The Remsen Central School District is a growing, dynamic educational institution in Remsen, NY, and consists of students from the townships of Boonville, Forestport, Ohio, Remsen, Russia, Steuben, and Trenton in two counties: Oneida and Herkimer. From 2014-2015 to the present school year, enrollment has increased by just over 6% - an increase that is all too rare in the region. In part, this growth may speak to the efforts of our District Board of Education that supports
- a highly relevant and rigorous curriculum delivered and facilitated highly qualified staff;
- and a strong philosophy of continuous improvement, and a child-centered social-emotional and safe environment.
We believe that our small-school disposition just north of Utica and Marcy may have some impact on enrollment over the next several years. The supportive Board of Education is made up of five members, Mrs. Mary Lou Allen – president; Mr. James Reilly – vice-president; Ms. Stephanie Karis, Mr. Brian Parent and Mr. Mark Williams – members.
The campus consists of a junior high-high school, an elementary school, and a bus maintenance and storage facility. The elementary school (PK-6 - population, 244 students) and the ‘junior high-high school’ (7-12 – population, 205 students) boasting excellent library-media centers, state-of-the-art distance learning facility (jr./sr. high), gymnasium/auditoriums, cafeterias, stationary and mobile computer labs, and music and art rooms. We have enrolled 13 students out of District in both BOCES and private placement and 2 students being tutored at home, awaiting BOCES or private placement. Six students in our District are home-schooled, whom do not figure into our enrollment.
Remsen Central School has authored several plans which guide our work for students. They are, the JSHS Course Selection Guide, the Remsen CSD Policy Manual of the Board of Education, the Guide to Response to Intervention and Curriculum, 2015-2018 Professional Development Plan, 2016-2017 Comprehensive Safety Plan, and the 2016-2019 Technology Plan. There are excellent course offerings at both schools. The jr.-sr. high school carries many electives and dual credit college/university, and AP-level courses. We strive for Title IX federal compliance, and sports offerings include basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, track, cross-country, golf, and cheerleading. Clubs and activities include Future Farmers of America (FFA), yearbook, student council, school play, journalism, National Honor Society, world language club, art, and JSHS technology club, ES technology club, and STEAM club.
The community is characterized by little cultural and economic diversity, and is supportive of its school. Speaking to such community-wide support for education, the 2015-2016 school budget (which was developed and presented well under the mandated, legal 2% tax cap) was overwhelmingly approved at the polls. We are growing in terms of both financial and educational health, thanks to prudent, relevant, and child-centered approach to revenue, spending and planning. Each year, the Board of Education plans to direct the administration to plan and implement $100,000 in Capital Outlay projects; the District will be embarking on a Capital Improvement Project, to be approved by the community without any further impact to the taxpayers, in 2018.
Our administrative staff is comprised of a Superintendent (Mrs. Rebecca Dunckel-King), Elementary Principal (Mr. Gary Winghart), Junior High-Senior High Principal (TBA), Transportation Supervisor (Mr. Tom Waldron), and an Assistant Superintendent for Business (Mr. Lou D’Ambro). There is a faculty/staff of 43 full-time classroom teachers, 4 pupil service professionals, 8 teaching assistants (Special Education/Intervention/Supervisory Services), and roughly 30 support staff. Three therapists work with students in the areas of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech/language pathology. Our support staff consists of confidential, office, cafeteria, custodial staff, technology/data staff, special education aides. The District employs a part-time Athletic Director. Together this group of dedicated professionals allows our school to engage in its mission:
“Remsen is a dynamic school community of stakeholders
providing diverse, demanding and innovative educational opportunities.
Our culture fosters a conscientious desire to learn and achieve to individual potential.
Students learn that responsible citizenship comes from critical, determined, and sustained effort.”
Highlights of Remsen Central School that make the school stand out among others include the full day Universal pre-kindergarten Program, full-day kindergarten program, departmentalized instruction in core subjects at the elementary level, a strong character/emotional/social development education program, school social worker, an array of challenging course offerings, Shared Decision-Making, and “Response To Intervention” (behavior, academic), and programs that emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics and other building career and technical programs (such as business and marketing).
Remsen Central School faculty and staff strive to offer a rigorous learning environment built on engaging instructional practices and delivery of the NYS Common Core Learning Standards. The school community promotes and supports an encouraging, nurturing, and active learning environment in which the best educational tools and resources are available for all students. Parents and teachers are very active in the Remsen Central School District Parent Teacher Group, which gives them the ability to work within the school community to ensure that every child can succeed through their learning experiences in growth and development. Parents are encouraged to participate in the various school programs and understanding of the NYS Common Core Learning Standards, thus showing support for education and for their children.
School-wide reading curriculum and several school-wide intervention programs continue to be implemented to help increase student achievement, including: Fountas & Pinnell Phonics and Guided Reading instruction (PK-4); Lucy Calkins (Units of Study in Reading (PK-4) and Writing (PK-8); Expeditionary Learning, Inc. “Common Core Modules” (4-8), and fully aligned curricula for grades 9-12 in each core content area. “Math Modules” are used as a primary resource for teaching the Mathematics Common Core Learning Standards in grades K-8. “Explode the Code”, Wilson’s Fundations (grade K-3), Leveled Literacy Intervention Curriculum, and Literacy Centers are used with fidelity. Along with these primary instructional resources, interventions and supplemental learning opportunities help teachers to monitor student progress closely through a carefully conceived, supported, and sustained Response to Intervention program (elementary level), and the use of purposeful and comprehensive assessment and progress monitoring program (grade PK-12) to measure student growth and achievement. Furthermore, our “Guide to Response to Intervention (RtI) and Instruction” details our full curricula and materials at REMSEN, PK-12. A comprehensive Course Selection Guide provides important information for students and parents when planning their school career and pathways to learning with our counselors, teachers, and administrators.
Remsen Central School District takes time to celebrate student achievement by showcasing work on our website, teacher webpage links, District, school building level, and classroom newsletters, bulletin board displays, open houses, parent/teacher conferences, assembly presentations, and academic awards programs. We employ a Public Relations professional from BOCES for the equivalent of .4 FTE.
Parent Teacher Group (PTG), Shared Decision-Making (SDM), School-Based Intervention (SBIT), Response to Intervention (RTI) team, and Committee on Special Education (CSE) and 504 committee efforts through process will be major factors in the growing success of the Remsen Central School District. Each group and team helps to nurture and support every member of the Remsen family. Arts Education, Bullying Prevention, Social-Emotional Welfare training, and academic and literacy programs are all supported through PTG, SDM, SBIT, CSE and RTI teams. Improved public relations and expanded efforts to improve communication is important for growing our Remsen community. Parents, guardians and caregivers are encouraged to contact the administration and staff freely. A periodic District newsletter is mailed to each resident tax-payer in the community, a comprehensive and informative District calendar is published, and monthly school newsletters will encourage communication between home and school. A comprehensive goals document for the District is available from the District office and online.
We help to guide students to act out of respect, trustworthiness, fairness, citizenship, responsibility, care, courage, confidence, and pride. Every student has an important role to play as a Remsen Ram. Offering opportunity to students is central to everything we do at Remsen. Everyone is valued, and high expectations within a culture of excellence is our hallmark.