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2018-19 proposed budget built on three pillars: Safety & security, mental health & 21st century learning

| May 7, 2018

Safety & Security

After the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, school safety has resurfaced as a significant challenge of the times. In response, the district understands the value and necessity for a visible and active law enforcement figure within the schools, to work hand-in-hand with faculty, administrators and students. The proposed budget includes a School Resource Officer (SRO) who would be assigned to Shaker High School. The cost would be shared with the Town of Colonie, with the district responsible for $40,000 annually. While the SRO would be a first line of defense in a school emergency, the officer would also serve as a valuable resource for students. The SRO would provide opportunities for instruction on law-related education, safety programs, and alcohol/ drug prevention; establish a trusting relationship with students, allowing them to feel more comfortable reporting if they have been a victim of a crime, and assist with referrals for mental health services if a student was to become a threat to themselves. SRO’s are currently housed in more than half of the Suburban Council schools, including the district’s neighbor, Colonie High School. “The North Colonie School Resource Officer would ultimately be a service-oriented position,” said Superintendent Joseph Corr. “School safety equals public safety. An SRO is not a cure-all, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Mental Health

Another new program within the proposed budget is a mental health clinic that would provide support for children in need along with their families. The clinic would be housed in a district school building and provide 24-hour/12-month access for enrolled students and families. Services would be available to any child in the district with parent consent, and be coordinated with school-based and clinic/ community providers. “This will have a major impact,” said Pupil Services Director, Dave Semo. “If we can resolve student problems and provide support right here in the district with wrap-around services, the level of care will be much more efficient.” The district would be required to enroll a minimum of 25 students in the clinic, with 15 of them Medicaid eligible. Because the clinic would be a BOCES shared service, the cost for the district would be $35,000 annually, with 50 percent of that cost reimbursed through BOCES state aid the following year.

21st Century Learning

The 2018-19 budget proposal supports all current academic and extracurricular programs for students, and adds several programs and courses that prepare students for college and careers in the 21st Century. 

Social Studies

  • American History 1 (grade 7)
  • American History IIE (grade 8 enriched)
  • SUNY University in the High School Foreign Policy (SHS)
    • College-credit eligible course

SHS Business Education

  • Shaker High School will become an approved testing site for Microsoft Office Certification

SHS Technology Education

  • Wood Construction
    • A sequence of courses to give students credit for the first year of the five-year Carpenters Local 291 apprenticeship program
  • CISCO course, “IT Essentials”


  • Art and Design Foundations 1 and 2
  • Spatial and Interior Design
  • Sage College University in the High School Spatial and Interior Design
    • College-credit eligible course

SHS English

  • Writing Center Internship
    • Internship would be modeled after Shaker’s current CEIP program

SHS Science

  • Astronomy/Severe Weather
  • Earth Science Honors


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