Dear Putnam Valley Community:
Goodbyes & Hellos: I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation for the many years of dedicated service Jenette Mistretta and Brian Burrow have provided the Putnam Valley School District. We are also saying goodbye to several teachers, support staff, and members of our Transportation Department. We wish them only the best in retirement or as they pursue their future endeavors. This is also an opportunity to welcome Jackie Levine, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. We anticipate appointing David Kantrowitz as our next Director of Physical Education, Athletics, and Health Services during the next board meeting. We look forward to opportunities for you to meet the new members of our administrative team. \
Looking Ahead: The Putnam Valley School District is moving ahead with our plans to fully reopen all of our schools for full time, in-person instruction this fall. Unless we are otherwise required by NYS, hybrid or all remote instruction will not be available to students. We know that our staff has the greatest impact on student learning when those students are physically present within our classrooms.
End of Year Thoughts:
It is hard to believe all that has transpired over the past year. I personally struggle to remember what life and work were like pre-COVID; I am sure that many of you feel the same. Like all life-changing events of this magnitude, we must allow time to pass before we can accurately reflect back on what was learned.
While this reflection process may take years, there are some important things we can identify and recognize today:
- How the Putnam Valley community rallied to support each other during these difficult times.
- The thought and effort our teachers put into the planning and execution of both in-person and hybrid instruction.
- Our support staff focused on the social and emotional needs of all students and staff.
- The efforts of our custodial staff to keep our buildings clean, sanitized, and open.
- Our own “healthcare hero” school nurses, helping keep each of us healthy and safe in school How the members of our Technology Department helped support our transition into hybrid and remote learning for students, staff, and parents.
Most importantly, the fact that our students persevered and found a way to continue learning. There is so much to recognize and celebrate in the Putnam Valley Schools.
As we approach the much-needed summer break, plans are already underway for next school year. Teachers and support staff members will be involved in a wide range of professional learning opportunities throughout the summer. Our buildings are being prepared to welcome back ALL of our students this fall with classrooms transformed back into the innovative learning environments they were before COVID. It will be interesting to see which aspects of our learning over the past year will continue with us into the future.
It is my hope that the summer break provides everyone with time to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate; it has been one exhausting year. Take the time you need to reconcile all that has happened, but leave with a sense of pride for all you were able to do. We are all a little bit better and stronger after last year. I am looking forward to seeing all the amazing things that will continue to happen within the Putnam Valley School District next year.
(check out Putnam Valley CSD on Facebook and Twitter for more pictures)
Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools