified Wrestling, Modified Lacrosse, Modified Cross Country and Modified Track and Field

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How come the buses don't have to follow traffic rules on campus? They never stop at stop signs, and everyone has to wait for them to leave before they can leave, we want to get home too!!

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They do.

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Not a complaint, just a comment. As an attendee at the Shenendehowa Winterguard Home Show on 1/25, I, along with the majority of people in the audience were moved to tears with the performance of the Shenendehow Shining Stars. The active participants, their student helpers and the student director should be beyond proud. Congratulations.

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It is a great program.

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Will schools be closed before the storm in case of bad weather ( as have other schools prematurely closing) due to the storm coming up tonight. I would not like to risk my little Johnny's life in teh event of a bad snowstorm when there are many accidents. Thank You

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We don't close based on forecasts.

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 How to be included in the SMS loop for school closure or delayed?

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Follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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Do you need a learners permit before taking drivers ed?

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Yes

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Where can you get more information about the free yoga offered in Shen ?

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There isn't any that we know of.

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There is this very rude lady at my child's school. He is an eighth grader in Acadia and takes that hallway to get to his classes from lunch. She always comes out of her ISS room, he says, and asks him where he is going and does he have a pass and what he is doing in the hallways. She is very rude about it in the process as well. She is an older lady, as my son stated. I don't know how this can be fixed, but it needs to be fixed soon.

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The only time a staff member would be asking a student where they are going and for a pass is when a student is in the halls after the bell for the start of the next class. This is what the adults in all buildings have been trained to do.

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Why is it that in Acadia they are now collecting phones that middle schoolers use during lunch. What is the harm of using phones during a non work period, times are changing and school needs to change with them

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The school is changing in terms of how we allow personal technology but when we have a student using a phone inappropriately they are usually warned to put it away – the next step is to take the phone and the student can pick it up at the end of the day in the Main Office and if inappropriate phone use happens again – then a parent needs to come in for the phone.

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PLEASE consider never allowing the lunch people to serve that square pizza nonsense again. For four days this week we were served pizza that was of poorer quality (and that's saying something considering the prices). Thank you for correcting this egregious error

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Your request will be considered.

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Just to clarify something that was said at a BOE meeting over the last few months. Are BOE members mandated reporters for suspected child/adult abuse. It might be helpful to the school and community if the county/state abuse reporting hotline numbers for suspected child/adult abuse were posted to the health and safety section of the shenet website.

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Please refer to BOE Policy 7530 located on the District’s website under BOE. The policy, regulation and all related forms clearly define who is a mandated and what the process is for reporting.

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Is it true that high school students can take their health class in summer school for their health credit. If so what year can they?

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Yes, it is true. You can take summer school health if you are going to be a Junior.

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Is there a basketball camp at Karigon during the February Break? If so how can I find out more information? Thank you

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 Fast Break Camp, contact dzicanth@shenet.org

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I am a senior and I was wondering if I would still be able to get a parking permit this late in the year and if so, where could I go to get one?

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Yes. Please see Mr. Chandler.

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Is it too late to drop an elective i am really not enjoying?

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Yes.

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About what percent of the Shen High School students take Regents exams in January? Does NY state require Shen to have 4 days off for January Regents or does Shen choose to do so?

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Since we have a large testing program that includes Regents, final and mid-term exams, we choose to take the 4 days that the New York State Education Department allows us to use for testing.

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When is high school east next blood drive?

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Tuesday May 6th

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What are the odds of Shen changing their school colors in time for the graduation of the class of 2017? I really hate this mucus green color. I recommend white and a nice royal blue.

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Zero to none

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The link on your Continuing Education page says that "The online version of the spring brochure and registration form can be found by going to: www.shenet.org/district/CommunityServices/CommunityEducation.cfm" but it only goes to the old fall brochure. When will this be updated for the spring courses??

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Spring courses begin the wk of March 17 & brochures will be mailed to residents within the next week; online by the first wk of March.

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Do the elementary schools have disciplinary aides?

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Yes

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How about having each school principal take turns answering questions here instead of this Public Information Officer? You might get better answers....

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Any questions asked about a school are answered by the principal. If it weren't for the public information officer there would be no grapevine.

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Where is the Junior Prom being held & when is it again?

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May 10th at the Saratoga City Center.

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Is it true that a gun was brought to HSE?

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No.

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Is there respect day at shen this year?

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The assemblies scheduled for today has been postponed.

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Is Advanced Economics weighted?

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Yes, by 1.03.

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does the school really have 4 million dollars just chillin in a bank account, why cant wee invest that into the schools?

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That would be nice, however, it is not the case. The state allows school districts to carry fund balances to cover unanticipated expenses that may occur during a year.

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I was just wondering if all the tech implementation that exists now in the school is as far as they plan to go with byod. Because if it is, then they have failed horribly at making any changes to actually improve the students education and really failed to make many changes at all.

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Upon the completion of wireless access in all school buildings, the district can be more assertive in the use of BYOD and other technology.

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Why is it that in Acadia they are now collecting phones that middle schoolers use during lunch. What is the harm of using phones during a non work period, times are changing and school needs to change with them

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According to the policy for BYOD: Students will be permitted to use their personal devices in class for instructional purposes. The devices won't be used every hour or in every class. Teachers in collaboration with administrators, make the final decision for any tools used in the classroom or school and should communicate their expectations to students and parents. Students will be permitted to use their devices for the purpose of:
•research
•collaboration
•accessing filtered websites
•tracking classroom assignments
•monitoring the Infinite Campus portal
•and other approved instructional activities

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Why does Shen have bus drivers that are always late? I've talked to my friends and some of them said that their bus is CONSTANTLY 5-10 minutes late

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More than likely it is not the bus driver who is late, it's the students who are running to the bus.

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I like many things about Shen, but one thing that I absolutely cannot stand is the chain of command you have to go through to print a little colored paper!!!! and don't try to use the excuse that "we are on a budget" that's absolutely ridiculous seeing as its raised every year. Im sure shen can afford to buy colored ink. This chain of command is absurd. The printers are there to be used, not to sit and be an expensive paperweight.

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The restrictions on color printing does yield significant savings that allows for other uses of budget dollars. In fact, the district is effectively moving towards electronic documents to significantly cut back on printing altogether.

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: I love how only girls are called out on the dress code. Maybe monitors should start to look out for boys low riding and their tank tops!! That show the pecs and the muscles!! It's a double standard. I didn't realize Shen doesn't support equality.

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All students should be appropriately dressed.

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Will the high school get rid of class rank in the future?

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There are no plans to do so.

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Please post a link to the IPAC Pathways presentation from the January 14 BOE meeting. Thank you!

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The pathway documents presented were drafts. They are currently being developed into a web document that will be published soon.

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Why don't you answer my questions?

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Can't say without knowing what your question is.

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As a parent of two teenage girls, I believe the majority of the female students do their best to adhere to the school dress code. I do not believe we should be consistently degrading these girls about what they are wearing. Aren't there enough issues girls have to deal with through out their teenage years? Why do we never hear about issues with male students and their wardrobe? Constantly complaining about these girls/dress code is degrading and doesn't build their confidence. How about encouraging and rewarding their academic or athletic pursuits. To me this is an issue with how the writer of these complaints, views(literally) girls and women.

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The majority of our students follow the rules.

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How often is this updated? I like reading dumb questions. It hasn't been updated in like a week.

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It varies.

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My child said that all his teachers were talking about Justin Bieber's arrest. This is not what I send my kid to school for!

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Pop culture will inevitably enter into casual conversations during the school day.

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Why doesn't the swim team get recognized for its hard word? It is consistently one of the best teams in the state, but no one even knows it

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Talk to the coach and request that he submit items for recognition.

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There is this very rude lady at my child's school. He is an eighth grader in Acadia and takes that hallway to get to his classes from lunch. She always comes out of her ISS room, he says, and asks him where he is going and does he have a pass and what he is doing in the hallways. She is very rude about it in the process as well. She is an older lady, as my son stated. I don't know how this can be fixed, but it needs to be fixed soon.

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The only time a staff member would be asking a student where they are going and for a pass is when a student is in the halls after the bell for the start of the next class. This is what the adults in all buildings have been trained to do.

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You stated that to your knowledge, Shen has never closed due to sub- zero temps. However, I distinctly remember that happening once when my older children were at Shen. Just FYI!

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Thanks, but that was more because we couldn't get enough buses in the fleet started.

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Can someone please explain why it is that students in the Life Skills classroom are banned from selling their homemade confections outside of the cafeteria during lunch time? Rumor has it they would be in direct competition with the cafeteria food service but there needs to be something in place to be in competition with and homemade baked goods is not the main function of the school food service! First and foremost, the Life Skills class is filled with students who under close adult supervision have learned a skill of baking marketable confections that can't be purchased in a lunch line because the cafeteria's job is serving lunch, government controlled at that. Second, this is a valuable math lesson and a social interaction between ALL the building students and their peers in the Life Skills class with whom on any other given day wouldn't or don't have the ability to interact in such a manner. This class has a captive market if given the chance to sell their goods at tables in the lobby during lunch periods but instead have been banished to the lobby for the first 3 classes of the day (like a teacher is really going to let a kid out of class to buy something)! So we ask, why can other groups set up to solicit and sell (and at times there edible items involved) when all this class is trying to do is raise funds to offset a trip or program and get to meet and interact with their fellow classmates? On behalf of many, we ask that this decision is reversed and that ALL students are treated the same and let the BAKE SALE take place in the lobby during lunch time.

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Bake sales cannot compete with the food service. However, if someone associated with the Life Skills program makes an alternative proposal, it would be considered.

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What is Shens wifi password for in the middle school? Or where can one obtain this information? Thank you

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Those with personal devices should connect to SHEN-INTERNET. This is a filtered, unsecure network (no password) that anyone can connect to. After connecting users must open their browser and accept the terms of use on the splash screen.

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PLEASE consider removing the tv on the cart from the Skano gym. There were many basketball games in the gym on Saturday and during our game a boy came alarmingly close to hitting his head on the corner of the cart when he stumbled out of bounds. We really couldn't find a safe place for the cart within in the gym.

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If you are at a game and there is a cart in the gym it can be moved outside the gym.

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What is the history behind the school districts name, Shenendehowa? Why isn't it called Clifton Park Central schools? I've just always wondered about this.

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The actual name of the district filed with the state originally was "Central School District No. 2, of the Towns of Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Malta, Waterford, Ballston and Stillwater, County of Saratoga, New York." Shenendehowa came from the "Shenondahowe" (meaning great plains) land patent that the district purchased in 1951 to build the campus. For the complete history go to http://www.shenet.org/DL_ProfileOfShen/DistrictHistory.cfm.

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I would just like to commend the HS Orchestra teacher, on the holiday concert. It is so apparent how he has inspired each of those kids and we are fortunate to have such a dedicated teacher in the school. For the final piece of the night, "Let it Be", the kids stood amongst the audience and played the piece from memory and it was simply beautiful. With the focus being so often on the sports programs at Shen, I think it's important too to recognize the Arts and how beneficial it is for our children to be exposed to beautiful music....and how their hard work is evident at these concerts! Kudos!

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Shen offers a wide breadth of opportunities for students in music, drama, art and sports. Our students shine in all areas.

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Where can I sign up for text alerts in case of school closings, afternoon cancellations, early dismissals, etc...? I can't seem to find it any where on the Shen site on how to do this-even searched the archives...

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Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ShenendehowaCSD  or Twitter https://twitter.com/ShenNews

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where can i find a teachers email? when you click on the icon in the portal, it does not work.

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http://www.shenet.org/DL_StaffDirectory/staffdirectory.cfm

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What is the date of senior prom this year?

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May 31.

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My childs 6th grade teacher swears at the students this is not acceptable. My child came home and asked me what the F word ment and said her teacher said it

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Please contact the principal with the details.

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: I would like to know why my concerns regarding, published by the district, "dress code" was not answered. I know you like to say use common sense and I agree but when it goes ignored is why I am bringing this to your attention Seriously, if the Administrators of HSW/HSE really paid special attention to what these students (young ladies) wear on a daily basis it really doesnt follow what has been requested by the District ie: leggings with longer shirts, etc. that is just one example, as a parent I feel this is something that should be enforced especially when a small percentage really does obey the code while the others simply ignore it. This is HS not exercise glass, right?! Very unacceptable! Thank you!

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It's a judgement call. We do the best we can.

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WHY DO YOU ONLY ANSWER QUESTIONS THAT YOU CAN REPSOND SARCASTICALLY

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We pretty much answer all questions.

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I find it amusing how dismissal at HSE was delayed on a cold day until the buses arrived, yet students stood in the pitch black -5 degree weather waiting for the bus that morning.

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One is within our control, the other isn't.

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Shen bus drivers do a great job!

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Yes, they really do.

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Hello, I was wondering if someone could make a "best of" section on this page featuring some of the most outrageous comments/questions you've been asked. It would be pretty funny.

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:)

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What are the performance dates of the Middle School play "Camp Rock?"

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3/20/14-3/22/14

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did the director of the high school musical quit? How come parents were not notified of this change? Is there enough adult supervision now for such a large group of kids?

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That position has been replaced. Supervision of students was never a concern, nor the continued quality of performances.

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Why don't teachers check with other teachers/club advisors before scheduling events? Example: tonight is middle school ski club (which parents have paid for) AND there is a band concert scheduled. If the student misses the band concert they will receive a failing grade for concert participation. If the student does not go to ski club, parents lose actual money. Just another example of teachers being extremely inconsiderate, but in the next breath they will complain about not getting paid enough.

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Our staff works hard to try to minimize conflicts to the best of their ability, it is not always possible for 12 schools--between the academic events, extracurricular events, interscholastic sports, religious holidays, the need for specific facilities (i.e. auditorium), and the staff member's personal off-hours schedule, conflicts will occur.

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Shen's HS administration needs to take a long look at themselves and their policy decisions . A group of kids want to have a silent cheer and wear costumes to celebrate at the 10th basketball game point and they are banned from wearing costumes b.c of potential "danger" and it's not Halloween. Mr Flint banned costumes for Halloween bc administrators didn't want to do their job and police the 1 percent that are inappropriate instead of letting the 99 percent have fun in their HS years. Shen administrators should pick their battles and worry about the rampant drug problem we have in the Middle and HS buildings, bring in a drug sniffing dog and NYS Police and see what your real issues are

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It is the high school administration's job to determine the best way to ensure they provide a safe environment for all, whether it is enforcing a dress code, banning costumes or using drug sniffing dogs (which we do use from time to time). If it was determined that costumes would create an issue, then it is within their authority to prohibit them.

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I want to speak out about the Shen adminstration it seems they would rather have our kids go drink in the woods rather then attend a sports function to support school spirit. When kids don't attend any longer maybe Shen will stop paying overpriced babysitters to watch our kids and give the taxpayers a BIG break. You people are nuts you don't have all the answers and you never will.

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Keeping in mind that drinking in the woods is not the alternative to attending a sports function, the administration does hope that students attend the games and cheer on their fellow classmates in a safe and respectful way.

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Why weren't students allowed to wear costumes to the "Silent Night" basketball game? I have a son on the team and was looking forward to the "Silent Night" game, it seemed like good clean fun to me. I think Shen should embrace students trying to come together to support their school and peers.

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It is the high school administration's job to determine the best way to ensure they provide a safe environment where all can enjoy the game. If it was determined that costumes would create an issue, then it is within their authority to prohibit them.

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Why did the administration blatantly refuse to display the first place plaque the Girls Alpine Ski Team earned at the Stillwater Slalom Invitational on Monday? These girls have worked so hard and are currently undefeated. Just because ski racing doesn't earn the school revenue doesn't mean the team deserves any less respect and recognition than other sports. They were told to return the plaque to their coach and that it would not be put up in the athletic show window. Please have them reconsider this decision out of respect for these talented athletes.

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Many of our athletic teams win individual tournaments and invitationals. The athletic department made the decisions many years ago to only display League, Sectional, Regional and State Championship plaques in our trophy cases.

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During the high school regents, is it possible to have two tests on the same day? Thanks.

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It is, but highly unlikely in January.

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Whats the deal with having one half-year tech course? My kids need 5 to graduate but Shen practically requires 5.5 if they take java-is there going to be a second half year course to even it out?

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This is a good question. For clarity, only students seeking a LOTE exemption for an Advanced Regents Diploma are required to complete a 5 unit sequence or pathway. With that said, the Technology Department has been discussing potential .5 unit offerings that would align with Java. When paired with Health or other .5 unit course Java only ties up one period in a student’s schedule.

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When is the first day of school for the 2014-2015 school year? With school getting out so late in June and Labor Day on September 1 will school start later than usual?

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The calendar has not been approved yet, however typically we have students start on the Wednesday after Labor Day. That would be Sept. 3rd.

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Why was Mr. Flynt shoveling the sidewalk? doesn't HSE have janitors?

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Helping out on a busy day.

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My daughter comes home everyday complaining about her language of the media class. She said this is the 3rd teacher that they've had this year. And a huge powerpoint project and an essay they were assigned was never given a grade because of the change in teachers. This is not fair to my daughter. She is very eager to learn and was very exited for this class, but she is disappointed in the way it became.

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The current teacher will remain through the end of the year. If you have specific information about the class, see Mr. Flynt, the principal.

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I would like to know who monitors the dress code especially in HSW. As I review this Code, it is clearly stated when girls where leggings there are to wear a shirt, etc. atleast mid-thigh length, well really? Does anyone pay attention to these girls, Im appauled to see these girls walking out of the building with cropped sweaters that barely reach their waste and just a pair of leggings and boots. That is unacceptable! As parents need to pay attendtion to their daughters attire, Please do a better job at enforcing the Dress Code!! Thank You!!

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The administration, when they see it or it is brought to their attention.

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Is there anywhere I can find the schedule for midterm exams for high schoolers?

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The exam schedule was in the Principal’s Newsletter and Counseling Newsletter. Both can be found on the high school website.

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Do you have to be in NHS to wear a gold tassel at graduation?

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No, that is the gold chord. Anyone with a cumulative GPA of 85% or higher gets a tassel.

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do 9th grade students have mid term exams during regents week?

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There are some exams for 9th graders during Regents week. Please review the testing schedule which can be found on the counseling page of the website.

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Can we have another "letter" to the band students to see if a response for a pep band would be greater than in 2005?

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We also polled kids in September 2010 and there was still not deep enough interest. At this point, a potential advisor would have to come forward first before we solicit student interest again.

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How many 5th grade students are currently in QUEST? How many 6th grade students are currently taking Critical Inquiry? Thanks!

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Currently there are 86 students in Critical Inquiry and 76 students in QUEST.

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When it is expected to be below zero, will there still be ski club?

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Typically, we cancel only if the mountain closes. Parents can always make the decision to keep their child home if they have a concern.

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How cold does it have to be for Shen to close due to wind chill and temperature?

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To our knowledge, we haven't closed because of temperature.

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Does Shen even consider the health of the students while deciding a snow day? My son AND daughter nearly went into shock in the extremely cold weather. Shen is so inconsiderate about the health of the students. Troy and Albany were closed today due to extreme temperatures, but Shen was open. Shen is only concerned about the buses starting, and the money, but not the students.

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Shen's primary concern is to educate students. We have said this many times, the district does not lose money if we close school for emergencies. State funding no longer works that way.

As far as Albany and Troy closing, they have an abundance of students that must walk to school. We have more than 200 hundred buses available to transport our students.

We encourage parents to make sure students are dressed appropriately for the northeast winters. Parents also have the option of keeping their child home if they are concerned about the weather conditions on a particular day.

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Can someone please tell me WHY in the world there was a cash bar serving alcohol at the girls soccer banquet at Van Patten golf club on Sunday December 15th? What in the world is Shen thinking? And can parents not go three hours without bellying up to the bar at a school-sponsored event which was to honor high school student-athletes? The lapse in judgment here is staggering. And I don't care that coaches weren't drinking. Cash bar at a school event is a stupid idea.

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The proprietor of the off-site venue controls whether or not the bar is open. And, while we discourage adults from going into the bar area, we cannot dictate their actions.  It was made very clear that there is no alcohol at a school function and there was no alcohol in the banquet room. The coaches and school personnel did a great job of making the banquet a quality experience for our student athletes.

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My son is a 2nd grader in Karigon, and has to use the restroom frequently for bladder issues. His teacher, whom I have talked to about the issue, still penalizes my son for having to leave, which embarrasses him to the point of tears. Why are teachers allowed to treat my son in this way?

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Students are allowed to go to the bathroom whenever needed. We do ask that unless it is an emergency, they wait until after a whole group mini-lesson. If they cannot wait, they are allowed to go immediately. Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions regarding this practice or the school nurse.

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I heard that NHS members are required to buy a ticket to the Snowball ($37.50), That can't be true, can it?

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Snowball is an NHS fundraiser and only open to seniors Since all NHS members are seniors and the pool of possible attendees is limited, NHS members have been encouraged to attend but never has anyone made attendance a requirement.

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I graduated from Shen last year, and need to have some AP scores sent to my college. Can I do this through Shen, or do I need to go online through collegeboard.org? If it's through Shen, who should I contact? Thank you!

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AP Scores need to be requested through College Board. Even our current students must request AP scores be sent from College Board.

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Is there a place where I can file a complaint about a teacher?

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Not a place but a person...the principal.

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Every time I am on the grapevine lose I.Q points.

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There is an easy solution...

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Does Shen post the Achievement Lists for High School as well?

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No.

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can students bring in pets for academic use?

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See BOE Policy 3440 and Regulation 3440R

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Can you let us know who is the head of the LOTE department at the High School? I am looking for 10th grade

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Rachel Stead

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Why dont teachers leave more detailed instructions for subs?

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That is a pretty broad statement. Tell your teacher your concern.

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When will the Drivers Ed schedule for the Spring 2014 be available and when will registration begin?

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Spring 2014 driver’s education registration information will be available on the website on or after 1/6/14.

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Can you please explain the policy regarding Christmas? Why are the students both Christian and non-Christian allowed to create Menorah's in class yet they are not allowed to create Christmas Trees or Santa related items?

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See BOE Policy 8360 and Regulation 8360R

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When will PSAT scores be given out?

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They are available now.

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what school has been open the longest?

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Gowana/Acadia

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Can I just give out a congrats to Mr. Joseph Kott, the High School Musical Director. I am so proud of his selection process with this years talent. Some Coaches/Directors would only look at the success of the team, where Mr. Kott looked at all the students good or bad talented or not and knew he would be allowing them to be a part of the bigger picture in life! Kudos Mr. Kott for your kindness and acknowledging all facets of students here at Shen

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All of the district's directors, coaches and advisors put in countless hours above and beyond what they are paid to provide our students with experiences that will last a life time.

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You recently said that to wear a gold tassel at graduation you had to have a final cumulative GPA of 95% but in other questions you said that it had to be 85% or above?

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85% and above for gold tassels; 95% and above for medals.

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What is the precise number of staff that are required to be in the High school West building when the students get off the buses at 7:10am? Is there an administrator in the building at that time each day? Thanks.

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There are no "requirements." The administrators are present, as well as some faculty and staff.

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Are there teachers at Shen who are not certified by NYS?

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No, Shenendehowa teachers are required to be certified in NYS, and verification is completed through the NYSED TEACH site. 

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There are rumors circulating that a girl was sexually assaulted in the bathroom. Is this true? I'm just concerned for my daughter's safety and would like to know.

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No.

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Is it true that all of the Elementary Classroom Monitor positions are being transitioned from full-time to part-time?

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No.

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Is it true that a student got arrested for injecting another student with heroin?

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Unfortunately, yes. Details of the incident were posted on our web page, Facebook, Twitter and an SIS message was sent to high school parents.

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How come in my son's American Studies class it is offered as an Honors class but you must do projects outside of class just to get the credit. The teachers do not teach anything and force my son to fit in 2 hour long packets with sports, instead of teaching in class

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The honors strand of American Studies is a choice that students and presumably parents have made for grade 11 social studies. The honors option will require additional work, certainly covering material in greater depth. It also requires a different way of thinking about certain topics and concepts. I recommend that you speak with the teachers about your concerns.

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Shen buses are so filthy you can't even see the lights on them. Very dangerous.

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All buses are washed on a set schedule contingent on weather conditions.

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Karigon has had after homework help for Students are they going to be doing it again?

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This year Karigon’s afterschool programing will not include a Homework Help Program.

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Exactly what information is released about students to the NYS Department of Education? Name? DOB? SSN? Parent's names and DOB's? Report card grades? Disciplinary records? IEP reports? 504 plans? Assessment results? Don't you think parents deserve to know exactly what information is being released about their children and to whom? Shouldn't parents be able to make the final decision on who does and does not receive this information? Shouldn't the district inform and support parents regarding their children's privacy? Does the district question the need for this information or just turn it over for the money

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No personal identifying data is released to the state or any other entity for that matter. The New York State Education Department gathers assessment and attendance data for individual students based on a unique student ID number. They also get generalized data (non-student specific) on discipline (i.e. the number of infractions of a certain type)
The data being provided does not violate or compromise any existing privacy laws, nor does it provide personal information that could result in identity theft or other data breeches. Most people provide much more information for out-of-school youth sports and activities, social media profiles, or even ordering items on-line.

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Is there an anonymous way to suggest that a high school teacher needs to have an "unannounced" observation? When the observations are announced, the teachers all prepare a wonderful lesson plan that does not accurately represent the way they teach the other 179 days of the school year. There is one teacher who does not teach at all, she shows the kids movies everyday. If she can't teach or doesn't want to teach, then fire her and get someone better. It's not fair to the kids who want to learn. I think there need to be more unannounced observations so the administration can see what is really going on in the classrooms.

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Teachers have one announced and one unanounced observation each year.

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Hello. I just wanted to say thanks for all Shen does to the benefit of the students. Everyone appreciates it. What is the homework policy for Shenendehowa students?

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BOE Policy 8440 and Regulation 8440R

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I'm sure you may not be able to do anything but is it possible to suggest to ANYONE that a second exit is put in the high school east parking lot. It is such a hassle trying to get out for work and appointments, even if I have my parents pick me up or a friend driving me we still don't leave the parking lot until 3:00. I understand taking the bus but that's not always convenient. I just wanted to get this out there. thanks for all the information you give us on here.

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Unfortunately, here is a bottleneck because of volume at certain times of the day. A second exit won't really solve the problem because it would exit onto the same road.

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Red lights are for emergency vehicles. campus Patrol should not have embedded lights and red strobes.

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It is legal for our security (Campus Patrol) to have this type of equipment.

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Are any of the school buildings open during the winter months for walking for exercise?

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Sorry, but no.

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Why aren't members of Shen Crew counted in the Scholar Athlete awards? I know there are several that row varsity with an average over 90%.

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Crew is classified as a club, not a sport.

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There is a pending lawsuit in Albany Supreme Court to be heard Jan. 6th seeking to stop the statewide student data upload to the inBloom cloud. Will Shen hold off on uploading student information until this suit is settled? NY is now the only state moving forward with inBloom.

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The district will comply with existing rules and regulations and act accordingly if there are any changes.

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In light of recent news of criminal activity in the HS, I wish to make it evident that there are still many great young people in the district. My son, in 6th grade at Gowana, was the only 6th grader on Friday in 4th peiod lunch. He sat alone but was approached by a GREAT group of 7th grade boys who asked if they could sit with him and they included him in their friendly circle. WAY TO GO BOYS!

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We agree, we have many responsible and caring young people.

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Why did the district switch over to Wyzant.com for tutors? The tutors on the site are people with Teaching certificates who would be great for elementary level subjects, but they are not qualified for the High School Courses. Especially at the Shen level of testing. This is really not helping the kids that need tutors for the High School Subjects, where grades really matter.

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We did not switch tutoring services and do not endorse or support any of the sites that are listed. The information is provided for informational purposes only to parents who may be seeking a private tutor for their child. There is no school affiliation with the private tutoring services and parents should carefully research all tutoring sites before purchasing their services.

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How many state titles has Shenendehowa won total?

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Shenendehowa has won 26 state titles in various sports.

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Thanks for doing such a great job answering all of these questions. I was wondering if anything can be done to eliminate how slippery the floor is in many of the gyms. My student has practice in Gowana and the floor is extremely slippery. Thanks.

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You are welcome. Schools are required to use as many green cleaning products as possible to avoid discharging chemicals that are not bio-degradable. Unfortunately, some of these green chemicals are not as durable so they wear off quickly. We are trying some different things to try and address the slippery floors.

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It has been rumored that if you get into njhs that you can choose from either accelerated tech or art in 8th grade. Is this true?

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There is a selection process in place (largely based on teacher recommendation) for the limited number of seats available in 8th grade Studio in Art, however, that process has no connection to the Honor Society process.
All students going into 8th grade can apply for admission into Accelerated Technology. Accelerated Tech is a high school course (DDE) offered to motivated students during period zero. There is no connection between NHS and Accelerated Tech.

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What days/ What time can high schoolers come to the middle school and visit? And do they need to sign in at the office? Thanks

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High School students should make arrangements ahead of time to “visit” with one of their teachers (i.e. email). All visits should take place once the instructional day is over at 3:35pm. And, yes, they should signe in.

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Does Shen have a coordinator for Common Core like some other school districts?

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The primary responsibility for coordinating curricula efforts rest with the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

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Now that my daughter is in her Junior year, I have probably hundreds of messages from portal in my inbox. Have read them, but never delete those messages. Is there any way we can delete multiple messages, as of now, I have to go through each one to delete them, it is very time consuming. Can this be more user friendly?

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No, the current version does not have a “Delete All” button unfortunately.

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How is it possible for a class to have absolutely no grades for the quarter as of today, the day the portal closes for the quarter? I would think there would be some sort of notification to the administration that the teacher has not entered any grades at interim that would be followed up on...the system should not allow a quarter to go by before the students/parents can see progress.

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I would suggest you contact the school principal to resolve your concern.

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I was wondering if I could possibly set up my own BBQ in the lunch room, I've been called a great chef and I'd like to address my skills.

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No.

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Whose the sassy pants that runs the grapevine?

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The public information officer.

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Do we always have school before thanksgiving or is it just this year.

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Yes, for the most part.

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Is it true that SHEN is having a problem with someone stealing phones?? Rumor has it that someone was arrested for it.

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No.

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when is the first home freshman boys basketball game

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Schedules can be found here: http://163.153.20.139/sportspak/oecgi3.exe/O4W_SPAKONLINE_HOME

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Is the district planning to opt out of Race to the Top funds, and stop providing student information to the NYS Department of Educations (who then shares the information with inBloom) in order to protect student privacy? If so, when? And if not, why not?

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The district will look to supply the NYSED the requisite information to satisfy reporting mandates, all of which existed prior to Race to the Top.

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How exactly are the Shen Kindergarten teachers truly teaching common core in a half day program? Fundations, Go Math and possibly a new reading series next year? Sure seems like a lot for 2.5 hours and leaves little time for the developmentally appropriate activities and socialization needed in Kindergarten. Common core standards are based on standards in Singapore where students have 2 years of full day Kindergarten and enter grade 1 at age 7. Just something to think about. It's no wonder so many parents are feeling forced to put their kids in full day Kindergarten programs.

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We have full confidence in our highly skilled and competent kindergarten staff.

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: In a recent response, you told someone: "We can also put blocks on your students account so they cannot purchase the snacks at school." I'm interested in doing that. Would I be able to block my child from buying certain snack items or would all snacks be blocked?

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It would be all snacks, they would only be able to purchase a complete lunch. Contact the food service director at 881-0630.

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How do you log into your Shen Gmail account?

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Using the same username/password combination as their shenet account, students(6-12)/staff(K-12) can access their Google Apps For Education accounts at:
mail.shenschools.org
drive.shenschools.org
calendar.shenschools.org
This will only work for those who have changed their shenet password since the start of the school year. If a user’s password does not work with their Google Apps For Education account, they must logon to their shenet account using a computer on our network and change the password first. (Ctrl+Alt+Del, Change a password)

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I was looking to see what criteria are used when selecting/evaluating Club Advisors and Team Coaches for effectiveness. I was also looking to see if these advisors are compensated financially for their time or are they doing this for the interest of the Club/Sport. I know through experience many clubs also hold fundraising events throughout the year, what policies are in place to ensure our donations are used for the advertised purpose? Thank you.

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The district offers a wide variety of club and extra-curricula activities for students, all with the explicit expectation of providing students with a quality experience. Club advisors and coaches are paid by the district. Club advisors are hired and evaluated by the building principal  and athletic team coaches are hired and evaluated by the athletic director. The majority are Shen employees. For criteria, contact the principal or the athletic director. See answer below about booster club funds.

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Who is responsible for the various booster clubs? I have information that indicates one of the prominent winter teams isn't on the up and up with their bookkeeping.

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Booster organizations support the various clubs and sports teams at Shen by coordinating events, raising money to supplement the purchasing of equipment, training and supplies, funding certain competitions, etc. The Boosters are generally run by the parents of the students in the club or sport. Administrators are not directly involved in booster clubs except to provide input in recommending activities or equipment purchases to benefit the team. The district does not maintain direct financial accounting of booster club funds, but requires them to comply with internal controls, procedures, laws and regulations. For concerns about club boosters, contact the principal. For sports boosters, contact the athletic director.

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Why can't we buy items from the vending machines until after school? I feel that is unnecessary and we should be allowed to buy stuff from the vending machines all day.

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So as not to compete with the school lunch program, the machines are programmed to be off until dismissal.

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sorry, I think you misspoke. While the GPA IS weighted for transcripts, college stuff, etc, on the report card itself it is NOT weighted, or at least has not been for the past 12 years at Shen.

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Correct. It is weighted and unweighted for the transcript.

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Who is the advisor for crew? I am not aware of anyone from Shen having any involvement or showing support to crew. It all seems to be parent run.

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Karen Christopher.

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I would just like to note that my homeroom never got to vote for senior class elections. As I do recall, it is not my homeroom or our teachers responsibility to go bother the advisors for a ballot. They should have been handed to him. And the word on the street is that the elections were very close. I do not think it is fair that the election results were already announced, yet my homeroom did not have the chance to vote. I know you probably can not do anything about this, but as a senior who is very active in the class, although I am not part of the senior class council, I still think that if it was that close then my homeroom should still be able to get the ballots. I hope this is understandable.

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Thanks for the feedback. We will look to more formally implement this process.

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With December 1st coming up, I was wondering as a member of the class of 2013 if anything was going to be planned for that day. The class of 2013 will be home that day because of the thanksgiving break and talking to many peers from my class we all think it'd be a great idea to do something in Chris and Deanna's honor.

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We are participating in a day of unity with Shaker High School on December 3rd. Shen students are asked to wear Shaker blue and Shaker students will be wearing Shen green. We are also collecting puzzle books for Books for Troops, Inc.

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Sometimes when I come in late to high school east, I am walking through the hall ways while the pledge of allegiance is on the announcements. Teachers within my view always demand that I stop and stand for the pledge. I am not disrespecting the teachers or trying to be insubordinate but I simply believe that I should not have to stop for a pledge because stopping is only going to make me more late to homeroom.

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 We’d like you to stop to show respect for the Pledge and for the others throughout the building.

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My son has informed me that students are soliciting business within the high school cafeteria by selling Chipotle, Burger King and even Del Taco which is imported frozen from California to preserve the great authentic Mexican taste. Is soliciting business within the school legal and if so, can my son sell my homemade sweaters and knit hats for the holiday season? (I would profit, not him).

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No.

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Any idea when the results for the Senior Superlatives votes will be revealed? Where would we be able to check?

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You can check with the yearbook staff.

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I was waiting outside to pick up my child at HSE, just saw a male student whose pants is almost down to his knees. I am not sure if the dress code for male student is not as strict as for females. I can see his underpants. Do you think that boys should be monitored as much as the girls??

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Yes and we try to do that.

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hy is it if multiple students fail at test or a quarter the teacher is not punished. I have a teacher that hands out tests on subjects that we have not learned and I try to get extra help but she says she is never available. She is also very rude to a lot of students and I want to know why she in not getting in trouble for this.

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You should probably speak with your principal about this.

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What GPA is considered honor roll for seniors to wear the gold tassels at graduation?

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Final cumulative GPA of 95%.

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when will the club fair be in HSW?

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The club fair in HSW was held 11/12-11/15.

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I have heard that Shen will have full day kindergarten beginning in 2015. Is this correct?

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No.

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What's the largest graduating class?

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744 in 2011, click here to see all class sizes.

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why cant Shen pay for the Shen cheerleaders to go to high school nationals in florida

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No one has raised the issue with the school principal about this competition.

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I was wondering if we get a 89.7 as our overall average in 1st quarter will tht number round up to a 90 to receive honor roll?

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No. Since the GPA is already weighted, we don’t round up.

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Why do you only answer a couple questions every few weeks? You should answer more and more frequently.

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I will try to do better.

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When is senior prom this year?

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May 31.

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What GPA do you need to be able to apply for National Honors Society?

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Check their website.

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Why can shen support sports teams like baseball, football, softball, lacrosse, soccer but can not support crew??

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Crew is one of many clubs supported by the district with an advisor.

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Why isn't there anything on the shenet site about the field hockey team? They hold a school record now for most goals scored in a season and have gone farther than any previous shen field hockey team after winning their regional game on Saturday. There isn't even a picture of the varsity team on the homepage. Field hockey was also one of the few fall sports that did not have a picture on the Shenet homepage. Maybe the school needs to look at more sports than just football- especially teams who hold much better records and have for a few years than the football team.

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There is no need to disparage another group of hard working athletes. We post anything coaches send to us. There has not been a picture posted because we haven't received one. With that being said, the field hockey team has had an amazing season and we are very proud of them. We have posted news on the website about their accomplishments on 11/7 and 11/13.

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In regards to your response that someone posed regarding the coaches - I am curious as well in regards to this (posted 11/13) however, I do not think you answered the question - it seems they were not questioning the coaches call of the plays - but rather other decisions/actions by the coach - can you please advise an answer to the question specifically - "When parents have questions concerning certain actions or the "rational" for the actions of a coach, is it considered appropriate for the parents to ask for an explanation? We hear many parents voicing questions or comments on the sidelines, but all seem hesitant to speak with a coach for fear of the negative repercussions their athlete will face. Is there a written regulation or school policy that refers to what parents can or cannot converse with a coach about?"

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Why is the gradebook for the Elementary closed for 3 weeks per quarter, but the Middle and HS is only for a week? Why does the gradebook need to be closed at all?

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That is timeframe the principals at each level asked for so staff could enter/finalize grades.

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Is it true that only 8th graders will get parts in the musical? If that is the case, I don't understand why 6th and 7th graders are allowed to try out. No one should be encouraged to try out for something that is predetermined they will not get. It is crushing.

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That is not true. Students from all three grade levels are accepted to participate in the production.

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That the black on the outer walls of High School East is asphetos??? Wow, how safe is this to students as well as staff????? Wht isn't this removed?

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Asbestos is in many building products in schools and even your house. The key to safety is that it remain encapsulated, which is the case. No safety concern exist.

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If your a junior and move out of the shen district can you still go to shen without paying the extra fee

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No.

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can you please tell us who decides what items the boxtops for education go for? I heard that in one of the elementary schools they went for picnic tables for the staff-I really don't think that is what all those families and students thought they were saving for. I find it very dissappointing it wasn't used for the benefit of the children

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It is different at each school. To find out how it works at your school, contact the principal.

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I believe the medals worn at graduation are for an average of 95% or above (weighted). I was just wondering when this is calculated? As always, Thanks for all the information you pass on to us.

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It is calculated at the end of the 3rd marking period, senior year.

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What is the justification for not allowing Halloween costumes in the high schools?

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Too much of a distraction.

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I believe that any senior that participates in "Senior Skip Day" on November 1st should have their senior privileges revoked. Is there any way that this could be done?

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If we have evidence that students skipped school, their privileges will be revoked.

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Are there days off for the January regents exam this year? Thank you

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If students have met all of their academic and behavioral responsibilities, and don’t have exams scheduled for these days, they do not have to report to school during the January regents exam days.

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Why isn't there a class couple anymore for senior superlatives? It wasn't hurting anyone, and "class best friends" kind of sounds dumb.

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More inclusive.

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My daughter is in middle school and has been coming home extremely confused about specific assignments. We have found that some are posted on the portal, some on the class calendar, some in her agenda, and other subjects post directly on their teacher webpage. Many times, the due dates for assignments conflict or are posted in one place, but not in others. This is very confusing and I'm wondering if there is any way to have a more streamlined process for assignments?

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We can look in to this but really need specific team/teachers names to help with this. Contact your principal.

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Here's my question again. Is Shen going to be participating in Pathways in the Technology Early College High Schools, or P-Tech program? If so, when will it begin?

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We are investigating to see how it can possibly compliment our existing comprehensive engineering and technology program.

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Do teachers have guidelines they must follow for updates to the portal of assigments, grades or future assignments? I find the updates vary by teacher and are very inconsistent and if not updated weekly, not very helpful in monitoring my childs grades/assignments. Shouldn't teachers update the portal more than once a month or right before report cards when it is to late to address with your child?

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There are variations based on course and assignments. Please contact your teacher and/or principal with specific concerns.

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Shen needs to extend the parking lot so students don't have to park in the mud. They wasted money on a guard rail that my teachers say are a joke but they cant pay to extend the parking lot!! Id like to know why this is. We pay $40 for a parking pass but can't get a real parking lot.

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There is always the big yellow limosine, it's doesn't cost you anything and drops you right at the door.

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I am very disheartened by the Acadia school lunch menu. My son has been complaining about this since last year. He says the portions are small and he is still hungry. Many times he ends up buying extra snacks (ice cream, chips, flavored water, Arnold palmer ice tea, fruit roll ups). It infuriates me that these unhealthy items are being sold at school. We hear all this talk about the government trying to make school lunches healthier but that doesn't seem to be the case at Acadia. I would appreciate a response to my concerns. Thank you.

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We participate in the Choose Sensibly snack program that means all of our snacks are 7 grams or less of fat, 2 grams or less of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 grams or less of sugar, 360 milligrams or less of sodium, One serving per package. All of our chips are baked and the flavored water is calorie free and the Arnold palmer is the lite version. Our meals are based on the new federal regulations set forth by the government and are based on the Dietary guidelines for Americans. We can also put blocks on your students account so they cannot purchase the snacks at school.

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For the second time my children who attend Gowana, have come home telling me that their study hall monitor routinely goes on the computer and checks e-mails and Facebook. Since the district has pushed for having wireless internet and insists the students are only supposed to use it for learning, what are the rules for your employees?

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Employees are allowed to use the computers for school-related matters but are asked to refrain checking personal accounts.

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Who are the runner ups for the senior superlatives?

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There are no runners-up.

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Is there any plans in the future to make more parking available at the high school level?

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No.

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what is the reasoning behind not allowing students in HSE to enter the library after 25 minutes into lunch periods?

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Students are able to move about lunch periods for the first 25 minutes. After that students are asked to stay in their chosen location for the last 15 minutes of the period. We have found that this allows for a calmer, quieter environment that does not negatively impact instruction.

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What is the policy for students rights who don't stand for the pledge?

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Students don't have to stand. If they don't, they are required to sit silently.

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We all love seeing our kids that participate in chorus at their concerts. The question I have is why are so many religious based musical pieces or old anthems chosen to perform? If you ask every child in the chorus, none of them like the songs that they have to sing at the concerts. Also, judging from the reaction of the audience that I've seen at concerts at other schools where they choose to sing more modern songs, why wouldn't songs be chosen that both the kids and the audience really like? It may attract more kids to participate in chorus and the parents would enjoy the concerts so much more. When I talk to other parents about this, every one of them agree. Can anything be done to influence the chorus directors to choose some songs that are fun for the kids and the parents alike?

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The literature selected for performance in any ensemble must maintain a certain level of musical quality in order to appropriately teach the required concepts. Musical taste is subjective and while most audiences enjoy pop music, it often lacks the same content richness that more traditional literature contains. When teachers find selections that satisfy both criteria, they often add them in to satisfy audiences and students.

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I have heard that there was a Colorguard for special-needs students. Where can I get information and is it too late to join?

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It is not too late to join. For information on the color guard program for students with special needs please contact Scott Snell at scotsnel@aol.com.

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Why is someone who has never taught before allowed to become a principal at Shen and observe teachers and criticize their teaching when they themselves have never been in a classroom?

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All administrators have completed extensive training to complete the evaluation process, more importantly to objectively identify the key components of quality teaching.

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What is the graduation rate at shen

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The NYS School Report Card had the percentage of graduates at 96% for 2011-2012, 95% for 2010-2011 and 95% for 2009-2010.

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What is the status of the new weight room that was approved by voters a couple of years ago?

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Due to delays at the state education department, construction on the physical fitness center will begin in Spring of 2014.

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The class of 2009 recently lost a great person..to have a brick in the memorial garden does one have to pass away while in high school? How can one be purchased?

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Please contact the principal, Mr. Flynt for specific details.

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Do the students working @ the Shen branch of CapCom have access to all CapCom accounts?

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Only when there is a transaction by the individual member. There is a CAP COM representative at on site during all transactions.

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I'm not trying to be critical of the law or any school regulations, but why is it that if one kid is in a car they MUST have a seat-belt on but if you cram 50 or so kids on a school bus seat-belts are optional. I see no logic behind this. If you wouldn't mind may you explain to me why this is the case.

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Students are not mandated by law to wear seat belts on school buses in New York State. That is an individual decision. Students are considered safe on school buses because of high construction standards of the bus to include compartmentalized seating and high back padded seats.

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Common Core Protest Day - November 18th. Will there be any repercussions to my child if I choose to participate in this National event?

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It will be marked as unexcused absence and your child will need to make up the work.

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So apparently if you are unprepared for gym three times during a quarter you will get written up, is this true?

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Yes, and this has been the procedure in gym for many, many years!!

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When can I sign for indoor track in the 8th grade? I did not see any information about this and it is my first year wanting to do track.

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Unless you have been recommended by a coach and are selectively classified, indoor track is for grades 9-12.

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I'd like to know how it is ok for the Superintendent of Schools is on the field of the Varsity football games, telling the coaches when and where to play kids. The other players have heard him. He also I supposed to be " just a parent"!! He has lost much respect from the student athletes and the parents!! Who can you complain to??? The athletic director is in his back pocket. It's like watching the Good Ole Boys club. I'm ashamed of Shen football right now!

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The superintendent supervises all employees in the district, including coaches and the athletic director. It is within his job duties to advise or "coach" teachers, coaches, bus drivers or any other employee. He has stood on the field since coming to Shen 10 years ago and coaches have welcomed his insight being a former coach and collegiate player. Any advice he would offer in any arena, would be in the best interest of our students.

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When will students be voting Senior Prom themes?

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Students voted on election day. This year’s prom theme is Fire and Ice.

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Education Commissioner John King cancelled his common core forum at Shen last week. Given the fact that 6 out of 9 states who signed up for the student data mining project titled “InBloom” have now put on hold or cancelled this program due to privacy concerns, can you use this forum to let parents know how Shen is proceeding with this aspect of the common core?

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Shenendehowa does not contract with inBloom. The District operates in compliance with state regulatory guidelines in terms of data reporting, privacy and confidentiality of certain information. Information pertaining to the New York State Education Department’s contract with inBloom is publically available and can be accessed at the following link: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/data/edp-privacy-parent-faq.html

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Why doesn't Shen have horseback riding? There are plenty of farms near by?

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With the tax levy cap and reduced state aid, we are fortunate to hold on to what we have.

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What is the plan for the new athletic field next to Varsity girls soccer? The field used for JV next to Koda is embarrassing & unsafe. It is the worst JV field I. The entire Surburban council.

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All fields are on a specific cycle for rejuvenation. By the way, we are proud to have some of the best athletic facilities in the region, all of which are highly used by countless student-athletes and the community.

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Hello, I have already asked this question but it wasn't answered. I was wondering if it would be possible to set up my own lemonade stand in the school hallway? I need some extra money for college and this would benefit me greatly.

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No.

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Will a teacher be notified if a parent requests a copy of their APPR score?

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Yes.

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I have heard that Okte is getting a new principal. Who is filling in until a new principal is found?

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Not true.

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My child goes to Karigon. We there teachers allowed to ask for cash from parents. We were asked send 10 dollars to the teacher for an agenda and for incentives. My neighbors also experienced the same request for money. Is that allowed by the district? How do the teachers account for the spending of this loose cash.

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According to the district's policy, teachers may request up to $10 during the course of the year for special projects that will complement the curriculum or for student recognition activities. Grade level activity accounts must be established with the district for deposit and use of these funds. And checks should be made out to the fund. Exchange of cash is not consistent with established policy. Please contact your principal.

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Are there security cameras and where?

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They are located in many locations in and outside of school buildings.

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It was brought to my attention that as per NYSED Regulations, a parent can request their child's teachers APPR score from the previous year. Is this true?

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Yes, the notice is on the district's home page.

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Why has the number of teachers for Arongen 3rd grade been reduced? Almost 30 kids per class with some "English as a second language" also!?! This does not seem like it is in the best interest of our children - are there any plans to change this? As tax payers it makes us angry and confused.

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The number of sections are driven by enrollment. More the ample support is provided to meet the various needs of students.

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We have athletes on teams at Shen, and are very grateful to their coaches for their time and dedication. When parents have questions concerning certain actions or the "rational" for the actions of a coach, is it considered appropriate for the parents to ask for an explanation? We hear many parents voicing questions or comments on the sidelines, but all seem hesitant to speak with a coach for fear of the negative repercussions their athlete will face. Is there a written regulation or school policy that refers to what parents can or cannot converse with a coach about? And if the questions are not answered by the coach, when is it appropriate to involve the athletic director?

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The play calling of a coach is that coach's prerogative. If the actions of a coach violates the safety or welfare of a student, then the matter should be addressed to the athletic director.

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My son saw pictures and texts posted online from a fellow Shen high School student who appeared to attend the Labor Day weekend party in Stephentown that the police are investigating. Should they be reporting this to high school administrators or should we call the police directly and tell them the student's name and that they attend Shen?

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That is not a school-related matter, so contact the police directly.

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I was just at the field hockey scrimmage. A player on Shen got hit in the face which caused her to have trouble staying conscious. The trainer was nowhere to be found and when they got a hold of him he took his time getting to her. Another trainer needs to be added.

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The trainer was doing a workshop in the high school and his response to the event was approriate as witnessed by the superintendent and other Shen coaches. Coaches always have the right to call 911 if the matter is deemed grave enough. We are fortunate at Shen to have a trainer on staff. Most schools are not as fortunate.

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Education Commissioner John King recently cancelled his Shen forum on the new federal common core standards. These standards affect every child in this district. Will Dr. Robinson host an informational meeting on this topic that would allow questions and comments from parents? Thank you.

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First, it was not a Shen forum. We were merely the host site for a regional forum. Information pertaining to the district's efforts with Common Core is available on the website. The district has published articles in the past two newsletters and has has held several public discussions at BOE meetings about our efforts to effectively make the shift in curriculum and instruction. A parent session was held a few weeks ago on the district's efforts to make the shift in math at the elementary level.

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Is the Food Service Director leaving Shen?

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No.

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I'm a senior and leave my house by 7:15-20 and get to school by 7:30, the traffic is so bad I'm late to school even if I get there so early. I don't think this is fair because I get there at the right time, yet I get in trouble for being late because of the brutal traffic.

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Sorry, traffic is not a viable excuse. You are just going to have to leave earlier or take the bus...the buses always beat traffic.

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Which author will Chango bring

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The author of “The Grapes of Math,” Greg Tang, will be at Chango on Dec. 2.

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We are new to Koda Middle School. What is the difference between Team 1 and Team 2? Thanks!

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Students in all three buildings, in all three grades are randomly split into two teams. Each team has 4-5 core teachers (Eng, SS, Math, Sci, Reading) and slightly different schedules. The main difference is the teachers, but many plan together so instruction is often very similar and the curriculum is identical. Both teams share Unified Arts teachers (Art, FACS, PE, Music, Tech, etc) and teams may mix for these classes. The idea is to create smaller learning communities and build relationships.

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Is anyone able to participate in Tri M, or do you have to be accepted?

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One needs to apply and be accepted into Tri-M as it is a nationally recognized honor society. Please contact advisors Brian Carucci or Joseph Gumpper for more specific guidelines.

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Is there a way to increase ones GPA at the end of junior year? Maybe taking additional classes over the summer? I know this is something to discuss with a counselor

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The only class offered for credit without having already failed it would be health and students could take this over the summer.

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What are the requirements to make the shen freshman or j.v. swim team? are there certain lap times needed

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We only have a Varsity team, there is no JV or Freshmen team. The requirements to make the Varsity team are to be able to satisfactorily complete the first week of practices which constitute the tryout portion of the season.

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Why are chromebooks and ipads being used more with middle and elementary students then with highschool students?

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We look forward to implementing Chromebooks at the high school after the completion of the wireless project. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the school year.

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When will High school East be getting full WI-FI coverage? It is frustrating when we are supposed to use electronic devices in class, but there is no wi-fi to use!

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The district-wide plan is scheduled to be completed by April 2014. The project has begun at the middle school complex and will move to the high school buildings next. Initially the project was expected to be complete by Sept. 2013, however it took eight months to receive State Education Department approval.

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How old must students be to be student life guards?

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15

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It seems as though if one of my fellow students does something against one of those little library rules that they will immediately be scolded and more often than not asked to leave the library. This is just one of those things that can get people thinking about negative thoughts, and it also really doesn't help the student/staff relationship. What wrong with a little leniency and niceness? I have adopted the philosophy that high school should be a place where people learn how to communicate with others with a positive and constructive manner, so long as the student isn't trying to harm anybody who's hard at work

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All locations of the school building have rules and guidelines to follow in order to make things run smoothly. Following the rules solves the problem you have identified.

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Is HSE planning an evacuation drill? In the five years I've been in the building we never have...

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HSE planned a drill last year but it was cancelled due to pre-assessment schedules. We are in the process of planning one again for this spring.

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Does class rank take into account grades for all 4 years of high school?

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The rank that is being distributed now includes through junior year. Final rank will include all 4 years.

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Do seniors have to wait until second semester to apply for senior privileges/early dismissal?

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These are evaluated every 10 weeks.

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If I graduated from Shen already can I come to visit still?

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Only if you have an appointment.

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If seniors have a free period during the school day, can they leave the school and go to their car to get something and then return?

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Only with the permission of an administrator.

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When do students get their student ID?

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As soon as pictures are completed and we receive IDs from Lifetouch.

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Why would someone have the idea to have a "shenancial district"? Oh and while I'm here, shenouncements? really?

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We think it is a shensational play on words.

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For a Green Letter Award do you need a 95 average weighted or unweighted? Also, is SUNY Spanish weighted?

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95 weighted and yes, SUNY Spanish is weighted.

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What rules are there for senior pranks?

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They aren't allowed. Violation of the Code of Conduct could impact your participation in graduation ceremonies.

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Shen hasn't been accepting new subs all summer long. Some of us really need jobs and to start subbing so we can get our foot in the door and get a job. I spoke to a few office personal at the elementary schools and they are saying the could use more people. He says there isn't enough personal to do hiring and accept applications. When can we plan on this changing and subbing applications opening up?!?!

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We have processed new hires and certified teaching subs. Check the website for info on two upcoming info sessions for non instructional subs, we will be setting up appointments in November.

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when is the shen dance team holding the day camp for the students? I have misplaced the info and cant find it anywhere on the website.

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The Shen Dance Team Clinic for 3rd -5th graders is this Sunday, November 3 in the Koda Gym from 12:30pm – 3:30pm.

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I am a senior at Shen with a few questions regarding parking. Today, I arrived at the school around 7:40 and circled the parking lot to find no available student spots. There were many "teacher" spots available though, probably about 30, and I had inquired about parking there and was refused. I was promptly told to go park in the gravel "spots", where I executed a poor parking job due to the lack of space. My question is, why are there so many "teacher" spots that sit empty all day that could be used by students who paid $40 for a parking pass? Also, does the district plan on expanding the parking lot in the future? The class size this year is 698 and there is a struggle to find parking spaces, and the upcoming classes are only getting bigger. Thank you in advance.

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We will look at this tomorrow to see how we can address your concerns. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. In the meantime, arriving at 7:40 am actually makes you late and if you arrived earlier, you might get a parking space!

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"Click Here" link under All Other Non-Instructional Substitute Candidates is not working. Link should give us more info about November informational session.

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Thanks it is fixed now.

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I'd like to respectfully request that Athletic Director take a more active interest in ALL of the Shen teams. I believe he only attended a portion of the recent girls' varsity swim meet against huge rival Nisky; it would've been nice if he could've stayed until the end of the meet to show the girls his support. He hasn't made much of an appearance (if any?) at any other of this previously undefeated team's meets this season. ALL Shen student athletes work incredibly hard, and all deserve support and recognition!

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The athetic director had this on his calendar but had a personal emergency. Even despite the emergency, he made every effort to attend a portion of the event.  Keep in mind, our administrators put in many hours above and beyond the school day on their own personal time attending or supervising student events. Without this support most of  these after-hour events could not take place.

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Please tell me what Shen's policy is on snack time for elementary students. Can a teacher routinely refuse to allow a child to each his or her snack? Thank you.

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There is no policy. That is a building-level decision. Please address your specific concerns with the building principal.

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Are there rules about recording students performing at concerts. I'm fine when someone is recording with a small video camera but find it extremely distracting when someone is using their Ipad, tablet or phone in front of me and it distracts my view of the stage even more.

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There are not official rules, however, appropriate concert etiquette is always expected and appreciated. The music department will consider adding something to programs which respectfully reminds audience members to consider the view of others. Thank you for the feedback.

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Now that Shen's Google apps for education is online, will staff begin to use @shenschools.org for their emails instead of @shenet.org? Also, could a link to the login page be posted on the website? Thanks.

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The primary e-mail for staff members is still their shenet.org account. G-mail is an option for teachers that choose to use the Google Apps domain. Members of the Shenendehowa Google Apps for Education domain (shenschools.org) can access their gmail at mail.shenschools.org. We will post a link the district website soon.

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I've heard several teachers at open house events say "I hate technology" and "I don't have time to update the portal". With the big push on BYOD and the positive impact technology has on the way we learn and communicate, why is it still acceptable for some teachers to not conform?

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It is not acceptable and we urge you to bring it to the attention of the building principal.

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Hi there! Have there been any voting options for the senior prom yet? Thanks for your time.

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Not yet. Students will be voting on theme with the November elections.

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Seniors are a month into class, and colleges and universities are accepting applications, many with rolling admissions. Yet Shenendehowa can't release any official transcripts yet? REALLY?

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Official transcripts were available on October 3rd. Counselors advised students to make an appointment to meet with them in the Counseling, College and Career Center if they had an early deadline date or application submission. We will take your concerns into consideration and evaluate our current process for next year.

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I was wondering why their was no tribute to an amazing kind compassionate former teacher from Shen who devoted his profeesional career of 36 years on the Shen website . He as I have already said touched the Shen community and felt that this was a terrible oversite. He should have been mentioned just disappointed this was not publicly honored.

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As a policy, we do not announce the passing of retired staff members or former students. We have thousands of both and all are important to their family and friends. All have touched the community in some way. It would be far too difficult to provide notification for all, so we do not do any. However, the board of education held a moment of silence to honor the individual at its meeting on 10/8.

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When after school activities were cancelled due to weather on October 6, we did not get the usual SIS email, it wasn't on Shenet, and it wasn't on the Shen Facebook. In addition, the Times Union had closings and listed all the other local schools but not Shen. I'm not complaining...Shen is generally GREAT with all the communication, especially emails and website. So I'm just kind of curious as to what happened? The kids are home now and I still don't see anything on the website.

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After school activities were not cancelled by the district. If individual groups cancel their activity, it is up to them to communicate with their participants.

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Why child is bi-lingual in another language that isn't offered by LOTE. Is there an exam that she can take to prove proficiency, so she can be excused from LOTE?

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The state no longer allows students to challenge the LOTE Checkpoint A or B exams. This change came about with the elimination of the NYS Second Language Proficiency exam and the NYS Regents Exam in LOTE in 2010 and 2011.

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I am just wondering if the "Gang Green Nation" has to be led by seniors? The student section was terrible at the football game Friday night and previous games as well. I am sure there are younger students who would love to take this on and get the fans involved in the game. This group was an embarrassment to the school and themselves on Friday. The only time they cheered was when they were cursing at the refs and the only time they got together as a group was when they were throwing tampons in the air at the "red sea" Guilderland's student section. Way to represent! The parents are a bigger cheering section than this gang green nation. Let someone else take over.. PLEASE!

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Gang Green Nation was created by high school students, for high school students. However, we encourage all in attendance to cheer. As far as something being thrown, we had five chaperones in the student section and no report of the situation you describe. If you had a concern of inappropriate behavior, you could have reported it to a chaperone.

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On Oct 5 I received, in the mail, an order form for the High School Yearbook. My questions is this, why did the district spend $0.46 plus the envelope and the label, on a form that could have been emailed, posted on the parent portal, or sent home with their student? I believe that when all of it is totaled, that is if it was sent to all high school students, between the man hours for stuffing and labeling the envelope, the cost of the envelope and the first class mailing of the envelope, the cost would be close to $2000.00. Shouldn't that money be used for something other than a yearbook mailing? And today I received via an email alert that if my child didn't receive the letter they can pick up a copy of it in the High School West Main Office. At a time when we should be watching how the district uses funds, isn't this a miss use of funds. That money could buy supplies or help offset other expenses. It just doesn't make logical sense.

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That is funded by the the Yearbook Club, in conjunction with the vendor the club works with. No Shen employee stuffed envelopes or otherwise participated in the mailing.

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Can you make a list of teacher emails more accessible? It is very difficult to contact teachers when you need to because it is so hard to find their email listed on the Shenet site!

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A link to staff email is is right on our home page.  It is also on the parent portal.

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1- Why isn't the Grapevine on the home page anymore? 2- When will new Arongen teachers finally set up their web pages, after being in the school- there needs to be uniformity. If the other classes in my child's regrade have web pages, so should my child.

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1-It is. 2- There are many different ways teachers can chose to communicate with parentsHaving a web page is optional.

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it takes you a long time to answer these. Shame on you!

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That is because 75% of the questions asked have already been answered and are in the archives.

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As of tomorrow the football season will be half over.... and still no rosters or schedules on the website. No varsity, no JV, no freshmen, no modified. Shame on the booster club and shame on the coaches, if they do not think that this is important. At least the coaches could remove their own pictures from the website and make for equal recognition.

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All booster clubs are made up parent volunteers who provide a terrific resource for our teams. We are more than thankful for the countless hours these parents put into raising money, providing information to our families and supporting our athletes. The clubs always need volunteers for different projects. If you have a particular interest in the website, we encourage you to contact the sport’s booster club president and volunteer to maintain it.

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Love the sunflowers on the Tesago playground! So cheerful and friendly! Thank you to the person responsible.

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:)

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Why doesn't the school have corndogs for lunch? Corn dogs are the bees knees!

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Because they do not fall within the state regulations .

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I have a deficiency with my locker in the high school where you can just pull it open without having to use a combination. Who would I see to fix this?

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See your Class Assistant Principal who will work with the custodians to fix this.

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Why can't seniors with a free period in the middle of the day leave as long as they are back in time?

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Because we are a closed campus.That is just the way it is.

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I'm a junior and want to drive to school. My friends & I have been parking in the lot by the pool, is that ok? I know some of my other friends will park at the elementary schools, too.

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No.

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Is the Italy trip all full?

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The dates for the Latin trip to Italy are February 14 – 22, 2014 and the cost is approximately $3,500. The trip is not full. The deadline for the first payment has passed and the 2nd payment is due October 5. After that, travel insurance is issued and we cannot take any more travelers. For more information, please contact Keziah Armstrong at armskezi@shenet.org.

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If you're in 7th grade and wanna go to a Shen football game do you need a parent? And how much does it cost? Do u need an ID?

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Yes, all middle school students need to be accompanied by a parent. No, middle school students do not need id. Admission is $1 for students.

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My son came home the other day and made a comment about the new "gang green nation" banner hanging on the football field. Now to me this is quite disgusting, for gang green is a disease acquired from a limb rotting off due to lack of blood flow. Personally my family has been affected by this disease for my father lost both his legs to it. So my question is why is this "gang green nation" a thing, who came up with it and how did it get approved?

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Gang Green Nation is a play off of the NY Jets fans nickname. The fans are a gang of fans who happen to where green. This was student-driven, administration approved.

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It appears that the belltower clock in front of HSE is broken. Each side offers a different time. While it is amusing, I am wondering if anything can be done to fix it?

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We will be addressing those repairs shortly.

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why is it that during freshmen football games the scoreboard isn't being used and there is no announcer? Doesn't freshmen level rate? Other schools use the scoreboard for freshmen games.

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No one has asked to use it. If someone wants to run the scoreboard, please let the coach know.

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What is the anticipated number of students graduating in 2015?

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704

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What is the size of the class of 2017?

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796

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The fact that the Board of Education accepted letters of interest for the open seats on the board rather than give the spot to the person that ran a campaign and received almost 2000 votes proves that the board has something to hide. Shame of the board for not doing the right thing. I will never trust a board that is so corrupt.

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The board followed the same procedure that has been used in the past when a vacancy has occurred from a resignation. This keeps practices consistent.

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Who decides whether there is a hs homecoming dance?

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The club that sponsors it.

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Hi! I just graduated in June, and I just want to let you know how well Shenendehowa prepared me for college. i'm proud to say I came from Shen, and always will be. You get such negative remarks on here and nobody stops to think about how amazing shen in as an academic center, and place to make the best friends of your life. Thank you so much!

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Thanks for keeping in touch. That is great to hear.

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How will the new ipads and chromebooks be used? Will students be using them to learn using various apps? Will they be going to any of the elementary schools? If so, which ones? Thanks.

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 iPads will be used in elementary classrooms this year. Students will use the devices for research, projects, and skills practice.
Chromebooks will be used as part of the middle school science program to access and integrate the Discovery Education techbook (www.discoveryeducation.com). Additionally all MS students in the near future will be able to use their Google Apps for Education accounts to individually and/or collaboratively complete assignments and turn them in electronically when assigned by their teacher. Teachers may also implement the use of subject-specific and productivity Google Chrome Apps with the students.

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my son is a very smart does he still need to go to class every day? it doesn't make sense

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Yes.

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Do teachers and administrators pay attention to the issues raised on the grapevine and work to resolve them or are they mearly dismissed with your reply?

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It depends. Comments/questions are sent to the responsible administrator. As for teachers, it is hard to know if 800 teachers are paying attention to the grapveine.

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With the new wifi in the schools, will parents and other visitors be able to access the internet on campus, or do you need a password?

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Yes, they will be able to access it and no, a password is not needed.

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Can you tell me the district id so I can sign into infinite campus on my phone? Thanks.

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PWNSJS

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will you be selling the green we belive shirts again that were sold at the basketball game for Deanna & Chris?

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No, we are not planning to sell them again.

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Where can I pick up a school calendar?

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At the district office, but we don't have a lot left.

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When can we expect to see the latest board of education meeting posted online? The last meeting was Sept. 10th. I was able to go in person but many parents and taxpayers rely on your posting. Thank you

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All of the video postings are up to date now.

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Hello, I just read the question about school supplies, and I believe the point was missed...while the district did a FANTASTIC job the last few years simplifying the elemntary supplies list and posting them, I'd like to recommend the middle schools get together and do the same thing. The lists that are posted on the district site are in no way reflective of what was required. I too went to extra stores 4-5 times after shool started. The supplies are also definitely more than $30 - of which I don't mind paying...I just don't like thinking I'm going to pay $30 when that is not the case. It's really about setting and then communicating expectations that get us frustrated as parents. Thanks!

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If you go to the middle school supply list pages, you will see that the rules for middle school are different than elementary school. Middle schools have a generic list of supplies that will be used for all three years. Then they have the grade level list that cannot exceed $50.00. As far as the list being different than what was posted on the website, you should contact your principal.

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Who is the academic administrator for ELA grades 6-12?

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Kathleen Sherwin

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I've sent in a few messages asking why Shen doesn't have modified soccer programs and now I heard a rumor that next year they will! Can you confirm if Shen will have a modified soccer team for girls and boys next year and if not, can you explain why we don't or won't? Thanks!

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 We tried many years ago to get modified teams but the budget at that time was defeated. Now, with the tax levy cap, many schools are reducing the number of levels of sports teams. However, the Suburban Council still has a strong freshmen league in soccer, so at this point, moving to modified is not being considered.

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Will there be a freshman Lacrosse team this year?

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No, we are moving to modified lacrosse team.  Last year, only three schools fielded a freshmen lacrosse team: Shen, Bethlehem and Saratoga. All three are making the move from freshmen to modified lacrosse teams.There are now 12 teams playing modified lacrosse in the Suburban Council.

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My daughter gym teacher told her she was heavy and needed to lose weight because she got a high mile time excuse me but what gives that teacher the right to say that about my child. Does shen want to make children have eating disorder!

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The goal is  to make students healthier which includes getting them to understand the importance of nutrition and physical fitness. If you have a concern about the approach or content of what was said, you should contact the teacher.

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In HSE, the fire drill evacuation is very slow in the upstairs. Why arnt teachers /staff flowing students faster? If everyone moves at a certain pace, nobody will have to stand still in the upstairs for a whole minute.

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The movement of students and staff is within the time frame that we look for to evacuate about 2600 people in an orderly fashion.

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Is it true that Global Foundries gave money to Shenendehowa? If so,why and how is this money to be allocated?

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No funds were received from Global Foundries. There was a donation of some used items (primarily lockers).

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Will there be a memorial service again this year for Deanna & Chris? I think it would be a great thing to do not only the community but to show the families we still support them.

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No, the Memorial Garden in front of High School East is provided as a place for students and the community to come and remember all of our students who have passed away.

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Please explain how the middle schools plan to administer exams on the 5 half days at the end of the school year, when classes will be only 18 minutes long. Thank you!

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We will not be running 18 minute classes. A schedule has yet to be developed.

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Where can I find the usernames and passwords for the databases my daughter goes on at Shatekon (i.e culturegrams)

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Students can get a copy of these passwords from Mrs. Rao, our computer lab aide. Parents can access these passwords through the Parent Portal as well. If you have any questions, please contact the school.

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you always seem to defend teachers and the school why are you bias?

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We try to provide factual, unbiased information.

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How come teachers can't all send out supply lists PRIOR to the start of school when the stores are stocked and items are on sale? I had to run to 4 stores tonight to get 5 items for my daughters math class....and causing me to spend more than the $30 amount at the elementary school level.

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Every year the elementary school supply lists are posted on thr school web pages in June.

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why are we called shen

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It is short for Shenendehowa.

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What is the district's seat belt policy for buses? Elementary school students are not required to wear their seat belts on Shen buses. New York State law requires buses manufactured in recent years to be equipped with seat belts. What is the point of the seat belts if they are not being buckled? Thank you to the teachers, staff, bus drivers and parents volunteers for helping our elementary school students during the first 2 weeks of school

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Seat belts are mandated equipment on school buses in New York State. However, the use of seat belts is not mandated by law and it up to the individual to use them or not.

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My child started high school and after one day comes home claiming their teacher wants them to have a device to connect to the internet. I really don't want my child to have such a device yet and don't appreciate the pressure being put on me to have to spend money I do not have to buy something I don't want them to have yet. What can I do about this?

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If students have a device they would like to use in support of their learning, and parents are also in support of this, policy permits students to use the device at the discretion of the teacher. Where use of devices is required the district will supply the device. Teachers should not be placing any pressure on students to have devices. Feel free to contact the teacher or building principal to discuss this specific situation.

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Are students in high school not required to run the mile anymore? Thanks

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Yes. Classes will be running the mile next week as part of the Physical Education curriculum.

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WHen do intramurals start at the middle school? What time should they be dropped off? THanks!

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Intramurals for the middle school started September 11th with flag football. No sign-ups are necessary. Students are welcome to come any day they feel like it. Intramurals are not scheduled on any Tuesdays. Students are dropped off at 7:55am and report to the designated cafeteria. A coach will pick them up at 8:00am. This link will provide all necessary information regarding intramurals. http://www.shenet.org/middle/academicdepts/MSPE/grade6pe/6peintramurals.htm

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Are students in High School East allowed to drink water in the locker room after PE?

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Yes.

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Where can the agenda books be purchased at HSE?

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The Business Department Office upstairs next to room 232.

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Can I graduate with a 54 GPA?

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You must have a 65 in all required courses to graduate.

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It would be nice to have one central calendar that describes what games are going on at Stuerwald stadium each day/night. Sometimes I drive by and see field hockey or JV football and would like to have known so I can attend.

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This is the site that the Suburban Council uses to list games.
http://163.153.20.139/sportspak/oecgi3.exe/O4W_SPAKONLINE_HOME. Click on schedules and then Shenendehowa High School and it will list the game on the turf.

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How much work is actually involved in updating athletic team rosters before we are deep into the season. There is no way of telling who are players on the football teams. Players work hard to get there and it should recognized on the web site. The only thing you can see on the web site is pictures of the coaches and last years roster.

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Booster clubs and coaches control the individual web sites. We encourage them to keep the pages up to date, but this isn’t always the case.

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Can a school sports team require you to get a large dollar sponsorship from an outside business? What is the policy on this - shouldn't it be optional or at least disclosed before someone tries out?

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No one is obligated to fundraise.

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A 'last updated' or 'as of date/time' would be great on the Athletic Page where they list practice cancellations and game changes. Thanks!

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Great suggestion, will do.

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What are the hours of the school store? It never seems to be open..I go as soon as I get off the bus.

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The High School East Store is usually open 8th & 9th Periods as long as students are available to work. It usually takes the first 2 – 3 weeks of school to get the appropriate volunteers in place before the store is open on a more regular basis.

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Is the high going to have a week off again this year for regents?

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The high school will have January Regents off for testing, but students who are not performing academically may be required to come into school for those days.

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so why can 12 graders who are not excellerated in science take AP bio.

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It is not in the best interest of students (especially those who are interested in science) to opt out of physics. Students who have not accelerated in science are permitted to take AP Biology so long as they also enroll in some level of Physics.

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how does one get onto the banking staff? as someone who comes from a long line of bankers, I'd really like to do that.

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You will need to apply to be considered. See Mrs. Tarlo or Mrs. Kelly.

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Why are half of the 8th grade koda lockers broken?

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Koda got 50 new lockers and repaired many this summer.

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Are 3rd graders restricted to the shallow end in the swimming pool?

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Third graders are taught in the shallow end with an emphasis on safety at all times. We do progress to the deep end with lifejackets as part of the safety unit. All students are required to wear lifejackets. On the final day they have the option of going off of the diving board with the physical education instructor in the water as well as the lifeguard and aquatics coordinator supervising.

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We are new to Koda Middle School. What is the difference between Team 1 and Team 2? Thanks!

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Teachers are teamed in groups of four or five for core classes (eng, math, science, ss) with common planning time to develop a smaller learning community and focus on student needs across content areas.

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Can you please let me know why Skano 5th graders had to spend their "recess" outside when there was a heat advisory (no other classes that I am aware of went out for recess or gym classes)? Most after school sports were canceled because of the heat!! Secondly, Why did they have to give up their "recess" (a time to wind down and chat with friends) to read a book under a tree? I am all for reading - but recess is time for kids to be themselves and visit with their friends!! If they choose to read during that time, Great!! But it should not have been expected!

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Because many of the classrooms were as hot as the temperature outside. The students were brought outside in the shade and were given the same freedoms as indoor recess. Students could have requested to go inside if needed. If you have additional questions, please contact the building principal.

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which score do you have to have in other to recieve the psat scholaship?

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http://www.nationalmerit.org/steps_nmsp.pdf

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I'm in the high school east and I noticed on my first day of school the amount of cob webs in my classrooms and on stairwells. To me that is vial thinking the maintenance staff doesn't even clean the school during the summer. That just shows how dirty my desks must be and how exposed I am to illnesses. So what I'm asking is what the role the maintnance even is and If they even clean the school at all.

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The schools are thoroughly cleaned, floors refinished and most areas painted over the summer. The custodians are back on their nightly routines and have established cleaning schedules.

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I am a female student of high school east and I noticed that half the bathroom doors don't even lock and the bathrooms are never clean making it just a miserable expierence every time you have to use the bathroom. Also, none of the hand dryers even work and it'd be pretty nice for them to work so I can actually wash my hands and not have to deal with wet hands and so I don't have to worry about girls not washing their hands to avoid having them be wet. invest shens money in stuff that gets everyday use for every student not just the athletes.

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We will have these inspected for cleanliness and any defective equipment will be repaired at once.

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Have you ever considered a Driver's Ed class before school? It is extremely difficult for athletes to participate in DE even over the summer. Athletes serious about playing college sports participate in their sport year around. My son literally got 2 weeks off this summer. The DE classes are extremely intolerant of absences and so we opted for the 5 hour class so he could at least have a driver's license. It is very frustrating. Thanks for considering.

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At this time we are making some revisions to the driver’s education program. For the first time this year, we are offering an “in car” session before school and we are hoping to offer a class before school next year.  However, it is very difficult to find driver education teachers who are willing to teach at that time.

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What is the anticipated number of students graduating in 2018?

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830

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Is Shen. bringing Planned Parenthood back into the classroom this year? Parents deserve a public statement on this matter.

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If the health teachers determine that they want guest speakers in the classroom the parents of those students taking the class will be notified of who and when. For students in health education classes the course outline indicates when these opportunities will take place. In addition, information regarding guest speakers will be posted on the district’s Health Education website.

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What are options for an 8th grader to tryout for freshman (basketball)? Do they have to be invited to? Just curious how they'd get chosen and what the process would be if interested. Thanks!

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Students are recommended by the coaching staff in a particular sport for selection classification.

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Is there some rule that counselors and department heads don't return phone calls to parents after schedules come out? My son was put in a class that was not on his course selection sheet in the spring and nobody will return my calls. My daughter also has a problem and her counselor also has not responded to an email everyday since the schedules came out. I would understand if it was just for a student trying to switch a class because they want to be with a friend, but we have actual issues that would have been best addressed before school starts.. I know that they are working, they just choose to ignore people and that is unacceptable!

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School counselors and academic administors are 10-month employees with  minimal hours scheduled over the summer.  If it is an emergency the building principal otherwise all scheduling issues can be handled the first week of school.

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Are middle schoolers permitted to carry a water bottle and/or eat a snack between classes? Also, can you please tell me what time the lunch periods are?

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They can keep a water bottle in their locker. Lunches are periods 3 – 6.

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hi...can you tell me where i can find information on the national junior honor society?

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Each school is different. You should ask at the counseling center or main office.

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Having a credit union "branch" at the high school is a great idea. Just curious, though...since students are running it, will they have access to the account numbers, account balances, etc. of other students?

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Students will be required to pass all of the background checks and undergo training regarding confidentiality as any “employee” of the credit union. They will be interviewed and yes they have access to these things. A Cap Com employee will be on site each hour the Shen branch is open for business.

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Why doesn't Shen have a Homecoming dance with a Homecoming king and Queen like most High Schools do? I feel like those things kind of a right of passage as a High School experience? It's almost unfair.

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We have had homecoming dances in the past and are open to them in the future. However, they are student-organized and there has been little interest in the past several years.

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Will the organizational chart be posted on the web site? If so, when and where will it be available?

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It is posted under quick links on the Human Resources page and the Staff Resources page.

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I read that other school districts are rejecting the new federal guidelines for what is served at lunch because the kids are not buying it and they are losing money. Is Shen considering also opting out of these requirements?

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No. We receive funding from the government if we participate and we are able to keep the free and reduced lunch program. If we were to opt out of the school lunch program we would not receive any funding and we would not be able to participate in the free and reduced lunch program.

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Please add a 2nd day for selective classification for fall sports. With summer vacations plans it is hard to make that one date. It would be easiest if there was a second time scheduled in June, when the kids can just do it one day right after school. Thanks!

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We agree and are working on that for next year.

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With our reliance on technology and access to accurate, real time info at our fingertips, I'd like to suggest that Shen step it up a bit and make the shenet.org website pages, particularly the academic info, accurate. In trying to prepare my child for the start of the '13-'14 school year, all the grade level info online is from last year. For instance, it would be so helpful and timesaving if all the various binders that are required for middle school were identified by subject, etc. There is no subject specific info available on the team pages. At least clear out last year's info to make way for this year. The only up to date info that I could find was the menu! It seems that a resource rich district such as Shen would provide a more sophisticated online presence. Thank you for considering my suggestion!

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We don't disagree. However, teachers maintain their own web pages and team pages. Some are better at keeping them up-to-date than others.

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Is there a map of the middle schools online I can print out to see where my classes are??

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Sorry but, following the recommendations of the NYS police, we do not post our maps on line. You can get one at the school.

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Why has Shen gotten chromebooks and Ipads?

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It is part of the district's commitment to providing a 21st century learning environment that includes integration of technology in the classroom.

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Are college visits excused absences?

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Yes, approved college visits are excused absences.

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Could this somehow be updated more then once a month just so answers are up to date

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That is the goal, but then I get busy with other things.

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I waited an hour at the sport clearance on August 7th with my daughter at HSE. All I needed to do is hand in four pieces of paper. I realize evening is a popular time. There needs be more nurses at the evening hours and/or more dates/times available.

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Thanks for the suggestion and we will do our best to look at this for the future.

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Regarding these state assessments. Is there more information available on results than just a score and a level number? How are we as parents supposed to know what areas a child needs more work on. With ELA for instance, how are we to know with a lower score whether it was the writing component, the reading component or both that were at issue? It would be helpful for a parent to know what makes up the score for his/her child. Are the districts provided with this information?

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School districts will receive more detailed information about the source of student scores this fall. An individual student report will be mailed to parents in the fall (late September or early October). These individualized reports will provide additional information about the source of the child’s score.

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How do I obtain a copy of my childs NYS Math Test for Spring 2013? I think a mistake was made when grading it because my child has a 90 average in Math and a score of 2 on the state test. It's not very motivating for my child to work her butt off all year and get a 2 on the state test.

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Due to test security, the school is not permitted to share significant portions of the assessment. There are some smaller portions of the assessment that may be reviewed with advanced notice in the presence of the school principal or another school official.

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How come graduation is on a Thursday this year? Isn't it usually Friday? Just curious about the change...

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SPAC availability determines the day of graduation.

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Regarding BYOD: do administrators have a plan to deal with students who text, take photos, surf the web, and record their teachers while they are supposed to be engaged in educational activities? Were teachers included in the decision to initiate this? It will be impossible to monitor, especially at the middle school level.

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Yes, we discipline according to the Code of Conduct...just like we do now when students are caught texting, taking photos, surfing the web, etc.

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Is there still a chance to register for the SAT that's at shen in september?

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We do not offer the SAT at Shen until Nov 2nd. They have until Oct 3rd for online registration. Here is the link to the website
http://sat.collegeboard.org/home?affiliateId=nav&bannerId=h-satex

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Is it true Christmas break is two weeks this year

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Yes.

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I was reviewing the calendar for the 2013-2014 school year and noticed that Christmas vacation is longer this year than previous years (2 full weeks). Can someone explain the reasoning behind this schedule? Was time taken from somewhere else to give them extra days for Christmas vacation?

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That is just how the calendar works out this year. The 2013-14 school calendar has 185 days of instruction, five days above the 180 state mandated days to be used for emergencies (i.e., snow days).

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What are the several vocal performing groups?

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At the HS there are three performing vocal groups: Mostly A Capella, Choraliers, and Concert Choir

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The ONLY music faculty page you can reach from the Shen HS page is Mr. Adrien Gleason's, and he has not taught in the district since 2011. Why hasn't his site been removed, and why haven't the other teachers with sites (Messare, Kenyon, Gumpper, etc.) been added to the page as a shortcut?

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Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Other teachers have not asked the web master to add the shortcut.

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Is there a limit to the number of friends/family members a senior can drive to school each day?

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Whatever you can legally fit in your vehicle.

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Have there been any changes to the dismissal traffic problems at the high school? Such as south on moe road going out the back exit

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No.

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Can you apply for a senior parking pass any time through out the year?

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Yes, if you are a student in good standing.

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when will new people be allowed to apply as a sub?

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Continue to check the Human Resources webpage for updates. We will continue to process Certified Teacher substitutes as needed. We have a current substitute list for non –instructional positions and will post dates when processing reopens for additional substitutes..

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Where is the middle school bookstore located? What are the hours of operation? Thanks!

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The bookstore is located in the hallway between Acadia and Gowana. It is typically open before school.

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what is the estimated number of kids graduating in the class of 2016?

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828

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Can you tell me the dates for the HSE and HSW Open Houses? Thanks.

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It is posted on the high school web page.

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where can I find the times for each class period during the day? thanks

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At the bottom of the school's web page.

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Why do I have senior sign in 9 th period and not early release, when I got a letter in the mail saying I was eligible for senior privileges.

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There could be a couple reasons. Perhaps you qualify for privileges but didn’t apply, or your schedule has not yet been changed to reflect your privileges. If you have not applied, you need to apply to qualify for early release. If you have applied, and requested early release, you will be all set.

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If I qualified for early release and my schedule says I have Administrative Dismisal on A-days but only says senior sign in on bdays, am I allowed to leave on the bdays?

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Sounds like a scheduling error. If it isn’t updated by the first day of classes, see Mr. Chandler.

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What is the policy regarding the use of Shen issued email accounts for faculty/staff? Is it acceptable for them to use the address as their primary form of communication when it has nothing to do with school, ie. clubs, coaching sports outside of the school, planning person events, etc.? (BTW, love the Grapevine and your witty responses! Keep up the good work!)

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Our primary concern is that e-mail is not used by staff for any illegal/unethical activities or for personal business gain.

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Two different dates given for 2014 graduation. In the principal's newsletter: June 26 (Thursday). On the 2013-2014 school year calendar June 27 (Friday). Assume the Friday date is correct?

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Graduation is Thursday, June 26. It has been fixed on the calendar. Thanks.

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How is it possible that a 6th grade student with a 95 average in math scored a "2" on the 2013 state test? How is the district going to handle the state test scores? This is very demoralizing for students, where is the incentive to do well!

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This is a teachable moment for students, teachers, and the district as a whole. It is important for our students to know that throughout their school years and career they will experience challenges every time the bar for mastering a skill or content is raised. This is not a time to give up, it is a time to press on with determination and persistence. The district is committed to working with our staff, students and families to do just that.
The recent NYS exams were focused on assessing students on content based on the new Common Core Learning Standards that we were only partially implemented. The level of questions were significantly harder and, in many cases, the structure of questions on the assessments was unfamiliar to students.
Consequently, the scores do not accurately reflect what students have been taught (the 95 grade in the course), instead it reflects the partial implementation and the continued need for teachers in classrooms to adjust their instruction based on this higher threshold. As a district we are committed to ratchet up our efforts to ensure a better alignment between what is taught, learned, and subsequently assessed (assuming the State does not change the assessments again).
We encourage students to remain diligent in their studies, and our teachers and administrators will remain focused on providing an engaging learning experience that stimulates intellectual curiosity and helps students rise to the challenge of the new more rigorous standards.

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It's a great thing Shen is getting WiFi! My only concern is connectivity and bandwidth - especially with BYOD going into effect along with all the district equipment. It'll be worthless if there are connection issues or because there's so many people connected everything will be working at a snail's pace. What is Shen doing to ensure we won't have these issues once WiFi is up and going? I know that there have been times in the past and recently where our "normal" internet connectivity has been affected in this way and/or have been told not to visit or have had certain sites blocked that take up too much bandwidth. Please don't cut any corners or try to save a few bucks on the equipment if it's going to cause problems with usage.
This is a valid concern and one that is addressed in the wireless project. The project includes a number of equipment upgrades that will increase bandwidth both between school buildings and out to the Internet. Additionally we will have much more control over how Internet bandwidth can be utilized. Finally the district’s Internet connection speed (bandwidth) will be increased by 400% over 2012-13 rates by the end of the wireless project. In the meantime, we will be taking steps to mitigate performance issues and support educational initiatives.

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I understand that the new NYS testing results are being treated as a baseline but doesn't it say something when the results seem different within the various schools in the district? It appears that one of the middle schools had better scores than the other two. Shouldn't this be looked at closely to see why that school is more successful than the others?

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School success will always vary by many factors including demographic composition.  As a district we are committed to increase consistency in what is taught and how it is taught. To that end, the district has invested tremendously in professional development and mapping out the curriculum for core courses so that it is consistently taught across schools and grade levels. Shen continues to have a high graduation rate and that is the ultimate measure of the district’s success.

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Are there try outs for middle school boys basketball? If so, when?

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We do not offer modified basketball.

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Do 7th graders swim in gym class?

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Yes.

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My daughter would like to know how she can receive SIS messenger emails to her email address. Many of the SIS emails I received this summer pertained to summer work and really should have been sent to her as well. Can she sign up through the portal? Also, I wanted to let you know that the webcast of graduation was a great idea and I enjoyed watching.

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As of right now the district does not maintain student emails but we are working on it.

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My child loves school and asked me to attend summer school so she could be in school year around can she do that?

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We are glad your child loves school. See how things play out this year and discuss options with your principal as the summer approaches. We have a variety of summer program offerings for students.

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What are the schools doing with the scores from the NYState testing. Will certain scores require AIS intervention?

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No…the state has said only certain students at level 1 will require AIS, which will be comparable in numbers to prior years. That is the difficulty with understanding the true meaning of the scores. Students scoring at level 2 are deemed to be on track for college readiness and only monitored as we would ordinarily do in classes.

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When is the meeting for senior mentors? And what happens if your interested but can not attend? Thanks

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Wednesday, August 28th from 2:30-4:00 pm. In the Little Theatre. If you are unable to attend, please contact Mr. Flynt directly.

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The class supply list asks for 60 #2 papermate pencils. What are these? Are they the mechanical pencils or wood ones? If they are wood ones, where do you buy them? I just bought 60 mechanical pencils and some extra packs for home, and then I saw a reference to these being yellow wood pencils. The only yellow wood papermate pencils I have found are at staples for over $5 a package. Am I to spend $30 on pencils?

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Okte’s 2nd grade teachers are requesting (60) #2 yellow wood (not mechanical) pencils for their students as a yearlong supply for each student’s use. No, you should not spend $30 on pencils. According to district policy school supply requests for students in grades K-5 should not exceed a $30 limit (including special areas such as art and music).

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This BYOD policy seems counter productive to the educational process. Have you given any thought about those students who do not have these devices? This will just show the widening economic gap between our students.

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There are many reasons students may not have access to a device. It may be lost, broken or forgotten.  Parents may be philosphocially opposed to providing one or may not want it brought to school. Families may not be able to afford one. That is why the distric will provide access when required in school.

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The BYOD page states "Where use of technology is required, access to district-owned technology will be made available to students". What exactly does this mean? If a teacher uses the cellphone poll vote feature and a child does not have one, the school will provide one? Also, when will teachers be trained on this new policy?

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Students will be given a device to complete the poll if required in class. Teachers are being trained.

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When is the district calendar being mailed out or being posted? Last year is the only one available online. Thank you.

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It is being mailed now. It is also now posted on http://www.shenet.org/events/index.asp

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Can you please tell me when the Senior Prom will be this year?

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May 31.

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When are the new schedules for High School released/mailed?

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8/23/14 - Teacher assigments/student schedules posted on the parent portal at 4 p.m.

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Why haven't you updated this in so long?

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Been busy.

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I have not yet received my notification of Senior Privileges. I have left a message for the CAP but have not yet received a response. Is the CAP in the office every day?? Is there someone else I can contact?

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Please contact Mr. Flynt as Mr. Chandler, Grade 12 CAP, may not be in the office.

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Can we, for at least ONE year not have an increase in the budget. It has gotten out of hand. We can no longer blame things on the cost of everything going up. Lets be real.

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As a district we have been diligently committed to controlling costs. Over the past five years, the district’s budget has increased by an average of 1.5% and the tax rate for this year is increasing by 1.3%.

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Where is the Social Studies 7/8 summer project available for download?

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The Social Studies 7/8 summer project is not available for download. It was distributed to students by the 7/8 teachers in June. Additional copies are available by contacting the Academic Administrator for Social Studies, Lisa Kissinger, at kisslisa@shenet.org

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Was a highschool math teacher just recently fired from Shen?

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While we do not discuss personnel matters, every year we have a number of teachers move on to different opportunities for a variety of reasons.

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Where can we find a breakdown of state test scores and how all students at Shenendehowa did? I think it would be helpful to the public to see how each grade level did to put their child's scores in perspective.

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NYSED website.

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Where and when will the geometry honors summer assignment be posted? In the email it said August 2nd but it has not been posted yet. Thanks

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On the math academic department page.

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Could you please tell me when grade 3-8 ELA and Math scores will be posted on the portal for individual students!

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They are now.

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Now that a second member of the board of education has resigned can you clarify how these two seats will be filled? If the board chooses to select two new members can you assure district voters that both seats will be filled for a full three year term in the next spring election?

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The Shenendehowa Board of Education is seeking applicants for two seats on the school board that became vacant when Rick Mincher and Mary Wiggins resigned due to personal reasons. Applicants should submit a letter of interest immediately to the District Clerk at 5 Chelsea Place, Clifton Park, NY 12065 (or e-mail robioliv@shenet.org and wetmkath@shenet.org). Once a letter of interest is received, the District Clerk will notify the applicants of the next steps in the process. The goal is to have the board select candidates to be interviewed at its meeting on September 24th. The two members selected by the board will begin serving at the next Board meeting on October 8th and will serve until the next general election in May 2014.

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Will I get a letter in the mail saying I'm eligible for senior privileges or just a letter saying I'm not?

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Yes, the letters were already mailed.

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is shen the worst school in New York, because i, and alot of my friends think so, the schools worse than jail.

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No. We don't have bars, barbed wire or armed guards and you are free at the end of the school  day.

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A few questions regarding the new CAPCOM branch going into the high school. Where exactly is it going? WIll students be able to use it during the schoolday and/or study halls? And will there be an ATM

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It will be located in the school store. Students and staff can use it but right now there are no plans for an ATM.

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i just was reading some of the BYOD policy information and I couldn't help noticing a certain section under regulation 7412 that says, "Student data files and other electronic storage areas will be treated like school lockers. This means that such areas shall be considered to be Shenendehowa Central School." It goes on to say that these areas are subject to control and inspection. I understand that this is all official stuff but I can't help pointing out that the district claiming areas of your computer seems a little bit creepy. Just sayin'.

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Data files and other electronic storage areas are owned by the district on our network.

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Is there more than one day for selective classification? My daughter will not be able to attend it on August 12th. In past years they have had more than one date and I was wondering if they did this year as well.

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Please contact Shawn Eggleston, testing coordinator, at egglshaw@shenet.org to let her know your daughter’s situation and schedule. Your child must have been recommended by a head coach in order to be classified. If you have more questions, please call the Athletic Office at 881-0396.

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what is the reason for having school start on 9/4 and having 9/5 off, just give the kids a break and let them start on 9/6.

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They just had a 10-week break.

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Why is an Academic Administrator the principal of summer school? Isn't that "double dipping" as he is a year round employee?

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No. Academic administrators work 10-months plus 21 summer days. This allows for the use of administrators for a variety of services during the summer.

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Just an FYI, as I don't know who to inform to fix this. On the high school page, on the links on the right hand side, "School Pyschologists" is an option, rather than "School psychologists"

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Thanks.

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In reference to the under age drinking comment, which is nothing new. It is not as widespread as you believe, the stories involve many of the same students over and over again. As parents we can help by monitoring any alcohol kept in the home. Some teens are taking it from the home and sharing it. Also, tell your kids if you hear others talking about where they are getting the alcohol they should talk to you. We as parents can notify authorities of establishments selling to minors. It is not the job of the administration to police students outside of school. Parents need to do their job!

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When students are caught drinking at school or school events, they are disciplined. However, most incidents take place off school grounds and outside the school day.

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Are the green/blue Shen/Shaker ribbon magnets still available for purchase? Sadly, ours was taken from our car last week. We'd like to replace it.

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Sorry, we are unaware of anyone still selling these.

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Do students who attend HSE that get in school suspension go to HSW for the day?

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Sometimes students who are suspended are given the opportunity to go to a different high school building to complete their work during their suspension.

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Are sophomores allowed to attend the homecoming dance?

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If there is a homecoming dance.

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I'm a Koda student going into 7th grade and I'm wondering what the binders are for. Thanks!

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For organization.

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Regarding the earlier question about grading minimums... isn't it true that at the High School there is a minimum grade given (50%) for the 1st quarter regardless of grade earned by the student? This doesn't seem fair!

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Yes, that is correct. A student can not receive a grade lower than a 50% for the first marking period. The earlier questions asked about student work.

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I am having a hard time understanding why Shen is one of three districts starting school on September 4th? It appears all the other districts, except East Greenbush and Waterford, are starting Friday the 6th or Monday the 9th, due to the Jewish holidays. I cannot imagine that is beneficial for the students or teacher to have one day on one day off for the start. Why not have one of the faculty workshops that day? Is it all about getting state aid? Thanks

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Different schools have different contractual obligations and also make different choices about when professional development days are provided. We believe that students benefit from having school as often as possible after taking in to consideration state law, federal/state/religious holidays, snow days and contractual obligations.

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I've heard there is a plan that will prohibit teachers from scoring student work below 50% even if a student does worse than that or doesn't turn in the assignment at all. Is this true? Isn't this falsifying a record? Won't it be hard then for parents or the state to see what skills a child really has learned?

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In June, the district held a focus group with staff to get their feedback on a number of research-based, best practices in grading policies. The theory behind that particular practice is that statisticaly if you give a student a 0, it is the equivilant of two failing grades because a 50 is failing. It was a discussion, period. The district often reviews and discusses various educational research and best practicies when developing policies.

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Whens homecoming 2013

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September 27.

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What average is needed to be invited into the National Junior Honor Society? Do all subjects/grades count? Even gym?

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Students need an overall average of at least a 93.00 to apply for the National Junior Honor Society. This average is figured by adding the averages from the four quarters during the sixth grade year to the first two quarter averages of the seventh grade year and dividing by six. All subjects count, since it is the overall average for each quarter that is considered.

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sports teams are already picked. Don't waste your time with this school's prima donnas and drug infused athletes. Our coaching staff should be ashamed of their lack of integrity.

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That is a pretty broad paint brush you are using to describe the 1,800 hard-working and dedicated young men and women who participate on 34 interscholastic athletic teams each year.

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Why a bank in the high school? I just received an email regarding a new Bank branch going into the high school and the kids having a contest to nickname the branch. What is the purpose of this and what are the benefits to Shen.

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The benefits are many. They include:
1. Allowing more students to participate in learning financial literacy and 21st Century skills
2. Allowing more students to take ownership in something at school that has real-life applications
3. Creates opportunities that model financial responsibilities of adults
4. Provides students with intrinsic motivation to learn the value of saving money
5. Provides students with opportunities to save due to proximity and availability as it is located in school
6. Creates partnership for guest speakers, field trip opportunities, internships

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As a member of the Class of 2013 NHS, I was shocked and disappointed to see that other members who did not meet the requirements for community service and/or NHS meeting attendance were nonetheless given NHS cords to wear at graduation. The NHS faculty advisor and these students should be ashamed of themselves for disregarding the rules and the pillars of NHS when the cords were distributed to students who clearly did not meet the requirements set forth in the NHS Constitution for being awarded cords, and for accepting an award/distinction which they knew they did not earn. I EARNED my cords and do not appreciate that my service to the community and NHS was cheapened by these cheaters and the NHS facutly advisor. Records for meeting attendance and service hours are available on the NHS website for anyone to see. I would like to know what Shen will do to prevent this kind of cheating by the students and their faculty advisor in the future.

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The administration of the high school is not aware of any impropriety regarding service hours and has much confidence in the advisors’ ability to keep track of such requirements.

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When will students be notified if they received senior privileges?

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By the end of August.

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My child took and completed the American Studies course at HSE and took/completed the honors option yet on their 4th quarter report card there was not any indication that she took honors, does this mean it will not show up on her trans script as well?

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Please check with her counselor at the end of August, or speak to the teacher in September.

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I thought the graduation this year was fantastic; except for one thing. In my opinion students joining the military should be individually recognized. (Just as the students with the 95 GPA are recognized.)Those kids are giving up a lot to serve their country and should be recognized individually for that. Please consider this for future graduation ceremonies.

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We don’t disagree. The only reason we do not do this is because we never have an accurate list of students and we don’t want to leave someone out that we don’t have firm plans about.

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There is a huge mistake in my diploma where it has the sticker stating that I had received a regents diploma when in fact I earned the advanced regents diploma. Where do I go to get this changed?

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Contact the counseling center.

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Are the photo's taken by the "Official Photographer" at the Undergraduate, Senior and Freshman awards ceremonies ever posted or available on-line? If he's being paid by the district, shouldn't they be?

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He is not being paid. The photos are used in the subsequent school year’s yearbook. You may contact Lauren Studios for more information about getting copies.

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What regents are offered in August? And how do you sign up for them if you just want to take them for a better score?

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Please look at the summer school website.

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I have a question about bringing cell phones to regents exams. I know it is too late for this year, but perhaps it can be clarified for next year. My daughter was told to leave her cell phone in a classroom while she was taking a regents exam. When she went to get her cell phone after the regents, the monitor let the kids walk in and pick up their cell phones. My concern is that what would prevent anyone from taking any cell phone. Could there be a better system next year, like a coat check system where the student has to give a numbered ticket to an adult to receive their cell phone and not be allowed access to the room? Telling a student not to bring a cell phone makes no sense since they need to call for a ride home when the regents is over, unless you want to provide a phone and allow the kids to call for a ride. Some sort of better security for the cell phones would make me feel better! Thanks!

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The NYS Education Department prohibits students from bringing a cell phone to a Regents exam. When students left their cell phone in the classroom, they were placed in individual bags with a number, similar to a coat check system.

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When will next years class schedules come out?

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They are available on the Parent Portal on August 23 at 4pm.

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i just got a letter aboutvmy third grader regarding the accelerated math test. the letter states that it has been decided that my child will get enrichment within the classroom ,not be in the accelerated program. what does that mean?

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This means your child will be best served in the regular third grade classroom for math, rather than taking fourth grade math as a third grader. While the math curriculum is quite rigorous and the vast majority of students are sufficiently challenged completing their grade level work, if the teacher notices your child is able to do more complex work he/she will provide additional opportunities (more challenging work) for your child within the third grade classroom.

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What is Jam Day at Skano? My daughter was not allowed to eat in the cafeteria, and couldnt get a napkin! Recess was not fun for her, because there were to many children on the playground. What was the ratio of help to the students?

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For explanation regarding this event, please feel free to call the building principal.

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can you tell me where I can find the summer reading requirement for 7th grade honors English? My son has no idea and he will be in honors

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The list is on the library website under "middle schools" grade 7 and he should read 4 books from the list: any two and two marked for honors.

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Is there anyplace where can I find the summer assignments for world cult- world lit online. I have the work but missed the meeting so I am unaware of the entire assignment. Thanks.

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No, the assignment is not published online. You will need to go to the Guidance Office in High School East and pick up the assignment.

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Thank you for your answer concerning policy 7316, the Bring Your Own Device policy. Please direct parents as well to 7316R, which contains more specific information about this new policy. Also please send a link via the SIS system to the web page that will explain more about all of this, once that page is developed. What devices will be available to students who do not have personal devices of their own? Will they be laptops or tablets? How is the district ensuring that there will be enough for all students? Thank you.

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The BYOD policy is only lifting the restriction on students being able to use their devices for educational purposes. We will provide more information to parents over the next few months.

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Why are people always so negative. We should all be thankful that our kids get to attend school at a district like Shen, and we are able to live in such a lovely community. Nothing in life is perfect people ! Get a grip on reality.

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:)

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Why is it that the book "The Bystander" was on Koda's seventh grade supply list last year and was never used..... yet here it is again on the eigth grade supply list?!

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That was a mistake. It has been removed from the list. Thanks.

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Does a student in Middle school need a note for being absent even if the parent called and informed them the child was home sick?

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No.

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In regards to a prior comment about the Boys Basketball open gym....I am not sure why my comment or my son's comment was not posted and answered? I will restate....Not all boys basketball players are welcomed to the spring and summer open gym. Only a few select players are welcome. My son went through it. He was welcome untill the coach felt he was not deemed "worthy" Players and parents do not speak about or share infomation about the opened gym as thier son may be penalized. I know the AD is aware of this and it is allowed. In my opinion open means open. That means ALL!!!! Not all players peak at the same time and all should be given the chance to improve. This practice i shameful!

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Your comment was not posted because a similar comment was posted.

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Can you change your guidance counselor with a legitimate reason?

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Contact Mr. Ripchik at the high school.

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Hello, I was made aware of an aide for the cafeteria and recess at Shatekon who throughout the year has inspired the students to practice "Random Acts of Kindness", and the students embraced the practice. What a great citizenship lesson from someone who did not need to be proactive. Also, this aide, on the last day of school, presented small presents/tokens -- presumably bought from the aide's own funds -- to the students reminding them to continue these Random Acts of Kindness over the Summer. I want to thank that aide, who should be recognized by the District, for going above and beyond all expectations, as well as the entire aide team at Shatekon, as it is well known across the district (and evidence by submissions to the Grapevine) other elementary cafeteria and recess aides can be quite un-attached to the students. Kudos to that Shatekon aide, all of the cafeteria and recess aides at Shatekon, and the entire team there. God bless all of the cafeteria and recess aides at Shatekon and hope they enjoy their summer.

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Thanks. Always nice to get some positive feedback!!!

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I read the Grapevine often to keep up with what is happening in our district. I have noticed several questions/comments lately that have little, or no, punctuation. If you want to make a statement that could become public record, PLEASE proofread, and make sure that your comments are clearly written! It is very difficult to read some of the rambling comments when there are no comas or periods.

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I used to clean them up, but it got overwhelming!

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Are you on summer vacation? While waiting for your reply to a previous inquiry, I was able to answer my own question of where is the new Bring Your Own Device policy on shenet. It is there, and can be found via the search function. My question to you now is this: will something be going home to families concerning this new policy? People I have spoken to are not aware of it at all. Parents need more information. How will this affect children in the classroom this upcoming year? Thank you.

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The BYOD policy is on the board of education policy page, policy number 7316. We are in the process of developing a plan to help communicate with parents. A web page is being developed to answer all questions.

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Nearly a month without a question answered, my tax dollars at work.

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What's your question?

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I'm a student at Acadia Middle School. I was wondering why the e-library could afford to get Dell OptiPlex 9010s, which cost $970 each, which makes it a total of $20370, when you cut our end of the year field trip? And don't say it interfered with Regents because Gowana and Koda both got their field trips.

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The end of year trip was not done this year due to the new final exam testing schedule. It had nothing to do with money – field trips are paid for by parents, computers are paid for by the district. The trips taken by Koda and Gowana grade 8 students were in May (not during testing and the Great Escape was not open at that time) and the Acadia grade 8 students had their trip to NYC earlier in the school year.

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In response to all the negative feedback about the dance unit at the high school: As a mother of two dancers, i feel that dance is not only a physical exercise, but art, which I applaud Shen for upholding. Please do not allow for ignorance to destroy Shen's integrity.

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Thank you. We agree.

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Is it true that the teacher who has been in charge of the drama and HS Musical is no longer doing the drama? Is there still going to be a drama in the fall?

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Mr. Kott is in charge of the spring musical and Mr. Lotano will do the fall drama production. Both are approved for this school year.

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When will the final transcripts be sent out to colleges for seniors.

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They are being sent out over the next few weeks.

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How is it legal for private businesses run by school staff (i.e. Shen coaches and sports camps) to have access to the Shen team rosters and emails? We receive numerous solicitations from coach run camps via email. We did not grant consent for the school to release our information to these privately run businesses. This is in violation of FERPA, it is clearly a conflict of interest, and it appears to be a "pay to play" situation. Often the solicitations begin by stating, "Are you ready for try-outs?" and it may be sent by the coach who will be deciding who makes a team. If a company would like our business, please advertise independently. Please advise.

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According to FERPA, if you do not want people to have access to directory information, you need to "opt out."

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I noticed that there were awards given out for the freshman class for students with averages 95 or higher. Does that use the weighted averages for those students in accelerated classes?

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For the 9th Grade Academic Excellence Award, students with an unweighted overall cumulative GPA of 95 or better through the 3rd quarter were recognized.

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Why is there an "Irish" fest and not "fests" for other nationalities? This policy appears to be on its face--discriminatory. Shouldn't we have a French-fest; a Canadian fest; an Italian-fest; a Mexican fest and the like?

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The Irish Fest has a long-standing tradition at the school which is a culmination of the Irish Literature class.

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My child came home from a meeting for a fall sport with try-out information...as well as a packet of athletic programs run by the coaches (that choose the team) as a private business. How can this not be viewed as a "pay to play" situation and a total conflict of interest?

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Our coaches have always participated in outside athletic activities to help all students improve. As long as they don't state that it is mandatory in order to make the team, it is not a violation. If you have a specific concern contact the athletic director.

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In regards to this questions, "Why has use of the pool as part of the elementary physical education program been cut back to only 3rd grade?" While it is true that,"it has always been third grade" (as you answered), it HAS BEEN cut back. Swimming WAS offered ALSO in 5th grade, and it is NOT now. WHY?

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Swimming has never been offered as part of the grade 5 physical education curriculum at the Shen Aquatic Center.

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Here are two replies, from 2008 and then 2010, regarding cursive writing being taught: "As a district we will focus on our time, attention, and resources on the those curricula areas that will lend to our students being most successful, now and in the future. The provision of program and services is an evolutionary process, and the individual and collective needs of students will drive decision making. Specific to cursive, teaching kids how to do so is embedded in many curricula areas." "Typically introduction to cursive begins in third grade, but with the technology expanding, it seems to be less of a focus than in previous eras. We will be examining the entire issue beginning in the second semester." So, when should I expect my 2nd grader to begin learning cursive- in 3rd grade (2014)? What classes will it be taught in, and when & how frequently will it be used? ALSO, is 'Handwriting Without Tears' the curriculum used by teachers with cursive, if not what is the name of the curriculum they use?Straight answers please!

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Teaching how to write cursive is not a primary or even secondary component of the curriculum anymore. The district is focused on providing a balanced literacy approach which entails reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These skills are the foundation for learning for all students in all disciplines.

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Is it true that seniors can no longer sign into the portal? If so how can we get our test scores and regents scores?

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You have the opportunity to see the scores until the district rolls the calendar for the new school year. This is done in mid-July each year. The portal is a current school year view regardless of whether you are a senior or a 6th grader. Your final report card contains all of that information and was mailed home in late June.

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I would like some explanation about why MY HS report card is addressed to the PARENTS/GUARDIAN of... According to current law I am legally an adult at the age of 18. This is confidential material and I believe my results were sent to the wrong person. Thanks.

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As long as you are a student living in your parents household…correspondences will be addressed to the Parent/Guardian of.

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Why are honors classes weighted the same as the accelerated classes? (for example: In eighth grade, the grade the 8H students receive is weighted the same as the eighth grade students taking 9H) I feel this is extremely unfair as the accelerated students work a lot harder than the honors students, and the work load is greater as well. This is especially true in eighth grade when the accelerated students are taking a high school course.

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The added weight is provided to reflect the added rigor in honors. The level of course a child takes is commensurate with the level of ability.

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I just wanted to give positive feedback on the Shen graduation ceremony 2013. Thank you to all involved. It is impressive how smoothly and efficiently it runs for a school of our size. This was our family's 3rd and last Shen graduation. Keep doing what you're doing.

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The high school graduation is a huge event and the high school does a great job in planning it every year. They make this ultimate culminating event for our students a source of great pride for our community.

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What was the net profit for the pool this past year? There is no one place to find this information in your budget.

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The pool is not operated to net a profit. It is heavily used for physical education courses and interscholastic sports. Use of the pool or other district-owned facilities by “outside” groups is assessed a fee to cover certain overhead costs, such as labor and utilities.

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My child is in 1st grade and scared of the dark so I asked the teacher to leave the blinds open whenever she turns off the lights and she said no.

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Contact the principal.

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Do you answer questions on the grapevine on summer vacation?

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Yes.

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what are the slo scores

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Student Learning Objectives, it is part of the new APPR teacher evaluation process.

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When and how can I find out the basic school schedules for the next school year (2013-2014). All I need to know is when school starts and the holiday and vacations. I need this information to schedule several doctors appointments during vacations instead of having to take my kids out of school for appointments.

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http://www.shenet.org/events/2013_14Calendar.pdf

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Do you have any knowledge about when students will be notified if they have an interview with CAPTAIN? My child keeps checking and they have not gotten anything yet and they are getting concerned.

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That process is fully controlled by CAPTAIN…suggest that you call them directly.

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My child is an 8th grade student who went to chango and returned to visit her old teachers and the office did not let them in even though we had emailed to make sure that she could be allowed in this is not the first year we had tried to visit the school but it will certainly be the last time we will try because the first time my child had tried to visit they were told to wait 15 minutes and after waiting they were told to wait another hour till the kids got out and after waiting patiently for that hour they were told they had to wait until the kids left and by the time they were allowed in most of the teachers had left ... This time even after emailing them they told her to wait another hour for the kids to leave she was to upset to wait and had to walk home when they had told her to wait she asked why they kept telling her it breaks " policy" I want to know what kind of "policy" makes kids wait in a small hallway for 1 hour to visit teachers when they are past students!?!?!

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We try very hard to reduce interruptions to our school dayand follow the established policies regarding visitors to our schools. The Chango principal apologizes for the confusion that resulted in your daughter being requested to wait until the instructional day was done. And, in the future,will be more clear regarding visitors to school.

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My daughter is in 5 grade, and we are moving to another district. is there any paperwork we need to fill out and who should we contact about this?

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You need to fill out withdrawal paperwork with your child’s school. For elementary school, please contact the main office. For middle school and high school, please contact the guidance counseling office.

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The weather has been extremely hot and humid - why do the air conditioners go off in the afternoon when staff is cleaning the buildings at night? This wouldn't be done if students & teachers were in the building.

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The system is set to transition the same way year-round… is adjusted to coincided with the level of occupancy.

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When will next years class schedules come out?

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August 23rd at 4pm

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this year students only had 2 days during the week that teachers offered review sessions for the finals and regents exams because the late school buses only run 2 days a week. I feel that during that period of time the school should offer 4 days of late buses so that the student's educational efforts don't have to suffer. My student wished to attend all review sessions for all of the classes but couldn't because they all ended up on the same days and time because of the limited late bus schedule. Not fair for someone who wishes to make that extra effort.

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Great suggestion. It will be shared with the high school principal and the Director of Transportation to assess.

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How do you find out your GPA?

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Your GPA is on your final year’s report card.

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If a senior with an average above 95 didn't receive their medal, is there anywhere they can go over the summer to get it? I never knew I was meant to get one because my homeroom is so loud I never hear a single word of the announcements.

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You may stop by Mr. Flynt’s office to pick it up.

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Is there anywhere that the black Class of 2013 t-shirts can still be purchased?

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Please contact Ms. Keiper or Mrs. Leiber (Class of 2013 advisors)for more info.

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When will the letter for National Honor Society being going out?. The website said it would be after grades were finalized.

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The advisors will be contacting candidates over the next few weeks.

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What do I do about wanting to homeschool my child?

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Follow this link for all of the information you will need http://www.shenet.org/DL_CurriculumLearning/DL_HomeInstruction.cfm. If you have additional questions please call 881-0665.

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How can we order school supply kits ahead of time?? heard you can do it ...can we at orenda?

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It may be too late for this year, contact your PTA representative

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Is the Shen administration aware that under age drinking is a huge problem in our district it's weekly that you hear of stories of disregard that our youth continue to make bad decisions in a recent case I heard of a coach being aware of a situation that went unreported more then the kids that individual is not helping! What is the administration doing are you aware of these problems they are extremely widespread and getting out of control how do we help youth deal with issues within our district or are we passing the buck? Parent/coaches are not getting it done!

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Yes, the district administration is aware that some students will make destructive decisions and has worked diligently to promote positive behaviors. When warranted students are disciplined according to the Code of Conduct.

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My son's scores for the standardized tests have not been available on the Parent Portal. I am anxious to know what his scores were. Please let me know how I can find out.

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The district has not received the scores from the state so they are not on the portal. Once the district does, we will post them to the portal.

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Why is it that over the summer when there should be a break from school, that the students who perform higher in school and put in more effort have to do even more work on a "break" when the students that don't perform as well should be putting in work over the summer to improve their performance? This is unfair to the hard working students. Summer should be a reward for their hard work and dedication not a time to dump more work on them.

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That is exactly why those students perform higher and rewarded with a weighted grade...excellence requires an extra effort.

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There are now two vacant seats on our school board. The cost of a special election was mentioned at the last board meeting. What would be the cost allowing district voters to fill these two seats? Thank you

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The BOE has decided to look at filling via an appointment process, avoiding the significant cost of an election while preserving the integrity of a thorough process. The process will be discussed at the next meeting.

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Why is there such a huge range in school success rates among Shen elementary schools? In this recent report Tesago ranks 3rd in the Capitol region, but Shatekon comes in at 100 out of 188. Shouldn't all schools being doing similar work and finding closer or more similar results if the teachers all receive the same training and follow the district/state standards? The link is provided for your reference. http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/blog/2013/07/top-elementary-schools-in-the-capital.html

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If it were that simple, all schools district-wide, region-wide, and state-wide would be statistically bunched together. However, there are numerous other factors that impact the overall performance of schools beyond the standardization of curriculum and consistency in pedagogy. Demographic factors such as poverty play a significant role, as well as issues of transiency. Even within the Shen district there are demographic differences. However, with that said, there is actually more parity between Shen schools than not. The performance of the schools are on the average, within 10% points of each other. The goal ultimately is to have all schools, all students, performing at the maximum level of their potential. We are proud of the overall quality of the school district.

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Why was Easter left off of the 2013/2014 calendar?

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It was an oversight, it will be added.

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This goes to the Asst. superintendent. Next time you are at an event at one of the school you should really know what school you are addressing. We pay you way too much to not take the time.

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It was a slip of the tongue and she caught herself and apologized immediately.

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why is open gym for the boys basketball kept a secret? kids who played on freshman and jv last year should be ENCOURAGED to play and stay active in the program during the offseason!!!

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Due to testing open gym was moved to Arongen and only had it for the older players due to the smaller space.

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How is it that Tesago continues to employ a lunch aide that continuously bullies the children. I had another parent of a child that attends complain about the same problem. They say that she screams at them in front of the other students and lies to the teachers about things they did not do. Bullying is unacceptable behavior, especially from school staff.

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Please, ontact the principal immediately.

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Hi I have recently taken AP exams and have found out that in order to access my AP scores in July I need my AP number from my student pack. I do not remember my AP number, is there a way to retrieve the pack or get the number from the high school?

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Please email one of your AP teachers for this information.

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At HSE, all four entrances/exits are open during lunch periods. Even when the doors are open, why aren't we allowed to use the doors by the nurses office to go to the bathroom by the main lobby? Im really confused as to why we can only exit through the back of the cafe. Please answer so I know, thank you!

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This helps to keep students out of the front hallway and away from some classroom.

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There are dress requirements on graduation day for students which reflect parental and community expectations, dress or blouse and skirt for girls Can girls really be forced to wear dresses? If they show up in dress pants, will they be denied the opportunity to walk across the stage?

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No. These are guidelines.

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i heard you will be serving starbucks coffee in the cafeteria next year. is this true? if so, will standard sizes of small, medium, and large be used, or will it be tall, grande, and venti?

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No.

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In regards to my daughter, a paper was sent home informing me that she was given the right to sign off on her accommodations for the upcoming Regents if she didn't feel she needed them. It was Signed by Mr. Rupchick in HSE. I thought there had to be a legal procedure to do such a thing. I'm not sure these children are able to properly make these decisions. What can I do as a parent?

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The letter indicates that the parents should contact the student case manager with any questions or concerns regarding this matter. The case manager’s name is provided on the letter. You can also contact either Jill Barker or Paul Ripchik

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Why isn't there a symphony orchestra with both strings and winds combined at shen?

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There is not enough room in the majority of music student schedules to make it work and maintain valuable existing program.

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The District must look into getting more advisor units for clubs. Clubs are one of the most important parts of the school and the experience of the students. It is ridiculous that a school like Shen would turn students away from starting a club because there are no units, or lowering the amount certain advisors, like Senate's are paid. Please consider adding more units (especially to the High School) to enure that the students receive a quality extracurricular experience.
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The district has over two hundred units, far exceeding the amount stipulated in the teachers contract. The issue is how the committee decides to use the units.

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Where does the school get their pizza for lunches?

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The brand is Big Daddy’s and we get it from Sysco or Ginsbergs.

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If a teacher is rude and disrespectful toward a student. What actions does the student have to take to notify someone?

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That student or you as the parent could discuss the matter with the building principal.

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Has the school ever made use of a 360 degree eveluation for teachers which includes student input. My daughters, in 8th and 10th grade, have recently made some very constructive comments to me about their current crew of teacher -- why some are effective and why others are not. I would think such feedback would be useful in creating a team of teachers that know how to effectively connect with their students. Thanks for all your answers!

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The district uses the Danielson rubric for effective evaluation of teachers. As a parent you can always communicate information to your child's teacher and/or building principal for that matter .

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What is Shen's policy, or the law, pertaining to notes sent home regarding contagious situations or illnesses? Thank you.

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There is no specific policy. We generally post information on the web. Based on the situation, an SIS message may be released.

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Hello, I'm a eighth grader taking all ninth grade core classes, and I was wondering why the students in middle school taking Regents cannot take the rest of the school day off. I feel it should be the same for all students taking the same exams. I understand that we cannot take an entire week off for finals, but we should at least get the rest of those two days off. (Science and Math). Thanks.

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Because you are an 8th grader and that is just the way it is.

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Were favors given out at the Jr. prom this year? My son came home with nothing and claims that he didn't see any...also, it the ticket prices are already $70, why do students have to bring more money to participate in the photo memories? Has anyone looked into lowering the cost by changing the venue or getting rid of the dinner? The prom is way to expensive for HS students, my son had to pay for two tickets, a tux, and flowers and spent almost $400...the girls have to pay for even more...it is not right.

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Thanks, your input will be taken into consideration.

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Hi I'm wonder when the deadline for handing in the GradUShare order form. I was planning on ordering online but thier site keeps glitching to the point where I can't place an order. So if there is a deadline, and I haven't passed it yet, when and where would I hand the order form in?

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Deliver your order to Mr. Flynt’s office.

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When are medals given to seniors for 95 and above average?

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They were handed out and students were called to the office during the last week of school.

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The Shen year book is fantastic, the students/advisors of yearbook club did a great job. It was not a $70 purchase we took lightly, but decided it would be the perfect memento of high school to share with friends and family. However another student chose to use ugly and disrespecrful words when autographing my students yearbook. Perhaps we are naive to the language and words used at High School, but can someone speak with the students, or put a general announcement out there that it is not appropriate to sign yearbooks with ugly words.

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Yes.

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By any chance can you go to summer school in order to skip a grade like for example, I am taking Algebra H (9th Grade) and I want to do Geometry in the summer so i can be accelerated....

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No.

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I am a senior here at Shen and I left school today shocked to see that someone had put red M.A.D.D. ribbons around the side-view mirrors of all of the cars in the lot-including mine. Who gave anyone permission to do this?! This is our personal property, nobody should be touching our cars!

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This was an initiative of SADD. Mr. Flynt allowed this.

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Why weren't the recipients of the underclassmen awards posted on the website?

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It was an oversight.

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Do you keep your cap and only return the gown after graduation?

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You keep the tassel only.

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Do the students in grade 7/8 English and SS acceleration have to do the graphic organizers from the summer reading lists, and if so how many? thanks!

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Graphic organizers for summer reading a simply to help students remember what they read. They are not mandatory for anyone. There will be a meeting for next year’s Accelerated 7th graders on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 3:50 in the Gowana Library. Questions about the summer assignments can be answered then. If students cannot make this meeting, they need to see Mrs. Horton in room 947 after the meeting.

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Will there be extra yearbooks for sale at Koda Middle School?

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Yes, the cost is $25 and the check should be made out to Koda Project Fund. The check can be given to Miss Mattesen in the 8th grade wing in room 806 or to the main office. Ellen Mattesen, Yearbook advisor.

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Is Shen part of Kid Kampus? The Okte Principal is also listed as Principal at Kid Kampus. If so, are taxpayers responsible for her salary?

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It’s a daycare center owned by her family. She helps out with curriculum ideas. She doesn’t receive any salary.

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I heard that a possible reason to miss a gym class is because of impassable roads? Is this true? This causes me to wonder what the other valid reasons are to miss a period of gym.

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No.

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I was disappointed at the reply to the previous question about Shen not usually having Juniors playing at the JV level. As an educational institution, what message is being sent to all of the students who love the sport, but may not be in the top tier? Is it "If your not good enough by now, you might as well quit!"? As my daughter enters high school, I would expect coaches and athletic administrators to have the supportive attitude of, "Hey, your not quite ready for Varsity yet, but you are only a junior. Let's try and develop your skills a bit more in JV and you can try again next year." One of Shen's mottos are "Committed to Excellence". With attitudes displayed like the one in the previous reply, it seems more like, "If your not excellent by now, move out of the way for someone else who might be!".

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The practice of placing juniors on Junior Varsity teams is a rare occurrence at Shenendehowa and at a majority of Suburban Council schools. The issue is not enough roster spots in many of our sports compared to the number of students who wish to participate.

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Can you elaborate on what this is and how the selections are made for the 9th Grade Recognition Night

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The 9th Grade Recognition Night honors students who have achieved a 9th grade overall average of 95 or better, along with those that were nominated by High School West faculty for their effort and achievement in each subject and their character and citizenship as a member of the Class of 2016.

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I am wondering why it cost $70 per person for a Prom ticket? In addition, each class is supposed to raise money towards their Prom, or have been told they may not have a Prom. Dinner and a DJ does NOT cost this much for teens. Weddings and private parties don't cost this much. Why is this not more affordable?? Thanks for your time.

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The cost of prom is more than just dinner and a DJ. The price includes facility rentals, a sit down dinner, favors, decorations, linens, a DJ, photo booths, chaperone costs and invitations. We also pay for personnel including security and a nurse.

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Is there going to be a system where you can track your morning bus to see when it will pick you up? I heard something about this and it would be really beneficial

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The district is testing a system now.

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I am a staff member who parks in the parking lot behind Orenda and Karigon. On many mornings when traffic is backed up cars use the breakdown lane to turn on to the school(they often start near Lace Lane) Yesterday I was again almost hit while turning in! It is illeagle to drive in that lane. I have also seen buses do the same.

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Automobiles are not permitted to drive in center medians.

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The Board of Ed. should announce when one of its members resignation became official as that will determine how her seat on the board is filled.

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The district does announce it once it is official.

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Why has use of the pool as part of the elementary physical education program been cut back to only 3rd grade?

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It has not been cut back, it has always been third grade.

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Does the Shen aquatic center recertify Lifeguarding?

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We recertify our own staff and offer a lifeguarding course every spring, but do not recertify for the outside public.

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Why are middle schoolstudents required to take art? Why can't they have a option to take art or another class that interests them. My son is a math, science, tech student. Art is not his strongest subject and his art grade goes towards his GPA. He does the best that his ability allows him. My son is not going in the art field when he gets to high school and beyond so why not give him the choice in middle school to take a course that will be beneficial to him. The teacher should grade based on their ability not what she expects because you are either an artist or not. It's not something that you can make someone be.

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Art is a NYS mandated requirement for all middle school students. Seventh grade art at Shen meets the minimum requirement

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With our awesome musical resources, why do we not have a marching band for games and parades?

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We have tried in the past but the interest was not there.

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Out of curiosity with the new BYOD policy, what devices are acceptable. Are we only allowed to bring tablets and iPods, or laptops as well?

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The district will be rolling out that policy next year and information will be provided then about what will be allowed.

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When will the 2013-2014 schedules be released for students?

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That is usually posted on the portal in August.

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Why would Shen decide to get a whole bunch of new stuff and new ideas when their favorite seniors are about to leave them?

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School goes on even without our favorite senior class.

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What are the Miranda Rights?

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You have the right to remain silent...

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I would like to thank the HS yearbook staff for another great job. The book is beautiful and I will treasure it forever.

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Yes, they do a great job every year.

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I know that coaches are only allowed to observe open gyms and are not supposed to run them; however, are player's parents allowed to run them? For softball along with several parents that stay and watch open gym, there are fathers who run it. When the season starts it always seems like the girls whose father's run open gym get special treatment. How is this fair? In other sports the senior players tend to run the open gyms with some guidance from coaches. Why doesn't softball do the same?

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If there is a concern with the way an off season open gym is structured, please contact the Director of Athletics.

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Is it legal for my sons teacher to be wearing a tank top shirt?!?! thats disgusting and very unprofessional! i want it changed for next year imediately.

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Yes.

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When are you guys gonna start updating this again?

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There was a problem with the filter so we were not receiving questions. It is fixed now.

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is the security camera footage from the shen aquatics center available to the public? If not, how can i access it?

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No. It is not available to the public.

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when is the first day of school

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September 4.

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Should seniors wear their caps and gowns to graduation or can they put them on at SPAC?

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Either one.

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Is there still a phone number that a parent can call to check if school is in? During a power outage there are many people I'm sure other then myself that do not have Smart phone and therefore can not get the information that is being posted via the internet.

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The Times Union Sourceline doesn't exist anymore. You can try calling the district office.

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Is there a way for parents to get text message notification in addition to the email notifications?

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You can get text messages by following us on Twitter.

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Why was a special instructor brought in and paid to teach dance to the high school students? That certainly seems like unnecessary spending in the midst of budget cuts. Thank you very much for your response :)

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The dance instructor is paid for through an arts in education grant.

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Thanks to all the teachers at Shen that make school fun and enjoyable! They are really smart as well. But do they know why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch?

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Maybe.

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Just as an FYI, everyone hates the dance unit in gym, and the reason kids ask the coaches "when are we doing the dance unit this year" is so that they know whenit will be easy to skip. Please tel lthe coaches to not justify the dance unit with "the kids like it" because as a student i can say i hate it. Thanks

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Dance has been a part of the New York State Physical Education curriculum for many, many years. There are many activities in all curricular areas that kids don't particularly like. A public education encourages students to be open to discovering and experiencing new things.

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Looking at the district events calender, it appears that all the other elementary schools have a fifth grade moving up ceremony, except Orenda. Why is that?

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Orenda’s fifth grade moving up ceremony is on June 19th at 5:30pm at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs. At the time when the district calendar went to print, Orenda had not yet secured a location.

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Do you have to be enrolled in a business course to be in FBLA? I have been in two but it cannot fit into my schedule next year when I want to join.

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As long as you have taken one business course at some point in time, you are eligible to be in FBLA.

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What is your favorite type of waffles?

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I prefer pancakes.

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This has been brought to the school board before probably, but i feel as if High Schoolers in particular have a hard time getting up and going to school. its ridiculous that high schoolers must be at school by 7:40am (when school starts). BUT the fact that its SCIENTIFICALLY proven teenagers need more sleep than younger kids should be more than enough to have that schedule changes. its not fair to kids that dont have the option of getting driven in have to be at the bus stop by as early as 6:15 in some cases jjust to go sit in the High School west parking lot until 7:10 on the dot for the 9th graders to get off and then get dropped off t our school and walk around for another 30 minutes. This could easily be an extra 40 minutes of sleep students NEED. And I know the topic that Jobs, Extra cirricular activities such as clubs and sports are a major role in this. and the matter of fact is, those CAN be managed. Say school soon ended at 4, athletes would still have 15 minutes to go and get ready for a practice. 4:15 is the time most practices start now anyways! The matter of fact is, grades could be higher, more students would be 'easier' to deal with and many more positives would come out of this change.

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Going to bed earlier also provides more sleep.

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Will KODA be having any kind of moving-up ceremony? If so, what is the date, and are parents invited to attend?

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6/13, 7 pm and parents are invited to attend.

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Our music program here at Shen is phenomenal. I just attended the district jazz fest, and the guest artist was blown away by the high caliber of our students and our teachers. Thanks to Shen for supporting music which is such an important part of our childrens education!

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Yes, it is. We are proud of the tremendous talents of our students and the dedication of the staff.

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How come a school of our size cannot find a better way to relieve traffic congestion getting in and out of school? It's sad and disappointing to see our school ignore these concerns and continue to allow traffic accidents which could potentially harm people occur. The only preventative measure are a couple of security guards directing traffic. While they do help the situation they are not enough. A permanent solution is needed.

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The simple solution is that more students simply need to take advantage of the buses provided. It is great that families are fortunate to have the flexibility to pick-up their children or provide them with a car.

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I have sent this question a few times and it has not been answered. Why does Shen continue to allow parents to have lunch in the cafeteria with their children. This practice is putting other children at risk. The district needs to impose more restrictions on who can enter the schools and when. There are families in our schools who have significant issues going on in their home life and the schools are oblivious.

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Such actions are left to the discretion of building principals, who must authorize such visits, ensuring the appropriateness.

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I have just read the grapevine and one of the comments was in regards to local faith leaders speaking to the health education program. While I have no issue with people's faith and what they choose to believe/practice I do have an issue on religious leaders speaking about health to my children. What happened to the separation of church and state? Religious leaders have ZERO to do with health. They are about religion. As these parents want to know what the health topics are and have the option to keep their children out of specific health topics. I would like the opportunity to have notice when a religious leader is coming in to discuss their beliefs. I want my children educated with all the facts. The last time someone came in and berated our children for pre-marital sexual behavior, there were numerous children very upset. (as noted by many comments on the grapevine) Please keep religion out of general education. If people want a religious leader to come in and speak it should be by registration only. Thank you.

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Religious leaders are not speaking about health to students. They were merely included in the stakeholder group that made up the Health Advisory Committee.

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Im taking the college level business courses at shen that are run through HVCC. i received a letter in the mail that showed that i could take online courses through them for credit in high school next year. would these be on my transcript & would my grades be shown/counted in my GPA?

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It would depend on what the course is and this would have to be run through the Business department administrator and the high school principal.

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Are parents invited to the Orenda Time Capsule?

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Parents are welcome to attend.

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can u get in trouble for eatting pencils

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When in doubt, don't do it.

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Many schools are doing criminaly based disaster drills. Are there any planned for the next school year?

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The district practices several types of drills on a multi-level bases. These cover Fires, structure failures, chemical incident and even intruders.

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I am wondering why it cost $70 per person for a Prom ticket? In addition, each class is supposed to raise money towards their Prom, or have been told they may not have a Prom. Dinner and a DJ does NOT cost this much for teens. Weddings and private parties don't cost this much. Why is this not more affordable?? Thanks for your time.

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The cost of prom is more than just dinner and a DJ. The price includes facility rentals, a sit down dinner, favors, decorations, linens, a DJ, photo booths, chaperone costs and invitations. We also pay for personnel including security and a nurse.

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There is no information on the link you provided as to when the letters will be going out inviting current juniors to apply for NHS. Is there anyway to get this information. Thank you

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Flyers were distributed in all homerooms on Monday, April 29.  Students with a GPA of 90 or better, as well as a commitment to community service needed to attend a mandatory meeting that was held on May 7th. The application is currently available online and the deadline is noted on the application. To access the document on the NHS website: visit the district website; select High School; then select Clubs and Extracurricular Activities (lower left); finally, choose National Honor Society and select 2013 application (lower right). The application contains all of the directions. For additional information, please contact one of the club’s advisors: Mr. Lieber or Mr. Merchant.

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What day is the 8th grade graduation for Gowana?

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June 12th – 6:30pm - HSE

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Why is it that a tenth grade english class is taking a final when thier teacher has been absent almost half the year with subs that dont know the cirriculum and when the teacher was their they didnt learn then either? And on top of that they havent learned the stuff that is going to be on the final i dont think this is fair to the kids.

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The teacher, the current substitute teacher and the academic administrator are aware of parent concerns due to this unforeseen medical leave. We will work as a team to ensure the final exam is fair to all students. If anyone has additional concerns, they may directly email the Academic Administrator for English at desidian@shenet.org.

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What should I do if my cap for graduation is too small?

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The CAP can get you a cap that fits. No pun intended (Class Assistant Principal).

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I have a concern about the condition of the rest rooms at H.S E.--are there any plans to possibly upgrade/renovate the rest rooms?

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Each summer they are painted and minor damage is corrected and the rooms are spruced up.

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Could you give me the survey link regarding harassment that was sent home to students at Karigon. Who reads these surveys and are they anonymous?

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The survey is now closed and yes it was anonymous. Every parent received a letter home explaining it.

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Why is it if you pass the regents with over an 85 or 90 but you still fail the class you still have to either take the class again or take an AIS form of the class? You know the material and everything if you can get a good grade on the regents then you shouldn't have to take the class again.

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Thanks for your input. We will discuss this at the high school.

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I heard the AD was at the Shen-Shaker girls lax game watching the Shen players get knocked down, hit in the head, goggles flying off and instead of addressing the abuse, he scolded Shen parents saying the officials wanted him to speak to the parents. I can't imagine he would be so insensitive and allow the players to get hurt!

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Parents berating the officials is not the way we expect parents to behave at a sporting event. The AD was well within his right to ask parents to behave appropriately at the game. As far one's interpretation of how officials officiate, that is clearly subjective.

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I have noticed that the main entrance to the Shen campus (off 146) around 3:45 p.m. when the middle schools get out is an absolute disaster. There really should be a crossing guard at the crosswalk. It's hard enough to make a left turn let alone groups of kids crossing and not looking where they are going. The busses do try to help out by stopping when the light is red and letting cars make the left turn but many people are impatient and rude and blow their horns. There is a crossing guard at the Acadia crosswalk, however, their are many adults there to help out and I think the crossing guard would be better utilized at the Shen main entrance/crosswalk. Please give me your opinion. Thank you!

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School security is not allowed on county or town roads…only on school property.

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please fix your links about drivers ed for ever time i try to sign up my son it gives me a broken link.

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Summer driver's ed. info won’t be available until May 29.

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The traffic flow at the high school is not working. First, it is quicker for my son to take the bus home than for me to pick him up. that tells you something is wrong. The security guard directing traffic today doesn't know you can go right on red. I was in the circle at 2:40 with my son in the car. I did not exit the lot until 2:59. People were getting nutty and making a 3rd lane, not respecting the every other car rule. And just sitting there watching people not be able to turn right at the stop sign. nobody else coming, because the guard was halting traffic. it was like being stopped at a green light. You really have to address this traffic flow. either get rid of that guy because I think it would run a lot smoother without him. Or on the right out of the lot, going north on moe road go straight. going south on moe road, take the first right and out that other exit. Nobody respects that security guard, if he did a good job it would be different. And why does he wear pilots sunglasses on non sunny days. really...

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That’s why we encourage kids to take the bus…it is safer, and as just pointed out, faster.

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I'm curious as to whether anyone has brought up the subject of the Junior Prom and the possible regional boys Lacrosse game both being at the same time....is it possible to get the game changed to an earlier time so the kids can attend their junior prom?

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The New York State Public High School Athletic Association sets dates, times and locations for regionals and state championships in all sports. This is not a new problem and is a result of a variety of factors, including dates for state championship, availability of venues for athletic contests as well as availability of venues to host a large prom.

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Have you ever considered renaming High School West to "Middle School Version 2.0"?

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No.

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Why do high school students have regents week off but not AP exam week off?

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State law.

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My son is taking advanced gym next year. I was wondering if this effects his GPA? Unlike regular gym that does not.

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No.

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My child believes that both Koda and Gowana are permitting 8th grade field trips this year while Acadia is not. Can you please verify, and if true, explain why? Thank you.

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Thre three middle schools decided to to cancel the Great Escape trip this year due to the amount of final exams which are new to the middle schools this year. Acadia had its gr. 8 field trip in the fall and gr. 8 students in Koda and Gowana went in May.

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When do the students at Gowana Middle School get their yearbooks?

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At the end of the year...middle of June. Students who preordered will receive them in homeroom first, and any extra books that the company sends will be sold for $30 cash starting the day after.

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When will Shen be going Wireless? We are going to get tablets for our kids and need to know what they are going to use them for.

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The voters have approved a capital project to provide wireless access to all buildings. The intent is to have the project done by September of 2013. Presently, we are waiting for SED approval to move forward.
The district is also reviewing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that will be presented to the BOE for approval. To help explain how mobile devices can be used for instruction, the district is also developing a BYOD page for the district website. Please keep an eye on the district website for more information.

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My child's eight grade science teacher told the class that the results of their NYS science test would be counted as their final for the year and it would be 10% of their yearly grade. I thought the NYS test results could not go towards the students grades? Who is correct?

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Historically, the grade 8 science assessment has been factored into the students’ fourth quarter average, a common practice which is not prohibited by SED regulations. This year, however, students will take final exams in most middle school courses and the final will count as 10% of their course grade. This will happen in science too.

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The amount of students getting dropped from business classes in the high school is ridiculous. Shen needs to hire another business teacher.

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Thanks for the input…like with everything we aim to balance resources and access.

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Will the pictures taken at freshman recognition night be available to parents?

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Please call Lauren Studios if you are looking for pictures.

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Do 4th quarter grades count towards the seniors gold medals for having over a 95 average?

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No.

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If a student is actully sick and not away for a family vacation or something like that for the day of their speaking portion of their LOTE final exam will they still be able to take it?

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It depends on which LOTE exam you are taking. If you have a speaking exam scheduled and you miss it due to illness, you should speak with the teacher. All Checkpoint A and Checkpoint B speaking exams need to be completed by June 12.

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When is the Economics Final?

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The testing schedule is posted on the District web page now. The Economics Final Exam is Monday, June 10, beginning at 12 noon at High School East.

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Why are the Middle School Math teachers grading the NYS tests this week and allowing substitutes to take over their classes? The substitute was unable to effectively present the lessons, leaving most of the class totally confused. Why not have the teachers in class and have the substitutes grade the tests?

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Both Shenendehowa teachers and retired teachers assist with scoring NYS Assessments. Scoring assessments provides valuable professional development for teachers as they are able to fully understand how students will be graded on state exams. When it is necessary to have substitutes in the classroom, we expect substitutes, who are also certified teachers, to be able to effectively present lessons prepared by teachers.

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When do students from Gowana Middle School get their 4th quarter report cards?

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Thursday, June 27

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How many students are enrolled in Mandarin Chinese? How many sections are offered?

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We currently offer one section of Mandarin Chinese I with 24 students. We plan to offer the follow-up course, Mandarin Chinese II, next year.

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In what grade Honor Society get's more inductees? During Junior??? Senior??

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Only juniors who maintain a 90.0 gpa or better through their junior year are accepted into NHS. The induction ceremony is held in the fall of the students’ senior year and members are required to continue demonstrating high standards of scholarship, character, and leadership, in addition to volunteer service in the school and community.

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Why dont High School level health classes include information for students that are homosexual?

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The sexual health unit covers the sexual health curriculum without distinction for sexual preference.

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My child is a student at Shatekon and told me tonight that all winter they have been encouraged to not talk during lunch and play a game (with the lights off) to see what table can be the quietest for the duration of lunch. My child was told that they are practicing this every day during lunch in case of an emergency. I was unaware that this is an appropriate daily emergency preparedness technique. Can you tell me if this is implemented and being encouraged at Shatekon and in all of the elementary schools across the board?

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Shatekon has practiced emergency protocols in the cafeteria to ensure student safety, though not on a daily basis. Occasionally before returning  to class, the lunch aides will play a quiet game with the students to prepare them for hallway behavior. Again, this is not done on a daily basis. If there are further concerns, please contact the building principal.

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Do you have to be enrolled in a business course to be in FBLA? I have been in two but it cannot fit into my schedule next year when I want to join

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As long as you have taken one business course at some point in time, you are eligible to be in FBLA.

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While overlooking my son's 3rd quarter grade in German. I saw that while 10% of his grade is based on culture related topics. There were only 2 available points for the category. Had he gotten those 2 points, then his grade would've changed over 10% points. I find it ludicrous that an entire letter grade was decided on 2 possible points. I understand that the quarter is over, but is there nothing the teacher can do to change this?

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Please speak  directly with the teacher to discuss the grade.

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is it too late to order a yearbook for high school?

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It is too late to order however, the Yearbook Club orders extra books to sell during distribution. They cost $75 for cash-only at that time. Seniors may buy books on Tuesday May 28th and thereafter. Juniors may buy on Wednesday the 29th and thereafter. Sophomores and Freshmen may buy books on Thursday the 30th.

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When do we get our yearbooks for High School?

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Yearbooks are distributed to Seniors on Tuesday May 28th and thereafter. Juniors may pick up their books on Wednesday the 29th and thereafter. Sophomores and Freshmen may pick up their books on Thursday the 30th.

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Is summer school offered at the elementary level? If yes, how do I find out if my child would be considered for summer school?

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Summer Literacy Support will be offered to students in grades K-3 who have received high intensity academic intervention services (AIS) during the school year and who would continue to benefit from this additional support. Parents will receive letters of invitation by the middle of May.

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Are the student portals confidential? An after school program staff asked for a child's portal password so they could access the students homework assignments. My question is does the after school program need the parents approval to access the students portal?

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Student and parent portals are confidential. Do not share your user name or password with anyone. While we applaud an after school program for wanting to help students do work, they are not given access by the district to your information, nor should you give them access

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Some teachers were talking today during the NYS Test. My student said. "It was very distracting." "I was stuck on 1 question for 15 min." Please make something happen about this.

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Please contact your child’s building principal with specific details so we are able to follow up on this report.

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With all the publicity surrounding the rigorous common core standard/nys tests, how does the district anticipate handling the assumed drop in students not meeting standards? Will there be additional support in the classroom, as well as enough AIS teachers to accommodate a presumed larger student body that may need AIS support? My daughter missed making standard last year (she is currently in 6th grade) in math by three points but was not placed in AIS for the 2012-2013 school year and could have really benefited by being placed in AIS. In addition, her overall grades during 5th grade were not great. I was told that if a student did not meet standards, even if they were off by 1 point, he/she would be placed in AIS, period, end of discussion. Will the same type of latitude/discretion be done this year if a student does not meet standards even by a couple of points?

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Due to the increased rigor of the assessments and materials covered, the State Education Department is predicting a notable drop in student scores this year across the state. Please note that it is more about the shift in the Common Core curriculum, than it is about rather a student is smarter or a teacher is more effective. As a district we are focused on making that shift as seamless as possible for students and teachers alike. Consequently, we are in the process of revamping the type of instructional materials being used, providing professional development to help better align instruction with the increased content rigor, and ensuring adequate staffing to provide academic support for students.
This year’s assessment scores will be reviewed as one indication of student performance when determining AIS or other academic supports. Class performance and scores on other assessments will also be considered. Primary instruction will occur in the classroom where Shenendehowa teachers will continue to teach the Common Core Standards and provide necessary supports for students. Where additional, supplementary supports are deemed to be necessary, students will also be scheduled to receive AIS. This is a complex series of events, and we have been working diligently for the past several years to make the needed adjustments.

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When do you anticipate announcing the results of the National Latin Exam that was taken this year?

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The National Latin Exam winners were shared during morning announcements at High School East in early April. These students will also be recognized during the Underclassmen Awards Ceremony on 5/23 and the Senior Awards Ceremony on 5/30 at High School East. Latin teachers also shared results with individual students during their classes.

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I am curious where Shen stands on the Common Core standards that seems to be infiltrating school districts across the country.

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The shift to the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), adopted by 45 states, represents more challenging content and higher expectations for proficiency at skills such as reading, writing, and solving equations. The Shenendehowa School Districts embraces the shift, viewing the CCLS as an opportunity to better prepare our students for an increasingly competitive global market place. While the shift has required teachers to bridge gaps during this period of transition and the assessment scores are predicted to decrease, we believe the long-term outcomes for our Shenendehowa graduates will be positive. Ultimately, we must ensure our students are prepared for college and/or future careers.

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Is Shen planning to privatize transportation?

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No.

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I just wanted to let you know that highschool East also has a student that will be attending the cheer performance at the White House next week.

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Thanks, but we need to get that information from a staff member before we can publicize it, not an anonymous grape.

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When will applications for High School National Honor Society be available, and when is the deadline for submission? Thank you.

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Qualified juniors are invited to meet the advisors at a mandatory information session that will be held at 3:00pm, Tuesday, May 7, in the high school auditorium. At that time, students will receive details about membership and information about completing the application, which will be due Friday, May 31. Juniors should be receiving additional information over the morning announcements and in homeroom in the next day or two. Any student with questions or concerns may contact Mr. Merchant or Mr. Lieber.

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Rumor has it that an eployee belongs to this hardcore-rock band. Is any of this true? The music that is in these songs didn't seem to have the values that Shenendehowa proudly exemplifies. Thank you very much for your help in clearing this up.

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Even if true, an employee's musical pursuit is not a concern for the district if such actions are not illegal and not in conflict with the employees ability to do his/her job.

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How much money was spent on the signs, posters, and banners of the 71% statistic? Why was this particular statistic ("71% of Shen students think it's uncool to drink alcohol REGULARLY") chosen? Thanks!!

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These were paid for by the Shenendehowa Community Coalition in 2011 as part of a grant to reduce underage drinking, not the district. The “Shen Strength in Numbers” campaign is designed to correct the common misperception that all high school students drink alcohol. In reality they don’t (68% of high school students chose NOT to drink in the past month), and most don’t think it’s “cool”, as evidenced by the 71% of students who reported it wasn’t. This information was gathered from students through a survey conducted in November 2011.

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Why are the showers in the High School East main gym's locker room so unsanitary? There is a huge clog in the drain causing there to be mold on the floor and various pieces of garbage on the floor. The football team uses these every other day in the morning, so why are they not maintained by the janitors? It is unhealthy for the showers to be this disgusting.

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We do occasionally experience drain problems and backups and we address them as soon as we can.

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Do you know where and what time this years graduation will be?

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Graduation is at SPAC on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm.

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Why does the library in HSE close after 10-15 minutes? I have a free period, and sometimes I tend to be late getting to the library, because I talk to my teahcers. They LOCK the doors so no one can get in! And also, if someone were to open the door, and let them in, the librarians kick them out! This isn'st fair, as nearly all of the kids need to go to th library to do work!

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If you have a pass, the library staff will let you in.

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What is the schools policy on teachers texting during instructional time? My child tells me that his gym teacher is always texting. He doesn't pay attention and class is always chaotic. This is troubling.

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Teachers should not be texting during instructional time. Please contact the Director of Athletics and Physical Education or your child’s principal to discuss further.

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Since Friday May 24th is now a day off for students, will the high school underclassmen awards ceremony still be held on Thursday evening, May 23rd?

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Yes.

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I have a junior who is applying for senior privliges and I was checking her attendance and realized that I never gave her a note from one day she was absent and it was in november can I give her the note now to get the record straight that it should be excused

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Yes, get it to Mr. Flynt.

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There's a boy in my child's school, Shatekon, who pulled down a girl's shirt in the hallways. What type of punishment will he receive? This is ridiculous for my daughter to come home with a story like that.

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The principal has no knowledge of this, please contact her about your concern.

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I'm a new non instructional substitute at Shen. Should I be grading papers and filing in teachers log books? That's what I've been doing. I'm a sub aide not teacher. Doesn't seem right.

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No. Please express your concerns to the building principal.

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I looked at the 2013-2014 school year calendar, and it seems that school starts on a wednesay, students have thursday off, and go back friday? Why is this?

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Yes, next year is unusual because the Jewish holiday recognized by the district is the first week of school.

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I heard there might not be a Freshmen Boys Soccer team next year. Is that true?

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No.

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When is the earliest a child can try out for V, JV, and Freshman sports? My son will be in 7th grade next year and is interested in playing baseball for Shen.

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Your son would need to be recommended by the coaches to tryout for an interscholastic team.

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Would shen ever consider making a second way out of the parking lot or connecting the other teachers parking lot to the circle so it would take less time cause it takes students and teachers a long time to get out at the end of the day

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The district will review this option.

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 Just curious- When a student is so disruptive that they bring upon themself and the district public attention from repeated bad behavior, then what options does the district have? Is there a point with a line that is drawn? Private schools can toss a kid a for repeated disgraceful behavior... What does a public district have at its fingertips when a family can't get their kid on a better track? All this said, it is great that in a district of almost 10,000 so many of our children are safe and receiving a great education. Thanks!

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There are multiple ways or steps taken to address disciplinary actions, from the provision of a behavioral plan and counseling services to in or out of school suspension, to even engagement of the court system. If a parent has such concerns, the building principal should be contacted for assistance.

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Why is the policy regarding the use of ipods and cellphones in study halls not uniform at HSW? I'm not saying that we should or shouldn't be able to use them just that the policy should be the same in all studyhalls. It's not fair that my friend can listen to music in her studyhall and I can't even use my phone to check edmodo to see what my homework is for that night.

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In each classroom, study halls included, the use of electronic devices is at the discretion of the teacher. If you wish to use your electronic device in study hall for an educational purpose, please ask the monitor in charge to do so.

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My son is asking to use the restroom and the teacher says no. 5 minutes later, a girl in his class asks to use the bathroom and the teacher says yes. There goes shen again favoring the girls. That's why this website is called she-net.org. I just wish for once the shen staff would give my son a break with the restroom, or HW, or hall passes, or something like that and make the girls get inconvinced for once.

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If you have a concern about your child’s teacher’s bathroom policy, please contact your child’s teacher. If you are not satisfied with how this policy is affecting your child, please feel free to contact building administration.

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If my boyfriend is out of school and i want to bring him to prom what should i do? the form asks for a school administer signature but he doesnt go to school.

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Please see an administrator. The school attempts to do background checks on attendees who do not attend Shen. If no information can be gathered, he will not be able to attend.

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For the awards for students nominated by faculty in HSE, when will we know if we have been chosen or not?

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Invitations for the Underclassmen Awards will be going out tomorrow. Senior Awards, next week.

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If a student/senior is taking an AP class, is the student required to take the AP test? It this required by the school or NYS? If they choose not to, how does this affect their transcript?

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It is the school policy that the student takes the AP exam. A student has nothing to lose in taking the exam. If the student fails to show for the exam, the transcript will not reflect course credit in the Advanced Placement course.

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can a high school student carry cigs ? if not what happens when they get caught ?

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No they cannot carry cigarettes or tobacco products or paraphernalia. If they get caught they will be punished according to the code of conduct.

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Is the health class grade added into your GPA? Thanks.

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Yes.

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can a high school student carry a lighter?

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No.

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Can someone explain why the 8th graders don't get an end of the year trip this year?

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With the new final exams at the middle schools, there aren't any open days to take a trip.

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Can you tell me when the June Regents schedule is released to students?

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The exam schedule is on the NYS Education website. It will be included in the Principal’s Newsletter sent out in early May.

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Why does shen not offer microwaves to students in lunch periods, such as done at nisky high school?

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They are a safety hazard. If you need something microwaved, ask the cafeteria staff.

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If you fail the Geometry regents exam but pass the class, do you have to retake it next year? Or do you have to retake the exam at a later date?

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You retake the exam in August.

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When should parents find out the results of the Cogat tests that were given in January? Also, will we receive our child's scores?

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CogAT test results were mailed to parents. Parents who have not received their child’s scores should contact the Office of Instruction at 881-0640.

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Since we don't have school the Friday before Memorial Day. When will the Irish Fest be?

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May 23rd.

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In conjunction with implementation of the "Common Core Standards", I've been hearing from other parents across NY State that data is being collected on our students through an organization called "inBloom". What does the district know about this organization and what data is being collected? How is this data going to be utilized, shared and protected? Thank you!

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Please see the following links. The first link explains how the NYSED is planning to use student data. It is developing a data portal, the EDP, to provide a secure content management system, collaboration platform, and dashboard reports so that educators, students, and families can access and analyze educational data, make decisions, and take actions to improve student outcomes. The second link is a Frequently asked question and answer document for parents. The third link is a draft of the contract, which clearly illustrate the intent of the NYSED to insure the security of data and fully comply with FERPA and any applicable data security laws.
General EDP information -
http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/data/edp.html
Parent privacy FAQ -
http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/data/edp-privacy-parent-faq.html
Our agreement with inBloom (formerly the SLC) - http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/docs/slc-service-agreement.pdf

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Good Morning, I understand this past Friday at both high schools Shen used school time and the school speaker system to advocate for the LGTB agenda. This happens once a year at Shen with no notification to parents. Once this forum is opened you must allow all views on this topic to be expressed in the same forum. This is based on Equal Protection.

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The district does not advocate for or to any organization’s agenda. It is the district’s responsibility to uphold the constitutional rights of students, and in doing so ensure the expression of such rights are not unlawful, and do not cause disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of the educational process. In this case, the high school principal worked directly with the school-sanctioned student organization (GLASS), and developed a plan that allowed for an informative sharing and expression of information. The information shared was solely focused on fostering a greater appreciation by the student body. We appreciate the values and beliefs students share, and endeavor to preserve the integrity of each without one being allowed to supersede or minimize the other.

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I was looking for information on the National Honor Society. I did look through archived grapevine questions, but the links given do not work. Are there new links? Thanks.

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http://shennhs.wordpress.com/

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who are you?

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Oz...otherwise known as the district's public information officer.

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Many holidays are listed on the 2013-2014 school calendar. Why isn't Easter Sunday listed as a Religous Observation?

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Because it is not a school day. It is listed on the larger calendar that is mailed in the summer.

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Why do you reply to every question with so much sass

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I didn't realize I did.

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Is there going to be summer school this year?

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Yes.

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I love how the district added access to grades through the parent portal for elementary school students. I am curiouswhy there is such a long black out period for uploading 3Q and 4Q grades. For Q3 3/22-4/22 seems excessive. It is a great tool and access is missed during this time. For other grade levels the black out period is only a few days. Thank you!

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That is the length of time requested by teachers and principals at the elementary level.

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I would just like to say that Mr. Bain is an excellent teacher and coach. He has made it his goal to never end up on the grapevine, so here you go Mr. Bain! thanks for being a great teacher!

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See, it is not always bad to be on the Grapevine :)

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Please bring basketball back to the Shen All In!

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That is a PTA event, please contact their leadership with any suggestions.

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In regards to the health education program, the district should make an attempt to engage in respectful dialogue with the leader of the local faith community that initiated the opposition to the guest speakers. The leader of the faith community needs to tell the community what he can offer students/families in place of the mandated curriculum.

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We did include a wide variety of stakeholders on the committee that reviewed the program, including the clergy.

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I have nothing against Shen writing long acknowledgement on other sports like the Robotics. Can someone write something about the Colorguard as well? They are also going to the World Championship at Dayton this coming April 11 & 12. The Kids deserved to be recognize. They work so hard to get this far

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We post anything sent by a staff member. Express your concern to the club advisor.

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What is the maximum no of tickets we can get for HS graduation at SPAC?

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No tickets are required for graduation.

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With regards to everything that has happened, how do we know that this isn't going on within other sports organizations? For one, I've heard that a club advisor is very hard on the players, sometimes throwing stuff. How could this be tolerated!? What are we going to do in order to safely monitor these teachers?

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We investigate any thing reported to us.

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So, how many questions have you received about snow this year? ;) Fantastic job with the Grapevine! I always look forward to updates and sometimes I get a good chuckle reading the questions and/or responses. Keep that great sense of humor.

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A lot...our most frequently asked question.

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Would the school please do something about exiting at Moe Road. It is difficult to take a left there especially when school let's out. A light or security guard would be helpful.

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We have no authority over town or county roads.

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drop off in the morning at HSW has become a hazzard. There are very few people who use the designated drop off area just past the pool parking lot. Now there are multiple entry and exit points in the morning. Can one of the traffic guards be posted outside the curve to allow for safe entry and exit for a few days? People are speeding and not following the designated areas. Those who are dropping off in the correct areas are unable to exit safely!

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Everyone who drives on our roads should obe the DMV laws and the district's procedures for drop off points. Motorist should first of all SLOW DOWN, be much more patient, respect each other and yield for pedestrians who have right of way.

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I am looking ahead to next year's school supply list for my rising 5th grader at Okte. Could you please tell me what the $10.00 assessment fee is used for? Thank you for your time.

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Those are last year's lists. The lists for 2013-14 have not been posted yet.

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when is the Orenda time capsule ceremony of graduating seniors?

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June 11, 2013 from 12:30-2pm.

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Is there vegetarian options at high school prom dinners? If so, what?

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Yes. Please see the class advisors.

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Are the green and white awards based off of the weighted averages?

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Yes.

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why is the shen pen allowed to publish a article praising socialism onto its students its unexcusable

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Freedom of speech.

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the fact that shen junior prom is the same night as lacrosse regionals is rediculous it should be looked into to change the date of the prom because right now it is making some of the kids feel like they dont want to win the section to go to prom.

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Sometimes conflicts happen. The prom night is selected a year in advance. The regional athletic games are set by the state. Lacrosse players are able to come and arrive late to the prom. Sometimes conflicts happen.

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where can I get a new Id in the middle school? Do I need an Id to get into the semi formal?

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It is probably too late in school year to get one – just talk to school’s main office and they can make sure you can get into the dance.

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Why are there no spectators at Shen Golf events? Are we permitted to form a gallery to cheer them on?

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Most of the courses discourage spectators for liability purposes. Generally, spectators can watch the 9th or 18th holes as golfers finish.

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why are there 2 head coaches for the freshman Lacrosse team.

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Due to work conflicts with the two coaches, the position was split to maximize instruction for the freshmen lacrosse players.

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I have been told by counselors and teachers multiple times that the career choice I have stuck with since I was very little "may not be the best choice", or that I should "consider something like Engineering or Science". I feel that this crosses a line. We are constantly being told that we should follow our dreams and do what makes us happy, yet we're being told that we won't make enough money, or once I was told "That's not a REAL job. You should think about something more engaging". It's my life, and I think it's unfair that administrators and teachers are telling MANY students to try something else. Please talk to someone about this, I know multiple students like myself who are having trouble with this too. Thanks for all your hard work, you do a good job.

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They are called “guidance” counselors since they offer guidance. They offer advice. Students should follow their dreams, but always have a backup plan in the event the dream doesn’t work out or the student changes his/her mind. Administrators don’t typically give advice on career choices.

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I am curious as to why class rank is calculated after the 3rd quarter of junior year and not after the full year. I thought that class rank is really not needed until the Fall when you being filling out college applications. Do they recalculate near the end of senior year? Thanks so much!

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Seniors have their rank recalculated after 3 3/4 for cords, val/sal, etc. Rank for college applications is completed after completion of junior year.

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The freshmen baseball roster is still not posted on the web sight. It might not seem to be too important to the coaches, but I'm sure it is important to those who busted their butts and made the team. Direction to away game are hit and miss. Those of us who follow the team need to know where we are going when away games are scheduled.

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The roster is up. To date, one mistake was made with the site where the team was playing.

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Will I get an updated class ranking on Naviance before the end of my senior year?

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No. We use the 3 year (frozen) rank and average on all transcripts through the end of the year so we do not post something different in Naviance. The only time it changes is the final one we send to college with the students complete high school rank and average.

 

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A campus messenger email just went out saying: School Districts in New York State, including Shenendehowa Schools, are not permitted to allow students to opt-out of New York State Assessments. Schools are required to assess students anytime they are in the school building during the test administration or the make-up administration window. While this is technically true (since there is not a formal opt out procedure), students can "opt out" by refusing the test and not receiving a score. Why is the district only providing partial information to parents on this very important topic?

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There are rumors circulating that there is an "opt-out" option for state tests which is simply not true. School districts have been administering standardized tests for many, many years. This is not new. The purpose for the NYS standardized tests has not changed either. They are used to ensure that school districts are effectively teaching to the state's standards. For districts where students are not meeting the standards, certain mandates kick-in requiring extra support for students and improvement plans for districts. It also serves as a part of the process to identify students for acceleration and enrichment.

If a student refuses to take the test, or the parent refuses to have a child take a test, there has always been a code for districts to enter into the state's reporting system for such cases. These students are considered to have "no valid test score."

There are significant implications for school districts when students do not take the test. If participation rates for a school fall below 95 percent of eligible students, districts run the risk of losing federal Title I funding—taking resources away from the school district—and  being subjected to additional state-mandated reform efforts. Further, it has implications for teacher and principal accountibility. New this year, teachers and principals will receive a "score" based on the testing results as a part of the new APPR legislation.

All these implications stemming from the increased rigor of the curriculum and exams to the accountability of staff, has caused some concerns. However, we are confident that our staff members have done a solid job in preparing students.

Most importantly, we see the tests as only one component of the larger educational experience. The true effectiveness and success of our students, teachers, and administrators alike, is based on the overall growth experience. To thsy end, the NYS Education Commissioner released a video to let the public know that he fully expects scores to drop as a result of the new tests--not as a result of students being less intelligent or teachers/principals being less effective.

We strongly encourage all students to take the test and try their very best, providing the district with an accurate gauge of how well we are progressing and how well we are teaching the more rigorous curriculum. We all gain when we all participate in the process.

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I have two children in the Shen school district, one excelling in middle school, and one struggling in elementary school. Both seem to be trying to adjust to the NYS Core Curriculum change this year and the pace at which new topics are being introduced (especially in math). Do you know if there have been similiar reactions from students, parents, and or teachers?It just seems like there is too little time spent on each topic, and the kids are trying to grasp one before they are being taught a new one.

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The Common Core is a more rigorous curriculum. Yes, teachers across New York State, and the 44 other states that have adopted the Common Core, have found this adjustment challenging. In spite of these challenges, the Common Core is designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of topics to ensure our students have the needed skills in the long run.

We are monitoring the transition closely at Shen and are committed to provide our teachers and students with the support needed to help them realize success.
We encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher to see if there are additional supporting materials for your child to work on either at home or in school during this time of transition.

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Could you explain what the Common Core Tests are? If a student is accelerated what grade level do they take? Are they part of grades or just a standardized test?

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New York State Assessments are Common Core-aligned tests. They are given to students in grades 3-8 in both ELA and math, and also given in grades 4 and 8 for science. Students take the assessment that corresponds with their grade level. These assessments do not count toward students’ grades in the class. Instead, assessment results are used as one factor to determine programming options for students (acceleration, honors, academic intervention services, etc.) and also used to measure how well students in New York State are progressing toward college and career readiness. Assessment results are also used to measure the effectiveness of the instructional program.

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The middle school has Olweus to help implement the DASA legislation. What does the HS do to meet the requirement?

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The high school uses several methods including clubs and organizations that promote tolerance. In addition, we are in the early stages of Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies that promote school-wide expectations.

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Will there be any changes to the Electronics Policy in the High School next year?

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The District is working to install WiFi technology in the high school next year which would create the need to modify the current guidelines.

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Why are road tests not excuses absenses? Most students have no choice but to schedule during regular school hours, and it is an essential need for most students to get a license.

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The Commissioner’s Regulations include the following as excused absences and road tests are not included:
Personal illness
Illness or death in the family
Impassable roads or weather
Required court appearances
Quarantine
Attendance at health clinics
College visits
Military obligations
Religious observance
Disciplinary detention

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I was wondering if the shen schools are allowed to have sports practices on holidays such as good friday?

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Teams are allowed to practice on certain holidays, including Good Friday.

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Has the "Next Step in the College Process" been rescheduled yet?

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Yes. It will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 6 p.m.

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I was in the acadia library and i heard a racist comment about what kind of race a boy was! The librarian was RIGHT THERE but did not do anything! I really hope this will be adressed by teachers!

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The Acadia library can be an extremely busy place, and despite the best efforts of the library staff they do not hear everything that is said, even when  in close proximity to students. If this situation occurs again, please bring it to the attention of an adult in the library so that it may be addressed.

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Is it possible for a junior(11th grade) to participate on a JV level?

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It is possible, but it is generally not a practice that we use at Shenendehowa. The junior varsity is a developmental team which usually consists of sophomores, freshmen and some advanced eight graders.

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My son is currently in Acadia Middle School. Some of the teachers don't use the portal on a regular basis. I know my son needs to be accountable for making sure he completes is homework and studies for tests, however it would be helpful if all the teachers listed assignments on a regular basis and not after the fact.

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The principal sent this to the staff and reminding them to be up to date. However, the portal is just one tool used to communicate. Parents can always call the teacher to discuss concerns.

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As spring is approaching, I would like to remind administration that appropriate dress is essential. I don't see that dress code is enforced enough because most infractions are by girls and most administators are men. Please make school a place where our sons don't have to see half naked girls walking around. This is a huge problem and not enough is done.

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We have a dress code and it does not just apply to girls.

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I was just nominated for an "award" as a freshmen and am required to fill out a packet, but what is the award for?

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Students were nominated for consideration of one of 3 awards.The awards are:
SHENENDEHOWA PTSA NEIL HESSON AWARDS: An award to a male and a female in the freshman class with outstanding citizenship and character, academic achievement, integrity and has done a great deal for the school and fellow students. The tiebreaker is highest academic standing. The recipients will receive a plaque.
AMY MARIE LAW FELLOWSHIP AWARD: This is an award that is given to a grade 9 female student who most personifies the qualities and characteristics of friendliness, is non-judgmental of peers, participates in class and building activities, ready to “do a little extra” and an average to good academic student. The recipient will receive a check.
SPIRIT OF WEST AWARD: This award is given to a 9th grade male student who exemplifies outstanding school spirit through his participation in class and building activities, as well as his friendliness and helpfulness to his peers. The recipient will receive a gift certificate.

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Does the HS have a SAT prep class to help students get ready for the test?

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The high school does not have an SAT prep class, but there are many outside organizations that are available in the community and their contact information may be found in the Counseling Center.

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Just wondering why Mandarin Chinese 2 and Calculus 3 are planned to be offered next school year but not Honors Physics. It seems that many more kids would take advantage of honors physics than the 19 or so able to enroll in Calc 3.

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While we offer a comprehensive array of course offerings, you are right that we do not currently offer Honors Physics. Shen students can take Physics or AP Physics. We may be able to consider the possibility of additional Physics courses in the future.

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If all of the students in HSE are "breaking the rules" by listening to their iPods in the halls, why not change the rule? If they have one headphone in while walking to the class, what harm is being done? Not to mention the fact that some students use their music as a "feel-good" during the day...

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The high school is looking at the guidelines for the use of iPods. However, we don't believe that all students are breaking the rules.

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can seniors leave during the day if they have a free period and a car?

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No. However, seniors may leave early or arrive late with senior privileges.

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Is it possibles for 6th grader currently not taking accelarated math to start in 7th grade?

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Students who are not accelerated in grade 6, may begin acceleration in grade 7 if the teacher recommends this placement. For these students, Math 7 and part of Math 8 will be learned in grade 7 and then the rest of Math 8 and all of Algebra will be taught in Grade 8.

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The public has a right to know why an employee was suspended.

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No, the public does not. The district has a right to preserve an employee's right to due process and confidentiality. Similar, the district has the obligation to do what's in the best interest of students.

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Kudos to Koda for implementing the Olweus Antibillying Program! It sounds like a terriffic comprehensive program. Are all staff members, including bus drivers, involved in the training?

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Custodians and drivers have not been trained yet, but the plan is to do so. Everyone else has been trained.

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I am pleased that the athletic director has acted responsibly...investigating the allegations surrounding comments and actions of a coach by talking to the players directly and not succumbing to the public pressure of a few overzealous parents. We all want the best for our children, but we also want to demonstrate to them that a person can be held accountable for the consequences of their actions with being destroyed in the public arena. The coach is not an evil person or a criminal, we need to remember that.

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Unfortunately, that is the world we live in. One phone call to the media or a post on a blog or social network site and a person's reputation can be destroyed before due process is allowed to take place. All we can say is that we seek to preserve the integrity of the athletic program by fostering a culture of respect and responsibility. We do so by objectively holding staff and students accountable for their actions.

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Why do you change questions about a staff member or student being disciplined?

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All disciplinary matters are confidential whether it involves students or employees. Questions sent to the grapevine with specific details of an investigation will be altered to protect the process. 

When the district receives an allegation of misconduct by a student or staff member, we investigate. In certain instances, the employee or student may be removed from the situation while the investigation occurs to ensure an objective process is followed. Students and/or parents immediately and directly involved may be notified of the removal and, in the event of an employee, that employee’s temporary replacement. However, we do not provide the details of the allegation or the investigation whether it is about student or staff misconduct.

Once the investigation is complete, if the allegation is confirmed, the employee or student is subject to progressive discipline. This system of progressive discipline is intended to correct the negative behavior. Several factors are considered, including the severity of the infraction, previous history, and other mitigating factors. 

"The district is committed to the goal of cultivating and fostering an environment for students to grow and hone their skills, while having a positive experience. We support all of our many employees who do so. Shen has a tremendous track record of success and we endeavor to support an unwavering commitment to excellence," Dr. L. Oliver Robinson.

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When is the last day of school for middle school students?

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June 20.

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When will a decision be made about whether or not there will be school on Friday, May 24th?

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Not until after April break.

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How often do you come on to answer questions, and about what percentage do you answer of those you read?

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I fit it in when I can. It is hard to say percentage wise how many I answer because many of the questions have been answered or are redundant (i.e., snow day complaints).

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AWESOME JOB to everyone involved in the production of the Little Mermaid Jr.!!!!

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Thanks. Our students involved in the performing arts are extremely talented.

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Hi there...this question was asked a while back and we can't find the answer :) How many parking permits are sold to the seniors annually (exact figure is obviously not necessary)? Thanks!

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We have approximately 350 parking spaces for students.

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If a math teacher offers extra credit for students to behave better during her observation, as well as changing her teaching method for the day of the observation, shouldn't it be considered a form of cheating? Firstly, I don't think it sets a good example for students, and secondly, it skews the results of her assessment. Does the teacher evaluation system have provisions for such subversive activity?

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First, we trust that even if a teacher instructed students to be on their best behavior, such positive actions will carry-over and become the norm. Second, there is an unannounced observation that captures a “real” sense of the class. Further, the assessment of teachers is not only qualitative (evidence gathered from multiple observations), but also quantitative (tabulation of student growth and progress based on various data points).The process is rather comprehensive and designed to foster growth, and not a “gotcha” approach to accountability.

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How much are tickets going to cost to attend the 9th grade semi-formal?

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The $10 ticket to the semiformal includes all-you-can-eat snacks and beverages.

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Wondering why a high school team/club for that matter is permitted to practice on Sundays? With all the academic expectations do our students not need a day off to spend with families, volunteering, studying or any other variety of activities they are not able to do during the week of school and practice? Please do not respond students have the choice to opt out for religious reasons as we all know our students rarely want to go against a coach's decision to practice whenever that may be scheduled.

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Per NYSPHSAA rules, interscholastic sports teams can practice only six days in a week. Generally, we try to give our students either Saturday or Sunday off. This is a common practice among all high school sports teams at Shenendehowa and across the state.

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For The 8th grade semi formal,if i had a date for the dance from ballston spa, could they go? Are kids from different schools allowed to come as dates?

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No.

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How many days of school are there typically in a school year? Apparently my daughter received a paper saying that she missed 235 days of school this year

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By law, 180 days.

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Will shen be adding 300 more school hours?

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Not in the near future, but never say never.

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My daughter is constantly telling me about one of her teachers who is always making jokes like "we shouldn't allow girls in this class" and telling the young women in the class to "take an art class instead". Who can I talk to? She goes to high school east.

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The principal.

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When is the 10th grade dance scheduled, and what is the expected dress for the boys & grils?

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The 10th grade dance is scheduled for Friday, May 17th from 7:00-9:00pm. This is a semi-formal event. Students should dress accordingly, while adhering to the dress code guidelines.

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Can you please post the 2013-2014 academic calendar today.

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It is posted now http://www.shenet.org/events/index.asp

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why cant you guys get the snow delay/day decisions correct this year? You give us a snowday on a day that we had no snow until school would have been over for the day and then we have a delay on a day that we should have been closed and now on a day that we really should not be here you keep it open? I love how you do not care about the safety of our students and staff at this district! What are you doing? Are we in school today because you are afraid to screw up again or is it just about the state aid, because it is certainly not about the safety of students and staff!

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It is not as easy as you think.

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I would like to know if the town and school district work together on snowy days. A town snow plow cleared our street this morning while my seven year old was waiting for her bus in The Oaks at 7:30am. The plow came alarmingly close to my daughter. I'm not even sure the driver saw my daughter. Clearing the streets prior to our kids walking to the bus stop is **imperative** especially since we have no sidewalks and our kids are forced to walk and wait in the street. I am extremely shaken and sick over the accident that nearly occurred this morning and do not want this to happen to anyone else! Our children should not be waiting for the school bus if plows are also in the street. The plow driver has limited vision. Surely the town must be aware of when Shen buses pick up our kids? Perhaps a reminder from the District is needed before a tragedy occurs! And if the town is unable to clear our residential streets before our children walk to the bus stop then isn't a school delay required?

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The town does attempt to plow the roads in advance of bus pick-ups. However ou should share your story with the Town Supervisor and the Town Highway Supervisor. The safety of our children is important. Thanks.

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So the amount of snow that Shen parents have to deal with in terms of clearing their driveway has nothing to do with a delay or closing?

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No.

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I have asked you several questions and you have not answered. Please keep up to date with your posts. I would like an answer to this question please: when can an eighth grade student sign up for Shen 2013 colorguard?

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This was never intended to answer every question under the sun, it kind of morphed into that. The best way to get an immediate answer is to call the school. BTW, see your answer further down in comments.

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is there a middle school awards ceremony?

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Yes, the gr. 8 moving up.

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Is it true that the Art Deparptment in HSW is in posession of +20 Macintosh computers (Brand New) and not being used. If so why would we not be using them??

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The district received 23 used Macintosh computers from a local college this past summer. They are slowly being integrated where need dictates, recognizing, that our technology systems are more geared to the PC format.

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Recently I saw a piece of news on Shenet about math count competition in Niskayuna. I never heard of any math count club so far. Is there such a club in mdddle school or the students are selected from accelerated math classes?

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This is posted on the middle school web pages:
TRI-BUILDING MATH COUNTS
ADVISOR: Ms. Sprague
sprajenn@shenet.org
Math Counts is a tri-building club for students interested in doing higher level problem solving in mathematics. The club follows the activities outlined in the National Math Counts program. It includes problem solving strategies, some enrichment instruction and participation in the local and regional Math Counts competition as well as other competitions. It is open to 7th and 8th grade students. The first meeting will be Tuesday, October 18th and will be held in Room G26. Students will meet once a week after school.

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We are new to this school district. What is the difference between honour and acceleration? for example, there is 7H ELA and Social studies and 7/8 acceleration, are both considered acceleration class or the 7H is basicly the standard learning class?

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We have: regular, grade-level classes; honors classes which teach a more rigorous version of the grade-level material; accelerated classes which teach the grade-level above; and accelerated honors courses which teach a more rigorous version of the next grade level material. For more information, go to http://www.shenet.org/DL_CurriculumLearning/DL_EnrichmentAccel.cfm

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Do you know if teachers/club/athletic directors try to work schedules so as not to conflict with one another? My daughter had to quit Ambassadors after 2 years because it conflicted with lacrosse. Its tough to love music and sports. It seems like those two activities would be encouraged, but they always conflict. This year she is in the middle school play and lacrosse tryouts have been moved to the same week. Sad :-(

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Yes, attempts are made however we have many opportunities and not enough hours in the day or days in the week to avoid conflicts.

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Thank you so much to Mrs. Murphy the school nurse at Tesago for going out of her way to make sure my son had his asthma inhaler at his day care. Your special attention to his needs were above and beyond and so much appreciated!!!

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Thanks, our nurses do a great job.

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I was wondering why class rankings and total high school averages are not posted on the parent portal. I believe that these data would both encourage students who are not working hard to work hard and would award those who are. Also, when one receives their class rank, does that include all the grades they recieved in all years of high school (including high school classes taken in middle school) or just the current year's grades?

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It has been a long standing tradition to provide class rank at the end of the 3rd marking period of junior year. This includes all of the grades for high school credit, including from middle school.

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Please let us know why junior hockey players are allowed to get parking passes so they can get to practice after school when there is a waiting list for seniors who have earned their privileges. I had to fight to get my child their parking pass. All students are held to the rules, administrators should be as well. Parking privileges are not given for working after school and other activities. Doctor appts and other special circumstances are taken into consideration for a "one time" pass, but I hardly think that needing to get to sports practice should be considered a special circumstance especially when parking is such an issue. Our Seniors worked hard to earn these privileges. Juniors need to wait until next year. Unless they have a medical need.

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We are not aware of any juniors who fall into the category that you describe getting a parking pass. The only exception for juniors requires an extenuating circumstance and hockey practice is not one of them.

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Is is true that one of the teams enrolled in the dodgeball tournament, "1969", was tod by HS Administration on Wednesday, 3/6, that they would not be permitted to participate in the tournament because the team name contains the number "69"? It is my understanding that the team name was a tribute to Deanna (19) and Chris (69), and is in no way a reference to anything even remotely unseemly. TO make matters worse, the team name and T-shirt design had previously been APPROVED. Why the change of heart on the part of the administration? It really does not seem at all fair to this group of kids.

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This is not true. That team name was never mentioned. There was concern, however, about the willingness of the team to avoid nicknames on their uniforms, just like all the other teams. This has since been worked out.

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When do juniors get their senior portrait taken?

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These are typically done in the summer.

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Why can't I buy things from the vending machines during school hours. If I want to use MY money to buy snacks for MYSELF for lunch I should be able to.

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The federal government changed the guidelines for student access to vending machines.

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Why is there a billboard in the middle of the HSE courtyard that says "71%"? None of the students know what this means!

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The Community Coalition completed a survey last year in an effort to obtain data about under aged drinking in our community. 71% of students completing the survey said it was not cool to drink.

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I think that High School East needs to stop turning a blind eye towards the rapidly increasing number of students who abuse drugs. As a student, I have seen it up close. People now openly discuss the fact that they do drugs and come to school high. It disgusts me that people are getting away with selling drugs in bathroom at school, amongst other things. Police searching lockers is pointless because people find out about it and either hide them in their backpacks or give it to someone else to hide. Alternate actions need to be taken because I am tired of coming to school and being surrounded by high students who meet in the bathroom to put in eye drops before school so they don't appear high. Maybe random drug testing is order.

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I think the Constitution prohibits this. Maybe you can help the administration by providing names or at least times when this happens.

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When is the Montreal trip being rescheduled?

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That is a decision of the field trip advisors.

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You stated that absences for sports tournaments, competitions, etc. count as unexcused. I will be missing a few days of school for a major competition, but I don't want these absences to reflect negatively on me when seen by potential colleges. Can something be done about this? I don't see it fair for such absences to be counted as unexcused when I am obligated to attend and the team is affiliated with the school district.

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Absences affiliated with school-sponsored, athletic competition are not unexcused absences.

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I think the distric needs to start learning to separate bullying from fighting. Many people that i know that are good kids get in one fight and then end up suspended because the administrators end up seeing it as bullying. Fighting is NOT bullying, fighting is two kids settleing their differences or maybe even two kids blowing off steam. And to whoever was complaining about the behavior of shen and saratoga students at the sporting event, get real. Theyre high school students and again this is not bullying this is fun banter between students from rival schools. No one is getting harmed its all in good fun.

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No one equates fighting with bullying. Fighting, however, is a violation of the Code of Conduct that will result in a suspension.

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Can you please explain what SLO means? I have seen this in each one of my child's subjects on the portal, some with percentage grades, some not,ranging from high to low. What is it, what is the purpose? Thxs

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SLO stands for Student Learning Objective. In some courses, students were given a pre-test to determine student knowledge of the subject material prior to receiving instruction. Typically these scores are only viewable by teachers, as they do not factor into a student’s grade calculation. A software update inadvertently caused some of these scores to appear in the gradebook.

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when would I be able to join shenendehowa color guard? what is the date and place I can try out?

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Any student interested in joining the Shenendehowa Colorguard would need to attend our spring rehearsals held on Tuesday’s from May 7th through June 4th from 6:30 to 8:00pm. Location is yet to be determined. Students should listen for announcements at school or they can contact the director Scott Snell at scotsnel@aol.com for more information. All students entering 6th through 12th grades in the fall of 2013 are eligible to be a member of the colorguard.

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Rumor has it that neighborhoods off of Route 146 going west towards Rexford are going to be redistricted back to Gowana from Acadia coming this September?

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Each year, we look to balance enrollment between the three middle schools by making ajustments to various neighborhoods or houses that straddle school boundaries. Our goal is do so with the least disturbance possible. No decision has been made at this time.

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What are Shens thoughts about the new school times that are coming for New York State? With school being until 5pm?

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Maximizing the school day has always been a priority for the district, recognizing that we have a large portion of our population already engaged in school activities well beyond the “typical” school day…from sports, to the arts, to various clubs, to academic support. Our aim is to provide a well-rounded set of opportunities for our students…and we are doing so.

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There is a misconception out there about social media sites. Teens are using multiple and anonymous accounts to communicate unobserved. And electronic communication offers a distance that can embolden a mean kid. The insults and derragatory comments are posted continuously. A teens mental capacity to absorb what is being posted is deadened, as they move on to deal with the next senseless mean tweet. No one is immune to this type of bullying. We, as parents and a community, are turning a blind eye. The conversation needs to happen, yes your kids are on social networking sites! Perhaps the school and educators can help to educate students and parents. Some sites: Stop Bullying or @stopbullyinggov and Http: Connectsafely.org or the National Crime Prevention Council on Cyberbullying.org

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The issue of social media and bullying has been a topic of discussion by the district for several years. Saratoga County District Attorney, James Murphy, speaks tomiddle school students on this topic each year. This year we are also implementing the OLWEUS Anti-bullying Program that also addresses the impact of social media. However, we can't monitor what kids do at home.

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I just wanted to say how impressed I was with the Karigon PTA production of Annie. Two casts of over 50 students put on 4 AMAZING shows! There seems to be some negative comments on here and I just wanted to draw attention to just how wonderful this experience was. I know I speak for the majority of parents when I say that my child would not have had this amazing opportunity had it not been for this group of dedicated parents. The students and parents involved worked very hard to make this happen this year and for that I say THANK YOU!

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:)

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I really think the school needs to do a better job concerning traffic on campus. There are a few places that would benefit from 2 lanes or even extra people to direct traffic. This seems to be a bit issues for parents but nothing is really being done. Is there some type of traffic planning going on to improve these issues?

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Various efforts have been made to improve traffic flow including turning lanes. Further we encourage parents to have students ride the buses, which will significantly improve the traffic flow.

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What can Campus Patrol do to cut down on speeding on campus?

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Campus patrol stops motorists when they are observed disobeying traffic rules on campus.

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I have a question about why the entire lacrosse field was plowed and all the snow pushed onto lanes 1-3 of the track. The track now only has about 1 or 2 able lanes. This is rather unfair as the track is basically useless as you must run single file, this is very ineffective with a track team of over 400 kids. While the lacrosse team is aloud to practice on their field with nice clear unused sidelines so they can put their stuff down, the track must find pavement and empty hallways to use, leading to injuries and rather ineffective train. PS please don't reword this question

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The snow has to be plowed somewhere. Our grounds crew plowed the field and three running lanes on the track. We are all frustrated by the cold weather and the impact it has on our spring sports season.

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just curious, does the district (mainly the high school) have plans to address the high school students with what happened in steubenville, oh? there are so many lessons in what has happened there - it would be remiss to either not address it or think it can't happen here. probably the biggest lesson of all is - there were many students witnessing/recording/etc who did nothing to stop those horrible events. i certainly know that parents should talk to their kids, but it would be a great "respect" lesson i believe from a community and culture standpoint.

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This topic is being discussed by the Shen Coalition, a group focused on discouraging destructive behaviors such as alcohol and drug use. Further, this will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion by coaches with student-athletes.

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Are you aware how many teachers told students yesterday that school would probably be closed today or 100% 2 hr delay.

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Everyone thinks they can predict school closings, even the weather men. The fact of the matter is that you need to wait until 5:30 a.m. to be sure.

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Why is it that when there is snow, all other local schools have delayed/closed, and a treat of more snow does Shenendehowa stay open? Do they not care about my child's safety?

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The decision to close school is typically dependent on three things: are the town roads plowed and passable, are our campus roads and sidewalks cleared and what is the progression of weather forcasted for the day. Here is what happens throughout the night any time a storm is in the weather forecast. Our transportation staff:
•continuously monitors the weather from the National Weather Service paying close attention to the forecasted duration of the storm as well as the severity
•monitors road conditions reported by the N.Y.S. Department of Transportation as well as local town and county transportation departments
•drives the roads throughout the district paying close attention to neighborhood roads, reduced visibility of bus stops as a result of snow banks, etc.
•works in cooperation with our buildings and grounds staff to ensure that we can have school roads and sidewalks plowed in time
•makes recommendations to the Superintendent who makes the decision by 5 a.m.

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What warrants a snow day?

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Unplowed roads.

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Two elementary events are being scheduled for the same evening, March 27, 2013. Speaker Series - NYS Testing and Local Assessments, 6:30 pm, Skano/Tesago Cafe and the The Shen Laugh O-lympics Event featuring teams Arongen, Shatekon and Skano at Shen High School East Old Gym. Will one of these events be rescheduled?

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The speaker series was orginally scheduled on March 27th. The Laugh O’lympics committee scheduled an event on the same night, so the district rescheduled the speaker – Dr. Wood – to speak on March 13th instead.

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I have a suggestion for the HS library. I was wondering if the school could put a book shelf for books/articles/short-stories written by students. The student could give a librarian a book and if it is appropriate for high school students then it could be checked out by other students. Could this be possible?

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Sounds like a great idea. Stop by and talk to Mr. Davidson.

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I'm disappointed that the Karigon PTA is assigning seats for their upcoming musical Annie. Seats have been granted first to major cast roles and then to smaller parts. Why am I paying the same amount for tickets but not allowed an opportunity to sit closer to the front . I've also been informed some families have been awarded extra tickets . Please return to open , first come first served seating

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Kindly contact the Karigon PTA regarding any concerns about the Annie Musical.

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Can an 8th grade boy from CBA go to the 8th grade semi with a Shen girl?

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No, the middle school dances are Shen students only.

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Any chance of gymnastics coming back to Shen?

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No for two reasons. 1) most of our gymnasts compete for a club team during the winter sports season and 2) the four other schools in the section that have gymnastics are all considered this sport as a budget cut.

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How many students are in the class of 2013?

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2013 - 742
2014 - 713
2015 - 731
2016 - 838

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When will the 2013-2014 school calendar be out to the public?

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It is going to the BOE for approval On Tuesday, March 12.

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We received an email today from the Acadia principal about a new anti-bullying program. Are the teachers required to sign a pledge along with the students?? Because my children have come home on numerous occasions about teachers that they feel were bullying their classmates...whether it be making fun of their names or harassing them in front of their peers for not being able to speak up in front of the class...these are just a couple of recent examples. Kids shouldn't bully but neither should adults!!!!

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The principal will make the staff aware of this concern.

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Do you know when the 9th grade semi formal is?

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Friday, May 3, 7-10pm at HSE.

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My middle schooler was telling me in Acadia 3rd period lunch the monitors tell them they all have to be quiet for the last couple minutes of the period.If they break this they go to the office. Is this true? If it is, isn't lunch suppose to be there free period and so why would the monitors restrict peoples ability to talk. If there is someone who is specifically problematic shouldn't that student be dealt with instead of punishing everyone.

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Monitors have all lunch students during the last couple of minutes be quiet prior to exiting by section…lends to a smoother and calmer exit by students.

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How does one sign up for the text messages through Twitter/Facebook? I read that you could do this in an earlier comment. Thanks.

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Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/ShenNews.

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Why are there accelerated classes? I think it isn't good for a student to skip a subject just because they are doing good in a different subject.For example, if a student does good in Earth Science(9th grade) they get to skip Biology(10th grade) and go to Chemistry(11th grade)? and same goes for math. You get to skip Geometry because you are good at Algebra? Isn't this missing out on student knowledge?

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Accelerated students do not skip high school courses. Students with strong aptitude may take the courses you mention in an earlier grade, allowing room in their schedule to take additional, challenging courses in upper grades (e.g., Advanced Placement and college level courses). Please see K-12 Acceleration Programming under the Quick Links tab, using the following link: http://www.shenet.org/DL_CurriculumLearning/DL_EnrichmentAccel.cfm

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I went to see Beauty and the Beast with some friends and it was truly AMAZING! It is unbelievable to me how talented so many of our students are! I was blown away with how professionally done it was! Thank you to everyone involved for making it such a wonderful production!! I know a lot of time and energy goes into this by students and staff!!

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Yes, we are very proud of our students and staff they put on a top notch performance every year.

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Can you please post the IPAC presentation materials from the January 8 board meeting? Thanks!

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There were no presentation materials. At the January 8, 2013 Board Meeting, the Board of Education approved the addition of the following courses to the Shenendehowa Program of Studies: Math Grade 6 Honors, Social Studies Grade 8 Honors, Mandarin Chinese 2, and Calculus 3. The addition of these courses to the Program of Studies only authorizes the District to offer these courses. Other factors including budgetary implications and potential student enrollment will be considered annually and will determine whether or not the courses are offered in a particular school year.

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Does participation in QUEST in 4th grade prohibit a student from participating in any other extracurricular programs at school due to scheduling conflicts (ex student council, chorus, sports, etc.)?

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Students participating in QUEST attend a full-day of enrichment one day/week. Each elementary school works to minimize what students miss while attending QUEST, however, not all activities can be scheduled around QUEST. The QUEST program does not interfere with programs that are scheduled afterschool.

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whyis the same photographer still taking pictures of students at graduations when he served time in 1986??? A concerned parent

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The high school has contracted with a different firm to stream live the graduation ceremony.

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Why do the computers take 10 minutes to log on when in the computer lab or library? Is there any way to fix this problem?

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Most of the library computers are the oldest model in the district. Pending budget approval, these computers will be replaced over the summer. This is part of our regular obsolescence cycle for computers. Since moving to Windows 7 we have noticed a decrease in performance on this particular model. In response to these issues we have made adjustments to optimize their performance. Looking forward, the library should receive nice new computers this summer.

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when exactly can i sign up for online health in the summer ive asked my councelor multiple times and havent gotten a straight answer i missed the deadline last year and am anxious i will miss it again this year

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Students can talk to their guidance counselors now.

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Please never stop doing respect day. It lifts everyone's spirits and this year there were some performances that really knocked me out of the park! It gives students a chance to shine, and there are some that really deserve that. Thank you!

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We don't have plans to end it.

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During the Shen vs Saratoga Hockey game at Union this past the Saratoga students were yelling rude comments at the kids who were in the accident. They also had bottles of urine and were throwing it at Shen's student section. Why wasn't something done? And I'd like to know why the two student sections were placed next to one another when it was known that there was a problem at the Basketball game?

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In our investigation of this incident, we have been able to determine that this situation began on the social media sites. Some students from  Saratoga and Shenendehowa have been sharing derogatory exchanges that are disrespectful and irresponsible. What happened at the game is inexcusable on both sides. What you failed to mention is that the spectators from Shen initiated the throwing of objects by tossing two bottles at the Saratoga fans. The Shen administration is working with the administration from Saratoga High School to deal with this issue.  Students must realize that under changes in the code of conduct enacted after the cyberbullying amendment to the DASA legislation, they can be held responsible for actions taken via the social media especially when it impacts school events. We expect our students to be respectful, responsible and good citizens at all times. Parents, if you can't monitor what your children are posting on social media sites, please talk to them about your expectations and the potential consequences that can come from it when inappropriate postings cause conflicts in school.

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Are text messages still sent when school is closed? I previously signed up for text notifications, but no longer receive them. Where do I re-enroll?

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You can sign up to get text messages through our Facebook or Twitter page.

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In 2014 Easter falls on the 20th of April, can you tell me if Shen students will have vacation the week before the 20th or the week following the 20th?

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The 2013-14 calendar has not yet been approved by the board of education.

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Is it true there were 6 police cars at Acadia last week? My middle schooler is asking me what happened.

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NYS Education Department requested that Shen serve as a site for a visit from members of NYS Police, NYS Division of Criminal Justice, Homeland Security and the governor’s office. The purpose of the visit was to see how our building safety plans are executed. They are doing this across the state to get a better handle on how to design a multi-agency process to review all school building safety plans pursuant to the NY Safe Act proposed by the governor.

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My son is being verbally bullied by a single student in HSE. Who do I call to get this resolved before in turns physical??

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The principal, Mr Flynt.

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Can you stop being so busy? I miss my Grapevine updates!!! They used to be a lot more frequent. Please update when you have a moment!

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Sorry, I will try and do better.

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how would you access your grades from past years of high school? I am a sophmore and would like to know how im doing overall in high school so far

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To access academic records from prior years, as a current student, you have to contact the school (in the HS it would be the Counseling Center) and they can supply you with all previous years of HS.

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Where is the credit summary on the portal? I am unable to locate it. thanks

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It is not active in at this time.

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I'm an eight grader in all accelerated courses. I will be taking the same regents as the 9th grader, and one the same as the tenth graders. I also took the same midterms as them. So what I was wondering is why they get an entire week off for midterms and regents and all the 8th graders are stuck trying to keep up with their classes and study for the big tests.

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Sorry, that's just the way it is.

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I noticed a couple of questions regarding a memorial garden for students who have passed away. If I'm not mistaken, is there not already a memorial garden in the circle in front of HSE?

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There is a memorial garden in the front circle. In addition, a local company is looking to donate their time, labor, and resources to create an area where students can reflect, meditate, or sit quietly in remembrance of students who have passed away.

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when is the first day of the 2013/2014 school year

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It has not yet been approved by the board of education.

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Are Scholar Athlete awards given to only varsity athletes, or are these awards also given to student athletes who participate in junior varsity and freshman teams and earn averages of greater than 90%?

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The scholar-athlete team award sponsored by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association is just for varsity athletes and teams.

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There is a modified track team meeting in March. Can 6th graders attend?

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Modified sports, as per New York State Public High School Athletic Association rules, are for students in 7th and 8th grade.

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Who is the district Coordinator for Section IX/504 / and ADA?

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Michelle Mylod is the Section 504 Coordinator (Section 504 is ADA). Title IX is Jill Bush.

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Is there a pay phone anywhere on campus should an emergency arise after school is closed and someone does not have a cell phone? I have not seen any.

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No, there are no pay phones.

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when we have a bomb threat why keep us in the place that might have a bomb thats gonna blow up

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We follow protocols based on recommendations from the State Police and based on their assessment.

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What would happen if a campus patrol asked a parent to move their parked, running vehicle because it was parked in the yellow hash lines area during dismissal and the parent refused. What is your understanding of the powers campus patrol can exercise.

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Parking in the hash lines is not a legal parking area. The safety of our students is a community responsibility.The district creates rules based on what we believe is necessary to keep our kids safe. Campus patrol is in place to enforce those rules and we would hope that students, parents and community members would cooperate with security when a violation is brought to their attention.  If a person decides to ignore the rules and the security officer, the police may be called.

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How is it fair that lacrosse teams give out team apparel before teams are made/before tryouts? Especially to those who weren't on the team the previous year?

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The girls lacrosse coach gave jackets to the students so that members of the team would look unified attending the candlelight vigil on December 4th. With that said, no teams have been picked or chosen for the spring.

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Who are the coaches in the Shen swimming & diving program?

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Chuck Dunham is the head coach and Lauren Mikula is the assistant coach for both boys and girls swimming and diving.

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I think one day during the week as a surprise there should be state troopers on campus to cite all the things I personally have seen from students talking/texting on the phone while driving to students NOT wearing seatbelts..it was done at one school and was very successful.

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Interesting idea.

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Are all of these responses answered 100% truthfully or is some information intentionally withheld?

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Both. Responses are always truthful, but sometimes information is withheld.

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Any word on Shen offering Japanese? Considering the fact that Saratoga County is becoming huge on the international technologies map, I would think that offering Japanese would give our graduates a leg up on the job market here. Japanese is a highly sought after language capability.

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While we have not considered offering Japanese, we are currently offering Mandarin Chinese.

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Who is the supervisor for the campus security? Where would I report inappropriate treatment?

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tourjay@shenet.org

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I would just like to offer a simple suggestion to make the SIS-Messenger system work a little better. As a parent with four students in three different schools, it would be easier to figure out who I am getting the information from if the person or organization would conclude their message with their name and what building they are from. When they don't, I have to read between the lines to figure out which of my students the message is in reference to...And sometimes I can't. Thanks. :)

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We have passed your suggestion on toadministrators.

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I was at the basketball game on Friday against Saratoga and I would just like to say that I was shocked by the behavior of the Saratoga student section. The were chanting "Hair Cut" to make fun of one of our players, they also chanted "Sluts" when our cheerleaders were performing. (I have it recorded on video to prove it) I can not believe that those students were permitted to remain at our school. I understand that they have a lot of kids in attendance and it would be difficult to control all of them but I do know that if the staff supervising took just one person out the kids would have thought twice about their rude comments. I know that the schools are rivals but that kind of behavior is disgusting. The Shen student section was not perfect either, chanting "we hate Toga" with all of the emphasis on anti-bullying we should really enforce that at our sporting events. These are school events and the students both Shen and other schools should be required to act like they are at a school event.

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Thanks. We will monitor it more closely.

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How come there is rarely pictures of Chango students on the front page? Do they not do exciting enough events or is it too far away to be part of the Shen community?

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It is up to the schools to send items to be posted on the web site. We post anything sent by a staff member.

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How can I sign up for the summer drivers Ed class? Thanks

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http://www.shenet.org/high/summerschool/NewSSHome.cfm

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I am a student at HSE. A few weeks ago I was given permission to go to the middle school after my midterm. I walked over, and it was very cold so I walked into the first door I saw. It was an entrance to the pool- unlocked. While I was walking, no one even looked at me twice. This concerned me. Anyone can walk into a side door, where no monitors are present, and at the door I entered through I easily could've gone into the pool locker rooms without anyone noticing.

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Thanks for bringing it to our attention. It will be taken care of.

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When is the 8th grade semi-formal planned for this year?

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The grade 8 dance is May 3.

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what is Shen's policy on kids missing school due to sports? For example tournaments they need to travel to, etc...

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Those absences, if reported truthfully by the parents, are recorded as unexcused absence.

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Why are honors and AP classes weighted so much less at Shen than at other schools nationwide? At many schools, AP classes are rated on a 5-point scale instead of 4, which would be the equivalent of weighting them 1.2x on a 100-point scale like Shen uses, but Shen weights them much less. This is giving Shen seniors a major disadvantage in applying to colleges that look at weighted GPA. Why give a disadvantage to Shen's top students?

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The National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) has indicated that in their 2011 survey of the factors that college and universities consider most important when making college acceptance decisions, the following rank 1-5:
1. Grades in college prep courses
2. Strength of curriculum
3. Admission test scores (SAT/ACT)
4. Grades in all courses
5. Essay or writing sample
Class rank is considered the 7th most important factor. Shenendehowa uses a weighting factor of 1.06 for AP classes. This means that a student who earns a grade of 90 in the course will see a grade of 95% reflected on their transcript. This multiplier is similar to many other schools throughout the state who weight courses.

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Will students in high school east be called down to the counseling office to discuss their course selection in the next month?

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Yes.

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If my son misses the bus and I am unable to drive him in, can he get a temporary parking pass for the day to drive himself (he is a junior, honors student, and has his full license)?

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This must be arranged with Ms. Tsao who oversees the parking for students. Temporary passes are not typically given for students who miss the bus.

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The girl who carries the shovel does it because she likes it. It makes her happy. It's a plastic shovel from the dollar store and it's absolutely harmless. Why can't she carry it around anymore? It's not fair to take away something that makes her happy and doesn't violate school rules, especially when she has done nothing wrong. I want an honest answer.

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It is something that is not needed in the school setting and became a source of distraction during the day.

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Will there be breathalizer tests at Junior and Senior prom this year?

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Yes, both breathalyzers and alcohol sensors will be available for random use and if students are suspected of drinking.

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When does registration for the anual dodgeball start?

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Team packets are due by March 1st to the CAPS office.

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Are people allowed to ride bikes or use roller blades on the h.s. track? I saw some young kids doing this in the Fall - with no adult supervision - and I wasn't sure if what they were doing was allowed. I would think not, however,if I see it again I want to be sure I am correct. Thank you.

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No, it is not allowed.

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I trust that in light of the events on 12/14/12, school will no longer be in session while the buildings are being used as polling places. I think most parents would prefer to add a day or two at the end of the year than to have school in session on those days.

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At this point, there are no plans to do that only one of our school building is still scheduled to be a polling site for the elections.

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Does the shen pool have an open swim time? If so is it just lap swimming? Thanks

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March 4 begins the spring session for lap swim. The information is posted is on the community education webpage and brochures will be mailed out this week to residents.

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I applaud Eileen Riley-Hall for writing "The Kids who Get Left Behind" in Sundays Times Union. It's been the plight of mine and fellow parents of children who require special education services at Shenendehowa. As parents we've contacted teachers and administrators to help us and our children succeed. Success seems to be measured by a number on a test. Success to our children is getting on the bus,going into a loud cafeteria for lunch, even just walking to class by themselves. Special Ed administrators should listen to the teachers, and aides who work with our children to ensure the childs needs are being met. Not just say "I'll check into that" or "lets give it time" and hear nothing back. Our children deserve more than that. Please help us succeed.

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Her perspective is important and so is the need for us to ensure that all students are provided with ample opportunities to realize academic success and prepare for life after Shen. We are pleased with the work of our staff and administration to provide students with disabilities a broad continuum of services. Success is indeed measured by more than test scores, but in this era of accountability, we must help all students realize those benchmarks.

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How was the $25,000 that Bryan Sawyer won on Live! with Kelly spent within the district?

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The funds were spent on computers and supplies to enhance programming for students, particularly those students in Mr. Sawyers class.

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Re: the January 14, 2013 question about traffic at 2:40 at HSE: the traffic is also horrible at 3:30 for the middle school dismissals. It is almost impossible to pick up a student from the front of Acadia, then go around the curve and make that left to sit at the light on 146, across from the church. Nobody lets you make the left turn, so everyone becomes nasty and cuts other people off. The traffic is completely backed up. You said you would welcome any suggestions to make it better... so how about this: why can't SHEN put a crossing guard at that left turn, alternating the people going straight, and letting people make the left towards 146? There is a crossing guard at the other end of the campus near Tesago, he seems to do a good job.

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We are not allowed to direct traffic on Route 146 because it is a county road. The traffic attendant on the Clifton Country Road is a town employee and that is a town road.

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Now that you have been forced to reinstate the bus driver that failed a drug test, how do I make a request to ensure that that person is NOT driving the bus that my child will be riding?

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The district is still in the process of analyzing options related to this matter. As always, the safety of our students is most important.

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Can you please detail the recent changes the Board of Ed. made to their policy 2360 concerning how individual board members communicate with Shen. staff? What are the reasons for these new restrictions on BOE members? Thank you.

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There are no new restrictions. The purpose of the policy modification was to align with the current practice. The new policy will be posted shortly.

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When midterms are given in January how is it determined whether or not to give a review class? And which students can take advantage of these review classes? Honors students had a review class the day before a midterm, when there was no school, while the kids in the regular classes did not. Aren't the Honors students the kids with the self discipline to review on their own and the apptitude to be in Honors to begin with. If it is up to the teachers whether or not to hold a review class, then in the future these review classes should be publicized and made available for all students to take advantage of. And yes I felt it necessary to resort to the Grapevine rather than subject my student to possible negative repercussions in the classroom if I had contacted the dept. or teachers.

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Review sessions are made available by individual teachers. 

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I was wondering when the Senior Exit Survey from the High School will be available for the public to see. I took it and am interested in reading the comments and statistics. Thanks!!

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The High School Partnership Team will be discussing this at an upcoming meeting.

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I am having an EXTREMELY difficult time finding the department chairs for the high school. Why is it so difficult to find these names? The only way to find the names is to search every department individually and search individual pages for the contact information. Is there a reason to why the department contact information is listed separately? If not, is there a way to make this information more readily available to ANYONE searching for this information?

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Department webpages are listed under staff pages on each school, you can find the names of the academic administrators there. Or there is a tab for Academic Departments on our Curriculum and Learning page. Or you can find them listed on the who's who page.

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I am a former student who is in college now. I am writing a resume to apply for an internship. I can't find my transcript or any paperwork from high school. How can I find out what my exact GPA was when I graduated? I'd like to put this on my resume.

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On the high school page are directions on how to get a transcript.

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why is it that students are not permitted to take showers after gym class and are forced to go to class all sweaty?

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Students can take showers after gym class if they choose. 

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Since no one ever seems to care about your feelings, I'll be the one to ask it. How are you doing today?

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Great. Thanks for asking.

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I think it is very unfair that for the Karigon play auditions the parents that are helping out during these auditions ALSO have kids trying out for parts..this is a very unfair advantage.

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The Karigon play is a PTA run and sponsored event.  Please contact the Karigon PTA with concerns.

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About dating, in middle school are we allowed to date? Also, are we allowed to hold hands, hug, kiss or any other public display of affection? I don't know if I said that correctly... Haha :)

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The code of conduct states that “Displays of affection (i.e. kissing, hugging, inappropriate touching, etc.) are not appropriate in school."

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Rather than making a memorial for just the two students who passed what about making a memorial for all of the students who had lost their lives. I am a recent graduate and during my time at HSE and HSW I can name at least two students who passed. A memorial to all passed students would not do any harm.

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We are working with a local landscaping company to create a memorial area for all students who have passed away.

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In HSE, why do we have those "Text-to-Text" and "Predicting" and such posters in all the classrooms? It seems like a waste of paper, and all the concepts are things we learned in elementary school. None of my teachers consider their presence useful. What is the point of these posters?

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This is an initiative of the Literacy Committee.  These are simple, effective strategies that students should use and teachers should reference.

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will the school plow the track for use by students?

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Due to the chance of damaging the track surface and the heightened liability of falls from remaining ice and snow, the track is generally not plowed during the winter months.   During the spring months, we do typically sweep off the remaining snow and slush.

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Are we allowed as students to bring a laptop in to take notes and other school related things? I just got a seperate laptop for school and removed all games, and non school related things.

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Please check with your teachers.  This should be cleared through them.

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IS it true that in the highschools you can listen to music on an ipod or mp3 in studyhall and lunch?

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Yes in High School East.

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Is it true that the district paid for Dr. RObinson's recent vacation to Jamaica? I understand from a recent post the he was interviewed by Jamaican television about public education while he was on vacation, but that hardly seems to justify a taxpayer funded vacation to Jamaica, especially since it does not benefit Shen students in any way.

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No. He worked on the vacation he paid for himself.

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Was there a Kindergarten Information meeting held on 1/15? And if so, where was it posted?

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The event was sponsored by the Pre-School PTA with the advertisement for the event done through their organization.  The presentation was held at the Tesago Cafeteria on January 15th with representation from the various schools in the district, including: teachers, psychologist, counselor, the Transportation Department, a school nurse and principals. Each building will have an orientation for incoming parents and students in the spring.

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As a ninth grader, I am currently enrolled in global honors which leads to AP World History in tenth grade, and English honors, why can I not continue this in tenth grade? Why can you not take honors English if you take an AP course? It does not seem fair

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Global 9 Honors prepares you to take either World Cult/World Lit OR AP World History.

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When there is a 2 hour delay, are period zero classes cancelled for the middle schools?

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In the event of a 2 hour delay, all period 0 classes (those held in the Middle School and HSW) will be cancelled.

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We recently had a fire drill and we were not 100 feet away from the building. We were at least 20 - 30 feet away from the building. The policy is supposed to be 100 feet. This has happened many times before and it is very concerning. It seems like Shenendehowa does not care about the safety of the students. I was wondering if you could direct this to someone with high authority so we can at least be 100 feet away from the building.

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According to the NYS Education Department there is no set, required distance for students during a building evacuation for fire drill. 

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With the intense cold, would the district consider building heated bus stops for the kids. I don't want my 17-year old standing in the cold?

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No.

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There's a speed bump by the pool that is completely cracked and broken and nearly impossible to go over in a low car without hitting the bottom of it. This causes a lot of potential danger to the car itself, who can I talk to about this?

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We are aware of this problem and attempts will be made to repair this temporarily. When the blacktop plants open in the spring a permanent repair can be made.

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Does the district have any plans of broadcasting SIS messages via text as well? It would be beneficial, especially in the event of an emergency.

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Currently we do not have the capacity to text via the student information system. You can sign up for texts from our Twitter or Facebook accounts.

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Are seniors required to take a certian number of classes? I only have 5 classes in mind, plus gym and lunch.

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They must take a minimum of 5.5 credits, including PE.

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I was wondering why execrated classes are available for some classes. I do not understand why you get to skip biology and go to chemistry if you are good at earth science. Or if you ares good at algebra 1 you skip geometry and move to algebra 2 . What will happen when you go to a college? Wouldn't this effect the learning process?

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No, but we will offer Advanced Placement Science if enough students register. You are not able to skip math classes.  In order to earn an Advance Regents diploma students typically take earth science, biology, and chemistry.

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Where do the old computers go after Shen replaces them?

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Most computers are technically leased through BOCES.  As they reach obsolescence they are removed from service at Shen and returned to BOCES.  BOCES then has the option to donate them to other schools or dispose of them properly. 

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Who is in charge of planning the memorial for Chris and Deanna?

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The Memorial Garden is a collaboration between the PTSA and the high school.

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How is valedictorian determined? Does it just go by highest senior year GPA?

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It goes to the graduating senior with the highest GPA through three and three quarter marking periods.

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Are middle school students allowed to bring iPads for the purpose of reading during the school day. I had originally heard they were not allowed because students could play games, but now many of the acceptable Kindle devices have the same capabilities to have apps.

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Yes, for reading purposes only, at the discretion of the teachers and at your own risk of it being lost, stolen or broken.

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Am i allowed to eat lunch with my 10th grader she does not have very many friends and sits alone. Does the high school allow parents to eat with their kids?

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If you are concerned, please contact Mr. Heckman, Class Assistant Principal or Mrs. Drago, Associate Principal for Grade 10 about getting your daughter someone to eat lunch with.

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how can we know how many credits we have earned currently

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On the Parent Portal, click on credit summary and it will be listed through the previous school year.

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THANK YOU, THANK YOU 10TH GRADE TEACHERS. YOU HAVE DONE ABOVE AND BEYOND FOR MY SON TO HELP HIM GET THROUGH A ROUGH TIME. :-)

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Thanks for the feedback.

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Can you go against course recommendations made by a teacher?

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Yes, but it is not a good idea since these are based on achievement, work habits, and effort.

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: I heard that if u take and pass the AP exam even if you dont take the class, u will the ap credit.... Is that possible?

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Some students challenge the AP exam in courses we do not teach.  If they earn a grade of 3 or higher on the exam, the college may grant credit.  The high school does not.

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Why are a group of girls allowed to carry around shovels in HSE. It is kind of creepy because no one knows why they have them and what there doing with them. Thanks

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They have been asked not to bring them to school anymore.

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 I am not sure who handles the refreshment stands at the Shen boys basketball game but Friday night was elementary school night and every elementary student was given a coupon for a free drink. You could only imagine my surprise when my boys were told you could only get a soda. I am appalled that soda is even an option. Why not offer juice boxes instead? My boys turned down the soda--- they know that they are not allow to drink soda. Once I explained this to the person at the stand she did give my boys water but I think the option of only soda is wrong.

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The Booster clubs run the concessions stands. They sell a variety of items to to appeal to all different tastes. While the soda was free that night for elementary students, other drinks were available for purchase and that money goes to support our athletic teams.

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Today at school I had a fire drill 1 minute before dismissal. Why did gowana have a fire drill right before dismissal?

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To practice in the vent there was a real fire 1 minute before dismissal.

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There was a previous question about a failing grade and your reply was that a failing first quarter grade could not be lower than 50. Do that mean that if a student's effort (or lack of) earns them a 35 they are credited with a 50 even though they did not deserve it? How can that be when the BOE policy states that the students grade will be based on achievement with a separate mark for conduct and effort?

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During the 1st marking period of a full year course, students may not receive a grade of less than 50%.

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Do teacher's aide receive benefits such as retirement, vacation and health? Thank you

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Information regarding all benefits are available in the CSEA contract on the HR webpage. Only 12 month full time employees receive vacation, others are eligible for health and retirement benefits per contract and hours worked.

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Is it true that a certine number of refferls will stop you from graduating? if so, how many?

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A certain number of referrals might eliminate you from many activities including the graduation ceremony, but if you earn the credits you will graduate.

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Does HSE or the district have any plan to improve the exiting process out of the front of HSE at 2:40 each day? It is very difficult to leave and almost impossible to get to work at 3pm, if you have a 9th period class. It is really environmentally bad too, as people just sit, stuck in traffic going nowhere for 10-15 minutes.

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The high school administration is open to any ideas that you might have. Please email the principal, Mr. Flynt @ flyndona@shenet.org.

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When is the Snow Ball dance ?

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The National Honor Society sponsors the Snow Ball. They have not finalized any plans at this time.

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Do high school buses run a regular route the week there is no high school in January? Wondering for period zero for my 8th grader.

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The high school routes for Regents week are posted on the High School Web page.

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When is the Battle of the books competition for shatekon? thanks.

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The final competition will feature the winning team from each elementary school in the district, and will be held March 19 at the public library in the evening.

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Is Shen planning to add Honors LOTE classes anytime in the near future? The classes are extremely slow for many and I know of numerous people who would be interested in Honors LOTE.

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We are not planning to add Honors LOTE classes at this time. If you find the class pacing is slow, please contact the teacher to discuss ways to extend your child’s learning.

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I know I may be asking this question far in advance, but does the district/school board know which week Shen will be observing for April Break 2014? Easter is very late, 4/20 and traditionally NYS tests are held around this time. thank you

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We follow the BOCES calendar. We do not know what the calendar will look like in 2014.

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I know that this is not what this forum is intended for but please post this. I drive my children to school every day. Just this morning I saw 3 people (students) texting while driving on campus. This community has suffered so much. Do you want to be the cause of more suffering? Please get off your phone while driving.

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We totally agree.

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Why does the high school get the Regents week off, yet the middle and elementary schools do not?

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Because they don't take Regents exams.

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I have a child that will be entering kindergarten in 2015, is there any change it will be full day by then?

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Not unless we have a huge dip in elementary enrollment. We do not have enough space for full-day kindergarten.

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Is there a report on your website that indicates the number of children absent from illness this week?

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No.

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What dances are there for 9th graders this year?

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The 9th Grade Semi-Formal Dance is scheduled for Friday, May 3, from 7-10pm at High School East. This is the only dance scheduled for 9th graders at this time.

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My daughter just told me that a high school student threatened to shoot up the school and guns were later found at his house. Apparently, he is back at school. Is any of this true?

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No.

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Where can I find the regents exam schdule for the week of the 21st? I've looked everywhere and can't find it, please help! Thanks!

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On the high school web page, the principal's newsletter has the schedule.

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Has anybody addressed the problem with all the conjestion on campus at drop off and pick up times at all the schools ? It is so dangerous can't parents just let the students take the bus, that's what we pay taxes for.

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That certainly would help. But we have no control over that.

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You stated Junior Prom is June 1st. I believe it is the senior prom on that day. Can you correct/confirm?

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Junior prom is June 1 and senior prom May 11.

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Do all the kids in high school have the week of Jan 21 off?

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There are no classes January 22-25 for students in grade 9-12 due to Regents exams being given.

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A suggestion based on recent events in CT. Does the the School District maintained a data base of anyone who is a volunteeer in the scholl district either in the classroom, administrative areas, club, sports teams or art, theater & performing groups. Also are background checks performed on such volunteers?

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All volunteers must fill out a volunteer application and it is kept on file.

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First - thanks for answering all of these questions, even while some seem over-heated and overly dramatic. Second - could you tell us where the Parent Presentation (for the 5th grade maturation discussion) is going to take place? The announcement which came out only said "Middle School Auditorium". We are not familiar with the Shen campus, and it is my understanding there are 3 Middle Schools - so which one is hosting the presentation? For reference, the date is January 7th at 6:30 PM. Thank You!

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The 5th Grade Maturation Parent Presentation will be in the Middle School Auditorium from 6:30-7:pm on Monday, January 7th, with a snow date of Wednesday, January 9th. Parents can access the MS Auditorium by parking in the Gowana Parking lot and coming in the main entrance of Gowana. The auditorium is straight ahead.
The presentation will be given by Mrs. Carol Funyak. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact her at funycaro@shenet.org.

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I am very upset. I just received an email from Koda Middle School stating that there was a bomb threat today and it was handled by not evacuating the students from the school. That is outrageous especially with what just happened in Newton, CT that you would not take it serious enough and put my child and others in harms way while it was checked out by authorities. I am beside myself with struggling with sending my children off to school everyday and hearing this just makes it that much worse. And to top it off, by the time I was notified (by email at that), it is too late to call the school or the district office to discuss this with someone and I am forced to express my fear and frustration on this grapevine!

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Our protocols for handling threats are developed based on recommendations of aw enforcement and emergency response officials. They  recommend keeping students in secured areas within the building rather than outside in the event an explosive device is actually detonated.

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I never got a chance to order school pictures for my daughter, who do I contact about ordering some? Thanks!

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Start with the principal because every school is different.

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I just checked paypams and my kid's account was charged for a meal that he didn't have. Paypams doesn't handle this issue and I couldn't find anywhere on shenet. Any suggestions?

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Contact the food service department 881-0630.

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Any idea on how the district is planning (or not) to implement the extra 300 hrs NYS and 4 other states have signed on for as oart of a piolet program? I read where the Rochester School District is on board for next year and some city schools. Do you think Shen will participate? If the district does, any idea if school hours will be extended, vacation time limited or longer school yr?

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This is a small pilot project with a few select districts. In fact, the only information the Shen administration has received or heard about it thus far has come from what was reported in the media. The addition of 300 hours, which translates to more than 40 days, would essentially mean the elimination of many school days or the extension of each day by almost two hours. The cost would be immense and the benefit of doing so, especially when weighed against the added cost, would have to be keenly analyzed.

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why was a guard rail put in front of HSE. Thanks

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Students parking on the gravel and grass areas near the tennis courts and under the large tree began pulling out into traffic rather than waiting to exit from the designated exit points. We received many complaints of this being a serious safety concern and accident waiting to happen, so we extended of the guard rail.

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You posted a while back that the Green and White awards did use weighted GPA. However, my weighted GPA for last year was over a 95, and I did not receive one. Could you explain?

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Please see Mr. Flynt about this oversight.

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I go to boces in albany what if shen has a delay and boces doesnt.

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You follow the Shen schedule.

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Will there be a permanent memorial set up for Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers?

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We are planning to make a memorial for these students.

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Will the school be selling T shirts for Deanna and Chris? If so when?

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We are organizing our efforts and upon the return of students after the break, t-shirts will be available.

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Why does the school go out of their way to bring down the student section? We have pride in our teams yet can't show it?

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The school does not bring down the student section. However, this is high school sports, not college or professional. The role of spectators is not to become the show, it is to support the show. Only positive cheering will be allowed at games.

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Does partaking in fundraiser's such as 5K's for various charities count as community service for the National Jr. Honor Society?

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Yes it does…as long as the “lead” person signs off on the activity.

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My child goes to the Gowana cafeteria prior to period zero each day. Apparently the environment has become increasingly stringent. Today my child came home to say that they are no longer allowed to bring food/beverages and electronics/phones and must sit in tables of 2 (which are purportedly permanent assignments.) I understand that there has been a noise issue from some of the students, but everyone is now being punished. There really isn't another option for these students who need to come in early. Certainly it should be a controlled environment, but food/beverages and some social time should be permitted. What can be done to ease the restrictions and make this time better for them? PS I had another child do this previously and it was a good experience. I hope this can be remedied.

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Student behavior was less than desirable therefore, more restrictive rules were put into place. As per the Code of Conduct, electronic devices are not allowed in school. Ice cream and soda were the food of choice in the am, resulting in the students being asked to bring in healthy snacks only.

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Do you ever share grapevine questions with the A.D.?

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Yes, he answers the sports questions.

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Do the scholarship funds set up in memory of Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers Have 501(3)c status?

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The scholarships are not 501(c)(3) status accounts. They are expendable trusts held by the school district for the purpose of making scholarship awards.

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Hi I'm a 7th grader at Gowana. Is it true that you can request a ream for next year? I would love to know. Thanks!

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Requests are only taken for extenuating circumstances.

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When are tickets on sale for Junior Prom?

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The Junior Prom is going to be held on June 1. Tickets will be sold during the month of May. In the past, the tickets have been about $50.00 to $60.00. We anticipate the same cost for this year. Specific food will be determined at a later date but generally speaking there is a sit down meal, dessert and basic appetizers (cheese/crackers and a vegetable platter).

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Does Shenendehowa hold high school reunions?

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No. Members from the classes plan their own reunions.

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I just wanted to say that I think the Shenendehowa staff, administration and students handled the tragedy this week phenomenally. I do not personally know the students or their families but appreciated the regular updates from the school and the opportunity for our younger children to show support for their school and community by wearing green, blue and purple and attending the Vigil. Shen gets a bad rap for being big and elitest but I think we proved that we are a strong, proud community that takes care of our own. So job well done - it couldn't have been easy for anyone!

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Thanks.

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As a student, I would like to sincerely thank the District and High School administration as well as the teachers for all of their help and support in the aftermath of the recent tragedy. They gave us the time, space, and flexibility that we needed. The faculty and staff were very accommodating to all the students and the various ways we were affected. In planning the vigil on Tuesday, they let the students make many of the decisions,and communication was great. I think we all underestimated the effects that the accident would have on our school and community. The response has been great from the school, the media, and the whole region. This has been a very tough week for us all. The healing process has only just started, but I know that we will get through it as a family. RIP Deanna Rivers and Chris Stewart.

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It was a tough week. It was really amazing to see the entire 518 community pull together in support.

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will april break for 2014 start with good friday?

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Sometimes it starts then, sometimes it ends then. We won't know until BOCES sets the schedule.

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does the school district offer students the opportunity to take the briggs meyer test?

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No.

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It would be great if Dr. Robinson would post his candlelight vigil speech on Shen memorial page or Shen HS SIS. It was fabulous. many are talking about it!

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It was published in the Community News. Click here to view it.

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How many snow days do we have this year

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There are four snow days built into the calendar.

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are there still language regents for current juniors?

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In an effort to trim costs, the NYS Education Department eliminated the foreign language Regents exams.

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What average qualifies a student for the middle school honor role? Do all classes hold equal weight?

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An 85 average qualifies for the achievement list and a 90 average qualifies for the high achievement list. All classes hold equal weight except for physical education which does not count towards the average.

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If my child has all 85% and above, and two %84, will he still be able to recieve a junior citizenship pass?

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The eligibility criteria states that a student may have one grade between an 80-84. However, all students who apply will be considered and effort and conduct scores will be taken into account.

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If we have a junior citizenship pass, can we go to the fridge during study halls? my monitor flatly denied me.

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Yes, students with a Junior Citizenship Pass are permitted to go to the Fridge during study hall. Individual student issues with regard to the use of citizenship passes should be directed to Mr. Chandler.

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I am a parent and my child has told me that some kids are selected to take the English regents in January. My daughter would like to do this, but is confused as to what the selection process is. She said her teacher said that it is a matter not to be talked about. So I am wondering A) What is the criteria? B) Can she take the test in January if she wants to, and C) Lastly, why is this a taboo subject?

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We are currently looking at identifying some students who might benefit from taking this exam in January, which probably accounts for the teacher’s hesitancy in talking about the topic. Contact the principal if you would like more information.

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I see that High School students need .5 units of Health. Is that considered 2 quarters/ 1/2 a year, or is that 1 year of health every other day? Also, how many years of PE must they take? Thank you.

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Health is a 20 week mandated course. It can be delivered in different ways: every other day all year, half a year every day or summer school. We have these options so we can meet the needs of our students. Physical Education is a mandated course every year of school. Students must take PE every year every other day which is equivalent to 2 credit hours.

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Why is the Montreal trip considered uneducational but the trip to the Egg and a mexican restauraunt considered educational?

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The approval process for the proposed Montreal trip was not completed. It was also cost prohibitive for many students.

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Do report cards for students in high school come in the mail?

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They are distributed in homerooms.

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Is it true that the middle school kids that are in the National Junior Honor Society get assigned into a separate homeroom class? What is the difference between that homeroom and a regular one?

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Yes at Koda. No real difference, just so information can be distributed to NJHS members.
Not at Acadia or Gowana.

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Why do middle school kids need to get a pass in advance to see a teacher to get help during study hall? At times questions come up while they are doing homework, so they couldn't predict that they would need to go speak to their teacher. Is there another option to get a pass?

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Teachers are not always free or in their classrooms during their planning periods. In addition to pre-signed passes, if a student at Gowana needs to see a teacher and does not have a pass, we have asked our monitors to call into the teacher's classroom to see if they are free.

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Who created / administered the bullying survey in the middle school recently? Was it the school or another organization? Why did they do it? When / where would the results be published?

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The survey came from Olweus, an antibullying program that the district is using. We have yet to determine how the results will be published.

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My son's HS teachers talk alot in class about this new observation practice of seeing every teach twice during the year. Teachers say that the school is doing this for the funding... exactly how much money is Shen receiving for this? Where is this money going?

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They are confusing two things.

1) Pursuant to New York State Education Law of 2010, Section 3012-c, all schools in New York State must evaluate all teachers every year- one announced observation and one un-announced observation.

2)The Governor mandated that all schools must file a completed Annual Professional Performance Review Plan (details about how districts are going to comply with the above law) and it must be approved by the New York State Education Department by January 17, 2013. Schools that don't comply risk losing state aid. Shenendehowa receives almost $35 million annually in state aid.  Details about exactly how much is at risk for districts that don't comply are still unclear.

More importantly, the evaluation of teachers is not about satisfying a mandate; it is about ensuring that we are accountable for effective teaching and subsequently for high student performance.

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This may seem like a dopey question to some, but although I'm not new to the parent portal, my child is new to middle school. That being said, are the grades reflected on the portal report card the final quarter grades that will be sent home on November 20th?

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The portal view of the report card contains the same information, however, the report card which is sent home is customized and the information is organized and displayed differently.

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Can girls join the wrestling team? I heard that girls can either wrestle or do stats, is that true?

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Yes, but they must pass physical fitness testing for mixed competition.

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I'm wondering why the high school gym classes are co-ed? My 17yo daughter who is 110lbs really doesn't need to be playing dodge ball with a 150-200lb guy.

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High school physical education classes have been co-educational for the last seven years. Please contact your physical education teacher if there are specific concerns with an activity.

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Is it true that my boy who is in 7 grade will do ballroom in gym.

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Dance is a required part of our physical education curriculum in the middle school.

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Will 9th graders who are not taking regents exams in January have classes the week of the 21st? The district calendar makes it look like they do not have school.

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Exams are given that week but classes are not held during Regents week. However, some struggling students will be asked to attend special sessions that will allow them to complete work that will help them to be successful.

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I heard that the High School ran a mock election during Election Day that students could take part in. I think this is a great way to get students involved in the voting process, however how come there were no third party candidates on the ballot? Shouldn't students be made aware of all of the choices they have?

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The most efficient way to conduct the election was to include candidates from the 2 major political parties.

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Will high school west or east hold a Sadie Hawkins Dance or othe girls choice dances this year?

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Only if a class chooses to sponsor such a theme dance.

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Do you know where the Senior 2013 Prom will be this year? Thanks.

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Both the Junior and Senior Proms are at the Saratoga City Center.

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How do you get the position of Grape vine question answerer? i would really like to apply!

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You take a civil service exam for Public Information Officer and apply when the job is posted.

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What's the weirdest question you've ever gotten?

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The weirdest question I have answered and the weirdest I have received are two different things. Needless to say, there have been plenty of strange questions.

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Is there any way to find out what assignments my 6th grader has due before it is due? The teachers seem to post on the parent portal after the due date.

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Some teachers list assignments on their web site or you can contact the teacher directly.

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Why did the school upgrade to windows 7? It is way slower and nowhere near as good as the old xp operating system. It makes no sense.

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Most software developers including Microsoft are moving away from supporting Windows XP. Part of providing a secure and stable computing environment requires running current and supported operating system that are updated to address software bugs and vulnerabilities. While there are many benefits to upgrading software, performance on older computers is expected. With this in mind, the district replaces a portion of our computers each. This spreads out the financial impact on our taxpayers and helps us future proof our network. This summer many of the computers that are experiencing poor performance will likely be replaced with new machines.

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My child recieved a form letter home the other day about Title 1. Can you further explain this to the parents and what this means for the schools involved. Also, what 5 Shen schools does this pretain to?

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Title I is a federal grant given to schools where a certain percentage of students are eligible for free or reduced lunches. This year five elementary schools (Arongen, Shatekon, Orenda, Okte, and Chango) and one middle school (Koda) qualify for these funds. The funds are used to provide additional supports to students in need of intervention. Parents do not need to respond differently whether or not their child attends a Title I school.
It is important to note that we provide services to support all levels of students ranging from those performing below grade level to those performing above grade level in all of our schools – regardless of whether or not they qualify for Title I funds.

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My Junior High student is receiving in-class AIS services (monitoring)due to low ELA score. He is actually a high performing student who had a "bad test day" that day, and is now has AIS because of it. Will this negatively effect/stay on my child's permanent record?

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Schools are required to provide AIS support to students who did not score “proficient” according to state-established performance benchmarks. If your child’s typical performance on previous NYS Assessments and other comparable measures is high you may want to contact your child’s guidance counselor to discuss AIS further. Colleges typically look at the high school transcript only. Current and past performance in middle school may impact your child’s ability to participate in honors programming in that subject, though again, a conversation with your child’s guidance counselor would be beneficial.

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Many years ago Shenedehowa did not have school the day before Thanksgiving. It was very nice as it is a big travel day for many families. Is this something that could be concidered again in the future?

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It is only considered in years where there are a large number of snow days in a particular year.

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My daughter is in 8th grade and taking Acc Art -period 0. If there is a 2 hour delay, will there still be class and what time will it start? Thanks.

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In the event of a one or two-hour delay, period zero at the Middle School is cancelled.

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When are senior superlatives announced?

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The Senior Superlatives were posted on the Senior Bulletin Board in the West Wing on Wednesday November 21.

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I attended the baseball candidate meeting tonight where the coach gave alot of good information. Its appauling how poorly the Dugout Club is operating. We were handed ballots for an apparent election of the officers. Its interesting how the Dugout Club NEVER sent information out prior to the meeting that there were open seats asking if anyone was interested in running for theses positions. Why was it kept private ..... Why didn't the dugout club put the information out so that there could be an ACTUAL election? Is this just a way to guarantee a spot for the officer's son?

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Concerns regarding any booster club should be directed to the head coach or the Director of Athletics.

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Is there really a kid from virgina who played varsity golf and is supposed to be a baseball prodigy?

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We had a very good golfer who transferred in from Virginia. Baseball season starts in March.

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I'm inquiring about the process someone goes through in order to become a volunteer assistant coach. What credentials and/or certifications are required and are they approved by the board of education?

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We have paid and non-paid coaches. Non-paid coaches (who are non-teacher certified) have to meet all the same obligations as a coach, which includes fingerprinting, First Aid/CPR/ AED training, and a valid coaching certificate.

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My son is a 12th grader at High School East. Today he came home saying that he was stuck in the face with a frisbee during gym class. He said that the coach did not care or show any sympathy for my childs well being.I was wondering who I can contact with my concerns about this incident. Also, Is there any way they could use softer frisbees?

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Your best bet is to contact the teacher or the Director of Athletics and Physical Education directly to express your concern.

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The previous post regarding shenendehowa cheerleading about being able to be on an All star team and still being able to try out for the team is false it clearly states in the cheerleading code of conduct that you can not do both.

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The athletic department has a simple rule. Commitment to the school team must come before commitment to the outside club teams. The cheerleading coaches have a right to establish no participation in an outside all-star team as a criteria for participation.

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Why do the various sports teams have 'open gyms' in the offseason and leading up to trials, but don't make any efforts to announce it? They only invite selected kids to attend, while all of us pay for it with our tax dollars.

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Coaches do make announcements regarding open gyms. Students, who may have missed those announcements, can stop into the athletic office so that they can find out more information regarding what open gym opportunities exist.

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How can a student be placed on a lenghty school suspension for drug use, yet still be allowed to wear the Shen Hockey jersey, ie-still be allowed to play.

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Athletes who make bad decisions are disciplined according to the code of conduct. Student discipline issues are not open for public discussion.

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Why is there a Traffic Control SUV on Clifton Park Center Rd if the person in the vechicle is just surfing on his cell phone? Traffic gets backed up, and cars cannot turn left. This morning a car trying to turn left gave up after waiting a while for traffic to clear, so he just turned right. Why are we paying this person just to sit in the Traffic Control Suv? What happened to the gentleman that use to control traffic?

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That is a Town of Clifton Park vehicle, not a school district vehicle.

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why is it that when complaints are made about bullying, nothing appears to be done? I have personally gone to several different people about the problem and no one has done anything at all.

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There is not enough detail in this comment to answer properly. If you feel a complaint is unanswered go up a level in reporting it.

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who creates the lunch prices for the schools?

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The State Education Child Nutrition Department.

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Will shen ever begin letting students pay for lunch with credit/debit cards?

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Not yet but that is a great suggestion.

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Will there ever be an andriod app for the portal?

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Here is the link for it. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.infinitecampus.mobilePortal&hl=en

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What textbook do the US History students use in high school? Thankyou

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The Americans, published by McDougal Little.

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Kids are telling me that there are leaks in the celing at HSE that have been there for a long time? Shouldn't you fix them?

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With heavy rain and strong winds such as we experienced during tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy, leaks do sometimes occur from water being blown into rooftop ventilation equipment. We are diligent in making the necessary repairs and performing corrective measures as quickly as possible.

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Is the scholastics book fair at shatekon elementary buy one get one free? Thanks

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No, it is not buy one get one free. Usually they do that in the Spring.

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Is it true there won't be a high school yearbook this year? My son was talking to a student in the yearbook club who said they don't have enough time to put one together because their meeting time has been shortened by administration. This is absurd! All the students deserve a yearbook. As a parent/tax payer can you please explain? Thank you

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There will be a yearbook this year.

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When is the 2013 Graduation?

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June 21,2013.

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Why is it that the weighted GPA is not used in calculating averages for the Green and White letter awards? Students are encouraged to take harder classes because it will help get them into colleges, yet they get penalized for awards such as this if their unweighted GPA is not a 95% yet their weighted is a 95% or over. This policy does not reward those taking the more challenging courses.

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It is included for Green and White awards. That was a change made this year.

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I understand the monitors are in the schools to enforce the rules, but do they have to be so rude to the students? A monitor slammed my locker shut when I was getting a binder because she thought I was late to class when in fact I had a free period and had no certain place to be.

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The monitors are expected to be kind and considerate to all students.

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I received the following mailing from Tesago: "As we approach the Parent -Teacher Conferences in November, it is important to have an understanding of how Shenendehowa has translated holistic scoring to percentage grading: 4 range 90% - 100% 3 range 70% - 89% 2 range 56% - 69% 1 range 55% and below In simplest form, students performing below grade level are not meeting grade level expectation nor achieving a passing grade. If children were given "2s" in the past, their grades would currently equate to the 56 - 69 percentage range. Many students received "3s" as it encompassed all of the grade level expectations, while the "4" was to indicate those few students who consistently exceeded or excelled in grade level expectations. Now, with the use of percentage grading, parents will have a more precise understanding of how their child is performing." I do not understand how to parse the mailing. If my daughter, for example, receives 95% on every spelling test, but the words are words she would be expected to know for her grade level, does she receive a grade in the range 70-89% or does she receive her actual computed average of 95%? If the former, how is this an improvement over the previous equally arbitrary and opaque scale, and if the latter how will the school reflect differences in the source material such as book reading level?

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If a student is working at grade level and taking grade level assessments the percentage scoring will align with the new report card. However, if a student is working below grade level with alternate assessments, those scores will need to reflect the grade level standard when placed on the new report card. This means the score earned on the report card may be different than the score earned on an assessment or assignment that is not on grade level.
The note was sent home in an attempt to prepare parents for the meaning of a “2” or “1” on the previous report card and how that translates to a percent. Moving to percentage grading is more precise and leaves nothing to the imagination. When a student earned a “1” or a “2” on a report card at the elementary level parents may not have clearly understood how children were progressing. We felt it would assist parents in understanding what a “2” meant in terms of a percentage score.
Teachers have always graded against a grade level standard, but the percentage scoring eliminates any arbitrary or opaque grading. This “new” clarity can create a harshness, and because educators are a caring group of people, they wanted parents to have some understanding of what was happening.
Please feel free to contact your principal with any other questions


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what are the minimum effort and conduct grades needed to keep senior privledges?

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A 1, 2, or 3 is required in effort and /or conduct in all courses during each quarter.

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Why are teachers in the high school expecting the students to use their "smart phones" during class time to complete assignments? This has happened in both Biology and English 10. My child does not have a "smart phone" and was unable to complete the assignment. If a "smart phone" is required for the class, perhaps the school could provide them to those students who do not have one. This has been an issue more than once in both of these classes! Please let the teachers know that this is unacceptable!

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Teachers don’t expect them to use them. Sometimes they design lessons that include activities that enhance the learning. Teachers are aware of the expectations and recognize that some students don’t have these devices.

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Why have wifi in HSW if students aren't even aloud to use their electronics!? How is it fair that HSE students can but freshman cant?

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At some point in the school year, as was the case last year, HSW students may be allowed to use them.

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Is there a turnaround time for Middle School in terms of the teachers updating grade books and entering when assignments are due? It appears that many teachers are updating differently and there is no standard. I had heard in the HS that here was supposed to be a 48 hour turnaround.

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There are guidelines that are recommended, but teachers use their best judgment based on their individual circumstances.

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Can you please actually answer the question about the portal: "I am wondering why teachers need to know how often their grades are accessed and whether it should reflect at all on the child or the parent?" Thanks!

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The questions was answered. It is a standard report in the student information system we use. It doesn't matter if teachers need to know it or not, it is available as part of the system.

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Ok...so I told my children who are HS students that they had to follow the Halloween costume rules because rules are rules. WHY were teachers allowed to wear costumes? (there are pictures) What consequences did those teachers receive? To continue to allow blatant disregard for the rules is unacceptable. Are rules made for everyone or just certain people? A final clear answer on that question would be appreciated.

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The principal is not aware of any staff who dressed up at school for Halloween.

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Had Shen ever thought about having a Glee Club?

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We have several vocal performing groups.

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Can i still drop a class?

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Only full year classes.

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Can I fail first quarter or do I get an automatic 65

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You can’t get lower than 50%.

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The price for tickets to the drama and musical is in my opinion too high for a family. Why is there no reduced student ticket price.

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The musical is generally a self-funded endeavor. The district pays for some of the staffing and facility costs associated with the show, but all other expenses are covered by the club. Ticket prices are the key revenue source which allow the us to put on high quality shows.
This year, the Musical Company added a matinee & will be offering student discount prices at $12 (the cost of shows in the past). This was done since they are performing a Disney musical, and families will probably want to attend.

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The Montreal trip during the month of February has been cancelled because it has been deemed as uneducational. Although this is considered uneducational, the Spanish department took juniors to the egg to see a production and then went to Poncho's Mexican Restaurant for lunch. How is this trip to the Egg considered educational while the Montreal trip is not. On the Montreal trip, students will be surrounded by the French language as well as learning about the history of the city. How is this trip viewed as uneducational?

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In order for a trip to be cancelled, it must be approved. The process for trips out of the country includes a letter of support from the principal and Board of Education approval which never happened. When the trip was proposed it was billed as enrichment to the curriculum. The cost seemed prohibitive and only about 40% of the French 10 students were going. This seemed like an imposition to the students left behind, as well as the teachers who would be missing students. The teachers on the trip would not be here to teach their other classes, also a factor. The compromise was to lower the cost and potentially open it up to more students for enrichment by going on Saturday. I don’t think that was considered, but would be supported.

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Is there going to be a snowball for the high school this year?

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That will be decided by the National Honor Society.

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I am a student and i want to tutor others. How do i get in to do that?

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Please speak with Mr. Smith in HSE.

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Hi, Im currently a senior. I am 18 and i was wondering if my 21 year old boyfriend was allowed to attend prom with me? I see theres a dance guest form but only seems to apply to those who still attend school. He graduated in 2009.

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Yes, he would be allowed with administrative approval that takes place by using the form, even if he graduated.

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Why isn't accelerated gym counted in your average? It's an accelerated course!

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Because PE is not in the calculation.

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There is a night coming up on transisitional planning for students with disabilities who wil be attending college. I would like to commend the district for the high quality of care and conceren shown to any student with a special need. However, I am concerned about an agency in this area that Access contracts with to provide services to college bound students. Who should I address this with?

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If you have concerns with a specific agency that ACCESS-VR contracts with, you may contact Suzanne Hasko @ 518-881-0310 # 61318 (transition coordinator for Shenendehowa).

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My elementary school child has a student with an aide in his class. The child got upset, threw the desk, chair, and pencil box. How does the district handle situations like these when the safety of the students is at risk?

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The district had a clear Code of Conduct, and I strongly urge you to contact the building principal directly.

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I am a 7th grader at Koda, and we are in our swimming unit. My friend got laryngitis from it because she was way too cold. why isn't the pool warm? i am always shaking from the cold. its freezing!!

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The temperature of the pool water is maintained between 80 – 82 deg. The air temperature must be 2 degrees higher to stop evaporation. We have the ability to monitor this using a computerized chemical management system and an energy management system. There has been no deviation in the pre-programed temperature set point.

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When is the last time a Shen student has been a winner of the National Merit Scholarship Competition? I have noticed students recognized for being finalists, semifinalists, or even commended, but I have never seen anything regarding an actual scholarship winner.

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Finalists are considered winners in this competition. Two students were named last year.

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Do orchestra grades get factored into a students overall grade point average when being considered for Junior National Honor Society?

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Yes, it is the overall average including specials.

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When will the wifi and new training center go into effect?

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Our goal is to complete the project for the 2013-14 school year.

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As a newly inducted member of NHS (I was inducted in the fall), I was informed today by a member of the Yearbook that the newly inducted members will not be in the yearbook, as there will not be a group photo, but instead photos from the first induction ceremony. I personally find this unfair and believe that the newly inducted members should deserve recognition. How can I go about making a change to this?

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The photo of the National Honor Society for the 2013 Yearbook has not been taken yet.

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Is there a rule about how many times a person can appear in the yearbook?

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The Yearbook Club puts a lot of effort into taking photos of as many different students in the high school, grades 9 – 12 and having students shown only once in each section.

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What is the reason Shen is falling behind in Science compared to other suburban districts such as Saratoga?

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It is difficult to respond to this question without knowing the measures of success and/or criteria used. You can contact Jean Lorch, academic administrator for science at 881-0370.

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Why doesn't Shen offer a ROTC program?

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We just haven't. However, if a local college or university has such a program, we would investigate the possibility of some type of collaboration.

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My daughter who attends Gowana tells me that her swimming class (which starts next week) is going to be coed this year. I thought the swim classes in the middle school were all single gender. In fact, your athletic aquatic web site states just that. I also hear she has a male teacher. Please explain why the change in policy and why parents have not been notified. Will the students and parents who prefer a single gender swim class be be able to opt out?

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With changes in staffing, we are not able to accommodate single sex classes in every period in the pool. We looked at different options, but in each case it would have created a single sex period somewhere else in the schedule. Just as a point of reference, a majority of Suburban Council schools, with pools, swim co-ed at the middle school level.

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Is the posted speed limit on campus a law or a recommendation? I consistently see vehichles driving at speeds clearly in excess of the posted limit, and this includes buses. Does Shen actually enforce this?

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The school district is considered private property the speed limit is governed by the elected school board and enforced by our campus security. It is in the community's best interested to adhere to the limit for the safety of our children.

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Why can't students go negative to a limit this year in school. My son could not get lunch today and they gave him milk and some lettuce on a tray and called it a "full lunch" Now I understand the new lunch regulation from the government but I do not beleive this has anything to do with the system. Why has this feature been eliminated?

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See Regulations for BOE Policy 5662.

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Its great that we now have federal guidelines to ensure the children are served healthy lunches. Is Shen now going to sell only healthy snack options so that students don't simply throw away their lunches and buy ice cream, chips and fruit roll ups instead? If not, then the new regulation is pointless and won't help those children who arent eating balanced meals.

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We always try to encourage children to buy a healthy lunch. If a parent feels that the child is purchasing too many snacks we are able to block the child’s account so they can only purchase lunch and no snacks are allowed.

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Is my daughter aloud to go home on the bus with her friend if I write a note? They are not on the same bus route.

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Refer to http://www.shenet.org/district/Transportation/RidingOtherBuses.cfm for this information.

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Why is Shen cutting art classes?

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No art classes were cut for the2012-2013 school year. The 8th grade art program was eliminated for the start of the 2011-2012 school year and currently remains eliminated. That decision was made in part as a result of the need to reduce operating cost and to resolve issues with the master schedule at the middle school.

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why is it not okay to put a plainsmen on the american flag during a football game? the only people offended by it were the school admistraters.

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Actually the opposing team’s fans were offended and pointed this out to us. We are not banning this flag, but simply asked students not to use it at that game.

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Recently sharpies were banned at the middle schools but for some children who have art classes sharpies are needed to complete projects. If caught with a sharpie the child can get a referral. I understand they were banned because of writing on the wall but if a child needs it for a class what should they do to not suffer consequences?

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Gowana asked that students not bring sharpies to school due to recent vandalism in the bathrooms. If a sharpie is needed specifically for a class, the students can use them in that class only.

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Why is there no place on the Shen web site that shows the results of the various sporting events? A simple area could be kept to list the event and the score. Many of the events are not covered by local papers. The individual team web sites are not always maintained well. Why not display the events final results?

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While we would like to do this, the athletic office does not have the necessary manpower to track down every coach in every sport to get their team’s results each day. There are over 1,300 different interscholastic contests that Shenendehowa student athletes compete in each year and this would be a very big task to keep this up to date.

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I was told, by a staff member, that there are cameras in the study hall rooms in East (232,237,242). Is this true? It is illegal to have cameras in a closed space such as a classroom.

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There are no cameras in classrooms.

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Are we having a respect day this year? It is rumored that it will only be afterschool

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It will be during the school day on Friday February 15, 2013. We are just finalizing the choice of the main speaker.

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Let me just ask why it is okay for the school to have High School students fill out a survey on who they were going to vote for, a survey in which they were required to put their their name and address on. Who someone votes for is PRIVATE information. Please explain to me the reasoning behind this because currently I see no reasoning for this, IT IS ILLEGAL!!

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It was voluntary to vote in this “mock” election. In addition, no one was instructed to put their name on the ballot, but simply to sign in to indicate that they had voted, simulating what happens in the real election process.

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why is the hse library "closed" before homeroom, and why does it "close" halfway through periods? as a student who needs to utilize the resources (computers, printers AND books) offered to us, and with the drop in labs not alwasy open and not able to meet my needs? im a senior that doesnt have a single free period, and often cant get through the lunch lines and eat before that special time that the library is "closed", that doesnt work for me, as well as many other students i have spoken to. its a library, and should be open at all times. please do tell me the point of not allowing students to use it at any given time. and also, students shouldnt have to travel the back hallway when their destination is close- if im going from the main cafeteria to the music rooms, why should i have to take seven (yes i timed it) extra minutes to walk all the way around the school to get somewhere that should take less than one. noise and interruptions wouldnt be an issue since there are no classrooms with the exception of music rooms (theyre making more noise than anyone in the halls anyway), and the gym. so...why?

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The library does open before homeroom. The availability is often based on the numbers of people in the library which has a capacity. If you need access to an area, the labs are typically open as is the Fridge during lunch. We try to keep the front hallways clear because of the classrooms at or near the Northside, as well as increasing our abilities to better supervise this area.

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Is there a student council in 9th grade? If there is what events are they responsible for planning?

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There is a grade 9 Class Council that meets with advisors, Mrs. Engel and Ms. Sauer to plan events such as the freshmen dance.

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It would be nice if, for example, when someone asks a longer length question that you take your time to make a longer answer. Please, honestly try and make it seem like you actually care about what you're saying. You make the questions seem like the mean absolutely nothing to you, and they probably don't.

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This is meant to provide short, quick answers. If you would like more information a phone call would be more appropriate.

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Why doesn't Shenendehowa has election day off?

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It is not a holiday.

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I find it amusing that many "questions" that were just answered in the last round of answers were positive and had no bearing to most. Instead of answering legitimate questions, comments praising the PI person are posted.

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We try not to judge legitimacy and instead post all that fit within the guidelines. Incidentally, there were 12 other comments of praise that we didn't post in an effort to reduce redundancy.

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I was under the impression that the all questions if asked politely will be answered. I sent in a question about who is paying for the superintendent to attend a conference in California 12 days ago and my question was not addressed. I am sure that many people are curious.

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We get approximately 50 questions per day to the grapevine, depending on what else is going on it could take time to see your question posted (see below).

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Who will be funding the superintendent's trip to Los Angeles? If it is the districts cost, couldn't the money be better spent on the students?

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The district. The superintendent was already scheduled to go to this conference using professional development funds.

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Can I be your job shadow for one day as you answer the grapevine questions? Although I enjoy your responses, I would like to be there to actually hear what you say "out loud" as you craft a response to comments such as "I heard the only reason we aren't closing early is because our superintendent has a son on the football team, glad to know the overall safety of our kids is not as important as a football practice"

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:)

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What is the difference between CSEA and SUSA,e.g. what jobs are covered under which contract? Thanks!

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Both contracts with job titles are posted on the Staff Resources page . SUSA are the supervisors group for most of CSEA groups.

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At Open House, a few teachers made a point of telling parents that they are able to see how many times we check our children's grades on the portal. My kids and I all use the same sign-on, and they regularly check their own grades and those of their siblings. My concern is that teachers are going to notice this high activity and that it will reflect on myself or my children (one son's math teacher even "called him out" in class about the frequency of times that his grades were checked). I am wondering why teachers need to know how often their grades are accessed and whether it should reflect at all on the child or the parent? Thank you.

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There is a report in the program that allows teachers to see this.

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Does Shen block out cell phone service somehow? Or is it just by chance that there is little to no service in most of the buildings on campus. If the school does block out cell service, than what is the purpose of adding wifi in every room of every building? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of blocking out cell service?

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No. The fact that our buildings are built out of brick and cement blocks prohibits cell phone service in some areas. That is why we are putting in wifi.

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My childs bus driver did not take them home right away. She brought them back to school and made all of the children wait and sit on the bus for ninety minutes. i would like to have an answer to this and i need it asap because from now on im taking my child home.

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Please call our transportation office for resolution.

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Who makes the decision to submit 8th grade kids to a day trip to Boston that requires them to be on a bus for appox 7 hrs in one day. I support the educational opportunity but feel there are plenty of places with a much more manageable travel time.

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The teachers with principal approval.

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We just received yesterday the new format for the Elementary report card. If the children are now going to be given number grades, wouldn't it be important to put a number grade on the assignments that children are completing. And why aren't the elementary teachers required to use the portal for grades and assignments like the middle and high school do?

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The change to numerical is driven by new state regulations. Subsequently, we are in the process of transitioning grading practices and report cards, including the use on an on-line grade book.

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Hi my question is different..i have gone through shen sschools middle school and graduated recently. i have noticed there is a shocking degree of racism being displayed in the schools and general clifton park area. its almost like "black jokes" are just common in the vernacular of the students , staff, and common folk of clifton park. and believe me i speak for many when saying this rasicm is ridiculous..but where do you begin to correct it??

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Issues of racismare not tolerated and when identified are addressed. However, it is a larger social issue and, as a district, we have focused on diversity as a whole--promoting the positive aspects of the multiplicity of races, cultures, and ethnicities. The broader Shen community is changing and we all have a responsibility to embrace the change.

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Will the high school have a Presidential Election poll this year? It'd be interesting to see what the student body trends are.

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Yes, the high school had one.

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Is there a policy for play time in Shen sports? My child is a freshman and "bench warmer"...I don't think so it's fair...if you pick someone to make a team, he deserve some play time. I hope I will get a response because I never get one from my previous post. Thank you. a mock election.

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Playing time is not equal nor guaranteed at the interscholastic level. We encourage all student athletes to accept the benefits of being part of a team.

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Are you allowed to try out and be on the Shenendehowa football and basketball cheerleading squads if you are also a current member of an All Star competitive team?

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Yes.

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If you take the PSAT as a sophmore, will colleges see your test results? Also, does Shen offer any awards/scholarships to sophmores who do very well on the PSAT?

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The PSAT is a practice test for the SAT. High schools across the country administer the test for the testing agency, College Board. College Board has scholarships for 11th grade students who score extremely well on the PSAT. PSAT scores, regardless taking in 10th or 11th are not part of a college application. It is simply a practice test. Colleges which require standardized test scores as part of their application process request students to submit the results of the SAT.

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If my child has a road test scheduled during the school day and they must leave school, is it counted as a unexcused or excused absence?

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It is unexcused.

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What is disgusting about the comment regarding people living somewhere and attending a school they shouldn't is the person making the comment. Mind your business and worry about raising your children. Not trying to get people in trouble. Seriously, if this is all you have to worry about in your life maybe you should volunteer your time at a food kitchen or something. The amount of complaining and pointing fingers that goes on in the Shen community is unreal. What are we teaching our children? And to the person who answers all these questions... Thank you. Hopefully you get a laugh out of some of these outrageous comments.

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You are welcome. However, it is important to note  that we do investigate reports on non-residency.

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Hi I am a Shen high school student and I was questioning why you cant leave the cafeteria during Lunch after 25 minutes. This is suppose to be a free period and therefore you should be allowed to go to places like the library, your locker, the bathroom etc. It is strange that I can miss Math class during the last fifteen minutes but not Lunch. If they really needed to find a kid during the last fifteen minutes that badly couldn't they just use the PA? Any clarification would be appreciated.

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You should not be allowed to leave any class 15 minutes early. It is our belief that if you haven’t been able to find a place such as the main cafeteria, satellite café, library, computer room, Fridge, or workroom during lunch, you probably don’t know where you should be or why you are going there. However, students are allowed to access these places after the 25 minute mark with a pass from a teacher.

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Do School Volunteer Applications have to be filled out for each new school year?

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Yes.

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I am a senior at High School East...my curiosity was peaked when I was learning about the debate in National Issues...I decided to watch it in the library on my device, being the only quiet place with wireless Internet. I was told I cannot do that because I am not allowed to use headphones. How is it that we can use smartphones, tablets, and laptops for educational use yet we cannot use headphones? Whether or not headphones are being used for educational purposes, such as mine, or to listening to music, I do not understand that rule. Why can't we do our independent work while listening to music or watching something of educational value in the library via headphones?

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The library allows and encourages the use of personal devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, e-readers) for clear educational purposes. We often have students watching online videos at our computers (with headphones) that are assigned by teachers or related to their classes. However, we have also found that devices used for games, videos, movies, and personal music playing (including headphone use) provides a distraction to the task of maintaining an academic environment in a facility that is often filled with over 250 students. The library policies are introduced during the 10th grade orientation and available in a pamphlet in the library.  Watching the debate clearly has direct educational relevance and would certainly be allowed if permission was asked. If students have a question concerning if the content is appropriate to be watching during school in an academic environment, they should first directly ask Mr. Davidson, the Librarian, and they will find he is supportive and encouraging of a wide range of academic pursuits and interests .

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What is it exactly do people do in key club? The web page for the club isn't too informative. Can you join whenever or has that deadline passed?

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Please contact Mr. Dunham, the advisor for more information.

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My son (who is in 10th grade) global teacher talks about religon a lot in class. I thought that teachers weren't allowed to that? This is changing my son's views on religon and I dont think it is appropriate for the teachers to talk about religon so in depth. I understand that it is a part of the cirriculum, but I feel that some of the teachers take it to far.

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In Global 9, 10 and World Culture/World Literature-Honors, students learn about events in world history, including how religions and religious groups have influenced the behavior of individuals, groups and nations. Through our history courses, students do learn about how interactions between and among groups have affected people throughout the world – both positively and negatively. At the same time, we work on our students’ ability to understand that different people can view the same event or issue from a variety of perspectives. Because we know that it is part of a teenager’s natural development to challenge their parents’ opinions, we always encourage parents to talk to their child about what they are learning in their Social Studies class so that parents can share their perspectives too!

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I'm confused. I thought we were told at the beginning of the school year that elementary and middle school menus would be the same. It seems they have been quite different lately. Did something change after this was announced or am I losing my mind? Thanks!

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Only the Sept menus were the same but with the new federal regulations elementary and middle school will be separate.

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Thank you for updating the parent portal so messages can easily be deleted.

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It was the new version update for Infinite Campus that  fixed it.

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My son is receiving referrals for being late to lunch. He cannot put away his instrument, get from the band room to his locker on the other side of the school to get his lunch, and then through the crowded hallways in 5 minutes without "running in the halls". And he cannot bring food to the classroom. Any suggestions?

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Contact the principal.

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I can not believe the complaints that the district is getting regarding holding school/outside gym classes, etc. based on a weather event that didn't even start until well after 4pm. If a parent was that worried about the storm, then they should have kept their children home or picked them up early. My children both got home safely and had a wonderful day at school today. Perhaps the people that seem to spend all of their time complaining about the decisions made by the district should move if they think that Shen is so awful..... The majority of us our very happy with the education that Shen provides- keep up the good work!
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Glad to hear it.

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Not a question, but just want to say kudos to whomever responds to the comments! People are ridiculous, to say the least(hurricane complaints are yet another prime example) and to have a reasonable and level headed response is quite refreshing : )

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Thanks for the feedback.

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Superintendent and co. Thank you for not overreacting and succombing to popular opinion yesterday. It's nice to see you and your staff took a serious and measured approach to this "storm." I find it laughable that parents in this district consistently panic about potential bad weather. I'd like to think the same parents who criticized the district for its approach yesterday are posting comments today apologizing for their excessive worrying.

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A lot goes into making the decision to close school or not. We do not do so based on forecasts which can be unreliable at times.

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I could not disagree more with the person who feels the Grapevine answers are rude. On the contrary, I am amazed at how professional the answers are, especially in light of how rude the questions often are! This person needs to go through the archives and count how many times rude and outrageous questions and accusations are posed by (anonymous/cowardly) people and how many times the answers can even remotely be considered out-of-line. Occasionally the answers are tinged with a bit of humor...which is the best way to deal with snarky questions....but I don't see how they can be viewed as unprofessional or rude in any way. Many of us quietly appreciate the efforts of the person who keeps up this website. Please don't let a few outspoken critics deter you!

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Thanks, answers are never meant to be rude...just short, to the point and factual.

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This is the second time I'm posting my question! Why is it okay for the school to ask students to take a survey regarding who they're voting for, I understand not everyone can vote but I'm sure certain seniors plan on it. I have no problem with the survey if it didn't require a NAME and ADDRESS to be written on it!! Who someone votes for is completely private information and I believe the public needs an answer on this matter.

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The high school administration is not aware of any survey that has been approved or administered. Please contact Mr. Flynt, high school principal if you have further information or concerns. He may be reached at 881-0310, ext. 61415.

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I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

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Thanks. Many different people contribute to this blog.

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Grapevine Admin(s), contrary to whats's being said, your answers are far more professional and well-thought out than the ridiculous questions you're being asked. Thank you for your patience...and more importantly, I applaud you for not straight up laughing at people for being so petty and rude, I couldn't show as much restraint.

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Thanks.

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all the seniors on here that are complaining about parking and what not, maybe they should go green and take the school bus!

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We couldn't agree more.

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Is there a link that explains 4th Grade State Science scores in depth?

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The New York State Test in Science Grade 4 and 8 does not factor into the New York State Report Card in the way that the math and ELA tests do. Therefore an individual student report for science is not generated by the state. The science test does not have the same security as the math test and the 2012 grade 4 and 8 test are available for view at the website below. There you will also find a conversion chart that converts scale scores to levels. http://www.nysedregents.org/Grade4/Science/home.html

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Is there or will there be an app for paypam?

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There isn't at this point, but we will forward the suggestion to the company.

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How did the jv golf team do this year?

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The junior varsity golf team finished with twelve wins and two losses. They finished third (out of ten) in the Suburban Council JV Tournament.

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Is an accelerated Honors class weighted the same as a grade level Honors class?

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Yes.

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If a student doesn't like the first photo that was taken on picture day in high school,and they get a retake in October, which photo will be in the yearbook, the first one or the second?

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The second.

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What are the classes that count to a students quarterly or yearly average?

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PE, AIS, Resource do not, but all others do.

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"I guess one one man's crap is another man's treasure. :). "... ... ... Who answers these Grapevine questions? High school students? I strongly suggest that the Superintendent have a group of the district's professionals (loose term apparently) come together and devise a code by which to show some professionalism and appropriate verbiage and censorship for the answers from each faculty or staff member. Employees of the districy ought to be embarrased to be directly or indirectly represented in such a low manner. Nothing makes the district look more incompetent than the 'professionals' answering these questions so rudely and in such a crass manner.

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We appreciate your comments. In context, the person asked "Why we answer so many crappy questions?" Normally we would never use that word in a response. The answer was intended to reflect that we all have different perspectives and what one person perceives as "crap" another finds valuable. However, we do not want to offend anyone, so we removed it.

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I can't believe all of the people who are criticizing Shen for holding a full day of school yesterday. I would like to commend you for not over reacting to all of the storm hype and saving an emergency day for when we REALLY need one! Of course, I'm sure the same people who complained about school closing will also be complaining if we use too many emergency days and have to go to school during a vacation. Buck up people!

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What we have learned over the years is that the weather does not always cooperate with weather forecasters. That is why making the call to close school is never taken lightly. Our transportation staff starts driving the local roads to make sure they are safe and clear. We monitor weather forecasts and talk to NYS DOT and utility companies. We also make sure that our facility and ground crews are ready and able. Please remember with all the mandates and regulations, our schools are safer than the typical house (that is why they are designated shelters) and our buses are safer than most cars.

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Why is school open today? Later today, it's supposed to get even worse! And the fact that they are still making people swim in this weather! I think that you should have early dismissal and not make the children swim. My daughter has to swim today. I don't feel comfortable with her swimming but I want her at school. I really don't think swimming is safe

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By all accounts, Hurrican Sandy took a different path and we missed the brunt of it. While we are thankful, our hearts go out to those communities devastated by the storm.

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This is absolutely ridiculous if you are making me send my child to school when there is a state of emergency. You need to take weather more seriously at Shenendehowa when hurricanes like this cause deaths.

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We take weather seriously, we just like to wait until it actually starts to occur because forecasts are frequently inaccurate.

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Does Shen have the ability to send a text with school closings, delays, ect? Thank you

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Yes, if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you can receive text messages. http://twitter.com/ShenNews or http://www.facebook.com/ShenendehowaCSD

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 I heard the only reason we aren't closing early is because our superintendent has a son on the football team, glad to know the overall safety of our kids is not as important as a football practice

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Really?

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I would like an explanation of why my daughter was taken outside in gym class on a day when we are expecting a hurricane..? Makes no sense and is outrageous.

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Because the hurricane wasn't here yet.

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Are there listings online of students who are on the honor and high honor roll by school and grade?

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Yes at the middle schools, after report cards come out.

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what steps do you take when your elementary child has a teacher that is not a good fit for them at all and almost everyday it seems as though its one thing or another and we are only a little over a month into the school year i have already met with school principle three plus times and the teacher and my child is miserable in her class but last year she loved school so much and could not wait to go.I honestly feel this teacher has an issue with my child and i would feel better and less stressed out if we could just switch teachers its early in the year enough is enough why wait and see how much more miserable she can make her and i do blame the teacher on this one sorry but my child did nothing but come home with two bruises from same child in one month and ok accidents happen but what i cant understand is why the teacher had my child write a letter that bruises happen accidents happen and are part of life and i just cant believe it i just want her out of that class.I talked to principle he is great but i she keeps being snotty daily and im fed up i dont see us makin it the whole year help what does it take to make my child/student shine again?

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You talk to the principal.

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I am a senior with late arrival third period and it's outrageous to me that there are tons of yellow parking spots open (at least fifteen at a time), yet it takes me about five minutes of searching to realize I'll never get a spot and park on the grass. Usually, I'm closer to the road than the parking lot. You said yourself in a previous answer that there is not enough student parking, so why not fix the problem?

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Cost, space and priorities.

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Is there a community service requirement for graduation?

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No.

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Why can Wifi only be accessed in certain rooms in HSE? Will the new vote make Wifi in all rooms??

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Yes.

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When I was in 6th grade the school did something where you could get a streak of your hair died pink, for breast cancer awareness, if you paid for it. Now im in 8th grade and they didnt do it last year, are they going to do it this year?

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Every year is different and different causes are supported. Talk to your principal.

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As a parent of a class of 2013 student, I would just like to say I think Shen is a great district and has alot to offer. I'm surprised at the amount of comments on here regarding things so trivial as to where Mr. Robinson is standing at games ( he could choose not to attend then we would be reading about that), the cheerleaders skirts compared to others such as dance team. I can say as a Dance Team parent that my daughter wears yoga pants to perform in. Maybe these parents need to come out and watch a game and support our kids instead of writing comments that are not fact based. I do have one question though. Where can we find out what scholarships are available such as the one available to seniors who attended Tesago?

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The Counseling Center web page.

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I was under the impression that blanket activity fees at the elementary level were no longer allowed. My Okte fourth grader came home with a notice requiring $35 for "field trips, and Scotia-Glenville". This seems excessive since the $15 activity fee was supposed to go away. Thoughts?

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The policy is as follows:
• Elementary schools can collect money for field trips: the total cost incurred by parents for field trips should generally be less than $50 annually and should not exceed $100, with the possible exception of the fifth grade year.
• As part of the school supply list each year, teachers can request up to $10 for special projects that will complement the curriculum or for student recognition activities.
• The district has created accounts entitled Grade-level Activity Fund so that money collected from the special projects/recognitions and field trips can be deposited and this provides oversight of the funds collected by staff.

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To better propose the new weightroom in HSE, pictures should be included of both present and future/proposed. The general public (who will be voting) has no Idea what condition the weight room is in! Only those who have been in it and actually use the equipment(Athletes). Athletics is what puts Shenendehowa on the Map.

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While we appreciate your enthusiasm, what puts Shen on the map is the combination of excellent programs in academics, the arts and athletics. The decision to convert  weight/wrestling rooms into a multi-use physical fitness space is being recommended because the ventillation issues need to be addressed. You can't really show that in a picture.

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When writing out a check for lunches in Gowana to avoid the paypam fee, who does the check get written out. I looked on the website but could not find it

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“School Lunch fund” and  you can either send it to the District Office or send the check in with your child and give it to the cook manager at the school.

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Why is it that when my sons special ed aide is absent the substite the school gets isn't qualified in special ed? Sometimes its the lunch monitor.

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Special education aides do not hold a certification. The qualifications for aides and monitors are the same.

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The fact that there are no wearing of Halloween costumes at the high schoo this year for Halloween is absolutely ridiculous. As a parent with 5 kids, I have had 4 of them that has grown up looking forward to having fun and wearing there costume to school. This is one of the only fun events the kids can look forward too, and it is being taken away. If you are going to get rid of this what else are you going to get rid of? Christmas Break? And your reason behind taking away this event was because "it has no educational relevance, and is a disturbance to the students trying to learn." Well what about the Spirit Rally? What educational purpose does that have? Just so you know, from what i heard there are multiple petitions going around the high schools. Give the kids something to be creative, and have fun with. They work so hard all year. I think they deserve it.

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Thanks for letting us know. However, very few kids actually dress up each year.

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i don't understand why the front cafeteria doors at HSE are closed and students aren't allowed in or out during lunch, it's not a huge problem it just seems kind of pointless and it's really inconvenient.

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Just because you don't understand does not mean that it  is not pointless. In trying to eliminate the amount of traffic on the north side of the HSE building during lunch, the doors are closed and students are asked to use the south doors to get to their location. This has seriously cut down the noise and traffic in an area that has more academic classes.

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Why are the children at Skano not being led inside after recess with a cafeteria aide? My child said they are lined up and sent to wait at the door for the teacher to arrive totally unsupervised. There have been many issues with the children misbehaving and nobody there to intervene.

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Children are not unsupervised at any time out on the playground and there have been no issues reported regarding student misbehavior while lining up.

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I am very concerned that some sixth grade students at Koda do not have a consistent ELA teacher. I am also disappointed that the principal has not reached out to parents to explain the situation. Relying on gossip is not how a principal should be dealing with this. (Especially when there is unsettling gossip). Can someone please let parents know when our children will have a consistent, certified teacher?

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There is nothing we can do about the gossip but the principal told parents at open House that there may be a change. A certified  teacher is in place.  If you have any concerns, contact the principal.

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Does Shen do Impact testing for contact sports?

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As part of our district’s Concussion Management Policy we perform both baseline and post injury neurocognitive testing (Impact) for athletes. Athletes participating in the following sports are tested: Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Diving, Ice Hockey, Basketball, Wrestling, Alpine Skiing, Baseball, Softball and Lacrosse. While this testing is not mandated, it is strongly recommended that athletes in these sports take the baseline during both their freshman and junior years. This information is used by the school physician, along with the certified athletic trainer, to ensure an athlete’s safe return to both school and athletics.

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Why are the cheerleaders not allowed at the football banquet this year??? My daughter puts in just as much time and effort as the players!

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They are attending the banquet.

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Can you tell me why my son is charged a la cart for a deli sandwich when it says on the menu that deli is offered? I have tried several times to contact the cafeteria at Gowanna, but we have played phone tag for several weeks. Thanks!

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To make a full meal your child would need to take the deli sandwich, a fruit or vegetable and a milk. Your child would then get charged the regular lunch price of $2.40. If your child only takes the deli sandwich then he will get charges a la carte prices.

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As parent, I've heard reports that Mr. Flynt and the administration have been trying to restrict the students are having any fun at all as a result of their negative time in high school. It is completely unfair that just because an event that is tradition comes off as a "popularity" contest to the teacher, have it be taken away ( prom king/queen, any sort of major election) In addition I've heard about the issues with the teachers union regarding an administrator taking a teacher's position and compromising the student senate's reputation and ability to work. How can this be allowed? Obviously high school is a pivotal time in our children's life and it goes without saying that although education is the main priority, the social aspect is just as important. Student government allows students to form leadership skills and to develop professional relationships with other students and adults within the building, something Shen is prided for and copied by other districts. I hope you are ashamed of yourself for what is happening to these poor kids who only seek to work to make this school better.

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Please contact the principal with specifics because it is difficult to understand what you are talking about.

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Hi thanks for answering my question I am having an issue with 3rd period lunch at Koda. My son has come home several times with food in his lunch bag and starved. He says the lunch aides make them clean up ten mins before lunch ends and just sit there. He can't take his food out after this time because he will be told to throw it out. Third period is so early already my son should have the whole period to eat.who do I contact about this? Thank you

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Every lunch period is 40 minutes long. Most children should be able to finish lunch within that time frame even with 10 minutes assigned for clean up. You may contact the principal about your concern.

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Can a teacher deny a child such as a sixth grader the right to use the bathroom? I can understand if the student is misbehaved or has been caught horsing around instead of actulally going to the bathroom, but if a student, especially a girl needs to use the lavatory they should be allowed!

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They shouldn’t be denied but, as with  many things, there may be extenuating circumstances. Please contact the teacher or principal if you have a concern.

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We currently have 3 children enrolled in the Shen district. We are building a home in the Shen district. The new house will not be ready until next spring. We are moving to a rental house that is still in the Shen district but not in the same middle and elementary schools my children attend. Can they remain in their schools. I know we would have to drive the elementary student but what about the student who attends middle school? Thanks

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Each circumstance is unique, please contact the Registrar at 881-0662 with your information.

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While I understand people's concern over yet another bond issue to vote on, the ventilation of the wrestling room is necessary for the team. When you have 50 to 60 kids in there because there is no where else to practice because the gyms are signed out to other teams, the air quality is bad for the athletes. There is mold under mats and the ventilation will also help with the skin issues that wrestlers face by helping the mats dry out. We need to be concerned with other teams other than football.

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We are equally concerned about all of our students.

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Can you please post the breakdown of how much each item of the $10 Million improvement project is expected to cost? Like many voters/taxpayers, I am interested in seeing how much the new wrestling room and weight room is expected to cost in comparisson to the other capital improvements/repairs listed in the proposal. Thank you.

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The BOE presentation with the specifics has been is on the website. http://www.shenet.org/2012CapProjReferendumBOE.pdf We are not adding a new weight/wrestling room, we already have one. We are fixing the ventillation and reconfiguring the space to make it a multipurpose physical fitness space.

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A fellow student told me to "fight me" should i call the police or press charges??

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You should definitely talk to someone. You can call the police or you can talk to your principal or counselor.

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Please REMIND your teachers to keep their political views to themselves. Especially those teaching National Issues/Economincs in East. I would love to have this discussion with him in person but fear he would take it out on my child.Thank you for your help.

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The superintendent sent an e-mail to all staff stating the following: As we enter into the heart of the political season, I just wanted to send out a reminder of the importance of ensuring that political perspectives and ideologies do not spill over into the classroom. Essentially, school personnel must maintain neutrality on controversial or political issues, hence preserving the legitimacy of pedagogy. School personnel should not use their position of authority, or school facilities to advance their own personal political beliefs. Please know that this is a delicate balance. Thanks.

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Are the PTA meetings as lively as the conversations on this board? Seems like there are more angry parents than happy ones, which is disappointing. Does everyone have a personal bone to pick or an axe to grind? Whoever moderates this thing, God bless you, because you have far more patience than I ever could. Remember, it's about our children, not our own selfish (aka crazy) agendas. Take it down a notch.

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Thanks.

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Despite over THREE years of lying about their address and the principal being, told the same family continues to go to the wrong elem.. Why does this continue and how does this end? A kid in a classroom taking a spot and parents who make their own rules. Seems as though this family is validated every year for their deceitfulness. Let's turn another blind eye for the fourth year. Great example! Pick and choose at its finest. Disgusting.

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We make every effort to investigate reports of this nature. All I can say is that sometimes there are circumstances involved that you may not be aware of (i.e., burden of proof, NYS homeless laws).

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I understand that pre-tests are now required by NYS as part of the teacher evaluation process, but do they really expect to gain any valuable information from these tests? At HSE, at least, many of the teachers are telling the kids not to even try -- their end-of-year review will look better if the kids "fail" the pre-tests -- so students are making pictures out of their scantron sheets and writing ridiculous responses to essay questions (if they're bothering to write an essay at all). How is this going to help the evaluation process? Given that students, especially at the high school level, understand how to "game" the system, doesn't this render the whole process a waste of valuable learning time?

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The high school administration is not aware of, nor does it support teachers or students “gaming” the system as you have described. This would make our efforts pointless. As for the worth of the process that is a part of the new evaluation system, that is an area of concern that you would need to address with the New York State education Department.

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Hi last year my daughter signed up to have a french exchange student stay with us for a few weeks in Oct. Can you tell me when we will be getting the information on this program or maybe who shall I contact about the details? Thank you!

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Please contact Mrs. Bonventre in HSE or Ms. Gordon in HSW.

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When are the retakes for high school photos if you missed them?

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HSE 10/25 and HSW 10/26.

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What is the mailing address of food service to send a check for our students lunch accounts?

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5 Chelsea Place, Clifton Park, NY 12065

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Why are you including a weight room when there is overcrowding in the middle schools. Math, science, social studies classes are overcrowded with 29-32 students in a class. Why aren't you addressing this issue!

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Are 10th graders taking the PSAT this October?

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Yes, information about how to sign up was listed in the counseling newsletter.

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About how many students attend Shen?

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Approximately 9,870.

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My daughter is a student at Karigon. She had a few wrong answers on her recent math homework. Why don't the teachers provide the correct answers? Instead they just mark them wrong?

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That is really a question for the individual teacher.

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Will there be any absentee ballot provision for those who will be out of town on October 24th?

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Yes, you can get one by contacting the district clerk at 881-0623.

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The bond issue has tied the weight room renovations with some major facility projects, one being a new smoke/fire alarm in the middle school complex. Today there was a loss of teaching time due to the malfunctions of the system. The alarm was always going off last Friday for one and a half hours. If the bond goes down because of the weight room (yes we know that will be the cause), will other very important projects like the alarm system be put off?

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The occurrences at the middle school is one indication of the importance of this vote. Ventilation of the weight/wrestling room was identified in the facility plan as needing to be addressed. All you have to do is walk in there and you will be able to tell why. Since this needed to be addressed and with the rise in student obesity, the district decided to maximize space, aid and construction costs to convert the space into a multi-use physical fitness center.

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Is the track ever opened for public use?

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Yes, anytime it is not being used for school activities.

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Have you ever had a day when nobody complained?

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No.

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Firstly, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and dealing with the sometimes uninformed individuals. I read over and over questions based on misinformation and to your credit you do a great job handling them. The questioning of Dr. Robinson, the leader of our district on the sideline of a football game is laughable (although there are a lot of other non-football individuals inside the fence, including young children). Anyone that really follows Shen Sports would know that he even travels with the various teams to away games as well. The repeated annual uniform questions by either a Cheerleader or a parent are also misinformed; if you attended the last home game you would know that the Dance Team uniform includes pants. All of the questions about sports spending based on the cost of the synthetic field or pool are also getting old, people need to realize the facility costs are separate from actual sports related costs that are also offset by the various Booster Clubs. Everyone needs to be proud of the facilities and the number of Sports and Clubs Shen has to offer.

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Thanks.

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Are postings on the grapevine confidential or does the district have some legal authority to trace back to the original poster?

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We know the IP address, that is it.

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Are there cameras on the school buses?

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Sometimes.

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My child's substitute teacher was screaming at the class and made comments such as "I'm so angry I could throw this clipboard against the wall". Their 6th graders, and I just feel this is inappropriate. Is this a valid complaint? And if you think so, who to I complain to?

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It is a valid concern and you should contact the principal.

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Are all Shen middle school teachers required to use the Portal? I thought so, but I can't click on several classes in my child's schedule, so I can't check on the grades.

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Teachers are only required to use the gradebook for the final grade, but strongly urged to do so all year long.

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On the Budget and Finance page, this link isn't working. Can we get this fixed or can we get this information another way? " By law, schools have to provide access to the line-by-line budget. This budget book is available in every school building and online. [Click here to view (pdf)] "

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Thanks. It is fixed now.

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Why does it take the person answering these questions over a week to respond? Most of these questions are short and objective-therefore, it should not take as long to respond!

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So many grapes, so little time.

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Can you please explain why the top administrators except Dr Oliver get 4% raises each year when the very same people keep telling not only their employees but the tax payers in the district that the school needs to make cuts like the pools summer hours less janitorial staff ect no raises for the employees but if you look on see through NY it's obvious they are getting big raises each year when times are hard for all public employees across NYS WHY!!!!!!!

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That is absolutely FALSE. For the 2011-12 school year, all administrators took a zero percent increase. For the 2012-13 school year, district-level administrators saw increases ranging from 0.8% to 1.7%. And we are currently negotiated with all other administrators for the 2012-13 school year .

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Is a middle school or high school student's physical education grade included in the calculation of the student's overall quarterly and/or yearly average?

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No.

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I heard that the varsity basketball cheerleading team is going to be an all tumbling team. Should I bother to try out if I can't tumble?

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Being a highly competitive cheerleading squad requires tumbling therefore those that tumble are more likely to make the squad over someone that does not. With that said, it is not definite that the varsity squad will be all tumbling so those that are interested regardless of their tumbling skills are still invited to tryout.

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I don't understand why Shen students aren't allowed to have Gang Green Nation written on their homecoming t shirt, MAKE UP YOUR MIND there is nothing wrong with gang green nation shen has a giant Gang Green Nation and t shirts that are being sold but Shen has to completely wipe out Gang Green Nation from the front window! it all entirely doesn't make sense there is nothing wrong with it even teachers wear gang green nation t shirts its called freedom of speech learn about it.

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The administration does not have a problem with Gang Green Nation. The reason it was taken off the window yesterday was to give school personnel visual access to the front circle during yesterday’s unplanned “lockout.”

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My daughter is a senior this year with lunch 5th period. She has asked me to question about the fact that there are no tables to sit at at lunch. Both cafeterias available are completely full. She said there are benches in the hall outside the cafeteria but they are yelled at by the monitors for sitting there. My daughter and her friends have the option of sitting on the floor to eat their lunch. I am not happy about this. The monitors tell the kids that if they have a complaint to speak to administration. If you could direct me to the correct person to call it would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Mr. Flynt has been made aware of the situation and it will be corrected immediately. Having said that, there are a number of seats available to students in both cafeterias.

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there should be more seating in the satellite cafeteria in High School East. I had a free period and lunch right next to each other, I had to sit on the floor for both periods because there were not enough chairs. There are benches in front of gym two and we are not allowed to sit there, but we have to sit on the floor? why can't we sit there? the gym has a better chance of making that hallway loud then the people would. why did they put them there and paid all that money if no one sits there?

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Students are allowed to sit on the benches you referred to. However, food or drink are not allowed in this area.

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Is there a fall National Honor Society application process for seniors this year?

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Yes. Please go to the NHS webpage.

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Is it true that last year they changed the weighting system so that AP courses are now multiplied by 1.10 and Honors by 1.06?

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No. The only change that was made is that students will get a weighted and unweighted GPA and class rank as seniors.

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How do you see your school picture? I received the email that they are now online but are there directions?

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Go to the Lifetouch website.

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When will the fall induction to NHS be this year? And when will eligible seniors be notified?

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Check the NHS website for this information.

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Is the district looking in to a new company to replace Paypams? I think it is ridiculous that I have to pay $1.00 every time I put money in to my child's accounts. I have three children and keep their balance low. Now I will have to send a check in to the school each time my children need money in their account. It defeats the purpose of this service.

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No. The Food Service program invested in system upgrades for Paypams 2-3 years ago. Around that same time, the district also took advantage of the enhancements offered through the integrated on-line payment system. An added feature of the on-line payment system is the ability to view transaction history on each student’s account. When the District implemented these upgrades, the district’s bank agreed to absorb all of the transaction fees for on-line payments. New banking regulations have precluded them from doing so this year. As a result, the district is sharing the transaction fee with users such that $1 is charged to the user and $.95 is charged to the district. Parents may still replenish accounts by check to avoid the transaction fee.

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Lots of talk in the news lately regarding new teacher & evaluation policies being required by the state. What is status with Shen. Has a policy been adopted? Does it have to be approved by unions? Aren't the teachers still working with no contract? Is this ever going to be resolved?

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The district formed an ad hoc work group about a year ago and has been working on revamping our existing evaluation plan to meet the new state requirements. Several aspects of the plan had to be negotiated and we are pleased that we have come to agreement with the teachers union on those components. We anticipate having the plan finalized in the coming weeks and submitted to the state on time. The new plan for the evaluation of principals is also being developed, and similar to teachers, aspects of that plan needs to be negotiated. We are not as far along with the principals as we are with teachers, but we are still on schedule to meet the January state deadline. Shen has always had comprehensive plans to evaluate all employees, and will continue to do so.

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What is the impact of the proposed $10 million capital improvement project on the Property Tax Cap? Had the project been included in the budget voted on last Spring, would that have put the budget over the mandatory tax cap?

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No. We actually went below the cap. We have been working strategically for the past two years to refinance debt, taking advantage of the low interest rates, which not only made this project affordable, but also helped our overall budget situation. As a result, although somewhat premature, we are anticipating that we will be at or below the tax cap for next year's budget as well.

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Do teachers have guidelines they must follow in regards to how quickly they grade and return assignments? Students receive zeros if their assignments are late, but teachers can take several weeks to return assignments with grades. In the meantime, new assignments are given. If a student doesn't know how they are doing on earlier assignments, how they can be expected to do well on the next assignment?

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The common expectations is to have regular or routine reporting of grades. If a student or parent has a concern about a grade or a student's progress in class, he/ she should ask the teacher, and if necessary, contact the building administrator.

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Is the track ever opened for public use?

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Yes, anytime it is not being used for school activities

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I hear concerns about large(27)class sizes. I also hear that other countries (N Korea)have class sizes over 40 and do much better than us. Are there any studies that show class size has a direct impact on test scores?

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There are numerous studies that can be used to prove both sides: the fact that class size does or does not have an impact on student achievement. The fact of the matter is, the tax levy cap is going to continue to have an impact on class sizes across the state whether we agree with it or not. Consequently, we have engaged in providing professional development in differentiated instruction as well as other innovative best practices. For example, knowing that our students are digital natives we are expanding our use of technology resources in the classroom.

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Is is ok for a teacher to be sending "sweet dreams" texts at night? If not what are the consequences?

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Without a lot of details, this interaction sounds too personal. It should be reported directly to the building principal....with the evidence of the comment.

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I signed up for a parent portal at K registration in May. I don't remember getting anything in the mail. Should I start over with application etc or is there someone I can contact?

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If you signed up at Kindergarten registration, you were sent a letter with an activation code in the summer. You need to call 881-0665 and your information will be verified and your letter will be reissued with your code. Have your driver’s license ready, you will be asked for your driver’s ID number.

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I recently heard of a family who has not been honest to the School District about which elementary school their 3 children are going to. What is to be done about this?

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Report your concern to the school principal.

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When will this year's AP US History exam be?

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The morning of Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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Full day kindergarten is important to the Clifton Park