Sunday, Aug 07th

BlueRibbonStilesHeathcote Elementary School was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2020 by the U.S. Depatment of Education, a designation that lasts for 5 years.

The program recognizes schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed more than 10,000 awards to over 9,000 schools. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging conent.

Due to COVID, the ribbon cutting ceremony was postponed until March 11, 2022, when a new sign proclaiming the award was unveiled. PTA board members, the Principal and Vice Principal led the ceremony and cut the ribbon. There was also a guest appearance of the school mascot, the Heathcote Husky, which thrilled the kids.

BlueRibbonMascotBlueRibbonCuttingBlueRibbon1BlueRibbonHuskie

micThe Scarsdale Middle School Speech Contest will be held on Thursday March 24, 2022 and judges are needed. Will Maldarelli, a teacher and coordinator of the event is inviting interested adults in the community and high school students who are members of the Speech and Debate Club to serve as judges.

Here is the schedule

4:00-4:30 judges sign in and rounds begin with the preliminary rounds ending at approximately 7:00 pm.

A light buffet dinner, courtesy of the PTA, will be served after these preliminary rounds

Finals to end by 9:00 pm.

To register, please use the Google form:

If you have any questions about the registration process, please contact Steven Scharf at sscharf@scarsdaleschools.org.

BudgetOverviewWith a proposed increase in staffing of 10.5 full time employees for the 2022-23 school year and a projected decline of $1.9 million in the projected fund balance as of June 30, 2022, this could be a challenging year for the Scarsdale School budget.

At a budget study session on Monday February 14, 2022, the administration presented their first draft of the proposed 2022-23 school budget. Though projected revenues from the 2021-22 school year were up $2.9 mm or 1.82% over the prior year, expenses were also up by $3.7 mm or 2.31%. Assistant Superintendent Stuart Mattey projected that the district would end this financial year with $1.96 mm less in fund balance then they had on June 30, 2021, completing the year with $23,577,258 in fund balance which is 3.05% of the 2022-23 draft budget. State law allows the district to maintain up to 4% of the subsequent year’s budget in fund balances.

The most significant change in the proposed budget is staffing. In this initial budget the district is proposing to add 10.5 full time employees, including psychologists and social workers in the middle and high schools, two special education teachers, clerical support for the high school psychologist, a half time CPSE Chairperson for case evaluations along with an elementary school math teacher, a computer science teachers, a grounds person, a cleaner and the transition of clerks from part time to full time.

Staffing

District enrollment is estimated to decline by 63 students from a total pupil population of 4,609 in 2021-22 to 4,546 in 2022-23.

The initial proposed budget for the entire district is $174,379,876, which is 4.5% higher than the 2021-22 budget and would mean a 4.04% increase in the tax levy. This translates to a 3% increase of Scarsdale taxpayers and a 4.28% increase for those in the Mamaroneck strip. The projected tax cap is 3.5%, so this would exceed that limit and be a good deal higher than the 2.54% increase for 2021-22.

However, that same night, realizing that this increase may be too high for some to support, the district also presented a list of reductions to consider, including $141,000 in efficiencies, $547,483 in new items that would not be included and another $168,501 in savings from the Employee Retirement System from a refined calculation. Combined, these three savings lines total almost $857,000 and would reduce the budget to $173,291,393. That would mean a tax levy increase pf 3.45% which falls just below the estimated tax cap.

Commenting on the proposed budget, both the presidents of the high school and middle school PTA’s supported the additional mental health staffing.

FundBalance

High School PTA President Joey Silberfein said, “The pandemic has left its mark on students and faculty. We strongly encourage the board to keep all resources in the budget. We are advocating for mental health professionals who are district employees ... and staff to conduct more in depth IEP’s. Current staff is stretched beyond their band width… Having someone who can work with students and staff can lead to resolution in a timely manner.”

Leah Dembitzer, speaking on behalf of the PTA executive committee concurred. She shared the following remarks for publication:

The Scarsdale Middle School PTA Executive Committee (SMS PTA EC) and Budget Study Chairs strongly support the increase in staffing related to Mental Health support at Scarsdale Middle School as requested by Principal Troy at the January 10th Board of Education meeting.

These needs include staffing for an Emotional Support Program as well as an in-house Social Worker.

As Principal Troy previously explained, “we have seen a rise in the number of students managing depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, which limits a student’s ability to access an equal education.” The support and structure that the High School Emotional Support Program has given students for six years is a model for the Middle School. Bringing this program down to the Middle School will give students who are struggling to access the general education curriculum due to emotional difficulties the support necessary to succeed.

Principal Troy also requested an in-house social worker as a result of the significant rise in students currently struggling with mental health issues. Through the addition of a social worker to the SMS staff, the Middle School would be able to foster a greater degree of familiarity, continuity and a consistent touch point for both families and students. Due to the increase in mandated counseling and the significant, growing mental health needs, current social workers do not have the time to focus on proactive, preventative work, rather they are addressing students in crisis.

The impact of living through an ongoing pandemic upon our student community is immense. Our Middle School students require more mental health staff time and support than is currently available to them. The SMS PTA EC and Budget Study Chairs strongly support an additional school-based social worker in order to meet the mental health needs of students before they enter crisis mode.

Thank you for your time and consideration and we beseech you to contemplate the very real and immense mental health needs at Scarsdale Middle School in your budget process.

DSC09568College scholarship funds are available for graduating high school senior and for Scarsdale students currently attending college. See below for details on how to apply.

Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund for College

Scarsdale seniors may apply for a one-year grant from the Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund. To learn more about the Scholarship Fund, who is eligible and how to apply, please refer to Fund Facts linked here.

Applications can be accessed through the link to a google form from the Scholarship Fund Webpage.

Completed applications must be submitted by Monday, May 2nd.

For additional information regarding the Scholarship Fund, please contact Laurie Medvinsky at lauriemedvinsky@gmail.com.

Scarsdale Foundation Offers Scholarship Aid

Students who graduated from Scarsdale High School or lived in Scarsdale during their high school years and who have completed their first, second, or third years of college are invited to apply to the Scarsdale Foundation for tuition assistance. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the Foundation awarded need-based grants totaling $139,000 to 31 students attending private and state-supported colleges and universities.

Applications for the 2022-2023 academic year should be submitted online from the Scarsdale Foundation’s website: www.scarsdalefoundation.org (click on the College Scholarships link). Completed applications must be submitted by Wednesday, June 1, 2022. Questions should be directed to Scholarship Committee Co-Chairs Anne Lyons or B. Kathleen Munguia at: scarsdalefoundationscholarship@gmail.com.

The Foundation welcomes contributions from the community to augment the funds available for distribution each year. Contributions may be donated to a specially earmarked Scholarship Fund of the Scarsdale Foundation, enabling the Foundation to carry on the tradition of helping students in need pursue a college education. Donations may be made online by visiting the Foundation’s website or mailed to the Scarsdale Foundation at P.O. Box 542, Scarsdale, NY 10583.

The Foundation also hosts the Scarsdale Bowl Dinner where Scarsdale individuals are recognized for their volunteer service to the community. The Scarsdale Bowl will be presented to the 2022 recipient on Thursday, April 28 at the Brae Burn Country Club. The 2020 and 2021 Bowl recipients will be honored at the April dinner as well.

shs(This letter was written by Karen Ceske and Amber Yusuf, President and Vice President of the Scarsdale Board of Education:

Dear Scarsdale Community,

At Monday night’s Board meeting, the Board of Education discussed succession planning for a new superintendent. After deliberation, the Board agreed to the following next steps: (1) appoint an interim superintendent for the 2022-2023 school year, and (2) begin the process of identifying a professional search firm to conduct a national search for a permanent superintendent.

These decisions are based on the understanding that a change in leadership is significant; input from the entire school community and broader community is critical to the search for a permanent superintendent; and time is needed for a thoughtful and comprehensive process. The Board will work to identify a search firm with substantial expertise to conduct the search process for a permanent superintendent and will update the community as this step progresses.

The Board will also work to identify an appropriate candidate to serve as interim superintendent for the 2022-2023 school year. The Board will seek a candidate who will provide stability and lead the Scarsdale Schools through this transitional period. We will look for an individual who can maintain positive momentum over the next year to provide the best educational experiences and outcomes for our students, continuing the current work being done in support of the Strategic Plan, DEI, mental health, and the overall mission and culture of the Scarsdale Schools. The candidate should possess the following characteristics: proven educational leader; exceptional interpersonal and communication skills; creative and flexible problem solver; and a willingness to collaborate with, and be responsive to, the Board, faculty and staff, students, parents, and community members. This individual will also need to have the appropriate New York State certification.

The Board invites you to send feedback on the criteria and priorities for the interim superintendent as set forth in the above paragraph. Please respond by Wednesday, March 2, 2022, using this link: https://bit.ly/ScarsdaleInterim

The Board recognizes that selecting a superintendent is one of the Board’s most important responsibilities. We are dedicated to working with and supporting the entire community during the search process and transition.

Warm regards,

Karen Ceske, President
Amber Yusuf, Vice President
Scarsdale Board of Education

Leave a Comment

Share on Myspace