PV Schools

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

Learning about the attack at a Manchester, England, pop concert yesterday was particularly painful and terrible as innocent, happy young girls and their families were the targets and the victims. The impact of this terror is devastating to decent people everywhere, of every ethnicity and culture, intensifying a climate of fear. With that fear, emerge hurtful and hateful emotions that tend to blindly erase our humanity. Here in Putnam Valley, the clergy in our area of every denomination are sponsoring a special moment of unity at the Islamic Center, planting a tree of peace on Wednesday evening, seeking a singular unifying purpose in our quest for human dignity for all.

It is difficult to temper our emotional responses in the light of random violence, seeking to navigate a way to advocate for justice, without the ugly consequences of more violence and hate, yet that is what we hope to teach our children. In our schools, we teach the value of reason and mediated conflict, of self-control and effective redress of grievance.  Even in the arena of sports, when excitement is palpable, we are asked to examine our emotional responses to be sure we are setting an example. In this context of reflection on our own behavior, we look to our Memorial Day tribute to those who gave their lives on behalf of the freedom we so value, the peace we seek. For those who dedicated their lives so that our democracy can thrive, we can do our part to create a more peaceful, safe place for our children and our families.

Putnam Valley is a remarkable community, representing a broad diversity of thought and a fierce reverence for American values and beliefs. I know that together we can work through many differences while grounding our dialogue in the way of life we hold dear, the freedoms that have always drawn so many to us, and served to guide those who fought to preserve what we have created in this beloved land.


Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools