June 25, 2018

Duanesburg Pride: Many reasons to be positive


Students and staff, faculty and family, Board of Education members and school leaders – all have reasons to be proud of Duanesburg Central School District.

DCS is consistently recognized as a high-performing district with a high return on investment. It has one of the highest graduation rates in the greater Capital Region, typically exceeding 95 percent. Excellence is a tradition at DCS.

DCS consistently ranks in the top 25 percent of schools in the region, outperforming comparable size or larger schools. DCS students are performing at a high level compared to other districts, and a majority of graduates pursue post-secondary education.

And DCS student success extends far beyond the classroom walls:

  • Duanesburg athletes excel both on the field and in the classroom consistently, with many earning N.Y.S. Public High School Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Team Awards for maintaining a combined grade-point average greater than 90.

  • DCS students can choose from more than 10 sports teams, and DCS varsity teams often qualify and play in sectional and state competitions, such as state wrestling tournaments.

  • The district is home to many talented students who participate in music and the arts, with numerous students annually scoring “outstanding” or “excellent” at the NYSSMA Music Festival and earning statewide recognition for their artwork.

  • Duanesburg is a participant in the Tech Valley Connection for Education and Jobs, an initiative of GlobalFoundries and the Center for Economic Growth, and offers science/technology/engineering and math (STEM)-focused courses that are infused with project-based learning and provide students with a competitive edge in college and career.

  • DCS students excel in Career and Technical Education (CTE), mastering their fields of study and winning local, regional and state competitions, and even competing at the national level. Many students continue their education after graduation in college or trade-focused programs of study.

DCS is financially stable and fiscally responsive, with a tax rate ranking at the bottom third of more than 90 regional schools, and administrative compensation in the bottom third of those schools.

DCS offers students in all grades a variety of clubs and extracurricular activities, where they can build skills and knowledge, meet others with similar interests, and have fun, too. Music, athletics, performing and fine arts, leadership and government, business and finance, community service, STEM: students can focus on these and more through DCS activities.

Volunteer opportunities connect DCS parents and families with their children’s school through the Parent-Teacher-Student-Organization (PTSO), Booster Club and various school activities. DCS students and staff are often involved in charitable causes and community service activities.

DCS students learn using the latest technology, including classrooms equipped with computers and projectors connected to a secure wireless network, interactive whiteboards, seven computer labs, two mobile netbook carts, two mobile laptop carts, a 3D printer and other state-of-the-art technology.

DCS students gain a competitive edge through the district’s expanding K-12 STEM Initiative, which offers a continuum of science, technology, engineering and math-centered coursework and activities that are infused with project-based learning and provide students with experiences vital to not only in STEM-related careers, but also to college and life in a competitive, global society.

The STEM Initiative introduces technology and engineering; offers more than technical benefits; bridges academics with hands-on activities; builds the real-world skills of writing, presenting, teaming and collaboration; prepares students for college and future careers; and provides the skills and backgrounds for students to be successful. Students are offered a range of courses and programs including honors, Advanced Placement and college-level courses along with nationally recognized programming.

The initiative also fosters and strengthens a stronger STEM culture through a collaborative effort unites DCS schools with the Duanesburg Area Community Center and the surrounding community.

DCS offers the nationally recognized and respected Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program, an activity, project and problem-based curriculum that is exciting young people about and preparing them for success in STEM-related careers, including engineering.

Another STEM-centered activity at Duanesburg Elementary School, the FIRST LEGO League robotics club, does more than inspire students' interest in STEM through fun, hands-on activities. Students also learn and practice teamwork, communication, problem-solving and social skills.

A positive learning environment at DCS schools fosters not only a sharper focus on academics and building constructive behaviors on campus, but also upon the development of key lifelong skills. DCS’ efforts have been bolstered by the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Program (PBIS), a well-regarded initiative that involves teams of faculty, staff, students, administrators and families – the entire school community.

PBIS rewards and recognizes positive student behaviors and helps students build valuable personal and social skills that will benefit them well beyond their time at school. As one Elementary School teacher explained, “We use a common language with PBIS, and the whole school is on board. The children are aware of expectations and are proud to demonstrate appropriate behavior throughout the school. This is providing happy and fun environment so quality instruction and learning can take place.

Duanesburg High School – Additional highlights

Duanesburg High School students perform at college and career-ready levels on the ACT exams, outscoring average national and state benchmark scores and outperform other students in New York on the SAT exams as well.

DCS students excel in advanced academics, and a high percentage of high school students enroll in Advanced Placement, University in the High School or Honors classes. It is not usual for all of the students to score 3 or higher on AP exams.

Duanesburg High School’s wealth of Advanced Placement, University in the HS, Honors and other specialized course offerings includes:

  • UHS American History

  • AP U.S. Government and Politics

  • AP World History

  • AP Micro/Macro Economics

  • UHS Prin. of Business

  • AP English Language

  • AP English Lit

  • UHS Environmental Science

  • UHS Senior Math

  • UHS Pre-Calculus

  • AP/UHS Calculus

  • AP Psychology

  • UHS Sociology

  • UHS Spanish IV & V

  • Project Lead the Way

  • Career & Technical Education

  • A Virtual Advanced Placement program uses distance learning technology to offer students a wider choice of courses. Offerings at DCS for fall 2014 include A.P. Art History, A.P. English Literature, A.P. Macro/Micro Economics, A.P. Psychology, A.P. Spanish, A.P. Statistics, A.P. U.S. History, and A.P. World History.

DCS also offers a variety of 21st-century elective courses such as forensic science, industrial design, website development, television production, international business, life in the emergency room, and introduction to nanotechnology, to name a few.

A job shadowing program pairs students with successful area professionals, providing an insider's view of careers and the educational paths to them. Careers include architecture and building design; business and finance; information technology; communications and marketing; dentistry; environmental studies; freelance writing and food journalism; pathology, forensics, biology and medicine; forensic video analysis and video production for law enforcement; orthopedics; sports medicine; physical therapy; and the New York State Police.

Duanesburg High School: Extracurricular achievements

Duanesburg High School has fielded a successful MasterMinds team for the past decade. In spring 2015, 8th grader Jacob Harris was named a 2014-15 MasterMinds All-Star, one of six Albany League 4 students so honored. The team also won the league's sportsmanship award, based on voting by other teams. MasterMinds holds quiz-bowl-format knowledge competitions for high school students throughout the school year.

DCS students annually compete in events including client service, public speaking, business communication, personal finance, sports marketing, and decision making at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Regional Competition, and often qualify for state-level competition.

DCS High School students are active in community service through activities including, an annual Toys for Tots campaign, food drives for the local food cupboard and collections to provide local families with holiday dinners. Students are encouraged to establish their own community service ideas. For example, one DCS senior collected gently used blue jeans from the school community to support the Jeans for Teens campaign.

Members of the high school’s Leo Club hold an annual wreath fundraiser to provide gifts at Christmas for needy families, help prepare food for the Equinox Thanksgiving dinner for the needy, and lead Red Cross blood drives. The DCS Student Council has also been active in causes such as assisting a third-world child.

Duanesburg Jr. High School – Additional highlights

Duanesburg Jr. High School is dedicated to providing every student with the best, most rigorous possible experience to prepare him or her for success not only in high school, but as a lifelong learner.

Faculty and staff take an interdisciplinary approach to ensuring student success. Teams collaborate in planning and support each other’s disciplines within their classrooms, forming ties and connections whenever applicable.

For example, a visitor to an 8th-grade Social Studies lesson might hear the teacher refer to learning that is occurring in English Language Arts (ELA) or Science class. The teams also purposely plan interdisciplinary units. For instance, while a 7th-grade Social Studies class covers a unit on the Revolutionary War, and the Science class will tie in the climate and its impact on certain battles, while ELA students read poems from that era and discuss the authors’ purpose, and the math class calculates the miles marched by George Washington.

Duanesburg Jr. High School teams communicate in a variety of ways with parents to keep them informed of their children’s academic progress, struggles and homework. Teachers communicate frequently with parents, using a variety of methods including email, phone, Parent Portal, team meetings, letters home, agendas and the Homework Hotline.

A wealth of educational experiences outside of the classroom brings the world to DCS students and DCS students to the world.

DCS students learn and experience through field trips to and off-campus learning at:

  • Boston: Science Museum, historical sites, Quincy Market

  • New York City: Ellis Island, Museum of Natural History, Statue of Liberty

  • Medieval Times

  • Cooperstown

  • Ellis Hospital

  • Proctors Theatre: Learning by attending plays and presentations

DCS state assessments and scores are strong for Science and English Language Arts.

Teachers provide students with the extra help they need. DCS faulty regularly give up their own planning time and lunch periods to be available for students. Teachers stay after school to work with students, and they provide review classes to help students prepare for exams.

The SeaPerch Underwater Robotics program is a community program that builds STEM, teamwork, communications and other skills among 6th-8th graders

Elementary School – Additional highlights

Assessments and scores:
Duanesburg Elementary students are outperforming their peers in other school districts on the 4th grade New York State math exam.
A strong focus on academics and learning includes every Duanesburg Elementary student. Established literacy benchmarks are set for reading at each grade level.

A well-established Response to Intervention (RtI) Team provides a clear, consistent system for delivering academic services and monitoring student progress. A web-based system, IEP Direct, is used to manage RtI plans for students with Individualized Education Programs. The Elementary schedule allows a dedicated block of time for RtI, so it does not interfere with students’ other instructional time periods.

Afterschool programs at Duanesburg Elementary are well attended and focus on student growth, including:

  • Peer to Peer : Develops social skills and builds friendships

  • Community service: Students see the world outside of the classroom and how to make it a better place.

  • FIRST LEGO League: Builds science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills

  • Drama Club: Builds artistic skills

  • Student Council: Builds leadership skills

  • Odyssey of the Mind: Develops abstract thinking and real-world application

The Duanesburg community

Duanesburg Central School District is located amidst the rolling hills and farmland of New York’s Mohawk and Schoharie Valleys within the charming bedroom community in the Village of Delanson. The school district encompasses portions of nine towns and villages (Duanesburg, Quaker Street, Delanson, Wright, Knox, Charleston, Florida, Schoharie and Princetown), yet is fondly known for being a welcoming, family-oriented community where residents know and care about one another. DOWNLOAD OUR COMMUNITY E-BROCHURE