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Message from Dr. Fran Wills, Superintendent

January 17, 2018

Board of Education Mtg-Thursday 1/18/18-Start time 8PM

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

In order to support the High School band concert which has been postponed to tomorrow's snow date, the Board of Education meeting will now begin at 8:00 pm.  The meeting will take place in the High School cafeteria. Meetings are open to the public and all are welcome.  A live stream video is also available via our pvcsd.org website. The agenda will include a 2018-19 budget presentation for the Elementary School and Middle School. Click here for complete agenda.

ENL Potluck Dinner will begin at 5:30.
High School Band Concert - 7PM - PVHS PAC - All welcome!

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools


January 12, 2018

The Putnam Valley School District affirms our dedication to ensure that we remain committed to our students who are learning English as a new language and all students, celebrating diversity, respecting the dignity of all, and creating a safe, welcoming educational environment.  

Sincerely,  

Dr. Frances Wills

Superintendent of Schools


January 11, 2018

Remembering Dr. King

April 4, 2018, will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.  Dr. King was staying at the Lorraine Motel as he prepared to support the Sanitation Workers who were striking for working conditions and respect for their dignity. In 1968, there were few hotels for African Americans and numerous entertainers at the time were guests at the Lorraine, including Aretha Franklin, Nat King Cole and Count Basie. The motel has since been restored as a Civil Rights Museum and Dr. KIng's room remains as it was on the day of the assassination with his room intact.

I was able to visit the museum with the PV High School principal, Ms. Intrieri after an IB (International Baccalaureate)  training session in Memphis. We were both deeply moved by the exhibits that brought to life the context of the historical moment, when so much was at stake in the quest for dignity and equal rights at the voting booth, in schools, in the workplace, in the courts and in all public institutions.

We were especially affected when we stepped onto a replica of the bus that Rosa Parks entered when she refused to move to the back of the bus. An automated bus-driver tries to persuade Rosa Parks to move to the back, first in a kind and courteous way and then more forcefully. The visitor is on the bus and can experience the hurt and pain involved. A set of instructions posted on the wall of the exhibit explains to protesters how the non-violent action will operate.  "In all things observe ordinary rules of courtesy and good behavior. Remember that this is not a victory for Negroes alone, but for all Montgomery and the South...Be loving enough to absorb evil and understanding enough to turn an enemy into a friend."

The list of instructions is lengthy and requires courage, restraint, and willingness to accept injury without responding. We have so much to learn from Dr. King and so much to be grateful for as we contemplate the progress we are making in our understanding of what is required to sustain the principles of a just society.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." King lived his passion for a more "just" universe. He lived his belief that "the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Education is the process by which we help our students perceive and revere the struggle and suffering Americans have endured to sustain the vision of equal rights inspired and envisioned by Dr. King.  

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools

*Superintendent's Listening Hour - Tonight - PVHS - 5:45-6:45 PM*

*Board of Education Meeting - Tonight - 7:00 PM - PVHS - live streamed at pvcsd.org*

*Schools will be closed Monday, January 15*


January 10, 2018

Listening Hour-Please join me-Thursday 1/11 5:45 PM

Dear Putnam Valley Community: 

I would like to invite you to our next "Superintendent's Listening Hour", which will be held tomorrow, Thursday, January 11. We will meet in our High School Library from 5:45 pm to 6:45 pm, just prior to the Board of Education meeting, which begins at 7:00 pm in the cafeteria. (This is a rescheduled date from last week, January 4.)

The goal of the Listening Hour is to share diverse perspectives on school issues and to consider our opportunities and challenges. Please consider joining us. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Fran Wills
Superintendent of Schools


January 3, 2018

Communication of Official School Messages

Dear Parents and Community Members:
 
We have recently learned that a message on social media has provided false information about an early decision on a delayed opening. The post listed Putnam Valley and several neighboring school districts. Please know that the weather messages from our District originate only from the Putnam Valley Central School District Blackboard Connect email, a phone call, and our mobile app. We also post emergency messages on our website and submit information to WHUD (and other public media). Please note that decisions about delayed openings or closures that are weather-related are either made in the late evening or early morning around 5:00 AM and conveyed by the Superintendent of Schools.
Thank you for your patience during this challenging cold snap.

Best,

Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools 

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January 1, 2018

Wind Chill Advisory-Bus Pickup This Week

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

Due to the forecast of wind chills near zero for the rest of the week, please keep your children inside your warm houses until immediately before their scheduled pickup time.  The drivers will be told to expect that children may not be outside and will wait an appropriate amount of time for your children to get to the pickup location from your house.  

Please remember that exposed skin is susceptible to frostbite after only 10 minutes.

Stay safe and stay warm.

Patrick D. Bellino
Director of Operations,Technology & Transportation

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools


December 22, 2017

Holiday Message-May the New Year present the perfect time for gifts to be discovered

Dear PV Colleagues and Community:

As the winter holidays are upon us, and we savor time with family friends, we recognize Nature's gift of the solstice with the days slowly growing longer once again. Our students have been exuberant, and sometimes unruly, in these weeks before the break. Some are eager and expectant; others are anxious and, sometimes even fearful anticipating the lack of steadiness and safety they find in the school routine.

 We realize that the students we teach and families we serve have many different experiences and challenges; we also believe that we share much in common.  All seek to be noticed, recognized as individuals, and loved.   All have gifts to give of themselves and their spirit. In our schools, we are looking for the just the right way to open their gifts, so that our children are fulfilling their purpose and finding their fulfillment.   May the New Year present the perfect time for the gift to be discovered.

Sincerely,   

Dr. Frances Wills 
Superintendent of Schools   

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting---
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver, Wild Things


December 14, 2017

Sandy Hook Five Years Ago

Dear Putnam Valley Staff and Community:

Five years ago on December 14, 2012, the terrible tragedy of Sandy Hook broke our hearts and sent a wave of fear and horror throughout the world, as 20 primary school-age children and six educators died as a result of a senseless violent act.  Courageous educators who died that day included a principal, psychologist and teachers who were heroic in their efforts to save the children in their care. The terrible act in Newtown has led to rethinking of safety strategies and a new emphasis on security at schools that has completely transformed the image of schools as carefree places of learning.

In support of those who lost their children and family members on that day and will forever mourn their loss, I wanted to share a website that offers a profile of each of the victims so that their lives are always honored:   https://mysandyhookfamily.org/

Sincerely,

Fran Wills


December 14, 2017

Thank you Mr. Bellino, Director of Operations,Technology and Transportation

Dear Putnam Valley Staff and Community:

Just this morning, I received my customary 4:20 am call from Pat Bellino, our Director of Operations, Technology and Transportation, to let me know that the recommendation of our transportation/maintenance crew and the Putnam Valley Highway Department was to implement a two-hour delay. These early morning conversations culminate in a message to the community, and are always supportive and helpful in making the appropriate decision related to weather. Mr. Bellino has decided that he will be leaving the District at the end of the school year and that determination is reflected on tonight's Board of Education agenda. The role that Mr. Bellino has held in improving our facilities and operations in the District over the past five years has been instrumental in my own efforts on behalf of students, staff and community. His care for the students and community has been evident for many years. During that time, we have seen his love of the performing arts and his initiatives in continuing to advance the technology and the capacity of our music and arts programs. He has also been devoted to supporting educational initiatives recommended by principals and teachers as is evident in many changes at all of the schools, such as the outdoor classroom at the Elementary School, garden projects at each facility, the turf field at the Middle-High school campus, and the efficient move of the District office to create space for classrooms at the High School. Mr. Bellino has also helped champion and support the High School Later Start project. The District office space has proved to be an effective and efficient solution to the need that was expressed at the end of the last school year. Most recently, Mr. Bellino has facilitated the Board's desire for an Energy Performance Contract that would model a commitment to sustainability and energy conservation. We cannot overlook Mr. Bellino's pride in the Putnam Valley Schools and community demonstrated in his leadership of an exceptional team of custodians, technology specialists and transportation personnel, clearly dedicated to the high level of maintenance and cleanliness commonly noted by all visitors to our school campuses. Therefore, please join me in thanking Mr. Bellino for his service over many years, as he continues during this school year to ensure the well-run operation of our school district facilities, transportation and technology.

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools


December 13, 2017

PVCSD Newsletter-December 2017

Dear Putnam Valley Community: 

In the spirit of the holiday season, we are sending along our most recent wrap up of PVCSD news. Please take a look. 

You will learn a great deal about how everyone is working together to benefit and support our students and their learning. The newsletter is full of exciting initiatives and student activities that we want to share. Please click here to see the full newsletter. 

  • What is Sustainability?
  • New Schedules in the High School
  • Later start time for High School beginning September 2018
  • Facilities Planning Committee
  • LATI Classrooms
  • IB (International Baccalaureate) Program
  • Photos
  • Student Representatives to the Board of Education
  • Spring Musical

Wishing you a very happy and healthy celebration of the season and a very happy 2018!

Sincerely, 

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools 


December 1, 2017

What can we do?

Dear Putnam Valley Staff and Community:

Over the last several weeks, the flood of sexual harassment accusations has been a shock to our system, as so many icons have been undone. For those who lead school organizations, the issue translates into a series of questions: Why? And what can we do?  How can we effectively educate our students about the ethics and legal ramifications of unwanted sexual behavior so that they are never in the situation of losing their self-respect and livelihood because they have abused the trust of colleagues or peers?

All staff members are trained annually in the the essential components of sexual harassment including quid pro quo environments of unequal power, and how to identify and eliminate hostile environments. Sexual harassment training in schools was introduced with Title IX legislation in 1972. School districts have been required to provide training since that time, and have been charged with ensuring that all members of the school community feel respected regardless of gender and sexual orientation. There is a Title IX coordinator in every district and there is a prohibition against retaliation of any kind. Assistant Superintendent, Natalie Doherty, is our Title IX Coordinator.

Students are also informed about issues involving unwelcome sexual advances through formal health classes and discussions with guidance counselors. However, we are now facing the impact of the inappropriate use of cell phones which has increased the seriousness and pervasiveness of sexual harassment in the lives of students.  Cell phones have impeded further time for judgment and consideration of behavior while providing instant and lasting evidence of misdeeds.

Sexual harassment is defined as "unwelcome sexual conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive environment that is so severe or pervasive it prevents a student from fully participating in an educational program or activity." Harassment includes unwanted verbal or written sexual statements, graffiti, name-calling, and sexual advances in person or via cell phones or the Internet. Office of Civil Rights guidance stresses that there does not need to be intent to harm nor does the activity need to be directed at a specific person to be considered harassment. OCR states that "the more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical." Male and female students may be subject to sexual harassment. In addition, harassment based on gender stereotypes is sexual harassment. The same definitions of harassment apply to district staff with more emphasis on the role played by the inequality of power and exchange of favors when adults are involved.

Our children are at risk of ruining their futures if we do not find a way to communicate the jeopardy of behavior that is essentially disrespectful and unlawful.  There is an urgency to protect them from the thoughtlessness that is the natural condition of youth, as the electronic verification makes the risk untenable. Schools are for learning about how to behave toward others appropriately, kindly and with respect.  However, schools exist in a context that presents a challenge to our best intentions. Only with a community and family consensus on what is acceptable can we provide the support for students to do the right thing. We must help our students understand that everyone is entitled to dignity and that if we are clear about our values we will not have to feel ashamed of our behavior toward others.

We will do our part.  Our Title IX Coordinator, and our psychologists will be providing information and training to our entire high school population on the dangers of social media, sexting and sexual harassment as we begin the new year.  

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools


November 20, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving-Msg. from Dr. Wills
Tonight Gratitude Festival-No School Wed. 11/22

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

As we look forward to our Thanksgiving holiday, I want to convey special appreciation to our high school musicians for conducting their third annual Gratitude Festival at the Tompkins Corners Cultural Center, tonight at 7:00 pm.  This event has become a highlight of the year for many, as the students are performing from the heart, choosing their own work and often creating compositions for the occasion.  For anyone who teaches or who works in any capacity for a school, the magnet and purpose of our calling exist in the students we serve and their natural exuberance and engagement in learning and expression.

The Gratitude Festival allows the community to experience the wonderful inner life that our youth shares with us during these student directed events. They are rare occasions granting us a window to delight in student energy and creativity, hear their voices and share their camaraderie. The supportive environment and collaboration reflected in the student productions inspire hope for the future, and a sense of optimism. I urge us all to pause for a moment and listen to our students, their songs, their voices, and their music as they seek to connect with each other and with the adults around them, elders who are so eager to hear good news, positive and happy choruses, and count their blessings.

It is instructive to recall that it was President Abraham Lincoln who conceived of a Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday even in the throes of the suffering in 1863 during the Civil War. He wanted the nation to focus on our exceptional gifts, our democracy, our rule of law, our resources, our humanity, all that we are grateful and willing to fight for. The Gratitude Festival provides a lens for joyfulness and contentment in the riches we share in our remarkable students and community.  Thank you to the teachers who make this program possible!

Happy Thanksgiving Wishes to All!

With gratitude,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools


November 8, 2017

Veterans Day-Honoring our service men and women is part of Putnam Valley's tradition

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

Honoring our service men and women is a part of Putnam Valley's tradition. In fact, this year our senior class dedicated its "color wars" assemblage in the lobby of the High School to the armed services with artistic and creative designs and sculptures, including a hand-made Jeep replica and a number of emblematic pieces related to service.  In particular, the honor wall of former students who have and do serve remains in place with an opportunity to write a letter to one of our students in uniform (see below for link to pictures). It is clear that our students and staff recognize the sacrifices that have been and are being made so that we can enjoy our lives and the continued protection of our Constitution. We have been reminded again and again that freedom has a price and that we must be willing to accept that responsibility. Perhaps it is important to remember that Veterans Day was once Armistice Day, and that November 11th was the 11th month of the 11th day on the 11th hour in 1918 that the peace agreement was signed ending the horror of  WWI, the war that was supposed to "end all wars."  As we know so well,  that is not the way things went, and we have been involved in many wars since. In fact, it may be that the decisions made at the end of WWI, after the Treaty of Versailles when new countries and boundaries were determined arbitrarily, have contributed to future conflicts that exist even today.   This is our reality, and perhaps most chilling, is the knowledge that the nuclear threat that once was the overarching fear when I was in elementary school practicing emergency drills by hiding under my desk, has returned after a period of seeming quiescence. In remembering our veterans, we can take the time to appreciate the precious gifts we have because we have been vigilant. That willingness to protect our values means that our youth continue to serve and die in places like Niger, on the frontiers of the terrorist threat. As educators, we strive together to inspire our students to live up to our shared American values, so that we can continue to preserve the way of life that is worth dying for, as we honor those who serve. "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

~PVES will dismiss at 12:00 tomorrow, Thursday, November 9 for Parent Teacher Conferences~
~All Schools will be closed Friday, November 10~

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools

Find photos here or on the Putnam Valley CSD app


November 3, 2017

Facilities Planning Committee Update

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

In the past two weeks, we have held two meetings of our Facilities Planning Committee. As described in an earlier memorandum to the public, the District is conducting a facilities planning process to prepare, in a timely fashion, for capital projects that would be eligible for state aid and would not impact the budget or taxpayer expenditures. We are pleased that so many members of the community have joined the committee. At our last meeting, on Tuesday evening, October 24, more than 25 residents were present to hear a review of facilities projects that were completed in the last two years as well as a presentation from building administrators and our athletic director on initiatives that they believe would improve their facilities, K-12.  The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 9th at 7:00 PM in the High School Library.  The committee will meet again on December 6 and I will continue to share updates throughout this process.   

Sincerely, 

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools

10/4/17 email: Facilities Planning Committee: http://pvcsd.org/superintendent/100417.php


November 2, 2017

High School Start Time Update

Dear Putnam Valley Community: 

On Thursday evening, October 26, the High School Later Start Committee met to hear a report from District administrators on the solutions and procedures that will result in the change in the High School start time from 7:10 AM to 7:50 AM.  This start time will coordinate with the Middle School. When the Board provided the affirmation of the new start time last June, the administrators were charged with implementation as of September 2018. On Thursday evening, administrators addressed problems that were raised last year. Please click the link below to review the presentations. They address the following issues: 1) rationale for the change, focusing on the conclusive scientific evidence on the lifelong consequences of insufficient sleep; 2) strategies that will be implemented to ensure student access to athletics and to co-curricular clubs. While there will no longer be early morning clubs at the Middle School, clubs will be held after school in both our Middle and High School. In some instances, students will need to choose between participation in sports teams or clubs, but principals are looking at ways to incorporate club time in their school schedules. 

There will be a need for four additional buses to manage transportation. Runs are projected to be shorter due to the additional students bused at the same time in each neighborhood; for example, with the new routes, the Roaring Brook run could be cut in half. While grades 5-12 will be transported together, we have evidence that the older students have a moderating effect on the Middle School population, and that, due to the new neighborhood runs, the students will be familiar as older brothers and sisters and caregivers. 

As promised, we will have routes and schedules available by January so that parents will be able to become familiar with the new arrangements. We are also available, as always, for conversations and perspectives as we make our High School more conducive to student health needs and, ultimately, impact attendance and achievement. It should be noted that on days when faced with a delayed opening, the later start would provide more room for decision making. 

10/26/17 presentations:

Click here for Adolescent Sleep and School Start Time Research 

Click here for Athletics Schedules

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools


October 30, 2017

Important Update

In reference to the Hepatitis A message sent out by the Putnam Valley School District on Friday, October 27, 2017, we have been informed that the test results have indicated that the employee does not have Hepatitis A. Therefore, there is no reason for further concern regarding this issue. We always seek to give important information to the community on matters involving student and workforce safety when they are first presented to us. Above all, we continue to provide a safe and secure environment for our students and staff.

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills


October 27, 2017

Important Information

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

We are sending this letter for informational purposes in order to keep our community advised of a situation that has come to our attention.  We have been informed by the Putnam County Department of Health, that an employee of the Putnam Valley Central School District, located at our elementary school, may have Hepatitis A. There has been no confirmation of this diagnosis at this time. Please be advised that the employee does not work for our food service provider.

We are awaiting results of testing which we should receive on Monday, October 30. As advised by the Putnam  County Department of Health, there is no action to be taken; however, we wanted to alert our community that we are working closely with the Department of Health and our school physician to ensure that all proper protocols and procedures are in place in the event a diagnosis of Hepatitis A is confirmed.

Upon learning of the possibility that one of our employees may have Hepatitis A, we immediately contacted our school physician and the Putnam County Department of Health.  We immediately took precautionary measures by sanitizing all areas of contact in the elementary school.  

You can find information about Hepatitis A on the CDC website at:

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/pdfs/fiore_ha_transmitted_by_food.pdf

Once again, we want to emphasize that this letter is informational only, and we do not have confirmation at this time.

We will provide additional information as it becomes available.  

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools


October 26, 2017

The District Office has moved. Find us at the Elementary School modular building

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

The District Office has moved to the Elementary School campus! 

You can now find the entire District Office staff and the Pupil Personnel Office staff in the modular building at the back of the Elementary School parking lot. All of the phone extensions have stayed the same. As I shared previously, this move allows for additional classroom space at the High School.

Our daily schedule will continue to include visits to the high school and middle school to ensure continued interactions with students and staff at all schools. As has been our practice, our doors are always open to parents and community members.  

I am very grateful for the patience, adaptability, and professionalism of everyone involved in and impacted by this move.  We must extend a huge thank you to our buildings and grounds staff and our technology department for ensuring this tremendous endeavor was a success. I also want to convey appreciation to the District Office staff for their flexibility and positive spirit during the transition in close quarters. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools 


October 18, 2017

PV Reaffirmed its reputation as a community that cares!

Dear Putnam Valley Staff and Community Members:

Last night, our community reaffirmed its reputation as a community that cares!  With five hundred people attending and many others donating funds, our student clubs raised over $4,000 and numerous items for Puerto Rico and neighboring Caribbean islands. The funds will be sent to organizations endorsed by New York State, and the supplies will be transported to the distribution center at Camp Smith. We are so grateful for everyone who participated as guests and as organizers of the dinner and the performances. There are many who must be mentioned here for the energy, enthusiasm and effort they brought to this event that brought the community together on behalf of those who are suffering from the aftermath of natural disasters: disease and injury, lack of medical care, food, water, electricity and the elimination of their economic well-being dependent on a thriving tourist industry. Many of our community members have families in Puerto Rico and on the islands. We have made a statement of support and willingness to help.

We are grateful to everyone who helped, and to all who supported this event.  It is impossible to recognize everyone, but if you lent a hand in this effort, please know you made a difference and it is appreciated!

High School monitors and Make a Difference Club advisors: Dawn Cassone and Karen Cobb; Marissa Tarkington, advisor of the Interact Club; Alexis Thornton, advisor of the World Languages Club and French Honor Society; Brenda Singer and Ademar Nater, advisors of the Spanish Honor Society;  Lisa Penta, advisor of the National Honor Society; Jen Armbruster, Art Club advisor, and the student members of the clubs who organized, set-up and served, including the students who brought the empanadas out to those on the long food line.

Performers and music teachers K-12 including the director, Ryan Odell, who produced the line-up of performers, managed the event and without whom we could not have organized the awe-inspiring concert in the PAC, including Jeanmarie Craane, Maddy Calhoun, Ashley Bennett and Lauren Soprano who consistently offer their musical talents and knit our student groups together; Susi Cummings, who manages our tech and crew students; student performers and teachers from the Middle School and Elementary School, Mary McGowan, Maria Belfont, Katie Odell and Olivia Roth.  Appreciation to the Middle School and Elementary School student chorus, who provided the warmth and loveliness of children's joy.  Dear Hayley Craane's "Tomorrow" and the grace and charm of Madelyn Barti showered the crowd with sweetness.  Many thanks to Ralph Smith, Board of Education Trustee; Chris O'Connor, Assistant Principal of the High School; and Gina Noto, High School Psychologist, whose Bruce Springsteen piece rallied the crowd.  Special awe and admiration to PVHS acapella group, Tempomental and the High School mixed choir, conducted by Chloe Berger on behalf of Dr. Micera (who missed the concert due to the birth of his baby son!).  They inspired us all with "Somewhere" from West Side Story. We cannot forget the Ecuadorean band who brought the "real thing" to Putnam Valley.  Always contributing their musical skills to our schools, are the High School musicians: Casey Dath, Sophia George, Ethan Grosman, Jasper Katzban, Gavon Mitchell, Michael Munson and Aleks Pilmanis. Finally, the behind the scenes work of our hard-working and dedicated stage crew team.  The last minute organization of mics and stage set-up could not be done without them.

Special heartfelt gratitude to Alexis Thornton, a High School teacher of world languages and her family, who did monumental work in organizing the food collection and serving process. Ms. Cassone, Ms. Cobb and Mrs. Thornton anchored this project.

We would like to recognize all of the local businesses (Sansotta's, Nonna's, Izla's, Frankie&Augiez), our Food Service Director, Cara DiMarsico and cook Kathy Coakley of Aramark, and District parents, staff, and retirees who donated food.

Also thank you to Dylan Miyoshi, Hudson Valley Regional Representative, who attended and represented Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Empire State Initiative on behalf of Puerto Rico and the islands.

Lastly, volunteering his skills as MC, cheerleader and generator of heart, Gerry Carlin, shared his humor and PV spirit.

We can't do anything good alone!

Please view pictures here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5RjhdGA01KVM3RqVzVMUmZvOGs?usp=sharing

Gratitude to all,

Fran Wills


October 4, 2017

Invite to join Facilities Planning Committee-First Meeting 10/12 6PM

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

We need your participation!

As you may be aware, the Putnam Valley School District has established an Educational Facilities Planning Committee to assist the Board of Education in reviewing our current academic and extracurricular spaces, the safety and security of our facilities, and all underlying infrastructure.  The committee will work to ensure that we are effectively supporting our educational and extracurricular initiatives while maintaining a safe and secure learning environment for our entire school community.  The committee will report its findings and potential recommendations to the Board of Education.

Proper planning and implementation result in high quality, high-performing, well designed and maintained school facilities and has a direct and indirect impact on the teaching and learning process. Effective facilities management can contribute to the success of every student.

Our schools represent the hub for the Putnam Valley Community and serve as a catalyst for its future.   From kindergarten through high school, we are investing in our children and community for both today and tomorrow.  This is an opportunity to define what our schools stand for and address the needs of our instructional and support spaces as they correspond to the District's curriculum goals and 21st century delivery of instruction.         

We are inviting community members, parents, teachers, district leaders, professional staff and students to participate in this committee.  We ask that all committee members commit to attending meetings on the following dates:  10/12, 10/24, 11/9, or 12/6.  Meetings will be held in the library of the high school.  First meeting: Thursday, October 12, 6:00-7:00 PM.

The committee will be asked to develop an independent assessment and analysis of short and long-term facility needs of the district.

THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMITTEE:        

  • Help to create and support schools as centers of community that offer school-based supports to children to eliminate barriers to success and serve the broader community.
  • Improve facilities management, including maintenance and capital improvement programs.
  • Secure adequate and equitable facilities funding.
  • Assist and advise the Board of Education on facility needs related to the educational program(s).
  • Assist and advise the Board of Education with reference to potential long-term Capital Project recommendations.   

If you are interested in joining the committee, please click here or email JDenike@pvcsd.org.  All members will be appointed to the committee by the Board of Education on October 12.

Thank you,

Dr. Frances Wills

Superintendent of Schools                                

Initial Meeting Schedule:
Thursday, October 12 - Prior to BOE Meeting - 6:00-7:00 PM
Tuesday, October 24 - 7:00 PM
Thursday, November 9 - 7:00 PM
Wednesday, December 6 - 7:00 PM
Meeting Location: Putnam Valley High School Library


October 3, 2017

Empathy for Las Vegas

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

The natural disasters that have affected millions of our countrymen in the last few months have been a terrifying reminder of Nature's wrath. Without human agency to blame, we bear up and move to do whatever we can to relieve the suffering that results. While we analyze and question decisions and planning that may have led to worsening outcomes, our spirit is focused on helping our neighbors and supporting those who are working to rebuild and find a way back home.

On the other hand, the terrible event that occurred yesterday in Las Vegas was man-made and unfathomable. We are rocked by the feeling that we or our family members can instantly be the victim of an unmoored being who has made a choice to wreck thousands of lives with his weapon of choice.  Thousands of lives are destroyed because those who are killed and injured have families and hopes and dreams that are shattered by this terrible act.

We begin to wonder whether we really know the people around us, those who appear quite normal and who can suddenly become monsters. That is our fear, and that is why in our schools we do whatever we can to provide a safe environment for our students.

In fact, this week we have our District's emergency response team training which we hold at the Firehouse. We coordinate with the Sheriff's Department, First Responders, Ambulance Corps, Fire Department and State Police.  Our SRO, Deputy Ryan McMahon is trained to respond to critical incidents that occur in schools. Our Director of Operations, Pat Bellino manages the video-cameras on site, organizes the safety protocols and establishes training and practice. We have lockdown and lock-out drills as we prepare and protect.  It was clear at the Las Vegas tragedy that the emergency personnel present at the concert, including First Responders, medical personnel and off-duty police acted immediately to attempt to save lives and protect. Our responders are well-trained and systems are in place to react to any and all emergency situations.

I have also tried to make sure that every moment is treated as a precious gift, an opportunity for gratitude. For me, that means saying goodbye to my husband each day with eye contact and a hug if possible. We are getting too used to hearing about these horrible events, and we have to find a way to search our hearts and minds to find out why this behavior seems to occur more frequently and with more destruction than in the past.

We are working hard in schools to try to create a caring environment, to build relationships and help students to understand and manage their emotions so that violence is averted. For example, we have a mediation program at our high school with students who are trained to talk to their peers and help them solve their interpersonal conflicts. We have a strong clinical staff who support our students and review student needs regularly to make sure we are not overlooking a student who needs our help. The Yale RULER program we have introduced this year will focus on helping students identify their emotions and learn to manage and regulate them so that they are successful in school and outside in the wider world.

Finally, I think we all need to pay attention to each other, to those around us, to notice the small things, to celebrate our gifts, to value our interactions so that our colleagues, friends, neighbors, people we meet in our daily commerce, feel respected and cared about.  Everyone needs to feel valued, respected and loved.  Kindness and smiles are contagious. We can never know how one act of connection, of noticing,  can make a difference for multitudes, rippling out to possibly prevent one more unthinkable event.

Coming together as a community to make a difference is a way to demonstrate our empathy and caring for others. Please join our School District relief effort on behalf of Puerto Rico and neighboring Caribbean Islands sponsored by our high school clubs.

Please attend and please donate:

PV Homecoming Football Game on October 7, 2017, and
at the potluck supper and concert on Tuesday, October 17, 2017
6:00 PM Community Supper
7:00 PM Community Concert
Click here for potluck donations

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools

From The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort:
The following items will be accepted for donation: batteries, flashlights, portable lanterns, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, cases of water, feminine hygiene products, AM/FM portable radios. All items must be unopened and in their original packaging. 

~InteractClub~TempoMental~MakeADifferenceClub~WorldLanguageClub
~ArtClub~PVCSDMusicDepartment~
French and Spanish Honor Societies


October 2, 2017

PVCSD Benefit Concert for Puerto Rico-October 17-Please join us

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

Our students and staff are eager to begin their next service project.   Putnam Valley Central School District will join New York State in the Empire State Relief and Recovery for Puerto Rico. We have begun planning a benefit concert and potluck dinner for Tuesday, October 17, at our high school to collect donations for our friends, relatives and neighbors in devastated Puerto Rico and other affected islands.  Please visit: https://www.ny.gov/empire-state-relief-and-recovery-effort-puerto-rico/empire-state-relief-and-recovery-effort-puerto# and PLEASE JOIN US on:

Tuesday, October 17
Putnam Valley High School
6:00 PM – Pot Luck Dinner
7:00 PM – Concert

Donations will be accepted at the door.  Please see the list below. Monetary donations will also be accepted.  If you can participate by bringing a potluck dish, please click here.  Together, we can make a difference!

Thank you Putnam Valley!

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools

From The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort:
The following items will be accepted for donation: batteries, flashlights, portable lanterns, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, cases of water, feminine hygiene products, AM/FM portable radios. All items must be unopened and in their original packaging. 

~InteractClub ~MakeADifferenceClub ~WorldLanguageClub ~ArtClub ~PVCSDMusicDepartment


September 29, 2017

PVCSD Benefit Concert for Puerto Rico-October 17 - Please join us

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

Putnam Valley Central School District's successful fundraising efforts to assist Kolter Elementary School in Houston, Texas have allowed our Make A Difference Club to send $1,050 in gift cards and school supplies.  Ten large boxes of books have also been sent from our Elementary School. 

Our students and staff are eager to begin their next service project.   Our school district will join New York State in the Empire State Relief and Recovery for Puerto Rico. We have begun planning a benefit concert and potluck dinner for Tuesday, October 17, at our high school to collect donations for our friends, relatives and neighbors in devastated Puerto Rico and other affected islands.  Please visit: https://www.ny.gov/empire-state-relief-and-recovery-effort-puerto-rico/empire-state-relief-and-recovery-effort-puerto# and PLEASE JOIN US on:

Tuesday, October 17
Putnam Valley High School
6:00 PM – Pot Luck Dinner
7:00 PM – Concert

Donations will be accepted at the door.  Please see list below. Monetary donations will also be accepted.  If you can participate by bringing a potluck dish, please click here.  Together, we can make a difference!

Thank you Putnam Valley!

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools

From The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort:
The following items will be accepted for donation: batteries, flashlights, portable lanterns, diapers, baby wipes, cases of water and feminine hygiene products. All items must be unopened and in their original packaging. 


September 11, 2017

September 11 Remembrance/Help for Houston

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

For those of us who were here in New York on September 11, 2001 the memories of that day begin with a perfect fall day of bright sun, blue, blue skies and a cool stillness. After that, our breathing begins to become heavy, and terrible images prevail along with emotions that are personal and profound. Sixteen years later we are seeing a different kind of devastation around us, incalculable losses of lives and livelihoods caused by the mystery of natural phenomena known only hypothetically to our humble scientific understanding of how and why. As we mourn the losses of 2001, of heroes and victims of deliberate terror, we now have a plan to find a way to serve on this day, to give back in some way, to share our heartfelt warmth and gratitude with those less fortunate. After seeing the moving play, Come From Away recently, a musical recounting the way that Gander, Newfoundland welcomed those stranded in planes on 9/11, it seems that the best way we can remember that day is in reaching out to help.

With that desire to assist others in some way, our PVHS Make a Difference Club will be leading a collection drive to help a public school that was battered by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. It seemed fitting that we, who were able to start the school year so happily, would help those who did not. By contacting the Houston Independent School District, we were paired with Kolter Elementary School, a multi-language magnet school devastated by the storm and compelled to move into a facility that had been closed. Much was lost, but looking at the video the principal sent, created by their Physical Education teacher, it is clear that their spirit is intact. Parents and staff are working to get the school going again as quickly as possible for their students. (Link to video)

We would appreciate help from our community and staff in providing funds to assist with much needed classroom supplies. Monetary collections (gift cards) will be forwarded to Houston so that basic classroom supplies can be quickly replaced.  We would like to arrange some way for our elementary classes to communicate with the students at Kolter so that the gifts have meaning and we can all feel the happiness of giving and generosity.

Donations can be sent in to school through your child.  Any amount is appreciated! The impact even $1.00 per family could make carries a message of unity and empathy that transcends the miles between New York and Texas.  Envelopes should be marked Make A Difference – Kolter Elementary School.  In addition, our Make A Difference Club will have a table at Putnam Valley Town Day, Saturday, September 23.  We hope to send whatever we collect in donations by the end of this week and again after Town Day.  

From Kotler Elementary Principal, Julianne Dickinson:

Thank you so very much for reaching out to me!  I am incredibly grateful for any support you are able to give our school.

One of our PTO members wrote this up about what has happened to our school because of Hurricane Harvey, and I wanted to share that information with you. 

On Saturday, August 26, category 4 Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Rockport, Texas, and began an agonizingly slow climb towards Houston. Our area began to see the strong outer bands that night in the form of pounding rain and violent thunder and lightning.  By morning, half of the beautiful homes in our neighborhood were flooded and the water continued to rise higher. Ultimately, our beloved school took on approximately five feet of water in the cafeteria, three feet in each classroom, four feet in our temporary buildings and almost our entire neighborhood was flooded to some degree.

ABC-13's Jeff Ehling shows some of the damage to our school during his on-air boat ride through Meyerland.

As so many of our families begin the long process of cleaning up and rebuilding, we have also been informed that we will be moved temporarily to an elementary school that has been sitting vacant for the past year.  We will be in this campus for a full school year, if not longer, and will do our very best to make this new school our home.  Teachers have lost everything that was in their classroom—years of lesson plans, collecting books and spending their own money on material was all lost in this flood.

Thank you again for reaching out, and showing us support. Seeing as we're all starting over from scratch, we're humbled by any donation.

http://www.houstonisd.org/kolter

Thank you Putnam Valley for your generosity.

Sincerely,

Dr. Wills
Superintendent of Schools

 
Putnam Valley Central School District, 146 Peekskill Hollow Road, Putnam Valley, NY 10579
Phone (845) 528-8143, Fax (845) 528-8386