What's Right with Spackenkill! Feb. 9, 2018

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What's Right with Spackenkill!

February 9, 2018

A tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow

Dear Spackenkill Community, 

Our four principals recently completed school audits of student achievement. Some of their remarks included discussions of state testing performance.  High school students all undertake mandated final Regents exams. In grades 3 – 8 the majority of our students participate in the testing requirements. Both elementary principals in their comments to the Board of Education noted the value of having a higher participation rate. I share those sentiments. This year ELA tests will be given online (April). Math tests will remain paper and pencil (May). The good news is that the tests have been shortened from three days to two days. There are benefits to families who participate in state testing. It’s one more piece of information that is helpful in guiding instruction. We urge you to participate in the NYS assessments.

In this issue of What’s Right with Spackenkill! we chronicle a number of student and staff initiatives. I can’t help smiling every time I see our younger students dressed as scientists engaging in our new hands-on science program. The opportunities in STEM are plentiful in our district, so consider attending the STEAM Saturday program at Orville Todd Middle School on February 24th. Glad to turn the page on this week of wintry mix!


Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


Students Tour BOCES CTI

The High School Guidance Office arranged a visit for interested 10th grade students to the Dutchess County BOCES Career and Technical Institute on Wednesday, January 31st. The event began with a presentation overview of the school and programs offered, including Small Engine Technology, Veterinary Science, Construction Trades, Electrical Construction Technology, Welding, Early Childhood Education, Automotive Technology, Information Technology, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management, and Health Occupations.  The visitors also watched a video that was produced by the program participants featuring interviews with students in each trade.  As well, a few current students shared their experiences.  Afterward, the 10th graders toured two programs of their choice in action. The busy day wrapped up with a question-and-answer session.

listening to a presentation


BOCES Student of Distinction

Destiny Purcell with Duane SharrockAt the January 22nd Board of Education meeting, 11th grader Destiny Purcell, a student at BOCES Alternative High School, was named  a Dutchess BOCES Student of Distinction by Duane Sharrock, BOCES Alternative Education Coordinator, pictured at left with Destiny. “Destiny has accomplished a lot in three years with us,” said Mr. Sharrock.  “She helps students who are having difficulties, especially if she notices that peers are struggling. She has been able to maintain her academic progress and stay on track to graduate next year with a Regents diploma.“ Mr. Sharrock also provided many examples of Destiny’s club and extra-curricular activities, including Green Team (recycling), Student Council (she is president), volunteer work with Helping Hand, and community service activities, such as serving food to the homeless through Family Partnership in Poughkeepsie and organizing a hat and scarf drive for patients at Dyson Cancer Center. Congratulations to Destiny, her family, and her teachers!


Math Students Continue to Excel

math imageCongratulations to the math students who recently participated in the February American Scholastic Mathematics Association competition.

There were three perfect scores of 7 earned by Anya Justin, Rachel Li and Andrew Wu.

Scoring 6 were Jessica Cohen, Tomas Herrera, Adele Long, Cynthia Ma, Qihang Yao, and Jeremy Webster.




Steam Day Feb 24STEAM Day will take place on February 24th at Todd Middle School. This year, there is an art component (the "a" in "steam"), so it should be more amazing than ever!


Google Goggles Inspire Wonder

cell seen through Google GogglesMrs. Maloney's SHS bio class recently explored cells through Google Goggles. Everyone found it fascinating. Mr. Malkischer can also be seen looking through the goggles in the bottom-most photo.

Mrs. Maloney introduces students to cells up close

Students look through goggles
Mr. Malkischer joins students to look through Google Goggles


HS Scientists Score High 

Science Olympiad logoCongratulations to our Science Olympiad students on their many successes on Saturday, February 3rd. The students came in at 2nd place and received medals in all but one event! Kudos also to Ms. Prisco and Mrs. Matts! Please click here to take a look at the score sheet.



Varsity Cheerleaders Give Back

Sparrow's Nest logoThe Varsity Cheerleading Team held a fundraiser at the home Varsity Boys Basketball game on February 2nd. The team collected and donated $115 to benefit Sparrow’s Nest. Thank you to Coach Shafran and parent Melissa Noble for helping to organize the event.


Start with Hello!

Mrs. Phillips addressing students at lunchOn Monday, February 5th, Todd students learned about how to be a more connected and inclusive school and community. During lunch periods, Mrs. Phillips (shown at left) presented Start with Hello, a youth violence prevention program from The Sandy Hook Promise. She encouraged students to talk to and welcome other students, especially if someone is a new student or is sitting alone. Mrs. Camburn distributed Start with Hello bracelets and stickers to reinforce the message (below).  On Friday, students also observed  National No One Eats Alone Day.

Mrs. Camburn distributing bracelets

Mrs. Camburn distributing bracelets



PARP Is Magic

The Pick a Reading Partner (PARP) Finale Magic Show took place last Friday evening in the Hagan cafeteria. A crowd of elementary students and their parents enjoyed a “Reading Rocks” show presented by magician Joe Holiday in celebration of the completion of our four-week PARP program. 

Magic act


Young Scientists Explore Their World

Mrs. Andrea Davis's kindergarten class has been delving into the Science 21 Curriculum.  The Science 21 Curriculum investigates how science is at play in our everyday lives. Wearing lab coats, students conduct hands-on experiments and are encouraged to ask questions and make hypotheses. The class explored measuring temperature, laws of motion, including pushing and pulling forces, building weight-supporting structures, and other fun topics.
scientists at work







15 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie,  NY

(845) 463-7800

Mission: Inspired by a tradition of excellence and a spirit of continuous improvement, the Spackenkill School District will provide all of our students with the academic and social skills necessary to pursue their goals and become responsible citizens in an interdependent global community.

Vision: All Spackenkill graduates will be lifelong learners who are inspired to pursue their dreams and contribute to the global society.

Please submit story ideas to mary.forsell@sufsdny.org

Issues of the newsletter are available on the Spackenkill website: www.spackenkillschools.org/district_newsletter_ archive