Schenectady City School District Educational Foundation

Our Mission

Provide funding for the enhancement of learning opportunities not otherwise available to the students in Schenectady Public Schools.

The Schenectady City School District Educational Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization established under the laws of the State of New York.  It is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501 © 3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation was established to create new opportunities for students and educators in our community.

Since 2006 we awarded 179 grants totaling $133,143.00.  Grants have been used to fund a green house, musical instruments, physical education activities, classroom libraries, mini computers, author visits, field trips, and a number of very creative activities. We also work with other organizations that support the schools, help the summer recreation program and contribute to the backpack program.

Celebrating Education

It is time to celebrate the achievements of Schenectady’s students and teachers and the Schenectady City School District Educational Foundation. The Schenectady City School District Educational Foundation will be holding its annual Education Celebration Thursday, January 21, 2016.  Festivities will be from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Proctors.

The annual gala is held to celebrate education and the achievements of the students and staff of the Schenectady School District.  The evening is devoted to reflecting on some of the school district’s achievements and most generous benefactors. Entertainment will be provided by Schenectady High School student musicians, while attendees enjoy hors d’oeuvres and have the opportunity to participate in a raffle.

The Foundation will pay tribute to members of the school community with our Crystal Apple Awards, which are given to a community organization that contributes to the education of our students and to a Distinguished Alumnus. The Dr. Ray & June Benenson Community Service Award recipient is Temple Gates of Heaven and The Ernie Kahn Outstanding Alumnus recipient is Matt Sypniewski.  We will also recognize the 26 recipients of the 2015 grants. These winners serve as a valuable reminder of the importance of education and service to community.

The mission of the Schenectady City School District Educational Foundation is to provide supplemental funding for the enhancement of learning opportunities for the students in the Schenectady Public Schools.  Since 2006 the foundation has awarded 208 grants worth about $160,000. The evening is a tribute to the students and to the adults who have contributed to that mission. You can be an Honorary Committee member with a donation of $500, $250 or $100.  Cost per person to attend is $40.00. Teachers may attend for a cost of $25.00

We look forward to you joining us for this most pleasant gathering with community members, alumni, and staff.  For further information please contact Rick Gentile at or call 928-0797 or Bill Schultz at or call 393-4521. Register by clicking on the link below.

Register Now »

Schenectady Teachers Receive Grants

The Board of Directors of the Schenectady City School District Educational Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2015 grants.  There were 33 requests totaling $43,183and we awarded grants to 26 applications in 13 schools for a total of $24,791.

STEM grants were a priority in this round of grants. At the elementary school level, Jody Hulsaver is taking her Fulton students to Five Rivers where they will do follow up work on their Environmental Studies and Betsy McCoy and a group of Keane teachers will take students to Watkins Glen, where they will learn about glaciers, erosion, fossils, etc. Amy Wright will buy two electron microscopes for use by her Food Science classes and her Food Nutrition class as they do experiments and create lab reports.  Agnes Phillips ‘ Chemistry students will be able to work with a two stage vacuum pump, a vacuum chamber, a bell jar, etc. to explore Gas laws.  Erin Miller and Mike Gauthier have students building robots and challenging other schools in robotics competitions.  Lastly, Katie LaMora will buy CPO Science Crazy Equipment Modules which students will use to study genetics and evolution.

Literacy skills were also a major area of concern. At Woodlawn, Cindy Christman will lead an effort to have every student read a book by a local author, James Preller, and he will do an author visit to the school so that students can interact with him.   Alison Bonheim and Jennifer Mark will have their Mont Pleasant Book Club students explore the similarities and differences in the book, graphic novel and movie versions of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Stephanie Grattan will purchase books for use on Independent Reading Days at Martin Luther King.  Stephanie Parrella and Heather DeFillipo will purchase books for their Van Corlaer kindergarten and first grade students to read over the summer so that they better retain the skills developed during the year.

Understanding of real world experiences and ways in which to use technology are the focus of several grants. Jennifer Dobson at Pleasant Valley and Rick Gentile at Keane will use IPads and Kindles to help students learn math and reading through fun activities, which the teachers can use to assess student progress. Julie Neugebauer’s Mont Pleasant students will use to enhance their skills. Lisa Fagan works with students with disabilities and she will use her grant to teach student how to cook in a way which will help them develop reading skills, measuring skills, decision-making skills, etc. Speaking of decision-making, there were two grants devoted to helping students make good behavior choices and learn the importance of working with and for others. These grant recipients were Sarah Preston at the high school and Michelle Thornhill at Steinmetz.

The Foundation is also supporting a number of hands on experiences. The Mont Pleasant Travel Club led by Jennifer Hart will explore Washington DC and will be helped by a Foundation subsidy.  Barbara Le Barron will take her FDR fourth graders to the Maybee Farm Historic Site so they can experience Dutch colonial history in “a real life” setting. Students of Elizabeth Mark at Mont Pleasant Middle School will be engaged in the Connecting with New York State’s History Project and will engage in programs in the Stockade and at the Mabee Farm Molly Schaeffer will take her Mont Pleasant French students to a creperie. Kim LaMont will bring in the Scotia =Glenville Traveling Museum for presentations to K-2 classes at Keane,

Support for the music programs and the arts has been along tradition with the Foundation and this year is no exception.  Krista Hawk will purchase three keyboards for her 119 piano students at the high school.  Christopher Heller’s Central park students will build cigar box guitars, will attend a performance by Recycled Percussion at Proctors and will do a number of performances with the instruments they made.

Of course, it is essential that we remember the past, so there were a number of grants that promoted the student of history.  Liz Foley’s Central park students will explore family histories and create cookbooks based on their research.  In addition to their field trips, Elizabeth Mark’s students will read Double Dutch as part of their involvement in “Connecting with Schenectady History.”  Juliana Vrooman and Lori Lebel will use two highly rated graphic novels, Persepolis and Persepolis 2 with the entire 9-1 team at the high school, so that the students will better understand recent history in Iran.

Again, congratulations to the winners and the other applicants for the grants.  The foundation encourages staff members to submit proposals for the 2016 cycle.  We regret that we could not fund all of the grant requests, but are pleased that we could fund these and hope that in the future we will be able to fund more grants. Visit our web site for more information. If anyone wishes to support learning activities such as these, they may do so by making a contribution to the Schenectady City School District Educational Foundation, Box 3956, Schenectady, N.Y. 12303.

We encourage your involvement and support. Should you have any questions, please contact us.