Superintendent Newsletter

Panther Strong: February 2022

S-VE Community,

Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Angie Holmes as Middle School Principal. Angie started January 31st. We are excited she has returned to S-VE. Once a Panther, always a Panther - Welcome Angie!

One positive outcome from the past two years is the connections we've built between area school district leaders due to increased technology. We have participated in regular virtual meetings to collaborate and problem solve the challenges we've faced with school district leaders, county leaders, and state leaders. These connections have allowed us to bounce ideas around, create a platform for open communication and creative problem solving, and establish consistent processes and messages to our school communities. Together We Achieve.

Through all of the challenges we've faced at S-VE throughout the pandemic, we continued to move forward with such tasks as updating our District policies. With many of our policies last reviewed in late 1990's or early 2000's, we hired Erie 1 to assist the district in updating the policies to reflect current laws, regulations and changes. Our policy committee has been reviewing the suggestions from Erie 1 and the BOE has been approving these policies. Once the updated policies have been adopted, they will be placed on a rotating schedule to be reviewed every three years, as is recommended by NYSED.

Winter weather is upon us. We have 3 traditional snow days available should we need them. We appreciate your flexibility with the two-hour delays we've already utilized due to extreme wind chill and extra time needed to make the roads and school facilities safe for all. Our district is comprised of 144 square miles that includes ten towns in four counties. Weather conditions vary widely throughout our school district. The decision to close or delay school is typically made by 5:30 AM and is based upon the advice of the highway departments and road crews. A communication is sent from SchoolMessenger in the form of email, text, and phone call. If you are not receiving these communications, please reach out to with your updated contact information so we can ensure you get the important communications.

As always, please reach out to me through with any comments, questions, concerns, or kudos.

Panther Strong in 2022!

Diahann Hesler

S-VE Superintendent of Schools

Vaping Prevention

You may have heard in the news about the increase use of vapes and the dangers associated. S-VE is not immune to this and we will be doing some education surrounding vaping with our staff, students and community.

How many of the 11 facts below did you know about vaping???

  • It can alter nerve cell functioning in teen development
  • Each JUUL pod is equal to 200 cigarette puffs. That’s like smoking a PACK-A-DAY
  • Vaping lowers the body’s ability to fight infections
  • Chemicals in vape smoke causes “popcorn lung” and other bronchial problems
  • Lithium ion-powered vapes can blow up
  • Levels of nicotine are completely lacking ANY control or quality
  • Metal particles and metal traces can be deadly
  • Vapes also contain formaldehyde, embalming fluid, propylene glycol and other dangerous substances
  • Pneumonia is a much higher risk for vape users
  • Early studies link a much higher association to depression by vape users
  • There is virtually no long-term scientific studies done and nearly every study indicating the safety of vapes, e-cigarettes and JUULs have been funded by the Industry

As with other activities, teenagers are prone to try new things with their friends, and that includes sharing vaping products that their friends may have bought. Many states don’t have age restrictions for vape purchases, so kids don’t believe that it’s even harmful to them. This information and more can be found on Vaping Assembly for Students | Steered Straight.

We are thrilled to share that on Thursday, February 10th, Steered Straight - a vaping education (and much more) program - is coming to S-VE! Presentations will be held for students, for staff, and for parents/guardians.

The parent/guardian session will be held in the High School Auditorium on February 10th at 6pm. We hope you can join us. More information will be coming home from your building Principal.

Elementary Concert Videos

The Elementary School tried something new this year. In place of the traditional in-person concert, Mrs. Voorhees recorded musical selections and created videos for each Elementary classroom. We encourage you to enjoy the musically talented Elementary School by clicking the link below, which includes grades PreK - 4th, plus the 3rd grade and 4th grade Chorus.
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Digital Equity Survey for Parents/Guardians

School Districts are required by New York State Education Department to have parents/guardians complete this Digital Equity Survey for each student in grades Kindergarten – Grade 12. Thank you to those who have completed the form!

We are still waiting for parents/guardians of 412 students to complete this form. If you have not done so yet, please complete this information so we can provide it to the state, which assists in securing financial resources to address limited digital access.

Summer School

Due to our Capital Project, we will not be able to host Summer School on our campuses. We are thankful for our neighbors, the Candor Central School District, for sharing their facilities with us and partnering together to offer Summer School.

For your planning purposes, Summer School will be July 11 - August 18 for 3rd - 12th grades from 9:00am until 1:30pm, Monday through Thursday. Our Transportation Department will be bussing our students to and from Candor Schools who wish to participate. Students will have the opportunity to participate in summer enrichment and will receive breakfast and lunch on site. More information with be forthcoming in the future.

We are hoping to also offer a Summer School program for grades Pre-K - 2nd grade, funded by the LEAP Grant (Learn, Explore, Achieve, Play). We are coordinating with the community to determine a possible location and will let you know when we have more information.

Athletic Highlights!

Varsity Wrestling: Congratulations to Devin Beach, IAC Wrestling Champion.

Varsity Boys Basketball: Congratulations to Markus Brock, among the scoring leaders for the IAC.

Varsity AND JV Girls Basketball: IAC Small School South Division Champions!

Upcoming Senior Nights:

Varsity Boys Basketball and Cheerleading: Tuesday, February 1st

Varsity Girls Basketball: Tuesday, February 8th

S-VE home athletic events are livestreamed so you can support our student-athletes from anywhere! Access livestream links below!

We are also proud to announce that the District has purchased the HUDL camera system and soon cameras will be installed in the High School and Middle School gyms and at the football field. These will allow for families to continue to watch athletic events through streaming.

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Electronic Newsletters = Environmentally Friendly

Please help us continue to grow our electronic newsletter listserv so we can achieve our goals of increasing community communication and transitioning to a more environmentally sustainable form of communication.

Encourage those you know to submit their name and email address to to get on this electronic mailing list for our Monthly Electronic Newsletters!

All newsletters, both printed and electronic, are available on our website:

COVID Update

According to the New York State Department of Health guidance and in collaboration with our local Health Departments, school districts are no longer required to contact trace. Furthermore, COVID self-tests are accepted by our counties and reporting COVID positive results to the Department of Health is a personal responsibility, no longer the responsibility of the school. Due to this shift, we will not have accurate numbers of positive cases to report out; therefore, we will discontinue sending SchoolMessenger communications to notify you of COVID cases. We will continue to follow the New York State Education Department and New York State Department of Health guidance for appropriate mask wearing and social distancing.

Self-Test Reporting

Should you choose to utilize a self-test kit and the result is positive, please go to the Department of Health website for the county in which you reside and follow their guidance. Attestation forms are available from the DOH for your documentation. Individuals who are COVID positive and close contacts will be asked to isolate for 5 days. On the 6th day, with improved or symptom resolution, individuals may return to school. Please contact the school nurse to keep us informed of their absence.

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S-VE is hiring!!! Become part of our Panther Team.

Current positions available include:

Anyone interested can go to to apply or read further about the positions!

Substitutes Needed

We are in need of substitutes for teachers, teaching assistants, bus drivers, cleaners and food service! Please contact the District Office for more information at 589-7100!

Capital Project

Great news! We just received NYSED approval on our Capital Project. We are collecting bids now with an anticipated start date of Spring Break. Please be patient as we adjust our building entrances to accommodate the construction that will begin on our new secure entrances. As we get closer to this date we will send you the needed info on entering our buildings. Clink link below for more information.

Budget Advisory Committee

The Budget Advisory Committee will meet a total of 3 times in preparation for the 2022-23 school budget. Meetings will take place via zoom on February 2, February 28, and March 29. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact the District Office at 589-3059 or email

FREE Breakfast and Lunch for ALL students!!!

For the 2021-2022 School Year, 1 FREE Breakfast and 1 FREE Lunch is provided daily to all students! Additional portions are available for a charge.

Menus can be accessed on our website:

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NY Project Hope Presentation

The Mental Health Heroes will host NY Project Hope on February 8th at 6pm via zoom. NY Project Hope is a Resource Center providing support in all aspects of mental health. NY has adopted a test crisis line for support 24/7 and our district was a part of developing this support system. All community members are welcome! Link is below. Passcode: 050850
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Become a Mental Health Hero

The Mental Health Heroes always welcomes community participation in our mission to support the wellbeing of our S-VE Community. We meet to discuss mental health and plan ways to engage others and spread awareness. Anyone who supports mental health is a hero! If you'd like to add your voice to the Mental Health Heroes, send a message to! Check out the Mental Health Heroes Facebook page:

Athletic Hall of Fame

It is time to nominate individuals for the Athletic Hall of Fame, which honors those who've made a significant contribution to our athletic programs. Nominees can be either a student-athlete, coach, team, or contributor. Criteria is linked below. Nominations are due by March 1, 2022 to the S-VE District Office, (Athletic Hall of Fame), 16 Dartts Crossroad, Spencer, NY 14883.
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Operation Gratitude

The S-VE Middle School students and staff wrote letters to our troops in December. Please see the letter of appreciation that we received below. Together We Achieve making a difference. Way to go Middle School!!!
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School Resource Officer - SRO

Please welcome Chief Monteiro, our new School Resource Officer. Many of you know Chief as he is a regular presence in our schools supporting our students and staff and is our Village of Spencer Police Officer. We are excited to have his support in working with our S-VE Panther Family to reinforce a safe school environment.

Digital Citizenship Newsletter

Check out the February Digital Citizenship Newsletter by clicking the link below!
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Affordable Connectivity Program


  • The Affordable Care Program (ACP) was created to help households struggling to pay for internet service.
  • All families approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year are eligible for this program.
  • ACP provides a monthly discount for broadband service of up to $30/month, or up to $75/month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
  • For more information and resources to share with families, please visit the FCC’s ACP Website. Materials are available in multiple languages.
  • Please share this message with guidance counselors, school-home coordinators, and outreach staff.
  • The NYS Library is also hosting an ACP "Train-the-Trainer" program, which will provide turnkey information on how to help others apply for this program. Information and Registration can be found on the New York State Library’s website.
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Spencer-Van Etten Central School District

16 Dartts Crossroad

Spencer, NY 14883

Phone: (607) 589-7100

Fax: (607) 589-3010