District seeks community involvement in Capital Project Community Advisory Committee

The Niskayuna Central School District is seeking community members interested in serving on a Capital Project Community Advisory Committee that will shape a districtwide facilities improvement project over the next several years.

The focus of the capital project will be to modernize learning facilities based on the strategic direction of academic programs and a projected increase in enrollment over the next decade. It is also expected to address a variety of issues identified in the district’s 2016 Building Condition Survey to protect the investment taxpayers have made in Niskayuna schools over the years.

A letter about the formation of the committee was mailed to all residents this week, and is available online here.

While a capital project vote is not expected until the fall of 2020, the process is starting now to ensure substantial community input and the district’s collective planning is as thorough as possible, according to Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.

As part of this process, the district is working with a consultant to examine the potential for other PreK-12 program delivery options, including school configurations, given the vision of the district and anticipated enrollment increase.

“As the district and community consider investing in facilities, we have a responsibility to understand if there are options that are better suited to supporting our students and programs and promoting innovation, efficiency and effectiveness,” said Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.

“This is especially true when considering the implementation of our strategic plan in recent years,” Dr. Tangorra added, citing a focus on hands-on, project-based learning, multiple pathways to graduation, and strong social and emotional support for students.

The Capital Project Community Advisory Committee will ultimately suggest recommendations to the Board of Education based on the consultants’ final study and develop an overall long-term plan for district facilities.

The district is seeking the participation of a cross-section of the community, including parents of current students and preschool-age children, retirees, residents without children and civic leaders, in addition to school staff members. The members of the Community Advisory Committee will be announced in mid-August, with meetings to begin in September.

The letter to the community indicates that residents interested in serving on the committee should express their interest by contacting him by July 15 at ctangorra@niskyschools.org or (518) 377-4666, ext. 50706.

Depending on the level of response, it may not be possible to include all who volunteer. However, there will be opportunities for broad public input along the way.