Red Hook Central Schools

Welcome to our teaching and learning community.

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.

District Response to Comptroller's Report & Media Coverage

Dear Community Member: 
 
I have observed many misleading portrayals of people and organizations over my tenure as Superintendent. The Red Hook Central School District has recently been the target of both a misleading New York State Comptroller’s Report and a related media report.  
 
Here are the facts:
 
The June 2016 Comptroller’s Report outlined four recommendations for future budgeting. 
 
Recommendation #1: Adopt budgets with reasonable estimated projections, using budget-to-actual-trend analysis to project needs.  
Our Response: We provide monthly reports on actual expenditures (YTD) to the Board of Education. During our annual budget development process, District leaders review each budget line and reserve amounts for reasonableness. We regularly make conservative estimates given the unpredictability of state funding and the likelihood of unexpected expenses.  
 
Recommendation #2Discontinue the practice of adopting budgets that result in the appropriation of unrestricted fund balance that is not actually needed to fund district operations.  
Our response: We maintain only the allowable amount of unrestricted fund balance for emergencies. The Comptroller has taken the unusual position that unused contingency funds should be included in an unrestricted fund balance calculation. We believe this approach is wholly inappropriate and would likely lead to program reductions and wild fluctuations in the tax levy.
 
Recommendation #3Develop a plan to use the surplus fund balance identified in this report in a manner that benefits district residents. Such uses could include: using surplus funds as a financing source, funding one-time expenditures, funding needed reserves, reducing District property taxes.
Our response: We use our surplus fund balances to the benefit of district residents and students. We routinely apply any surplus funding to reduce taxes, make one-time purchases, and fund reserves.
 
Recommendation #4Review reserves to determine if the amounts reserved are justified, necessary, and reasonable. To the extent they are not, reserves should be properly reduced.
Our response: We review for reasonableness every year. And, in the absence of a predictable fiscal environment, it would be irresponsible of District leadership to reduce reserves unnecessarily and compromise our ability to adjust for unexpected events.
 
While we welcome the Comptroller’s opinion, I am obligated to remind community members that it is only an opinion. I believe our students and taxpayers have benefitted from our conservative approach to budgeting. This approach has allowed the District to maintain program opportunities for students, adjust for unpredictable expenses, and avoid wild fluctuations in the tax levy. 
 
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at pfinch@rhcsd.org or our Business Official, Bruce Martin, at bmartin@rhcsd.org.
 
Regards,
 
Paul Finch, Superintendent

  
Alumni Survey to Launch in June

Dear Parents & Guardians,

As part of our ongoing commitment to our students, the District is launching an annual Alumni Survey.  Beginning with the Class of 2016 graduates, we will be collecting data on our students’ perceptions of our learning community.  We want to know whether they feel prepared for work, for life, and for higher levels of education. We want to know which aspects of our program had the most impact on them and which aspects had a lesser impact. We want to know if we missed anything our graduates feel was critical as they progressed from freshman to graduating seniors.  The input we receive from our graduates will be analyzed and used to inform plans for future improvement. 

In the fall of 2016, our Alumni Survey will be expanded to include the graduating classes of 2013 and 2011.  Surveying the young adults in these cohorts will allow us to collect more nuanced information from students who have had several years of work and/or higher education experiences since they received their Red Hook High School diplomas.

In order to collect the desired feedback, the District will launch a Twitter Feed to make seniors aware of the survey.  The feed is called “@TheRHHSSurvey,” and both the District (@rhcsd) and the Guidance Office (@redhookguidance) Twitter accounts will follow @TheRHHSSurvey.  In addition, we will be posting information about the survey on the Guidance Office Facebook page, and working with the Senior Student Council to get the word out to improve our response rate. 

The Alumni Survey of the Class of 2016 will be administered via SurveyMonkey, beginning in mid-June of this year. It is critical that students, themselves, respond to the questions so that we are measuring their first-hand experiences of the District.  Parents are welcome to email their feedback to the District at pfinch@rhcsd.org.

Regards,

Paul Finch, Superintendent


 
New Red Hook High School Principal Appointed 

Dear Parents, Guardians and Community Members:

After an intensive search process, I am pleased to announce that Mr. Philip E. Campbell has been appointed as Red Hook High School’s next Principal.  Mr. Campbell will begin on July 11, 2016.  This start date will afford Mr. Campbell an opportunity to collaborate with Mr. Paisley on a seamless transition. 

Mr. Campbell is no stranger to Red Hook.  His family moved to Red Hook in 1986 and he graduated from our high school in 1990.  Since that time, Mr. Campbell completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education (Mathematics), a Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration and Supervision. He is currently completing a Doctoral Program in Instructional Leadership.  Mr. Campbell taught mathematics for several years in the Arlington Central School District and in Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District (in Westchester) where he served as the Dean of Students during the 2005-2006 school year. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Campbell became a high school assistant principal with the Somers Central School District in Westchester.  He is currently completing his tenth year in that position.

As part of the interview process, several members of our administrative team visited Somers and met with their administrators, staff, students, and parents.  At these meetings, Mr. Campbell was described as “extremely engaged and visible”, “a great listener”, “very responsive”, “student-centered”, “a thoughtful educator and leader”, and a “genuine humanist”.  I am confident that these qualities will serve our students, parents, and staff well.  It is without hesitation that I welcome him back to the Red Hook Central School District and look forward to working with him in the high school leadership position.

As part of his transition plan, Mr. Campbell will create multiple opportunities to get to know him after he begins his duties on July 11. I encourage you to attend one of these events to welcome him to our teaching and learning community.

Regards,

Paul Finch, Superintendent 


 
Red Hook Rocks it at NYSSMA Majors Festival! 
 
Congratulations HS Chorus Members!
 
At the NYSSMA Majors Festival on May 25th they received a Gold with Distinction recognition. The highest score that can be given to a group. Thanks parents, teachers and community members for supporting our music program. This year our students at all levels have won many awards and recognitions and high praise goes to our Music Department teachers. They have worked countless hours, both inside and outside of the classroom to mentor our musicians. Thank you all for your dedication to our kids. Thank you Mr. Zeller, Mr. Funigiello, Mr. Van Ness, Mr. Pogemiller, Mr. Dunda, Mrs. Silvernail, and Mrs. Launhardt.
 
Congratulations to the members of our 6/7 Chorus at LAMS on their outstanding performance at the NYSSMA Majors Festival on May 25th. The students received a rating of Silver on a Level 3 program: which is a high school level of difficulty. Our students rose to the challenge and did an incredible job. Thank you to parents, teachers and community members for supporting our music program and the outpouring of praise and encouragement for our students. 
____________________________________________________________________________________
4th Year in a Row!
 
The New York State Education Department has identified Red Hook Senior High School as a Reward School for the 2016-17 year, based on 2014-15 school year results. This designation recognizes schools who do well overall and have no subgroup that falls below state benchmarks. Congratulations to RHHS faculty, staff and students! 
 

Three Years Running! 
 
RHCSD has once again been named a "Best Community for Music Education" by the NAMM Foundation.  This makes three years in a row! Thank you to our wonderful music department and our great student musicians. And, that you to the Red Hook community for all your help and support!
 


Policies for All Employees for 2015-16 School Year

In its continued commitment to reducing paper consumption and making resources available in electronic format, the district is making the following policies for employees available in PDF format. Staff are expected to review these documents before signing the required acknowledgement form and submitting it to their building's main office secretary.  If you have any questions about the policies, please contact the District Clerk Elena Maskell at 845-758-2241 ext. 55010. To open the policy, click on its name.

 

Headlines

Announcements

  • Familiar Faces Join the Ranks of RHCSD Staff

     

    staff Recently, we transitioned the team of Occupational and Physical Therapists from contractor status to district employees. Among the several reasons for this change in status was the benefit for district staff and students in establishing longer-term relationships with these valued professionals. Additionally, the district felt the transition would help it to meet its obligations under the Affordable Care Act. We are pleased to acknowledge Sarah Shea (PT), Margaret Mary Cayea (PT), Stacie Totman (OT), Alicia Mattson (OT), and Christa Holberg (OT) as an integral part of our teaching and learning community!
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  • RoboRaiders Robotics Team For the Win!
     
    rhhs robotics team The Red Hook RoboRaiders Robotics Team took Albany by storm Saturday, January 16, in the Capital Region Qualifying tournament.  The RoboRaiders were the only undefeated team in the tournament, and placed first at the end of a grueling six-hour day of matches, ending as the Winning Alliance Captain.
     
    The team also won the First Place INSPIRE Award for best overall team, Second Place Control Award for the autonomous programming of the robot, and Third Place Design Award for the CAD model of the robot.
     
    Coaches Dwane Decker and Yvonne Pierce are proud of how far the students in RoboRaiders have come over the past four years, and wish to thank everyone involved in supporting the team and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in our schools. 
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  • 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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