Keene Central School and More

This section provides information on our public school and CV Tech (our job track school).  Scroll further down for info about pre-schools, private schools, and area colleges.

Keene Central School, our public school

kcs-drawingThe Keene Central School is our K-12 public school. It currently has about 165 students using the new building finished in 2001. In many ways, the school is the heart and soul of the Town.  

Several hundred people come to the Keene Central School everyday making KCS the social heart of the Town. It is one of the largest employers in Keene. Students have rich and supportive social interactions across ages as well as within each grade. The sports calendar and the arts programs are equally valued and enjoy broad community support. The educational programs are tied to the special sense of place one gets from living here, and growing up here. It is even supported by the High Peaks Education Foundation that funds a variety of special programs outside the school budget.

The high school is winning awards, and is currently ranked #17 of 700+ public high schools in the State.  The NY State issues a report card on KCS and is called the  comphrensive report.  It gives you a good sense of how the school ranks vs other NY State districts on all sorts of measures.  There are scholarships available for KCS graduate’s continuing education.

An independent review on the Great Schools website gives it a rare score of 9 points on a scale of 1 – 10 which is significantly better than any of the adjacent school districts.

Dan Mayberry is the KCS Superintendent and the person to reach (518-576-4555) for a school tour or to register your child for school.

The area public schools also offer tech training with Champlain Valley Educational Services, known as CV Tech. It offers some pretty exceptional programs for students who plan to stay in the area.

The School Budget:   State-wide, school budgets all go to voters on the same day in May.  The total KCS budget for 2014-15 is $5.739 million and it has a few large buckets. State aid pays for $762,000, which is quite a small share compared to neighboring districts.  No school budget has been voted down since the 1980s.

In 2014 there were 175 students, cost per student was about $32,000 which was half of some smaller districts in the Park.  Entering kindergarten vary a lot in size from year to year. There are typically 4-6 foreign students that pay tuition.  36 students live locally, but outside the district and pay tuition to attend the school.

The big spending categories are these:

Teacher salaries, text books, etc,   $2.2 million
Health insurance, social security, and retirement benefits   $1.5 million
Building operation and debt payments  $927,000
Business office, legal, printing, etc,  $466,000
Guidance, health, sports, activities   $305,000
School bus operations   $293,000

Pre-School and Private Schools

Little Peaks is the main pre-school program for families in and around Keene.  It runs a program 5 days a week for preschool children and is currently located in the Keene Community Center (the former school on Church Street in Keene).  Little Peaks has a close working relationship with the Keene Central School and is the site of the KCS Universal Preschool Program which means children in that category do not pay any tuition.  Kathrine Brown is the Director and can be reached at 315-854-2247 and by writing Little Peaks, Inc, PO Box 261, Keene, NY 12942

Private schools in the area are all in or near Lake Placid

North Country School  is a boarding school, for about 80 students in grades 4-9, plus some day students.  It is located on Cascade Road near the bobsled run.  They also have some day students.

Northwood School  is a boarding school in Lake Placid for 175 students in grades 9-12 and it is more international than the others.  It also has day students.

St. Agnes School is the catholic day school in Lake Placid, grades K-3.  It is small and there is often talk about closing it but it continues at the moment.

Mountain Lake Academy is a special needs boarding school with 44 students in grades 7-12 near Lake Placid.

Lakeside School at Black Kettle Farm is only 6-7 miles further away, and in the opposite direction, toward Lake Champlain in Essex.  It has about 40 students pre-school through 3rd grade. It also offers day care for children 1.5-3yo which could help if you work in the Essex area.  It also runs a parent-child class and summer camp. It is a Waldorf inspired school on a working farm.

Post-Secondary Education

SUNY Plattsburgh is a 4 year college, part of the State University of New York; it has many continuing education opportunities and online classes.

Paul Smith’s College near Saranac Lake offers 2 and 4 year programs.  The biggest programs are in forestry and hospitality/culinary arts.  They claim a great job placement record.

North Country Community College is the area community college located in Saranac Lake.

Clinton Community College is also a 2 year school located at I-87 exit 35, 4 miles south of Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain.

Also nearby by are Clarkson University, St Lawrence University, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton.  All area colleges are constantly adding new programs aimed at skills suitable for jobs in the region.

Online Education

Online college offerings are also becoming common.  Given our exceptional network in Keene, you can do this from home and save the cost of residential college.

There are so many, and reputations so variable, that the best thing we can show you here are some guides: