Update on Community Advisory Groups; Community invited to participate

  • The district has active advisory work groups in the following areas: Pathways to College & Careers; Diversity; Mental Health & Wellness; and Student Exit Surveys.
  • The groups were formed through the Environment and Culture Advisory Council and Instructional Program Advisory Council. This year, all of the groups will begin to meet quarterly to promote more collaboration and awareness.
  • We invite all interested members of the school community to get involved (see below)!

A Note from Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.

Dear Niskayuna School Community:

You may be aware that for the last three years, we have had two community advisory committees, the Instructional Program Advisory Council (IPAC) and the Environment and Culture Advisory Council (ECAC), working on a variety of priority topics. The purpose of this message is to let you know that beginning with the coming school year, the two will join together for their meetings. We also want to again invite your participation in this work.

Between ECAC and IPAC, our current work groups for 2019-20 are:

  • Pathways to College & Careers
  • Diversity
  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • Student Exit Surveys

Teachers, parents and family members, staff, students and administrators have been involved in selecting these focus areas and working on them. Moving forward, we will also be folding the recently formed Return on Investment work group and the Niskayuna Partnership for Academics and Athletics into this effort, as well as representation from the Capital Project Community Advisory Committee.

The participation of our staff and community is so important to the future of our schools. Of note, the changes to homework practices at the elementary level and the Board of Education’s decision to have the administration convene work groups to identify what it would take to move to a later high school start time, were based on advisory committee work.

Under the new format, IPAC and ECAC will come together as one for quarterly meetings where the work groups can report out. This will allow all representatives to be together in one place which will eliminate any duplication of work and enhance community awareness of progress in these important areas. We will share the meeting schedule for 2019-20 as soon as it is available.

We are always seeking more involvement in our advisory council work. The chairs of each of the work groups are listed below. Please feel free to contact them if you would like to participate. We will also be sharing the quarterly meeting schedule for 2019-20 as soon as it is available.

Our goal is to make sure our students are prepared in every sense to define and follow their path to future success and happiness. As we do this, we are fortunate to have students, faculty and staff, and families who contribute so much time and energy to the success of our schools.

We are grateful for those who have participated in ECAC and IPAC so far, and hope you can join us in the future.


Cosimo Tangorra, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Workgroups & Chairs


Neysha Bird (neyshaw@yahoo.com) & Alyssa Zelkowitz (azelkowitz@niskyschools.org)

Mental Health & Wellness

John Moskov (jmoskov@niskyschools.org) & Jeanne Sosnow (jms125@hotmail.com)

Niskayuna Partnership for Academics & Athletics

Joseph DiCaprio (jdicaprio@niskyschools.org) & Larry Gillooley (lgillooey@niskyschools.org)

Pathways to College & Careers

Christopher Shortt (chshortt1@gmail.com)

Return on Investment

Contact: Carrie Nyc-Chevrier, Director of Business & Finance (cnyc-chevrier@niskyschools.org), Chair(s) TBD

Student Exit Surveys

Ron Frank (ronfrank0406@gmail.com) & Jessica Moore (Jess.n.sanderson@gmail.com)