Superintendent Newsletter

Panther Strong: March 2022

S-VE Community,

Thank you for the opportunity to spend the past 4 years with the students, staff and community at Spencer-Van Etten Central School District. I am proud of the work we have accomplished together including the creation of our Mission and Vision (Together We Achieve Excellence Beyond Expectations), Strategic Planning, updating BOE policies and procedures, securing a 15-million dollar project, improving technology access and one-to-one devices, navigating a pandemic, the list goes on and on. As I retire and begin helping districts across the New York State, I leave with fond memories and I wish each of you nothing but the best.

At this time, I don't have an update regarding the Interim Superintendent, as the Board of Education is still in that process. The BOE will be hearing from Kelly Houck, District Superintendent of GST BOCES, regarding the Superintendent search process and she will provide information that will assist the BOE in determining their next steps.

The Transportation Vote is on Tuesday, March 15th from noon - 8pm. The printed newsletter that includes specific details regarding the vote will be delivered to district residents this week and is available on our website.

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

Panther Strong in 2022!

Diahann Hesler

S-VE Superintendent of Schools

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 wear masks. Last night, the New York State Department of Health released the guidance we were anticipating as well as a frequently asked questions document relating to procedures and requirements (see below) now that masks will be optional for students and employees beginning today, March 2nd.

There is still one mask mandate that remains in effect that is extremely important today and moving forward for individuals returning to school after completing 5 days of isolation due to COVID.

  • In all settings, masking continues to be required upon return from isolation during days 6 through 10 after COVID-19 infection. This is for the safety of others to stop the potential spread of COVID.

Other key highlights specific to masking from the guidance:

  • Masking is no longer required on school buses or vans. Individuals who are required to wear masks in school should wear masks on school transport.
  • Masked and unmasked people will be working and learning alongside each other in schools. It is essential that schools establish “mask positive” environments so those who wear masks, whether by choice, expectation, or requirement, are not stigmatized, bullied, or made to feel uncomfortable, and likewise, those for whom masks have not been required or recommended are not stigmatized, bullied, or made to feel uncomfortable.

Our plan for communication around COVID moving forward:

  • A letter will go home with students exposed to an individual diagnosed with COVID from the school nurse, similar to the process that we follow for a lice outbreak or any other type of classroom exposure.

To review the full guidance: updated school mask guidance

To review the FAQ document from NYS DOH: an FAQ document

Here is a brief FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: What happens if Tioga or Chemung County inform the district they are in the “high” category?

A: We will follow the directive from the counties DOH, as local DOH’s can have stricter guidelines dependent on local transmission rates.

Q: Will the Middle School and High School follow the zones for Tioga County and the Elementary School follow the zones for Chemung County?

A: Yes

Q: Will social distancing still occur?

A: It is strongly recommended that social distancing still occur, as best as possible.

Q: Can we get rid of the pods in classrooms and cafeterias?

A: It is strongly recommended that cohorting/pods still occur, as best as possible.

Q: Is weekly screening of unvaccinated staff still required?

A: Yes. At this time, screening testing is still required for unvaccinated staff.

Q: Is weekly screening of unvaccinated students still being offered?

A: Students and families who have requested it may still have access to screening testing.

Q: Can a teacher require students to wear masks while students are in their individual classroom?

A: No. However, additional PPE can be provided to any staff member who requests it.

Q: Do schools still need to maintain the COVID disinfection protocols?

A: It is strongly recommended that all high touch surface areas remain regularly disinfected.

Q: Is there still a time window when library books and other materials still need to be isolated between uses?

A: No.

GST BOCES Programs

This past month we were able to visit some of our students at GST BOCES on the Bush Campus to see what they are working on. This career and tech opportunity is available for our students in 11th and 12th grades. To look more into these programs, click the link below.
Big picture

Curriculum and Instruction

We have recently updated our Curriculum and Instruction webpage, which now includes links for Next Generation Learning Standards, Social Emotional Learning and New York State Testing Information. Check it out at

Digital Equity Survey for Parents/Guardians

Please help us! 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 397 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.

Sign Up for Pre-K and Kindergarten for the 2022-23 School Year

It's time to sign your student up for Pre-K or Kindergarten for the 2022-23 School Year!

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.

Any staff interested in teaching summer school, please reach out to your building principal.

Athletic Highlights!

  • Devin Beach was class Champion for IAC and went on to States where he won his opener in the second round of the NYSPHSAA Division II Wrestling Championships at MVP Arena here Friday before falling to the top seed in the quarterfinals. His record for the season was 28-4.
  • John Hammond took it up a weight class, but found a monumental challenge in trying to compete in the 285-pound weight class at the NYSPHSAA Division II Wrestling Championships.
  • Varsity Girls Basketball took the South Small School IAC Championship, which was their first division title since 1995, and came in with a 9-7 record. They lost the first Sectional game.

Printed District Newsletter

A March printed and mailed newsletter will be sent to all district residents this week. The newsletter includes the Transportation Vote information. The Vote will take place on March 15th from noon - 8PM in the High School Auditorium Lobby. The vote includes regular upgrades to our transportation fleet that is typically done every March. Any questions can be directed to Tim Wilson at

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:


Health and Wellness

Spencer-Van Etten CSD invites parents to a meeting about the school wellness policy on March 23, 2022 at 3:15 pm via zoom. If you wish to be part of the zoom, please email and we will include you in the zoom invite.

Having healthy choices at school helps keep our children healthy and ready to learn. The school wellness policy helps our school create an action plan for nutrition and physical activity at school. Parents can share their opinions and help make sure the policy is meeting the needs of our students.

Parents who are unable to attend the meeting can email comments about the wellness policy or nutrition and physical activity at their school to:

We hope you will join us!

Big picture

Capital Project

We have collected the bids will be seeking BOE approval on Thursday. Construction will begin over Spring break in the main offices of the ES and HS. Please be patient as we adjust our building entrances to accommodate the construction. The entrance for the Elementary School will be the door to the right of the current main entrance, closest to the playground. The entrance for the High School will be the gym entrance, as the auditorium entrance will be under construction.

These entrances will be effective the remainder of the school year, with the anticipated opening of our new vestibules July 1, 2022.

Building Use Form

Recently created and posted on our website is an electronic building use form for organizations to access when requesting use of our facilities.

Transportation Vote

The Transportation Vote is on Tuesday, March 15th from noon - 8pm in the S-VE High School Auditorium Lobby. Please see the link below to access the printed Newsletter, which includes the Transportation Vote information!

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:

NY Project Hope Presentation

For those that weren't able to attend the NY Project Hope Presentation in February, they have shared their presentation for you to review below!

Upcoming Mental Health Heroes Meeting - March 14 @ 6pm

The next Mental Health Heroes Meeting is at 6pm on March 14, 2022 via zoom. It will be a panel of our mental health workers (counselors, psychologists, social workers) on the wide array of services they provide families and students. The zoom link is below and the password is 050850.

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:


The Spencer-Van Etten Music Department is performing Grease on March 24, 25, 26 at 7pm. Tickets will be on sale soon for $10. Stay tuned!
Big picture

Safety Drills

  • We are thankful to have Chief Monteiro participating in our safety drills and providing feedback.
  • We've implemented a district wide safety team.
  • We are partnering with the Spencer Village to update their Spencer Emergency Plan.

Digital Citizenship Newsletter

Check out the March Digital Citizenship Newsletter by clicking the link below!
S-VE Website

Click to be connected.

S-VE Facebook Page

Click to be connected.

S-VE Twitter Feed

Click to be connected.

Spencer-Van Etten Central School District

16 Dartts Crossroad

Spencer, NY 14883

Phone: (607) 589-7100

Fax: (607) 589-3010