In honor of First Responder Appreciation Day 2023, we 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.
Community Event at Putnam Valley High School – Honoring our First Responders – Friday, October 20, 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.
All welcome! This is a great opportunity for our community to say THANK YOU. Please mark your calendars and join us to thank your first responders.
Putnam Valley Elementary School – First Responder Visit – Wednesday, October 25: 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 – Thursday, 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.
I am aware there is some discussion in the community regarding the approval or disapproval of student parking space designs, specifically as it relates to the painting of a “Thin Blue Line Flag.” For the benefit of the larger community, I would like to clarify that asking a student to avoid the symbol is NOT an indication that this district is anything other than fully supportive of our first responders. Personally, I have always viewed the thin blue line as being nothing more than supportive of law enforcement. However, in our roles, as educational leaders, we must recognize that our own personal perspectives are not shared by everyone.
Putnam Valley is far from the first community to participate in this discussion. In fact, several school districts in our area have already experienced significant division within their school community, contentious board meetings, hateful comments on social media, and in some cases, national media attention. Our intent was only to avoid this for our community.
Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings, it is evident that the thin blue line flag carries multiple meanings for different people.
I would encourage everyone in our community to take some time to consider that actions speak louder than words. In this case, the actions of the school district speak louder than the insinuations made on Facebook. I am extremely proud of all Putnam Valley does to recognize the law enforcement members who live and/or work in our community. Our annual first responder appreciation events at each building provide all community members serving in these vital roles with an opportunity to be acknowledged and celebrated. The district supports students who wish to attend the law enforcement career and technical education programs at PNW BOCES. We employ three active or retired law enforcement members in our schools, and we work with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department to recruit students into their Youth Cadet Program. Putnam Valley is and has always been a school community that supports law enforcement. I encourage you to ask any member of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department who has worked in or has visited our schools about their experience in Putnam Valley.
The painting of parking spaces at Putnam Valley High School is certainly a time-honored tradition; one that has unfortunately become increasingly difficult to manage in recent years. After nearly 20 years of student parking space designs going largely unnoticed, it now seems that every year someone takes offense to something painted on public property. While I strongly support a student’s right to free speech, painting a public parking space is certainly a privilege, one that requires careful thought and consideration. Coming into this school year, it was the hope of our administration that a strict adherence to “nothing that may be deemed controversial” during the design approval process would allow us to get through a school year without parking lot controversy. Based on conversations I had this week with individuals from Putnam Valley and beyond, we were again unsuccessful.
To their credit, students have been receptive to the feedback they are provided and willing to change their designs. Something that was intended to be a celebration of a student’s years at Putnam Valley High School has unfortunately become a focal point for some adults. The approval, revision, and monitoring process related to this privilege is becoming unmanageable with countless hours spent answering phone calls, emails, and holding meetings; taking valuable time away from educators who could better spend their time focused on classroom instruction, student mental health, and the overall student experience in Putnam Valley.
Please keep in mind, that we are not discussing personal property, we are not talking about a private parking space, and we are not talking about individual feelings, beliefs, or convictions. This conversation focuses on only a few matters: How do we avoid allowing something that may become controversial to be painted in a parking space that belongs to every taxpayer in our community? How do we, as a school community, find a way to navigate this process in a way that does not end in a lawsuit or the unfortunate possibility that this privilege may be taken away from our students? How do we support law enforcement officers in a way that offends no one in our community?
I would encourage everyone in our community who works as a first responder or supports first responders to take the opportunity to be recognized or show your appreciation during one of the upcoming events scheduled to recognize National First Responders Day (October 28, 2023). The following activities are scheduled to take place. If you would like to participate in any of these events, please reach out to a building administrator, a school resource officer, or our Public Relations Assistant, Jeannie Denike (email@example.com) for more information.
October 20, 2023 – First Responder Appreciation Football Game: Putnam Valley High School
October 25, 2023 – First Responder Read Aloud: Putnam Valley Elementary School
October 26, 2023 – First Responder Equipment and Apparatus Event: Putnam Valley Middle School
Summer has been very busy at the Putnam Valley School District. Thanks to the dedicated work of our custodial staff, our buildings have been transformed back to their pristine conditions as numerous summer projects are wrapping up. At the Elementary School, we have completed the creation of a new outdoor learning space in the courtyard, an irrigation system to restore the upper athletic field, drainage, paving, and sealing of the Elementary School driveway. At the High School, roof work is well underway. These projects, along with many smaller projects in all of our buildings, are possible thanks to the talented staff members of our buildings and grounds department.
Throughout the summer, our buildings have hosted a wide range of professional learning opportunities and academic programs. We hosted the Regional Leadership Institute earlier in July, welcoming administrators from across the region into Putnam Valley High School. Our extended school year program, summer boost programs, and our Kindercamp have filled our classrooms with the smiling faces of students, ready and eager to learn. Each of these programs is supported by our own leaders, instructional staff, and teaching assistants who dedicate a portion of their summer to ensure that those students who need additional support are provided those opportunities.
Many of our classrooms have received new interactive displays, replacing SMART Boards that were installed many years ago. This new technology provides teachers with a wide range of instructional tools, along with more consistent connectivity. Training will be provided throughout the next month to help support the seamless integration of this new technology into the classroom. These enhancements to the student learning environment are possible thanks to the work of the district’s technology department which is able to support both the infrastructure and the instructional needs of our buildings.
The Putnam Valley School District is proud to announce the district’s newly adopted C.O.R.E. Values. These values are the collective work of parents, students, staff, administration, and community members; each group provided feedback on those values that are most important to them. The final work was completed by the District Advisory Committee which is composed of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members. These C.O.R.E. Values will become the district’s guiding principles and will serve as the focal point for all future work. Putnam Valley has always been a special place to work, live, and learn; it is our belief that these values capture the essence of what the Putnam Valley School Community has to offer.
District C.O.R.E. Values:
The C.O.R.E. Values of a PV Learner – Always keeping the student at the center of all our work.
Community: Empathic learners who take great pride in their school community.
Opportunity: Courageous learners seeking opportunities to improve themselves and others.
Resiliency: Joyful learners who display resiliency when faced with challenges.
Empowerment: Reflective learners who empower themselves and others to always be better.
As we look forward to the upcoming year, there continues to be much to celebrate. An unprecedented number of high school students are enrolling in higher level and rigorous courses, challenging themselves academically while developing the skills necessary to be successful as they prepare for college or their careers. We are welcoming our first cohort of students from the Garrison School District, marking the starting point of what we expect to be a long-term relationship between the two districts. Our Middle School will be continuing its work as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Candidate School, incorporating aspects of the IB Learner Profile into daily instruction while beginning to develop units of study. Elementary School staff will continue their implementation of the Scholastic Reading program and the Eureka math program, which have led to outstanding student success over the past few years. A continued emphasis on Fundations at the primary level will help us develop stronger independent readers. Carly Robey joins the Putnam Valley Elementary School, bringing many years of reading instruction experience to her new role as Assistant Principal.
As always, there is much to be proud of here in Putnam Valley. In a few short days, our buildings will reopen and we will welcome back our students and staff, as well as some new dynamic educators who will be joining our team. Please be on the lookout for important information coming from our school building leaders regarding the upcoming opening of school. We are all looking forward to another fantastic year with the best students and staff in the world. See you soon.
We have been enjoying the celebrations of moving-up ceremonies and watching the PVHS Class of 2023 receive their diplomas. We are so very proud of our students, their eagerness to learn and grow, their resilience in the face of challenges, and their many accomplishments over the course of this school year. Congratulations to all!
As we wrap up the school year, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and healthy summer. It was another banner year in Putnam Valley. The implementation of a new reading program at Putnam Valley Elementary School has improved our alignment between grade levels and helped standardize our instructional delivery and resources. The Middle School has moved from the feasibility stage to being considered an IB candidate school and we have talented teachers ready to lead this work as programme coordinators. At Putnam Valley High School, students continue to take advantage of the rigorous learning opportunities available to them and challenge themselves through the completion of their senior year.
Outside of the classrooms, students have continued to excel through athletics, music, and the arts. Student performances concluded with standing ovations, awards and honors were plentiful, and athletic achievements reached new heights.
Recent settlements with both the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) and the Putnam Valley Federation of Teachers (PVFT) recognize the efforts of our dedicated staff while ensuring financial stability for the district moving forward.
Looking forward to next year, we will be welcoming our first class of incoming students from the Garrison School District. As our High School prepares for its reauthorization as an IB World School, our Middle School will be taking the next steps toward becoming in IB Middle Years Programme. Our Elementary School will be welcoming Carly Robey as their new Assistant Principal as they continue the amazing work that has catapulted our achievement scores on state assessments to the top of the region.
The students of Putnam Valley are surrounded by talented educators who deeply care about their social, emotional, and academic well-being. The summer is a time to not only relax but to reflect on all that was accomplished over the past year. Even better days are ahead for the Putnam Valley School District, and we remain proud of all we have accomplished.
Stay tuned for our end-of-the-year newsletter coming soon, where we will highlight the many achievements and celebrations that have taken place over the last several weeks.
Thank you to our dedicated teachers, staff, and parents for your support throughout the year.
This morning in Albany, at a meeting of the New York State Board of Regents, our elementary school teacher Ms. Meaghan Boyle received the 2023 Better Beginnings Award.
The award, sponsored by the New York State Board of Regents, honors the life and career of Helen Bach Moss, a young New York State educator who passed away in 1988. Mrs. Moss touched the lives of many people; her career was distinguished by a genuine respect and love for children. She was ever caring toward students and their parents and acted as a worthy role model in all of her endeavors. This award recognizes early childhood education as the most effective investment for long-term educational success.
The nomination process for the Better Beginnings Award involves statements of support from students, parents, educators, and the local community and recognizes current teachers who are skilled at engaging young minds and developing nurturing relationships. For those lucky enough to work with Ms. Boyle, watch her in action, or see the results of her skill and devotion to children and families, we know these qualities describe Ms. Boyle perfectly.
In a letter of recommendation, Dr. Natalie Doherty wrote, “Meaghan Boyle is an exceptional educator and an inspiration to any and all who have the good fortune to be impacted by her skill, compassion, and love for children.” An excerpt from a parent recommendation letter further supports what we know to be true.
“Our 7-year-old son was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) when he was just 20 months old. He had numerous therapists, teachers, and other providers working towards helping him achieve his goals using a wide array of methods. My wife and I toured school after school, meeting with different program coordinators to try and find the best fit for our son and then we finally met Meaghan Boyle who is a Special Education teacher at the Putnam Valley Elementary School. Little did we know then that this amazing woman would change all our lives.
The amount of love, care, and dedication she provided to our son goes so far beyond what would be expected. Meaghan improved our child’s and our entire family’s quality of life in less than a year. Meaghan is our son’s Superhero and my entire family’s. She is one in a million!”
Dr. Doherty and Dr. Podesta, along with School Board President Barbara Parmly and former Board Trustee Guy Cohen were in attendance for the presentation of the award.
(Pictured below: Dr. Moss, Meaghan Boyle, Natalie Doherty, family of Dr. Moss, Dr. Podesta)
The air quality index for our area has returned to “moderate” and is expected to remain at that level tomorrow. We will plan to resume normal outdoor activities while continuing to monitor air quality reports. If there are any changes we will let you know as soon as possible.
As a result of the wildfires in Canada affecting our area, the Putnam Valley School District continues to closely monitor the air quality information available. We have been in communication with our school physician and last evening made the decision to move all outside activities inside for the day.
We will continue to monitor the situation over the next few days and will follow the guidance provided by our school physician and New York State. All outdoor activities will remain on hold until we are given the clearance to safely resume outdoor activities. The health and safety of our students and staff remain our highest priority.
The Putnam Valley School District has established a 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 with district staff, architects, and engineers 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 assist the Board of Education in planning future projects.
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.
We are inviting community members, parents, teachers, district leaders, staff, and students to participate in this committee. We ask that all committee members commit to attending an initial interest meeting on: Thursday, June 1, 5:30-6:30 PM.
The committee will be asked to develop an independent assessment and analysis of the short and long-term facility needs of the district. Conceptual recommendations will be shared with the board of education for future consideration. Any future decisions regarding facilities work would be made by the Board of Education, there is no work currently scheduled or planned.
THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMITTEE:
Help to create and support schools as centers of community that offer school-based supports to children that 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.
On behalf of the Putnam Valley Board of Education, thank you for your support of our 2023-2024 budget and your participation in the school board election. We remain focused on moving our district forward in innovative ways while respecting the financial implications for our community. We are grateful for your participation in the process.
Congratulations to Crystal Hernandez on her election to the Board of Education and many thanks to Joe Ferraro for his years of service as a board trustee.
A total of 1,444 ballots were cast, an increase over previous years. Details can be found here.
Our team starts working on the next year’s budget immediately, and I encourage everyone to stay engaged. Your input is vital.
Please remember to get out and vote on Tuesday, May 16. Voting will take place from 6 am to 9 pm at Putnam Valley Elementary School. Please visit our website www.pvcsd.org for more detailed budget information.
Proposed budget highlights:
Below the allowable tax levy cap (12th consecutive year)
Maintains academic programs and staffing
Revenue generated by welcoming Garrison students to PVHS
Balances educational programs with fiscal responsibility
Board Trustee Election: One seat is open and two candidates are running. Joseph Ferraro (incumbent) and Crystal Hernandez will be on the ballot. We are grateful to these volunteers who are willing to serve our community.
Ballot information: An additional proposition will be on our ballot this year. The Town will use a provision of state law that allows them to put their budget out for voter approval at the same time as residents vote on the school budget. While the propositions will appear on the same ballot, no school district funds are shared with the town library, and no library funds are shared with the district. These are two separate entities and will remain so moving forward.