BOE Update

At the Board of Education Reorganizational/Regular Meeting on July 1, Thomas Keith was elected Board president, while Dr. James Willoughby became vice president. Melissa Dominick was sworn in as a new BOE Member.

The BOE will hold its Retreat on Tuesday,  July 29  @ 6 pm at Nassau Elementary School. On the same day at 8 pm, there will be a Regular Meeting in the Nassau Conference Room.

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.

Volunteers Needed for School Avoidance Committee

The School Avoidance Committee will address the increasing problem of school avoidance, which results in poor attendance and failing grades. The charge of the School Avoidance Committee is to draft a proposal of suggestions on how schools, parents, and clinicians can work together to reduce factors that lead to school avoidance as well as develop effective strategies to reintegrate a student back into the school environment.

Participation in the committee is voluntary.  Interested parties should contact Heidi Huczel at or 463-7810.

CLICK HERE to read more about the committee.

2014 Celebration of Successes

On June 18, the 2014 Celebration of Successes event took place at the Board of Education meeting. The event honored students and staff who excelled over the 2013-2014 school year. Congratulations to all who participated! View galleries of the evening's events:

CL:ICK HERE for photos of Nassau Elementary School successes.

CL:ICK HERE for photos of Hagan Elementary School successes.

CL:ICK HERE for photos of Todd Middle School successes.

CLICK HERE for photos of Spackenkill High School successes.

CLICK HERE for photos of Atheltics successes.

Senator Terry Gipson Honors Nassau Students

State Senator Terry Gipson honored Nassau students Eva and Mischa Parsons, grades K and 1, respectively, at an assembly on June 23rd. The sisters won the 2014 Earth Day Poster Contest sponsored by the New York State Senate for the 41st Senatorial District. Students from schools all over Dutchess and Putnam counties from K to high school submitted entries. The sisters created their winning design using composted kitchen scraps and newsprint. The poster spells out the message “I Love Earth" using a heart symbol.  Pictured above with Senator Gipson (center) are Eva and Mischa (holding poster) with their younger sisters and parents, Simona Cohen and Bill Parsons.

At the assembly, the senator answered questions posed by the classes of teachers Colleen Drummond and Mary McGurl. The students sang two patriotic songs for their visitor. When Senator Gipson asked the students why it’s important to celebrate our Earth, one replied, “So it won’t be all messy and full of trash everywhere.” Another said, “When someone throws something down, just clean it up.”


District Earns Environmental & Safety Excellence Awards


At the June 17 BOE meeting, SUFSD was presented with an Environmental Excellence Award by Chuck Fasnacht, President of Cenergistic's College and University Division. The district has achieved a 24 percent cost savings totaling $348,616 in 29 months since forming a strategic alliance with Cenergistic, a national energy conservation company. Fasnacht commended the district for being a good steward of the environment and recognized Energy Manager Chris Hamel for implementing an organizational behavior-based approach to energy conservation. The program delivers an environmental benefit from a reduced carbon footprint. Energy not used prevents the emission of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Pictured above are the "Power Partners" of grades 3 through 5, who helped Mr. Hamel raise awareness of the energy conservation program, along with (from left) Dr. Powell, Mr. Hamel, and Mr. Fasnacht.

The district also earned a 2014 School Safety Excellence Award, which was presented by John Lauffer, Senior Risk Management Representative for Utica National Insurance Group. The honor, presented annually, recognizes school districts'  efforts as they work to keep students, staff, and visitors safe. Spackenkill was one of 133 school districts and BOCES in New York State to receive the award. As it did last year, Spackenkill earned titanium, the highest level of meritorious distinction.

SHS Senior to Present Study at National Conference

Spackenkill High School senior James Hannon has researched a scientific study that will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and has been accepted into the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology conference in Boston this September.  He is pictured here with his science teachers Amy Matts (on left) and Jennifer Maloney. Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment!


Titled “Establishing Normal Ejection Fraction Across Multiple Cardiac Imaging Modalities,” the study centers on the value Ejection Fraction (EF), which represents how much blood is left in the heart after a complete contraction and expansion.   The study’s goal was to determine how large the differences are between various imaging modalities’ EF average and to see whether or not a universal range for all should continue to be used or individual ranges should be created for each type of imaging.

Mentored by Dr. Steven R. Bergmann at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and working over a time period of two summers, James gathered data from eight different imaging modalities: 2D & 3D Echocardiography, Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), gated blood pool SPECT, Computed Tomography (CT), Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CMRI), Multi Detector Computed Tomography (MDCT), Multi gated Acquisition (MUGA), and catheterization.   He entered data into a spreadsheet and then constructed tables to show side-by-side comparisons of all eight modalities.  Although small, there were noticeable changes between the values of certain modalities that could affect patient prognosis if not considered.

“ I have always found cardiology fascinating and also my grandfather passed away from a heart attack. This gave me a desire to find out more about the functions of the heart,” says James. “My uncle is an interventional cardiologist in Massachusetts and he has also aided in me choosing this topic.”  He will be attending SUNY Oswego this fall and intends to major in biology  with a minor in history.


More Wins For Spackenkill

The baseball team won the Section IX  Class B title for the 4th consecutive year, beating Rhinebeck 4-1 on May 31. Shasche Allen finished 1st in the 200-meter run and long jump this weekend at the track state qualifying event. She will compete in the state championship June 6th in Syracuse. Congratulations to all!


All Call for Citizens Advisory Committee Members

The Spackenkill Union Free School District is announcing an “All Call” for membership on the district’s citizens advisory committees (see policy 1117).  If you have a willingness to volunteer and have interest, experience, and/or expertise in a particular area, please consider applying.  We have designed the application to make the process as simple as possible.  If you are already serving on a committee, please re-apply.  Members will serve one-year renewable terms.

  • CLICK HERE for Audit Committee Application.
  • CLICK HERE for Budget Survey Committee Application.
  • CLICK HERE for Health and Wellness Committee Application.
  • CLICK HERE for Safety Committee Application.

More Headline News

Property Tax Freeze Credit

The Property Tax Freeze Credit is a two-year tax relief program that reimburses qualifying New York State homeowners for increases in local property taxes on their primary residences. SUFSD is in compliance for year 1. Taxpayers will be entitled to a refund from the state in the fall of 2014. CLICK HERE for more information.

Change in Immunization Requirements

The New York State Department of Health has adjusted the requirements for immunizations effective July 1, 2014. CLICK HERE to read about the new requirements.

YMCA Summer Enrichment Program Canceled

The YMCA of  Dutchess & Eastern Orange regrets that the Spackenkill Summer Enrichment Program for summer 2014 has been canceled because of lack of registrations.  If you have any questions about other YMCA programs, plesae contact Dorothy Mitchell at 845-266-4329 or e-mail her at

State of the District

On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Dr. Powell presented the State of the District Report.

CLICK HERE to read the document..

Parent Feedback Welcome

Parents recently received a letter in the mail dated May 16, 2014, asking for feedback about the district. The letter and the feedback form are posted below.

CLICK HERE for feedback letter.
CLICK HERE for feedback form.

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...

8th Annual Science Symposium Set for May 27

On Tuesday, May 27, join us for the Science Research Symposium, which will take place at 6:30 pm at the high school. Guest speaker Ian Matts, an MIT Energy Fellow and Spackenkill graduate, will make a presentation on his battery research. Senior students will present Powerpoints on their original research. CLICK HERE for all the details.

Dutchess County Community Forum on Prescription Drug & Opiate Abuse

On Monday, May 19, join Dutchess County families and experts to learn about preventing and treating substance abuse.This event is free and open to the public and will take place at Locust Grove, 2683 South Road (Route 9), Poughkeepsie, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

CLICK HERE to read the flyer.

SUFSD Board of Education Approves Resolution

At the April 22 Board of Education meeting, the Testing, Common Core, and Privacy Resolution was approved.

                                                         CLiCK HERE to read the resolution.

Consequences of Objections to Standardized Testing

Read an article by the New York State Association of School Attorneys regarding standardized testing and the consequences for school districts when students refuse to take state assessments.

                                                          CLICK HERE to read the article.

Curriculum Update

The Spackenkill Union Free School District will begin the process of developing and revising grade-level and subject-area curriculum maps.

CLICK HERE to read a letter from the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and PPS.

Spackenkill Rates High for Financial Stability

The state Office of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report on the financial stability of school districts in New York. Spackenkill ranked 643 out of 674 districts, in the top 5% statewide. SUFSD also has the best financial stability among school districts in Dutchess County. VIEW A CHART OF COMPARSIONS.  

Additional information can be found at the NYS Comptroller's website.


New York state schools' financial ratings: Look up, compare school districts (1/16/14, The Post-Standard)

NYS 2014-2015 Legislative Changes Regarding Common Core and Student Privacy

The New York State Legislature recently passed its 2014-2015 budget, which contains provisions impacting our district and students. The new legislation features a number of changes with regard to the implementation of the Common Core and student data privacy. We have outlined the key provisions, which are effective as of April 1, 2014 (unless otherwise noted), as follows. READ MORE.

Summer Jobs Program

Spackenkill Union Free School District is now accepting applications from college students and high school juniors and seniors for the Summer Jobs Program. Applications for positions to assist custodians and grounds personnel can be obtained at the District Office at 15 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. Applicants must have a valid New York State Driver’s license. Call (845) 463-7800 for more information. Applications are due June 1.

BOE Approves Veterans' Exemption

At the February 25 Board meeting, a partial exemption from school taxes for veterans was 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
CLICK HERE for the School Lunch web section

BOE Welcomes Feedback on Policies: 9000 Series

The Spackenkill Board of Education is currently reviewing the 9000 policy series. This series includes the arrangements for meeting procedures, duties of officers, quorum, terms of office of members, and the like. Feedback is welcome. Policies on BoardDocs

UPDATE: EngageNY Portal Parent Fact Sheet

The EngageNY Portal provides educators, parents, and students with access to educational data, curriculum and instructional resources. The updated document includes responses to additional questions raised over the past few weeks in addition to a short summary of the data security and privacy protections in place for the EngageNY Portal. Additional information about the Portal can be found at

READ the Parent Fact Sheet (PDF) | EngageNY Portal Data Dictionary (PDF)

NYSED Commissioner John King Vies for Fewer Standardized Tests

READ the press release at

New York State Seeks to Scale Back Student Testing (10/25/13 - NY Times)

Fair Funding Rally Advocacy Event Focused on Fiscal Crisis in Education

About 500 community members from more than 25 school districts in the Hudson Valley came together on October 2 to learn about the fiscal crisis facing their schools and to find out what they can do about it. VIEW the VIDEO

New Shared Decision-Making Council Created

As a way for all stakeholders of the Spackenkill School District to have a voice about issues, a new council was created. The District Council will meet quarterly throughout the school year. MORE


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