Friday, 09 August 2013 08:12

School District Selected for National K-5 STEM Pilot Program

By Staff Report | Families Today


SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs school district is proud to announce its selection as one of just 44 schools in the United States (and the only one in New York State) invited to pilot the newest science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program for students in grades K-5. The elementary STEM program is designed and developed by Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading provider of STEM education curricular programs for middle and high school students. By offering this new elementary STEM program to its students, Saratoga is expanding its high-quality educational offerings for its students.

Studies show that students decide as early as second and third grade whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. PLTW’s elementary program is designed for students in kindergarten through fifth grades and will align with standards such as Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Through a series of topic-based modules, students will engage in design problems that encourage collaboration, analysis, problem solving, and computational thinking. 

James Nair, the instructor designated as the master teacher for the elementary pilot, will help instruct the professional development for the teachers at Lake Avenue Elementary School who will be involved in the pilot program. In addition, Sara Wilner-Giwerc, a high school senior enrolled in PLTW’s Engineering Design and Development course, will be working directly with Lake Avenue students and teachers to help promote STEM education K-12. 

The 44 schools invited to participate in the pilot program will test 12 STEM modules and play an integral role in the development of the final version of the curriculum by providing feedback on their experiences to the PLTW. This feedback will influence the development of engaging curriculum and balanced assessment for elementary students, and the creation of effective professional development for instructors. The final version of the elementary program will be available to all school districts in the United States for the 2014–15 school year.

For questions about the Project Lead The Way program at Lake Avenue Elementary School, please contact Dr. Joseph Greco at (518) 583-4725 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



End of Summer Information 

August 15 Deadline for Transportation Change Request Forms

August 15 is the deadline for submitting transportation change request forms for Saratoga Springs City Schools students needing transportation to an alternate location for daycare purposes during the 2013-14 school year. Forms received after August 15 will not be processed until after the first week of school.

For more information and to submit the form from your personal computer, visit Forms are also available at the students’ schools or at the transportation department, which can be reached at (518) 587-4545. 

Summer graduation ceremony scheduled for August 13

Saratoga Springs High School will honor senior students who met their graduation requirements in summer school during the summer school graduation recognition and reception at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 13, in the John MacFadden Administration Building.

The recognition ceremony is a way for family, friends, and Saratoga Springs High School to congratulate the students for their hard work and perseverance. Students are strongly encouraged to include family members and friends in the special occasion.  A brief reception with refreshments will follow the event.

For further information, please contact the Saratoga Springs High School Summer School office at (518) 587-6690.



Kindergarten Registration and Screening Information

Kindergarten registration and screening programs are conducted each spring at each of the school district’s six elementary schools for children who will enter school the following September. Children must be five years of age on or before December 1 of the year they enter kindergarten. One summer kindergarten registration day is held each year for children who were unable to attend registration during the spring.

If you are moving into the district prior to August 14th, you must call the Registrar’s office at (518) 583-4789 to get an appointment for a screening. 

Verifying Your Preschool Child for Kindergarten Registration 

To help the school district identify students and plan for kindergarten registration, parents and guardians of preschoolers are asked to complete a census form online at or complete a similar form distributed through their children’s preschools.

Registration for Families Who Move to District in Late Summer or During the School Year

Families who move to the district after the spring AND summer kindergarten registration programs have been held may register their kindergartners at the school registrar’s office, where general registration is held for grades one to twelve. To begin the registration process, please visit Please follow the instructions and complete all forms EXCEPT for the Request for Records Form.

All Saratoga Springs kindergarten classes are full day programs. Kindergarten is offered at all six of the district’s elementary schools. The principals are:

  • Mr. Daniel O’Rourke, Caroline Street Elementary School, (518) 584-7612
  • Dr. Greer Miller, Division Street Elementary School, (518) 583-4794
  • Mr. Kevin Froats, Dorothy Nolan Elementary School, (518) 584-7383
  • Mrs. Kristy Moore, Geyser Road Elementary School, (518) 584-7699
  • Mrs. Tina Davis, Greenfield Elementary School, (518) 893-7402
  • Dr. Barbara Messier, Lake Avenue Elementary School, (518) 584-3678

Please call the Registrar’s Office for additional information: Carol Groff, Registrar at (518) 583-4789.


Several New Programs to Begin at Saratoga Springs High School

1:1 Tablet Program: Saratoga Springs High School is embracing the new wave of using technology schools, and they’re proving it with the adoption of a program called 1:1 Tablet. 

According to Dr. Joseph Greco, K-12 Director of Math, Science and Technology Integration in the school district, the program will provide teachers with tablet devices this school year in preparation for the full implementation of tablets in schools in the 2014-15 school year. That year, 9th grade students will be provided with their own tablets to use in the classroom and begin a long-term goal of creating a digital high school in the next five years.

“While the implementation of this technology is exciting, and will certainly help engage our students, it is merely a tool among many in the toolbox of our teachers. High school teachers will be receiving extensive training this school year in not only the use of the tablet, but how to become a more effective educator,” Greco explained. “Much work has already been done this summer with lead-teachers at the high school to use multiple forms of technology to repackage their lesson to better prepare our students for College and Career. There are some major educational shifts happening in the district, and we believe that the 1:1 Tablet program will be a valuable tool for teachers and students as we move forward.”

Early College Program with SUNY Adirondack: Another program new program for Saratoga Springs High School is an Advanced Manufacturing partnership with SUNY Adirondack, which will allow 11th grade students to spend half-days at the SUNY campus, along with students from Hudson Falls and Queensbury. The program gives students the chance to not only graduate with their high school Regents diploma, but also receive 24 class credits from SUNY Adirondack and four Industrial Certificates in Manufacturing. 

“We feel that this “Early College in the High School” program will give these students a significant advantage in the world of STEM after graduation,” Dr. Greco said. 

21st Century Academy Program to Expand: Originally designed for seniors only, the 21st Century Academy Program will expand this year to include both juniors and seniors at the high school. The program, initiated two years ago, offers hands-on, project-based curriculum.

“This past year, some students worked with Garnet River in Saratoga to develop an iPhone app for the Saratoga 150 celebration, while others worked with engineers from Philips Healthcare in Latham to develop a new device for their MRI machine,” Dr. Greco explained. “As a result of the growing popularity of this ‘hands-on’ curriculum, we felt that it was appropriate to expand the program to include 11th graders.”




Read 4280 times