East Coldenham Announcements

Principal’s Newsletter

Dear EC Families,

Welcome to another exciting school year! I hope that everyone enjoyed the summer and is ready to get back to work. We look forward to continuing on the great tradition of excellence that EC is known for. In order to continue being successful, we need your help.

Please remember that communication between home and the school is absolutely vital to your child’s success. Regular communication, whether through email, phone call, a note, or the old-fashioned face-to-face is necessary for all of the stakeholders in your child’s education to have a clear understanding of how we can work together to help them succeed. Please reach out to your child’s teacher to discuss what they are learning, what they need help with, and how we can all work together to help them reach their greatest potential.

Keep in mind that EC, like every elementary school, is a community. I encourage you to be an active member of our community by joining the PTA. This worthy organization works tirelessly to plan events for our kids. As with most volunteer organizations, a small group can’t do it on their own. They’re relying on our help. I urge you, if you haven’t already, to reach out to them and to join the PTA as I have. I promise they will find a way for you to fit the PTA in your busy schedule. The smile your efforts will bring to the children’s faces will be worth the effort!

Another important way that you can support your child’s success is by talking with them about what they have learned in school. A simple conversation at the dinner table, or in the car on the way to soccer, little league, dance, or wherever the Mom/Dad Uber service is headed for that day will be enough. Ask what they learned in school. Have them explain it to you. This simple conversation will help to cement new learning for your child.

I know it is not always easy to find the time in a day to relax with a good book, but I highly recommend modeling reading for your child. It is important that they see reading as an important life skill. Carve a little time out of your night to encourage your child to read. Read with them, to them, or next to them. Make reading a part of your family life. If your schedule is too busy, perhaps finding an audiobook that the family can enjoy together is the answer for you. In any event, stress reading with your child at an early age.

Open House will take place on September 12th this year. This is a fantastic opportunity to open the lines of communication with your child’s teacher and to get an idea of the educational journey they will embark on this year. I hope to see you then. In the meantime, and any time you are in need, please feel free to contact me with any concerns. I can be reached at (845) 457-2400, ext. 12510 or via email.


Dan McDonald

East Coldenham Elementary School Mission Statement

Believe, Achieve, Succeed

The Mission of the East Coldenham Elementary School Community, where children are treasured, is to foster a love of learning in an innovative, collaborative environment which empowers all students to be competent, productive, caring and responsible citizens. At East Coldenham, we strive to believe, achieve and succeed in all that we do.

Dates to Remember

Open House: September 12th

No School September 25th

Early Dismissal Drill (dismissal at 3:15 p.m.): October 6th

Parent-Teacher Conferences:
November 20th (Evening)
November 21st (All day, no school for students)
Thanksgiving Recess (November 22-24)

The EC Times is published monthly as needed. It is sent home in the virtual Thursday folder. It is also available here as a PDF. If you are unable to access it, please contact Mary Pettine

September 2023

Please visit the Health Services page for information about attendance and illness as well as the current guidance from the Orange County Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to schools on COVID-19 for the 2023/2024 School Year.

Our health services page can be located here.

Student Photographs on the Website

This notice is to inform you that if you wish to withhold permission for your child’s picture to be used on the District’s website you need to notify the school in writing. Please return your request within the first two weeks of school to the main office. This MUST be done on a yearly basis.

EC PICTURE DAY: September 26th
EC Shirt Day: September 29th – Wear an EC or blue shirt! 

A Note from the Cafeteria

Breakfast and Lunch Prices

Breakfast: $1.85
Lunch: $2.85
Milk: $.75

Check out My School Bucks: The simple way to pay for school meals. 

*View account balances and meal purchases
*Schedule automatic payments
*Make payments anytime, anywhere from our mobile app


Whenever a student is absent, parents are requested to call the Attendance Office at (845) 457-2400, ext. 12507 with a brief explanation of the absence.

New York State Law mandates that a written excuse, signed by the parents be sent to school explaining the nature of each absence IN ADDITION to calling the Attendance Office.

Students are late after 9:15 am, and must be signed in to school by an adult at the front desk. A written excuse is also requested when a student is late letting to school.

National research shows that chronically absent kindergarteners demonstrate lower academic performance than their peers once they move into higher grades.

“One in 10 kindergarten and 1st-grade students miss at least a month of school every year national research shows.” Unexcused absences at all grade levels become a bigger problem in secondary school. It is the bad attendance habits in the beginning years that lead to skipping school at the secondary level.

A Note from the Health Office

Please notify our health office if there are any changes in your child’s health status.

If a student is required to take medication in school, a physician’s note with specific instructions is needed. The medication must also be in the original labeled container.

Under no circumstances should a child carry medicine to school.

Valley Central School District Student Sunscreen Use Procedure

The Valley Central School District, in accordance with guidance from the New York State Education Department, has developed the following procedure for student use of sunscreen. Self-directed students are allowed to carry and apply sunscreen without a medical provider’s order under the following conditions:

  1. The sunscreen is used to avoid overexposure to the sun and not for medical treatment of an injury or illness; if the sunscreen is required to treat a medical condition, the procedures for administering medication apply.
  2. The sunscreen is FDA-approved for over-the-counter use;
  3. The student’s parent or guardians provide written permission annually for the student to carry and use the sunscreen. A sunscreen use permission form will be available on the district website under Health Services Forms. This form must be completed by the parent or guardian and delivered to the health office. The school nurse will file the completed form in the student’s cumulative health record and document that the record was received allowing the student to carry and apply an FDA-approved sunscreen for the school year.

Welcome to Student School Counselor’s Corner

Welcome back East Coldenham students and families! I hope you had a restful summer full of exciting activities and sunny days. I am thrilled to return as the Student Assistance Counselor in the building for the 2023-2024 school year. We will once again be having our character education theme of the month initiatives along with other exciting assemblies and activities. Don’t forget that I am available to each and every student for support while they journey through the school year. I conduct both individual and group counseling sessions as well as classroom guidance lessons that include the following topics:

  • Character Education
  • Friendship
  • Stress/Anxiety Management
  • Anger Management
  • Divorce/Changing Families
  • Grief
  • Social Skills
  • Transitions/Life changes
  • Impulse Control

Elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes, and skill necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. School counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents, and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children achieve academic success. If I can be of any assistance to your child or to your family, please never hesitate to reach out to me. I can be reached by email at alexandra.riker@vcsdny.org or by phone at (845) 457-2400, ext. 12006. Wishing all of our EC families a wonderful and safe school year!

Allie Riker
Student Assistance Counselor

August 2023

Mrs. DeMaro would like to thank all the EC Learning Garden volunteers who helped with the garden this summer, especially the weeding! 

She hopes to see our EC families at our Learning Garden Party Aug. 30, 12-1