Instructional Program Advisory Council Update

The Instructional Program Advisory Council (IPAC) met for the first time this year on Thursday, Oct. 4. A summary is below and the full minutes are available here.

IPAC includes parents, students, teachers, administrators and community members. More members are needed on the School Start Times and Multiple Pathways Committees. If you are interested, e-mail one of the co-chairs, Jessica Moore ( or Ron Frank (, or Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. (

Meeting Highlights

School Start Times – This year the Start Times Committee will work with stakeholders, including principals and the Athletic and Music and Transportation Departments to identify potential options for later start times in Niskayuna. The committee will engage parents, teachers and students, and report to the Board of Education by the spring of 2019.

Multiple Pathways – The Multiple Pathways Committee has called for a communications plan to raise awareness about the pathways to collage and careers currently available to students. The group is also focused on working within the district and with partners to make more opportunities, such as internships and credentials, available to students. The group’s work will inform a comprehensive K-12 School Counseling Plan due this June.

Homework – Last year, the K-5 Homework Committee last year identified the need for more consistency and communication of expectations. Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Lauren Gemmill are currently revising the existing homework guidelines and will be sharing them with the Board of Education, faculty, and parents.

District Vision/Goals – Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. shared a presentation that highlights the District Strategic Plan, present challenges and opportunities, and the vision for the future of programs. The presentation will be given to each school’s PTO, schools staff, community groups, and business/industry partners over the next few months. Dr. Tangorra also shared his goals for the year, which focus on curriculum and programs; school environment and culture; partnerships; facilities and operations.

Graduate Survey – IPAC is formulating a plan for the district to survey graduates at designated intervals to find out how well Niskayuna prepared them for their path after school.

Next Meeting – Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., District Office Board Room