Academics

Preschool Academics | Elementary Academics | Middle School Academics | High School Academics  | Academic Departments | Next Generation Learning Standards | Academic Supports

Preschool Academics

The Universal pre-K program in the GASD aims to assure all 3- and 4 year-old children receive quality care that promotes their development and readiness for kindergarten. Currently, there are six preschool classes in the district that serve students at each of the district’s elementary schools. Registration is ongoing, but officially begins the summer prior.

The Greater Amsterdam School District offers PreK programs at the following locations:

  • Barkley MicroSociety, DeStefano Street
  • McNulty Academy for International Studies and Literacy, Brandt Place
  • Tecler Arts in Education Magnet School, Northern Boulevard
  • Marie Curie Institute, Brice Street
  • Fulmont Head Start, Truax Road
  • Whispering Pines Preschool, Henrietta Boulevard

All of these programs are supported, in part, by the Universal PreKindergarten Grant, except the program at McNulty Academy.  District-supported Prekindergarten classes are offered free of charge as a full-day program to eligible students. Transportation is provided per district policy.  

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Elementary Academics

Full-day, district Kindergarten to Grade 5 classes are housed at the four elementary schools in the district.  Each school has its own magnet theme incorporated into regular daily instruction and activities. These schools include:

  • Barkley MicroSociety, DeStefano Street
  • Curie Institute of Engineering and Communications, Brice Street
  • McNulty Academy for International Studies and Literacy, Brandt Place
  • Tecler Arts in Education Magnet School, Northern Boulevard

A lottery system, based on current classroom enrollment, parent/guardian preference, and other factors is used to determine which school each student will attend.  Transportation is provided to any elementary school that is more than one mile from a child’s home, as determined by the District.  Please contact any of the elementary schools listed above for more information about the Magnet Programs.

The district’s four elementary schools pride themselves on having an educational program that allows every student to grow and succeed. In addition to favorable class sizes, dedicated staff and active parents, each school offers a variety of programs that incorporate the skills students need for success throughout their education.

Elementary Highlights

  • Universal and Expanded Pre-Kindergarten
  • Full-day, compulsory Kindergarten for five-year-olds
  • Dedicated parent liaison and parent-teacher organizations
  • In-school TV station and student newspaper, Maker Spaces and Invention Conventions
  • Before- and after-school programs available at Marie Curie and Barkley Elementary
  • Instrumental and choral music instruction for students
  • Leader in Me instruction

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Middle School Academics

Lynch Literacy Academy provides a nurturing environment, which promotes student success, embraces diversity and fosters a sense of community for all.
Students are encouraged to be responsible citizens equipped with the necessary skills to face the challenges of the future as accomplished learners and leaders. To accomplish this, the middle school has a team-teaching approach, combined with strong counseling and support.

Middle School Highlights

  • Pool
  • The Broadcaster

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High School Academics

The wide variety of programs and opportunities available to Amsterdam High School ensure students become well-rounded individuals who are college and career ready.

High School Highlights

  • Curriculum Guide
  • Career Development and Occupational Studies
  • College & Career Pathways: Cybersecurity, early childhood and social work, fine arts and Smart Scholars
  • Honors courses for students in English, social studies and the sciences
  • Advanced Placement courses
  • Opportunities to obtain college credit through high school courses
  • Computer science and technology
  • A range of fine arts courses, including chorus, concert band, a jazz ensemble and a marching band
  • More than 20 clubs, including a Student Council, student newspaper and a drama club

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Academic Departments

The Greater Amsterdam School District believes that all students can and should learn, and strives to ensure its learning standards align with those of New York State Department of Education.

The district has implemented the New York State Learning Standards and has adjusted its goals to reflect a commitment to improving student achievement through staff development, increased parent involvement and engagement of the business community.

GASD is focused on building upon the success of its efforts to increase student performance in reading and raising the graduation rate.

The Arts | English Language Arts | Health, PE and Family and Consumer Science | Languages Other Than English | Math, Science and Technology Education | Social Studies

The Arts

The Arts Department in the Greater Amsterdam School District uses the following four standards:

Standard 1: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts

Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) and participate in various roles in the arts.

Standard 2: Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources

Students will be knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles.

Standard 3: Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art

Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to other works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought.

Standard 4: Understanding the Cultural Contributions of the Arts

Students will develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society.

English Language Arts

The English Language Arts Department in the Greater Amsterdam School District uses the following four standards:

Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.

Standard 2: Language for Literary Response and Expression

Students will read and listen to oral, written, and electronically produced texts and performances from American and world literature; relate texts and performances to their own lives; and develop an understanding of the diverse social, historical, and cultural dimensions the texts and performances represent. As speakers and writers, students will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language for self-expression and artistic creation.

Standard 3: Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for critical analysis and evaluation. As listeners and readers, students will analyze experiences, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to present, from a variety of perspectives, their opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information and issues.

Standard 4: Language for Social Interaction

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for social interaction. Students will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.

Health, PE and Family and Consumer Science

The Health, PE and Family and Consumer Science Department in the Greater Amsterdam School District uses the following three standards:

Standard 1: Personal Health and Fitness

Students will have the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain physical fitness, participate in physical activity, and maintain personal health.

Standard 2: A Safe and Healthy Environment

Students will acquire the knowledge and ability necessary to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment.

Standard 3: Resource Management

Students will understand and be able to manage their personal and community resources.

Languages Other Than English

The Languages Other Than English Department uses the following standards:

Standard 1: Communication Skills

Students will be able to use a language other than English for communication.

Standard 2: Cultural Understanding

Students will develop cross-cultural skills and understandings.

The district’s Parent Liaison Fabrizia Rodriguez works to enhance communication between home and school by providing information about resources and options available for your child.

Math, Science & Technology

The Math, Science & Technology Department at the Greater Amsterdam School District uses the following seven standards:

Standard 1: Analysis, Inquiry, and Design

Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

Standard 2: Information Systems

Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Standard 3: Mathematics (Revised 2005)

Students will understand the concepts of and become proficient with the skills of mathematics; communicate and reason mathematically; become problem solvers by using appropriate tools and strategies; through the integrated study of number sense and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and statistics and probability.

Standard 4: Science

Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Standard 5: Technology

Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.

Standard 6: Interconnectedness: Common Themes

Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning.

Standard 7: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.

Social Studies

The Social Studies Department at the Greater Amsterdam School District uses the following five standards:

Standard 1: History of the United States and New York

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.

Standard 2: World History

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in world history and examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives.

Standard 3: Geography

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live—local, national, and global—including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth’s surface.

Standard 4: Economics

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of how the United States and other societies develop economic systems and associated institutions to allocate scarce resources, how major decision-making units function in the United States and other national economies, and how an economy solves the scarcity problem through market and nonmarket mechanisms.

Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental system of the United States and other nations; the United States Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional
democracy; and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.

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Next Generation Learning Standards

In September 2017, the Board of Regents adopted the Next Generation Learning Standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. These standards replace the controversial Common Core Learning Standards and will be rolled out slowly over the next few years in order to provide adequate time for professional development and curriculum design.

The Next Generation Learning Standards detail what students should know and be able to do at each grade level; they do not require school districts to follow any specific curriculum.

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Academic Supports

Academic Intervention Services/ Response to Intervention

Greater Amsterdam School District utilizes a Response to Intervention (RTI) Plan to ensure that all students’ progress toward meeting New York State learning standards. The district’s RTI Plan systematically uses New York State Assessment data, along with universal screening results to provide instruction/interventions to students while monitoring their progress. The universal screenings occur three times during the school year (fall, winter, and spring). Students that receive interventions are also progress monitored regularly and supports/interventions are provided accordingly during instruction. 
 
The district’s Response to Interventions (RTI) Plan is accessible on the district website and includes the criteria and process for determining students who must receive RTI services, as well as Academic Intervention Services. Specifically, the district plan weighs students’ performance on New York State Assessments along with STAR Benchmarking results to determine which students receive Academic Intervention Services. 
 
If you have questions regarding our RTI or AIS Plans, please feel free to contact students’ teachers, principals, as well as district level administration in the Office of Testing and Academics.
 
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Pipeline

The “Pipeline” is a regular publication from the Office of Testing and Academics that aims to generate two-way communication between the instructional staff and the office.

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