BOE Reorganization/Regular Meeting July 8

The Spackenkill Union Free School District Board of Education will hold a Reorganization/Regular Meeting on Wednesday, July 8 at 7 pm in the Orville A. Todd Middle School Library.

The community is welcome and always encouraged to attend. For information about any BOE meeting presentations, please visit the BoardDocs section of this website, which is located under the Board of Education drop-down menu, or CLICK HERE.

Celebration of Successes 2015

On Tuesday, June 23, the 2015 Celebration of Successes took place at the Board of Education meeting. The event honored students and staff who excelled over the 2014-2015 school year. Congratulations to all who participated! View galleries of the evening's events:

CL:ICK HERE for photos of Nassau Elementary School successes.

CL:ICK HERE for photos of Hagan Elementary School successes.

CL:ICK HERE for photos of Todd Middle School successes.

CLICK HERE for photos of Spackenkill High School successes.

CLICK HERE for photos of Athletics successes.

Alumni Win Sports Emmy Award

Brandon Terralavoro ('07), left, and Alex Olsen ('05), right,
on location in London covering international NFL games.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced the winners of the 36th Annual Emmy® Awards for Sports Coverage. Spackenkill alumni Alex Olsen ('05) and Brandon Terralavoro ('07) are on the FOX network production team that won an Emmy® for Outstanding Playoff Coverage of the NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. The awards recognize achievement in programs broadcast throughout the 2014 calendar year. To learn more, visit

While at Spackenkillt both Mr. Olsen and Mr.Terralavoro  were members of the Varsity Baseball team that won the New York State Baseball Championship in 2005, the first state title for the district.

Mr. Olsen attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in communications, with a history minor. After graduation, he spent time as a substitute teacher at Spackenkill before he went on to take a full-time job with FOX. Today, he is an associate director. "This career is something that combines my love of sports and journalism," he says. Mr. Olsen credits Mrs. Tremblay with teaching him how to write effectively.

Mr. Terralavoro earned a degree in sports management from SUNY Cortlandt. He interned with an event management company in New York City and with the Hudson Valley Renegades before landing the job at FOX, on the recommendation of Mr. Olsen, His title is broadcast associate.

Both Mr. Olsen and Mr. Terralavoro live in California but are able to visit the Hudson Valley often. "People rib us good-naturedly about being the 'Poughkeepsie guys,'" says Mr. Olsen. "It's fun to have someone in the trenches with you who knows you so well and is someone you can trust."

SHS Senior Excels at International Science Fair

Spackenkill High School salutatorian Nikhil Dhawan recently won the 4th place medal in the Materials Science Division at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh. It was the first time a student from Spackenkill qualified to compete at ISEF, the world's largest high school science research competition.

There were 50 competitors from around the world in Nikhil’s division, and some 1,700 students presented at the fair overall.  Nikhil qualified for ISEF by winning 1st place at the regional competition at Dutchess Community College in March. His topic involved inventing a process for synthesizing nanoparticles that could potentially be used in the imaging of tumor cells. READ MORE

Spackenkill Students Honored at Event

Pictured left to right: Matthew Wu, Steve Malkischer, and Nikhil Dhawan Pictured left to right: Jeyry Acevedo, Francesca Zani, and Deyry Acevedo

On Wednesday, May 20, Spackenkill High School valedictorian Matthew Wu and salutatorian Nikhil Dhawan attended the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents Scholastic Achievement Dinner in Tarrytown, accompanied by Spackenkill Schools Superintendent Dr. Lois Powell and SHS Principal Steve Malkischer. In addition, BOCES CTI valedictorian Francesca Zani and salutatorians Deyry and Jeyry Acevedo attended the dinner. Spackenkill made history in having five of our students at the event, which included about 100 salutatorians and valedictorians from the Lower Hudson region. Congratulations on this achievement!

More Headline News

Hagan Students Participate in Prestigious Art Show

Hagan 5th graders Ayanmo Adebajo and Shinrea Su were recognized at the 25th Anniversary New York State Arts Teachers Association (NYSATA) Legislative Art Exhibit, which took place June 8 through June 10 in Albany, They had the opportunity to meet Assemblymember Didi Barrett, pictured in the photo with the students.

For more information about the NYSATA exhibit, CLICK HERE.

Letter to Officials Regarding Tax Credit Bill

CLICK HERE to read letters opposing the tax credit bill from the Spackenkill Board of Education to Assemblymember Didi Barrett and Senator Sue Serino.

For Your Information: Passing a Stopped School Bus Traffic Violation

Spackenkill wants to remind all parents, adults, and driving students that passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights while on school grounds (private road) or roadways is a traffic violation. Every person convicted of the first violation will be punished by a fine of $250 to $400 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days or by both fine and imprisonment.  Additional traffic violations increase both fine and time of imprisonment.  Such violation may also result in a five-point penalty on one’s driver’s license.  School district grounds are not exempt from these laws.  This information is shared in the interest of safety for all students and as a reminder to those who violate the law what passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights can cost in fines and points.  We wouldn’t want this to happen to any of our community members.

Earn While Your Children Learn

The Food Service Department is accepting applications for part-time substitute work beginning in September 2015.  Applications are available at the District Office, 15 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie, from 8 am to 4 pm.

Letters to Elected Officials Regarding Budget

The Spackenkill Board of Education recently sent letters to Assemblymember Didi Barrett and Senator Sue Serino objecting to those officials' support for Governor Cuomo's Budget and the new APPR matrix.

CLICK HERE to read a letter to Assemblymember Didi Barrett.

CLICK HERE to read a letter to Senator Sue Serino.

Spackenkill Receives Excellence Award

On Thursday, March 26, the Spackenkill District was awarded the 2014 Silver Excellence Award from Partners in Performance Excellence (PiPEx), a Baldrige Enterprise Member. The award recognizes Spackenkill for its leadership, management, and operational practices in the field of education. It was the first time a New York State district has received this honor in more than 20 years. This ceremony took place in the high school auditorium and showcased the best of Spackenkill. District Board members past and present, staff, students, and the community were present for this special occasion. Pictured above (from left) are SUFSD Board President Thomas Keith,  PiPEx Board Member Michelle Eddy-Ackermann, PiPEx Executive Director Marta Nichols, SUFSD Superintendent Dr. Lois Powell, and PiPEx Board of Directors Chair Colleen Bolton and Board Member Dick Eppig. Other honored guests included Lydia Biskup, Director of District Operations for Senator Sue Serino's office, who presented Spackenkill with a Senate Proclamation honoring the school district, and Kimberly Usewicz, a representative from Assemblywomen Didi Barrett's office, who read a New York State Assembly Citation thanking the district for "working to ensure that the members of our next generation are prepared to be thoughtful, engaged community leaders." 

CLICK HERE for a gallery of images.

CLICK HERE for the Hudson Valley News Network story about the event.


District Earns Safety Award

For the third consecutive year, the Spackenkill Union Free School District has won the Utica National Insurance Group's School Safety Excellence Award, titanium level, the highest distinction. The honor recognizes the school district's' safety efforts as we work to keep students, staff, and visitors safe. SUFSD officials accepted a certificate to commemorate the safety efforts and a $500 award for use in furthering those efforts.

Letter from New Yorkers United for Kids

It has come to our attention that families in the district recently received a letter from an organization called New Yorkers United for Kids. The District was in no way involved with this mailing, and we are looking into how addresses might have been obtained.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the letter sent by New Yorkers United for Kids.

District Recognized for Music Program


For the third consecutive year, the Spackenkill district has received a 2015 Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation. The award reflects the district's commitment to music education and recognizes Spackenkill's program as among the best in the nation. LEARN MORE.

Noro Virus Alert

March 16, 2015:  Several children in our district are presenting with a stomach illness that resembles Noro-like virus. Symptoms of Noro virus can include any or all of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low-grade fever, dehydration and headache.  This illness usually lasts an average of 24–72 hours.  Noro virus is more commonly known as the 24-hour stomach bug. READ MORE.

Spackenkill Mobile App Debuts

Check out our new Spackenkill mobile app! It’s available for both Android and iOS devices. CLICK HERE for the link. The app can always be found in the left sidebar of our district homepage or you can search for it in Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store. This app makes it easy to find information from our website when using a mobile device. Just go into the settings and choose the buildings about which you want to get news and information. You can find bus routes, team schedules, cafeteria menus, and upcoming events for each school. You’ll also have easy access to our eSchool mobile site, SchoolMessenger, and our Facebook page. Download the app today and see for yourself!

Letters to Officials Regarding Proposed Education Reforms

CLICK HERE to read letters to Governo Andrew Cuomo, Senator Sue Serino and Assemblymember Didi Barrett regarding proposed education reforms.

SUFSD Parent Survey Results

CLICK HERE to read the results of the Parent Engagement and Satisfaction Survey, fall 2014.

BOE Seeks Input on Policies

The Board of Education is reviewing the following policies and welcomes feedback:  9000 series, 5119, and 5132.

LHCSS Press Release on Proposed Education Reforms

CLICK HERE to read a press release from the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents regarding Governor Cuomo's proposed education reforrm.

Letter to Governor Cuomo from NYSAPE

CLICK HERE to read a cover letter and FOIL request from New York State Allies for Public Education regarding release of state aid projections.

Letter to NYSED Regarding Field Testing

CLICK HERE to read a letter to the New York State Education Department regarding a proposed amendment on field testing. A reolution passed by the SUFSD BOE in April 2014 is included.

Interscholastic Athletics and Health Exam Requirements

CLICK HERE to read about interscholastic athletics and health exam requirements.

Combat Heroin Campaign Launched

CLICK HERE to read a letter from the New York State Education Department regarding the alarming rise in heroin and opioid abuse. CLiCK HERE to visit NY state's Combat Heroin campaign website.

Design Changes for SAT

In March 2014, the College Board announced significant changes to the design of the SAT.  CLICK HERE to read a letter from NYSED about the focus of the changes.

New Nutrition Standards for 2014-2015 School Year

Spackenkill's Food Service Department continues to strengthen its efforts to provide the best possible nutrition for kids. CLICK HERE to read about new standards for the 2014-2015 school year.

NYSED Memo on APPR Assessments

Following, please find a memo we received from the New York State Department of Education (NYSED ) regarding what it deems “unnecessary APPR assessments.” In regard to Task 1, several of the middle school and high school subjects that are identified as administering pre-assessments do not do so.  Some subjects/courses that did administer pre-assessments last year have eliminated them for next year.

In regard to Tasks 2 and 3, the APPR requirements are very complicated at the secondary level.  Many of the assessments listed in the following memo exist in the event that they are needed, but many of them may never actually be administered.   Additionally, the local Student Learning Objective (SLO) and the assessment used for it need to be negotiated with each individual teacher; many teachers are, rightfully so, concerned about using the same exam for both the 20% state score and the 20% local score of their evaluations.   For one test to comprise 40% of a person’s evaluation is not reasonable.  For similar reasons, teachers are reluctant to be assigned scores based on tests administered in subject areas they do not teach (such as a health teacher being evaluated  based on an English assessment). 

CLICK HERE to read the NYSED memo.

CLICK HERE to read an updated list of APPR pre- and post-assessments for the 2014-2015 school-year.

Parents' Bill of Rights

The purpose of the Parents’ Bill of Rights is to inform parents of the legal requirements regarding privacy, security and use of student data . CLICK HERE to read the document.

Property Tax Freeze Credit

The Property Tax Freeze Credit is a two-year tax relief program that reimburses qualifying New York State homeowners for increases in local property taxes on their primary residences. SUFSD is in compliance for year 1. Taxpayers will be entitled to a refund from the state in the fall of 2014. CLICK HERE for more information.

Change in Immunization Requirements

The New York State Department of Health has adjusted the requirements for immunizations effective July 1, 2014. CLICK HERE to read about the new requirements.

State of the District

On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Dr. Powell presented the State of the District Report.

CLICK HERE to read the document.

New Service of Dutchess County HELPLINE

The Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene has expanded its 24-hour HELPLINE service to include texting.   Dutchess TEXTS is designed as an alternate way to access mental health assistance since many people, particularly young adults and teenagers, often prefer to text rather than talk on the phone.    Young people can access support services by texting “DMH” to 741 741 READ MORE...

SUFSD Board of Education Approves Resolution

At the April 22 Board of Education meeting, the Testing, Common Core, and Privacy Resolution was approved.

                                                         CLiCK HERE to read the resolution.

Consequences of Objections to Standardized Testing

Read an article by the New York State Association of School Attorneys regarding standardized testing and the consequences for school districts when students refuse to take state assessments.

                                                          CLICK HERE to read the article.

Spackenkill Rates High for Financial Stability

The state Office of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report on the financial stability of school districts in New York. Spackenkill ranked 643 out of 674 districts, in the top 5% statewide. SUFSD also has the best financial stability among school districts in Dutchess County. VIEW A CHART OF COMPARSIONS.  

Additional information can be found at the NYS Comptroller's website.


New York state schools' financial ratings: Look up, compare school districts (1/16/14, The Post-Standard)

NYS 2014-2015 Legislative Changes Regarding Common Core and Student Privacy

The New York State Legislature recently passed its 2014-2015 budget, which contains provisions impacting our district and students. The new legislation features a number of changes with regard to the implementation of the Common Core and student data privacy. We have outlined the key provisions, which are effective as of April 1, 2014 (unless otherwise noted), as follows. READ MORE.

BOE Approves Veterans' Exemption

At the February 25 Board meeting, a partial exemption from school taxes for veterans was approved by the Spackenkill Board of Education.   Military veterans may receive an exemption based upon their type and time of service.  The default exemptions were approved for Spackenkill veterans. READ MORE

Food Service Account Allows Parents to Manage Food Choices

If your child has a dietary restriction or allergy that you would like listed on their NutriKids/MySchoolBucks account or if you wish to limit or block the purchase of a specific food item, please contact the Spackenkill Food Service Department at 463-7836 or
CLICK HERE for the School Lunch web section

UPDATE: EngageNY Portal Parent Fact Sheet

The EngageNY Portal provides educators, parents, and students with access to educational data, curriculum and instructional resources. The updated document includes responses to additional questions raised over the past few weeks in addition to a short summary of the data security and privacy protections in place for the EngageNY Portal. Additional information about the Portal can be found at

READ the Parent Fact Sheet (PDF) | EngageNY Portal Data Dictionary (PDF)

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