on the Putnam Valley Schools
March 19, 1998
a periodic newsletter of the Putnam Valley Central School District
Phone: 914-528-8143 Fax: 914-528-0274

Index

Superintendent's Corner

Board of Education Meetings

Peers Influence Peers Telethon

Technology Plan

Report Cards

Middle School Report Card

Elementary School Report Card

School Buses


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Superintendent's Corner

The 1998-99 budget is currently being prepared by the Board of Education and the administrators to be submitted for a vote by the community on May 19, 1998. Building a budget is an ongoing process and I encourage your participation. In March there are two meetings scheduled for further discussions on the budget: March 23 and March 26 at the Middle School at 7:30 PM. Please plan to attend.

If you cannot attend these meetings, they will be shown on cable television Channel 34, Tuesday evenings at 8:30 PM. In addition, all materials that were distributed at the budget meetings will be available in each of the District's schools, the Superintendent's Office, the local library, and senior citizen center.

The Board of Education recognizes that the final budget it will adopt at its April 2 meeting (7:30 PM in the Middle School) will be the result of input from a variety of sources.

 

Many citizens and organizations took the time to fill out surveys that provided written input to the Board of Education. At the budget meetings many individuals have shared their views on the budget, both publicly and with individual Board of Education members. The process is ongoing and your continued input is necessary. This budget, as is presently constituted, will maintain our fine educational programs. Class sizes will be continued at the current levels. The proposed budget will increase support for a full time librarian at the Middle School, let us lease new computer equipment, and increase a secretary's position at the Middle School to twelve months from ten.

This budget will have a tax rate that will keep in mind the needs of our students and at the same time keep in mind the ability of the taxpayer to pay. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 528-8143.

John Kleinegris, Superintendent of Schools


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Board of Education Meetings

The Board meets at 7:30 PM (except as noted) in the Middle School cafeteria.

  • March 23 (Monday): Special Education program update; budget discussion
  • March 26 (Thursday): Sports and clubs; social studies; budget discussion
  • March 30 (Monday): Budget workshop (if needed)

 

  • April 2 (Thursday): Special business meeting to adopt a proposed budget
  • April 21 (Tuesday): Work session; housing update
  • April 23 (Thursday): Business meeting; math update
  • May 6 (Wednesday): Final budget presentation and discussion
  • May 18 (Monday): Annual meeting, 8:15 PM
  • May 19 (Tuesday): Public vote on the budget


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Peers Influence Peers Telethon

The annual Peers Influence Peers Telethon, produced by Putnam Valley students and residents, will air on your local cable TV station on Saturday, April 25, at 7 PM. Tune in and help us fight substance abuse.

Technology Plan

Copies of the 1998 school district technology plan are at the library and the district's web site. Thanks go to Jennifer Cronk, Paul Lee, Chris Petrone, Frank Reale, Sheldon Salzberg, Joseph Saporito, and Michael Sklaar for their many hours of work.


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Report Cards

The New York State Education Department has just released its second annual set of school report cards. These replace the former Comprehensive Assessment Report and contain information about how students at individual schools performed on various state tests. In the next two articles, our two principals summarize the report cards for their schools.

 

Copies of the complete report cards, including sample questions and data that compare our schools with similar schools throughout the state, are available at each school main office and the Putnam Valley library. You can also download copies from the Education Department's Internet site.



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Middle School Report Card

The New York State Report Cards allow the school community to review key information about a school's academic performance - information which will serve as a foundation for school improvement. Last year our report card was viewed in this way. Although our students did quite well, we looked at it as laying the challenge for us to improve our programs in reading and mathematics. The results on this year's report card indicate that we have made steps in accomplishing this goal.

Last year in the Writing test in Grade 5, 95% of our students scored above the State reference point. This year, 99% of our students did. In Reading-Grade 6 last year, 91% of our students scored above the State reference point. This year, 96% achieved this level.

 

In Math-Grade 6 last year, 98% of our students scored above the State reference point. This year, 97% of our students did. Our Social Studies program ranked in the 64th percentile last year. Its rank this year was in the 70th percentile. Our Social Studies-Grade 8 program was ranked in the 62nd percentile last year. This year it rose to the 78th percentile.

Overall, we see that our students' results are competitive with those from similar schools in New York State. We look again at these results this year as giving us a focus and direction to continue to improve and strengthen our reading, writing, math and social studies programs. We are pleased with the results and look forward to an even stronger performance next year.

Marjorie Holderman, Principal


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Elementary School Report Card

I am proud of the results of this year's New York State Report Card. Our entire staff is responsible for these notable changes. We have placed a great emphasis on literacy at the Elementary School and our scores reflect this hard work. I should, however, point out that these scores indicate minimum competency levels. The school's goal is to continue to work toward the mastery level, not toward the minimal level.

Highlights of this report card include an increase in the percent of our students reading at or above the State reference point from 89% to 97%. In addition, 52.5% of the students performed with distinction or at the mastery level - a significant increase from our 40% score of last year.

 

Our math and science scores are also high and remain on par with similar schools in the state of New York. We are proud of the progress we have made and will continue to strive to provide the best education for the children of Putnam Valley. We will continue to use the information that is provided to us by the State to improve upon our curriculum and instructional practices.

The new state exams that will be administered in January of 1999 will take a different format than what we are presently accustomed to. We're in the process of preparing our students to meet the new standards and enable them to challenge the Regents exams as high school students.

Edward Hallisey, Principal


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School Buses

The Putnam Valley School District provides transportation services to approximately 1,820 children daily. Our buses and vans go to over 25 schools and travel over a half million miles each year. We contract with the Hudson Valley Bus Company for 16 large buses and 2 vans. The remainder of the transportation routes are covered by our own bus fleet of 16 vans and 3 large buses.

Our daily routes quickly run up the miles. Currently we have 4 buses or vans that have between 40,000 and 99,000 miles on their odometers, 4 that have between 100,000 and 150,000 miles, 7 with between 151,000 and 200,000 miles, and 4 with over 200,000 miles.

 

Most of our buses and vans are showing the wear and tear of daily use over their many years of service. One is 18 years old, 8 are between 10 and 13 years old, 5 are 9 years old, and 5 are less than 9 years old. Our bus and van fleet has served us well but some of the older vehicles are no longer capable of providing reliable daily service without costly repairs and maintenance.

The district is proposing a plan to replace the district's bus and van fleet through a bond. The plan will gradually phase in new vehicles over 5 years. The buses and vans with the highest mileages will be replaced first. The next year another high mileage group will be replaced. This process will continue over 5 years until all the buses and vans are replaced. We believe that staggering the replacements like this will alleviate the problem we now face of the entire fleet getting old at the same time.

Paul Lee, Assistant Superintendent for Business


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