Syracuse City School District, New York

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Syracuse City School District
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse City SD Logo.gif
District Profile
Superintendent:Sharon Contreras
Graduation rate:48.4%
Number of schools:30
Budget: $375.3 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Patricia Body
Board members:7
Term length:4
Syracuse City School District is a school district in New York that served 19,713 K-12 students during the 2011-2012 school year. The district is the fifth largest by enrollment in the state of New York.[1]

About the district

Syracuse City School District is located in Onondaga County, New York
Syracuse School District is based in Onondaga County, which is located in north-central New York. The population of Syracuse was 145,170 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[2]


Syracuse lags behind state averages for higher education achievement, median income and poverty rate. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (25.9%) exceeds the state average (32.5%). The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Syracuse's median income at $31,689 while the state median income was $56,951. Syracuse had a poverty rate of 32.3% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 14.5%.[2]

Racial Demographics, 2012[2]
Race Syracuse (%) New York (%)
White 56.0 65.7
Black or African American 29.5 15.9
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.1 0.6
Asian 5.5 7.3
Two or More Races 5.1 3.0
Hispanic or Latino 8.3 17.6

Party Registration, 2012[3]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total Voters
Democratic Party 114,807 37.2
Republican Party 92,634 30.0
Unaffiliated 77,995 25.3
Independent Party 15,494 5.0
Conservative Party 5,019 1.6

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[4][5]


The current Superintendent of Syracuse City School District is Sharon Contreras. She has served in the position since her appointment in 2011 to replace Dan Lowengard. Contreras previously served as Chief Academic Officer at Clayton County Public Schools in Georgia and Providence Public Schools in Rhode Island.[6] She earned an annual salary of $204,000 in 2011-2012 with potential bonuses up to $10,000 in the first year and $15,000 in each of the last two years of her contract.[7]

School board

The Syracuse Board of Education consists of seven members who are elected at-large to four-year terms. Each member of the board receives an annual stipend of $7,500 as well as compensation for expenses accrued during district business.[8]

Syracuse Board of Education
Member Term Ends
Patricia Body 2017
Maxwell Ruckdeschel 2015
Bill Bullen 2015
David Cecile 2017
Michelle Mignano 2015
Stephen Swift 2015
Derrick L. Dorsey 2017

School board elections

See also: Syracuse City School District elections (2013)

Members of the Syracuse Board of Education are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis. Three seats were on the ballot on November 5, 2013 and four seats will be on the ballot on November 3, 2015.


The Syracuse City School District's budget is published on its website.[9]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2013-2014 $266,996,247 73.1% $8,257,215 2.3% $62,734,994 17.2% $23,064,676 6.3% $4,365,906 1.2% $365,419,038
2014-2015 $269,447,049 71.8% $7,935,057 2.1% $71,268,189 19% $21,894,640 5.8% $4,807,339 1.3% $375,352,274
Averages: $268,221,648 72% $8,096,136 2% $67,001,591.5 18% $22,479,658 6% $4,586,622.5 1% $370,385,656

Teacher salary

The Syracuse City School District employed 1,594 K-12 teachers during the 2011-2012 school year. The salary schedule for district teachers determines annual pay based on "steps" or years of experience and educational achievement. Teachers can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate credits with pay increases provided at five-credit intervals. The following excerpts the salary schedule negotiated between the district and the Syracuse Teachers Association valid through June 30, 2014[10]

Salary structure
Step Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
0 42,052 47,002
5 50,265 55,665
10 55,270 60,670
15 60,430 65,830
20 65,930 71,330
25 71,430 76,830

Schools in district


The district served 19,713 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year. The district experienced a 1.8% decrease in enrollment between 2009 and 2011. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2009 and 2011:[1]

Total enrollment
Year Enrollment Year-to-year change (%)
2009 20,076 -
2010 19,961 -0.6
2011 19,713 -1.2

District schools

Syracuse City School District operates 30 K-12 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[11]

Syracuse City School District
Bellevue Elementary School
Clary Middle School
Corcoran High School
Danforth Middle School
Delaware Elementary School
Dr. King Elementary School
Dr. Weeks Elementary School
Ed Smith K-8 School
Expeditionary Learning Middle School
Fowler High School
Franklin Elementary School
Frazer K-8 School
Grant Middle School
Henninger High School
Hughes Elementary School
Huntington K-8 School
HW Smith K-8 School
Institute of Technology at Central
LeMoyne Elementary School
Lincoln Middle School
McKinley-Brighton Elementary School
Meachem Elementary School
Nottingham High School
Porter Elementary School
Roberts Pre-K-8 School
Salem Hyde Elementary School
Seymour Dual Language Academy
Van Duyn Elementary School
Webster Elementary School
Westside Academy at Blodgett

Academic performance

The New York State Education Department facilitates assessment of student performance throughout the state in English Language Arts and Mathematics. These annual evaluations determine where students fit into the State Testing Program's standards for grades 3 through 8 and high school. The following tables detail how Syracuse City School District compared to state averages across grade cohorts in both categories with percentages indicating students who reached Level 2 or higher on state tests:[1]

Student Proficiency Levels, English Language Arts, 2011-2012
Grade Syracuse (%) New York (%)
3 60 86
4 71 91
5 63 89
6 66 89
7 70 92
8 70 93
High school 63 84

Student Proficiency Levels, Mathematics, 2011-2012
Grade Syracuse (%) New York (%)
3 67 91
4 74 95
5 67 93
6 66 92
7 62 91
8 68 93
High school 71 87

Defining performance indicators

The New York State Testing Program assesses student performance based on a four-point scale for each test category:[1]

  • Level 1: Below Standard: Student performance does not demonstrate an understanding of the academic discipline for a particular grade level.
  • Level 2: Meets Basic Standard: Student performance demonstrates a partial understanding of the academic discipline for a particular grade level.
  • Level 3: Meets Proficiency Standard: Student performance demonstrates an understanding of the academic discipline for a particular grade level.
  • Level 4: Exceeds Proficiency Standard: Student performance demonstrates a thorough understanding of the academic discipline for a particular grade level.


Lawsuit by former employee

Pearlene Amica, a former vice principal at Lincoln Middle School, sued the Board of Education and district officials for wrongful termination in May 2013. The district fired Amica after investigating four occasions of alleged incompetence including a strip search of a student suspected of carrying drugs and a mishandling of several confrontations in the school. New York Supreme Court Justice Donald Greenwood issued a decision in August 2013 that supported the district's decision, citing a thorough three-day hearing into the allegations against Amica.[12]

Contact information

Syracuse City SD Logo.gif
Syracuse Board of Education
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone: (315) 435-4691

Website evaluation

Taxes N
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Budget N
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Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Contracts P
Audits N
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Public Records N
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Academics N
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Background Checks

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Transparency grading process

See also: Evaluation of New York school district websites

The good

  • Board of Education committee meeting schedules and minutes are available.[8]
  • An employee directory provides position and contact information for all District administrative employees.[13]
  • The website includes bargaining unit employee contracts.
  • Background check information is provided on available employment applications.

The bad

  • Local tax information is not available.
  • District budgets are not posted online.
  • Bids, RFPs, and current contracts are not available.
  • District audits are not posted.
  • There is no information on requesting public records.
  • Academic performance information is not available.

See also

External links

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