main content starts here

SHS Principal’s November Newsletter

| November 18, 2019

Update from the Principal

Our school year is underway with mid-terms beginning on January 9, 2020. I have reminded students that the end of the semester is an opportunity for them to review their progress in each of their courses of study. This is also a good time for students to look around and consider what resources they are or are not using to achieve success in the classroom. Often, when students are not achieving, it is evident they are not fully utilizing all of the support that is available to them. Parents often will suggest to me that programs or resources should be added to our school. My first response is to ask that we look to what is currently available to our students. Students may not be accessing their classroom teacher or staying for after-school help that is already in place. Our department supervisors are also our master teachers who can offer ideas, interventions, and plans to assist students struggling in certain academic areas.

I know that our lives can be busy with schedules that leave little time. However, it is important that students, parents, faculty, and administrators work together to plan ways to bring about student success. This collaborative model is one that our students will be expected to use when they move on to higher education and other post graduate opportunities. Communication is the key to success for any type of problem solving. Once achieved, I am confident students can be successful at Shaker High School.

As the year progresses, please feel free to contact us when you have a question or concern. I thank you for your continued support of our learning community.

Students’ Attendance in Examinations

Students enrolled in courses for which there are mid-term or final examinations are responsible for taking tests on given dates and times. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each exam period and phone calls will be made to verify each absence. The scheduling of personal appointments, vacations, or meeting obligations other than those of an emergency nature shall not constitute a valid reason for missing an exam and will result in a grade of zero. Valid reasons include illness or injury confirmed by a physician’s note; death in family; court appearance confirmed by court documentation; or placement in a facility. Notification to hall principal and/or department supervisor is mandatory. Students and parents must make every effort to schedule mandatory college orientation/placement exams during non-testing periods. If a student is going to attend a mandatory college orientation/placement exam during a testing period, the parents and college must provide documentation explaining the reason(s) for this request. Eligibility for make-up exams will be determined by the hall principal and department supervisor. Once the absence has been approved, the Department Supervisor or designee will contact the student to reschedule the exam. If arrangements for make-up exams have not been made prior to the conclusion of the exam schedule, those unscheduled students shall receive an exam grade of zero. Regents exams or any other exams distributed by the State cannot be rescheduled. These exams must be given at the designated times.

Students who arrive late to an exam should report to their scheduled exam room. Their exam will end at the normally scheduled ending time. No additional time will be allowed.

For security reasons, valuables should not be brought to any exam room during formal and/or in-class periods. Valuables may include, but are not limited to hats, books, purses, backpacks, coats, and electronic devices. Shaker High School is not responsible for lost or stolen items; therefore, we recommend that only items needed for the specific exam be brought into the testing area.

The following will be read to all students prior to all Regents exams: ” You cannot have any communications device, including a cell phone, with you during this exam or during any breaks (such as a restroom visit). Such devices include, but are not limited to:

  • Cell phones
  • Blackberry devices and other PDAs
  • iPods and MP3 players
  • iPads, tablets, and other eReaders
  • Laptops, notebooks, or any other personal computing devices
  • Cameras or other photographic equipment
  • Headphones, headsets, or in-ear headphones, such as earbuds
  • Any other device capable of recording audio, photographic or video content, or capable of viewing or playing back such content

“If you brought any of these items to the building today, and have not already stored it in your locker or turned it over to me, a test monitor or school official, you must give it to me now. You may not keep your cell phone or any of these items with you, or near you, including in your pockets, backpack, desk etc. If you keep a cell phone or any of these items with you, your exam will be invalidated and you will get no score. Is there anyone who needs to give me any of these items now? This is your last opportunity to do so before the test begins.”

REGENTS/MIDTERMS EXAMS: January 9-24, 2020
REGENTS/FINAL EXAMS: June 17- 25, 2020


Visitors are expected to call for an appointment prior to coming to Shaker High School. When the appointment is confirmed, the name of the visitor will be placed in the log that is located on the desk at the main entrance. When visitors arrive, they are expected to show a photo ID, sign in and list their destination and the person with whom they are meeting.

2020 National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Students

Congratulations to the following students who have been named Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program: Gianna Aquino, Rohan Bagchi, Labika Baral, Elizabeth Bernardini, Sydney Bulatao, Sophie Crehan, Raymond Eah, Heather Giordano, Justine Hulbert, Ian Justino, Junseo Kim, Virag Korniss, Haejin Lee, Varun Mondaiyka, Varun Morishetty, Kayla Na, Margaret O’Rourke, Chloe Opperman, Tanya Pai, Tiffany Tang, and John Yin. About 34,000 Commended Students nationwide are being honored for their outstanding performance on the 2018 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. These students have shown exceptional academic promise by placing among the top 5% of more than 1.5 million program entrants.

SHS Concert Calendar

Please mark your calendar with the following Shaker High School concert dates:

  • Monday, Dec. 2: Jazz Ensemble, 9-10 Orch., 9-10 Chorus, Per. 1 Symphonic Band
  • Wednesday, Dec. 4: Per. 3 Symphonic Band, World Music, Dixieland Jazz, Bella Voce, 8VA, Counterpoint Strings, Shaker Select
  • Monday, Dec. 9: Wind Ensemble, 11-12 Orchestra, 11-12 Chorus
  • Tuesday, Mar. 3: 9-10 Orchestra, Dixieland Jazz, 9-10 Chorus, Both Symphonic Bands
  • Thursday, Mar. 5: Wind Ensemble, Bella Voce, Counterpoint Strings, 8VA, 11-12 Orchestra
  • Monday, Mar. 9: Jazz Ensemble, Shaker Select, World Music, 11-12 Chorus
  • Thursday, May 28: Jazz Ensemble, Bella Voce, 8VA, Per. 1 Symphonic Band
  • Monday, June 1: Per. 3 Symphonic Band, Shaker Select, 11-12 Orchestra
  • Thursday, June 4: World Music, Counterpoint Strings, Wind Ensemble, 11-12 Chorus
  • Monday, June 8: Dixieland Jazz, 9-10 Orchestra, 9-10 Chorus

Record Number of SHS Students Chosen for All-State Music

Congratulations to nine SHS students who were chosen by the New York State School Music Association to perform in the All-State Festival this December in Rochester: Istan Slamet, Clarinet in the Symphonic Band; Emma Commisso, Soprano in the Treble Chorus; Ian Justino, Tenor in the Mixed Chorus; Sophie Dvorak, Soprano in the Mixed Chorus; Jacob Contois, Tenor in the Mixed Chorus; Sophie Crehan, Alto in the Mixed Chorus; Francisco Oh, Bass in the Mixed Chorus; Scout Santoro, Tenor in the Mixed Chorus; Hayley Whitsett, Alto in the Mixed Chorus; as well as four alternates: Kayla Na on Cello, Isabella Cowan on Flute, Anna Ryu on Oboe, and Luca Spadinger on Bassoon.

Thousands of students auditioned for this honor last spring at Solo and Ensemble Festivals throughout the state. This is the highest number of Shaker High School students ever accepted into All-State performing groups, a great honor for the district.The All-State ensembles will perform on Sunday, December 8th in Rochester NY.

SHS Students Chosen for NYSSMA Area All-State Music

Congratulations to the following SHS students who were chosen by the NYS School Music Association to perform in the Area All-State Festival this November in Saratoga Springs: Olivia Ames, Caroline Bae, Sarah Biazon, Sydney Bulatao, Benjamin Casler, Emma Commisso, Jake Contois, Isabella Cowan, Sophie Crehan, Sophie Dvorak, Raymond Eah, Carter Emerson, Aiva Geracitano, Amitai Goldmeer, Joseph Green, Ani Gregori Asadourian, Sean Hong, Daniel (Seung Heun) Joung, Sunmin (Claire) Kim, Jethro Ronald Lee, Jack LeRoy, Shannon Lipscomb, Joshua Matz, Louis Meunier, Anna Miller, Peter Mostert, Dylann Palmer, Cameron Richardson, Annika Robin, Anna Ryu, Istan Slamet, Lydia Smith, Jongmyeong (Joseph) Sung, Ansley Teal, Tatiana Varela, Catalina Varela, Sarah Vatalaro, Hayley Whitsett, Allison Woodhouse, Agnes Yang, Vincent Zhang, Ethan Zhang, Lauren Zhu.

Visual & Media Art Department News

A Shaker High School Visual & Media Arts Exhibit, representing all semester 1 art & design electives will be featured in the Upper G Gallery towards the end of December. All are welcome to join the department faculty at our reception celebrating student artwork to be held on December 18 at 7 p.m.

Students interested in participating in the annual Olympics of the Visual Arts competition in Saratoga April 2020 should email department supervisor, Ms. Manzella at: Club meetings will begin soon to organize teams for registration.

Advanced art students interested in being an assistant in the elementary Art Explorers after school workshop sessions should contact Ms. Manzella at Sessions will be held at the JHS February 26, March 4, 11, and 18, 2020.

During semester 2, be on the look-out for several exciting regional art exhibits, juried by local artists. Our amazing advanced student work is sure to impress.

Health Office Information

The only medications students may carry are Epipens, Benadryl, and rescue inhalers. All other medications need to be given to the nurse in the Health Office with a doctor’s order. If you have any questions, contact the Health Office at (518) 785-5511 Opt # 6. The Health Office Fax number is: (518) 785-2767.

Signing Students Out for Health Reasons:

The following information is offered to provide parents with a clear understanding of how to sign their child out of the health office:

  • All parents of students grades 9-11 will be expected to sign out their child from the health office when their child is ill.
  • Parents will be instructed to go to the health (nurse’s) office to sign out the student. The hall principal will make the decision regarding any extenuating circumstances. Seniors who are medically able to walk home, drive, or leave on their own will still be allowed to do so with parent permission.
  • Parents who contact the health office with unscheduled medical appointment requests will be forwarded to the appropriate hall office to sign out their child. In the case of students with special needs who may have physical or medical issues, the student may be brought to the parent for convenience by the appropriate staff person. The staff person will be asked to have the parent sign out the student at the door.

Health Guidelines

Flu season is here— the following guidelines may be helpful regarding sick days for your children returning to school: Please do not send your child to school with an abnormal temperature—100 degrees or above. Your child may return to school when he/she has been fever free for 24 hours without Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
Please do not send your child to school if he/she has been vomiting or had diarrhea. He/she may return to school 24 hours after the vomiting or diarrhea has stopped.

Committee on Special Education

The North Colonie School District wants to help ensure that your child receives any special education services he or she may require as early as possible. If you are concerned about your child’s development in any area, please contact Amber Manke, CPSE Chairperson and Co-Chairperson, Committee on Special Education for ages 3 through grade 12 at (518) 785-8591 ext. 3149.

SHS Breakfast Program

Start your day with breakfast at Shaker High School. Each morning school breakfast will be offered from 7:00 am until 10:30 am. This includes mid-morning break. School breakfast includes: fruit and/or juice, cereal/bread/grain (protein may be substituted for a grain) and a milk selection. Items such as whole grain bagels, egg sandwiches, yogurt,fruit, cereals, breakfast bars, milk and other specials are available each day.

The School Breakfast Program is available to all students every weekday morning. No advanced registration is necessary; your child can attend every day or only occasionally. Cost of a school breakfast for paying students is $2.15 and free for those qualifying for the free/reduced meal program. School breakfast offers a variety of foods each day, which are both tasty and nutritious. This is an ideal solution on mornings when kids are running late or parents have early commitments. Whatever the reason, if breakfast at home is not convenient, please take advantage of breakfast here at school. Thank you for helping us makes sure that all of our students start the school day alert, well fed, and ready to learn.

Free and Reduced Lunch

Free/reduced lunch is available to students at the high school. Eligibility is based upon your family income level and the number of family members in your household. Students who qualify for this program are also eligible for a fee waiver for SAT I & II tests, PSATs (juniors only), ACTs, and college applications, as well as a reduction in the cost of “University in the High School” credit. To find out if you qualify, please call our Food Service Department at (518) 785-8591, ext. 3141, and request a copy of the Income Eligibility Chart. Eligibility charts can also be found on the North Colonie Food Service website at under the application tab information.

SHS School Store

Looking for something special for the Holidays? The SHS School Store has many Shaker embossed items such as T-shirts, hoodie sweatshirts, sweatpants, baseball caps, winter hats, full zipped fleece jackets, blankets, Christmas ornaments, car magnets, coffee travel mugs, lanyards, luggage tags, and sports bags. Prices range from $1.50 to $30. and for your convenience, the tax is already included in each item. The School Store gladly accepts cash or checks for payment. The School Store is conveniently located in the A/B Lobby near the main office. Hours are 7:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. daily. For questions regarding products, or the school store, please call (518) 785-5511 Ext. 3307. 

Parent Portal

If you have not yet done so, parents may now register to use the Parent Portal for their children at the SHS Main Office. No appointment is necessary. Registration is available during the hours of 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. You will need to bring your driver’s license with you. If your children attend multiple schools in our District, you only need to register once. If you have previously registered for one child, your access will be automatically extended to cover all of your children.

Spring Semester Driver Education Course

Signup Information for Spring Driver Education will be posted on the Driver Education web page by mid- January.

Classroom and Driving sessions will begin after Feb. 1 and the spring program will run through June. Signups are online only. If you have additional questions, please see the website or email:

Shaker High School Building Council

The Shaker High School Building Council is seeking new members. The Building Council is an opportunity for collaboration among educators, students, and parents. Your input and participation as a parent member of the council is critical to our discussion. Each month guest speakers will be invited who will discuss different facets of our education program at Shaker High School. Your presence insures that your input and knowledge of our school’s mission is being communicated. Meetings are held once each month. If you are interested, please contact the Principal, Mr. Richard W. Murphy at (518) 785-5511.

DAR Good Citizens Program and Scholarship Contest

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution encourages and rewards the qualities of good citizenship with their annual program and essay contest. Selected students must demonstrate characteristics such as dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism. The 2019 Shaker High School recipient, as selected by the faculty, is: Aaliyah Hussain. Congratulations Aaliyah!

Eagle Scout Award

Fox Rifenberg-Stempel has achieved the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. CONGRATULATIONS to you on this wonderful accomplishment!

School Closing Information

The North Colonie Central School District notifies the following radio stations and local TV stations of emergency closing information due to inclement weather or other emergency conditions:

  • Radio: WGY (810 AM), WFLY (92.3 FM), WYJB (95.5 FM), WRVE (99.5 FM)
  • TV: WRGB (Channel 6), WTEN (Channel 10), WNYT (Channel 13) and Spectrum News (Channel 9 – Spectrum customers only). 

Our emergency notification system, School Messenger, will provide parents and community members with important announcements and alerts via email, text messages and phone calls. All parents are automatically connected to School Messenger through Infinite Campus. If you are a parent of a child that currently attends the school district, and do not have an Infinite Campus account, please contact your child’s school.

District Insurance

Every year children bring many personally-owned or rented instruments into our schools, sometimes leaving them overnight in our classrooms. The North Colonie Central School District has taken reasonable steps to prevent the theft of student property. However, the district is not responsible for theft, loss or damage to students’ personal property on the premises. Additionally, parents are encouraged to list valuable items like musical instruments on their homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy.

Category: Archive, SHS

Comments are closed.