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Announcements

  • MySchoolBucks Parent Portal
    The Food Services Department encourages parents to use mySchoolBucks, a convenient and secure online payment and parent information portal for cafeteria purchases. For more information, visit the Food Services' website.
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  • backpack

    Virtual Backpack
    Click on the backpack to be redirected to the school district's virtual backpack full of information for students and their families. You will find school events, lunch menus, newsletters, community events and more in the virtual backpack! 
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  • Closing/Delay/Emergency Information
    School delays, cancellations and changes in dismissal times will be posted on the district website and its Twitter feed @rhcsd, recorded on the message center (845-758-2241) and shared with area television and radio stations. Parents are advised to keep emergency contact information current by notifying the main office of your child's school if phone numbers or email addresses change. 

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Red Hook Central School District
9 Mill Road
Red Hook, NY 12571
Tel. 845-758-2241

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Welcome

Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Red Hook Central School District shall be to develop in its students the knowledge, intellectual integrity, and social consciousness to prepare them to accept the obligations and opportunities found in a complex society. The District seeks to provide a challenging educational environment that fosters and rewards the values of respect, responsibility, honesty, integrity, and community service in all its members.
 
Message from the Superintendent: Food for Thought...
 

Dear Community Member:

 

Here are three comments I have heard lately:

 

Our expectations are higher than ever.” – Red Hook Teacher

Kids are stressed out. What are we doing to them?” – PTSA Member

You shouldn’t force me to take a lunch just because I choose to challenge myself.” – Red Hook High School Student

 

There is a lot to think about in these statements.  I'd like to share some of my responses to these very real and reasonable comments.

 

I have yet to find anyone who disagrees with the idea that high expectations are good. The disagreement comes in the application of a single standard to a diverse group of learners. It becomes more muddled with the realization that learning is not linear and that it is impacted by a myriad of variables outside of the control of the school. By way of extreme example, to expect a severely learning disabled student to meet the same standard as a non-disabled peer is ludicrous. We should celebrate achieving the highest possible outcome for each individual student. Admittedly, the danger in this approach is that we aim too low and never realize what can be for a student. I view it as the professional educator's responsibility to work with parents to set the highest possible standard for each child.

 

Many kids ARE stressed out. So are parents. So are teachers. So are administrators. This search for competitive advantage is a cultural creature that our society is going to have to grapple with. I recently read a book called Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz that addresses what he believes is the move away from real education and toward credentialism. While I don’t agree with everything Mr. Deresiewicz writes, I do worry that we have lost something with this resume-building mentality that pervades secondary and post-secondary education. It's time for a larger conversation about this.

 

Lunch is over-rated. (I am kidding.) The fact that many students choose not to take a lunch in favor of advanced course-work is a classic collision of free choice, scheduling constraints, and our district values. I wish there was an easy solution, but I am reminded of one student who recently told me that he wouldn’t take a lunch even if we forced it upon him. Instead, he would use the time to study and reduce the overall anxiety he feels about completing his homework. It sounds eminently reasonable, doesn’t it?

 
My personal opinion is that we need to educate everyone about the health benefits of a little down time. There ARE long-term cognitive and social consequences associated with being unable to relax (and laugh!). It is a balancing act. We want students to look back at their high school experience and say they struck the right balance between pursuing academics and making memories with friends. 

 

Just a few things to think about...

 

Sincerely,

Paul Finch, Superintendent
 
 reflections  Fall/Winter 2014 Newsletter is available  by clicking here.
 
 
Veterans' Tax Exemption Available For Eligible Taxpayers 
On the evening of November 5, 2014, a Public Hearing was held at the Red Hook Central School District on the possible approval of a Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption for eligible veterans who own property in the District.  At the Regular Board of Education Meeting that same evening, the Board approved a Veterans’ Exemption of up to $12,000 of assessed value for wartime veterans, up to $20,000 of assessed value for combat veterans, and up to $40,000 of assessed value for disabled veterans.  These exemptions will become available for the 2015 school tax year to eligible veterans who have an approved exemption on file with the appropriate town assessor prior to March 1, 2015. 
 
New Math In Focus Program for K-5 Students:
After an extensive search for a new K-5 math program, the district has adopted the Math In Focus program to address the higher expectations required by New York State Education Department. The program offers a focused and coherent syllabus that teaches topics in greater depth. The topics are taught to mastery, so student skills will build from year to year across grade levels without repetition. For more information click here
 
Recommended Reading from Superintendent Finch:
The New York Times Article - A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D.
 
Registering a New Student
If you would like to register a new student for the 2014-15 school year, you MUST contact the Registrar Elena Maskell at 845-758-2241 ext. 55010 to schedule an appointment to meet with her. The Registrar's office gets very busy at times! Please schedule your appointment to register new students as soon as you have all the required documentation. Questions? Email her at emaskell@rhcsd.org.
 

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