Displaying items by tag: BOE

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs School District (SSSD) just began their campaigns for new members to sit on their board of education. Thursday, Feb. 28, the Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools (SPFSS) announced their three members whose names are on the ballot this spring.
 
The Saratoga Golf and Polo Club was filled with 150 attendees at the sold-out “Meet the Candidates,” event for the SPFSS to announce their representatives to run for the board of education. Retired Coast Guard Captain Ed Cubanski, Dean Kolligian, vice president of security of Adirondack Trust and Connie Woytowich, a high school teacher at Colonie Central High School are the three candidates who are being endorsed by the SPFSS.
 
This past year, school safety has once again been a hot button issue nationally following the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Specifically, in SSSD, controversy arose when the school board decided to disarm the grounds monitors in the district when it came to light that the monitors carrying their concealed handguns were in violation of a new New York State law.
 
While safety is not the only focus among the candidates, the SPFSS is a group that was vocal about their disagreement with the way the school board came to the decision to disarm the grounds monitors.
 
"At the time I think it was a knee jerk reaction to make the decision to disarm them. I think there needed to be a lot more education, a lot more research done,” said Kolligian. “At the end of the day they may have come to the same conclusion, right or wrong, but education, research - that's the biggest opportunity anyone has to become more knowledgeable of any topic."
 
Cubanski agrees that education on the matter is the best place to start when making decisions regarding the school year.
 
"When I get elected - when we get elected - I’m going to ask questions,” said Cubanski. “I'd love to have a survey with the teachers. What are the things we should concentrate on?"
 
As a current teacher herself, Woytowich states, "my overall approach is 100 percent academic. It's about teachers and students and what happens in that classroom. Safety is a part of what can happen in that classroom."
 
John Brueggeman and Natalya Lakhtakia, both Skidmore college employees, have joined the race as well. The Board of Education has three members whose terms will be up in 2019. The election date for the school board seats will be Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
 
Published in Education
Thursday, 11 October 2018 11:35

Gun Ban at Saratoga Springs CSD

SARATOGA SPRINGS — After weeks of debate, the Saratoga Springs City School District board of education voted 5 to 4 on Tuesday, October 9, to end the practice of school hallway monitors carrying firearms. In a public forum in the beginning of the meeting, several community members, parents and students alike, came out in favor of voting no, while another community member and teacher urged the board to vote yes to keep the guns.

The people who spoke out against the guns reasoned that the school has not done enough research on the matter, commenting that there was “no task force, no committee, no public forums, no question-and-answer periods.”


Michelle King, a member of Saratoga Conservative Chicks, was in favor of a yes vote, explaining that the hallway monitors are there to protect their children and “they can’t do it without the tools.” Superintendent Michael Patton reminded those in attendance that the district’s main concern is the safety of the students and staff.

Published in Education

“District Administration is working with the Board of Education to make a decision regarding the authorization of qualified individuals to possess firearms on school district property while performing job duties. The authorization would allow certain members of the District’s security staff, who have retired from service as law enforcement officers and who have been deemed qualified and are licensed pursuant to the New York Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, to possess a firearm on District property while performing duties for the District. In the past, certain members of the District’s security staff, who were actively employed or retired from law enforcement, did possess a firearm on District property. When District officials determined this practice was not in compliance with current law, grounds monitors were instructed to no longer possess a firearm on school property. The District is fortunate to have a long-standing working relationship with local law enforcement and to have the unique opportunity to hire highly qualified staff, many of which are current or retired members of law enforcement.  The District takes this matter very seriously, and the safety and security of students is the District’s number one priority. The discussion has included a significant amount of research into what security options are available that will best meet the needs of our schools and community.”

Published in Education