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 2015-2016


The Schenectady Schools Education Foundation held its annual Gala at Proctors on January 21st to celebrate the work of teachers and students in our district. The Foundation supplies grant monies and opportunities to enhance our motto: Helping Teachers. Helping Kids. The evening was directed by our very own Jack Aernecke. Our local civic leaders, including Paul Tonko, Angelo Santabarbara,Phil Steck, and Ed Kosiur, joined us for the evening. The Steinmetz Career and Leadership Academy Culinary students and Laura Macey catered the event. The miniature grilled cheese and tomato soup were a big hit! The evening’s entertainment was provided by the Schenectady High School’s Jazz Ensemble and produced by Dave Gleason and Krista Hawk.

The Foundation paid tribute to members of the school community with our Crystal Apple Awards, which were given to a community organization and a distinguished alumnus. The Dr. Ray & June Benenson Community Service Award was given to the Congregation Gates of Heaven for their many contributions to the students in our district. The Ernie Kahn Outstanding Alumnus Award was given to NYS Supreme Court Justice Matt Sypniewski.

The mission of the Schenectady Schools Education Foundation is to provide supplemental funding for the enhancement of learning opportunities for the students of our district. The evening is a tribute to students and adults that contribute to that cause.

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 $43,183 and we awarded grants to 26 applications in 13 schools for a total of $24,791. Click on the link to open the flyer for highlights from some of the grant recipients – Grant Highlights 2015-2016.

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.