What's Right with Spackenkill! March 15, 2019

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Parent Tech Academy:

Egg Hunts for All

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What's Right with Spackenkill!

March 15, 2019


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blue ribbon logo


Dear Spackenkill Community,

Sunday is St. Patrick's Day, an important day, especially for Irish Americans. My favorite Irish American was my father-in-law, who always kept the Irish Prayer behind his desk. A dairy farmer, he was one of the most well read people that I know. Spackenkill shares the green. Enjoy the weekend and be safe!

Last night I attended the Elementary PTA meeting and the issue of Internet safety was discussed. Many parents, especially of young children, are a bit lost on what they should be mindful of. I encourage you to attend the Hagan-sponsored Parent Tech Academy on March 18th and 25th. I also want to give a shout-out to senior Jonathan Waxman. His lively personality and intellectual curiosity will help me remember the last Board meeting on March 12th with great fondness. Thank you, Jonathan.

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


voteClick here for information about upcoming vote

Click here to download Absentee Ballot Application

Board Seat Petitions:

A seat is available on the Board of Education beginning July 1, 2019 for a five-year term ending June 30, 2024. Petitions for the Board of Education are available in the District Office at 15 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie. Election of School Board Members is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st. Petitions must be received by the District Clerk by 5 pm on April 22, 2019. For more information, please contact District Clerk Sandra Barbieri in the District Office.  Call 845-463-7800 or e-mail [email protected].


Come to Parent Tech Academy 

parent tech academy
Learn how to navigate Google Apps for Education and how to access student accounts from home at this two-part workshop geared to elementary school parents and guardians. Please RVSP by clicking here.
3-8 Assessments Parent Toolkit
Every spring, the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Tests are administered to students across New York State. These annual ELA and math tests for students in grades 3-8 are required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. The tests are designed to measure how well students are mastering the learning standards that guide classroom instruction and help to ensure that students are on track to graduate from high school with the critical thinking, problem solving, and reasoning skills needed for success in college and the modern workplace. The tests also show how schools and districts are progressing with the learning standards and can support professional development for teachers. Click here for the Parent Toolkit for the 2019 tests.

Transportation Requests

Parents and guardians must have requests for private providers for the 2019-20  school year to the Spackenkill UFSD Transportation Department by April 1, 2019. Requests must be filed every year. For more information, please call Doreen Wright, Director of Transportation: 463-7800.

Print a Request for Private/Parochial School Transportation

Print a Request for Daycare Transportation

National Merit Finalists Announced

We are proud to announce that high scho.National Merit Finalistsol students Rachel Li, Zoe Whalen, Mia Eng-Kohn, and Sneha Kamada (pictured left to right with Principal Malkischer) have been named Finalists in the 2019 Competition for the National Merit Scholarship Awards. They are among the 16,000 Semifinalists named in September 2018 who met the National Merit Scholarship Program requirements to advance to finalist standing.  High school students enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements. The finalists are in the running for corporate, National Merit, and college-sponsored scholarships that will be awarded this spring and summer. Congratulations to all!


CAPE Visits SHS Health Classes

Mr. Aagaard's high school health classes recently had a visit from Cristine Groenewegen, a community educator with CAPE (Council on Addiction Prevention & Education). Ms. Groenewegen spoke to the students about how vulnerable young people are to addiction to e-cigarettes. E-cigarette vapor contains harmful particles that can build up in your body.  E-cigarette use can also have unpleasant side effects like vape tongue (when the tongue becomes immune to flavor). Ms. Groenewegen also warned of the dangers of synthetic marijuana and Fentanyl. Later that day at an extended faculty meeting, Principal Malkischer spoke about the teen vaping  epidemic and showed examples of the different paraphernalia used so that teachers would be able to identify it. 

.CAPE visit to HS

Superintendent for the Day

Senior Experiences an Administrator's Routine
.supt for the day
Spackenkill High School student Jonathan Waxman served as Superintendent for the Day on Tuesday, March 12th.  The senior shadowed Dr. Villanti throughout the day, attending a Cabinet Meeting of building administrators and directors  (he is shown at right with Dr. Villanti)  and sitting in on the Board meeting. 

Dr. Villanti has proclaimed today, Friday, March 15th, to be Jonathan Waxman Day. Jonathan shares his experiences as the chief here:
What were your impressions of the Cabinet meeting?

It was interesting. Mr. Malkischer showed us a presentation on threat assessment. It shows that our school is looking at things. We actually do the research before we make decisions, and that’s why Spackenkill is one of the top schools in New York.
When you visited the District Office, what did you learn there?
I met Dave Downes, who is the Facilities Director. I remember seeing him all the time from when I was in elementary school but never knew who he was. I finally found out and that explains a lot! That was a lifelong question answered.
What did your friends say when they found out you were Superintendent for the Day?
My friends all told me to call a snow day. I couldn’t call one for the next day, too, because I had math sectionals.
Most students have never been to a Board meeting before. What did you learn by attending one and sitting with the Superintendent?

I liked the bouncing off of ideas. People respect each other’s ideas even it they don’t agree. I think our country can learn from that--not yelling at each other.
What’s next for you now that you’re about to graduate?

My top college choice that I’ve been accepted to is University of Rochester, but I’m still waiting to hear from others. I want to major in computer science. I learned how to program beginning in fifth grade. Right now I’m taking AP Computer Science. A big shout-out to Mrs. Chaoussoglou-Rotter for making it possible for me to double up on sciences sophomore year and to take computer science--also for being with me through the college process.

The entire staff enjoyed your singing with Spackappella at Superintendent’s Conference Day. Will you continue singing?
I’m looking forward to doing a cappella in college.  I don’t think I’ll become professional. It’s nice to be good at something if it’s not your main thing. 

.Superintendent for the Day
Above: Chatting with Dave Downes and Dr. Villanti at District Office.

Pippin Preview

It was a night to remember last Saturday, March 9th, when several area high schools came together to preview their spring musicals. Kudos to the cast of Pippin for an amazing preview performance. Click here to purchase tickets.

Show dates and times are as follows:

Friday, April 5,  7 pm

Saturday, April 6, 7 pm

Sunday, April 7, 2 pm

.Pippin preview

Bonding Over Books

Mrs. Strapec's second graders and Mrs. Politi's Kindergartners have become book buddies!  The students were able to pair up together to read a story to their buddies.   The kindergartners were so proud to read to second graders, and they also enjoyed being read to by the older students. The second graders loved being the "teacher" while they were together.  The second graders were excellent listeners and loved asking great questions to their buddies to make sure they understood the stories. The students were very well behaved during their time together and they are already asking if they can do it again soon.  Learning while making a new friend at the same time is wonderful!

.book buddies

Upcoming PTSA Meetings

April 8th High School
May 13th Todd
June No meeting

All meetings at 7 PM in middle or high school library

Students Learn Business Skills

Students in Mrs. Lombardi's class at Todd Middle School launched a new weekly initiative to provide them with real world learning opportunities. The students were so excited to begin Fun Food Friday this week. Fun Food Friday consists of students making a food/drink to sell to faculty and staff.  The students start each Friday making a treat, fulfill teachers' orders, and even deliver treats to classrooms--and the District Office.  Skills that they'll practice include following a recipe, sequencing steps in an activity, fulfilling an order, sharing, applying math and handling money, and learning kitchen safety and hygiene. Today, the students made St. Patrick’s-themed treats and plan on making spring-themed goodies and serving coffee and tea in upcoming weeks.

.Fun Friday treat delivery at District Office

Above: Teacher Mrs. Lombardi and TA Mrs. Antonelli accompany students on a delivery to the District Office.

Breakfast of Leprechauns

Kindergartners in Ms. Crisci's and Mrs. Politi's classes enjoyed a green breakfast this past Thursday. Healthy green foods like grapes, celery, and apples brought a smile to everyone's face. 

.Green breakfast

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 [email protected]