Our Mission is to be an exemplary 21st–century
learning community whose graduates are well prepared to excel in a complex,
interconnected and changing world.
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Congratulations to Jolene Hopkins, selected as a NYS Master Teacher
Congratulations to Jolene Hopkins, who teaches
science in the MS/HS, for her selection to the New York State Master
Governor Cuomo launched the New York State Master Teacher
Program (NYSMTP) in partnership with The State University of New York and
Math for America. The program creates a state-wide network of the
highest-performing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers
that are dedicated to sharing expertise with peers and attracting the
brightest minds to a career in STEM.
AW Becker holds Family Math Night
On Weds., Jan. 21, 2015, over 100 families gathered at A.W. Becker Elementary for Family Math Night. The school had about 40 math stations for all levels (Pre-K to Grade 5) that consisted of math games, problem solving, computer activities, estimation stations and more! Parents and students alike were actively engaged in the activities.
Green and gold drive-in sign removed from HS/MS entrance on Route
9W; new digital sign expected to be in place by the end of February
iconic drive-in sign with the huge arrow atop it that guided drivers
into the RCS High School and Middle School campus for two generations
has come down.
The sign greeted Route 9W motorists for the past 60
Ray Sign of Schenectady removed the green and gold metal
structure on Monday, Jan. 19.
The school district plans to accept sealed bids from any
area business or resident interested in buying the structure. The legal
advertisement for sealed bids will be placed in the Thursday, Jan. 29
edition of The Ravena News-Herald.
In the meantime, the sign is being stored behind the
School health classes practice CPR on mannequins with guidance from
Marvin Powell of the Ravena Rescue Squad
Health education students in Megan McClave's and Jay
Henry's classes recently practiced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
on mannequins under the direction of Marvin Powell, chief of operations
for the Ravena Rescue Squad.
He discussed first aid and CPR with the students in
grades 10, 11 and 12.
Creative Writing students from the high school bring their original
stories to young PBC readers
students in the high school's Creative Writing class, taught by Dee
Hushmendy, knew they were missing one very important thing when they
wrote and illustrated original children's books as part of their
They got that when they visited Pieter B. Coeymans
classrooms - kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2 - to read their stories to
Thank you RCS - Community approves both Help RCS Plan for Tomorrow capital
(1/13/15) The community narrowly approved both school
construction proposals on the ballot today in a light voter turnout.
Harmonics selected to perform in regional production of Carmina
Burana and win local caroling competition
RCS High School’s select vocal ensemble under the direction of Michelle
McLoughlin, have been selected to perform Carl Orff’s famous
Carmina Burana as part of a chorus made up of select singers from
Albany High School, Guilderland High School and Shaker High School, and
accompanied by the Empire State Youth Orchestra under the direction of
Over the holidays, they also won a the Yankee Trails World Travel Santa’s Magical Express Caroling Competition for the second year in a row!
Three RCS students chosen for elite Albany choral apprenticeship
RCS students Samuel Datri, Emmalyn Knapp, and James Wamsley have been selected to participate in the Artist Apprenticeship Program, sponsored by Albany Pro Musica.
They are three of only eleven area vocal students chosen for this honor based on the results of their most recent NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) ratings, extracurricular vocal endeavors and teacher recommendation.
cold snap a good time to pass along a few reminders to keep your family
At this time of year, it is a good idea to talk with
your children about cold weather safety. Extra care is needed,
especially in younger children, to be sure that frostbite does not
HS band and chorus perform at Empire State Plaza
On Wednesday, Dec.
23, the HS Band, under the direction of Scott Andrews and HS Chorus,
under the direction of Michelle McLoughlin, performed to a standing room only
crowd at the South Concourse of the Empire State
students brighten the holidays with cards and letters for a
93-year-old World War II nurse in Albany
Inter-generational activities enrich the soul but
also expand awareness, elevate the metacognitive quality of empathy,
and provide learning experiences back and forth across generations.
Elders share important lessons and events from
the past, while youth receive exciting new discoveries reminding us
all of the simpler joys and excitement during life’s early years.
Ella Wetterhahn, also known at Stella, lives in
Albany and is a 93-year-old veteran who served as an Army Nurse in
the European Theater during WWII. She has been the subject of two
Albany Times Union articles over the years, one in which
she was interviewed with former RCS teacher, the late Harold Becker
(High School Business Teacher), about her experiences in
World War II in which she served her country with conviction and
Students' cards and letters were recently
presented to Miss Wetterhahn at Crisan’s Romanian Bakery, an Albany
café in Stella’s Center Square neighborhood in Albany.
AW Becker students volunteer at local food bank
On Wednesday, Dec. 17, the 4th and 5th grade Student Government officers and representatives of AW Becker had the pleasure of volunteering at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
The students diligently worked to make boxes, sort through supplies, and
package them to be sent to families in need around the Capital Region.
The experience was both fun and fulfilling. Students leaving the Food
Bank felt a sense of pride in their work and were eager to return to
RCS Middle School students recognized by the Board of Education
These 52 students were recognized by the Board of
Education on Dec. 18 for achieving a Level 4 - exceeds expectations - on the
New York state ELA and math exams they took in the spring.
Of those, 14 achieved a Level 4 on BOTH the ELA
and mathematics state exams.
PhRMA Grant to support STEM Education at RCS
School administrators, local elected officials, and representatives of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers
of America (PhRMA) announced new support for Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the RavenaCoeymans-Selkirk
Central School District on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014.
The school district's
"Project Lead the Way" program
will be supplemented
by a $9,000 grant from PhRMA. This funding will be used to purchase
additional equipment and materials that will further the progress of RCS
students in their pursuit of 21st century skills.
grade students learn and present about history in Native American life
Throughout the month of November, students in Mrs. Baumgras’s and
Mrs. Campbell’s fourth grade classes at A.W. Becker Elementary chose
an aspect of Native American life to research and study. Students
then wrote reports and assembled projects at home that would
highlight what they had learned about the Algonquian, Iroquois or
grade students share their own mystery stories during writer's workshop
Fifth grade students at A.W. Becker proudly read their own mystery stories during a writer's celebration on Friday, Dec. 5. Students wrote stories inspired by
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, a picture book by Chris Van Allsburg that consists of a series of unrelated and detailed images accompanied by a title and single line of text, which compel readers to create their own stories.
on the Roof Jr. to be performed Dec. 12-13 by RCS Middle School Drama
Friday, Dec. 12 performance is sold out; Saturday, Dec. 13 tickets still
Everyone knows the Broadway classic Fiddler on the
Roof with showstoppers like “Sunrise, Sunset”, “If I were a Rich Man”
and “Tradition” and you’ll get to hear those and more at the RCS Middle
School Drama production! of Fiddlers on the Roof Jr.
Fiddler on the Roof, Jr. opens Friday, December 12th at 7
p.m. with two performances on Saturday, December 13th, a matinee at 3 p.m.
and an evening performance at 7 p.m. at the Middle School LGR.
Board unanimously supports building proposal that carries a maximum
$1.28 per month tax impact by 2020-21; community to decide on
Mark January 13,
2015 on your calendars in big, bold letters.
After making a few last-minute
improvements, the Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution
on Nov. 18 calling for a January 13 community vote on two building project
proposals that would upgrade classrooms, fields and athletic facilities
as well as "behind the scenes" cafeteria, public address, heating and
The project will be considered
by the community in two proposals - one not to exceed $28.79 million for
the majority of the work and a second proposal not to exceed $1.3
million to upgrade one soccer field and two baseball/softball fields
at the high school.
As it now stands, the first
proposal would have a maximum 0.62 percent tax rate impact, which works out to
$12.42 per year for a home assessed at $100,000 (that's
$1.03 per month). The second proposal would add $2.98 per year
to the tax bill on that $100,000 home (that works out to 25 cents
If both projects were approved, the tax bill on that
$100,000 home would increase by 0.77 percent (less than 1 percent) or $15.40 per year
(that works out to $1.28 per month).
RCS files Local Assistant Plans to boost student test scores at Pieter
B. Coeymans and the Middle School
(11/24/14) Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk has filed Local
Assistance Plans (LAP) with the state Education Department to show how it
plans to boost standardized test scores for a "subgroup" of students at
Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary and the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Middle School.
At Pieter B., the New York State Education
Department identified "Economically Disadvantaged" (ED) students as having
standardized test scores that were lower than a state-established
Performance Index (PI) for both English Language Arts (ELA) and math during
the 2012-13 school year. Although the PI score was very close to the
benchmark, it was still below the New York State cut point for ED students.
Similarly, the New York State Education Department
identified that RCS "Students With Disabilities” (SWD) at the middle school
did not meet a benchmark for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
AW Becker's Science Experiment of the Month keep students in awe
at A.W. Becker are getting a daily dose of the scientific method thanks
to a new make-shift scientific lab station set-up outside of the
elementary school’s library.
Each month, there will be a new theme explored taking the
students through the scientific method process (such as hypothesis,
observation, analysis of data, etc.).
The first month’s theme is “Growing Gummy Bears!”
and and Chorus to perform at Empire State Plaza on Dec. 9
The RCS High School Band and Chorus will perform at the annual New York
State Office of General Services Holiday Potpourri on
Tuesday, December 9th from 12 noon until 1 p.m
The band will perform at noon and the chorus will perform at 12:30
in the South Concourse of the Empire State Plaza.
On Science Night at Pieter B. lets students and parents test the Scientific
More than 80 PBC families and students worked
together to create flotation devices that could hold weight during the
second annual Hands On Science Night tonight.
"The designs were awesome with some more cosmetic than
functional features and others built for success," said math and science
coordinator Tony Lintner.
"Either way, they were able to choose their own
materials, build their own designs, and most importantly…work with their
family members while discovering the processes of scientific discovery and
and Rims a huge success for Best Buddies program at the Middle School
More than 200 students and parents
attended the fourth annual Pins and Rims fund-raiser to support the Best
Buddies program at the Middle School.
Buddies advisors Daria
Carusone, Pam Ginder, Patricia Stockman
Semenick coordinated the
"I had the pleasure of
attending the event which included a dodge ball tournament among
students and teachers, a raffle of some amazing donated item, food
and more!," said Semenick. "I was so impressed at this creative way
to spread our mission of inclusion and friendship."
PBC students recognized for excellence on state Science, ELA and
Mathematics tests in the spring
P.B. Coeymans Principal Hakim
Jones and Interim Superintendent Alan McCartney presented 33 students
with certificates noting their success on scoring Level 4 - the highest
achievement possible - on state science, English Language Arts and math
tests in the spring.
Jones noted that teachers
work very hard with students every year "to prepare our students and
see how much they have grown during the year" in their studies.
June recognized for Eagle Scout project benefitting Ronald McDonald
RCS sophomore Aaron June was recognized by the Board
of Education on Tuesday, Nov. 18, for achieving the Eagle Scout status.
Interim Superintendent Alan McCartney said Aaron had
achieved 21 merit badges during his scouting career. “I was a boy scout, a
life scout,”McCartney said at the Nov. 18 Board of Education meeting.. “I
didn’t have what it took to become an Eagle Scout. Aaron does.”
Grade 2 class at Pieter B. Coeymans "hates yams in all places"
Jessica Emerick's grade 2 class wrote a song with WGNA disc jockey
Richie Phillips as part of his “Reading, Writing and Rhyming”
program. Phillips came to Pieter B. to record the students singing
"I Hate Yams in All Places" to a parody of the Garth Brook's song,
“Friends In Low Places.” Phillips also plays the clip of Brooks
reacting to the PBC parody during a radio interview.
Listen to the student-created song and Brooks interview
by clicking on the image below.
GI Go Fund Jeans for Troops fundraiser nets $375 from RCS staff
Employees at Pieter B. Coeymans and AW Becker
Elementary Schools, along with RCS District Office employees, honored
Veterans Day and the men and women who have died defending our country
by raising funds for military veterans and their families.
On November 12, staff took part in the 2014 “Jeans For
Troops” fundraising drive benefiting the
GI Go Fund, an nonprofit organization that helps veterans returning home
find employment, go to college, access their health care and financial
benefits, and link to housing.
During the drive, which involves schools and companies
from across the country, employees were given the opportunity to wear jeans
to work in exchange for a $5 donation to the GI Go Fund. RCS raised $375 for
this worthy cause.
Several RCS students to perform in Melodies of Christmas Dec. 18-21
Several RCS High School students have been chosen to
participate in this year’s Empire State Youth Orchestra Melodies of
Christmas Chorale. They will perform along with the Empire State Youth
Orchestra at Proctors Theater in Schenectady on December 18th – 21st in support of
Albany Medical Center’s Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood
Since the inception of the annual Melodies of
Christmas concerts, millions of dollars have been raised for this
important cause. The program will also air on CBS 6 at various times
on December 24th and December 25th.
Board members study $30 million building improvement project that
would have little tax impact; expected to endorse plan on Nov. 18;
community vote by mid-January
With the high school band using
the stage to practice and elementary playing fields under water in the
spring, among other building concerns, the Board of Education is considering
a building project that would spend millions to improve the four RCS schools
and bus garage to better position students for the challenges of the 21st
The nearly $30 million building
project - plus a possible second $1.2 million proposal to replace two fields
next to the high school - would be completed in two phases, beginning in
June 2016 and completing the second phase by August 2021.
The tax increase for the project
is estimated at a maximum of .62 percent (less than 1 percent) or a maximum
of $12.42 per year for a home assessed at $100,000. That increase would come
in the second phase of the project, probably in the 2019-20 school year.
As the schedule appears now, board
members are expected to approve a slightly revised project at its meeting on
Nov. 18. The projected community vote would be held on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at
RCS High School.
56 RCS Middle and High School Musicians participate in All-County
Music Festival Nov. 5-7
Fifty-six student musicians from RCS middle and high
schools will participate in this year’s Greene County Music Educators
Association Fall All-County Music Festival.
The festival is being held at Greenville High
School on Wednesday, November 5th and Friday, November 7th.
Students from RCS, Cairo-Durham, Catskill,
Coxsackie-Athens, Greenville, Hunter-Tannersville and
Windham-Ashland-Jewett will participate in rehearsals on Wednesday
from 3 – 8 p.m. They will return on Friday to begin rehearsal at 3
p.m. and the festival will conclude with an evening concert in the
Greenville High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November
RCS students selected to all-state music conference
The RCS High School Music Department is pleased
to announce that junior James “Jake” Wamsley has been selected to
participate in this year’s New York State School Music Association
(NYSSMA) All-State Conference, which is being held from December 4-7
in Rochester, NY. Also
selected as an alternate was junior Emmalyn Knapp.
RCS high school students set to participate in state-wide music
The RCS music department will be well represented
at this year’s New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Zone
7 Area All-State music festival.
year’s festival will once again be held at Saratoga Springs High
Students will rehearse on Friday, Nov. 21 and
will return again on Saturday morning for rehearsals.
The festival will conclude with a concert
featuring the Area All-State Jazz Ensemble, Mixed Chorus, Band and
Symphonic Orchestra at 2 p.m.
Pictured in the photo are left to right:
Emmalyn Knapp (Soprano 1), Kathryn Rowzee (Band, French horn), Victoria Margiasso
(Soprano 1), Samuel Datri (Bass 2),
Michael Fryer (Tenor 2), Brennan Flory (Bass 2), Diana Bechdol
oprano 2), Diana Voronko (Alto 1) and
Madison Brown (Alto 2). Absent from photo were: Nicole Miller
(Alto 2) and
Jake Wamsley (Bass 2).
kindergarten students have fun at Stanton's Feura Farm
AW Becker kindergarten classes had fun on a hay ride,
a straw slide, maneuvering their ways through a maze and picking
pumpkins during a visit today to
Stanton’s Feura Farm in Feura Bush.
The students had the
opportunity to experience many fun-filled and educational
Students promote safe teen driving
Grade 10-12 students, who are getting ready to take permit and driving tests, last week participated in National Teen
Driver Safety Week and several activities designed to make driving safer
The students, in Megan McClave's period 7 health
class, participated in the activities as part of their advocacy project.
"Advocacy is one of the health skills included in the
NYS health curriculum," said McClave.
PBC grade 5 students attend ESYO performance at Proctor's Theater
5 students at Pieter B. Coeymans were part of a wonderful musical
experience that took place at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady on Oct.
Students took in the sights and sounds of the
Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) as they performed musical
selections of American composers including Charles Ives and Aaron
Copland. The program was tailored for students and was very
interactive through the use of actors, artwork and of course,
survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan discusses her life in Holland under
Nazi Germany and the positive thoughts that helped her survive
Next month, Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal
Lazan and her husband, Nathanial, will travel to Germany for a
reunion of sorts.
She will carry a sample of soil from the grave of
her mother, who died two years ago at age 104, to place on the grave
of her father, who died 69 years ago shortly after being liberated
from years of torture at the hands of the German Nazis during World
While symbolic, the author of Four Perfect
Pebbles, a reference to the four members of her family trapped
under Nazi control in Holland during World War II, will be reuniting
the two people who helped her to survive during the unimaginable
years of her childhood.
Ravena Mayor William Misuraca meets with students in grade 2
Ravena Mayor William Misuraca visited PBC on Friday, Oct. 17, to
teach Jessica Emerick's, Glenn Koblenzer's, Kim Kratochwill's and
Nicole Stott's second graders about the importance of leadership in
a community. Many thanks to Mayor Misuraca for taking the time to
answer many of the students' questions. Click on the image
to enlarge it.
A.W. Becker students recognized by the Board of Education
Nearly 50 students were recognized by the Board of
Education tonight for achieving a score of 4 - the highest possible
score - on the New York State exams in English Language Arts and
AWB students explore the world around them on Habitat Day
it was hiking on a nature trail, researching bird habitats,
exploring owl pellets or making Dragonfly Clothespins, students at
A.W. Becker explore the world around them during Habitat Day.
Students explored the Barbara Austin Nature Trail, looking and
listening for, and identifying animal signs and habitats. Various
grade levels were involved in researching bird habitats in the
School students honored by Board of Education
Fifteen high school students were recognized by the Board of
Education tonight for achieving a 3, 4 or 5 on the college-level
Advanced Placement (AP) exams last year.
In addition, two students -
Alana Columbus and
Ariel Hunlock - were honored for having met
their graduation requirements after taking the August Regents exams.
Principal Tom DiAcetis said the AP honorees "have
shown that they can successfully complete college-level material," a
trait he said that will serve these students very well in the future.
swim team off to a strong start; swimmers break records in first meet
The RCS-CA Girls Varsity Swimming and Diving Team had
its first meet on Friday night, Sept. 5, against Johnstown.
For many of the girls it was their varsity debut, said
CoachElyse Loughlin. "The
young team swam their hearts out to beat many personal records," she said.
RCS grade 8 student Gillian
Burch was able to beat a six-year-old team record with a
time of 1:11.43 in the 100-yard breast stroke.
Senior Collin Adams named as a National Merit Scholarship
Senior Collin Adams has been named as a semifinalist
in the National Merit Scholarship program, the first step in a journey
that could provide funding for college next year.
Collin was among 16,000 semifinalists announced
today by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. These academically
talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the
competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about
$35 million that will be offered next spring.
Tom DiAcetis named as High School principal;
kicks off 'Lunch with the Principal'
Thirty years after Tom DiAcetis walked
across the stage to pick up his RCS diploma, "Mr. D" has returned as
principal of his alma mater.
DiAcetis, a 1984 RCS graduate who served as assistant
principal last year during the 2013-14 school year, was appointed last night
by the Board of Education as principal. He succeeds Brian Bishop, who took a
position at another school district after serving one year as RCS principal.
calendars now available
The 2014-15 calendar was mailed to homes by the
end of August.
Check out the calendar informational grids and facing
page information on the RCS calendar page.
RCS flips the switch on solar power
Over the next 20 years, solar collectors sitting atop the four school
buildings and bus garage are going to harness enough energy to clip at least
$800,000 from RCS utility bills – all at no cost to taxpayers.
The collectors have been installed on the roofs at the high school, middle
school, A.W. Becker, Pieter B. Coeymans and the bus garage.
Estimates from US Light Energy, the contractor working with RCS to develop the Power Purchase
Agreement (PPA) for the project, show that electric charges will drop by
$807,076 (a 11.34 percent drop) over the next 20 years at a minimum.
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