VC Digital Newsletter

July 2021

Summer Opportunities

This year has created obstacles and challenges for our students that will take time from which to recover.  The goals for our summer program are multi-pronged to address as many of the post-pandemic issues as possible.

Usually Valley Central offers a remedial high school and middle school summer school program, but this year summer school is being offered from pre-K through high school. 

This year, Valley Central  expanded Summer School to the needs we saw from the pandemic by including preschool students entering Kindergarten to ensure they have a solid foundation and for the first time, Valley Central has had summer school in all four elementary schools

Valley Central wrote a specific elementary ELA and Math curriculum for summer school to ensure that an emphasis was placed on power standards while creating fun and engaging activities were included in the curriculum to ensure students stay motivated.

This year remedial opportunities are being coupled with the opportunity: 

~To reconnect students to in-person learning
~To provide learning opportunities for students that are not screen-based
~To allow students the opportunity for conversation and critical thinking
~To provide opportunities for students to learn the material they did not learn during COVID 19
 ~To ensure that students will have a good foundation for the coming school year

The HS Summer School meets four days a week from July 6, 2021, through August 12, 2021, from 8:00 AM through 10:35 AM and is under the guidance of Summer School Principal, Janet Werner. 

The HS is offering remedial courses in English 9, English 10, English 11, and English 12; Global I, Global II, and US History; Algebra; Living Environment and Physical Education.  Grad Point, a supervised online program is also being offered to high school students to offer an opportunity for credit recovery. 

HS students are able to take Government and Health courses to advance their credit status and leave more room in their regular schedule. 

The MS Summer School also meets four days a week from July 6, 2021, through August 12, 2021, from 8:00 AM through 10:35 AM, and is under the guidance of Summer School Principal, Vincent Fino. 

The MS is offering remedial help for students in all four academic areas for grades 6,7 and 8. 

Elementary Summer School programs are running for Pre-K through 5th-grade students at each elementary school from July 6, 2021, through August 6, 2021, from 9:00 AM through 12 Noon and is under the guidance of lead teachers at each school.

VC Puts Federal/State Grants to Use

Find Presentation on Grant Money here

Three Year Summer Plan

·Elementary Summer School Teachers/Staff
·Summer Enrichment Program
·Summer School Transportation
·Food Service for Snack

·Summer Enrichment Program
·Summer Enrichment Supplies
·Secondary Summer School Teachers/Staff
·Social Emotional Learning Camp

Long Range Use of Grant Money

·Construction of Outdoor Facilities at Every Building for Outside Learning
·Ventilation/ Facilities Upgrades
·Flexible Seating
·Secondary After School Advisors For Social-Emotional Support 
·Secondary After School Programs 
·After School Program Supplies 
·Before School Program at Elementary Schools
·Fitness, Rec and SEL Intramurals 
·Supplies for Fitness Program
·Anticipated Staffing
  ·Elem. Counselor
  ·M/H Counselors
  ·PE-Health Teacher
  ·ENL Teacher
  · Tech Teacher
·Check/Connect Program
·Mindfulness Supplies
·Library Books to represent all cultures
·Panorama Survey
·Portable A/C units
·Tang Math Resources
·V/R Resources

Social-Emotional Learning Camp

Middle School Quest Program – Grades 6, 7 and 8

July 12-16 and August 16-19  8:00 AM  – 10:35 AM at the Middle School 

There are 2 separate sessions for each grade level that each last one week long.  Each grade’s camp is limited to twenty students per session. 

Activities will resemble a camp-like structure including exercises in team-building and social/emotional capacity improvement.  

Certified staff, including student support staff, will develop and implement activities to support these goals.

What are the Summer Enrichment Programs?

The Summer Enrichment Programs were designed by teachers to provide engaging enrichment opportunities for our students so they stay interested in learning. We hope to get students excited about in-person school and to increase their motivation to learn. 

Enrichment for Elementary Students

Coding
Agriculture STEM
Art Workshop: The Wonders of Science and Art
Elementary Music Camp
Choral Music Camp
Instrumental Music Camp
Exploring Spanish Language and Latin American Culture

Enrichment for Middle School Students

Coding
PIXEL Art
3-D Printing and Design
Art Workshop: Watercolor
Choral Music Camp
Instrumental Music Camp
Exploring Spanish Language and Latin American Culture

Enrichment for High School Students

Coding Drones
Art Workshop: Ceramics
Choral Music Camp
Instrumental Music Camp

Exploring Spanish Language and Latin American Culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2021

At a Glance

Proposed Budget $112,200,000

Spending Increase: $3,770,989 or 3.48%

Tax Levy Increase: $1,810,231 or 2.86%

Voter Information

Vote On:
May 18, 2021/6 a.m. to 9 p.m./Valley Central High School Gymnasium

Voter Registration Day

May 11, 2021/1:00 pm to 8:00 pm/Valley Central Administration Building

Voter Eligibility

  • U.S. citizen
  • School district resident for at least 30 days
  • 18 years of age by May 18, 2021
  • Registered with the School District and/or County Board of Elections

Absentee Ballots

Applications for absentee ballots are available from the Office of the District Clerk

More Information/VCSDNY.ORG

Letter from the Superintendent

Valley Central School District residents will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 18th to vote on a proposed $112,200,000 budget for the 2021-2022 school year.  As the proposed levy is at the district’s maximum allowable levy at 2.86%, the proposed budget requires a simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) for approval.  Additionally, the voters will vote on two propositions for the proposed capital project, which will include renovations and reconstruction work at the High School/Middle School campus to allow for the upcoming installation of traffic lights and turn lanes by the New York State Department of Transportation, the reconfiguration of parking lots and lighting for safety, improvements to the pool dehumidification system, ADA compliant upgrades in the auditorium, and the construction of an outdoor restroom facility for large gatherings such as sporting events and graduation.

On behalf of the Valley Central School District, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the community for its thoughtful consideration of our 2021-2022 budget proposal.  We have worked diligently to develop a fiscally responsible, balanced budget that supports educational programs, accounts for rising costs, preserves an adequate fund balance and is mindful of the financial impact to taxpayers, while at the same time ensuring the stability and the long-term health of our schools.  The district also remains conservative in its use of the fund balance reserve, so as not to borrow against our financial future.  The proposed budget will provide enhanced extracurricular activities and athletic programs, while continuing to provide culturally inclusive educational programs and services that meet the needs of all our students.

I believe that we have been able to accomplish a great deal this year as we continue to navigate through the immense challenges COVID-19 has caused.  Our students were able to begin their instructional programs – in person, hybrid and remote models – on time at the start of September 2020.  Our dedicated faculty, staff and administrative team have worked tirelessly to provide the best possible programs and extracurricular opportunities for all of our students.  Although some of our students have struggled with the changes during the pandemic, we have worked hard to provide additional support, including a strong social/emotional learning program.  We look forward to a greatly enhanced summer school program this year, across all grade levels, to help close the learning gap that some of our students have experienced this year.  

I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by a community that values education and that places their trust in this district to mold the next generation of the Valley Central community. It is a momentous responsibility, but we work hard every day to create a school district that we remain proud of – a great place for children.  We are eager to watch our community continue to grow and achieve new goals in the 2021-2022 school year!  

John P. Xanthis

Superintendent of Schools

Did You Know

46,744 meals served to the community during COVID crisis (BIG BOX)
4,025 students enrolled
560,000 square foot 396 acres (same as last year)
1,000 people employed (same as last year)
92% graduation rate
14 college level courses (same as last year)
10 advanced placement courses (same as last year) 
17 Community Members – Racial and Social Equity Committee
1:1 Chromebooks All K-12 students provided with a Chromebook
100 hotspots provided to families for internet access
Recipient of Education in Music Award from NAMM for the 4th year in a row
47 Athletic Teams “All Three Seasons Played”
Varsity Girls Soccer Section IX Champions

PDF of Budget Notice  

Budget Expenditures

Total Budget $112,200,000

Program Budget: $93,125,013

Percentage of Budget: 83%

The program component provides funding for the salaries and benefits of all teachers, guidance counselors, aides, monitors, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and speech therapists. The program component also includes the costs associated with all the instructional and extra-curricular programs, transportation and athletic activities.

Capital Budget: $9,795,636 

Percentage of Budget: 9%

The capital component provides funds for the operation and maintenance of Valley Central’s school buildings, debt service, property tax refunds, tax certiorari and court-ordered costs, and the salaries and benefits for the maintenance and custodial staff.

Administrative Budget: $9,279,351

Percentage of Budget: 8%

The administrative component provides funding for the overall general support and management activities of the district including the salaries and benefits of all professional members who spend 50 percent or more of their time in administration and supervision, curriculum development, clerical staff, public information, business office operations, and legal and auditing services. 

The Bottom Line on Tax Impact

2021-22 Average Cost to Taxpayer Based on Proposed Tax Levy

Full Value

$200,000-Senior/STAR-$6.50 mo. or $78 yr.
                         STAR-$8.50 mo. or $102 yr.
                         No STAR-$10.00 mo. or $120 yr.

$300,000-Senior/STAR-$11.50 mo. or $138 yr.
                         STAR-$13.50 mo. or $162 yr.
                         No STAR-$15.00 mo. or $180 yr.

$400,000-Senior/STAR-$16.50 mo. or $198 yr.
                         STAR-$18.50 mo. or $222 yr.
                         No STAR-$20.00 mo. or $240 yr.
 

This is broken down into three categories; a Senior Citizen homeowner receiving Enhanced STAR (based on a $70,700 equalized value exemption), a homeowner receiving STAR (based on a $30,000 equalized value exemption), and a homeowner without STAR (usually the case for a non-primary residence)

This estimate for illustrative purposes only and is an estimation based on full equalized value

For information on the STAR Program: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/default.htm

 

The Valley Central School District offers a Senior Citizen Tax Exemption for senior citizens within a qualifying income range. For more information about applying for this exemption, please contact the Town of Montgomery Assessor’s office.

The Valley Central School District offers a partial Veteran’s Tax Exemption to disabled veterans and veterans who served during wartime or were in combat. For more information about applying for this exemption, please contact the Town of Montgomery Assessor’s office.

Transportation Contract

The 2021-2022 school year is the first year of a five year contract for home to school, field and sports trips, and summer school transportation with First Student.

Multi-year transportation contracts require voter approval. Passage of the school budget by the voters constitutes the approval of the multi year transportation contract with First Student. The projected total cost over the five year period is estimated to be $38,794,000

Facts About First Student  

First Student has 37 years of experience in pupil transportation 
Serves 1,100 school districts  
Operates 42,000 vehicles across the U.S. and Canada 

Walden Elementary School Roof Repair

An immediate repair to the Walden Elementary School roof is necessary and included in the proposed budget due to the deterioration of the concrete soffit. The proposed budget contains a transfer to the Capital Fund in the amount of $390,000 for the repair.

A successful budget vote will approve the transfer of the capital and allows for the WES Roof Soffit Project to begin immediately.

This project will be eligible for State Aid. Currently, the District receives 75.6% State Aid on eligible construction projects. 

Proposed 2021-2022 Budget Priorities 

Maintain existing programs with a focus on science and STEAM programs in grades K-12
Maintain our highly successful music and art programs
Maintain existing electives
Expand the mental health and social emotional learning programs
Expand the VC sports program with a new gymnastics team

VCSD Response to COVID-19

Opened all of our buildings for hybrid in-person instruction on time in September
Offered a 100% online program for K-12 students that opted to learn at home
At-risk students engaged in five day a week in-person instruction
Increased in-person instruction to five days for all students, as the mandates allowed
Chromebooks were provided to all students, along with a technology help desk and webinars to assist families
Provided PPE for students and staff
Internet services were provided to 100 students in order for them to access their education 
Assisted our community by providing breakfast and lunch to families over the summer and during the school year 
Engaged students in clubs and activities via Google Meets and in-person meetings
Provided a condensed athletic season for all sports allowed by the mandates
Families were given numerous opportunities to provide feedback on our COVID -19 instructional plan throughout the year

Gymnastics Program

The proposed budget includes the addition of a gymnastics team. Valley Central will be the first school district in Orange County to offer gymnastics. The team will compete against other section IX schools who currently have a gymnastics program.

Federal Stimulus Funding

These funds are not part of the District’s general fund budget as they are applied for and granted separately over the next three years to address learning loss and to respond to student’s social, emotional, and academic needs along with other needs arising from the pandemic.

Capital Project

Proposition 2

Renovation and Reconstruction of High School
and Middle School Facilities

Proposition No.  2 contains the following:

Redesign the entrance/exit and parking areas at the Valley Central Middle School/High School complex. The upcoming NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) project to install traffic lights and turn lanes on 17K will eliminate the High School main entrance. 
Reconfiguration of the bus lane and parent drop off lane to create a safer environment for students being dropped off and picked up and improve the traffic flow 
A redesigned parent/visitor parking lot and improvement of the east parking lot at the High School to include resurfacing and installation of parking lot lighting for safety 
Improvements to the pool dehumidification system 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades to the High School auditorium 
The maximum cost for Proposition No. 2 will not exceed $13.63 Million. Reserve funds of $125,000 will be applied to this project. 

Find Presentation on the Proposed Capital Project: https://youtu.be/08N-xi7dIS0

Proposition 3

Construction of High School Restroom Facility

Proposition No. 3 contains the following:

Construction of a restroom facility for large events near the stadium and outdoor fields Currently, the District rents portable restrooms which are not sufficient to accommodate large outdoor events.  The proposed restrooms would replace a storage shed and utilize existing utility lines to maximize cost savings.
The maximum cost for Proposition No. 3 will not exceed $656,812. Reserve funds of $200,000 will be applied to this project. 

Proposition No. 3 can only be enacted if it passes AND Proposition No. 2 also passes.

The total maximum cost for both propositions is $14,286,812. Currently the District receives 75.6% building aid on eligible project expenses. $325,000 is being applied from the District’s Capital Reserve to reduce the impact on our taxpayers. 

2020-2021 Board of Education

Joseph Bond, President
Sarah Messing, Vice-President
Arthur Fitzgerald
Sonia Lewis
Katie McKnight
Diana Revoir
Melvin Wesenberg

BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES

There are two seats open for election, each for a three-year term. 

The candidates are:

Tiffany Carroll
Dee Kelly
Angela Terralavoro
Lisa Ruiz


 

 

April 2021

April 22, 2021

Proposed Capital Project at A Glance

Find Presentations on our website: https://www.vcsd.k12.ny.us/budget/

Capital Project will be Proposition 2 and Proposition 3 on the ballot May 18, 2021.

Capital Project Review
Town Hall Zoom Webinar
Thursday, April 27th 
6:30 PM

https://zoom.us/j/95564560165?pwd=ZEp2cTZCWEZyTm40T2p0RnpHb3lUZz09

Question/ Comment Form: https://forms.gle/CuygJ5Vv7uAt885z6

On-Site Visit
Question/Answer Opportunity
Stadium/Fields Entrance
Monday, May 3rd  4-7 PM
Superintendent John Xanthis and SBO Brad Conklin will be available to answer questions and discuss the Capital Project.
Masks must be worn on our grounds.

Proposition 2: Renovation and Reconstruction of High School and Middle School Facilities
٠Will Not Exceed
$13.63Million
٠Expect to get back approximately 75.6%   in STATE AID
٠Reserve Funds of $125,000 will be applied

Proposition 2

Renovation and Reconstruction of High School
and Middle School Facilities

  • HS/MS Entrance and Exit Reconfiguration
  • Separate the bus and vehicular movements
  • Create Safe Pedestrian Flow for Students
  • Repaving/Improvement of East Parking Lot
  • Relocation of Parking for Visitors and Staff
  • Option for Additional Exit from East Lot
  • ADA Compliance Upgrades to Auditorium
  • Pool Dehumidification System 

Proposition 3: Construction of High School Restroom Facility
٠Will Not Exceed
$656,812
٠Reserve Funds of $200,000 will be applied

Proposition 3

Construction of High School Restroom Facility

  • Stadium Capacity: Approximately 1,800
  • Currently Rent  Portable Bathrooms 
  • Project Will Use Existing Utility Lines
  • Would Accommodate Greater Capacity
  • Facility Will be Sturdy Masonry Building

Total Project
Will NOT Exceed $14,286,812
State Aid  approximately  75.6%
Reserves Applied: $325,000

Capital Project: The Bottom Line On Tax Impact

Senior/STAR
$70,700 Equalized Value Exemption

Full Value  $200K Home:  Annual Impact $7/ Monthly $0.58
Full Value  $300K Home:  Annual Impact $12/ Monthly $1.00
Full Value  $400K Home:  Annual Impact $17/ Monthly $1.42

With STAR
$30,000 Equalized Value Exemption

Full Value  $200K Home:  Annual Impact $9/ Monthly $0.75
Full Value  $300K Home:  Annual Impact $14/ Monthly $1.17
Full Value  $400K Home:  Annual Impact $20/ Monthly $1.67

NO STAR
Non-Primary Residence

Full Value  $200K Home:  Annual Impact $11/ Monthly $0.92
Full Value  $300K Home:  Annual Impact $16/ Monthly $1.33
Full Value  $400K Home:  Annual Impact $21/ Monthly $1.75

 

March 2021

Spring Break

 

Return to 5-Day In-Person Instruction

Survey Results

Results for 4,003 students (VCSD Total Enrollment: 4,060 )

HYBRID: 1,984 hybrid students would come back 5 days a week.
                        333 hybrid students will switch to 100% online learning.
ONLINE:    786 100%-online students would come back 5 days a week.
                       900 100%-online students would stay with 100%-online learning.

 

Question: If your child is currently a hybrid student and VC is able to bring back students 5 days per week for in-person instruction, which instructional model would you choose? 
Result:  85.6% chose In-Person Instruction
                 14.4% switch to Online Instruction
2,317 Respondents

Question: If your child is currently 100% ONLINE  and VC is able to bring back students 5 days per week for in-person instruction, which instructional model would you choose? 
Result:  53.4% chose Online Instruction
                 46.6% switch to In-Person Instruction
1,686 Respondents

Letter to the Community from the Superintendent

We have worked together to overcome many obstacles and we should be proud of all we have achieved. The Valley Central community has shown itself to be resilient, flexible and determined. Our community has been forced to make considerable sacrifices due to COVID-19 and we are grateful for your continued support and encouragement. 

It is said that difficult times produce endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.  We have missed our students and we know that they are also missing out on a great deal by not being in the classrooms regularly. We believe our plan can bring more students back in a safe and effective manner. 

Since opening in September, the goal of the Valley Central School District has been to provide the greatest amount of in-person learning as possible. Many of our students have been in school 5 days a week since September and we have added to that number each month. Valley Central is one of the only local districts that does not have an asynchronous day, where students have no contact with teachers. We have worked closely with the Orange County Department of Health, our School Medical Director and our District Nurse Coordinator to follow all health and safety guidelines. We are confident that under the current circumstances we can safely and effectively make significant changes to our instructional plan that will greatly benefit our students and our community. 

We believe that now is the time to move forward based on the following information:

~Vaccinations are more readily available and many of our teachers have begun or finished the vaccination process.
~The infection rate in our region continues to decline.
~The New York State Department of Health’s guidelines allow for the use of trifold polycarbonate desk partitions in order to provide an extra barrier of protection. We have ordered enough barriers for all buildings.
~Valley Central will continue to offer 100% online instruction to those students whose parents request this for the remainder of the year. This reduces the amount of students in the buildings, as approximately 30% of our students have opted for 100% online learning.

The warm weather allows for the bus and classroom windows to remain open at all times, which assists greatly with ventilation. As the spring approaches we will be able to use our outdoor learning spaces more frequently.

In order to make this work, we all must work together and remain vigilant. We must continue wearing masks, washing hands, using sanitizer and be mindful of our distance from each other.  Your cooperation and patience will be necessary throughout the remainder of the school year. As we have said numerous times, the landscape changes quickly in relation to COVID 19. If there are any new guidelines that would change our plan, we will be sure to notify you immediately. We are excited and confident that we can make the remainder of this school year a success and we look forward to working closely with you to make that happen. 

5-Day In-Person Instruction

Asynchronous Days

April 6th for all Elementary Students
April 7th for all Secondary Students

Elementary Team 1 reports  in- person on  Wednesday, April 7th

April 12th: All Kindergarten through 6th graders and 9th graders return who have selected 5-day a week in-person model . There will no longer be a hybrid model for K-5,6 or 9th grade.
Secondary Team 2 reports in-person on Wednesday, April 14th

April 19th: All 7th and 10th graders return who have selected 5-day a week in-person model . There will no longer be a hybrid model for 7th or 10th  grade.
Secondary Team 1 reports in-person on Wednesday, April 21st

April 26th: All 8th,  11th , and 12th graders return who have selected 5-day a week in-person model . There will no longer be a hybrid model for any students.

100% Online who have chosen that model will continue with online synchronous/asynchronous instruction five days a week.

Schedule contingent on barriers arriving

Important Facts to Remember About these Changes

If you choose 100% online instruction, you will need to remain on this instructional method for the remainder of the 20-21 school year. 

If a student in the 5 day a week in-person instructional model is quarantined, they will be able to login to online instruction until the quarantine is over.

If a student is enrolled in 5 day a week in-person instruction and they are absent, they will not be able to login to online instruction.  They will be marked absent and provided with the work in the same manner as pre-COVID 19.

 


 

Conversation with the Community

The Challenges of Education Amidst the Pandemic and Looking Forward

March 10th  6:30 pm

This will be a Live Streamed Zoom Presentation. Up to 975 seats will be available in the meeting. 

Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/93144750508

The community will have an opportunity to make comments or ask questions via this Google Form: https://forms.gle/P8sATqqCRycVbD9b6

Questions and Comments will be addressed during the discussion.Meeting Participants will be able to participate through a “chat” feature

The meeting will be Livestreamed on our Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88W3G_-wX5U

Did You Know?

~Three A Capella groups will be competing virtually in the ICHSA Northeast competition! 
~ Winter Fest 2021 Celebrated the Class of 2021!
~We have celebrated the 100th Day of School. 
~ Two VCMS Students were named to the NYS Band Directors Honor Band.
~We celebrated Read Across America Week. 
~ We completed the Winter Sports season and have begun the Fall-2 Season!
~ Second Quarter Honor Roll was Posted! 
~ Junior, Elise Montenora has been accepted to the Youth Orchestra of the LA Philharmonic National Institute. 
~ The VCHS Cultural Diversity Club participated in the SPOMA Wreath Laying Ceremony. 
~ Students across the District participated in Project Valentine (sponsored by Sen. Skoufis) and Valentines for Vets (sponsored by Rep. Maloney)
~ Senior Maddox Schaper is a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.

The Return of Sports

Sports returned to Valley Central with the Winter season beginning January 19th and ending February 27th,  

Boys’ Swimming and Indoor Track and Field led the way with their seasons January 19th and High Risk Sports like Basketball, Wrestling and Competitive Cheer began again on February 1st.  All of the teams had events celebrating their Seniors. 

Weather and quarantine challenged the winter season which had 45 contests scheduled and completed 43. One team had to quarantine, but there was no spread amongst the team. The procedures in place were effective.

The District technology department worked diligently to livestream the home contests bringing the contests into the living rooms of our families. 

Home contests were photographed with albums uploaded to our Facebook page. 

The Fall-2 season began on March 1st  and continues to April 18th. Girls’ Swimming, Volleyball, Soccer, Girls’ Tennis, Football and Cross-Country have returned to the fields and the courts.  Contests begin on March 10th. 

Weather and quarantine will likely continue to challenge, but Interim Athletic Director, Rich Steger is confident that the fall season will be a success. Some contests will be livestreamed and all home contests will be photographed and uploaded to Facebook. 

“The athletes and coaches are happy to be back-each game brings us one step closer to normal,” stated Steger. 

The Spring season begins on April 19th and will include Boys’ and Girls’ Lacrosse, Softball, Baseball, Boys and Girls Track and Field, Boys and Girls Golf and Boys Tennis.

Budget Calendar

January 19      
Budget Snapshot:
https://youtu.be/92pwSubdRDU

February 8        
Superintendent’s Initiatives/BOE Initiatives
https://youtu.be/r629wbMl-Rg

March 8           
Capital Project:
https://vib.by/v/Q14jYJcp5
Budget Areas:
https://vib.by/v/Xkmlle9Tc

March 22           Superintendent’s Proposed Budget

April 12              
Budget Meeting (if needed)

April 19               
Nominating Petitions Due to District Clerk

April 19               
Adoption of 2021-2022 Budget

May 10               
Budget Hearing

May 18               
BUDGET VOTE


December 2020

VCSD Takes A Proactive Approach to Education Post-Pandemic

The Coronavirus Pandemic has shaken all aspects of our lives to the core forcing a global restructuring of education. It has magnified the importance of connections and social-emotional learning. Just as VCSD worked hard to facilitate the reopening of schools in September, we are hard at work not only providing education during the pandemic- but looking ahead to how we can best serve our students’ educational needs as we eventually return to schools as we knew them with the lessons learned through the pandemic experience. 

Before the Pandemic, Valley Central was delving into Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and its importance in fully equipping our students for success. The Pandemic has magnified how very important SEL is.  Connectivity applies beyond internet access.  Students need to feel connected to the adults in their schools.  

The “House” concept of schools is effective for building a sense of community, camaraderie, and identity.

The Alternative Learning Center at Maybrook is like a House of the High School and Middle School.  Since its inception, it has been very successful in creating community and camaraderie for our students.  To apply this concept on a larger scale, VCSD has decided to embark on restructuring the High School to a collaborative co-principal model. 

Valley Central High School will consist of two Houses: a grade 9/10 House and grade 11/12 House.  Each House will have a Principal and Assistant Principal.  The 9/10 House will focus on Social Emotional Learning to make sure students are acclimated and prepared for success in the upper grades of high school.  The 11/12 House will be focused on college and career readiness, being sure that students are prepared for success on the paths they will take post-high school. 

The District began considering the House approach prior to the Pandemic and then decided to implement it quickly as it became apparent that students will need more support than ever as we continue to deal with the Pandemic’s effects on now and well beyond the end of the Pandemic. 

Superintendent John Xanthis sees a mid-year restructuring to the new system as a perfect opportunity to have the House system firmly in place for the upcoming year.  Decisions for an upcoming school year are made starting in January of the prior year, so this transition will allow the co-principals to be fully in charge of those decisions. It is hoped to have the co-principals in place as early as the beginning of the second semester of this school year.

Snow Days at VC

Most students know who Ben Noll (VC Class of 2009) is although he graduated awhile ago and lives half a world away in New Zealand!   Who could imagine a world without Ben Noll’s Snow Day predictions? Not VC. 

Snow days are not something that VC is ready to let go of yet. For now, VC plans to use our snow days and then if needed go remote. 

VC has a total of seven snow days.  Three can be used without having to make them up.  The next four are “banked” in the VC school calendar and are made up in this order: 

4th Day: May 27th is a school day
5th Day: March 26 and May 27
6th Day: March 26, April 5 and May 27
7th Day: March 26, April 5, May 27 and May 28

The District had its first snow day on December 17, 2020.

January Dates

January 4: School Resumes- Remote Learning Only

January 11- BOE meeting Livestreamed on our Youtube Channel.

January 18- MLK,Jr. Day

January 19: Hybrid Learning Resumes: Team 2 reports to school

January 21: UPK Info Night

January Regents Cancelled

January Concerts and Drama Productions Postponed


Education Amidst a Pandemic

~ John P. Xanthis, Superintendent

One of the goals of the Board of Education is to be one of the top 5 school districts in Orange County.  VC was the largest district in Orange County to offer in-person learning to all our students for the longest period.  I believe in the midst of this pandemic that was quite a success. From the first days of the pandemic through today we have worked hard to provide an opportunity to return students to the classroom while at the same time providing families the choice of 100% Online Learning.  

I am proud of the efforts that have been made by all of our staff to keep our schools open from September through November and to keep our students learning virtually during the Pause.  It has been an all-around team effort and the efforts have been outstanding.  

School Meals Available During PAUSE

Free school meals are available to all VC students, age 2-18, during the Pause of In-Person instruction. 

During the Pause, pickup days will be on Mondays and Wednesdays only. Orders must be placed from the VCSD website. Order forms are available on the Food Services page as well as all the school homepages.

Meal pickup on Mondays:
~Pickup on Monday will be for Monday and Tuesday meals
~Order from Friday at 2:00 PM until 9:30 AM on Monday
~Pickup is between 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM on Monday

Meal pickup on Wednesdays: ~Pickup on Wednesday will be for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday meals
~Order from Tuesday at 2:00 PM until 9:30 AM on Wednesday
~Pickup is between 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM on Wednesday

Meals will not be available during the Winter Recess from Dec. 23rd through Jan. 4th.

Bus Service Will Continue Under First Student

In its lawsuit against VCSD, Orange County Transit claims it is owed for transportation services it did not actually provide during the State ordered shutdown of schools from March to June 30, 2020. The lawsuit also alleges that Orange County Transit is entitled to be paid for its costs of cleaning its own buses to CDC standards during the present school year. 

Through Bankruptcy proceedings, Orange County Transit has ceased operations for Valley Central effective December 1st. The District has assigned a short-term emergency contract to First Student and will immediately begin the process of hiring a new transportation contractor.

Orange County Transit is an outside contractor for VCSD.  The company has alleged publicly in the Wallkill Valley Times that the District has a surplus of CARES Act funds from which they believe they should be given as a stimulus for services that were not rendered during the school closures. The District has no such surplus and furthermore the Valley Central School District is not in the legal or practical position to subsidize such businesses with scarce taxpayer monies needed to educate children. 

The remedy for such businesses as Orange County Transit is the federal Payroll Protection Program. It is our understanding that Orange County Transit received $1,762,030 from that program. They are NOT entitled to any more from our taxpayers.

Where is the MONEY?

Here are the FACTS:

VCSD lost State Aid through a “Pandemic Adjustment”
(-$560,835) 

CARES Act Funds address State Aid shortfalls through grants to invest in items such as technology, bandwidth, and connectivity.

VC has not yet received any money from the CARES Act.

VCSD has:
~Provided childcare for essential workers
~distributed 1000’s of meals
~Purchased PPE, sanitizer, and signage
~Purchased technology to support remote learning
~ Maintained staff


November 2020

Becoming Culturally Responsive

Valley Central has implemented:

  • A strong Social and Emotional Learning Initiative
  • Hired a Consultant on Culturally Inclusive Education, Dr. Gess LeBlanc who has worked with staff and students in the Middle and High Schools
  • Cultural Diversity Club at the High School
  • Creation of A Race, Identity and Justice Course at High School
  • Professional Development for Faculty
  • Procurement of Racially Inclusive Literature for all Elementary Schools
  • Created an ad hoc Racial Equity in Education Committee
  • Modified the Dress Code (part of VC Code of Conduct) to be culturally responsive
  • Appointing a (p/t) District Equity Coach- Zelig Kurland, VCHS Teacher

Applicants Needed for Racial and Social Equity Committee

The Board of Education has created a Racial and Social Equity Committee.  The goal of the committee is to drive accountability for the fair and inclusive treatment of all students. 

The initial charge of the committee is to: 

  • review District Curriculum so that it reflects diversity and provides the ability to thrive in a multicultural society
  • focus on staff diversity and inclusion
  • promote cultural literacy among all staff members
  • assure fair and equal treatment of all students 
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the District effort regarding equity 

Accepting Applications through November 30, 2020

The Racial and Social Equity Composition

1 BOE Member, and alternate

6 Parent and Community members, May include recent grads

4 Students, Current HS/8th grade students

4 Faculty, 1 HS, 1 MS, 2 Elem.

2 Non-Instruct. Staff, 1 Secondary/1 Elem.

3 Administrators, 1 HS, 1 MS, 1 Elem.

1 CO Administrator and the Superintendent, Ex-Officio

Statement from the Board Of Education

( from October 13, 2020 BOE Meeting)
“The District has been criticized and questioned by some for its failure to address, prevent and remedy incidents alleging racial injustice, particularly regarding some involving students.

We have very clear expectations about student behavior. As our policies require, we encourage the reporting of any misconduct regardless of severity.

The District promptly and thoroughly investigates these allegations.  While some investigations can be quick, others require more time.  In either case, we will not rush an investigation or rush to judgment.

If an investigation determines that disciplinary action should be taken, that is a private matter between the District, and the family. The District is obligated under the law to follow the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Accordingly, the District is not permitted to share information on the outcome of any student discipline with the public. 

The District has done a lot to ensure that students have a safe and healthy environment to learn and will continue to do so.  

We have a good community and a great student body.  Creating a culture of diversity and tolerance, a safe and healthy learning environment should be something that unites us.

We will continue to encourage open honest respectful conversation on ways to improve our District and community.”