BOE Meeting February 23

The Spackenkill Union Free School District’s Board of Education will hold a Long Range Planning Meeting on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at Orville A. Todd Middle School Dining Hall.  A Budget Discussion is on the agenda:  General Fund and Projection Update. There will also be a presentation on the K-12 Music Program by music staff and an AIS Presentation by Dr. Lori Mulford.

The community is welcome and always encouraged to attend. For information about any BOE meeting presentations, please visit the BoardDocs section of this website, which is located under the Board of Education drop-down menu, or CLICK HERE.

STEM Family Day Is Feb. 27

 Click here to watch a video about STEM.

Our 2nd annual STEM day will be held at Todd Middle School on Saturday, February 27 from 10 am until 1 pm.  Everyone in the community is invited to come out and enjoy a fun day filled with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math learning activities. Expect hands-on activity stations and demos covering a fascinating range of topics. It’s going to be a great day!

 

Budget Forum Set for March 12

On Saturday, March 12 at 10 am (snowdate March 14, 7 pm), Spackenkill will hold a Budget Forum at Todd Middle School. The conversations will be used to guide the Board of Education as it continues the 2016-2017 budget formation process. For more information on how to participate, please contact District Clerk Nancy Melilli at nancy.melilli@sufsdny.org.

The community is welcome and always encouraged to attend. For information about any BOE meeting presentations, please visit the BoardDocs section of this website, which is located under the Board of Education drop-down menu, or CLICK HERE.

Ed Tech Summit a Success

 

 

On Saturday, February 6, some 70 educators and school staff  from around the Hudson Valley descended on Spackenkill High School for the Educational Technology Summit. The event, co-hosted by The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education (NYSCATE), focused on Google Apps for Education, a suite of productivity tools for classroom collaboration. Popular sessions included Google Apps for Struggling Learners, Google Apps for the iPad, The Latest and Greatest iPad Apps for Education,  and Best Elementary IPad Apps. Teachers were also trained in Google Sites, a webpage creation tool.  Google Cardboard, an evolving technology with potential for making virtual field trips possible, offered a look into the future of virtual and augmented reality of images.

CLICK HERE to view a gallery of images of the day.

 


 

 

Addiction Education Assembly at SHS


The Council on Addiction Prevention & Education (CAPE) of Dutchess County will be holding an assembly in the Spackenkill High School auditorium on February 17 at 7 pm (snow date February 18) for our community. We encourage our parents/guardians and community members to attend, as substance abuse is a significant concern in our society today, and it is only through awareness and education that we will be able to make positive strides forward in fighting this epidemic.  The mission of CAPE is to promote the prevention and reduction of addictions and substance abuse.  CAPE will also be holding an assembly for high school students, teachers, and staff members at 9 am on February 17 in the high school auditorium. For additional information about the organization please visit capedc.org
 

More Headline News

Heartsaver CPR/AED Course Open to the Community

  The Heartsaver course will be offered to all community members on March 9, 2016 from 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.  It is a classroom, video-based, instructor-led course that teaches adult and child CPR and AED use, as well as how to relieve choking on an adult. This course teaches skills with American Heart Association’s research-proven Practice-While-Watching (PWW) technique, which allows instructors to observe the students, provide feedback, and guide the students’ learning of skills. Course is limited to the first 30 that register and there will be a $5 processing fee. To register please contact Marco Lanzoni at 845-463-7824.    


Town of Poughkeepsie Police Warn of Phone Scam

The Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department warns citizens about Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scams that have been common and will likely increase during tax season. This type of scam is intended to steal your money and/or personal information.Typically a caller (scammer) impersonating the IRS will claim that you owe back taxes or that there is a warrant for your arrest due to non-payment and threaten you with arrest, jail time, or license suspension if you don’t provide payment immediately. An alternative method is the scammer may claim you’re owed a refund from the IRS and request your personal information to process it. Be aware that the caller may use spoofing software that disguises the caller ID, and the caller ID could appear as the “Internal Revenue Service” or display its phone number. READ MORE


Transportation Requests for 2016-17 School Year

Parents and guardians must have requests for private providers for the 2016-17 school year to the Spackenkill USFD Transportation Department by April 1, 2016. Requests must be filed every year.  For more information, please call Doreen Wright, Director of Transportation: 463-7800.

Assessment Requirements and State Aid

CLICK HERE to read a memo sent by the office of the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education to chief state education officers regarding state assessment data.

CLICK HERE to read a letter to Secretary of Education John King from the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents. The letter addresses the consequences for not meeting the participation rates in state testing and the potential loss of state aid.


Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration will take place on February 17 and 18 at Nassau School from 9:30 am to 2 pm. CLICK HERE to learn more. 


Athletic Jersey Retirement Nominations

The retirement of an athletic jersey is a Spackenkill District honor that is bestowed upon former student athletes for extraordinary athletic performance.  Nominations will be accepted from January 1 through March 31. Please contact the Spackenkill High School Athletics Department with questions at (845) 463-7824.

Click here for more information and to download nomination form


Public Input Sought on District Policies

The Board is beginning its review of the policies in the 5000 series and is seeking feedback from the community. Please send all feedback to nancy.melilli@sufsdny.org

CLICK HERE to view the policies.


Superintendent Search

At a Special Meeting of the Spackenkill Board of Education on December 17, the Board appointed Dr. Richard Hooley, the Dutchess BOCES Superintendent, as the consultant for the superintendent search. Spackenkill District Superintendent Dr. Lois Powell will retire on January 17, 2017.


Parent Fall 2015 Survey Results

CLICK HERE to read the complete results of the Parent Survey.

CLICK HERE for Nassau Elementary survey results.

CLICK HERE for Hagan Elementary survey results.

CLICK HERE for Todd Middle School survey results.

CLICK HERE for Spackenkill High School survey results.


Strategic Plan 2015-2020

CLICK HERE to read the Board-approved SUFSD Strategic Plan for 2015-2020.


School Breakfast Program Open to All

We encourage your child(ren) to take advantage of our breakfast program, which can be enjoyed upon arrival at school. If you should have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact Food and Nutrition Services @ 463-7836 or email lisa.french@sufsdny.org


Smart Schools Bond Act Investment Plan

CLICK HERE to read the Board-approved Smart Schools Bond Act Investment Plan for SUFSD.


Comptroller's Audit

Attached is a copy of the most recent Comptroller’s Audit of the Spackenkill Union Free School District. CLICK HERE for the audit.

The Board of Education and District Administration strive to follow the highest standards of fiscal management and ethical practices. 

It is important to note that State Auditors found no instances of fraud or misrepresentation of our financial statements.

It is also important to note that none of the district’s reserves are prohibited by New York State and our independent auditors and management of the school district do not believe they are excessive. 

The audit report addresses several items concerning financial condition and includes inferences that district officials and the Board of Education have made it a practice of overfunding reserves.  It is important to keep in mind that reserves are authorized by the Board of Education and reviewed annually by the district’s independent external auditors.  . 

In January 2015, the district received, from the Comptroller’s Office, a “0% designation” on the state’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring system for the both the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years.   According to the Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System Fact Sheet, “the system is designed to identify where an entity is headed so the decision-makers are not merely responding to a crisis.  Instead, they are taking deliberate, long-term and strategic approaches to managing the affairs of their local government.”  This has been the long-term historic approach that the district has taken with respect to budgeting and managing fund balance and reserves.

Since the implementation of the tax cap the district has been consciously using reserves in a conservative manner in order to not only stay below the tax cap but as to not deplete reserves in a manner that could be considered fiscally imprudent and cause fiscal stress on future budgets.  The concern is further complicated by the revenue challenges districts are facing in having uncertain long-term state aid projections.  

The 2014-2015 independent audit found no issues. CLICK HERE for the link to that audit.


Weather-Related Closing Information

Please be aware that the district now has the option of calling both 2- and 3-hour delays during the 2015-2016 school year.  There are also changes with SchoolMessenger, our automated calling service, which provides timely communication to parents and staff members on such matters as weather-related closings and delays, attendance, general-interest activities, and district emergencies. Upon registration in our district, only the household telephone number will be sent to the SchoolMessenger system to receive emergency or weather-related school closing information. Families are asked to sign up with a SchoolMessenger account to customize their contact information and provide additional phone numbers and email addresses. By the beginning of October, all families will receive a letter with the necessary instructions to create or access their accounts. Opt-out information will be included in the mailing. Please note, new this school year: General-interest messages will not be sent by a phone call or text message.  To receive non-emergency messages, please add an email address to your SchoolMessenger account. 


Letter from Assemblymember Didi Barrett

CLICK HERE to read a letter from Assemblymember Didi Barrett to the Spackenkill Board of Education.


Letter to Officials Regarding Tax Credit Bill

CLICK HERE to read letters opposing the tax credit bill from the Spackenkill Board of Education to Assemblymember Didi Barrett and Senator Sue Serino.


For Your Information: Passing a Stopped School Bus Traffic Violation

Spackenkill wants to remind all parents, adults, and driving students that passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights while on school grounds (private road) or roadways is a traffic violation. Every person convicted of the first violation will be punished by a fine of $250 to $400 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days or by both fine and imprisonment.  Additional traffic violations increase both fine and time of imprisonment.  Such violation may also result in a five-point penalty on one’s driver’s license.  School district grounds are not exempt from these laws.  This information is shared in the interest of safety for all students and as a reminder to those who violate the law what passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights can cost in fines and points.  We wouldn’t want this to happen to any of our community members.


Spackenkill Receives Excellence Award

On March 26, 2015,  the Spackenkill District was awarded the 2014 Silver Excellence Award from Partners in Performance Excellence (PiPEx), a Baldrige Enterprise Member. The award recognizes Spackenkill for its leadership, management, and operational practices in the field of education. It was the first time a New York State district has received this honor in more than 20 years. This ceremony took place in the high school auditorium and showcased the best of Spackenkill. District Board members past and present, staff, students, and the community were present for this special occasion. Honored guests included Lydia Biskup, Director of District Operations for Senator Sue Serino's office, who presented Spackenkill with a Senate Proclamation honoring the school district, and Kimberly Usewicz, a representative from Assemblywomen Didi Barrett's office, who read a New York State Assembly Citation thanking the district for "working to ensure that the members of our next generation are prepared to be thoughtful, engaged community leaders." 

CLICK HERE for a gallery of images.

CLICK HERE for the Hudson Valley News Network story about the event.


District Earns Safety Award

For the third consecutive year, the Spackenkill Union Free School District has won the Utica National Insurance Group's School Safety Excellence Award, titanium level, the highest distinction. The honor recognizes the school district's' safety efforts as we work to keep students, staff, and visitors safe. SUFSD officials accepted a certificate to commemorate the safety efforts and a $500 award for use in furthering those efforts


Letter from New Yorkers United for Kids

It has come to our attention that families in the district recently received a letter from an organization called New Yorkers United for Kids. The District was in no way involved with this mailing, and we are looking into how addresses might have been obtained.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the letter sent by New Yorkers United for Kids.


District Recognized for Music Program

For the third consecutive year, the Spackenkill district has received a 2015 Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation. The award reflects the district's commitment to music education and recognizes Spackenkill's program as among the best in the nation. LEARN MORE.


Spackenkill Mobile App Debuts

Check out our new Spackenkill mobile app! It’s available for both Android and iOS devices. CLICK HERE for the link. The app can always be found in the right sidebar of our district homepage or you can search for it in Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store. This app makes it easy to find information from our website when using a mobile device. Just go into the settings and choose the buildings about which you want to get news and information. You can find bus routes, team schedules, cafeteria menus, and upcoming events for each school. You’ll also have easy access to our eSchool mobile site, SchoolMessenger, and our Facebook page. Download the app today and see for yourself!


Letters to Officials Regarding Proposed Education Reforms

CLICK HERE to read letters to Governo Andrew Cuomo, Senator Sue Serino and Assemblymember Didi Barrett regarding proposed education reforms.



Parents' Bill of Rights

The purpose of the Parents’ Bill of Rights is to inform parents of the legal requirements regarding privacy, security and use of student data . CLICK HERE to read the document.


New Service of Dutchess County HELPLINE

The Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene has expanded its 24-hour HELPLINE service to include texting.   Dutchess TEXTS is designed as an alternate way to access mental health assistance since many people, particularly young adults and teenagers, often prefer to text rather than talk on the phone.    Young people can access support services by texting “DMH” to 741 741 READ MORE..


BOE Approves Veterans' Exemption

A partial exemption from school taxes for veterans has been approved by the Spackenkill Board of Education.   Military veterans may receive an exemption based upon their type and time of service.  The default exemptions were approved for Spackenkill veterans. READ MORE


Food Service Account Allows Parents to Manage Food Choices

If your child has a dietary restriction or allergy that you would like listed on their NutriKids/MySchoolBucks account or if you wish to limit or block the purchase of a specific food item, please contact the Spackenkill Food Service Department at 463-7836 or lisa.french@sufsdny.org.
CLICK HERE for the School Lunch web section

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