on the Putnam Valley Schools
May 14, 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

League of Middle Schools Award

New Blood Drive

Classroom Connect Awards


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Superintendent's Corner

I wish to remind you that the District is voting on May 19th, from 6 AM to 9 PM in the Old Gym of the Putnam Valley Elementary School.

There are three items to be voted on. The first is the District Proposed Budget for the 1998-99 school year. The total budget is $18,598,330. Based upon recent assessment information, Putnam Valley's tax rate is now projected to be 1.82% and Carmel's tax rate is projected to be 1.63%. In Cortlandt the tax rate is projected to remain at 23.67%.

The latest tax rate increase estimate of 1.82% for Putnam Valley is lower than originally projected. The district just received the 1998 tentative assessment roll figures from Putnam Valley and Carmel. Based on the 1998 tentative assessment roll, the estimated tax rate increase for Putnam Valley is 1.82% and the estimated tax rate increase for Carmel is 1.63%. The estimate for Cortlandt remains unchanged at 23.67%. The changes in the tax rate estimates are due to an increase in the 1998 tentative assessment roll in Putnam Valley and a decrease in the 1998 tentative assessment roll in Carmel. The Cortlandt tax rate estimate is based on the 1997 final assessment roll that has not changed.

The unusually high Cortlandt tax rate is based upon three factors. One factor was a court ordered tax reduction last year of $96,255. The reduction has to be made up this year. The make up of the reduction will result in an 11.11% tax rate increase. Second, changes in the State's equalization rate will contribute 8.34% more. Third, budget increases add 4.22% to the total. When added together, the whole increase is 23.67% The court ordered tax reduction and the State's equalization rates are beyond the District's control.

 

A second proposition before the voters is a bus replacement plan that will replace the 19 buses in our fleet over a period of five years. The current bus fleet is aging and has very high mileage. For example, the eight vans scheduled for replacement in the first year have an average age of ten years and have an average of 198,287 miles on their odometers. There is no payment made in the 1998-99 school year budget because of the way in which the purchase is financed. The cost, in 1999-2000, to the average tax payer, is estimated to be $11.07 for the year.

Finally, voters will elect two Board of Education members to three year terms. The candidates, in the order of their appearance on the ballot are: Joseph R. Saporito, Marie T. Zarcone and Patrick D. Bellino.

Edward MacDonald is retiring from the Board of Education after fifteen years of service to the children and community of Putnam Valley. His unprecedented experience and very wise advice will be greatly missed by the community and school district. Mr. MacDonald's wise counsel always considered, "The Child First and Foremost, Building a Foundation for the Future."

If you wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this column or other items related to the school district, please 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.

  • May 18 (Monday): Annual meeting, 8:15 PM
  • May 19 (Tuesday): Public vote on the budget

 

  • May 28 (Thursday): Language arts update
  • June 22 (Monday): End of the year business
  • May 26 (Tuesday): Special Education program update; science update


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League of Middle School Award

On March 22, the New England League of Middle Schools presented one of its two awards for excellence in middle level curriculum innovations to Karen Brothers, sixth grade teacher at our Middle School. Over 800 schools belong to this prestigious organization. Over 2000 teachers attended the 17th Annual NELMS Conference in Providence, Rhode Island where Mrs. Brothers accepted her award for a unit called the "Medical Mile."


The Medical Mile unit gave students an overview of medicine, its practice in the past and present, and its possibilities in the future. It began with a study of Medieval medicine and the Bubonic plague (taught in collaboration with social studies). Students learned about such primitive treatments as bleeding and blistering. The unit then moved to a more scientific understanding of the causes and treatments of disease and disease prevention. This included the discovery of penicillin, the development of

 

vaccinations, an understanding of viruses and bacteria, and various methods of disease transmission. Students studied the work of the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Finally, community residents who work in health-related fields came to school to share their experiences with students. Sixth-graders learned that much of the future of medicine will involve the study of genetics, where many answers to the causes and cures of modern illnesses are to be found.

The five week unit culminated in a community blood drive that brought in a record setting 141 pints of blood, with many sixth-graders helping at every step.

New Blood Drive

We hope to do as well again this year. Come to the 1998 Blood Drive on May 19. It will be held in the Elementary School New Gym between 3 and 8:30 PM. Help us break the old record!



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Classroom Connect Awards

On April 24 at its annual east coast conference, the Classroom Connect organization presented four awards to teachers for their exceptional use of technology in education. Two of those awards went to staff from the Putnam Valley Central School District.

Frank Reale, technology and math teacher at the Middle School, received a STAR (spectacular teachers achieving results) award for his key role in developing the school's television studio (PVTV), the Peers Influence Peers Partnership, and the school's web sites (#). Composed mostly of students from Putnam Valley with assistance from other area residents, the partnership has a primary goal of enabling high school students to speak out to their peers about positive choices and the dangers of substance abuse.

Over the past four years, the Peers Influence Peers Partnership has produced four major telecasts and a number of substance abuse prevention videos. The telecasts have aired statewide and gone into the homes of millions of people. The task force's fourth annual show was broadcast on cable television on April 25th. Some of the videos have been seen on national television and in such places as Giants Stadium. Various celebrities have volunteered their time to work with our students on the show and videos, including Derek Jeter, Puff Daddy, Governor George Pataki, Floyd Patterson, and General Barry McCaffrey, director of the National Drug Control Policy. You can visit the Peers Influence Peers web site (#pip/pip96.html) at the Middle School.

 

A second award, for excellence in instruction and technology, was presented to the Putnam Valley Elementary School's second grade staff for an extensive fairy tale project they and their 130 students recently completed. The project began with a look at the nature and style of fairy tales. Students read stories by the Brothers Grimm and other authors and learned the elements that make up a fairy tale. For example, they begin with "Once upon a time ..."; they happened a long time ago; they involve fantasy; and so on.

Students then began working on their own fairy tales. They organized their thoughts by using storyboards on which they drew pictures of the setting, characters, problem, and solution of their story. They told their stories to a friend, edited their work as necessary, and prepared their work for publication. They made illustrations in the art room or with special programs in the computer lab. While all this was going on, they also learned fairy tale songs in the music room, heard other fairy tales while in the library, and looked at fairy tales on the Internet. Their artistic and written work flowed throughout the halls of the second grade wing, turning it into a fairy tale wonderland.

The second grade staff created an eight- by three-foot banner about the project that was displayed at the Atlantic City Convention Center throughout the Classroom Connect conference. We also put together a web site (#FT/FTHome.html) that shows what students learned. Participating staff included Debbie Carvo, Jennifer Cronk, Dianne Dlugolecki, Fran Lane, Judy Grogan, Jan Jesse, Pat Madeux, Melissa Mattia, Evelyn Reyes, Michele Linse, Chris Petrone, Isabelle Richards, and Fred Schwinger. Their banner is now on display in the school's main lobby, along with a picture of the trophy.




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