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letter to the editorThis letter was sent to us from Jenna Horowitz, SHS alumni and mental health professional:

I write my thoughts here about Scarsdale reopening plans as a SHS Alum ’06, previous mental health employee at SMS, and someone who is currently employed by a school that will be re-opening full-time. As a mental health professional in an NYC private school, I have spent the last month hearing various school reopening plans in both NYC and Westchester. Based on the fact that each district has very different plans it is clear that we are all making educated guesses about the best protocols without any certainty of what will keep the most people safe. In reading Scarsdale10583.com’s reporting on the re-opening plans, I notice the complexities and tension that are arising that is so clearly defined by parents, teachers, and administrator’s anxiety around the uncertainties of the pandemic.

FACT: Everyone wants kids back in school every year. Scarsdale parents value their children learning and growing, teachers value guiding students and forming connections and students want to gain knowledge and spend time with their peers. However, this year everyone’s health and safety overrides academic growth in the pandemic.

I recently attended a webinar that focused on protecting student mental health in re-opening plans. Dr. Lisa Damour, a well-regarded clinical psychologist, and Liz Katz, constantly re-iterated that this school year is not about being productive or academic excellence. The goal of the 2020-2021 school year is to get kids psychologically through the school year in the global pandemic. Parents who want their children in school learning are focused on the social connections school allows and the belief that in-person learning is more productive. However, wearing a mask and being six feet apart will not allow students to informally hang out, work collaboratively or be focused on the lesson. Students will likely be adjusting their masks constantly, be concerned every time someone coughs or sneezes and have difficulty hearing their teacher due to not seeing their mouths. Then top that off with the reality that someone is likely to contract COVID-19 and spread this and worry about friends, family, or teachers who get very ill or die from this. Is academic excellence really more important than people’s health or emotional well-being?

We can all agree that online learning in the Spring was a disaster for every school. This was a crisis situation that led teachers to realize that their in-person curriculum could not be easily translated to an online platform and led students to be confused and frustrated. I believe that online learning can be different in the Fall. We are more mentally prepared to both teach and learn online. Also, I suspect teachers have probably done some level of research to find tools that can assist in their curriculum planning for the online experience.

In conclusion, my opinion is that the infection rate in NY will rise once schools re-open and we may not even be in school for long. In order to re-open schools safely there are a lot of various equipment and cleaning protocols that need to be put in place that are expensive. Are you willing to use a good portion of the school budget so your children can be in school for 2-3 months, when it can be spent on other options that will support the academic excellence you expect from Scarsdale schools in the future?

For those of you who believe students should be in-person more, I am so hopeful that your belief that this will work is right. That would be the best case scenario. But what are the consequences if you are wrong?

I will be going back to school on September 10th in-person. “Welcome. Happy Hunger Games, may the odds be ever in your favor.” -Suzanne Collins

main poolOn July 18th, the Scarsdale Municipal Pool Complex opened for its 52nd season. This is the latest opening day the pool has ever had, and the conditions under which it has opened are certainly different from ever before. Dan Walczewski, Recreation Supervisor and Aquatics Director for Scarsdale Parks and Recreation, worked alongside the rest of the Recreation Department to create a comprehensive plan that allows the pool to run smoothly yet still follow health guidelines.

surveyDan and his team have formulated a list of policies for Summer 2020 that comply with the NYS Department of Health, which can be read here. The rules mainly focus on lowering the pool complex’s capacity, enforcing social distancing guidelines, limiting lap lane capacity and swim time, and ensuring that members enter the complex with facemasks. The pool also gives a survey to members upon entrance, where they must confirm that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, have not tested positive for the virus within the past 14 days, and have not been exposed to someone who is COVID positive, or has symptoms, within the past 14 days. Under these clear rules and regulations, members are able to enter the complex and enjoy a day at the pool amidst the summer heat.

snack barIn terms of the other amenities at the pool complex, such as the snack bar and the playground, social distancing continues to be enforced. There are signs located around the snack bar reminding patrons to wear facemasks, as well as to regulate one-way foot traffic that enforces social distancing. Moreover, the playground is only available to children 10 and under with adult supervision. The Social Distancing Ambassador staff monitor it as well as sterilize it during their rounds.

The pool continues to offer private Swim and Dive Lessons. Instructors either wear a plastic face shield in the water, or conduct the lessons from the poolside, whichever the parents and children prefer.

Attendance at the pool has been moderate, but never enough to threaten the ability to safely social distance. The current max capacity is 1,300, but the complex has yet to exceed 500 people thus far. In past summers, the Scarsdale Rec Camp has sent hundreds of kids to the pool each day to swim. Without camp in session, it’s no surprise that attendance is lower than usual. With the July heat currently at full force, attendance has surely increased. The pool staff has done a phenomenal job keeping track of all attendees in order to ensure social distancing is possible and present. To help pool members stay informed on the complex’s capacity, the staff uses Scarsdale Village’s email/text alert system to send out notifications if the pool reaches 50%, 75%, and/or 100% capacity.

social distancingWhile the Scarsdale Pool has implemented policies that allow for both safety and fun, it has not come without a cost. Dan describes some of the challenges he and his staff have faced this summer: “In general our visitors have been very respectful of our rules, though we do have to give reminders on occasion to people who forget to wear their masks when walking around the facility or try to exit via the breezeway. This is a place where so many people have spent so many summers and never had to think about these things before. I do think that as the season progresses, they will become habits, and we won’t have to give as many reminders.”

Despite these challenges, this uncertain time period has also allowed for some silver linings. Dan commends his pool staff, the Recreation Department, the Village Manager’s office, and the Board of Trustees and Mayor for the teamwork they have continuously exerted throughout this process. Without the collaboration across these groups, the pool would not have been able to open and function with the necessary rules and regulations.

diving pool“But even with all the changes to our lives that COVID-19 has brought about,” Dan notes, “one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to the safety of our pool visitors and staff. Although it’s a bit later this year, I’d officially like to welcome everyone to the 2020 pool season.”

HBMSPhotoHoff-Barthelson Music School is offering online lessons and summer programs for all ages. Photo by Steven Schnur.There is something for all ages being offered online at Hoff-Barthelson Music School this summer—Summer Lessons (for both children and adults), the Summer Arts Program for students entering 1st - 12th grades, and Early Childhood Classes for the youngest musicians. While we will dearly miss seeing everyone in person on campus, we promise you a summer that is engaging, has flexible options that work well online, and provides students the opportunity to participate in many of their favorite musical activities.

Our popular Summer Arts Program will take place online this summer!

Hoff-Barthelson’s Summer Arts Program Online provides a stimulating, challenging, and fun-filled opportunity for students entering grades 1-12. Our online, 3-day per week program is highly customizable, offering students the opportunity to grow in their enjoyment and practice of music while minimizing screen time.

Students may combine classes to focus on classical music performance, jazz and popular music, music technology, musical theater, composition and arranging, or other areas of interest. Configure classes to suit your interests and scheduling needs. Elective classes encourage the exploration of new interests: learn a second instrument, learn to put music technology to creative use, and/or jump-start your knowledge of music theory and history. Our exceptional faculty made up of some of the top performers and music educators in our area provide personalized attention to each student.

All students are encouraged to take advantage of private lessons and to schedule time with a Practice Partner (a Summer Arts Program high school or college intern) to optimize learning at home.

Summer Lessons for all students of all ages are being offered online through August 28.

Take advantage of our summer discounts and flexible scheduling for private lessons! Since tuition does not include musicianship classes or ensemble opportunities, price points are considerably lower than during the academic year. To entice you further, we are pleased to offer a 10% discount on purchases of 3 or more lessons per student. Get a head start on new music for the fall and combat summer learning loss. Try a new instrument, or explore whether a little one is ready for private instruction by “test driving” lessons.

Online Summer Early Childhood Classes to be offered over three two-week sessions.

We are excited to share a new online Summer Early Childhood Music and First Instrument program for children and families this summer. Classes offered: Seasons of Song (Ages 2-3); Getting to Know You: Exploring the Instruments (Ages 4-6); Beginning Musicianship: Listening and Learning in Action (Ages 5- Kindergarten); Piano Together – Group Piano Classes (Ages 4-5); Suzuki Pre-Twinkler Violin (Ages 3-4); and All Ages Sing-Along!

For additional information visit www.hbms.org. The best way to reach is by e-mail at hb@hbms.org. Please include your preferred phone number and instructions as to the best time to reach you during office hours and on Saturdays. We will get back to you as soon as possible!

About Hoff-Barthelson Music School:
Hoff-Barthelson Music School has achieved national recognition as a premier community music school for its unsurpassed leadership in education, performance and community service. With a faculty drawn from the region’s most talented teachers and performers, the School has long been one of Westchester County’s most cherished cultural resources. At Hoff-Barthelson, students find a warm, friendly music school dedicated to the highest standards of education, performance, and community service. Students of all ages, aptitudes, and levels of interest enjoy a supportive, joyful learning environment; a focus on the whole person; exceptional teaching; and a multifaceted curriculum.

Rockefellar 2Summer 2020 is looking a lot different from what we expected. Many camps are closed for the season, and those that aren’t are definitely not running their usual programs. Are you in need of ways to occupy your children with fun and engaging activities this summer?

If your children cannot go to camp, bring camp to them! Below is a list of simple yet exciting backyard activities that will make your kids feel like they’re back at summer camp. Additionally, with Westchester in the midst of reopening, this is the perfect time to explore hidden gems within your community. Here are some ideas to make the summer of 2020 unforgettable!

Boundless AdventuresA trip to Boundless Adventures is guaranteed to be full of fun. Located in Purchase, this adventure park is home to many challenge courses, with levels ranging from beginner to expert. Guests spend their day climbing, swinging, zip-lining, and traversing through tree-top ropes courses. This experience will truly make children feel like they are back at camp.




Boundless Adventures
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
(914) 893-4550
Learn more here

Cranberry Lake PreserveCranberry Lake Preserve is another great location for a hike and a picnic. Visitors can enjoy a hike around Cranberry Lake, as well as educational displays of live animals. The park’s trails range in difficulty, making them perfect for hikers of all skill levels.

Cranberry Lake Preserve
1609 Old Orchard Street
West Harrison, NY 10604
(914) 428-1005
Learn more here

Greenburgh Nature CenterEnjoy a nature walk or observe animals in their natural habitat at the Greenburgh Nature Center. Although the indoor programming at the nature center remains closed due to COVID-19, visitors can still enjoy a remarkable experience on the outdoor grounds.







Greenburgh Nature Center
99 Dromore Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
(914) 723-3470
Learn more here

John Jay HomesteadThe John Jay Homestead is located on a breathtaking landscape just a short drive north of Scarsdale. The Historic Landscape Tours give visitors the chance to explore the homestead and learn about this historically significant land. This interactive tour is a great learning experience for children. You will definitely leave with more knowledge than you came with!

John Jay Homestead
400 Jay Street
Katonah, NY 10536
(914) 232-5651
Learn more here

North County TrailwayNorth County Trailway is full of outstanding scenery, making it the perfect place for a bike ride or a long walk. The trailway spans 22.1 miles, running from Mount Pleasant to Somers. This lengthy and scenic route passes through several reservoirs, and is definitely worth visiting.



North County Trailway
962 Bedford Road
Pleasantville, NY 10570
(914) 864-7275
Learn more here

Playland Park BeachWould it really be summer without a day at the beach? Soak up the sun or ride the waves at The Beach at Playland, a quick and easy getaway. The beach is open at 50% capacity to ensure the experience is safe.






The Beach at Playland

1 Playland Parkway
Rye, NY 10580
(914) 813-7010
Learn more here

Rockefellar State PreserveTake a relaxing walk around the reservoir at Rockefeller State Park Preserve, which is home to many outdoor trails surrounded by fantastic greenery. Most visitors come to enjoy a low-impact hike, a run, or even a picnic. The trails are easy to navigate, making sure the experience is fun-filled for all.



Rockefeller State Park Preserve
125 Phelps Way
Pleasantville, NY 10570
(914) 631-1470
Learn more here

Saxon Woods Mini GolfThe Saxon Woods Mini Golf course is open for another season of family fun. Each hole is more exciting than the last, and the experience never disappoints.










Saxon Woods Mini Golf

1800 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10604
(914) 995-2618
Learn more here

WardPoundRidgeWard Pound Ridge Reservation is the largest park in Westchester County, located on 4,315 acres of land. The park offers equestrian facilities, giving visitors a unique and exciting way to peruse the landscape. There are 35 miles of trails waiting to be explored by you and your family!



Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
Reservation Road
Pound Ridge, NY 10576
(914) 864-7317
Learn more here

Opening Soon!

Pepsico Sculpture GardensLocated at Pepsico’s global headquarters in Purchase, NY, the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens are one of Westchester’s hidden gems. The breathtaking sculptures located throughout the gardens are definitely worth seeing once the park is up and running again.






Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens

700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
(914) 253-3150
Learn more here

Storm KingThe Storm King Art Center offers a display of extraordinary modern and contemporary artwork. The art collection includes sculptures, drawings, and photographs that are situated throughout the center’s landscape. Make sure to keep this experience in mind for a future summer excursion! Opening July 15.





Storm King Art Center

1 Museum Road
New Windsor, NY 12553
(845) 534-3115
Learn more here

Julia and RienaJulia Kushnick and Riena Parente After Completing Their MarathonFor students, the COVID-19 pandemic has surely redefined the meaning of “free time.” Most of us have never experienced a lack of structure for this long, and it is sometimes difficult to fill our days with enough meaningful activity. Some students saw an opportunity to fill this time by taking on a challenge or embarking on a new venture.  In addition to the passion projects completed by SHS seniors, several other students have used the abundance of free time to pursue new hobbies, help others, or raise awareness for important causes.

Here are some innovative projects completed by SHS students during these unprecedented times:

Jay Greenwald, Matt Hoffman, Matt Sussman, Jack Silvers
JayGreenwald
When the senior options program was altered due to the restrictions of COVID-19 many students were left without a project. A group of SHS seniors have used this time to create a sports talk show.

Jay Greenwald, a founder of the project, shares his thoughts: “So many of us wanted to participate in the show that the idea grew from one general sports show into two more specialized shows, one about baseball and one about basketball. We named the show the Corona Sports Network, consisting of CSN Base and CSN Hoop. For the past three weeks we have been planning talk shows and recording ourselves on Zoom amidst heated debates. CSN Base has featured two special guests, Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino and MLB Network writer Sarah Langs. Although it is unfortunate that we did not get to have in-person internships this year, creating these videos has been an incredible experience that brightened up my quarantine. Check out our videos on YouTube.”

Riena Parente and Julia Kushnick
FLYER 1FLYER 2
“​Hi! Our names are Julia Kushnick and Riena Parente and we both are juniors from Scarsdale High School. Over the past weeks, we have been alarmed by the protests against systemic racism throughout the United States and wanted to take a stance and educate ourselves more on the issue.” On June 7th, 2020, Julia and Riena took action. They walked a marathon, “dedicating each mile to an African-American who has lost a life due to police brutality or other racist citizens, while still recognizing the deaths of the many others.” Throughout the walk, they distributed flyers containing statistics and ways to contribute to their cause at people’s doorsteps in order to raise awareness of the issue at hand. The community was encouraged to help out by printing out the flyers and displaying them throughout their own neighborhoods, or Venmoing by money to them, where 100% of the proceeds went to the Black Lives Matter foundation. Even though Julia and Riena have already successfully completed their marathon, it is not too late to donate to their amazing cause. See below for how you can still get involved!

flyer 3


































Adam Katcher
AdamKatcher
“I’m Adam Katcher, a sophomore at Scarsdale High School. For the majority of my life, I did not think I had a proclivity to writing. One night, the week before Christmas Break, I was restless. I had a handful of tests the next day, so sleep was being interrupted by the pull of the temporary stress. I was thinking of ways to try and turn my conscience away from the imminent exams. As the night wore on, my thoughts started to wander. As my thoughts continued to whirl around, I realized that I was thinking about a story. I was meeting characters whom I had never met. As if there was a prophecy for me to write the story, I shot out of my bed and started typing. After nearly an hour of frantically slamming the keys, the first chapter to my novel was in the works. I felt an obligation to the characters that I had conjured in my imagination, an obligation to make them come to life. And so, every day for the past few months, I made the story come to written fruition. As quarantine gave me extra time, and the ability to work with my English teacher, I finished my novel and have published it on Amazon.

“The book is titled 2035. Here’s the story: The world has always been unpredictable. While the fires of war have flared periodically, by the year 2035, a truly global conflict has not occurred for nearly a century. This story explores friendships in apocalyptic times, as well as the change in emotions and opinions experienced by an 18 year-old high school student. After years of growing animosity between, and within, nations, tensions finally reach a climax. As war breaks out, how does an inexperienced draftee survive during a time where nuclear weapons threaten the existence of humanity? Can there be hope and light in times of despondency?”

Anya Kornfeld on Connection Companions
AnyaKornfeld"During these difficult and unprecedented times it is easy to become overwhelmed. I have personally struggled to keep up with schoolwork, create a structured schedule, and maintain my typical level of motivation. I, as well as many of my friends, yearn for the interactions and connections we had in school and other in-person activities such as sports and clubs. While platforms such as Zoom and FaceTime provide great ways for people to stay in touch, as the months have passed in quarantine, it has become increasingly difficult to have meaningful interactions with people.

"I have been volunteering with kids with special needs during high school through organizations such as the JCC and Backyard Sports. I quickly realized the importance of the time I spent with these kids. Whether I was playing a board game, a sport, or simply talking, these moments provided important connections which helped build crucial social skills. In addition, (and most importantly) the kids, and volunteers, were having fun.

"While it may be difficult for my friends and I to stay in touch during the pandemic, I realized that it is even more difficult for kids with special needs. This is why I thought to start Connection Companions. I, as well as all the volunteers, aim to establish this same connection and help kids with special needs thrive while staying at home.

“I am e​ager to work with kids and serve our community in such a positive way. As of right now we have 7 children with special needs working with our volunteers. The feedback has been incredible and we are looking to expand our initiative throughout the summer, possibly looking into socially distant playdates.

"If you have a child with special needs and you are looking for someone to play online games, help with homework, play a virtual sport, or just talk, please contact us! There is a form on our website where you can sign up or you may email me directly (​anyakornfeld1@gmail.com​). We cannot wait to get in touch.

"Finally, we are always looking for volunteers. If you are a high school student and are looking for a meaningful way to spend your time, fill out the volunteer form on our website!

Connection Companions Website 

Sarah Jane Traumer
Sarah Jane TraumerScarsdale High School Junior Sarah Jane Traumer spent her 17th birthday baking 100 cupcakes for the Scarsdale Heroes. Sarah Jane recognized the bravery of the Scarsdale Heroes, especially the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps (SVAC). The SVAC has done extraordinary work on the front line in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Sarah Jane spent the day baking, icing, decorating, and boxing all 100 cupcakes. She delivered the boxes of cupcakes to the SVAC, the three Scarsdale Fire Houses, and the Scarsdale Police Department. Sarah Jane selflessly devoted her birthday to helping the Scarsdale Heroes. She enjoyed spending her birthday giving back to her community.

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