Upcoming BOE Meetings

The Spackenkill Union Free School District Board of Education will hold a Special Meeting on Friday, September 4 at 9:30 am at the Spackenkill District Office. The Board will conduct a walk-through of all district buildings and grounds. The Board will hold a Regular Meeting on Monday, September 21 at 7:30 pm at the Orville A. Todd Middle School Dining Hall. On the agenda are Recommendations from the Committee Regarding Retirement of Numbers in Athletics, presented by Marco Lanzoni; Survey Plan, presented by Lois Powell; and Proposed Smart Schools Plan, presented by Lori Mulford and Brett Hasbrouck.

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.

Back-to-School Updates

School opens on Wednesday, September 9. The school calendar has been revised and Monday, September 14 is now a Superintendent's Conference Day. There will be no school for students. Please be aware that the district now has the option of calling both 2- and 3-hour delays during the 2015-2016 school year.

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."

More Headline News

Letter from Assemblymember Didi Barrett

CLICK HERE to read a letter from Assemblymember Didi Barrett to the Spackenkill Board of Education.

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 March 26, 2014,  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. 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.

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.

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.

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.



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.

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 lisa.french@sufsdny.org.
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 www.engageny.org/portal.

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

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