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North Country Symposium 2014


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Education is always a huge issue in the news, for the simple reason that most, if not all, of us start out as children. Many of us also have or have had school-age kids. Education has particularly been in the news recently in our region because of...
The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has today released an analysis (press release, h/t Politics on the Hudson) showing that the wealthiest 10 percent of our state’s school districts spend 80 percent more on teaching students than do the...
  We’ve reported in the past on the Canton Central and Potsdam Central School Districts considering a merger. Now the state will fund a joint merger study to the tune of $25,000, a press release from State Sen. Patty Ritchie says....
We’ve been reporting a lot over the last year or so about the financial struggles schools are facing in our region, and how they’re trying to improve their situations (in fact, I blogged yesterday on a related issue, touching on the...
UPDATE:  The testing debate comes to the Ausable Valley Central School District tonight at 7 pm.  For more information, check out this Facebook page. A month or so ago, I took part in a public conversation about standardized testing in...
On Tuesday, we New Yorkers will vote on the future of our education system — the future, that is, measured in a 12-month chunk. The reality, though, is that we’re in the middle of a cycle that’s much larger than 12 months. For...

Educators  and community leaders talk about how to collaborate. Photo: Sarah Harris
Educators and community leaders talk about how to collaborate. Photo: Sarah Harris

Will community partnerships save North Country schools?

The 2014-2015 New York State budget grants an additional $1.1 billion to schools. It sounds like a lot of money.

But many North Country schools are still struggling financially. They're not getting the state aid they need. They've cut staff and classes. And next year, many schools still have will have to dip into their fund balances to pay for programs. Yesterday at St. Lawrence University, educators and community leaders came together at an annual gathering called the North Country Symposium. This year, they talked about how to keep schools and the economy strong.  Go to full article
Doug Huntley, superintendent of Queensbury Union Free school district. Photo courtesy Doug Huntley

Should schools teach career-specific skills earlier?

Monday at St. Lawrence University, officials, educators and community leaders will gather for the 12th annual North Country Symposium. This year, the day-long conference will focus on sustaining the North Country's schools and ask how education can be more tightly woven into the fabric of North Country life.

One of the keynote speakers believes students need to begin pursuing the skills they'll need for a career earlier. Doug Huntley is superintendent of the Queensbury Union Free school district near Glens Falls, and a former superintendent of Massena Central schools.  Go to full article
Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel

Is budget boost enough to save North Country schools?

Schools are digesting news of a $1.1 billion increase in state aid in the budget deal announced over the weekend.

State Senator Patty Ritchie says that's the largest increase in five years, which includes $20 million extra for schools within her 48th Senate district in Jefferson, Oswego, and part of St. Lawrence Counties.  Go to full article
Desiree with her dad, Kenny. Photo: Sarah Harris

Sixteen and homeless, pt. 2: homeless no more

Today, we continue the story of 16-year-old Desiree Wieczorek. She's in 10th grade at Parishville-Hopkinton Central School. ...  Go to full article
Desiree with her baby half-brother Cameron. Photo: Sarah Harris

Sixteen and homeless, in Parishville woods

When you think of being homeless, you think of living in shelters and on the street. You imagine a city. But homelessness happens here in the North Country, too. And it...  Go to full article
Guidance counselors Kelley Glasgow and Heather Marin, in front of the food shelf at Canton Central's Banford Elementary school. Photo: Sarah Harris

Inside school: How Canton Central keeps kids fed and warm

Twenty percent of North Country children live in poverty. That means that in winter, a lot kids have to deal with hunger and cold. Then, when they go to school, it's hard to...  Go to full article
Canton superintendent Bill Gregory explains the how and why of a potential merger. Photo: Sarah Harris

Canton-Potsdam school merger: what's happening now?

School districts across the state are being pressured to consolidate or share services. If you live in Canton or Potsdam, you've probably heard the rumblings about a possible...  Go to full article
Sarah Rivers, 10th grader and student representative to the merger committee. She liked Potsdam's sugar shack, but has concerns about the auditorium size and a divided middle and high school. Photo: Sarah Harris.

Inside school: to merge or not to merge?

Canton and Potsdam school districts are considering a merger.
The idea is to save money and offer more opportunities to students.

A 28-person committee of...  Go to full article
Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel

Auditing Canton Central: It's all in the (fund) balance

When the state Comptroller audited Canton Central School District recently, auditors found what school officials already know too well: the district can't rely on its...  Go to full article
The finished product. Photo: Sarah Harris

Inside school: making gingerbread houses

Canton first graders are having fun before the holidays making gingerbread houses. There's a trick: they use a milk carton for the base and plaster it with graham crackers,...  Go to full article

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