District eyes more programs, services

GLOVERSVILLE – New programs and more support services are part of the Gloversville Enlarged School District’s $61.7 million budget proposal for 2014-15.

Earlier this month, the district’s Board of Education adopted the plan, which carries a tax-levy increase of 1.66 percent. District residents will vote on the budget May 20.

GESD Superintendent Michael Vanyo said the budget proposal includes new programs for the district’s academic services, as well as more extracurricular activities such as music and sports.

Vanyo said the district was short of programs in many areas, and hopes that the new programs would restore the balance.

“The school district went through a lot of cuts in the past,” he said.

Vanyo said the district is focusing on making students college- and career-ready.

“Really, the whole philosophy is [about] trying to get as many high school credits down for middle school students as we can into the middle school,” Vanyo said.

Gloversville High School Principal Richard DeMallie said one major planned change is a move toward block scheduling for freshman.

“Now, for math and social studies, instead of 40-minute classes, you’re going to have 60-minute classes for freshmen,” DeMallie said.

Once added up, DeMallie said this extra 20 minutes per class over the course of a school year can equal to 90 days of additional education.

“The reason why we did that was because this was a grassroots idea from the teaching staff,” DeMallie said.

The district also plans to bring back seventh- and eighth-grade modified sports and add fifth- and sixth-grade intramurals.

Craig Clark, public information specialist with Capital Region BOCES, said the district is also investing in new technology for students and advanced training for teachers to build on the success of Project Lead The Way, a pre-engineering program.

“The program has been at the high school for many years and will now be expanded at the middle school for seventh- and eighth-graders,” Clark said.