From the Desk of the Superintendent:

Scott N. Connell

Emergency Closings:

Information is broadcast on radio stations WTNY (790); WFRY Froggy 97; Z93; The Border 106.7; WOTT 94.1 FM; TV stations WWNY TV 7, WNYF FOX 28; WWTI Newswatch 50; nny360.com;  as well as Parent Square, our website and app.  Decisions to close or delay openings are made by 6:45 a.m. and transmitted to you as soon as possible.

If your phone number has changed or if you wish to add a phone number to the Parent Square system, please call us and let us know.                   

Informational Links, Letters:

COVID-19 Coronavirus Communication:

Mr. Connell

On January 18th, 2024, I will begin my 14th year as your Superintendent. They say time flies, and this is a perfect example of that. It seems like yesterday I was sitting at my desk on my first day in this role, thinking, “What in the world have I got myself into?” Although it is a very challenging job, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I arrived in Copenhagen in the fall of 1982, intending to stay a couple of years and then looking to return to where I grew up. Each year I’ve been here, I have grown to love this school and the community more. The support I have received from the Board of Education, the staff, and the members of this community is humbling. Copenhagen is truly a very special place, and I can’t thank you enough for allowing me the honor of serving you and your children for the past thirteen years.

January / February 2024 Newsletter  

   Mr. Connell

MARCH/ APRIL, 2024

I want to share with you a few pieces of news about our district:

 Budget Timeline:

Since mid-December, the Board of Education and administration have devoted significant time and thought to the 2024-2025 school budget. The goal is to develop a spending plan that meets the educational needs of the students while also understanding the economic issues facing our community. At the time of this writing, the aid projections from New York State do not look promising. Our hope is that they will improve over the course of the next few weeks. The Board of Education’s current plan calls for adopting the 2024-2025 budget on April 17th, followed by the annual meeting on May 7th. This year’s vote will take place on Tuesday, May 21st, from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Please come out and vote. Our success as a district starts with strong community support. Your sacrifices on behalf of our young people are greatly appreciated and will make a critical difference in the opportunities they will have in the coming year.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need information or have any questions.

School Calendar:

We currently have three unused snow days remaining. It is a bit early to assume that Mother Nature doesn’t have one more round of poor weather coming our way. If we still have unused days at the end of April, our tentative plan is to close school for all students and staff on Friday, May 24th. Please continue to check the school’s website and Facebook throughout the month for updates.

Important Dates

  • March 1, 2024: PTO Event - Family Bingo Night

  • March 28, 2024: Early Dismissal

  • March 28, 2024: NHS Inductions

  • March 29, 2024: No School - Good Friday

  • April 1, 2024: No School - Easter Monday


As always, thank you for your continued support of our district.

Sincerely,

Scott N. Connell

Superintendent of Schools  

2023-2024 BUDGET INFORMATION

Dear District Residents,

 The purpose of this document is to provide the taxpayers of the Copenhagen Central School District with an overview of the proposed school budget for 2023-2024.

 The 2023-2024 proposed school budget is $12,026,424, an increase of $40,901, or 0.34%.  We are proposing a tax levy increase of 2.0%, or $36,127.   We are able to balance the budget by appropriating $750,255 of fund balance and $200,000 of reserves.  Please refer to page 13 of this document to see a comparison of the tax levy trends for the past fifteen years.  We would like to use the remainder of this document to explain highlights of the next fiscal year budget.

 This year, similar to the past two years, has continued to be very unique for all of us given the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Our district has realized a significant increase in students that require social-emotional support, as well as additional tutoring and instruction to combat learning loss.  Our staff have continually risen to the challenge to support our students and community during these difficult times. 

 The economic and logistical effects of the pandemic continue to be turbulent.  As many of you are very aware, the majority of the revenue of the district is New York State and Federal aid.  Federal legislation has infused an unprecedented amount of cash flow into education in an attempt to address targeted initiatives, such as learning loss and social/emotional stress due to the pandemic.  We have applied these funds in multiple places to support such initiatives.  For example, we opted to increase instructional staff head counts to reduce class sizes, improving student to teacher ratios.  We continue to strategically plan expenditures of these funds to maintain a safe, healthy educational environment for our students, staff and community.  While these additional funds have been a blessing to our district and students, the funding is coming to an end and we must navigate ways to responsibly balance our budget while striving to maintain the influx of services and supports that our students have grown accustomed to.

Another budget component that is important to be aware of is New York State’s property tax cap law, which is a calculation that establishes a tax levy limit for each school district. The tax levy limit allows school districts to change their property tax levy from one year to the next by two percent, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, based on a multi-step formula. In the multi-step formula, school districts must apply inclusions and exclusions into the formula, which may boost the district tax levy limits to more than two percent or the inflation rate.  However, such inclusions and exclusions may also reduce the tax cap of the district to figures that are not sustainable or realistic to implement.  If a school district’s proposed tax levy increase is within its calculated limit, a simple majority (50% or more) of voters is needed for budget approval. If a school district’s proposed tax levy increase exceeds the tax levy limit, a supermajority of voters (60% or more) would be required for budget approval.

 The tax cap this year is -4.76%.  This negative percentage is expected, and planned for.  The two major contributing factors to this is 1) our district reduced our debt service (similar to a mortgage) and didn’t replace it with more debt, and 2) we are electing to purchase one (1) bus for our bus purchase rotation instead of two (2) buses.    

 If this negative percentage was to be applied to the district tax levy for this budget, it would represent a significant loss in revenue, thus negatively impacting programs for our district students.  As a result, the district is requesting your support to override the calculated tax cap and allow us to continue to maintain as many of our curriculum and program offerings to students as we possibly can.  Adoption of the budget requires a tax levy increase of $36,127, which exceeds the statutory tax levy change limit of -$86,040 for this school fiscal year and therefore exceeds the state tax cap, which must be approved by sixty percent of the qualified voters present and voting. 

 In summary, our school district and the Copenhagen community continues to be resilient and persevere in these challenging times. Per Governor Hochul’s signed legislation (S.50001/A.40001) regarding virtual and public meetings, the District has the option to once again hold meetings in-person. With that said, the 2023-2024 Annual Budget Review meeting will be held on May 2, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. in the school cafeteria. There will be a chance to ask questions during that time. The budget vote and election will take place at school on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 from 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. in the gym foyer.  If you would like an absentee ballot, please notify the District Clerk.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact the Superintendent’s office at 315-688-4411.

Sincerely,

BOARD OF EDUCATION

COPENHAGEN CENTRAL SCHOOL

2023 - 2024 BUDGET DOCUMENT

"Our mission is to be a community of learning, where all students are afforded a variety of educational opportunities; where measurable graduation outcomes are established which guarantee the education of the whole student; and where an atmosphere of respect, caring and trust promotes success and focus on student responsibility."