11/14/2023 Letter to the Community
Dr. Raymond Sanchez, Superintendent of Schools
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November 14, 2023
Dear TUFSD Families and Staff,
Our faculty and students have been busy throughout the district. During our Superintendent Conference Day, our faculty was able to attend a few incredible workshops. They focused on the use of data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Social Emotional Learning. Also, there were many other teacher-led sessions. I would like to thank all our educators for their efforts.
Also, last week many of our students and their families enjoyed Family Science Night. It was wonderful to see so many families having a fun-filled learning experience. I look forward to more family events throughout the year.
As always, thank you everyone for your continued support of the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns and for your help in “Building a Better Tomorrow” for our students.
Dr. Raymond Sanchez
Tarrytown Music Hall Residency: Peter Pan Jr.
We are excited to share another exciting collaboration between the Tarrytown Music Hall Academy and our school district! Thanks to the generous support from Music Hall, we offered a free school theater residency of Peter Pan for Washington Irving School and Sleepy Hollow Middle School students. Over 100 students eagerly signed up. In order to accommodate everyone, we're excited to share that The Music Hall added a second cast.
Upcoming performances will be:
- Thursday, November 16, at 12pm & 7:30pm (Cast A)
- Thursday, November 16, at 5:30pm & Friday, November 17, at 10am (Cast B).
Many, many thanks to Tarrytown Music Hall for making this magical experience possible for our students!
HS Fall Play: The Angry 12
🎭 Join us for an intense courtroom drama in our upcoming HS performance of 'The Angry 12,' where twelve jurors must decide a young man's fate. Witness the tension and courage:
🗓️ November 17 at 7:00 p.m.
🗓️ November 18 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Come see the performance at Sleepy Hollow MS/HS Auditorium. Don't miss it!
Join us for our very first Saturday Academy on November 18th!
We're looking forward to seeing you at our first Saturday Academy this Saturday, November 18, at Washington Irving Intermediate School from 9-11am! Families and children will be served a hot breakfast and enjoy a variety of activities such as STEM, dance, games, early childhood, photo booth, face painting and more! Many of our community partners will be present to share resources with families. This will be a morning of fun for the entire family! See you there!
The fun doesn't stop with us! Afterwards, head over to the Beekman Kindness Fair from 12-4 p.m. and keep the festivities going for your whole family!
Thanksgiving Food Pantry Distribution Event
For the second year in a row students and staff at Sleepy Hollow High School (SHHS) will be distributing Thanksgiving meals to families in need. The event will be held November 20 from 4 - 5 p.m. at the Food Concession Stand at SHHS. Last year 73 families were served meals, this year more than 100 are expected to benefit from this event.
To learn more about the Thanksgiving event read here: SHHS To Host Second Annual Thanksgiving Food Pantry Distribution Event
To learn more about the program check out the SHHS Food Pantry
Family Science Night
Family Science Night brought together many families for a fun-filled learning experience. It was an evening full of experiments and laughter as families enjoyed quality time together.
This week Eco Club members learned how to recycle and sort garbage using Westchester County’s guidelines. They learned which bins should be used, such as a bin for mixed containers (i.e. plastic, glass, and metal), mixed paper (e.g. office paper, cardboard, and cardboard egg cartons), Sleepy Hollow town compost bin (e.g. compostable containers and food scrap), vermicompost bins (i.e. kitchen food scrap), and garbage bin (i.e. everything else). As they finished sorting, they realized how little of it went in the garbage and how much waste was reduced!
The students also identified alternatives to recycling such as reusing recyclables and recreating other objects with them.
Below is the link with the Westchester County guidelines that we used as reference for recycling:
Peabody Preserve: Fall Programs
Peabody Fall Programs
Discover a diverse range of activities at the PPOC Fall 2023 Free Programming, including hikes with the Superintendent, fungi and stickSprites searches, and hip hop classes in our outdoor classroom – click the links to learn more about these exciting opportunities at Peabody:
Digital Equity Survey
The New York State Education Department is asking parents or guardians to complete a Digital Equity survey (for each student in the family) in grades Kindergarten – Grade 12. This survey will provide information on student access to devices and internet access in their places of residence. To assist us in this process, please answer each question in this survey:
Transportation Lost and Found
The Transportation department kindly asks that you check the lost and found box for your missing belongings. The box is full and we would love to reunite students with their lost items.
Parents may stop by Monday through Friday after 9:30 a.m. to look for any lost items.
Free Meals for Our Students
The Public Schools of the Tarrytowns is now a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)-approved school district!
We are pleased to announce that all students enrolled in the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns will be able to receive a daily FREE breakfast and lunch meal at school as of November 1, 2023. There is no longer a need to exchange money, unless your student wishes to purchase a la carte items or more than one lunch/breakfast. This status will remain in place for at least four years.
- On November 18 from 9:00-11:00 a.m., join our district for our very first Saturday Academy! There'll be free breakfast, interactive activities, and several community partners sharing essential information with families. Take family pictures at our photo booth, get your faces painted, participate in a healthy cooking session, and so much more!
- On November 18 from 12:00-4:00 p.m., head over to the Beekman Kindness Fair for live music, food and more fun! This is a great opportunity to spread some love and kindness to the businesses on Beekman Avenue!
- The Greenburgh Public Library has partnered with multiple sponsors for a viewing event of the 1619 Project, a docuseries that explores the role of slavery in the US and its legacy. Upcoming monthly viewing sessions with discussions will take place:
- December 13 at 6 p.m.
- January 10 at 6 p.m.
- February 14 at 6 p.m.
- March 13 at 6 p.m.
Capital Planning: “Building a Better Tomorrow”
After thorough consideration and careful planning, the Board of Education approved a resolution that proposes a bond vote on December 12, 2023.
This capital plan will play a crucial role in supporting our mission to create a safe, nurturing, and enriching learning environment for all of our students. It will help to address many infrastructure needs across our school district. Our schools have been the heart of our community for generations. It is our responsibility to ensure that they continue to remain places where our children can thrive academically and emotionally.
Additional information on the proposed bond can be found in the following resources:
Over the course of the next few weeks, leading up to the vote, we will provide various opportunities for our community to learn more about the bond. In the meantime, I want to thank you for your ongoing support of our schools.
Capital Planning: Upcoming Facilities Sessions
Join us for two upcoming sessions on our proposed capital project:
📅 November 21 at 6:00 p.m. - In-Person Session at Morse School
📅 November 28 at 6:00 p.m. - Virtual Session
Come to either session to learn more about our proposed bond. We'll delve into the project details, address questions, and gather community input and feedback.
Capital Planning: Bond Voter Information
To be eligible to vote a person must be:
- A citizen of the United States
- 18 years of age or older by the date of the vote/election
- a resident of the school district for at least 30 days or longer immediately preceding the vote and not otherwise prohibited from voting
All citizens registered with the Westchester County Board of Elections are eligible to vote in School District Elections. In addition, any eligible resident can register as follows: Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm, on any day that school is in session, through December 7, 2023 (five days before the vote) in the District Clerk’s office, 200 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591. Please contact the District Clerk at (914) 631-9404 if you have any questions.
Capital Planning: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are are some Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Proposed Bond:
What are the facilities needs of the school district? Our facilities need these upgrades to preserve our District buildings and to provide our students with long-term, safe, secure and fully functional schools. The District began a Five-Year Capital Facilities Plan in 2020 to identify immediate, short-term and long-term needs of the District’s buildings. This document is required by the New York State Education Department to inform and prioritize future capital projects. The Plan was used as the foundation of the bond proposition and to prioritize the items included in this bond.
Why can’t we fund these facilities repairs through the regular school district budget? Over the last several years, the District has delayed major renovations in order to support programmatic needs. While this has brought amazing educational opportunities for our students and community, our existing building infrastructure has continued to age. The repairs and upgrades that our schools need are currently more than our annual budget can support in any one year. Our buildings need this attention now, and a bond allows us to reduce the impact on taxpayers by spreading it out over a longer period of time.
What is the bond timeline? If the bond referendum is approved, the preliminary timeline assumes the need for cash flow in the summer of 2025. Bonding would occur in three separate issuances, a year apart. Repayments are projected to start in April, 2026 and would be made over 15 years to coincide with New York State Building Aid.
What is Building Aid? How much Building Aid do we anticipate receiving to fund the project? Each district is assigned a building aid ratio by New York State based on a complex formula that is related to the property wealth of a school district. The building aid ratio is the percentage of the total project costs that are eligible for building aid that would be paid for by the State. The balance of the costs would be the local share for the project, which would be paid for over a 15-year period for renovations and a 20-year period for new construction. It is projected that approximately 53% of the total project costs will be funded by New York State in the form of Building Aid.
What happens if we do not pass the bond? If the bond does not pass, the District would still have to address building needs on a case-by-case basis, impeding the ability for effective, long-term planning. Costs for the work would have to be budgeted for and paid from the district's operating budget, potentially causing spikes in the tax levy. Dealt with this way, some expenses would no longer be eligible for State building aid. During this time, in addition to increased escalation costs, facilities needs will continue to grow more urgent as our facilities continue to age.
Will this bond address energy efficiency? Yes, all building infrastructure upgrades will focus on long-term energy efficient and resilient solutions. New and modernized systems will include low-energy lighting, automatic lighting controls, natural air ventilation equipment, and efficient heating and cooling systems. The systems implemented will provide healthier spaces for everyone by providing better air, water and lighting quality.