President's Message: Sarah Messing, President, Board of Education
On behalf of the Valley Central School District Board of Education, I would like to offer a warm and enthusiastic welcome to the start of the 2019-2020 academic year. It is our hope that this year will be one of continued scholastic achievement for our District.
We extend the hand of gratitude to the voters for passing the budget. We are committed to an effective and efficient operation of the District’s schools. The Board of Education believes that an informed constituency is needed to understand all the important issues that affect our future decisions. If each and every taxpayer realizes the importance of
his/her vote and their vote’s effect on the lives of our students, the Valley Central School District will maintain its solid educational reputation. The Board invites taxpayers, parents, teachers, and students to attend the meetings, learn about the issues, understand the consequences of decisions, and voice your opinions.
This year, we will initiate a social-emotional learning program and strengthen our offerings in the STEAM area with increased elective courses at the High School and STEAM labs and MakerSpaces at the Middle School and Elementary Schools. We are extremely pleased with the academic progress of our students and, as always, we will establish goals for the upcoming year focused on continuing and improving student achievement across all levels.
We are fortunate that there are many great people here at Valley Central, and communication within the school community has always been a goal of the District. To assist in this, we ask that specific issues related to your child and District personnel (teachers, coaches, administrators, etc.) are best addressed closest to the issue. Therefore, when problems arise, always start with the teacher and move up the chain of command through the building administrators where answers and solutions are available and where you are likely to get the best response.
Finally, we ask the parents and families for their continued support. Your involvement in your child’s education can make a considerable difference. Parent involvement is linked to improved behavior, attendance and overall attitude. It is always best for our students when the home and school operate in a collaborative relationship.
The Valley Central Board of Education extends best wishes to all new and returning students, staff, and faculty as we begin a new school year. We offer thanks to the community for its ongoing commitment to the students and the families of the District.
John Xanthis, Superintendent
A new school year is about to begin and two words keep coming to mind– caring and dedication. They are the two words I heard over and over last school year when I heard the stories of retiring employees. Those two words were used to describe people who had spent entire careers at Valley Central.
Around that same time last year, we had posted on our VCSD Facebook page asking Valley Central graduates, “where are you now?”. It was thrilling to see how far and wide their paths from graduation at Valley Central had taken them. Our graduates have gone on to be successful in all walks of life: attorneys, actors, business owners, bakers, comedians, communications professionals, cosmetologists, cooks, dancers, engineers. musicians, members of the armed forces, firemen, teachers, truck drivers, professors, parents, politicians, police officers, social workers, managers, medical professionals, restaurant workers, scientists, and the list goes on and on. They live far and they live near with many raising their families right here in the Valley Central community. And it is the dedication and caring that was shown to them throughout the entire Valley Central community in our schools and neighborhoods that helped to put them on those paths and have made us #VCPROUD of them.
The definition of dedication according to Google is “being committed to a task or purpose”. Such commitment requires focus every day on one goal-caring for the students of VC. We have staff districtwide who do this with exuberance every day. And the results are astounding– again we are one of the county leaders in graduation rates at 93% at the end of June 2019.
There is only one type of energy that can sustain such caring and dedication, and that is the power of positivity. Recently research out of Stanford University found that a positive attitude matters as much as IQ. (www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/stanford-research-attitude-matters-as-much-as-iq-in-kids-success.html) As our students get ready to return to a new school year, everyone in our community can help them achieve by promoting a positive attitude and by imparting our own positivity to them. Further studies also suggest that a positive attitude can help us in coping with stress, improve overall wellbeing and boost our immune system. (www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/positive-outlook-learn).
We had a great school year in 2018-19 and I am grateful to the positive outcome of the budget vote, which passed at 66%. We have had some great dialog with community members at the Viking Curriculum for Excellence meetings, which will continue this year as VC 21 meetings. All residents are invited to join us for these meetings or to drop by “A Second Cup of Coffee” to stay actively involved in the district.
I wish all of Valley Central a wonderful 2019-20 school year and would ask that we all “Be Positive, Patient and Persistent”(Anonymous)!
Deputy Superintendent's Message
Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent
While the major work around the District is completed through contractors, like the recent work of the EAT (Energy, Abatement and Technology) Bond, there are many projects that are able to be completed through the talent and skill of our Valley Central staff.
All of the following work has been completed “in-house” by our Maintenance and Buildings and Grounds staff.
At the High School: A baseball backstop was installed; the kitchens in the Home Economics classroom received long-overdue updating; the Guidance porch overhang received a new vinyl soffit; LED lighting was installed; there was extensive painting throughout the building; and the parking lot
At the Middle School: Carpeting was replaced in the library; extensive painting was done throughout the building; the Band room ceiling tiles were replaced and the parking lot was repainted
At the Pool: Extensive painting was done and wood benches and hand-rails were refinished.
At East Coldenham: Entrance lobby received a much-needed updating, new LED lights installed and a fresh coat of paint; installed three water fountains with bottle filling stations; back playground swing set was painted; over grown brush was cleared out; and the parking lot was painted.
At Berea: Sidewalk repairs and four curb cuts for student drop off locations installed; a new additional storage closet was created in an old phone booth location; a new roof was installed on a storage shed; a water fountain with bottle filler was installed; and the parking lot was painted.
At Montgomery: Back playground timber borders were replaced and new playground mulch was installed. A water fountain with bottle filling station was installed. Parent parking lot/playground received guardrails and the parking lot was painted.
At Walden: Over grown trees and shrubs were removed from around the building and the front lawn was re-established; a water fountain with bottle filling station was installed and a new roof was installed on a storage shed and the parking lot was painted.
At ALC at Maybrook:
A chicken pen was installed; washer and dryer were installed in the health office; and the parking lot was painted.
This incredible amount of work was completed in addition to the annual summer cleaning of our buildings and upkeep and improvement of all of our grounds.
These are the Maintenance and Buildings and Grounds staff who go above and beyond on a daily basis:
Nick Alfano, Chuck Belfiore, Craig Capwell, Michael Curly, Vivian Durso, James Dezemo, Debbie Eberhardt, Patrick Quinn, Justin McCarthy, Tim Scheels and Kyle Wikel
Roy Davis, Nicholas Davis, Clyde Langham, Todd Vradenburgh, Mike Lynch, Almonte Maffeo, William Spafford, Madeline Ponce,
Gregory Borman, Jimmet Joseph, Sean Murphy, Donna Stanley, Juan Tirado, Robert Casper, Dianna Goldman, James Hall, Darlene Laxton, Luis Robles, Mike Bartle, Diane Borman, Maureen Coberly, Dan Cola, Stacie Jackson, James Lewis, Richard Post, Jr., Maria Cooley, Margie Davis, Eric Guarneri, Chris Hathaway, Casey Heil, Tammy Kirschner, Cody Maher, Steve Nahow, Wilfredo Rodriguez, Fred Sparks, Jr., Frank Striano, Jr., David Truglio, John Truglio, Christopher Bartko, and Devin Smolenski.
The Maintenance, Buildings and Grounds crew are under the guidance of Ryan Schmidt, Director of Facilities.
We have so much to proud of at Valley Central!
Find information and updates on our website:
We will be updating our website this year!
Follow us on Social Media :
Facebook: Valley Central School District
The VC email has changed.
The new address for staff:
From the Registrar, Janine Maridou
In addition to registering new students, the Office of Registration is responsible for processing address and custody changes for currently enrolled students.
Many families move over the summer and forget to notify the District of these changes. If you have moved, or anticipate a change in custody, please call the Office of Registration as soon as possible at 457-2400, ext.18130.
All new residents and those with address changes are required to complete a Housing Questionnaire. Further details are available on the District website by going to the Registration page and clicking on the Residency Requirements link.
Complete registration packets for new students can also be downloaded from this site. Please take a moment to visit the Registration homepage and share this information with your friends. or new neighbors.
The deadline for Valley Central School District residents to file a transportation request form for the 2020-2021 school year to transport a child to a private or parochial school is April 1, 2020. These forms are available from the Administration Office, the Valley Central website, www.vcsd.k12.ny.us (click on resources, forms for parents) or the private or parochial school.
The deadline for Valley Central School District residents to file a transportation request form for the 2020-2021 school year to transport a child to a certified childcare provider licensed pursuant to Social Services Law, Section 390, which is outside the school’s attendance area is April 1, 2020. This form must be picked up from and returned to the Administration Office.
Berea PTA President
East Coldenham PTA President
Josephine Pace Brown 845-857-7491
Walden Elementary PTA Co-Presidents
Dawn Sweed 845-674-3233
Jen Burke 845-234-5237
Montgomery PTA President
Jennifer Watson 845-742-2790
Middle School PTA President
Tara Lapierre 845-391-8117
High School PTSA President
Lori Weikel 845-401-2088
PTA Council President
Katie De Noyelles 845-663-7158
The Federal Asbestos Hazards Emergency Response Act (commonly referred to as AHERA) was signed into law in 1986. AHERA requires both public and private non-profit primary and secondary schools to inspect all buildings that are leased, owned or otherwise used as school buildings for the presence of asbestos-containing building materials. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published regulations and enforces AHERA.
These requirements include, but are not limited to:
Perform an original inspection and periodic re-inspections every three years for asbestos containing material.
Develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan. A copy is kept in the school buildings, as well as the District’s administrative office. The plan is available for review in the office of Buildings and Grounds.
Designate a contact person (also known as the asbestos designee), who in Valley Central is the Director of Facilities, to ensure the responsibilities of the local education agency are properly implemented.
Perform a periodic visual surveillance every six months of all known or suspected asbestos-containing building material.
Provide custodial staff with asbestos awareness training.
The presence of asbestos does not mean that it has to be removed. The asbestos management plan includes actions to manage the asbestos. These include establishing an operations and maintenance plan: encapsulation enclosure, repair, or removal. Work on asbestos (including an asbestos inspection and the development of an asbestos management plan) must be performed in accordance with State Department of Labor Code Rule 56 and only by persons licensed in an appropriate asbestos discipline.
If you have any questions regarding the AHERA program, please call the Director of Facilities at 845-457-2400, ext. 16914.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
We would all agree that enhancing students’ cognitive abilities is a key role of any educational establishment. However, recent research has concluded that just as important are developing skills related to the character of our students, such as self-awareness, optimism and perseverance.
CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) defines social and emotional learning in the following way: “Social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and
show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
Last year Valley Central began the process of increasing our social and emotional learning curriculum in several ways. A mental health curriculum based on New York State’s framework was written and provided to all ninth graders and some tenth graders. In addition, all physical education teachers, student assistance counselors and psychologist were trained in a
program entitled, “Life as Sport”. Through the Life as Sport curriculum, teachers worked with students to enhance motivation, set productive goals, sharpen routines, manage stress, and clarify thought processes as they apply to real work situations.
This year Valley Central will expand on our social and emotional learning initiative through the K-12 Yale RULER Program. This program fits in perfectly with all we are already doing and will strengthen our ability to help students and staff understand and regulate their emotions. RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER supports the entire school community in:
- Understanding the value of emotions
- Building the skills of emotional intelligence
- Creating and maintaining a positive school climate
At the onset, small teams from each building will participate in training and RULER skill building activities. These teams will be supported by Yale RULER trainers and will participate in RULER skill-building activities. As we progress in the process, classroom instruction will be embedded into existing academic curricula. In order for this to be effective, we will incorporate
family engagement and education to support what our students are learning in school.
Valley Central believes that through the use of RULER, as well as the many other social and emotional learning opportunities we have in place, we can provide students with the safe and nurturing learning environment they need to be successful in school and in life. We are certain that these experiences will result in positive shifts in school climate, enhanced academic performance, better relationships and less bullying and aggressive behavior.
I am very much looking forward to the 2019-2020 school year and the opportunity to work with a community invested in both the academic and social emotional needs of our students.
Our “Viking Curriculum for Excellence” meetings will continue this year as Viking Curriculum 21 or VC21 meetings.
Four community meetings were held last year that helped to give perspective on our district. Conversations at these meetings were particularly helpful in bridging the district and the community.
We look forward to continuing the meetings this school year. Please consider joining the conversation. The dates will be posted on our website and social media sites.