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About Big Cross Street School

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15 Big Cross Street •
Glens Falls, NY 12801
P:792-2619 • F:792-2668


Front of Big Cross Street school

Big Cross Street Elementary School

Big Cross Street School is one of three neighborhood elementary schools within the Glens Falls City School District. Each neighborhood K-4 building provides a safe, caring, and educationally stimulating environment which encourages life-long learning. Our highly qualified faculty and staff members strive to meet the many needs of our children.

Our district-wide curriculum map mirrors the New York State Learning Standards. Remedial reading teachers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, school psychologists, and special education teachers provide added support, so all students can achieve.

The curriculum blueprint also incorporates instruction in music, physical education, computers, and art. Chorus, band, and orchestra are offered in fourth grade. Third and fourth grade students also participate in our gifted and talented program, Project Stretch.

The district takes pride in its character education program which is integrated into daily activities. Parent involvement is strongly encouraged and helps ensure student success.

Mission of Big Cross Elementary

The mission of Big Cross Street School is to provide all children with a quality educational program within a supportive atmosphere. Each student will be challenged to participate fully and actively in the learning process which will foster self-reliance, initiative, imagination, and social acceptance.

Principal's welcome

Welcome to the Big Cross Street Elementary School, where we are committed to educate children academically, socially, and emotionally. I believe this can only be accomplished as a partnership between home, school, and the community. Throughout the school year, we will stress the importance of respect, responsibility, cooperation, compassion, kindness, perseverance, and honesty. These themes will be weaved throughout the year during morning announcements, classroom lessons, and at assemblies. Appropriate behavior on the playground, field trips, and in the cafeteria will also be an important focus. Thank you for your support in our efforts to make Big Cross a school that allows children to grow and reach academic excellence.

The safety and security of your child will continue to be of utmost importance. We encourage parents to come to school and participate in various activities and always want you to feel welcome and a part of our Big Cross community. We do ask that you check in at the main office upon visiting to obtain a visitor's badge. Thank you for your understanding and adherence to our policy.

Please feel free to call me with any questions or concerns you may have at (518) 792-2619.  --Debbie Hall, Principal

history of big cross elementary

As the 1911 term in the Haviland Avenue School drew to a close, the Board of Education and Superintendent Griffith reached the decision to recommend the construction of a three-room school on Big Cross Street. While construction was in progress on the present site in 1911-12, Miss Ruth V. Riley was employed to teach at the Haviland Avenue building. She became Principal of the new building when it opened in the fall of 1912.

During the school year 1927-28, in the first year of Mr. Miller’s tenure as Superintendent, the three room structure was torn down and replaced by a six room building which now forms the central section of the present building. During this year of construction, the pupils were transported by trolley car to the Sanford Street School for their instruction. Following a fire in November of 1949, the building was completely renovated and also enlarged by the addition of locker rooms.

Miss Riley retired in l956 and was succeeded as Principal by Mr. Francis P. O’Toole. The building was expanded in size during the school year l957-58, and was occupied and used while construction was in progress. It included grades 1 - 6 and kindergarten.

Mr. O’Toole retired in January l976, and Mr. Harry Herbold became Principal at that time, sharing his time with Kensington Road School.

With the opening of the new Middle School, on Quade Street, in September l981, the new school housed grades 6, 7 and 8. The former Junior High School, located on Glen Street, which had included grades 7, 8 and 9, was closed and the building was converted to an apartment complex, Heritage Apartments.

Also, beginning in September 1981 the Big Cross Street School contained grades 1 - 5 and kindergarten. The sixth grade had relocated to the new Middle School. Mr. Herbold continued as full-time Principal at Big Cross until June l983, when he retired.

September l983 found Mr. William R. Garrow as Principal. He had attended Big Cross as a student from kindergarten through sixth grade. He returned as a fifth grade teacher in l967, and except for the school year l969-70, when he studied for his Master’s degree, Mr. Garrow taught fifth and sixth grades until l981. After two years at the Middle School he returned as Principal of Big Cross Street School.

The Board of Education voted to a adopt a new building program and ground was broken in the spring of l997. Big Cross was fortunate to receive a new multimedia center (a new library adjoining a computer lab), five new classrooms, an extension to the gym, and many updated mechanical improvements. The addition was needed due to an increase in housing construction and the desire to upgrade our facilities to accommodate change in the twenty-first century.

Mr. Garrow retired in June 1999. He was succeeded by Mrs. Jean McLellan.

Under Mrs. McLellan's tenure she worked with the PTA to raise $50,000 to build a new playground, which is in use today. Mrs. McLellan encouraged all children in regard to developing their creative writing skills. She promoted reading as a learning tool and also as recreation. Mrs. McLellan retired after nine years of service.

In August 2008, Miss Debbie Hall, formerly the school district's Technology Director, was appointed as the new principal. Miss Hall had attended Big Cross during her elementary school years. Miss Hall returned to Big Cross as an administrator with a wealth of experience. Miss Hall previously taught for nine years at the Jackson Heights School at the kindergarten and second grade levels. Miss Hall coached the Glens Falls Girls' Basketball team for six years. In 2008 Miss Hall was the first woman inducted into the Glens Falls Athletic Club's Hall of Fame for excelling as a 4-sport athlete and also as an outstanding coach. Miss Hall's enthusiasm for education and practice of respect is contagious to students, parents, faculty, and support staff.