Dear PVMS Families,

Happy New Year!  We are excited to see your children back in school and hope you had a restful Holiday Break.  This time of year allows for reflection and setting goals for the New Year.

Our PVMS Student Council held a food drive for the Putnam Valley Food Pantry prior to the break and we were able to collect over 400 items, with the 5th grade donating the most items.  Thank you for your support!

During the week of January 14th, our students will be taking their iReady Benchmark Assessments for math and reading.  Please share with your children the importance of these assessments as we use them to inform instruction.

School will be closed on January 21st in recognition of Martin Luther King Day.  This is a nice time to discuss the sacrifice that Martin Luther King Jr. made regarding equality and a vision of hope for all humanity.  Our 8th graders going to Washington D.C. will enjoy learning more about MLK.

No Name Calling Week will take place January 22 – 25.  The middle school years are a time where we work hard to remind students of making good choices and to be thoughtful of the words that they use.  This week is a nice reminder as our clinical team works very hard in creating activities for students.  Please expect more communication regarding the events taking place over the course of this week.

As we continue our work with Yale RULER and addressing the social and emotional needs of students, it is important to understand some observations we have made in our hallways.  Through the public address system, I have expressed concern to the students about some of the physical behavior that has occurred in the hallways between classes. Our school district does not prohibit reasonable student affection and caring. The code of conduct does prohibit inappropriate behaviors of affection.  Some behaviors have become a safety concern; for example, students with their arms wrapped around one another’s necks and groups of students hugging thus cluttering up hallways and forcing some students to be late to class.  The issue has become disruptive and included lateness to class between periods and congestion in hallways. We don’t seek to prohibit hugging and caring for one another but this becomes an issue when it causes lateness or safety concerns. The physicality can become dangerous without intent to harm.   We are hoping that students understand our concerns and move to class between periods and help to keep our hallways safe.

The 2019 school year will be a time where we will continue our mission of building relationships, being empathetic, and developing lifelong learners.  The novel, Out of My Mind helps to put life in perspective.  The book has made me realize that all humans are disabled in some way, however, some disabilities are more visible than others.  Melody has persevered and with the help of technology and a few impactful educators and family members around her, has been able to overcome some of her limitations.  Unfortunately, it is not always easy to help change the world around us to become more empathetic and realize the challenges that many face.  This is our mission as educators!


Travis W. McCarty