Clifton Park

Clifton Park preschool could lose operating license

Violations include lack of proper supervision, training
A summer program at the Bilingual Genius Academy in Clifton Park on July 3, 2017.
A summer program at the Bilingual Genius Academy in Clifton Park on July 3, 2017.

CLIFTON PARK — The Bilingual Genius Academy, a preschool in Clifton Park, is in danger of losing its New York State operating license, according to the Office of Children and Family Services.

The school is located on Moe Road, and its license is listed as pending revocation, due to numerous violations over a period of two years, with the most recent being cited earlier this month.

The school opened in July of 2015 and serves 63 students, ranging in age from infants to preschoolers, according to data released by New York State.

The institution describes itself on its website as a “student-centered educational center that incorporates both English and Spanish into its curriculum.”

Programs offered, also according to the website, include bilingual programs for 2- to 5-year-old students, and a bilingual kindergarten program. Tuition for the programs was not available.

The “pending revocation” status means the case is awaiting a final decision by an administrative law judge or a court, or until the enforcement action has been resolved via a hearing or other settlement agreement between the school and the state.

Schools waiting for a revocation decision can operate until the decision is made, OCFS spokeswoman Monica Mahaffey confirmed on Tuesday.

Jeanette Savastano, acting director of the Bilingual Genius Academy, said the school was still open and was working with the state, but she had no further comment. The school is owned by Katy Mejia.

Bilingual Genius Academy has also been pulled from the state’s child care and day care referral lists.

A majority of the violations reported at the school in 2018, and so far this year, related to appropriate supervision of students. The Jan. 8 violation states children were left without the necessary supervision.

“Competent supervision includes awareness of and responsibility for the ongoing activity of each child,” states the OCFS report. “It requires that all children be within a teacher’s range of vision and that the teacher be near enough to respond when redirection or intervention strategies are needed.”

A violation reported by the state on Jan. 4 noted staff at the school did not have the minimum educational and experience necessary for child care. That violation also claimed some staff did not complete federally mandated health and child care orientation training.

Though the violations are largely not health-related, a violation dated Dec. 12 indicated staff members did not have written consent from a parent prior to administering emergency health care to a child. Another violation from earlier in 2018 noted a student was released from the school to someone other than his or her parent.

The recorded violations date to July of 2017, and many of them, according to OCFS, have gone unaddressed.

Inspection records only date back two years. Violations reported from the school’s inception in July of 2015 to June of 2017 were not available.

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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