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Rigorous Academics & Thematic Learning

Funds for Expanded Financial Aid Now Available for 2024-2025

May 14, 2024
By Saratoga Independent School

Saratoga Independent School hosted its annual fundraising event, Big Night Out, on Friday, May 3rd, at the Saratoga Automobile Museum. A Live Auction and Paddle Raise generated significant funds to expand the financial aid program. "The goal of the evening was to increase opportunities for students to access the exceptional education we provide here, regardless of financial constraints. We're thrilled to have such a generous community of sponsors and families who helped us to achieve that goal,” noted Bob Ahrens, SIS Head of School. Currently, 20% of the student body of 175 students receive aid at some level.

Saratoga Independent School offers a Pre-K through 8th grade private, day school education. Students attend from a 30-mile radius, including six school districts that bus students daily. “Our commitment to individualized attention is a cornerstone of our educational approach, with an average class size of twelve students. This ensures that each student receives the support and guidance they need to thrive academically and personally” added Ahrens. The small school community also translates to a student having multiple faculty and staff members available to support the student and get to know their interests and needs. “Our 60-acre campus provides students with plenty of outdoor learning, while we remain focused on teaching a strong curriculum that helps students build a foundation for a love of learning as well as comprehension for a successful future,” noted Ahrens. “We recognize that many students thrive in the environment we have created at SIS and we want that opportunity to be available to more students, regardless of their financial situation”.

Families interested in attending Saratoga Independent School for the 2024-2025 school year are encouraged to contact Colleen Fortune, Director of Admissions, to learn more about the school, schedule a tour, and begin the enrollment and financial aid process. Contact or 518.583.0841 Ext. 321.

World Languages at SIS: An Interview with Madame Brie / Señora Brie (Briana Kuruzovich)

October 05, 2023
By Saratoga Independent School

Madame / Señora Brie has been a part of the SIS family since 2019, when she began teaching in the after school French Club, officially joining the faculty in 2021 teaching both Spanish and French. In this blog, we learn about the inspiration and approach to world language learning at SIS!

Q: What inspired you to teach languages?

A:  I've always loved geography, traveling, and exploring new cultures. I also love to learn new things and consider myself a lifelong learner. And I enjoy sharing all of that with others. Two things inspired me to learn and teach languages the most: My Cajun relatives, who spoke a language that I could not understand as a child but which fascinated me, and a month I spent traveling all around Europe when I was nine years old. I had never traveled by airplane up until that point, so going so far away and seeing so many new cultures and languages made a big impression on me and made me want to learn more about ways of life that are different from my own. 

Q: Why is it important that SIS is committed to teaching students Spanish at an early age?

A: I love that SIS is committed to starting world language at an early age since childhood is the best time to learn a new language! Not only will children remember new phrases easily, but they organically come to the realization that people all over the world are different and that there's no one "right way" to speak or to be. Students learn that people think differently through the lens of their language. For example, in many languages, the word "ball" is different depending on the type of ball. Is it small and hard? Inflated? In English, we can get by with the word "ball" in both cases, but in some languages, a greater distinction is made. This shows that people categorize things in the world depending on what language they speak. The idea that we don't all see things the same way, and that's OK, is fundamental to language learning. 

Q: What techniques do you find most effective?

A: In an effort to make learning a foreign language as natural for our students as possible, Señora Chocolate and I provide comprehensible input. That means the language they hear in class is at a level slightly above their ability but can be understood through visuals, context, cognates, etc. Therefore, foreign language learning mimics the way students learned their native language, by hearing speech repeatedly and gaining understanding naturally. One way I do this with the younger students is by mirroring what they are doing in their other classes but in Spanish. So every class starts with introductory songs paired with movement, and we talk about the calendar and the weather. Tons of vocabulary is embedded in this: greetings and responses in our songs, numbers as we count to the date, the colors of the numbers on the calendar, the days of the week, and obviously weather expressions and seasonal vocabulary. The kids start picking up on these things quickly, and before long they can say "It's sunny" without ever having been taught it explicitly because they have been hearing and using these words in an organic way.

Q: How is the addition of French impacting our students?

A:  I think it's important for students to be able to choose the language they pursue. The more interested a student is, the better they are likely to do. People might have a strong interest in one or the other - maybe they like the sound of a certain language, maybe it's family heritage - whatever the case may be, it's good to have options. Sometimes parents worry that children will get confused learning multiple languages, but that is the best time to do it! Our brains were designed to pick up language. Students who take both Spanish and French will notice many similarities due to their Latin origin and generally seem to have an easier time with the second foreign language since they already have somewhat of a base in the first. Studies have proven that being multilingual strengthens cognitive abilities, as well as makes people more tolerant towards other cultures. I tell my students that knowing more than one language is a superpower!

A Guide to Family Internet Safety & Cybersecurity

May 05, 2022
By Saratoga Independent School
We have all spent a little more time online than we ever have in the past two years.  COVID and remote learning exposed children to the internet to learn and interact with teachers and fellow students. The question now is how do we keep them safe and teach internet safety?

What are the top online threats for kids?

According to, below are the three top online threats to kids.  COVID and remote learning exposed children to the internet to learn and interact with teachers and fellow students.
1. Cyberbullying: More than 36% of kids aged 12–17 have been cyberbullied at some point in their life, and nearly 15% have bullied someone else online. Cyberbullying is any aggressive, threatening, or mean-spirited activity conducted via electronic communication (email, social media posts, text messages, etc.). Girls are more likely to be the victims of cyberbullying, and more boys admit to bullying others online.
2. Online predators: Adults who use the internet to entice children for sexual or other types of abusive exploitation are considered online predators. Child victims can be as young as 1 or as old as 17. When it comes to online enticement, girls make up the majority (78%) of child victims—while the majority (82%) of online predators are male. And 98% of online predators have never met their child targets in real life.
3. Exposure to inappropriate content: Inappropriate content is one of the most common online threats that kids encounter. Everything from vulgar language and hate speech to graphically violent or sexual images can have a harmful effect on an impressionable child. Over 55% of tweens (kids aged 10–12) have been exposed to violent content on the internet, and nearly 60% have come across sexually explicit words or images.

4 Ways to Keep Kids Safe on the Internet

Children and parents should explore the internet together and decide what websites/apps are acceptable for the family. Families should also discuss online behavior and how to navigate situations that may occur. 
  • Restrict electronics in the bedroom. Perhaps create a space in the house like an internet café where the family can all enjoy online time playing games or researching for school projects. Create a shared email account for easy monitoring. Monitor or disconnect camera and photo apps on all devices.
  • Reinforce that providing personal information online is dangerous. Never share pictures or personal information, such as where you go to school, take piano lessons, or play a sport.
  • Discuss the positives and negatives of social media. Monitor your child’s “friends” list and talk to the parents of your child’s friends, so you are all on the same page regarding what is acceptable. 
  • Create a dialogue that allows your child to come to you in any situation, even if they may have made a mistake. Most parents were unaware of cyberbullying or related issues until it was too late. Encourage your child to stay safe and let them know they have your full support if they encounter an unsafe situation.  

What can you do to keep your family safe?

It can be easy for kids to be given electronics at an early age, and parents should limit screen time and monitor what children have access to on their devices. Don’t be afraid to ask your children questions if you find questionable activity.
Ensure that all devices, software, and firmware are up to date. Companies frequently release security patches, so downloading updates is critical.
There are many tools for parents and guardians to help children with online safety:
Find tutorials here to help you maximize built-in privacy settings and content blockers. 
Take some time to chat with your kids about the internet and enjoy the benefits of an open discussion.
Special thanks to Trooper Steven M. Rothwein, NYS Police Troop G, School & Community Outreach Coordinator, and the people at for their expertise, excellent suggestions, and dedication to keeping kids safe.

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