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ARC of Delaware County: Delayed 2 HrsAcademy at Rensselaer Education Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsAchievements & Kids Express Mplwood: Delayed 2 Hrs, no before careAchievements St Kateri Tekakwitha: Delayed 2 HrsAchievements and Kids Express TBGC: Delayed 2 HrsAesthetic Science Institute: Delayed 2 Hrs, Classes will begin at 11 amAlbany Law School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All classes starting before 11 am are cancelled Staff report at 10:30 amAlbany Leadership Charter High: Delayed 2 HrsAlbany Pine Bush Discovery Center: Delayed 1 Hr, No AM Pre-K, Classes will still run, The Discovery Center will open at 10 am to the public. Morning classes scheduled to start at 10 will still start at 10.Albany Public Library: Delayed, No Morning Classes, All locations open at noonAmbleside School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All School Luncheon remains on scheduleAmsterdam City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastAmsterdam Head Start: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportAn Nur Islamic School: Delayed 2 Hrs, Building opens at 8:30.Andes CSD: Delayed 3 HrsArlington SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Delay 2 Hours ALL JISP CANCELLEDBArT Charter Public School: Closed, Full-year staff reportBallston Spa CSD: Delayed 2 HrsBattenkill Community Services: ClosedBennington College: Delayed Until 10a, Essential staff report as normalBerkshire County Head Start@Conte: Closed, No AM Head StartBerkshire Hills Regional SD: Delayed 2 HrsBerne-Knox-Westerlo CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastBethlehem CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESBlessed Sacrament School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No After-School Programs, No After School Events, Regular DismissalBoght Montessori: Delayed 2 HrsBrite Beginnings Day Care & Dev Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsBrown School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Morning PLUS ProgramBrunswick Center Services: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesBrunswick Community Library: ClosedBurnt Hills-Ballston Lake CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, 2-hr delay (Final) HS students check email for exam scheduleBurr & Burton Academy: Delayed 2 HrsButterfly Dreams Daycare: Delayed 2 Hrs, Daycare will open at 9;30amCEO Head Start (Rensselaer County): Delayed, All CEO programs and sites delayed until 10:00amCOARC Adult Transportation: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransCap Dist Ctr for Indp (Albany): ClosedCap Dist Ctr for Indp (Schenectady): ClosedCapital Milestones Child Care: Delayed 2 HrsCapital Reg Career & Tech (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No AM BOCES, No AM classesCatholic Schools Office: Delayed 2 Hrs, Principals Meeting at 10:30Chatham CSD: Closed, Pops Concert Pstpnd to 1-18Childhood Friends Inc.: Delayed 2 Hrs, We will open at 9amChrist the King Church: Closed, No morning Daily Mass. Parish Office opens at 11 a.m.Christ the King Early Childhood Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsCircle Of Friends (Delmar): Delayed 2 Hrs, Wrap around two hour delayClifton Park Nursery School: Delayed 1 HrCobleskill-Richmondville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESCohoes City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM BOCES, No Breakfast, CDTA buses running on Delay schedule - 9:30 amCohoes Community Center, Inc.: Delayed Until 9a, /Day Care delayed until 9am /No AM care at elem schoolsColonie Youth Centers: Open, No AM ProgramColumbia Co Nutrition Pg (Philmont): Closed, Staff ReportColumbia-Greene Comm College: Delayed, No Day Classes, The College will open at 4:00 pm.Columbia-Greene FCU: Delayed 3 Hrs, Opening at NoonCongregation Gates of Heaven: Open, Senior Moments Cancelled Rescheduled for Jan. 24Corinth CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESCrossFit Schenectady: Delayed, No morning classesCrossroads Center for Children: Delayed 2 HrsDiscovery Place Learning Center: ClosedDoane Stuart School: Closed, NO Snow CampDoors of Hope: ClosedDuanesburg CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESDutchess Community College: Delayed Until 5p, No Day Classes, Opening at 5 pm for evening classes. Student Services offices open 5 - 7 pm.EOC (Capital District): Delayed 2 Hrs, School closed until 10 a.m. staff/sudents report at 10Early Childhood Learning Ctr: ClosedEarly Childhood Education Center: Delayed 2 HrsEast Greenbush Community Library: Delayed Until 11a, Storytimes cancelledEco Baby Daycare & Preschool: Delayed Until 9aEddy Senior Care: Open, Schenectady Center is open Buses may be lateEmma Willard School: Delayed 2 HrsExcelsior College: Delayed 1 HrFirst Friends Nursery School: Delayed, No AM Program, Enrichment program begins at 11:30amGalway CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastGateway Community Industries: Open, No Transportation, GCI open,trans cancelled SNP meals/cong.sites cancel PROS cancelled,Staff report, GCI is open but transportation is cancelled. Staff report., The Ulster County Office of the aging home delivered meals service and congregated sites are cancelled for today. , PROS is cancelled. Staff report. , Germantown CSD: Closed, Office staff report at noonGood Ground Christian School: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9:30Grace Chapel of Clifton Park: Open, All groups cancelled.Grand Gorge Head Start: ClosedGreen Island UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, School opens at 9:40Green Tech High Charter School: Delayed 2 HrsGreenbush Child Caring: ClosedGreene County Nutrition Program: Closed, No TransportationGreene County Transit: Closed, No Transportation, all buses cancelledGreenwich CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESGrowing Up Right at the C.D.C.: ClosedGuilderland CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESHVCC: Delayed 2 Hrs, School closed until 10 am. staff and students report at 10 amHappy Kids Day Care Center: ClosedHead Start - Adams: Closed, No AM Head StartHead Start - Lee: Delayed 2 Hrs, No TransHead Start @ Becket/Washington: Closed, No AM Head StartHead Start @ Johnson - North Adams: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHead Start @ Meadow Lane Pittsfield: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHead Start @ Muddy Brook - GB: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHebrew Academy - Capital District: Delayed 2 HrsHelping Hands Pre-School: Delayed, No AM Pre-SchoolHenry Johnson Charter School: Open, No Aft-Sch PgmHoosic Valley CSD: Delayed 2 HrsHope 7 Community Center: Open, for after school, Food Pantry Open 9:30-11:45aHopeClub: Delayed 3 Hrs, No Morning Classes, Opening at noon, Opens at noon. Hudson City SD: Closed, Offices now cosed Board Meeting as scheduledHudson Day Care Center: ClosedHunter-Tannersville CSD: Closed, No AM BOCESJefferson CSD: Delayed 2 HrsJohn Paolo's-Ballston Spa: ClosedJubilee Child Day Care Center: ClosedKIPP: Tech Valley Charter School: Closed, Both the primary and middleKid Kampus: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 8:30AMKiddie Academy II: Delayed 2 HrsKiddie Academy of Albany: Delayed 2 HrsKidsFirst Childcare Center: Delayed 2 HrsKinderhook Memorial Library: Delayed 2 Hrs, Library will open at noon.Latham Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KLee Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLenox Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLife Kids Before/ After School: Open, No AM ProgramLifeSong Inc (Saratoga): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc (Schenectady): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc. (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc. (Rensselaer): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLil Peeps Preschool: Open, 10am-2pm No TransportationLil' Lambs Christian Daycare Inc.: Delayed 2 HrsLittle Feet Daycare Center: ClosedLittle Tot Nursery School: ClosedLiving Res DCOP (Albany): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Rensselaer): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Saratoga): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Schenectady): Delayed 1 HrLiving Resources DCOP (Columbia): Delayed 1 HrLong Trail School: Delayed 2 HrsLoudonville Christian School: Delayed 2 HrsMacedonia Baptist Church (Albany): Closed, No Adult Education, Bible Study is CanceledMalta Montessori School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No toddler programMargaretville CSD: Delayed 3 HrsMass. College of Liberal Arts: Delayed Until 10aMechanicville City SD: Delayed 2 HrsMekeel Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolMenands UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastMetropolitan NTM Baptist Church: Closed, All activities cancelled.Mid-America Baptist Seminary: Delayed 2 HrsMiddleburgh CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No Breakfast, One Hour Early DismissalMilford CSD: Delayed 2 HrsMohonasen CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESMontessori School (Schenectady): Delayed, No AM Program, Early care open at 11.Morning Star Baptist Church: Closed, 6pm Bible Study is cancelledMother Teresa Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, No morning care Doors open at 9:45Mrs. Puddle Duck's Childcare: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9:00 amMyers Education Center: Delayed 2 HrsN. Greenbush Little Red School: ClosedNassau Free Library: Delayed Until 2p, No AM Pgm, No Morning Classes, No Story TimeNewmeadow at Clifton Park: Delayed 2 HrsNewmeadow at Fort Edward: Open, Upstate Trans delayed 2 hrsNiskayuna CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESNorth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Check website/email for SHS exam scheduleNortheast Parent & Child Society: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransNortheastern Baptist College: ClosedNorthern Berkshire Voc SD: Closed, No After Sch EventsNotre Dame-Bishop Gibbons: Delayed 2 HrsOak Hill School: Delayed 2 HrsOakwood Christian School: Delayed 2 HrsOhav Shalom Nursery School: Delayed, No AM Pre-School, No AM Program, opening at 9:30 all staff report at 9:00One Love Preschool: Delayed 2 HrsOrlo School of Hair Design: ClosedOtego-Unadilla CSD: Delayed 2 HrsOur Lady of Victory Early Childhood: ClosedOur Savior's Lutheran School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-School, No LaunchpadOur World Montessori: Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 10:45 a.m.Parsons Early Head Start Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff report by 9Parsons Early Learning Center: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff in by 9Pine Cobble School: Delayed 2 HrsPineview Comm Church Pre-School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, opening at 9:30Pumpkin Patch (Albany): Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III BOCES - Sarah's Sisters: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Catskill Academy: ClosedQuestar III Columbia-Green Ed Ctr: Closed, New Visions open house will be rescheduled to tomorrow night, Thursday, 1/18.Questar III Rensselaer Academy: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Rensselaer Edu Ctr: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, Q3 New Vision is closedQuestar III Sackett Educational Ctr: ClosedReadsboro Central School: Delayed 2 HrsRed Hook CSD: ClosedRedemption Christian Academy: Delayed 2 HrsRensselaer City SD: Delayed 2 HrsRensselaer Public Library: Delayed 1 HrRichmond Consolidated: Delayed 2 HrsRiverRun Community Montessori: ClosedRiverside Enterprises: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesRobert C. Parker School: ClosedRoeliff Jansen Community Library: ClosedRoots and Wings Montessori: Delayed 1-1/2 Hrs, Open at 9am no before careRosa Venerini Early Childhood Cente: Delayed 2 Hrs, Before Care Cancelled Doors Open at 9Roxbury CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSUNY New Paltz: Delayed 3 Hrs, Offices will open at 10:45, Offices will open at 10:45 a.m.SW Vermont Career Dev Ctr: ClosedSacred Heart School (Bennington): ClosedSacred Heart School (Troy): Closed, TSL is opens at 2pmSage Colleges (Troy & Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Classes begin at 11 amSaratoga Central Catholic HS: Delayed 2 HrsSaratoga County Senior Meals: ClosedSaratoga Independent School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Before Care or AM Pre-KSaratoga Springs City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESSaugerties CSD: ClosedSchalmont CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastSchenectady City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESSchenectady County ARC: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesSchenectady InnerCtyMin Food Pantry: Closed, Staff Report, Food Pantry is closed. Will reopen Thurs, Jan 18.Schenectady Jewish CC: Delayed, Early Childhood Education will open at 8:30 amSchenevus CSD: ClosedSchodack CSD: ClosedSchoharie CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSchoharie Career and Technical Scho: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESSchoharie County Com. Action Prg.: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 10:00 AM.Schoharie Cty Child Dvp Cobleskill: Delayed 2 HrsSchoharie Cty HeadStart (Schoharie): Delayed 2 HrsSchool's Out, Inc.: Closed, No AM ProgramSchools Out Childrens Center LLC: Open, 6am - 2pm no transportationSchuylerville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastScotia-Glenville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShaftsbury Early Childhood Center: Open, 10am-2pm No TransportationSharon Springs CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShenendehowa CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM BOCESShooting Stars Nursery & After Sch.: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolSkidmore Early Childhood Center: Delayed, No AM Pre-SchoolSouth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESSouthern Berkshire Regional SD: Closed, No Aft-Sch Pgm, No PM Activities, No After School EventsSouthern Vermont College: ClosedSouthwest Vermont SU: ClosedSpa Christian School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-SchoolSpotted Zebra Learning Center: Delayed 2 HrsSt Ambrose School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM PgmSt Catherine's May School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastSt Clement's Regional Catholic Sch: Delayed 2 HrsSt Edward's Church: Closed, No 9am Mass No daytime eventsSt George's School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, AEP begins at 11:30 amSt Kateri Tekakwitha School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, No Before Care. School doors open at 10:00 am.St Madeleine Sophie Pre-School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Madeleine Sophie School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Mary's Institute ES (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No BreakfastSt Mary's School (Ballston Spa): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, Before Care Opens at 8:00amSt Pius X School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KSt Stephen's Pre-K Acad (Delmar): Closed, No AM Pre-K, No AM Pre-K; Enrichments still on in the afternoonSt Thomas the Apostle School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KStepping Stone Pre & DCC (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 9:00Stillwater CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, FinalSullivan BOCES: Closed, All facilities are closedSunnyside Center Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Day Care open at 9am. All staff report at 9am.Sunshine Kids Corner: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9 amSusan Odell Taylor School: Delayed 2 HrsTLC Christian Day Care: ClosedTech Valley High School: Delayed 2 HrsThe Albany Academies (AA & AAG): Closed, Check web later for athleticsThe Beagle School: Delayed, No AM Program, PM Class OpenThe Children's Museum at Saratoga: Delayed 2 HrsTiny Tots Early Learning Center: ClosedTown of Ballston Community Library: Delayed 2 Hrs, Library will open at 12pm; Morning programs canceledTroy City SD: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Prep: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Public Library: Delayed 3 Hrs, The library will open at 12:00 pm today. Twin County Recovery Services, Inc.: Closed, No groups or appointmentsTwin Valley Elementary School: Delayed 2 HrsTwin Valley Middle High School: Delayed 2 HrsUlster County Community College: Delayed 2 Hrs, Employee code orangeUlster-Greene ARC (Catskill): Open, No Transportation, transportation cancelledUlster-Greene ARC (Kingston): Open, No Transportation, All Classes Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Cancelled Training Center Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Canceled., Rosendale Training Center classes Cancelled. , , Unity Sunshine Program: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, Day Care Open, Special Ed delayed 2 hours. UPK delayed 2 hours. at A Child's PlaceUpstate Transit: Delayed 2 Hrs, School DivisionVillage Of Colonie Senior Center: ClosedVoorheesville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES No BreakfastWWAARC—Albany & Queensbury: Open, Albany Location on Snow Routes; Queensbury Location normal routineWaldorf School (Saratoga Springs): Delayed 2 Hrs, 2 Day PreK begins at 10:30Warrensburg CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No AM Head Start, No BrkfstWashington County EOC: Open, Cambridge HeadStart delayed 2 hours, No AM transportWaterford-Halfmoon UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastWatervliet City SD: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines (Cobleskill): Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines - Schoharie UPK: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines Pre Sc (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No morning Toddler Program No morning wrap aroundWhispering Pines Pre-sch (Delanson): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No Toddler ProgramWildwood Adult Day Services: ClosedWilton Baptist Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KWonderland Nursery School: ClosedYMCA (Bethlehem): Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA (East Greenbush): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, Child watch Opens at 9am, Snow Day Program opens at 8amYMCA (Greater Glenville): Open, No programs until noon. No AM Childwatch.YMCA (Guilderland): Open, No AM Pre-School, No Morning Classes, No AM branch childwatchYMCA (Schenectady): Open, No Morning Classes, Child Watch Closed for AM Classes Cancelled til NoonYMCA (Troy): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, No Child WatchYMCA Duanesburg: Open, No Morning Classes, No morning child watchYMCA Greene County Branch: Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA Southern Saratoga: Open, No Morning Classes

Tech Valley: A work in progress

Tech Valley: A work in progress

When Tech Valley High School opened in 2007, officials envisioned it as a place to prepare students

When Tech Valley High School opened in 2007, officials envisioned it as a place to prepare students for high-tech jobs at new and expanding technology companies in the Capital Region.

Five years later, that’s still the vision.

And it’s a vision officials feel positive about, even though the school is at about 75 percent of capacity. The school, based at the University at Albany’s East Campus in Rensselaer, has about 125 students in grades nine through 12 — about the same number it enrolled last year. That falls short of its current enrollment goal of 160 students.

Mike McCagg, a spokesman for the school, said that enrollment had stabilized. “Has enrollment curtailed in some districts?” he said. “Yes, but we’ve also seen some schools ramp up enrollment.”

Tech Valley has a heavy emphasis on project-based, collaborative learning and partnerships with area businesses. There are no sports, though students are permitted to participate in their home districts. There is no music program, but there are extra-curricular activities including informal guitar and drumming clubs. And last year students mounted a theater production for the first time — something they’ll do again this year, when they put on “The Producers.”

The students are drawn from the 47 districts that comprise the Capital Region BOCES and Questar III BOCES — an area that includes Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Schoharie and Rensselaer counties.

Officials at schools throughout the Capital Region gave different reasons why their enrollment at Tech Valley had lagged.

Some said it was difficult to pay for the program, while others cited a lack of interest. Others said that the long drive to the Rensselaer campus made the school less appealing, especially for students interested in playing sports and participating in after-school activities.

Price issue

The Scotia-Glenville Central School District currently sends two students to Tech Valley — a senior, who will graduate in the spring, and a sophomore. The district is committed to seeing the sophomore graduate, but doesn’t plan to send any more students, largely because of costs.

Tuition at Tech Valley this year is $12,000 per student; school districts receive partial reimbursement from the state based on their BOCES aid funding, which varies from district to district.

But Scotia-Glenville Superintendent Susan Swartz said that even with the reimbursement, paying for students to go to Tech Valley represents a challenge. “We’re so concerned with where we’re going to be budgetarily,” Swartz said. “Even with the minimal restoration of state aid, this is going to be a very difficult year for schools.”

Robert Hanlon, a spokesman for the Scotia-Glenville district, said that after state aid and a transportation reimbursement have been factored in, it is costing the district $17,746 to send the students. “Is that a value we want to put on this, for two kids?” he said.

Transportation is another big issue, Hanlon said. Ideally, schools in Schenectady County would share buses, but this has been difficult to coordinate due to different start times.

In a recent interview, Tech Valley principal Dan Liebert acknowledged that the recession has hurt enrollment.

“In the fall of 2008, with the economy slowing down, we had fewer districts sending us students because of their budget issues,” Liebert said. He added, “I have no doubt that two years from now we’re going to have full enrollment.”

The Schalmont Central School District currently has two students enrolled, a junior and a senior. Audrey Hendricks, Schalmont spokeswoman, said the school is willing to send new students but that there hasn’t been a lot of interest in recent years.

“They’re provided with the information, but they’re choosing not to go,” Hendricks said. “There are benefits to going, but there are drawbacks, too. They miss out on sports and extra-curricular activities.” She said that the Schalmont students at Tech Valley generally don’t return home until about 3:45, and that most sports practices begin immediately after school ends at 2:30. “It’s a 45- to 50-minute drive.”

No-go and go

Some local school districts, such as Schenectady, Niskayuna, Shenendehowa, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Guilderland and Duanesburg, do not send any students.

Niskayuna graduated one student from Tech Valley High School last year, but sends none now. A spokeswoman said Niskayuna offers a “vast array of electives” and that students need not leave their home district.

Other districts reaffirmed their commitment.

Schoharie Central School District currently sends three students, and superintendent Brian Sherman said he didn’t anticipate any cutbacks. The Board of Education, he said, remains committed to sending one additional student each year. “It’s an alternative program for students that really want to be hands-on problem-solving and oriented toward technology,” he said.

The Questar III BOCES schools send far more students to Tech Valley than the Capital Region BOCES schools. Capital Region BOCES, which covers Schoharie, Saratoga Albany and Schenectady counties, currently sends 30 kids; Questar III BOCES, which covers Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties, sends 85 students. The district that sends the most students is Averill Park, which currently sends 14, including eight freshmen.

“We get more students from Questar, but we don’t know why,” McCagg said. He said many of the students in the Questar districts have long drives, and noted that districts have taken steps to make these drives more pleasant — one district, for instance, installed WiFi on a bus.

Distance might account for some of the disparity between BOCES districts. After all, Tech Valley High is based in Rensselaer County.

But differences in how the program is funded might also play a role.

Capital Region BOCES bills districts on a per student basis, but doesn’t reimburse them until the following year, But Questar III BOCES includes the cost of Tech Valley High with its career and technical education programs, and charges districts based on a five-year average of how many services the district uses.

Sherman said that the Questar III BOCES approach would make it easier for schools to send students to Tech Valley by making “it easier for us to plan for those expenses.”

Idea mill

Capital Region BOCES Superintendent Charles Dedrick said his agency is moving toward adopting an averaging system, but that the change is still a few years away. He said that Tech Valley High School is meeting its bottom line and serving as an incubator, by developing practices for other schools to model. Over the past couple years, more than 500 educators have toured the facility to learn about project-based learning.

“I see it as a terrific place for teachers and administrators to come and learn, too,” Dedrick said. He said he expects enrollment to pick up once the economy is better. “I have superintendents tell me all the time that they feel terrible that a student wants to go there and because of the financial conditions right now they just can’t.”

McCragg said that Tech Valley sees a steady stream of visitors who are eager to learn more about the school’s innovative practices and bring them back to their own schools. “We have an open invitation to school districts to come to the school,” he said. “We’ve had superintendents here, and guidance counselors here. We do professional development.” He said the district recently provided training to 15 middle school teachers from Schenectady.

“Schools know we exist,” McCagg said.

Original dreams

When legislation creating Tech Valley High School passed in 2005, officials spoke of a school that would enroll roughly 400 students. When it opened, Liebert said he expected to have a waiting list of students, and that they were targeting students who are “ready, open and curious.” The school’s first freshman class had 40 students, but enrollment has since dropped to about 30 students per freshman class.

“We were the new, exciting thing on the block,” McCragg said. “Nobody knew what we were.” He noted that 130 eighth-graders attended a recent open house. “We’d love to have more students,” he said. “Could we handle 400 students right now? If we could get 160, I think that would be good. We’re fine where we’re at.”

One common misconception is that Tech Valley is only open to top students. “We don’t take only top students,” McCragg said. “We have students of all levels and abilities. We take students who can learn in this environment — that doesn’t always mean students who get straight As.”

One recent project for freshmen and sophomores involved designing a miniature golf course. The students visited a golf course, took measurements, and eventually developed a digital model, as well as a physical model. McCagg said the project taught them geometry and presentation skills.

McCagg said that the school’s initial goal of cultivating students to work in the area’s burgeoning technology sector has evolved somewhat. Though many of the school’s graduates have gone off to college with the goal of pursuing careers in technology, others have entered the military and one student is now studying theater. The majority of graduates cite communication as one of the biggest skills they learned, and McCagg said the school is focused on “preparing them for the workforce, and giving them the skills that are necessary to do the job.”

Tech Valley High School belongs to the New Tech Network, a nationwide linkage. The school also offers courses in writing, history and literature.

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