Sullivan West holds first board meeting of the school year

By TED WADDELL
Posted 9/6/22

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The Sullivan West Central School District held its monthly school board meeting on August 24, in effect kicking off the 2022-2023 school year; classes started September …

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Sullivan West holds first board meeting of the school year

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LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The Sullivan West Central School District held its monthly school board meeting on August 24, in effect kicking off the 2022-2023 school year; classes started September 6.

According to superintendent Dr. Kathleen Bressler, the district has continued to work on its strategic planning process, and recently analyzed the “thought-exchange comments, and created a draft mission, vision and core values to our district.”

She reported that on August 22, more than 30 “stakeholders including students, parents, teacher leaders, school-related professionals, community members, community professionals and organization members, district and building leaders, and board members” met to review and provide feedback on those aforementioned statements, in addition to addressing the three main categories: human capital, communications and student experience.

“This will form the direction our district will be taking for the next three to five years,” said Bressler.

In other news

The district’s 2021 code of conduct has been reviewed by building principals, who have updated it.

Bressler reported that an order and judgment received over the summer cost the district $900,000. Due to the district’s four-percent fund balance for “these rainy days… we were equipped to deal with this financial setback. In order to safeguard us from this happening again, we asked our attorneys for their recommendations,” she said, noting their suggestion was for the district to “become a party, by responding to the notice of a petition for cases over a certain amount.

“While we have been allowing the towns to fight some of these cases on their own, we need to remember that the towns’ interest is different than a school’s interest in settling these matters… Due to the recent summary judgment, we feel that being stewards of our taxpayer’s money it is prudent to become involved in these cases.”

Bressler also thanked the teaching staff for teaching summer programs or working on curricular development; she thanked the custodial team “for bringing life back into the buildings each year… from floor to ceiling, and every nook and cranny, our team has put in the hours to create a sparkling clean welcoming place.” She also thanked the administrators who “have been working all summer on the several projects we have going on in the district.”

A recap from the district’s Bulldogs’ newsletter

“This has been a busy summer at Sullivan West,” wrote Bressler in the newsletter. “Our building was full of students participating in enrichment camps and learning programs at the elementary and middle school level. It was a great joy to be able to see smiling faces each day connecting areas of interest or learning in a new way.”

Kurt Buddenhgen took over from David Eggleton as the district’s new director of athletics, physical education, health and wellness. He will also serve as dean of students.

In July, Eggleton returned to his alma mater as director of athletics and assistant principal at the Livingston Manor and Roscoe school districts.

A former graduate of Delaware Valley, Buddenhagen earned his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland, and a master’s degree in education at Mount Saint Mary College. After receiving a certificate of advanced study in school leadership at SUNY New Paltz, Buddenhagen taught physical education, and later served as director of athletics at Monticello.

Dan Parisi, former director of technology, data and innovation, took on the expanded role of director of human resources, technology and innovation.

Sheri Parucki, former interim director of student  services, and the former school psychologist, is now director of student services.

COVID update

According to the newsletter, “Over the summer, the New York State Department of Health, in conjunction with the New York State Department of Education, released updated COVID information for families and schools. The guidance supports preventative measures such as vaccinations, handwashing and most importantly staying home when sick. There are no more reporting requirements for school districts.

“This school year, you will no longer receive notices if your child has been exposed to COVID in school,” the brief continued, noting that school districts will provide test kits to parents upon request.

The updated guidance can be found on the school website, swcsd.org, under COVID-19 resources.

Sullivan West, settlement, Kurt Buddenhgen, COVID

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