New superintendent reaching out to community
Jan. 25, 2012
Watervliet’s new superintendent of schools,
Dr. Lori S. Caplan, is looking for as much community input as possible
as she moves forward with faculty, staff and administrators on a variety
of important issues.
Hoping to hear more from residents and stakeholders, a number of community forums have been scheduled for the coming weeks. While she’s frequently available at district sporting events and other activities, Dr. Caplan and the board of education are hoping residents take advantage of three upcoming dates to specifically share ideas and concerns regarding education and the upcoming 2012-13 budget.
A “New Administrator Meet and Greet” is set for Monday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Watervliet Junior-Senior High School cafeteria. District residents will be able to meet Dr. Caplan, the high school’s new interim principals and members of the board of education at the Feb. 6 event. Refreshments will be provided by the high school food and nutrition class.
On Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., the district’s first 2012-13 budget forum is slated in the district’s administrative conference room at Watervliet Junior-Senior High School and a “Budget and Breakfast” forum has been scheduled for Saturday, March 3 in the high school cafeteria.
Several changes and new challenges will make the 2012-13 budget process much different than past years for districts across the state.
“We’ve started our budget work early and it’s more important than ever that we get feedback from our community as we move forward,” Dr. Caplan said. “Parents, community members, teachers, staff, administrators, and students must familiarize themselves with terms such as tax levy cap, state aid, unfunded mandates, APPR, and a whole list of terms that affect students’ education and taxpayer’s wallets.”
Dr. Caplan officially took over as superintendent on Jan. 9 following the departure of former superintendent Dr. Paul Padalino. The principal of Watervliet Junior-Senior High School for seven years prior to taking the superintendent’s job, Dr. Caplan has been able to hit the ground running.
During her first few weeks the superintendent has been busy meeting with the Watervliet Teachers Association working toward an agreement regarding teacher evaluations. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has criticized some districts for being slow to reach understandings with teachers regarding the mandated evaluations. In Watervliet, however, the district and the teachers have already reached a tentative agreement and it’s expected the new evaluations will be implemented soon.
In addition to meeting with union officials, Dr. Caplan has met with principals, directors and administrators, and paid special attention to the district’s elementary programs by attending faculty meetings, touring the school’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten and greeting students as they get off the school bus.
Recently she has addressed student teachers at Sage College and attended meetings at the Watervliet Civic Center. Dr. Caplan has also met with the superintendents of other local school districts and will soon be meeting with state Assemblyman Ron Canestrari to discuss district issues.