At one time, the Town of Colonie was wilderness. Through three centuries, it progressed from a Dutch patroonship to a fairly prosperous farming community to a major suburb and commercial center.
As it grew through the colonial period, the revolutionary times, the industrial era and into today's information age, Colonie became the focus of an industrial, scientific, educational, transportation and service-oriented network.
As the town grew, so did its schools.
The present South Colonie Central School District began with six common school districts: West Albany, Roessleville, Colonie Village, Maywood, Karner and Shaker Road. They all shared the same high school - the Union Free Roessleville High School.
Roessleville High School served grades 7-12 and had its first graduation class in 1933. It served the growing suburban area well, in spite of half-day sessions for much of its existence.
The six common districts were centralized in 1949; voters approved the new district by a margin of 1,083-680.
The initial budget for the new district was $437,070, and there were 1,953 children attending six district schools. The district owned three buses and two others were used under contract.
In 1949, the salary for teachers was $2,650; substitute teachers were paid $12 a day; and bus drivers made $1.50 an hour.
The Board of Education approved buying 55 acres of land at the end of Hackett Boulevard in 1950. Colonie Central High School was built there and replaced Roessleville High School in 1954.
Over the years, the district has opened new schools, built onto old ones, closed schools, reopened schools and sold schools to meet the ever changing populations. District's enrollment grew to about 8,750 students in the early 1970s. Then enrollment began to decrease to about 5,200 in the mid-1980s. During the district's 50th anniversary celebration in 1999, enrollment grew to nearly 6,000 students. Today, enrollments have declined again to a little under 5,000 students.