What's Right with Spackenkill! December 21, 2018



What's Right with Spackenkill!

December 21, 2018


blue ribbon schools

blue ribbon schools

Dear Spackenkill Community,

As I’ve traveled from building to building this week, I’ve experienced the positive energy and the festive feelings that the holidays bring. Our schools should make sure that we represent the many cultures that make up our school district. I believe our buildings reflect the diversity of our school culture.
Some schools districts ban the celebration of holidays for a number of reasons. One of the reasons that they cite is the disruption it creates to the educational process. As a former high school principal, I never took that approach. I’ve found that in general my students were mature and were able to manage the joy of the holidays and to settle down in the classroom to get their work done. I have made the same observation all week in our schools.
On behalf of the Board of Education and the District Office, we wish you a very happy holiday in whatever form your family celebrates. We hope that you’re able to spend time with the great children and teens that make up your family and the Spackenkill extended family. Schools are closed beginning Monday, December 24th, and will reopen on Wednesday, January 2nd.

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


Traditions Around the World

The second grade learned about customs and beliefs from around the world over the last two weeks. Students moved from classroom to classroom to do crafts and read stories. Mrs. Zanca taught students about La Befana, the Italian good Christmas witch, and students made a broom craft. Mrs. Wilcox presented traditional Christmas. Mrs. Strapec’s classroom studied Kwanzaa, while Mrs. Boyce covered Hanukkah traditions. Mrs. Turner taught about the Mexican legend of la posada (poinsettia) and students made beautiful paper flowers.

On Thursday, first graders shared their holiday traditions with visiting family and friends. Each student made a poster describing their favorite moments from the past and what they look forward to this year.

2nd graders learning about cultural traditions
Above: Second graders made crafts and learned about traditions in other cultures as well as our own.
first grade holiday presentations
Above: First graders share holiday traditions with family and friends.

Angels in PJs

Last Friday, the Todd community supported Angels of Light, a charity that helps  children and families with life-threatening illnesses in the Hudson Valley. Participants made donations to the charity and wore pajamas to school. All told, Todd raised $460. Special thanks to event organizers Mrs. Vila, Mrs. Ackert, and Mrs. McGuire.

angels of light fundraiser

Elementary Music Departments Celebrate

The Nassau In-School Holiday concert featuring Hagan musicians took place Wednesday. Directed by Mr. Andreas, the second grade did a wonderful job singing, and Hagan Gold Strings, Band, and 4/5 Chorus continued the festive mood. Ms. Valentine and Mrs. Burgess introduced Nassau students to instruments they might be playing in the near future.  That evening, Elementary Concert #2 took place at the high school, the last concert of the holiday season. Click here to read the program.

Nassau in-school concert

Coaches Inspire Future Rowers

 Crew coachers Matt Rignanese and Robin Ackerman  presented to grades 9 and 10 during PE classes recently about the sport of rowing. Students learned about the history of rowing in Poughkeepsie and about our crew club. They also had an opportunity to row using our erg machines. The coaches will present to the middle school students after the break.

Team News

boys tournament
girls tournament

Holiday Houses

Mrs. Boyce's second grade enjoyed a special visit from Ginny Pidala, a retired home economics teacher who used to teach in the Haldane District. Mrs. Pidala has been making gingerbread houses for 35 years and had a lot of tips for the students, such as twisting the frosting bag tightly and decorating the houses without the roofs on to make it easier. The resulting creations were beautiful. The students took them home to enjoy with their families.

Mrs Boyce's gingerbread houses

Trading Treats

 cookie swap

Fifteen staff members at Nassau participated in a cookie swap on Monday.  Each participant made a special cookie to help out with everyone's holiday baking.  There were gingerbread, biscotti, apricot thumbprints, and chocolate marshmallow, to name a few.  They all went home with five dozen cookies!

SHS Festivities

Orchestra and band musicians played holiday tunes in the SHS lobby this morning for the enjoyment of all. In other doings this past week, the French Club hosted a chocolate fondue party, and classroom and library doors sported imaginative decorations.
holiday musicians
HS door decor



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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