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.
Clarification on School Days' Make-Up Schedule
The 2014-15 school year calendar was created with five emergency closing days included before we would have to make up days. As of the closing on February 9, 2015, we
have had seven emergency closings.
According to the 2014-15 school year calendar, we needed to use six emergency closing days by February 1 to be able to use Friday, February 13 as our first make-up day. We did not make this cut-off date.
Therefore, the first make-up day is Monday, April 6, and school will be in session that day. The second make-up day is Friday, May 22, and school will be in session that day. The third make-up day is Monday, March 30. The fourth make-up day is Tuesday, March 31. We will update the district's website calendar and send out SchoolMessenger notification reminders for any changes to the published school year calendar.
Message from the Superintendent: Is Cuomo a Bully?
Dear Community Members:
There is a chart in my office that is titled Distinguishing Bullying from Peer Conflict, Accidents, and Misunderstandings. I have used this chart many times when working with students, staff, and parents to effectively resolve conflicts. As I sit in my office contemplating what to write about Governor Cuomo’s approach to the education community, I find myself drawn to this chart
once again. Is the Governor acting like a bully?
A little background may be helpful for those who don’t actively follow the political drama in Albany. New York State is sitting on one of the largest budget surpluses in history. Instead of adequately funding public education in a predictable way (as ordered by the courts), Governor Cuomo is threatening to freeze education funding until the Legislature approves his education reform agenda. His vitriolic language toward educators has confirmed that he has no real interest in understanding the complexities of the profession. Governor Cuomo has been expert at laying blame at the feet of educators rather than the more likely culprits (i.e., the breakdown of the family unit and economic inequality). The very existence of such a proposal demonstrates that Governor Cuomo’s intention is to take power away from the Regents and the Commissioner of Education (who, in theory, exist to develop and implement well-constructed improvements to the education system).
The fact pattern is unmistakable to me. A bully threatens. A bully has no real empathy. A bully likes to shift blame. A bully likes control. The ultimate hypocrisy in this situation is that Governor Cuomo reaffirmed his commitment to anti-bullying legislation in 2012. We are charged with protecting students from the very actions our Governor displays. It leaves one wondering what to do when the bully is in charge.
The least we can do is call it what it is.
Paul Finch, Superintendent of Schools
Budget Development Held Hostage by Albany Politics
Governor Cuomo recently announced that he will link state aid
to legislative action on his education reform agenda. In particular, the governor wants the legislature to increase the reliance on standardized
tests in the teacher evaluation process, require probationary teachers to earn
five years of effective or highly effective ratings before being eligible for
tenure, and allow for expedited removal of teachers who are chronic poor
performers. Additionally, Governor Cuomo is proposing an increase in the
number of charter schools, enrollment requirements for charter schools, the
continuation of mayoral control in New York City, and a new state intervention mechanism
for under-performing schools.
again, Boards of Education and district leaders are being asked to build their school budgets without predictable revenue projections. This unpredictability is
especially egregious because the courts have already decided that New York
State has not fully funded its commitment to public education. According
to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, the state currently owes public schools an
amount totaling $4.7 billion. In Red Hook, state aid is currently
below our 2009 levels! At a minimum, all public schools deserve to
have the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) removed. The GEA is an “off the
bottom line” reduction in state aid that was created during the 2009 financial
crisis. In Red Hook, it remains as an $851,280 reduction that should be
Superintendent of Schools
Congratulations: to the following students who were grade level representatives in the Grade 5-8 District-wide Spelling Bee on January, 23rd: Charlotte Weinstein, Anastasia Giannoulis, Nuala Seabrook, Hannah Mercier, Adam Wert, Maggie Wainwright, Daniel Rose Levine, and Phoebe Gilbert
Special Congratulations: to Charlotte Weinstein, 5th grade and Alexandra Snyder, 7th grade who will compete in the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee in Schenectady on February 24th. A finalist last year, Daniel Rose-Levine, will also compete in this years' Regional Spelling Bee. Good Luck to all!
Congratulations All County Musicians: This year, we had 21
9th-graders selected for DCMEA Junior High All-County. Students
are eligible for these "all-star" ensembles based on their
NYSSMA solo scores from the previous spring; thus, these students represent
some of the best 6th through 9th grade musicians in the county. High School
participants are: Doug Appenzeller, Emily Appenzeller, Joe Becker, Daniel
Berns, Anna Bellici, Lily Ruth Bryant, Allie Budd, Gwyss dell'Acqua, Sage
Engasser, Maddi Guski, Ryan Hobson, Ethan Husted., Holley Kaiser. Josh Lococo,
Liz Louie, Ani Makebish, Chapman Odlum. Colin Peterson. Emily Shein.
Zach Soper. Nikki Swart. Middle School All-County participants are:
Aaron Card, Regina DeMier, Alexis Ferrara,
Lily Kafka, Jack Marcotte, Anna Marcotte, Jonathan Rhea,
Liam Schmitz., Kyle Staubi and Amber Vigil.
Scholastic Art Competition: Art Department Shines in the
Scholastic Art Competition!. The Scholastic Art Competition gives students the
opportunity to have their work evaluated by industry leaders and exhibited in
venues as well as cities across the country through a traveling exhibit. Gold
and Silver Key winning students earn opportunities for recognition, exhibition,
publication and scholarships. This year our district had 4 Gold Key winners and
4 Silver Key winners. The Gold and Silver artworks were created by: Will Avis, Jacqueline
Davies, Caitlin Sinnott, Ariana Padilla-Carreras. We also received 14 Honorable Mentions for Individual
Artworks and 16 Honorable Mentions for senior portfolios. Congratulations to
Recommended Reading from Superintendent Finch: