11/7/2023 Letter to the Community
Dr. Raymond Sanchez, Superintendent of Schools
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November 7, 2023
Dear TUFSD Families and Staff,
A lot of wonderful things have been happening not only in our schools but also throughout our community. It’s great to see our learners inside and outside of the classroom doing great things.
This past week our students had the opportunity to take part in numerous celebrations and have even been celebrated for their hard work and dedication to their studies. It’s truly wonderful to see our students grow and become active members of our community.
All of these things wouldn’t have been possible without your support of the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns. Thank you as always for your role in “Building a Better Tomorrow” for our students.
Dr. Raymond Sanchez
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.
Join us for our very first Saturday Academy on November 18th! 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! Community & family members, click here to learn more about how you can get involved! Staff members can apply internally or reach out to Dr. Audrey Brutus.
The fun doesn't stop with us! Afterwards, head over to the Beekman Kindness Fair from 12-4pm and keep the festivities going for your whole family!
Students from Morse and John Paulding marched to the beat of the Sleepy Hollow Marching Band as they showed off their costumes and waived to their families at the annual Halloween parade.
8th Grader headed to Electronic Music Showcase
For the seventh straight year in a row a Sleepy Hollow student’s electronic compositions will be featured at the NYSSMA Winter Conference. This year, Sleepy Hollow Middle School eighth-grader, Dylan Raghavan, was selected to have an original composition featured as part of the NYSSMA All-State Electronic Music Showcase. Raghavan will present his composition, titled Music Beat Mix, at the event, which features 3 days of Professional Development sessions, All-State Ensembles, and performances by ensembles and individuals from across the state.
Read more here: Sleepy Hollow Middle Schooler to attend NYSSMA Winter Conference
This week in eco club students completed the seed saving series and packaged their pumpkin seeds. They learned that they can plant them as early as mid-May. Students also examined the anatomy of a radish, tasted them, and learned how to save their seeds.Those seeds will be planting during our Spring Eco Club session next year!
If you want to learn more about saving pumpkin seeds join the Pumpkin Smashing event at Peabody field on November 11 at noon!
We also have a sign up genius looking for volunteers that day if anyone is interested:
Grant for Safer Streets
The Village of Tarrytown, the Village of Sleepy Hollow and the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns have been awarded a $340,000 grant to create a Safe Streets and Roads for All Action Plan. The planning grant funds from the Department of Transportation were only awarded to four communities in the State of New York.
The grant funding will contribute to the development of a comprehensive safety action plan to establish a holistic strategy to prevent roadway fatalities and serious injuries across the School District of the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns. The planning process will include data-driven safety analysis of streets and roadways in both Villages, robust community engagement to identify and prioritize risk areas, assessment of current policies and procedures and recommendations for improvement, project selections, and conceptual plans for the highest priority projects. The Villages and the School District expect to reach out to the community to get involved in the process in 2024.
The collaboration between the Village of Tarrytown, the Village of Sleepy Hollow, and the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns was a critical element in the grant application given the shared network of streets and public amenities between the communities. Pedestrian safety has been and continues to be a priority for all three Boards.
More information: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/ss4a/announcement
Watch News 12 Coverage Here: Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown receive safer streets grant
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 am to look for any lost items.
- 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. Monthly viewing sessions with discussions will take place:
- November 8 at 6pm
- December 13 at 6pm
- January 10 at 6pm
- February 14 at 6pm
- March 13 at 6pm
- On November 9 at 7:00pm, Rokafella and Kwikstep celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with a conversation on popping and a dance demonstration led by Rokafella, Kwikstep, and the Full Circle Souljahs.
- On November 30 at 7:00pm, the Jazz and Poetry Choir Collective (J&PCC) present spoken word fused with jazz, allowing audience interaction and experiencing spontaneous performances.
- On November 18 from 9:00-11:00am, 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!
- Community & family members, click here to learn more about how you can get involved! Staff members can apply internally or reach out to Dr. Audrey Brutus.
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.