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Update on administrative positions

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

As we move beyond the holiday season, we are refocusing our attention on our academic program. While there are many exciting initiatives underway, extracurricular activities to enjoy, and opportunities to celebrate student success on the horizon; I would like to take a moment to address some of our current administrative positions.

As we approached the beginning of this school year, we needed to work quickly to fill vacant administrative positions. Both the High School Principal and Assistant Principal positions were filled by internal candidates, with Mr. Matthew Mello becoming the Interim Principal and Dr. Letitia Payne as the Interim Assistant Principal at Putnam Valley High School. Ms. Jaime Zecca emerged as the leading candidate for the Middle School Assistant Principal position and was appointed as Interim Assistant Principal at that building. These interim appointments served both short and long-term needs. We provided individuals the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and talents in new positions, we ensured a collaborative K-12 focus on improving student learning and the day-to-day operations of our buildings continued with consistency.

Over the past five months, we have worked closely with Mr. Mello (Interim High School Principal), Dr. Payne (Interim High School Assistant Principal), and Mrs. Zecca (Interim Middle School Assistant Principal) to ensure that each was successful in their respective administrative roles. By all accounts, we have been impressed by the work of each of our interim administrators. They have embraced their new roles, forged new relationships, and supported students and families, all while continuing our push toward excellence. Each is responsible for improving academic rigor and engagement, supporting student wellness, and cultivating a culture of collaboration and partnership with teachers and parents.

Based on what I have observed this school year, I will be asking the Board of Education for their approval to remove the interim titles for each of these administrators and allow them to continue their probationary appointments in their respective positions. Each of these administrators will have to complete a four-year probationary period before they can be considered for tenure.

Having had the opportunity to work alongside these individuals, I strongly believe that each of these administrators has demonstrated skills and talents beyond any that may emerge during a traditional interview process with an external candidate pool. Each has demonstrated a firm grasp of curriculum and pedagogical best practices, established productive relationships with their colleagues, and has made a commitment to the Putnam Valley school community, our students, teachers, and parents.

I am confident that these individuals are the right fit for Putnam Valley and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the students of Putnam Valley are successful inside and outside of the classroom. I will be recommending that the Board of Education remove their interim titles and appoint each of them to their probationary positions at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

I look forward to working with these administrators as they continue to grow in their roles as building leaders.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools

Update PVES Water Testing and Filtration System

Good afternoon Putnam Valley Community:

I am writing as a follow-up to a message that was originally shared with the Putnam Valley School Community on December 28, 2020.  As noted in that communication (click here) a new law required school districts to begin testing their drinking water for two specific chemicals (PFOA & PFOS), by February 28, 2021.  The Putnam Valley School District was one of the first in the region to begin this required testing on October 22, 2020.

Test results at Putnam Valley Elementary School revealed that our water was still acceptable for all uses, including drinking, but was above the level that required the district to pursue remediation of the found contaminants (details included below).  Upon receiving these results, the district contacted the Putnam County Department of Health and contracted with an engineering firm to design a carbon filtration system that would eliminate any contaminants from our drinking water.  At the time of the water test, the district was already using bottled water as part of our COVID health protocols and has continued to offer only bottled or filtered water (bottle-filling stations) through the present time.  The water at the Middle School/High School campus is not part of this testing as their water comes from a municipal source.

Currently, a cutting-edge (first of its kind in the region) carbon filtration system is up and running in our elementary school.  Recent test results have found no measurable amounts of PFOA or PFOS in our drinking water.  Thanks to our dedicated buildings and grounds staff, along with the support of the Putnam County Department of Health and engineers from WSP USA, Putnam Valley Elementary School has some of the cleanest water in the region.

​In February 2021, the District was approached by a law firm seeking our participation in a class action lawsuit against those manufacturers who are now known to have produced the materials that contained these chemicals.  On May 4, 2021, the Putnam Valley Board of Education agreed to enter into this class action lawsuit, seeking to recoup any expenses related to the installation of the new carbon filtration system.  This lawsuit was recently filed and named the Putnam Valley School District as a claimant.  Our participation in the lawsuit comes at no expense to the District.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools

Early Dismissal tomorrow, Friday, December 23, 2022

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

Due to the forecast for inclement weather and the potential for rapidly deteriorating road conditions tomorrow afternoon, all Putnam Valley Schools will dismiss early, tomorrow, Friday, December 23, 2022.

Reports indicate that a severe drop in temperatures could impact late afternoon and evening travel.  To ensure everyone gets home safely, the middle school and high school will dismiss at 11 am, the elementary school will dismiss at 12 pm and all after-school activities will be canceled.

Please travel safely and enjoy the holiday break with your families.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools

/ / Superintendent's Messages

After School Activities Ending at 4:15 Today 12/15/22

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

With the uncertainty of today’s weather forecast, all after-school activities will end no later than the 4:15 pm activity bus.  All games and competitions are canceled as well as tonight’s Board of Education meeting.

Thank you.

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools

/ / Superintendent's Messages

PVCSD: Bridge Closure Continues

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

The school district has been notified that the portion of Peekskill Hollow Road at Lovers Lane continues to be closed. This closure will impact our busing and we are asking everyone to be prepared for buses to arrive later than normal. Some students may be picked up by a smaller school vehicle.

In the afternoon, please know that delays with the middle and high school dismissal can impact the dismissal at our elementary school.

Thank you for your patience during morning pick up and afternoon drop off.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools

/ / Superintendent's Messages

Bridge Closure on Thursday, 11/10 – MS/HS Dismissing 15 minutes early

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

The school district has been notified that a portion of Peekskill Hollow Road (at Lovers Lane) will be closed on Thursday, November 10, and is scheduled to reopen by the morning of Monday, November 14. This closure will impact our busing on Thursday, November 10 (schools are closed Friday, November 11, for Veteran’s Day). In anticipation of these busing delays everyone should be prepared for buses to arrive later than normal and some students may be picked up by a smaller school vehicle. Please encourage your child to continue to wait at their bus stop, a bus will be on its way.

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 10, high school and middle school students will be dismissed 15 minutes early to allow for extra time to complete our afternoon bus runs without impacting our elementary school dismissal. Parents of elementary students should expect some delays during the afternoon bus run.

As mentioned above, we only expect this work to impact our school transportation for the one day. In the event the work continues longer than expected, students may again experience delays on Monday morning. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Take care,

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent’s Message – 10/26/22

Dear Putnam Valley Community,

The Putnam Valley School District once again recognized the many first responders that live and/or serve within our community through a series of special events, including a First Responders Classroom Visit at PVES and an Apparatus Showcase at PVMS. We know that many members of our community serve in these critical fields, either as a volunteer or as a professional; we are a community of first responders. If you are a medical professional, a member of law enforcement or the fire services, in the military, or serve in any other role as a first responder, please consider participating in our event this Friday at PVHS during our football game, beginning at 5:30pm

It is truly an exciting time here in Putnam Valley! As we shared during our last board meeting, the Garrison Union Free School District is considering offering Putnam Valley High School as an option for their students. Garrison UFSD currently serves students in Grades K-8 and has for many years allowed their students to choose between O’Neil High School in Highland Falls and Haldane High School in Cold Spring; Putnam Valley High School would become a third option.

In recent weeks, two separate groups of board members from Garrison have visited Putnam Valley High School. During a recent public discussion of the potential partnership, one member of the Garrison Board of Education used the following to describe Putnam Valley: “If I were writing a story about high schools for The NY Times Magazine, I’d do a story about Putnam Valley. It is an extraordinary place, and they are doing things there that I don’t think are being done in most high schools…” These words are wonderful to hear and are a testament to the hard work of our teachers, staff, and administration; with the support of our board of education and community. Putnam Valley has become a school district that others are watching and taking note of all the great things that we are doing on behalf of our students every day.

It continues to be an honor to serve the Putnam Valley School District and the Putnam Valley Community. Thank you to our students, faculty, and families for continuing to make us proud every day!

Sincerely,
Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent’s Listening Hour and BOE Meeting-Tomorrow, Thursday, 10/13 5:45 pm / 7pm

Dear Putnam Valley Families:

Please consider joining me for a Listening Hour on Thursday, October 13, in our High School library beginning at 5:45 pm. This meeting will be held just prior to our regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting and is an opportunity for us to get to know each other in a casual setting. The goal of the Listening Hour is to share perspectives on school issues and consider our opportunities and challenges. I hope you will join me.

The Board of Education meeting will be held in the High School cafeteria at 7:00 pm and the live stream link is available via our website, pvcsd.org.
Agenda topics include:

  • Middle School – Opening of Schools/IB MYP (International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program), Travis McCarty, Middle School Principal
  • 2022-23 Board of Education/District Goals

Thank you,

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools

9/30/22 message

First Responder Appreciation Events 10/26 and 10/28

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

In honor of First Responder Appreciation Day 2022, the District will once again hold special events at each building and would appreciate the participation of our First Responder families and town residents. We are looking for all First Responders (volunteer and professional) – law enforcement, firefighters, medical professionals, military personnel, etc. If you are interested and available to attend any of these events, please complete the form below.

Putnam Valley Elementary School – First Responder Visit – Wednesday, October 26:  Spend 10 to 15 minutes with one or more of our classes and tell the students a little bit about your typical day, answer questions, and/or read a book about your work. (Arrival 9:15 am)

Putnam Valley Middle and High School – First Responder Equipment and Apparatus – Wednesday, October 26 : We are inviting local first responders to show off their gear to our High School and Middle School students during their lunch periods, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm.

Community Event at Putnam Valley High School – Honoring our First Responders – Friday, October 28, 5:30 pm: We invite all first responders, living or working in Putnam Valley, to be recognized before our football game. Kickoff is at 6:00 pm.  We would like our first responders to lead the team down onto the field at approximately 5:30 pm and be recognized at the start of the game.  (Please arrive at 5:00 pm, arrive in uniform if possible)

All welcome! This is a great opportunity for our community to say THANK YOU.

Please Click Here to Access the Form

Thank you all for your service!

Sincerely,

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools

PVES early dismissal water

Good morning PVES families:

Putnam Valley Elementary School is experiencing a mechanical issue with the well pump that provides water to the building.  Due to the unavailability of bathroom facilities, we will have to dismiss the students at 10:30 am, today, Thursday, October 6, 2022.

For the purposes of planning for the early arrival of your child/ren, buses typically leave the Elementary School at 3:30.

We apologize for the inconvenience and anticipate that the repair will be completed today. If additional communication regarding tomorrow is necessary, we will be in touch later today.

Thank you,

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools