BH Fire Report, Mental Health Presentation, Graduation & Weekly Boost

Dear North Colonie families,

We have an update to share with you about the fire at Boght Hills last month.

Investigators have determined it was an electrical malfunction that caused the fire to break out at the stage section of the auditorium/cafeteria. Debris samples were collected from that area and analyzed. The K-9 search following the fire detected no presence of an accelerant.

The fire investigation report identified the trouble spot was the armor cable beneath the auditorium stage. It was determined that a main disconnect to the hallway distribution panel had tripped at some point and when reset, the armor cable became energized which resulted in resistance heating of the cable and the ignition of the stage framing and flooring materials.

The structure where the fire broke was constructed in 1955 and no recent work has been performed there. The ductwork that was routed beneath the stage floor extended upward and vented outside. The duct system had not been used in recent years. There were no working mechanicals, but air flowed naturally through the duct to the outdoors. Electric wiring and plumbing associated with a boiler system heating were also routed under the stage floor to radiators in the hallway outside of the auditorium. There were no known problems with the heating or the electrical systems at the area of fire origin.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

In recognition of the fact that May is Mental Health Awareness month, and the fact that suicide is preventable when schools, parents, and students work together in partnership, please join us for a conversation about suicide prevention on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7pm. 

This is a link you can use to view the presentation that will cover what we know about this leading cause of death, the most up-to-date research on prevention, and what we can all do to fight suicide. Participants will learn the common risk factors for suicide, how to spot the warning signs in others, and how to keep ourselves, our loved ones and those in our community safe.

We will also be sharing material related to identifying teen depression as well as tips for supporting mental health self-care for people of all ages. This presentation will be in cooperation with a local representative from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and members of the North Colonie mental health staff, who will share how the district can directly support student mental health.

We want to help answer your questions on mental and physical health and well-being, anxiety, depression, or any contributing factor to widespread emotional distress and increased risk of suicide. Submitting your questions ahead of Thursday’s presentation will give us an opportunity to best meet your needs. Please take a moment to ask us a question, talk to us about your observations, or tell us what you are thinking. Use this form to submit your questions, ideas, and speak with us in confidence.

Albany County developed an app to use as a first line of defense to help identify signs of suicide. Tap this link to download the Albany County HOPE suicide awareness and prevention app.

Seeking Candidates for Two Leadership Positions

The North Colonie Central School district is seeking applicants for a newly-created position of Director of Social and Emotional Learning with an Equity Lens, and Principal of the High School.

Graduation Ceremony

Based on the results of our survey, our 2021 Graduation Ceremony will be held at the Times Union Center on Saturday, June 26th at 10:00 A.M. Please remember that all attendees will only be admitted with one of the following:

  • Proof of a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event
  • Proof of a completed vaccination series within 2 weeks of the event
  • Proof of having recovered from a positive COVID case in the past 3 months

This is the vote breakdown from parents and students:  

Parent Survey – 415 Responses

  • Times Union Center – 65.4 % (278 votes)
  • Drive-thru Graduation – 32.9 % (140 votes)
  • Won’t be Attending – 1.6 % (7 votes)

Student Survey – 313 Responses

  • Times Union Center – 77.8 % (246 votes)
  • Drive-thru Graduation – 20.6 % (65 votes)
  • Won’t be Attending – 1.6 % (5 votes)

Lunch Hero Day

Today we recognize the heroic efforts of school nutrition professionals on school lunch hero day! Elementary students who are currently in the middle school building were treated with caped masked superheroes delivering their lunches! Enjoy these pictures.

We Appreciate Our Teachers

This is teacher appreciation week. If you are a teacher, thank you. We have so much pride in our educators here in North Colonie. We appreciate all who make such a difference in the lives of our students and school community!

Weekly Boost

  • What an uplifting way to give back, the World of Difference Club made and donated 30+ tug straps to Canine Companions’ service dogs. The tug straps students made will be used to teach the assistance dogs to learn how to open doors, drawers, and cabinets for people with disabilities. Read more about it. 
  • Great job to the Shaker High School Science Olympiad for placing in 12 of the 15 categories in areas that range across all scientific disciplines at this year’s virtual Capital Region Competition. Check out the students who won medals in this competition.
  • The graduating student athletes who signed commitment letters to attend and play sports for a college or university this week all said a deciding factor was how welcoming they felt on campus. That was great to hear. We wish you all the best!

As always, thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe. Please continue to wear a mask, avoid social gatherings with those outside of your household, and social distance.


D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools