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.
Municipal Grant Secured to Offset Costs of a New Auditorium at RHHS
July 7, 2017
Dear Community Members:
You may have heard the exciting news that Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and Assembly Leader Carl Heastie have secured a $3.5 million municipal grant for the Red Hook Central School District. This grant is designated for the purposes of lowering the local taxpayers' share of building a modest auditorium at Red Hook High School. While the final cost of such a project still has to be determined, the District is committed to a total cost not to exceed $10 million. As such, the local share will likely be less than $6.5 million. Or, put another way, the local share will be less than the recently approved Mill Road HVAC and technology upgrade project.
I would like to thank the Red Hook Education Foundation for spearheading the grant procurement process with Assemblyman Cahill. The grant represents an exciting opportunity to revisit a much-needed facility in a manner that minimizes the cost to local taxpayers. It is the District’s intention to refine its proposal over the next few months and present that proposal to district voters sometime this fall. The Board of Education and I will keep the community abreast of the project proposal as it becomes more refined.
Paul Finch, Superintendent
Red Hook Central School District's 5th Annual Senior Spring Social
Good grief! A great time was had by all of our senior citizen guests at the district's 5th Annual Senior Spring Social on March 23, 2017. Treated to dinner first, the seniors were invited to watch the dress rehearsal for the high school musical based on Charles M. Schulz's characters. Held at the Red Hook High School, the event was free of charge to our senior residents thanks to the generous underwriting provided by Dr. Kortbus and Hudson ENT. A delicious buffet, prepared by Food Services Director Larry Anthony and his staff with assistance provided by HACS teacher Carole Anne Miles, was served up by members of the district's administrative team. Table decorations and individualized name tags were artistically created by BoE member Johanna Moore, and a replica of Lucy's "advice" booth made by RHHS art teacher Maria Larson served as the photo backdrop for pics snapped by Director of Facilities Perry Sheldon. The Red Hook Education Foundation was on hand as were many volunteers from the faculty association and the district office. Emcee (aka Superintendent of Schools) Paul Finch led the crowd through a Charlie Brown trivia contest while sharing some news about the district and its current programs. If you're interested in seeing some of the photos from the evening, please visit the event's gallery!
Superintendent's Message: Through the Eyes of Children
Our children are watching and learning. Every day. Every minute. You know this. How we, as adults, react to our President Trump's unorthodox communication methods is very important. It will, in part, determine the future of our democracy.
Life is full of examples and non-examples. Children learn from both. When they hear someone in authority disparage another person, what children learn depends on the reaction of the other adults around them. And, what children learn, may impact their success as they navigate a public school system that demands a high level of decorum, mutual respect, and thoughtful consideration of issues.
Whether you admire the qualities of our new President or you abhor them, the fact remains that our children are learning. Do you know what your child thinks about this past election and our new President? If not, you should ask. You may be surprised by what they (or their friends) think.
The success of our democracy doesn't depend on complete agreement on every issue. It depends on public schools producing citizens who approach problems with a humble disposition, a willingness to listen, and the maturity to change an opinion based on new information. If we get that right, everything else will fall into place.
Parenting is hard work. It is harder work in the age of a tweeting President.
Paul Finch, Superintendent of Schools
RoboRaiders Competes at Albany Qualifying Tournament
Congratulations to the RoboRaiders following its competition at the Albany Qualifying Tournament January 14. In spite of the fact that the team's robot is not 100% finished yet, they still made it to the finals, and lost to some tough teams in the last match. (It also didn't help that the RoboRaiders' alliance partner robot broke down!)
According to Robotics Team Coach and RHHS Science teacher Yvonne Pierce, what the team is especially proud of is the awards it won, which were based on an interview with the judge panel, the team's engineering notebook, and its community service, as well as robot performance. In addition to being a Finalist Alliance Robot, the RoboRaiders achieved the following:
First Place "Think" Award for the best engineering and engineering notebook documentation. The team has never received this award before, and the students improved their writing and math skills a lot this year to win this award.
Second Place "Inspire" Award for the second place "best overall team." To obtain this award the team had to score highly in all judged categories. Inspire is the highest and most coveted award in the competition.
Third Place "Control" Award for the use of sensors and programming of the robot. This is quite an accomplishment and speaks to the amount of personal time and dedication the RoboRaiders' programming team has invested this year in their own independent learning.
The team would like to acknowledge its debt of gratitude to its two parent mentors from IBM: Steve Kocik and Susan Zichittella, who have donated many hours of their personal time to mentoring the students after school and on weekends.
The RoboRaiders advanced to the Empire Region Championships at Pace University on February 5 and the Vermont State Championships at UVM on February 10-11. The RoboRaiders team photo is proof of a happy team at the end of a very long 12-hour day!
RHCSD Smart Schools Investment Plan
Updated: March 7, 2017
At its meeting on January 11, 2017, the Board of Education gave preliminary approval of the district's first Smart Schools Investment Plan submission to use a portion of its Smart Schools Bond Act funds to purchase classroom technology. If ultimately approved by NYSED, the district's SSIP will fund the purchase of flat panel televisions for installation in all instructional spaces to provide teachers and students access to high-quality audio and video presentation tools.
Details of the SSIP Submission #1 for Red Hook are available here. As per the SSBA requirements, a public hearing was held on February 22, 2017, regarding the district's SSIP submission, and the plan was granted final approval by the Board of Education. Comments and/or questions about the SSIP may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For detailed information about the state's Smart Schools Bond Act, please visit the NSYED.gov's Ed Management Services website.
Results of Water Systems Tests: UPDATED to include LAMS, RHHS and Mill Road
December 14, 2016
We have received the results of the water samples taken throughout Linden Avenue Middle School. The links below contain the list of locations which exceeded the Action Limit (greater than .015 milligrams per liter) established by legislation signed by Governor Cuomo on September 6, 2016.
At Mill Road Elementary School, any fixture identified in our results, and accessible to students, has been disconnect to prevent its use. Fixtures accessible only to adults at Mill Road have been left in service with signs posted to communicate the water should not be consumed. All identified locations at Linden Avenue Middle School and the Red Hook High School have also been labeled.
Efforts are underway to perform the remediation work for all locations. Some fixtures have been replaced and new samples have been taken. Use of the water from these locations will continue to be limited until passing results have been received.
The legislation was very specific as to the size of the samples and the procedure for the samples collection. The intent was to collect and sample water which had been sitting in the fixture, thereby better identifying the source of the contamination. More specific information regarding the testing protocols can be found at:
If you have any questions or concerns, you may either email me at email@example.com or our Director of Facilities, Perry Sheldon, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Finch, Superintendent
RHHS Students Perform Mock Robotic Surgery at NDH
Thanks to advanced surgical robotic technology, they were able to save the banana!
Red Hook High School students sutured a banana and played the board game Perfection using a high-tech surgical robot during hands-on field trips at the start of the school year at Northern Dutchess Hospital.
Dr. Maureen Terranova, an obstetrician/gynecologist on the medical staff at Northern Dutchess, and Matthew Wolfe, a representative from Intuitive Surgical, demonstrated how the da Vinci Surgical System works and answered questions about healthcare technology. Fifteen members of the Red Hook Robotics Club watched as the surgeon controlled the robotic arms and surgical tools from a console several feet away.
Each student had an opportunity to perform robotic tasks from suturing to handling small objections with the surgical tools. Physician assistant Roberto Dos Reis, registered nurse Melissa Pellicane and Dr. Paul Pietrow of the hospital’s medical staff also assisted, answering questions about their careers and leading the students through the activities. The morning session was supported by the Rhinebeck Science Foundation.
Northern Dutchess Hospital offers da Vinci surgery to perform precise urological, gynecological, colorectal and gastrointestinal procedures. The hospital purchased the newest da Vinci Xi model earlier this year from California-based Intuitive Surgical, investing $2 million to bring major medical center technology to the local community. For information, visit www.healthquest.org/davinci.
Policies for All Employees for 2017-18 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.