Category Archives: Kingston City School District

Financial Aid Night for KHS Parents of Seniors – Thursday October 29, 2015

College Application Week is taking place this week at Kingston High School.  Events during the week provide seniors with help in navigating the college admission process.  Events have been announced on the district website and to students via KHS-TV.

Tomorrow Thursday October 29, 2015 at 6pm in the KHS Auditorium, parents are invited to attend a Financial Aid/FAFSA presentation presented by SUNY Ulster’s Director of Financial Aid, Chris Chang.

 

NEW PSAT given in high schools today

Did you know that the PSAT was given during school hours today Wednesday October 14, 2015?  Did your 11th grader take the NEW PSAT today?

My KHS senior took the PSAT in 10th grade, as recommended by her teachers, in order to prepare to take the SAT in 11th grade.  The test was administered on a Saturday morning.  I distinctly remember having to leave home very early to get my daughter to the test.  KHS students were notified this year that only 200 11th graders would be able to take the PSAT and it would be administered during school hours.

The PSAT is a practice test which allows students to become acquainted with the types of questions that they will face on the SAT which they will be taking in the spring of 11th grade.  There will be a new format to the SAT in the spring and the PSAT has been redesigned to give students practice for the new test.  The PSAT will be administered on Wednesday, October 14th at KHS.  This test will only be available for 11th graders and we have a limit of 200 students who will be able to take the exam.  In the past, KHS has always offered the PSAT on a Saturday, however this year the College Board is only offering the PSAT during the school day.  This has placed some constraints on our ability to administer this test, which is why it is only being administered to the 11th grade students.

I just checked the school district website and apparently the test was opened to 10th graders but this occurred sometime after the KHS Back-to-School Night on October 1 and I didn’t happen to see the change until today.  Hopefully 10th grade students who did want to take the PSAT realized they could sign up.

PSAT Information

The PSAT will be administered on Wednesday, October 14th at KHS, periods 1-5.  We are now opening registration to 10th graders on a 1st come 1st serve basis. We only have 200 slots for this test. Students can register for the test in the Guidance Office. The fee is $15, cash or checks made payable to Kingston High School. Students will be given an admission ticket and a booklet that contains a practice test and test-taking tips and strategies.

Here are some articles on the redesign of the SAT:

Whether the redesign of the PSAT/SAT turns out to be ‘good’ or not, my question is how did the College Board, a private organization, get the authority to decide a change is in order for colleges to know whether students are ‘college-ready’ or not and also dictate how students here in Kingston will spend their academic hours (taking the PSAT test today).  I don’t remember local or state discussions giving this authority to the College Board – did I miss them?

This article from New Canaan, Connecticut reporting that the governor and Connecticut state department of education are planning to require all 11th grade students to take the SAT as their mandatory 11th grade assessment this school year gives me even greater cause for concern.

Moreover, many families and students are learning that the 2016 SAT is completely new, and essentially experimental. The College Board (under the direction of the Common Core creator, David Coleman) has revised this test to align with the Common Core standards. Ironically, the new version of the SAT will have many of the same shortcomings as the 11th Grade SBAC. It has limited reliability and validity, is based on controversial standards, and experts are predicting a drop in scores for at least a few test administrations. Having a student take it willingly and knowingly is one matter. But announcing that all students must sit during the school day for this two-hour assessment, replete with issues, which will impact their transcript, all while there is an alternative, is unfair.

Furthermore, many colleges are offering test flexibility when it comes to the college-entrance process and are looking for more holistic approaches to evaluating students. According to U.S. News and World Report, 195 of the 850 test-flexible universities are deemed top-tier schools.  Considering that high school grades and course choice are better indicators of college readiness than standardized tests, this flexibility makes sense. Clearly, the long-held belief that taking the SAT is the only gateway to obtaining a college education is no longer the reality.

UPDATE October 15, 2015 12:30am:  Good grief!  ELL students in New York City HAD to take the PSAT today?!?

The College Board needs everyone to Be Accountable. That’s why they sent the application material to the school, for thousands of kids, and gave only three days to prepare. In our school, the ESL students are given the materials to fill out in class so they don’t have to do so right before the test. And this is indeed a job. First of all, I only got the materials yesterday.

Here’s the thing with kids who don’t understand English–it isn’t easy to get them to follow directions. So yesterday, in my morning class, I organized all the students who had to take the exam. Then I started to explain what they had to do and wouldn’t you know it? They didn’t understand.

….

I’m glad we got through this, but I question how much my non-English speakers benefit from sitting through a grueling exam with instructions far too difficult to follow. Is it that important for NYC to support College Board and its near-monopoly on testing? When is College Board, or New York State, or someone going to acknowledge that kids who don’t know English have distinctly different learning priorities and needs than those who do?

Or is that too much to ask?

Turns out all New York City public school students in grades 10 and 11 take the PSAT for free (whether it will benefit them in any way or not).  Families don’t have to register the students and I wonder if parents even know the test is taking place?  Probably not for the ELL families.

I guess my concerns that New York students might be required to take the SAT, like is happening in Connecticut, aren’t as far-fetched as I thought they probably were.  If New York City students HAVE to take the PSAT, is the SAT really that far behind?

Speaking to members of the KCSD Board of Education

Public comment at Kingston City School District Board of Education meetings gives parents the opportunity to voice comments or concerns to the BOE** but it does not allow opportunity for discussion or for responses to be given to the comments/concerns.

The KCSD Board of Education started Coffee and Conversation several years ago as an opportunity for the community to have informal discussions with and ask questions of members of the Board of Education.  The opportunities for discussion with BOE members are expanding this year with several new venues as well as a variety of time options.

Members of the KCSD BOE will be at the Uptown Kingston Farmer’s Market on Saturday September 26, 2015 from 10:30am – 12:30pm.

Barnes & Noble and Uptown Coffee have been added as new venues throughout the school year.  BOE members will also be available at Riverview Baptist Church on Wednesday October 28, 2015 and at New Progressive Baptist Church on Tuesday April 12, 2016.  Two Saturday Coffee and Conversations (in October and February) will be held at the Cioni Building.  All dates are listed on the KCSD website.

I would like to encourage parents to take advantage of these opportunities to talk to BOE members whether you have specific questions/concerns or not.  The job of a Board of Education member is challenging and often thankless.  These volunteers are responsible for the running of a $150 million ‘company’ (the Kingston City School District) on our behalf.  It is our responsibility to communicate with the BOE members, whom we have elected, so they know how we want to see that ‘company’ run.  We should thank them as well when we are satisfied with the job being done.

Your voice matters

** Consult the Guide for Addressing School Concerns to ensure you have followed the proper channels to get a student-specific or school-specific problem addressed before taking it to the school board.

HOPE 2015 – Helping Others Protect Everyone

HOPE 2015 CANCELED as of 11/10/15 – details here

Save the date!

 HOPE 2015

Helping Others Protect Everyone

Ways to resolve conflict and improve relationships in our homes and communities

Saturday November 14, 2015  9am-Noon

Kingston High School

 Workshops will address the different ways conflict, including bullying, manifest itself in family relationships, friend relationships and dating relationships.  A variety of workshops will be available for elementary, middle school and high school students as well as for parents and community members.

HOPE 2015 Save the date flyer 6 8 15

Volunteers needed for Juvenile Community Accountability Board

Volunteers are needed for the Juvenile Community Accountability Board (JCAB).

**************************************

Are you interested in juvenile justice reform?
Do you want to help end the school to prison pipeline?
Then become a volunteer today!

Family of Woodstock is currently looking for volunteers living or working in Ulster County to take part in our Juvenile Community Accountability Board (JCAB). The JCAB is a part of the One80 program, a diversion program working to keep juveniles out of family court and the juvenile justice system. Volunteers for the JCAB meet with the youth and their parent/guardian in order to help the youth understand the impact of their action. The board uses RESTORATIVE JUSTICE techniques to develop an agreement with the youth that requires them to complete activities that repair the harm caused by their actions.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED: contact Dana Katz at 845-514-0239 or dkatz@fowinc.org for the application.

* Volunteers will be required to attend a one day training. The next training will be held Thursday September 24th from 10am – 4pm at the OLD Business Resource Center location, 1 Development Court (off Ulster Ave), Kingston, NY 12401

Announcement from Family of Woodstock events

Building a Better Broadway committee responds to public comments

I received notification today that the Technical Advisory Committee for the Building a Better Broadway project met yesterday and proposed modifications to the plan with the intent to address the concerns raised during the public comment period.

Come to the BOE meeting tonight and hear about the proposed revisions.

Hi Jolyn,

I wanted to alert you ( and other parents) on the Building a Better Broadway draft plan.  The Technical Advisory Committee met with the consultants and UC Planning officials yesterday, and agreed on major changes to the draft plan.  Dr. Paladino was in attendance also.

I  wanted to give you a heads-up before the Board meeting since people using the existing online documents will be commenting on an outdated version of the draft plan.  I’d hate to see parents basing their comments on a version of the plan that no longer exists;  I believe they would be better served by listening to the presentation on these proposed changes from the consultants, County and City officials, and responding at the second comment period, or by contacting the Superintendent or the County Planning Department after the meeting.  I think  the revisions address many of the concerns that you and other parents have expressed previously.

In brief ,the revised draft calls for a phased approach where the first phase, with all the signals, sidewalk improvements and pedestrian safety features featured  in the previous plan would be done first, along the whole Broadway corridor (tenders for this work are planned to be issued in  September 2016, with work potentially starting in spring of 2017).  Also in phase one,  the bike lane as proposed in the old draft would be developed from Liberty St. to O’Reilly Street and end there.   At that point shared lane markings (“sharrows”), would be painted on the streets  to  direct  bike riders onto O’Reilly St., Hasbrouck Ave. and Jansen Ave. to connect with the Kingston Point Rail Trail.  Parking in front of KHS would not be affected.

The second phase would implement the bike lane from O’Reilly to East Chester St. when the following conditions are met: 1)the KHS main entrance has been relocated to the center of campus (which the Superintendent said is planned for the fall of 2018); and 2) the City addresses parking issues in a wider scope than just Broadway.

So essentially, the parking/drop-off area will remain as it is and there will initially be a bike lane that ends one block west of KHS.  I should also mention that engineering changes have been agreed that will retain most (but not all) of the parking spaces opposite Dallas Hot Wieners.

Tom

Attend Board of Education Meeting 9/16/15

The Kingston Board of Education will hear two presentations of potential interest to parents at the meeting tomorrow Wednesday September 16, 2015 7pm at the Cioni Building.

I encourage parents to attend and hear more about both of these projects.

View the full board of education meeting agenda here and the new Annotated Board Calendar here.

 

News for Kingston High School Parents

If you are a parent/guardian of a student at Kingston High School and are not part of the Kingston High School Parents Association, please consider joining.

Fill out the form below and you will be added to the KHS PA distribution list.  Include your name and email address as well as your KHS student’s name and grade in the comments section of the form.

*****

The following e-mail was sent out to KHS PA members today:

Dear Kingston High School Parents Association members,

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year!

The KHS PA exists to support parent involvement and communication between school and home.  You will receive occasional emails (several today but generally only one or two a week) with information that we hope you find useful.  You are also invited to come and chat with other parents at the KHS PA meetings.

The first KHS PA meeting is Thursday October 22, 2015 6:30pm at Kingston High School.

Also mark your calendars for HOPE 2015 hosted by the KHS PA on November 14, 2015.  The Helping Others Protect Everyone conference is for parents and students in grades K-12 and will focus on ways to resolve conflicts and improve relationships in our homes and communities.

HOPE 2015 Save the date flyer 6 8 15

Upcoming dates/events for KHS PA members :

  • KCSD Board of Education meeting September 16  7pm Cioni building – presentations on KHS Capital Project and Building a Better Broadway plan
  • College Night Tuesday September 29  6pm – 7:30pm KHS Field House
  • KHS Open House Thursday October 1  6:30pm – 8:30pm
  • KHS Homecoming Parade and Football Game Friday October 2 5pm
  • SAT (old format) Saturday October 3  KHS register at www.collegeboard.com
  • PSAT (new format) Wednesday October 14  KHS 11th graders ONLY
  • KHS PA monthly meeting Thursday October 22  6:30pm KHS room 107
  • SAT (old format) Saturday November 7  KHS register at www.collegeboard.com
  • HOPE 2015 conference (flyer attached) Saturday November 14, 2015 9am – Noon KHS
  • ACT Saturday December 12  KHS register at www.actstudent.org

KHS Construction :  An article on the district website details access to KHS for students, teachers and visitors starting today as well as traffic patterns during construction.

KHS TV Announcements :  If your student is not able to hear the daily announcements in class or if you want to know what is in the announcements, printed copies of the announcements are available in the guidance office.  The announcements are also posted each day on the school webpage under KHS-TV Announcements in the left sidebar.

Last week the KHS students saw an interview with KHS 10th grader Alexina Chasin who participated in the teen Chopped competition on the Food Network.  Here is the KHS-TV video and here is a newspaper article about her participation.  You can also find an article about Alexina on the school district website.  Watch Alexina in the second level of competition tonight!

If you are aware of any information that other parents would find helpful, please contact Jolyn Safron, KHS PA President so the information can be shared with KHS PA members.  Also if you have any questions or things you are wondering about, send a note to Jolyn.

Here’s to a great year for our students at KHS!

Jolyn Safron, KHS PA President

www.kingstoncityschools.org/khspa

Building a Better Broadway Public Comments

The City of Kingston and Ulster County have undertaken the Building a Better Broadway project to enhance Broadway between Liberty Street and Staples Street in Midtown Kingston.  The plan includes new sidewalks, bicycle lanes, trees, benches, historic-style lighting and other streetscape improvements and new traffic and pedestrian signalization.

UPDATE – Wednesday September 16, 2015:  The Technical Advisory Committee for Building a Better Broadway met yesterday and has modified the plan with the intent to address the concerns raised during the public comment period.  Come to the BOE meeting tonight to hear about the revised plan!

Hi Jolyn,

I wanted to alert you ( and other parents) on the Building a Better Broadway draft plan.  The Technical Advisory Committee met with the consultants and UC Planning officials yesterday, and agreed on major changes to the draft plan.  Dr. Paladino was in attendance also.

I  wanted to give you a heads-up before the Board meeting since people using the existing online documents will be commenting on an outdated version of the draft plan.  I’d hate to see parents basing their comments on a version of the plan that no longer exists;  I believe they would be better served by listening to the presentation on these proposed changes from the consultants, County and City officials, and responding at the second comment period, or by contacting the Superintendent or the County Planning Department after the meeting.  I think  the revisions address many of the concerns that you and other parents have expressed previously.

In brief ,the revised draft calls for a phased approach where the first phase, with all the signals, sidewalk improvements and pedestrian safety features featured  in the previous plan would be done first, along the whole Broadway corridor (tenders for this work are planned to be issued in  September 2016, with work potentially starting in spring of 2017).  Also in phase one,  the bike lane as proposed in the old draft would be developed from Liberty St. to O’Reilly Street and end there.   At that point shared lane markings (“sharrows”), would be painted on the streets  to  direct  bike riders onto O’Reilly St., Hasbrouck Ave. and Jansen Ave. to connect with the Kingston Point Rail Trail.  Parking in front of KHS would not be affected.

The second phase would implement the bike lane from O’Reilly to East Chester St. when the following conditions are met: 1)the KHS main entrance has been relocated to the center of campus (which the Superintendent said is planned for the fall of 2018); and 2) the City addresses parking issues in a wider scope than just Broadway.

So essentially, the parking/drop-off area will remain as it is and there will initially be a bike lane that ends one block west of KHS.  I should also mention that engineering changes have been agreed that will retain most (but not all) of the parking spaces opposite Dallas Hot Wieners.

Tom

The plan also contains items of concern including loss of parking along Broadway (55 spaces around Kingston High School), reduction to one lane in each direction for portions of Broadway and a variety of other considerations resulting from the changes (read more about these concerns reported on Jolyn’s Education Corner here).

“Broadway revamp plan in Kingston draws support, criticism” – Daily Freeman – September 10, 2015

The 78 comments submitted during the public comment period address a wide range of points and include both comments that are fully supporting the Building a Better Broadway plan and comments raising concerns regarding various aspects of the plan.

The Kingston City School District Board of Education will hear a presentation on the Building a Better Broadway plan tomorrow September 16 7pm at the Cioni Building and will have the opportunity to ask questions. The public can speak during public comment at the beginning of the BOE meeting and can listen to the presentation but will not be able to ask questions during the presentation since only board members speak during the board meeting.  I encourage parents and community members to attend and hear more about the project.

KCSD parents may also submit questions and concerns to KCSD superintendent Dr. Paul Padalino ppadalino@kingstoncityschools.org who will then take them to the Building a Better Broadway planning committee.

Additional information: