Page 1

District Newsletter Pleasantville Public Schools Vol. 62 No. 1

Fall 2013 Dear Community Members, The Board of Education and I welcome you to the 2013-14 school year! This year brings with it a continued and repurposed focus on the common interests of our school community. To that end, we have launched two key initiatives—the creation of a District Strategic Plan and a Facility Review focused on safety and security. We are also in the midst of our K-12 Math curriculum review, the resumption of our Advocacy Campaign, a recharging of our Finance Committee, the inclusion of open community forums at our Board of Education meetings and, in January, a renewal of our efforts to fill Superintendent the High School principal position. Mary Fox-Alter

Our Strategic Plan will embrace transformational initiatives and allow us to assess all aspects of our educational program in terms of their contribution to our goals and student outcomes. It is a comprehensive, multilevel process with strong opportunities for community engagement. This year’s Facility Review outlines important safety and security items: • Install a new classroom-based digital communication and notification system (IP based) for BRS and the Middle School. • Install a new security camera system—indoor and outdoor—for BRS. • Create a security vestibule for the main entrance of BRS. • Replace the 1952 section of the Middle School roof. • Replace the three turf fields at BRS & PHS, now in the 11th year of their 10-to-12-year life expectancy. They have become very worn and no longer drain properly. • Resurface the track. General wear and tear has taken its toll. • Repair or replace concrete masonry and asphalt at specific BRS and Middle School locations. • Remove remaining ACM (asbestos containing material) floor tiles and plaster ceilings at the Middle School. • Plan for the replacement of the aged Parkway Field House. The Continued on page 2

Board Meetings through January 2014 Unless otherwise noted, all meetings of the Board of Education begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Pleasantville High School Library Media Center and the Open Community Forums at 8:30 p.m. Reports scheduled are subject to change. Information on the upcoming Board meeting is available at and 741-1460. Every meeting provides an opportunity for comments and questions from the audience.

Tuesday, October 8 • Introduction of New Staff Members • Auditor’s Report for 2012-2013 • Open Community Forum on Advocacy

Tuesday, October 22 Monday, November 4 • Annual Village Trustees/ School Board Meeting at Village Hall

Tuesday, November 5 • Open Community Forum on Facilities

Tuesday, November 19 • Fall Athletic Season Update • Finance Committee: Capital Projects

Tuesday, December 3 • PHS Guidance Report • Open Community Forum: Joint Meeting with PHS Student Government

Tuesday, December 17 • Strategic Plan Presentation

Tuesday, January 14 • Long Range Financial Outlook

Tuesday, January 28 • Technology Update • Work Session: Preliminary 20142015 Budget

Published by the Board of Education, Pleasantville Union Free School District, Pleasantville NY

District News Dear Community Members…from front page Village owns the building but, according to the terms of a joint use agreement, the District is responsible for maintaining it in compliance with State Education Department regulations. As you are aware, these are very challenging times. Unfunded or underfunded mandates are increasing and continue to stress the allocation of our resources. We continue to address the implications of the tax levy cap, the evaluation of our staff using the new mandated APPR system, the introduction of computer-based testing for all students and the grades 3-8 high stakes testing requirement. Your voice on these issues is important. Albany needs to hear from you. Please join us in our advocacy campaign and participate in our new Board of Education forums (October 8 on Advocacy and November 5 on Facilities). The Board of Education and I look forward to working in partnership with our community. May we all have a safe and successful year. Sincerely, Mary Fox-Alter Superintendent of Schools

the purpose of military recruitment, you must put that request in writing and forward it to High School principal Dr. Daniel McCann.

Mandated Reporting All certified school district personnel as well as school nurses are Mandated Reporters under New York State Social Services law. When a Mandated Reporter has reasonable cause to suspect that any child has been abused, either physically or sexually, or has been neglected or unsupervised by a parent or caregiver, that person is required by law to make a report to the New York State Central Registry on Child Abuse. Reasonable suspicion can arise from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, direct observation of injuries, bruises or suspicious behavior, malnourishment or lack of personal care, or student disclosures of such information. School employees are not permitted to investigate claims of child abuse. The investigation must be conducted by the Department of Social Services. Please be aware that the policy of the Pleasantville School District is to not contact parents when a report to the Central Registry will be made, as this can interfere with the investigation by Child Protective Services.

Privacy Rights of Students

Athletic Events Information

Parents/guardians are urged to review the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Notice and the District’s policy on student privacy, which are included in the 2013-2014 District calendar and also are posted on the District’s website (www. Any questions should be directed to your child’s principal.

To date, over 4,500 residents have subscribed to Tandem for Schools, a free online service that provides information on Pleasantville’s interscholastic athletic events. Subscribers also can get directions, including Google maps, to event locations; email and text message updates when events change; and more. To subscribe: go to and click on the Interactive Athletic Calendar tab; click Sign In on the calendar; then follow the directions. Subscribers are responsible for keeping their contact information up-to-date.

Military Recruitment Pursuant to the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, as revised by the No Child Left Behind Act, and the Pleasantville School District’s policy on student privacy, you have the right to prohibit the disclosure of your child’s personal information for the purposes of military recruitment. This opt-out provision is listed in the District calendar under the annual PPRA notice. If you do not want your child’s information available for 2

Subscribe to K-12 Alerts to get email and cell phone text message notification of school closings, early dismissals, and more. Click on the link found on the District’s website (

District News Staffing Update Interim High School Principal Dr. Daniel McCann was appointed Interim High School Principal for the 2013-2014 school year at the Board of Education meeting of August 6. He retired from the New York State public school system in 2012 after over forty years in education: as a teacher in a number of Dr. Daniel McCann districts including Scarsdale and New York City; a principal in Bronxville and Hicksville; director of K-12 curriculum for Pearl River; assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and evaluation for Rye City; and superintendent of the Hendrick Hudson School District. Dr. McCann has extensive experience in school district long-range planning, a major Board goal for 2013-2014. Board President Shane McGaffey noted, “Dr. McCann has all the qualities that can assist Pleasantville through this important transition period as we continue to search for a principal. He will be an interim who can move us forward.” Two consultants from Southern Westchester BOCES — Dr. Sheila McGinnis, Director of Human Resources, and Dr. Harold Coles, District Superintendent — worked with Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter and the High School Principal Search Committee throughout the almost two-month process. The decision to hire Dr. McCann as Interim Principal was made after 88 applications for the principal position failed to produce a candidate who fully met the criteria for a probationary appointment. The Board extends its thanks

At BRS: Sarah Sibijene, Shannon Cunnane; not pictured: Karen Burstein

to the committee members: parents Olivia Andreacchi, Dominick Balletta, Adam Brown, Beth D’Alessandro, Michael Inglis, Andrew Selesnick, Nelle Stokes (Parent Council Co-President), and Angela Vella; PHS teachers Ed Dans, Virginia Mancini (also PHS Curriculum Coordinator and Social Studies Department Chair), and Jeanette Robinson; and BRS Assistant Principal Dr. Cindy Kramer.

New Staff Members Our new staff members fill positions made available through leaves of absence, resignations, and retirements. •

Rosemary Browne (B.A. in Art & Psychology, Fordham University; M.A. in Art Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; NYS Certificate in Special Education, Manhattanville College) is a special education teacher in the High School’s ISP program. She was a special education teacher and evaluator for seven years at the Children’s School for Early Development in Hawthorne and taught art in New York City and Westchester schools prior to that.

Christian Brunelli (B.A. in Political Science, SUNY Buffalo; M.S. Ed. in Curriuclum, Instruction & Assessment, Walden University) teaches four sections of 9th grade Global History and one of 11th grade U.S. History. He previously taught English and Social Studies at Putnam/ Northern Westchester BOCES and is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University.

At PMS: Kaitlyn Fay, Karen Cerreta-Figueroa, Donald Marra, Susan Leyden

At PHS, front: Rosemary Browne, Dr. Beth ChaseSchuman; back: Jonas Kalish, Gregory Nemec, Christian Brunelli


District News

Returning from leave: BRS teachers Valerie Reich, Christine Harris, Psychology Interns, Left Photo, front: Ava Hosp (MS), Amanda Kennedy (MS); back: Michael Stephanie Chiafari Laucello (BRS/PHS), Agetina Smajlaj (PHS), Rukmini Bhalla (PHS); Right Photo, front: Heather Wynne (BRS), Nicole Tomlinson (BRS); back: Sayaka Aoki (BRS/MS/PHS), Marni Russo (BRS), Natasha Storonsky (BRS)

Karen Burstein (B.S. in Communicative Disorders, University of Rhode Island; M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology, New York University) joined the Bedford Road School staff on September 26 as leave replacement for speech therapist Brittania Bishop. She received tenure in the Ardsley School District and has extensive experience in a variety of educational settings.

Karen Cerreta-Figueroa (M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology, St. John’s University) is a parttime (.4) speech therapist at the Middle School. She has nearly twenty years’ experience that includes public and private schools as well as clinical supervision of undergraduate students at the college level.

Dr. Beth Chase-Schuman (B.A. in Psychology, Connecticut College; Ed.M. and Ph.D. in School Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University) is a psychologist at the High School. She did six years of supervised clinincal training to earn her advanced degrees and worked as a psychologist in a school based health center program at New York Presbyterian Hospital for over two years.

Shannon Cunnane (B.A. in Communication, University of Arizona; M.S.Ed. in Teaching Students with Disabilities, City College of New York) is a special education teacher at Bedford Road School. She previously taught at Biondi Elementary School, a year-round special education school in the Bronx. 4

Kaitlyn Fay (B.S. in Music Education & Flute Performance, Elon University; Masters of Music in Jazz Voice Performance, William Paterson University), a part-time (.5) music teacher at the Middle School, teaches General Music, 6th Grade Chorus, and 7th & 8th Grade Chorus. Her experience includes student teaching, serving as a substitute teacher, and teaching private lessons. Ms. Fay also sang and played baritone sax in a showband working for Carnival Cruise Lines for two summers

Jonas Kalish (B.A. in Politics, Brandeis University; Masters of Education, University of Massachusetts) teaches Integrated Algebra, Geometry, and Contemporary Math at the High School. An experienced math teacher, he taught at Stuyvesant High School (New York, NY) for six years and at Fox Lane High School last year. Prior to teaching, Mr. Kalish worked as a journalist, including twelve years as an editor at the Boston Herald.

Susan Leyden (B.A. in Psychology, Providence College; M.A. in School Psychology, Alfred University), Middle School Guidance Counselor, replaces Donald Marra, who is now serving as the school’s Assistant Principal. Both are interim positions. Mrs. Leyden was a school psychologist in the Mount Pleasant School District for ten years.

Gregory Nemec (B.F.A. in Illustration, University of the Arts; M.S. in Education, Pace University) is a part-time (.4) art teacher in the

District News High School, with one section each of Studio I and Illustration. A freelance artist and illustrator, Mr. Nemec is Animator in Residence for the Jacob Burns Film Center and teaches at its Media Arts Lab. •

Sarah Sibijene (B.A. in Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.A. in Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California) is a part-time (.6) occupational therapist at Bedford Road School. She provided occupational therapy services in both clinical and educational settings in California for five years before moving to the New York area.

Other Changes Some staff members returned to different teaching assignments: special education teacher Ruth Rust and speech therapist Rita Curtin moved from Bedford Road School to the Middle School; math teacher Kern Mojica returned to the Middle School from the High School; art teacher Grace Lee from part-time at the High School to full-time at the Middle School. Two Middle School teachers, Phyllis Grella (ELA) and James Carey (social studies), “commute” to the High School for one class a day. We also welcome back Bedford Road School teachers Stephanie Chiafari (1st grade), Christine Harris (1st grade), and Valerie Reich (4th grade), who were on childrearing leave.

Five Silver Anniversaries

Faculty Honors Dr. Carolyn McGuffog, Director of Educational Services, is this year’s recipient of theGil Trachtman Leadership Award, given by the New York Association of School Psychologists. Dr. McGuffog

High School teacher Staci Tedrow was appointed as New York Regional Coordinator for The BULLY Project, a social action campaign inspired by the award-winning documentary Bully. Ms. Tedrow

Opening Day Numbers Grade K 1 2 3 4 BRS 5 6 7 8 MS 9 10 11 12 PHS Totals

Actual1 12-13 105 117 126 118 139 605 137 144 140 160 581 140 148 138 159 585 1,771

Projected2 13-14 115 111 115 125 120 586 151 139 151 143 584 167 141 149 141 598 1,768

Actual3 13-14 121 110 129 126 118 604 147 141 142 144 574 164 141 147 150 602 1,780


reported to the State Education Department in October 2012 At the September 3 Superintendent’s Conference Day, Superintendent of Schools Mary Fox-Alter (2nd from left) recognized five staff members — teachers Dorian Nuccio, JulieAnne Zanis, Ann Brown, and Maura Hunter and BRS principal Peggy Galotti — for their twenty-five years of service to the District.


projections used in developing 2013-2014 budget: K is based on enrollments from past 3-4 years; grades 1-12 are based on a persistency ratio and historical data. 3

September 9, 2013; does not include Out-of-District placements


School News Summer Vacation District students, staff, and alumni pursued a variety of enriching experiences over the summer. An informal survey turned up those pictured here.

PHS senior Alex Catalan (left), who has been fly fishing since he was 11, took four combat veterans to the Beaverkill River in upstate New York under the auspices of Project Healing Waters. The nationwide project, established in 2005 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, introduces wounded Iraq and Afghanistan service members to fly fishing. Alex has been an active member of its New York chapter since 2011.

BRS fourth grader Grant Becker built the GoGo Chair, “a wheelchair bicycle that enables users to participate in many fun activities,” utilizing recycled, green, and repurposed materials. His invention was displayed at the New York Maker Faire, a “festival of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness” that was held September 21-22 at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. Grant’s Green Amphibike was included in last year’s Faire.


PHS alumni Joe and Justine Racioppo (Class of 1970) added two matching landscape elements to the front of the High School. Joe created the brick planters and flagstone surfaces, while Justine did the planting. Other than the slate, saved from a student lunch area that was dismantled during the PHS construction project, all the plants and materials were donated by the siblings.

PHS sophomore Sophie Dora Tulchin (left) completed a Rockettes dance workshop at Radio City Music Hall. She auditioned with thousands of 14-to-35-year-olds for the opportunity. PHS freshman Jack Demaree (right) placed 117 out of 192 freestyle competitors at the World Yo-Yo Competition in Orlando, Florida. He performed to a recording of music written and performed by his brother Cameron, PHS Class of 2013. Last spring, Jack placed second in his age group for freestyle in the Northeast Regional Yo-Yo Competition. Thank you to the Becker, Catalan, Demaree, Largey, & Tulchin families, Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Levine, and Ms. Keegan for their pictures.

School News PHS senior Sam Koved volunteered with Heartsong, a non-profit organization that provides music and art therapy to children with special needs. He worked with a group of 10 to 21 year olds.



Eagle Scout Projects 1. Brendan Largey built storage shelves in the control room of the Little Theater at BRS. 2. Patrick Watts built steps to the PHS Edible Garden. Both were assisted by other members of their Boy Scout troop and worked under the supervision of Steve Chamberlain, Director of Buildings & Grounds.

Middle School science teacher Lance Levine went fossil hunting in Wyoming.

PHS students Leo Tulchin, Devin Kalish, and Isak Leon conducted research as part of their Science Research program. Leo studied with Dr. Eric Kandel at the Neurological Institute and Psychiatric Institute at Columbia Presbyterian; Devin used computer programs to manipulate gene expression data at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; and Isak worked primarily at Mount Sinai on Hepatitis C research. Not pictured: Sarah Paraszcak studied proteins and enzymes with Dr. Arthur Cooper at New York Medical College; Rithvik Subramanya worked at Fordham’s Vector Ecology Lab on tick- and mosquito-borne diseases.

Pleasantville International Association (P.I.A.) Student Ambassadors travelled abroad to promote international goodwill and understanding. They will share their adventures with the community at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15, in the High School cafeteria. Front row: Melanie Stopler (Navajo Nation), Paige Psyhojos (Australia), Jianna Bennetti (Thailand), Nina Kapoor (Tanzania); back row: Cary Chapman (Costa Rica), Maggie Heidepriem (Morocco), Maggie Sullivan (South Africa), Jacob Wallace (Mongolia), Benji Taubenblatt (South Korea), Mac Butcher (Switzerland); not pictured: Paul Manna (China), Michael Arcidiacono (Japan), Adam Choy (Peru). PHS students Jacob Nemec (sculpture a week project), Miranda Stein (worked with kids with developmental disabilities) , Katie Bartz (camp counselor & theater program), and Alexa Kantor (college-level art illustration college) pursued a variety of interests. Not pictured: Claire Inglis (theater program), Halle Nicole (camp leader-in-training)


School News Tops in Math Olympiad Fifth grade student Abhaya Ravikumar received a trophy, presented by BRS Curriculum/Extended Learning Coordinator Lisa Rodriguez, for scoring in the 98th percentile of all elementary participants in last year’s Math Olympiad. A number of PHS students did service projects in Appalachia, Arkansas, Florida, Schoharie County, and Massachusetts on their own or with their youth groups. Front row: Lauren Turenchalk, Christina Doerr, Kathryn Berg, Karina Roye, Cali Bronkema; back row: Gabrielle Santander, Michael Darmohraj, Eric Hughes. Not pictured: Sean Lem, Claire Palmer, Serina Pregiato, Erica Romano, Shane Willard.

PHS students explored the world, and some combined their travel with service projects. Front row: Elizabeth Rosensheim (built community center in Costa Rica), Jordan Franks (United Kingdom), Audrey Tuck (worked with impoverished families in Lima, Peru); back row: Michelle DeSa (taught English to underprivileged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Jack Butler (worked on a farm in Switzerland), Maggie Kelly (planted trees in Fiji, along with travel to Australia and New Zealand). Not pictured: Hannah Baylies (New Mexico), Olivia Heintzman (built school in Tanzania), Robert Persons (China). Middle School science teacher Sara Keegan explored Luray Caverns in Virginia, one of the biggest caverns of stalactites and stalagmites open to the public. The formations formed over 4 million centuries.


Happy 10th Birthday, BRS!

Bedford Road School students and staff celebrated the building’s 10th birthday on Friday, September 27. Pictured are Joanne Stratigakis’s second grade class wearing the birthday hats they made for the occasion.

We Stand for Kindness

The Middle School opened the school year with a re-launch of its “Panther Pride Unified, We Stand for Kindness” initiative. Students ready to commit to being kind to everyone around them signed banners that now hang in the building’s hallways.

School News All-State & All-National Honors

National Merit Scholarship

Front row: Claire Inglis, Maria Howe, Kimberly O’Keeffe, Katherine Hoyt; back row: Aaron Huang, Cary Chapman; not pictured: Lily Fearon.

Choral teacher Kathleen Donovan-Warren, Nickolas Andreacchi, Liana Frasca, Justin Maldonado

Vocalists Liana Frasca and Nickolas Andreacchi were selected to perform at the NYSSMA All-State Conference, to be held December 5–8 in Rochester. Selection to All-State represents the highest level of achievement that a high school musician can attain within New York State. Justin Maldonado will perform with the AllNational Honors Mixed Choir at the National Association for Music Education’s gala concert in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 30. He is one of five vocalists in Westchester County and 37 from New York State in the 350-member choir. Also performing will be a symphony orchestra and a concert band of 150 instrumentalists each, and a jazz ensemble of 20. All qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program in 2012-2013 and competed against the top students in the country for their spots.

WATCH Board Meetings & Other District Programming on Verizon Channel 32 Cablevision Channel 77 (simulcast Fridays on Channel 76)

The National Merit Scholarship Program recently recognized seven High School seniors: Semifinalist Aaron Huang and Commended Students Cary Chapman, Lily Fearon, Maria Howe, Katherine Hoyt, Claire Inglis, and Kimberly O’Keeffe. Over 1.5 million high school juniors in 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/ NMSQT) in October 2012. Only the 50,000 highest-scoring participants receive recognition as either Semifinalists or Commended Students. Semifinalists have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships, worth about $35 million, that will be offered in the spring. Approximately 16,000 of these top performers have been designated Semifinalists on a state representational basis (that is, the number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors; one state’s Semifinalist is another’s Commended Student, and vice versa). This nationwide pool of Semifinalists comprises less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. This year’s qualifying score for Semifinalist was 219 in New York (up from 215 last year) and ranged from 203 to 224. The other 34,000 high performers have been named Commended Students and are honored with Letters of Commendation. These students scored at or above the national Selection Index of 203, but below their state’s Semifinalist qualifying score. 9

School News

108 AP Scholar Awards Earned by PHS Students The College Board gave out 108 AP Scholar awards to Pleasantville High School students for their exceptional achievement on the collegelevel Advanced Placement (AP) Exams. Thirty-six are members of the Class of 2014 and have the opportunity for further recognition. About 22% of the 2.2 million students who took AP Exams earned awards. AP Exams are graded on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the highest grade. The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement, based on the number of AP Exams taken and the scores earned: AP Scholar (scored 3 or higher on 3 or more AP Exams), AP Scholar with Honor (scored 3 or higher on 4 or more AP Exams, with an average grade of 3.25 or above), and AP Scholar with Distinction (scored 3 or higher on 5 or more AP Exams, with an average grade of 3.5 or above).

Class of 2014 AP Scholars — Row 1 (kneeling): Adam Bucheister (H), Alex Catalan (S), Aaron Huang (D), Jacob Wallace (S), Charles Finn (H); Row 2: Cary Chapman (H), Hagerah Malik (D), Maggie Rose Heidepriem (S), Julia Eisenberg (H), Margaret Kelley (H), Mimi Sillings (H), Elen Halimou (S); Row 3: Nina Kapoor (S), Maria Howe (S), Erin Biggar (S), Maggie Sullivan (H), Miranda Stein (S), Jessica Santos (H), Lily Fearon (S), Kimberly O’Keeffe (S), Katherine Hoyt (H), Justin Maldonado (S); Row 4: Aviva Klein (D), Sasha Dolgetta (H), Jesse Calhoun (S), Alexandra Ciarcia (S), Claire Inglis (H), Dylan Franks (H), Michael Darmohraj (S) Also, not pictured, AP Scholars Nickolas Andreacchi, Jackie Fisher, Nicholas Hine, James Leyden, Jacob Nemec, Owen Reda, Ben Taubenblatt NOTE: S = AP Scholar; H = AP Scholar with Honor; D=AP Scholar with Distinction


Class of 2013 AP Scholars: Kevin Barile, Thomas Casey, Jack Eisenberg, Caroline Fraylick, Aidan Heintzman, Elizabeth Manley, Linsey Mathew, Shannon McLaughlin, Patricio Mendoza, Steven Mittelstadt, Joseph Nelson, David Nieto, Darby Olcott, Erica Romano, Barrett Rosenbaum. AP Scholars with Honor: Lloyd Chen, Issei Herr, Christina Hibner, Eden Igielski, Teresa Indriolo, Allison Longo, Alicia Marino, Jenna Rush, Julie Sanduski, Kyle Sanduski, Steven Sicignano, Paul Stapleton, Laine Vitkevich. AP Scholars with Distinction: Nikki Azznara, Lucia Becker, Kelly Bonanni, Rachel Cultice, Cameron Demaree, Diana Ganis, Michael Gratz, Amrithaa Gunabalan, Caroline Guttridge, Emily Hamilton, Anne Horton, William Matchen, Danielle Labruzzo, Christopher Leonard, John Leyden, Nicholas Marengo, Francesca Marino, Colette McCullagh, Anna McGovern, Gabrielle Minton, Leslie Morales, Jeewan Naik, Matthew Pastore, Nicholas Pedlow, Emily Perrotti, William Post, Michael Proehl, Stephanie Rogers, Luke Scales, Emmalisa Stangarone, Dana Stopler, Francesca Trombetta, Nichole TuMaung, Charles Tul-chin, Emily Ultan, Stephanie Wolf. National AP Scholars: Amrithaa Gunabalan, Danielle Labruzzo, Colette McCullagh, Jeewan Naik, Matthew Pastore, Stephanie Rogers, Dana Stopler, and Nicole Tu-Maung also received the National AP Scholar Award, given to students who scored 4 or higher on 8 or more AP Exams and had an average grade of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken. Reporting errors sometimes occur. Anyone who is aware of one should contact the High School Guidance Office (741-1400, x20601).

Board News Reports to the Board The reports presented, to date, at this year’s public Board meetings are available in their entirety at as part of the webcast of the Board of Education meeting for the specified date and also can be found in written form on the District website ( — click on Board of Education > Board of Education: Reports Presented > 2013–2014 Reports). July 9, 2013 • Annual Organizational Meeting – Board members elected Shane McGaffey as Board President and Emily Rubin Persons as Board Vice President for the 2013-2014 school year. August 6, 2013 • *Principal Search: Superintendent Mary FoxAlter reported on the High School Principal Search process. The Board approved the ap-

pointments of Dr. Daniel McCann, Interim HS Principal, and Donald Marra, Interim MS Assistant Principal. September 3, 2013 • *Math Evaluation Process: K-12 Math chair Mary Prevost and High School Curriculum Coordinator Virginia Mancini reviewed the math evaluation process and introduced Drs. Laura and Richard Sgroi, outside math consultants, who gave a *Mathematics Program Evaluation overview. September 17, 2013 • *Opening of School Update: District administrators reported on opening day numbers for the 2013-2014 school year. • *Facilities Reports: Steve Chamberlain, Director of Buildings & Grounds, described projects completed over the summer and discussed possible upcoming projects.

—Annual Notices— Asbestos Inspection The District is in full compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which requires an accredited asbestos inspector to perform a comprehensive inspection every three years and visual inspections every six months. Inspection reports are available for review during regular school hours — Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — in each school’s administrative office and in the District Office. Direct any questions to Steve Chamberlain, the District’s Asbestos Program Manager, at 741-1400, x50510.

Pesticide Notification The District does not currently use any pesticides. However, should there be cause to do so, District residents can request to be notified by the District prior to the application of pesticides. You can obtain a notification request form from your child’s school or from the District Office.

School Emergencies District Emergency Plan New York State law requires each school district to give notice and provide written instructions regarding emer-

gency procedures. Direct any inquiries to Steve Chamberlain, District Safety Coordinator for the Pleasantville School District, at 741-1400, x50510.

Emergency Situation Communication Emergency building evacuations, such as fire drills, may occur without notice. Should an emergency situation develop that requires school closing, early dismissal, or extension of the school day, notification of parents/guardians will be made in a variety of ways, including the K-12 Alerts system; radio stations WFAS (1230 AM; 103.9 FM) and WHUD (100.7 FM); television channels WNBC (channel 4), WABC (channel 7), and News 12 (channel 12); websites (, pleasantvillenyschools), and; and voice recording (741-1460). In some cases, telephone chains will be activated.

School Accessibility Emergency situations require that our schools be accessible to fire, police, and rescue apparatus. If an emergency should occur, please do not drive to school or park where emergency vehicle access may be restricted.


The Board of Education President Shane McGaffey (409-3487) Vice President Emily Rubin Persons (747-1036) Members Larry Boes (773-1882) Louis Conte (773-1532) Lois Winkler (747-3194)

Board of Education Pleasantville Union Free School District 60 Romer Avenue Pleasantville, New York 10570


Superintendent of Schools Mary Fox-Alter

District Website

Board Meetings and School Closings: 741-1460 Editor / Photographer Julie Schwartz

Student Safety The safety and security of our students is of primary importance. With that in mind, all visitors must enter school buildings through their main entrances, sign in, and receive visitors’ badges. Further, all District facilities (fields, track, playgrounds, etc.) are reserved for school use only during the school day. We appreciate your cooperation in helping us maintain a safe and secure environment for our children.

Call for Volunteers All three schools are seeking volunteers for the 2013–2014 school year to assist in offering more expansive extended-learning opportunities and programs in a costeffective way. You don’t have to be an expert in the field or have children in the schools to get involved. Community members, parents, empty-nesters, retirees — all are welcome.

A sampling of areas that would benefit by your involvement include, but are not limited to: math, science, and technology (STEM) competitions; literacy games and clubs; stock market programs; internship programs; performing and visual arts clubs, projects, and competitions; and more. Please call the building principal to learn more. • BRS: Peggy Galotti 741-1441 • MS: Vivian Ossowski 741-1451 • PHS: Dr. Daniel McCann 741-1420

District Calendar A printable 2013–2014 District Calendar and a list of changes can be found on the District website ( Click the Calendar tab located on the home page.

New Basic STAR Requirement New state legislation requires all homeowners who receive a Basic STAR exemption to register with the NYS Tax Department in order to receive STAR exemptions in 2014 and subsequent years. Senior citizens receiving Enhanced STAR exemptions are not affected by the new registration requirement. However, they must continue to either apply annually or participate in the Income Verification Program. The NYS Tax Department will be mailing registration instructions to all homeowners who currently receive the Basic STAR exemption. The letters will include a STAR code that homeowners will need to register. The registration period is August 19, 2013 through December 31, 2013. For more information: visit the Tax Department’s website (; call (518) 4572036.

62 1 district newsletter fall 2013  

Fall 2013 District Newsletter

62 1 district newsletter fall 2013  

Fall 2013 District Newsletter