Welcome Back

October 2023

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Our upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on the evening of Monday, November 20th from 6:00pm to 8:30 pm and Tuesday, November 21st from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Monday evening families will be able to schedule an IN PERSON conference from 6:00pm to 7:20pm and VIRTUAL from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.  Tuesday’s conferences will be IN PERSON from 8:00am to 11:20am and VIRTUAL from 11:30am to 4:00pm. Lunch for staff will be from 12:00 to 12:45pm.

In an effort to streamline the process and make it most convenient for parents and guardians, we will be using an online scheduling program called “Pick-A-Time,” which will enable you to schedule your own appointment using a home computer or other electronic device. Attached to this letter you will find steps necessary to schedule your conferences. Once scheduled, you will be able to print a full schedule of what you have chosen. Access to this website will be available starting Monday, October 30th through Thursday, November 16th. Information is available on the Middle School home page and will be posted on your child’s Google Classroom and on Valley Central social media.

**When parents schedule their appointment with the team, they will automatically be scheduled with their child’s core team teachers covering Math, Science, English, and Social Studies teachers. Some exceptions may apply, but parents will be able to see these from the scheduling screen.   If a student is a part of a collaborative class, the special education teacher will be included in these team meetings also. All other teachers can be scheduled individually. Special area classes are scheduled with the individual teacher.

If you schedule virtual conferences, it is advised that you email yourself your schedule from the Pick-A-Time scheduling screen.  This will provide an email containing all your Google Meet live links to your appointments.  On the date and time of your appointments, please join each Google Meets through this email. During these times you will be provided with an opportunity for a private conference with your child’s teacher(s). Each parent-teacher conference is limited to ten minutes.

Please note Pick-A-Time will only allow you to schedule one appointment per teacher per student and one team per student. For students who have collaborative teachers, the program will schedule both teachers at the same time. If you need to cancel or change appointments, you must do it in Pick-A-Time and give at least 24 hours notice. 

We believe that direct and personal communication with your child’s teachers is vital to their success.  We encourage you to participate in these parent-teacher conferences. If for some reason you cannot attend, please be reminded that you are welcome to call the Middle School throughout the school year to meet or speak with any staff member.

If you have any questions or problems with scheduling, such as multiple children, co-parenting or technology concerns, please contact Amanda Collins at amanda.collins@vcsdny.org. 



Jayme Ginda-Baxter


Middle School

Go to the Middle School website and click on the link to get to the Parent-Teacher Conference Scheduler. 

Register – (Required every year)

  1. Enter your email address and click on “Login/Create Account.”
  2. Fill in the required fields and register.

**PLEASE NOTE: All previous profiles have been cleared, so even if you have registered in previous years, you will need to register again.**


  1. You will need to link your student(s) to your account by entering their first and last names and birthdate as indicated on the initial scheduling screen. You will need to exclude any suffixes i.e Jr or III, hyphens or apostrophes or any other punctuation or special characters, then click Add.  You will be able to add as many middle school children as necessary.
  2. You will see a list of teachers, their appointments are color coded. Each student(s) schedule will be listed separately.
  3. Each colored square represents an available meeting time. The legend shows you which teacher corresponds to which color and the times increase as you go down the page.  Monday, November 20th has evening appointments (6:00pm-8:30pm) and these appointments are IN PERSON from 6:00pm to 7:20pm and VIRTUAL from 7:30pm to 8:30pm. Tuesday, November 21st has daytime appointments (8:00am to 4:00pm) and these are IN PERSON from 8:00am to 11:20am and VIRTUAL from 11:30am to 4:00pm.
  4. Click on a square to schedule that time.
  5. You will have the option of setting a time when you would like an email reminder to be delivered.  There are already pre scheduled reminders that will be sent by the system.
  6. Click on “Create Appointment.”
  7. Repeat until you have an appointment with each teacher you would like to visit with.
  • You can click on the “Printable Schedule” link located on the top menu bar (center, right) and print the resulting web page to get a hard copy of your schedule.  You will also receive an email of the schedule to the email address you entered when creating your account.
  • To see your schedule, click on the “Your Schedule” link located on the top menu bar (left).   From this listing you can:
  1. Change the time of an appointment; click on  Change time to the right of the appointment you want to change.
  2. See the details of individual appointment, print or e-mail schedule; click on Details to the right of the appointment you want to see details for.
  3. Cancel an appointment; click on  Cancel to the right of the appointment you want to cancel.

If you make VIRTUAL APPOINTMENTS it is recommended that you email yourself your schedule.  You will receive an email with a chart of all your appointments with the links to the Google Meets.  Keep this email handy so you can use it on the day of your conferences.

Monday, September 21, 2023


Thursday, September 21, 2023

We cordially invite you to attend the VCMS Open House being held on Thursday, September 21, 2023. Open house is an opportunity for families to become familiar with the course curriculum and expectations for each class a student has on their schedule. Course syllabi will be distributed for each class. Open house is a great chance to see what each class is all about. This event is not intended for students to attend.

How does open house work? Families (parents and guardians) will be following their child’s A Day class schedule. Parents can either collaborate with their child for the schedule or it can be accessed through the parent portal in SchoolTool. If you need SchoolTool access, please contact Sophia Licata-Cook at 845.457.2400 ext 16502.

What is the bell schedule for parents?
Student’s “A” Day Schedule

6:30-6:37 PM
6:40-6:47 PM
6:50-6:57 PM
7-7:07 PM
7:10-7:17 PM
7:20-7:27 PM
7:30-7:37 PM
7:40-7:47 PM
7:50-7:57 PM

Please follow this bell schedule for the Open House. You will need to follow the “A” day schedule accordingly. If your child has a study hall or a period where their teacher is not present, please visit the cafeteria for the ADAC informational table and extracurricular information. Also, visit the PTA table and become a member!

Interested in joining the VCMS PTA? The PTA is the best way to be involved in your child’s education. Your ideas and concerns can be voiced and heard by a dedicated group of parents, teachers and administrators who have all joined the PTA. Your PTA membership allows you to contribute to your child’s growing years when they are most needed. Click on the VCMSPTA membership hub to enroll.

We hope you will join us for the Open House to meet the teachers and gain a better understanding of what takes place in each class. If you have questions specific to your child, please reach out to the respective teachers separate from Open House. Open House is not intended to discuss specific student concerns.

Also, there will be a parent informational meeting for students enrolled into Academic Intervention Services (AIS). This meeting starts at 6PM in the Middle School Library.

Friday, August 25, 2023

We hope you are having a terrific summer so far! However, the start of the new school year is quickly coming into sight! Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our students and families of a few things that they will need to know before arriving on September 6th.

Student Schedules: Student schedules are now available on the parent portal for viewing. Please review with your child so they know where to report on Wednesday for 1st period. Hard copies of schedules will be distributed on the first day of school. When using the mobile SchoolTool app, users need to click on view “full site” in order to view schedules. Email your guidance counselor with any questions or concerns related to your child’s schedule.

Building Entrance & Student IDs: Safety of our students and staff is a top priority here at the middle school and to that end we will be continuing to utilize only the 2 main entrance points for students. The main MS entrance will be for 7th and 8th graders and the entrance closest to the staff parking lot will be for 6th graders in the mornings.

All students will receive their student ID cards and lanyards in first period class on the first day of school. All students will be expected to wear their IDs each and every day upon entering the school building. Each grade level will have different color lanyards issued – 6th- orange, 7th – black, 8th- blue.

Cellphones at the Middle School: We strongly discourage students from bringing their cellphones to school, however we understand that they are often needed as a means of communication before and after school. If students bring their cellphones to school, they are required to be turned off and placed in their locker for the duration of the school day. If a student is found to be in possession of their cellphone, they will be warned and if this continues the school reserves the right to confiscate it. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation on this matter. We ask that you speak with your child about these rules prior to the start of school.

Lockers, Locks & Backpacks: This year we will continue with our no backpack policy which means that students will not be permitted to carry backpacks during regular school hours (8:06 am to 2:50 pm). This procedure assists with safety in both our hallways and our classrooms. On the first days of classes, every student will be assigned a locker in which to keep their belongings. All VCMS students must utilize a school approved combination lock in order to secure their assigned locker and their belongings. We want to encourage returning students to bring their previously used locks with them. Locks will be provided otherwise. All incoming 6th graders and new students will be given new locks.

School Supplies: Be sure to continue to take care of your district issued chromebook and charger. Each student will need to bring their fully charged chromebook with them on the first day of classes so they are prepared for a great year of learning. The District is once again providing all students with all their starter supplies to kick off the school year. If there are any additional supplies that the school does not provide, teachers will let students know the first days of school. New students will receive their school issued chromebook on the first day of school.

Lunch & Recess: At the Middle School, students enjoy the opportunity to socialize during their lunch period which includes time to eat their lunch and go outdoors for recess. This is also the period of time where we experience our most student to student challenges. We have opened up a study hall each lunch period for students who may want or need less of a crowd or disruptions during lunch. If your child is interested in utilizing a study hall to have their lunch, please contact the guidance department with this request.

Student Bus Routes & Information: Postcards are in the process of being mailed out to every student in the District. Please be on the lookout for these. Busing Questions? Contact Renee Merchant at 845.457.2400 ext. 18115.

Middle School Modified Sports: As a reminder, the Middle School Modified Sports Registration opened on August 2 for the upcoming fall season. Please see the website for more information.

Modified Sports Registration

As we get closer to September 6th, we will continue to share additional information to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Enjoy your weekend!

The VCMS Leadership Team


August 18, 2023


Our doors will open for students on Wednesday, September 6th for the start of the new school year.

In the upcoming weeks, we will be providing you with everything you need to know and expect as you enter Middle School in September. Information will be provided for both parents and students. To get you started, the following is a quick reference guide:

  • Student schedules will be available on the parent/student portal starting on August 23, 2023.
  • Initial school supplies are being provided by the District again this year. This includes a school lock (as needed- if you have one from last year, please bring it with you) and all the basics to get started- folders, pencil cases, pens, pencils, paper, binders, and more. If specific supplies are required for specialty courses, students will be notified once school starts.
  • Busing information is being mailed home. If you have any questions regarding busing please contact Renee Merchant at transportation@vcsdny.org.
    6th grade and new student orientation is scheduled for Thursday, August 24, 2023. We have provided some information on this event already and will provide even more details on Monday for everyone to be prepared.
  • Construction is moving along and updates will be provided so the community can enter the campus safely while work continues until the opening of school. Please be on the lookout for more information!

We also want to let you know that as administrators we are here to support our school community by listening, problem-solving, and working hard to create a school environment that is fun, fair and engaging. We will be visiting classrooms frequently and getting to know each and every one of our students throughout the school year.

Ms. Ginda-Baxter🌞
Hello and WELCOME to VCMS!! We are going to have a great year together and learn a lot about ourselves and each other. This is my 19th year being an administrator and my 3rd year as the MS Principal. I really enjoy the beach and I spent a lot of time this summer camping with my family and friends in our camper. I have two high school aged children who are my world. I am excited to hear about what you enjoy and your family too! I am looking forward to our journey ahead!

Mr. Balducci
Hi everyone and welcome to VCMS! This is my 26th year in education and my 16th year as an Assistant Principal. I am passionate about sports – especially the Yankees and Jets! If you see me in the hallway, don’t be afraid to ask me about my favorite players. You will see me a lot at lunch and recess and I am looking forward to getting to know each of you better. I also have two high school aged children so I understand the successes and challenges you may face at the Middle School. I look forward to working with you to be the best you can be!

🤓Mr. Rodriguez
Welcome to VCMS everyone! This will be my 21st year in education but my 6th year here at Valley Central and my 2nd in the middle school. I am a huge NY Knicks fan and love the game of lacrosse. If you see me in the hall say “hello” and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have. I also have two children who go to high school and I understand the type of commitment and work ethic it takes to be successful. Let’s have a great year and work together to make your experiences at VCMS positive and productive!.

We will continue to provide messages and post information on the school website as we get closer to the start of the new school year. We hope this school year brings each of you a sense of hope and happiness as we grow together! Happy New Year!

~VCMS Administration


6th Grade & New Student Orientation:

  • 6th Grade & New Student Orientation is for both students and parents. Orientation will be held in 2 sessions on August 24th. 

 Orientation is held in 2 sessions – please attend according to your last name.
8-10:30AM – Last Name starts with A-K
12-2:30PM – Last Name starts with L-Z

  • Parking & Entrances: We will provide updates on parking and entrance doors as we get closer and can more accurately evaluate the construction taking place.  
  • Students will be greeted by National Junior Honor Society Members for an interactive middle school “world tour” complete with passports and stamps for all!! This will be followed by an ice cream social. **Note: if there is a hardship and a parent/guardian is unable to attend, we still encourage students to not miss out on this opportunity and to attend the orientation. 
  • Parents/guardians will meet in the cafeteria and will be provided with information on many topics including but not limited to google classroom, building procedures arrival, dismissal, lockers/locks, lunch, guidance happenings, parent portal, SchoolTool, School Messenger, nurse’s office, VCMS supports for all students, special education, ADAC Coalition and Vaping presentation, social media and student discipline, meet the 6th grade teachers, attendance, music department and much more. 

Student Schedules: Our guidance team is working diligently on student schedules. Schedules will be made available to students 6-12 the last few weeks of August. More specific dates will be provided as we work through the schedules.

School Supplies: Be sure to continue to take care of your district-issued Chromebook and charger. Each student will need to bring their fully charged Chromebook with them on the first day of classes so they are prepared for a great year of learning.  If there are any additional supplies that the school does not provide, teachers will let students know the first days of school. Also, if students wish to have specialty items, they can choose to purchase these separately.  


    6th Grade Social will be held on September 15, 2023 –  this is always a great time and opportunity for 6th graders to meet each other and the staff in a non-academic setting after school. More information will be shared at a later date.