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forumaudience(This article was submitted by Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez, Co-Chair of the Scarsdale Forum's Education Committee.)
On September 7, 2017, the Scarsdale Forum's Education Committee hosted a community discussion, Scarsdale Schools: 2017 and Beyond, in Rutherford Hall at Scarsdale Village Hall. 135 people participated throughout the evening, and we were very pleased with the diversity of attendees who engaged actively in this important dialogue about the state of our schools now and where they'll be in the future. Attendees included professionals from the Scarsdale school administration, teachers, members of the Board of Education, Scarsdale Village officials, empty nesters, students, parents of current students and a few alumni." The event was broadcast live and was recorded, and is available for viewing by clicking here.


The objective of the evening was to bring different segments of the Scarsdale community together to have a conversation about our schools. Education Committee Co-Chair Carlos Ramírez explained that "It is important to bring all community stakeholders together, whether in one room or via technology, to discuss our schools and their future. We need to know what the different members of the community are thinking."

The event agenda included a number of different elements: a live online social media component managed by Ramírez; an interactive live poll developed and administered by committee member Brice Kirkendall-Rodríguez; and, a question and answer session moderated by committee members Maggie Favretti, who is also a teacher at Scarsdale High School, and Liz Guggenheimer, a former Scarsdale Board of Education President.

Poll questions were derived from responses to the Scarsdale Forum's "School Topics Survey," distributed in May and June of this year. The poll questions touched upon a variety of topics, including the goals of long-term school financial plan, quality of teachers and school facilities, as well as parental involvement and preferences about curriculum, facilities and related topics.

Responses were recorded both from participants attending the event and those viewing it remotely. Highlights include the following:


When asked the main reason for the school district to have a financial plan, respondents listed "providing the school district with sufficient funds to prepare kids with skills to live in the next decade," and "insuring fiscal responsibility and sustainability" as their number one and two priorities, respectively.


When asked for what projects respondents would be willing to have their property taxes increased, they listed, in order of preference, add air conditioning in schools, expand STEM labs, increase room size, build new elementary schools, and build dining commons in elementary schools. Respondents were not willing to have their taxes rise to enlarge sports fields.

Respondents stated that the top two strengths of Scarsdale schools are English and college preparedness.
When asked if there should be parity in facilities planned for all five elementary schools, 62% responded yes, 22% said no, and 16% needed more information in order to respond.

Respondents stated they spend significant amounts annually on after school instruction in music, foreign languages, sports, test prep, and other subjects for their children during the academic year: 78% spend between $1,000 and $20,000, and 13% spend over $20,000 each year.


When asked what changes they'd like to see in curriculum, facilities and other areas, if possible, 37% respondents listed adding additional STEAM classes to elementary and middle schools as their top priority; and, 27% want financial literary courses added to the district curriculum.


With regard to facilities, 46% indicated that adding air conditioning would be their top priority. When asked about what else would make them happier with Scarsdale schools, 24% listed lower taxes as their top priority, while 17% listed increased transparency in decision making by the school administration as their top choice.

All live poll slides can be found by clicking here.

Education Committee members Maggie Favretti and Liz Guggenheimer also asked audience members a series of open-ended questions about education: what is the ideal environment for your child, what a world class education might look like, and whether any attendees who had studied at a private school or abroad share would share lessons with Scarsdale residents. Over a dozen participants discussed their perspectives, the consensus of which supported school efforts to teach complex problem-solving, innovation, and important skills such as reiteration, computer science, and thinking through practice and authentic assessment of issues. Engaging students of all levels directly in subject-matter experiences, encouraging them to challenge the status quo, instead of seeking the right answer, supporting them through the college process, and the high school tutorial model were singled out for specific praise.

One participant stated that the term "world class education" did not mean much unless the school district could provide metrics to measure outcomes. That same individual praised what is available at Scarsdale schools in terms of helping students when they apply to college. A female resident, who is a professional in technology, emphasized the need for Scarsdale schools to encourage and teach technology to children, especially to girls.

At the conclusion of the evening, Scarsdale Forum President ML Perlman reminded the audience that, "The Scarsdale Forum is open to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck strip residents regardless of citizenship, and our committees remain open at all times for additional members to join on a rolling basis. So, please join the Forum and jump right in to the discussions happening right now."

The Forum's Education Committee would like to thank Scarsdale Schools Superintendent Thomas Hagerman, Mayor Dan Hochvert, members of the Scarsdale Boards of Education and Trustees, teachers, students and all Scarsdale residents for participating in Scarsdale Schools: 2017 and Beyond. The committee also extends its gratitude to Assistant Village Manager Robert Cole and Videographer Kelvin Guevara, who were instrumental in coordinating event logistics, and to Scarsdale Forum leadership and numerous Forum members who assisted with developing and marketing this special event.

The Scarsdale Forum
The Scarsdale Forum is a 501(c)(3) civic organization dedicated to discussion and analysis of all issues relevant to Scarsdale residents. Since 1904, the Forum has contributed meaningfully to Village affairs through its written reports, public speaker events, and committee discussions. Membership is available to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck Strip residents regardless of citizenship status.

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letter-to-the-editorThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Susan Levine:
To the Editor: You will not believe what I saw around town during a few very hot days this July:

Four cars were left parked in various the Chase Bank parking lot ..the Library.. and the Post Office...with their Engines Idling, their Doors Locked... and the AC turned on high..

The cars were Empty ... their owners in various places ... leaving their cars to pollute
our air.... and stay cool until they returned. I was in disbelief...

It is obvious that these drivers not know that it is Against Westchester County Law
to Idle your Vehicle while Parked for more than 3 minutes when the Temperature
is above 32 degrees? The sense of entitlement and lack of knowledge of the law shown in this behavior was upsetting to me.

So many of us.. old and new residents alike.. are not aware of various quality of life matters and Village Codes that are meant to make living in Scarsdale more pleasant ... and our Village life more responsible and safe ... I thought I would mention just a few.

Noise from Construction and Landscapers is forbidden before 8AM on Weekdays and 10AM on Weekends.

Bulky Trash should Not be placed at the Curb more than 24 hours before your anticipated Pickup Day.

There is a Village wide Ban on the use of Gas Powered Leaf Blowers from June 1 through September 30. This has been Village Law for many years.

No Cars may Park on our Village Streets Overnight during the Winter months.

Dogs may Not be Walked on School Grounds.

Very Loud Noise from Music or Parties is subject to enforcement by the Police.bulkytrash

Everyone Must Recycle Paper ... and Plastic...Metal Cans and Glass Bottles ... and Place the Containers Outside For Pickup on Scheduled Days ... The Sanitation Department Provides a Calendar With Recycle Dates Indicated for each Neighborhood.

When Constructing a Legal Fence on your Property ... the Good Side of the Fence must Face your Neighbor.

New Residents Should Become Aware of What is Happening in Our Village.. and Remain Interested in Current Village Matters.

Reading the Scarsdale10583 website regularly is one good way of doing this.

Susan Levine

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lax1The Scarsdale Varsity Field Hockey Team has definitely made its mark in the history of Scarsdale athletics. They are the reigning Section 1 and regional champions, and competed in the state final game last year. What comes next? Rising sophomore Elizabeth Scarcella, who was one of two freshmen on the team last year said, "We have pretty high standards that we hope to meet."

The squad will lose 5 crucial members going into the season. Seniors Emma Coleman, Erin Nicholas, Angie Burns, and Jilly Mehlman all received all state honors. Nicholas continues playing field hockey for Middlebury this fall.

Preseason training for the Raiders began the week of August 22nd, and the eight rising seniors hope to fill the leadership role in the upcoming season. Elizabeth mentioned the large number of "role models and leaders for lower class men," which will help in the transition.

"I'm excited," said senior attacker, Audrey Shaev. "We have a lot of rebuilding to do, but we are ready". The field hockey team is always known for their camaraderie and team spirit, and the seniors have no intention of stopping that tradition. I can't wait for the season to start. People don't expect us to do that well after losing the seniors. We want to surprise them".


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rubinIt's what brought most of us to Scarsdale to begin with ---- the schools! And this week, Tuesday September 5th, was opening day at Scarsdale's elementary, middle and high schools. It was an exciting day for the kids, their parents, teachers and administrators.

At several schools there were significant changes since June, due to ongoing construction projects funded in the December, 2014 bond. At Edgewood, a new entrance and office have been built and the existing library is undergoing demolition. The new library will be built this year – scheduled for completion in the late spring. Heathcote's multi-purpose room has been repurposed and a large new room is in the works. At the middle school, a new music room is scheduled to open and at the high school the new fitness center should be in business any day. Work on the new learning commons at SHS is underway.

Here are just a few photos of kids finding their way to their new classrooms for the first day of school.


If you have a photo from the first day of school that you would like to share, please send it to and we'll add it to our gallery.


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lemerondScarsdale boys from the Wykagyl Country Club excelled at the Westchester Swim Conference championship finals from August 4 -10 at Westchester Country Club. Here are the results for the Scarsdale boys swimming for Wykagyl:

Charles Lemerond (age 7) is a rising 3rd grader at Heathcote who made his first conference appearance this year
8th Boys 8&U 25 Yard Fly
2nd Boys 8&U 100 Yard Free Relay
5th Boys 10&U 200 Yard Free Relay (with Kieran)

Kieran Lee (age 9)
4th Place Boys 10&U 50 Yard Free
3rd Place Boys 10&U 50 Yard Back
1st Place Boys 10&U 50 Yard Breast
5th Boys 10&U 200 Yard Free Relay (with Charles)

Aidan Lee (age 11)
1st Place Boys 12&U 50 Yard Free
1st Place Boys 12&U 50 Yard Back
2nd Place Boys 12&U 50 Yard Breast
1st Place Boys 13&U 200 Yard Free Relay

Megan Lee (age 13)
1st Place Girls 14&U 100 Yard Free
1st Place Girls 14&U 100 Yard Breast
2nd Place Girls 14&U 100 Yard Fly
1st Girls 13&U 200 Yard Free Relay

Brendan Lee (age 14)
1st Place Boys 14&U 100 Yard Free (tied with Justin)
1st Place Boys 14&U 100 Yard Back
3rd Place Boys 14&U 100 Yard Breast
1st Boys 17&U 200 Yard Free Relay

Ryan Lee (age 17)
3rd Place Boys 17&U 100 Yard Back
2nd Place Boys 17&U 100 Yard Breast
1st Boys 17&U 100 Yard Fly
1st Boys 17&U 200 Yard Free Relay

Justin DiSanto (age 14)
1st Place Boys 14&U 100 Yard Free (tied with Brendan)
2nd Place Boys 14&U 100 Yard Back
5th Boys 14&U 100 Yard Fly

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