Dear Putnam Valley Community.
After each passing day, I try to convince myself that “today” was the last rainy day with temperatures in the low 50’s this spring and that bright sunshine and warmer temperatures are right around the corner. Maybe this is Mother Nature’s way of reminding me why I did not become a meteorologist. For now, I will remain hopeful that those sunny days will be here soon. I know that my two boys need to be able to get out of the house and play outdoors. I have highlighted some important updates for this week; we are still awaiting information on the school closure period, and as of today, that information has not yet been shared by the Governor.
Reward School Status – Putnam Valley High School was identified by the New York Education Department as a “Recognition School.” New York State defines Recognition Schools as “schools with high academic achievement and strong progress, that also perform acceptably for all subgroups for which they are accountable.” Only 13% of all schools in the state received this recognition this year. This designation is a testament to the dedication of our high school staff and administration.
End of Year Celebrations – We know there are many questions regarding our end of year celebrations, recognitions, and other school events. The district is closely monitoring guidance from the Governor’s Office and local and state health departments. While we await official guidance, we are currently developing a wide-range of contingency plans for these important events. Once we receive the information, we need to move ahead; we will quickly share our plans for these important milestone events.
Closure Period – The Governor has stated that he intends to provide additional guidance to school districts this week. As of his press conference on Thursday, this information has not yet been shared. We now expect to receive new information regarding school closure tomorrow, and we will share it with the community.
Tenure Recipients and Retirees – During our April 21 board meeting, a resolution was passed granting tenure to 12 teachers. Each of these teachers has excelled both in and out of the classroom and demonstrated exceptional skills within their field of study. We have rescheduled our tenure and retiree recognitions until our June 4 Board of Education meeting. Whether this meeting is allowed to happen in-person or virtually, each of these individuals will be recognized during this meeting, please consider showing your support either in-person or virtually. Stay tuned for more information on how to participate in the meeting.
School Budget and Vote – Our school budget and annual vote remain up in the air. School District votes, scheduled for May 18, across the state, have been cancelled with no new date established by the Governor. Today, April 30 is the end of the state’s first fiscal adjustment period. We expect to be notified regarding additional reductions in state aid by May 15. Depending on how much state aid is further reduced, there is a potential impact on staffing and programs. The district has already been forced to compensate for approximately $600,000 in lost aid, revenue, and interest. Educators across New York State are lobbying for federal funding to support schools. We continue to await guidance from the Governor’s office regarding our anticipated school budget vote; we do not currently have a budget vote date or guidance on how that vote will take place.
Superintendent’s Listening Hour – Last evening, we recorded a virtual Superintendent’s Listening Hour where we answered questions submitted by community members. The recorded session can be found here: https://pvcsd.org/index.php/district/superintendent/video-recording-dr-luft-answers-questions-from-parents/ While the district is anxiously awaiting additional guidance from the Governor’s office, we did our best to answer your questions using the most current information that has been provided.
Meal Service – The district continues to provide free breakfast and lunch to any Putnam Valley student (and younger siblings) in need, regardless of their previous lunch status. Meals are distributed from 10 am – 12 pm daily via drive-up service along the front of the high school. Parents are asked to RSVP through a google form: https://forms.gle/MC8a76vtaeA6fYzM9
#ConnectPV Videos – Please take a minute to view some of the videos that were recently produced by our staff and administration.
Elementary School: https://youtu.be/E66ESoy0srA
Middle School: https://youtu.be/q7BOc-ZFu64
High School: https://youtu.be/-oOJl5tkIbo
Music Department: https://youtu.be/BuckhPSrSo8
Thank you. Please take care and stay well.
Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools