March 25, 2022
Hello North Rockland Families,
The week began with the first official day of spring (March 21)!
We welcome this new season of growth and renewal, excited to take advantage of the changes it brings by: spending time outside, encouraging curiosity, and expanding outdoor learning.
During the coming warmer months, North Rockland will be busy developing cross-curricular units, including lessons where students get to move about, be active or explore, engage in group work and nature-based programs, and have additional opportunities to be creative and make choices about what they want to study.
The sunny switch from winter to spring can also help improve students’ moods, emotional well-being and increase their energy levels. As a District, we will continue to focus resources on the social-emotional aspect of our students' lives and promote empathy in a variety of innovative ways.
As we adjust together to the first full year of full-time in-person instruction since the 2018-2019 school year, it's important to have conversations, workshops and assemblies about the importance of respect and anti-bullying, prompting compassion and understanding. Our goal in North Rockland to ensure that every child has a safe, nurturing school environment that respects their dignity.
While the pandemic is not yet behind us, District leadership is focused on ways to combat learning loss through persistence, perseverance, and the implementation of new strategies to help learners recover from things that have disrupted our society for the last three years. Unfortunately, many of us are finding that learning loss was not the only implication of the pandemic. North Rockland Central School District understands the importance of addressing other equally significant consequences such as mental health, socialization, behavior and substance abuse. The District will continue to expand programs that support learning, address bullying and help students make positive choices particularly in regards to drugs and alcohol.
Details regarding upcoming offerings can be found in the Community Information section of the update.
This school year has shown that we are strongest together. Working hard, putting in effort to accept that which makes us unique as individuals, and caring for one another is what truly makes us Red Raiders!
April 8th Superintendent's Conference Day
To ensure that North Rockland Central School District complies with the New York State instruction time requirement Friday, part of the day on April 8th will now be dedicated to I-Learning for students. Students will not be expected to attend school in-person, nor will they be expected to attend a live virtual class. However, for your child to be considered present that day, they will need to complete the assignments posted by their teachers.
If you have any questions regarding completion of the assignments, please contact your child’s teacher.
NRCSD Budget Information
The Board of Education and Administration, District and Superintendent have a shared goal to provide our students with an exemplary educational experience, while controlling taxes for our community. We understand the fiscal challenges that living in Rockland County pose which is why they are collaboratively working to ensure the amount of money we ask from our tax payers does not increase for the third consecutive year. The latest 2022-23 school budget presentation can be found linked here.
1. The BOE of Education has indicated the 2022-23 budget will not include an increase in our tax levy for the 3rd consecutive year.
2. Proposal 2 is on the ballot this year and if passed it will allow the district to utilize 14.6 million dollars established in the capital reserve fund for facilities improvements. With the access to the above capital reserve and money built into this year's budget the district plans to begin work on the following: Phase one of a plan that will eventually provide air conditioned classrooms in each of our schools, roof and window replacements, athletic facilities and fields upgrades, outdoor learning spaces and more.
3. Upgrades will be accomplished without asking the taxpayers for any additional funds. The District will utilize money already saved through the Capitol Reserve Fund which was approved by voters May of 2021.
***The district receives 80% reimbursement of the cost of capital improvement projects.
Specifics on the projects will be forthcoming stay tuned!
Board of Education Spotlight - Debbie Gatti
We sat down for a Q & A with North Rockland Board of Education Trustee Debbie Gatti to talk about her passion for education and her community!
Q: What do you admire most about the North Rockland Central School District?
“I admire the dedication of everyone who works for the district. We are a student centered district and we don’t just say that, we live it! Everyone takes pride in our students and their accomplishments, and you see that play out every day. We all make decisions based on what is best for our students. Even through the lean and difficult years, we focused on what was needed to give our students the best educational experience possible." Debbie said proudly. "I also admire how well we all work together. Our teachers, support staff, administration and PTA all work together. Everyone has the same goal: to do what’s best for kids. It is not like that in other places. Good communication is at the heart of this. Everyone knows that their voices are heard and everyone is treated with respect. It really is a team effort and it makes me proud to be a part of this wonderful district!”
Q: What inspired you most about the community before and during the pandemic?
"This community is special. Everyone pulls together when that’s what's needed. Just look at the effort that went into the Mirant problem. Everyone was willing to help. It was amazing and that’s been my experience for my entire life. This is a caring, giving community." Gatti who is a North Rockland graduate herself, as well as all her children, explained.
"When COVID hit everyone was cooperative. Folks came and picked up work and food for their children. People wore masks and checked on each other. Everyone you encountered in a store was polite and kind. It was a very stressful time and things could have been awful. But this community was compassionate and caring towards each other." she recalled. "When we were finally back in school no one complained about doing their part. This is a hard working community. Many families lost loved ones or jobs and people did their best to help. Our churches held drives and helped distribute food to those in need. Everyone tried to do their part."
"As things are hopefully returning to normal, I still see children at bus stops wearing masks and that means that they feel comfortable enough on our buses and in our buildings to do so. That’s a respectful community." Debbie continued. "We don’t know what others are dealing with. We have many children with elderly grandparents and aunts and uncles who might be immune compromised and they need those around them to still be careful. This community is known for having generations of families living here and to know that you can still wear a mask and not be judged is heartwarming. That’s the true spirit of this community. We care for our neighbors and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else." she stated.
She dug deeper. "I’m also proud of the forest to help our students with their mental well-being. This has been trying time for everyone and our district has put mental health in the forefront. Everybody has every child on their radar. We know that this is not something that will go away overnight either and there have been long term efforts already put into place to help our students. And it will only get better." Debbie remarked. "When people back their words with their actions things change. So I believe with the right supports, our students and our staff will mitigate the challenges we face and we will come out of this stronger then we were before. North Rockland truly is a great place to live, learn and lead."
Debbie Gatti was first elected to the North Rockland Board in 2005 and currently serves as Trustee. She previously worked as Village Clerk for the Village of Haverstraw, is a former President of the Rockland County School Boards Association, former President of the Haverstraw-Stony Point School Board of Education, and Haverstraw-Stony Point PTA Council President. Presently she serves as a prominent member of the Rockland BOCES Board and the Rockland County School Boards Association. Thank you for your dedication!
North Rockland Parade of the State Champions!
This year North Rockland brought home three state championships! The NRHS Varsity Cheerleading Team, Boys Bowling Team and Girls Bowling Team will be celebrated and honored with a traditional victory parade coordinated by the NR Athletics Department on April 7! Our athletes will visit all six elementary schools for a drive-by led by the local Fire and Police departments. Congratulations!
The Red Raiders Spring Season has Begun!
Come out to NR and watch our athletes in action. Check NR Athletics for information and game schedules. Varsity games officially begin on Saturday March 26, with the defending League champion Boys Lacrosse team traveling to Mahopac. Face-off is slated for 1pm.
North Rockland Sport Day Returns this Spring!
After a two year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, NRCSD is proud to announce Sports Day is officially returning this spring!
Hosted at North Rockland High School on April 30, the event will be kicking off at 10am in front of Cordisco Stadium. The day is completely free for all North Rockland students and their loved ones with the first 250 families that sign up through the link below receiving a complimentary Red Raider swag bag! (So be sure to sign up ASAP!) The fun filled event featuring a wide variety of sports activities via specialized stations for adults and kids of all ages will be raising money and awareness for Stand Up To Cancer, Friends of Karen, the Boomer Esiason Foundation and the North Rockland Community. Look forward to seeing you there!
Sign up links
NEW! NR Field Hockey 2 Day FREE Clinic and Camp!
Let's work, grow, and shine together! The North Rockland Field Hockey Program is so excited to host our first ever Clinic and Camp this June for new and returning athletes of ALL LEVELS. We will also be at Sports Day April 30th! We look forward to meeting and working with your athlete!
- Monday 3/28: Vaping 7PM
- Wednesday 3/30: Digital Dilemma 7PM
Click on the flyer above to access the registration links.
Watch a trailer on the Digital Dilemma Session linked here.
Resources for Combating Substance Abuse
Following the nationwide and unfortunately countywide upwards trend in youth substance abuse, recently, there has been an increase in the number of instances involving student use of substances forbidden by the North Rockland Central School District’s Code of Conduct. The District is taking this very seriously as the safety and well-being of our students and staff is always our top priority. Subsequently, the District has set forth measures to help inform students and parents of the inherent dangers of these substances, while also deploying measures to promote a healthy school environment.
Measures being implemented include:
A search of North Rockland High School was conducted in late February by the K-9 units from Rockland and Orange County. 15 officers and their K-9 service dogs swept the facility. Future sweeps are planned in conjunction with the Haverstraw Police Department.
Training for faculty and staff members is being scheduled to help detect the signs of student substance use and the recognition of various forms of paraphernalia.
Increased security in areas of schools where student misbehavior is more likely to occur.
Educational presentations on the dangers of controlled substances are being held for students. A parent information night will be scheduled for later this month.
Adjustment of bathroom supervision protocols
The District will continue our partnership with the North Rockland Coalition for Drug and Awareness Prevention to support our students and families in need of assistance.
The District will add staff to provide substance abuse counseling.
The District is working closely with the town of Haverstraw to bring two School Resource Officer Positions (SRO) to the District.
We recognize the potential dangers associated with the use of substances by our student body and remain committed to the safety and well-being of our students.
Substance abuse for families
Strategies parents can use to help their children:
Look for signs
Talk to your child and explain your concerns in detail.
Seek help/resources from your family physician, school counselor or school social worker
- Behavioral Health Response Team
- Haverstraw Reach Out Center: 845-429-5731
- High Focus Center: 1-800-877-3628
- Volunteer Counseling (VCS): 845-634-5729
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration Hotline: 1-800-622-HELP(4357)
- Samaritan Daytop Village: 845-353-2730
- Arms Acres: 845-208-0632
- Adolescent Outpatient Substance Abuse Program (Nyack Hosp): 845-348-2075
Signs parents could look for that determine if their child may be using:
Poor performance in school
Emotional and behavioral problems
Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed
Dropping old friends for a new group
Acting despondent, aggressive or angry
Sleeping more than usual
Exhibiting physical changes like sudden weight loss, frequent nosebleeds, bloody or watery eyes, or shakes and tremors
More detailed signs: Linked here
HKD Library App
With Sora, local students and families can check out free ebooks, audiobooks and magazines from your NRCSD school AND the Haverstraw King's Daughters Public Library.
Sora can help students of all ages:
· Enrich vocabulary and improve comprehension and pronunciation
· Introduce students to books above their reading level
· Teach critical listening
· Help busy kids find time to read
· Incentivize reading with fun avatars and achievements
Start here: https://help.soraapp.com/en-us/5033.htm
Internet Safety Materials
At North Rockland Central School District we take internet safety very seriously. It is important that we all have access to information on how to keep our students safe. Here are a few web resources:
Common Sense Media - click here
Connect Safely - click here
- Internet Safety Tips - click here
LAST DAYS -- NRCSD Universal Pre-Kindergarten & Full-Day Pre-K Program Application
Top of the Arts
New Elementary Afterschool Workshops!
Top of the Arts
GALLERY 65: Upper Elementary Annual Art Exhibition (HES, WGES, FES)
WGES, FES and HES exhibitioning elementary students were celebrated at an art reception this week! NRHS Academy of Art students framed the all the works and designed the full exhibition. All the featured art was created this month during their classes curriculum units. Art Teachers: Alysha Bartunek, Wendy Syvarth and Johan Worum selected over 100 artworks from grades 4-6 in the current GALLERY 65 art exhibition. This exhibition runs through April 20th.
Wizard of Oz Final Shows!
Dorothy is clicking her heels together three more times!
Catch her, and all your favorite characters at North Rockland high School's Auditorium this Friday and Saturday, (March 25 & 26) at 7PM before they make their way back to Kansas!
North Rockland Drama Society members did their research for this year’s “wonderful” production. From the show's start til the final curtain call, the theatrical experience has been incredible on and off stage.
While preparing for their roles, cast, pit and crew members dedicated themselves to their craft by diving into art, speech, movement, building, singing and self-expression as well as theater and music history. Did you know the Play’s Director, Jennifer Bankey even set up an in depth zoom session with John Fricke? – the world's greatest expert on “The Wizard of Oz” and Judy Garland. Click here for the full story!
Catch them live this weekend for the last time!
Performances: March 25 & 26 at 7PM
Ticket prices: $15 -$12 for students & seniors
nrhsdrama.booktix.com or at the door.
**March 24 is a two-for-one student night.
***Runtime approx. 120 minutes with ten-minute intermission.
New York State 3-8 Testing
The New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics and Science Tests will be administered to students over the next several months. Statewide testing is important because it helps ensure all public school students receive a quality education, no matter where they go to school, because they are measured to equal standards.
In North Rockland, we have had many families opt out of testing for their children and while we completely respect that decision, we do encourage students to take the exams. Their participation in the testing helps ensure our District shows we are on track with the state required curriculum and aids us in our efforts for program funding. Districts including North Rockland are adversely affected by New York State when participation rates do not meet their predetermined threshold.
Linked here you will find a letter that provides more detailed information about the NYS 3-8 testing program.
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School Meal Information
School Meal Sign up!
Red Raider Reminder
NR students who enroll in the free/reduced breakfast & lunch program qualify for college application fee waivers, free ACT and SAT exams and reduced AP exam registration fees! To qualify please complete the Free or Reduced Price Meal Application Form linked here as soon as possible.
Join the NRCSD Family!
Food Service Helpers
The North Rockland (Haverstraw-Stony Point) Central School District is seeking candidates for Food Service Helper positions at various school buildings for the 2021-2022 school year. The starting rate of pay is $14.00/hour. Apply here