What's Right with Spackenkill! February 8, 2019

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STA Applebee's Fundraiser

DC BOCES Spring Expo

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What's Right with Spackenkill!

February 8, 2019


blue ribbon logo

blue ribbon logo

Dear Spackenkill Community,

A week ago the Poughkeepsie Journal ran an article on local graduation rates. The information was accurate, but could be confusing. The information listed district-wide graduation rates. This information is different from high school graduation rates. District-wide rates include students who do not attend the high school and attend out-of-district placements. In the article it listed two local high school graduation rates correctly, suggesting to the reader that those local high schools in the same district are higher than Spackenkill High School. They are not.

Our high school graduation rate was 98% two years ago and 97% this past year. By chance, I came upon the article below that recognized the best high school graduation rates in upstate New York, and as expected we are among the highest.

This Tuesday, February 12th, will be our next BOE meeting at 7 pm at Orville Todd MS. The agenda is jam-packed. Senior Maddie McCall will share her experiences in Haiti and Lou Rodriguez of the Palombo Group will update us on the Capital Project,  among other reports.

Next week is a short week due to the mid-winter break. Our first calendar draft showed February 14th as school being in session, however, our final, approved calendar shows us closed from Thursday, February 14th, through Monday, February 18th.

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


SHS Graduation Rate Among Best Upstate

Spackenkill High School had a 97% graduation rate in 2018
Under the headline "52 Upstate NY High Schools with Best 2018 Graduation Rates,"  Syracuse.com reported data from the New York State Education Department on February 6th. Spackenkill ranks #19 of upstate districts, in a tie with 15 other districts that have a graduation rate of 97%. Click here to read the article.
Beginning with applications for 2019, senior citizens must apply separately for the Enhanced STAR (School Tax Relief) exemption by March 1. 

Kindergarten Registration

kindergarten registration
Kindergarten Registration is scheduled for February 20th and 21st, 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM at Nassau Elementary School.
Click here to read registration letter

Upcoming PTSA Meetings

February 11th High School
March 11th Todd
April 8th High School
May 13th Todd
June No meeting

All meetings at 7 PM in middle or high school library


Visit the Todd Weather Station

weather station

Mrs. Pink's students maintain the Tod Weather Station on the roof of Todd Middle School. They will use the weather station in their weather unit this springPay a visit to check out the latest conditions right here in Spackenkill! 


You'll also find the link on the Todd Middle School home page just above the announcements.

 Todd Weather Station

Spotlight on Student Adam Macklin

Adam Macklin
Eighth grader Adam Macklin is a familiar face and voice around the middle school. We talked with him about his role in many community outreach events throughout the school year.

You have been very active in Student Government for all three years at Todd. What offices have you held and what inspired you to get involved? 
I was secretary in 6th grade, then vice president last year, and president this year. When I joined student government, it just took off from there. I wanted to make a difference in the school.

What are some of Student Government’s activities?
We participate in fundraisers and events, such as Spiking for Sparrows, which is coming up on February 22nd. We do breakfasts for members of the Spackenkill community--senior citizens and bus drivers--and we also do things for bigger organizations,  such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand and Cookies for Kids Cancer. Every spring we donate a sizable amount of money. We have a great group of kids, with high 6th and 7th grade involvement this year. I just think everyone enjoys being there and wants to help.
Are you involved in organizations outside of school?
I’m signed on to a second year of Hudson Valley KidVenture. It’s a family-friendly event for kids of all abilities. I was basically a spokesperson for the event. I was on the radio and attended a press conference over at Abilities First with Dr. Villanti and my parents. On Friday the 15th, we’ll be shooting a promotion for this year’s event, which will be at Dutchess Community College on April 27 and 28th.

What other extracurriculars do you do?Adam Macklin with sound crew
I’m on sound crew for the school play, Lion King, Jr., which is happening March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I’m also the house manager for the play, House manager organizes all the front-of-the-house stuff like concessions and ticket sales. (see photo of Adam with sound crew at right)

You’re also involved with the morning announcements…
Yes, since sixth grade. It started as just being over the PA  in the morning, but last year on Tuesdays and Thursdays we started doing video announcements.
This year we have a YouTube channel. We record Google Slides and send it out to staff and students. 

Where does this gift for public speaking come from?
I don’t know. Nobody in my family is like me, picking up a microphone. My parents are educators: my dad is a social studies teacher at John Jay and my mom’s a school psychologist in Hyde Park.  I want to go to college and get a degree in education and probably become a teacher. I’ve wanted to do that ever since I was little. 


School Nurse News: When Your Child Should Stay Home

more students are paying visits to the nurse's office
It's that time of year when illness like colds and flu strike hard. “The school nurses in all the buildings are watching for trends in illness and contacting parents as needed,” says Elizabeth Giancaspro, RN, BSN, of the Spackenkill High School Health Office. “No trends have been identified, but we do see an increase of students being absent due to illness.”


Click here to read a letter from the school nurses about when to keep a child home from school.


BOCES CTI Names Honor Roll Students

Listed below are the names of our students who met honor or high honor roll criteria at CTI for the 2nd marking period:
Amir Marji    Honor Roll 85-89
Yerelee Romero Perez    Honor Roll 85-89
Apurbo Abedin    High Honor Roll 90-100
Kaleigh Sheftic    High Honor Roll 90-100

BOCES CTI students
Pictured from left to right are Apurbo Abedin, Amir Marji, Kaleigh Sheftic, and Yerelee Romero Perez.

Science Olympians Earn Medals

Thirty-five students on our two Science Olympiad Teams attended the Invitational Competition at Columbia High School on January 15th.  The A team placed 4th overall and B team placed 11th overall versus 36 teams competing.
The following students earned medals in their events.

1st place Chemistry Lab                 Emilio Herrera & Rachel Li
1st place Fossils                               Rachel Li & Sabah Choudhury
2nd place Experimental Design      Ian Horvath, Luke Hannan & Rachel Li
2nd place Protein Modeling            Sabah Choudhury, Rachel Li, & Emily Ma
3rd place Astronomy                       Albert Yao, Ian Horvath
3rd place Geologic Mapping           Erik Adolfsson, Sabah Choudhury
3rd place Wright Stuff                      Robert Delaurentis

Science Olympiad Team advisors Kathy Prisco and Amy Matts attended.

science olympians

Science Research Class Victories

Eight seniors from the Science Research class were accepted and presented their research at the Regional Competition at Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake High School on January 26th. The student presenters were Ornella Al-Sayah, Mia Eng-Kohn, Zackary Heraghty, Sneha Kamada, Grace Katz, Rachel Li, Irfhan Shaw, and Zoe Whalen.
Four students placed and will be moving on and presenting at the next competition at SUNY Albany in March.

Mia Eng-Kohn             1st place  Biology  
Zackary Heraghty       1st place Environmental Science
Irfhan Shaw                 1st place Behavioral Science
Zoe Whalen                 2nd place Biomedical 

Science Research teachers John Latino, Jennifer Maloney, and Amy Matts attended.


Science research program seniorsPictured top row left to right: Irfhan Shaw, Mia Eng-Kohn, Ornella Al-Sayah, and Zackary Heraghty. Pictured bottom row left to right: Rachel Li, Sneha Kamada, Grace Katz, and Zoe Whalen.

Spring Sports Registration!    register for sports    

The Spackenkill Athletics Department is now offering the convenience of online registration through FamilyID (www.familyid.com). FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to register for sports, and helps us to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible.  

Spring Sports registration opens: 
February 4th for all high school sports (JV and Varsity) 
February 11th for all middle school (modified) sports
Click on the link below to register:

Students to Perform at Cultural Event

Chinese New Year Celebration
Mid-Hudson Chinese Community Association (MHCCA) is holding its 2019 Chinese New Year Celebration of the Year of the Pig on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Roy C. Ketcham High School. Among events of the evening are a dinner and stage performances by area youth. Among performers are Spackenkill’s own Angela Liu, a fifth grader at Hagan Elementary;  Shinrea Su, a ninth grader at  Spackenkill High School; and SHS senior Madeleine Thezan.
Please visit the MHCCA website to order tickets and read more about the event: https://mhcca1968.wixsite.com/mhcca


Eager to Experiment

Second graders in Mrs. Strapec's and Mrs. Turner's classes learned about erosion last week. The students worked together to see what would happen when wind and water were applied to a sandcastle that they tested in class.  Students were very focused and even wore safety goggles while doing this experiment.  The students charted their findings.  They then were given some items that they could use to protect their sandcastle from the effects of erosion before performing the experiment a second time.  The students enjoyed sharing their findings.  They learned a lot and had a great time.  

Mrs. Strapec's second grade conducts erosion science experiment

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.

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