BOE Work Session, 4/23, 7:30pm
Please be advised there is a BOE work session, Tuesday, April 23rd, at 7:30pm in the Falls Building.
Dear Mahopac Community,
In conjunction with the ‘Mahopac Way,’ the Mahopac Central School Board of Education adopted in February a strategic direction that will continue to support the high-quality instructional and extracurricular activities that make our schools and community an outstanding place to live and raise a family.
This capital projects proposal was developed with much thought and deliberation. In the fall of 2018, the Board of Education and the Buildings & Grounds Committee directed a group of school leaders, parents and community members to create a plan that addresses the most pressing facilities needs in our district. Over several months, this diverse group of Mahopac community members created this capital improvement project plan based on:
The District opts to fund capital projects such as this through a bond because it maximizes our eligibility for state aid and because costs are spread over a long period of time.
A vote for the bond supports our belief that that stronger schools equal stronger communities.
The voting takes place on Tuesday, May 21 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Mahopac High School at the same time as the annual school budget vote.
Over the past number of years, the District has made great progress in improving our academic programs. We continue to prepare our students for the global workforce and the challenges a career and college will have to offer in the 21st century.
Upon voter approval of the capital improvement project plan, work will be conducted in each of the District’s six schools and the bus garage. This work will address:
Districtwide, we continue to build experiences in all curricular areas that offer real-world application of learning. This includes Maker Spaces, which encourage students to analyze, problem-solve and work together.
Students are also learning computer coding skills from an early age, as this has become an essential component of a K-12 education.
With technology transforming the way students gather and process information, the library of the 21st century has become a multimedia center allowing for multifaceted investigation and student collaboration. Under the proposed plan, Mahopac libraries will be enhanced to offer these resources to our students.
We can be justly proud of Mahopac’s excellent music program. Last year, the district was named among the Top 500 National Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants. Renovations to aging music rooms in the middle and high schools, proposed in this plan, will allow our students to continue to excel.
Maintenance of district buildings and improvements to energy efficiency will provide long-term economies and quality learning spaces. Lighting, roof maintenance, heating, ventilation and air conditioning will all be addressed.
The plan also includes a phased approach for campus improvements for the Middle School, High School and Mahopac Falls property, including building a water treatment plant.
Athletics has always been a big part of the Mahopac school community and we are proud of our outstanding athletes. Improvements to athletic facilities, including construction of a multipurpose turf field and updates to the boys’ locker rooms, will help to ensure Mahopac athletics continues to be the pride of the community.
The district has planned a number of information sessions, open to all, so residents may see the instructional and facility challenges our buildings face.
Superintendent of Schools
Bowling season maybe over but we're still over the moon about our junior student-athlete Jess Kasper and coach James Carroll.
Kasper finished 10th at the Section 1 tournament (1,145 series) and qualified for states through her average.
Coach Carroll was named Lohud Sports coach of the year. He led the team as the top Westchester/Putnam finisher at the Section 1 tournament, placing sixth overall. Mahopac had three bowlers average at least 156 this season, and all three placed in the top 30 at sectional.
Matthew Martirano, Mahopac High School senior, traveled to Syracuse to participate in the 2019 New York State Band Directors High School Honors Jazz Ensemble.
In the spring of 2018 students from the entire state auditioned for the New York State Schools Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Ensembles at the annual NYSSMA Spring Solo Festivals that are held around the state. Mathew performed a level VI (the highest level) solo on drum set and received a perfect score of 100. As a result, he was selected as the drummer for the 2019 New York State Band Directors High School Honors Jazz Ensemble. Only one drummer from the entire New York state is selected.
“Matthew intends to pursue music as a career. He has already auditioned at four of his top choice colleges and has been accepted at all of these schools. In some of his auditions he was accepted on the spot,” said Richard Williams, Mahopac High School Band Director.
Keeping with tradition, Mahopac's elementary school kindergartners, along with faculty and staff, celebrated 100 days of school!
Fulmar Road Elementary and Lakeview Elementary School, along with schools throughout the nation, participated in the Great Kindness Challenge, January 28-February 1. Organized by the school’s Building Coordinator, Leigh Galione, and Assistant Principal, Elizabeth Blessing, this challenge was devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible in and out of the classroom. “From generously donating to a local food drive, to creating a kindness checklist at home, to reading kindness-focused literature, the students, teachers and staff all participated. You could really feel the kindness spirit throughout the schools,” said, Blessing.
Evidence of this kindness spirit was found in Jacqueline DiRusso’s third grade Lakeview class. During a group discussion, one of her students asked DiRusso if the class could do something to help other children. This immediately sparked enthusiasm from the entire class and they were on board.
DiRusso turned the idea into a teachable moment. She worked with the class on selecting a cause that benefited children. Collectively, the students discussed charity options and agreed to fundraise for the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone in New York City. The hospital serves the tristate area, including Putnam County, for children with serious diseases, and those whom need surgery.
The students decided to host a “Valentine’s Day boutique” on February 13 to sell items to the Lakeview student body during their lunchtimes. Students spent their recess time creating items for sale, such as rainbow loom bracelets, student made books, and “slime”. A few of the student’s parent also donated small-gift items. Card Smart in Mahopac also donated items for the sale. DiRusso and her students also practiced their “sales pitch.” “We wanted our Lakeview peers to know that we were inspired by the Great Kindness Challenge and are raising money to help the lives of children who are very ill,” said DiRusso.
A total of $656.00 was raised. The check was delivered to Hassenfeld, along with hand-written stories and cards for the patients.
“Throughout the whole journey leading up to our fundraiser, the students and I had meaningful discussions about being aware of the needs of others, how to care for one another, and the true meaning of kindness. The students mindset was the idea of creating a little miracle - that is bigger than them to make a difference” said DiRusso.
For more information and to donate to Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, go to https://nyulangone.org/locations/hassenfeld-childrens-hospital-34th-street
During this critical time when the nation is facing a severe blood shortage, the Lakeview Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) organized its annual community blood drive on January 27 for the New York Blood Center. Donors included a balanced mix of high school students, Mahopac Schools teachers and staff, and members of the community.
Winter storms, frigid temperatures and widespread flu are making it harder for local communities to maintain their blood supply. According to a recent NYBC media release, currently, the center has just a 3-4 day supply with types O- and B- at drastically low levels. This year’s blood donation is worse than expected and donations are thousands below what is needed to maintain an ideal 6-7 day supply of blood.
Challenged by the winter weather, Copeland and the Lakeview PTO were creative with their outreach for recruiting blood donors. Lakeview students were offered a “hot cocoa and donut party” for the class that provided the most blood donor referrals. High school students earned community service hours for donating and or providing donor referrals.
“I am happy to report that thirty two units of blood were donated which equals to 96 lives potentially saved,” said Lisa Copeland, blood drive organizer.
Another community blood drive will take place in May when the Mahopac Middle School’s PTO hosts the annual Relay for Life Blood Drive. Once confirmed, details will be provided on https://www.mahopac.k12.ny.us.
“On behalf of the Mahopac Central School District and the entire community, I want to express how grateful we are to Lisa Copeland and the Lakeview PTO for the hard work that went into making this happen, especially now when there is a dire need for blood donations,” said Anthony DiCarlo, superintendent of schools.
Those who would like to donate can visit www.nybloodcenter.org to find a nearby donation center or mobile unit. It only takes one hour to donate, and a single donation has the potential to save multiple lives.
Mahopac Middle School students go to “war” to help local charitable organization
It’s amazing what happens with a little competition. As was the case for Mahopac Middle School students who raised $3,382 in a “Penny War” during January 7-18. The money collected was given to JennaJackPack, an organization that provides comfort to children who have recently lost a sibling or parent with a backpack of treats to help brighten spirits.
JennaJackPack came to be from the tragic loss of Jenna Nolan, a Mahopac Middle school student who passed in 2014. During the difficult time of her passing, a student gave Jenna’s younger brother a backpack filled with treats to help boost his spirits. This one kind act made such a positive impact that the Nolan family created an organization to help other children who have lost a sibling or parent by giving them a backpack of treats.
Organized by team 7A and the middle school’s Wingmen, a group of students committed to serve their student body with acts of inclusion, empathy and connectedness, the Penny War consisted of each class team filling a large water jug with money.
However, the initiative was more than dropping pennies into a jug. Collaborative strategic thinking was required as winning was determined by points. Each penny counts as one positive point for a class team classroom. Each silver coin counts as negative points for another class team. For example, dropping a quarter in another class team’s bucket takes 25 points from their total.
Mahopac Middle School teachers and Wingmen leaders, Jenifer Maloney and Christine McNeill, said the penny war really brought the students together in a spirited and positive way. “It was great to see the students working together and in such a generous way. One student gave $100 of her own money. We were truly taken back with the student’s generosity and participation,” said Maloney.
In the end, the winning team was decided by a difference of $1.80. The Wingmen personally provided Cathy Nolan with the raised funds.
“Seeing the students come together to help JennaJackPack is a testament of the ‘Mahopac Way.’ The Wingmen, along with Mrs. Maloney and Mrs. McNeill and team 7A, did a tremendous job,” said Tom Cozzocrea, Mahopac Middle School principal.
For more information about JennaJackPack or to donate, please visit jennajackpack.org.
About the Mahopac Middle School Wingmen
Mahopac Middle School’s Wingmen program was created by the father of a Sandy Hook shooting victim that helps students to hone their leadership skills and foster inclusion and connectedness with all students. Ian Hockley, who lost his 6-year-old son Dylan, created Dylan's Wings of Change in his memory. The foundation is committed to helping children with autism and other related conditions achieve their full potential. Out of that, they also developed the Wingman Program which the Mahopac Middle School instituted with students in 2016.
You can follow @WingmanMMS on Instagram and Twitter
Notice from our District Clerk, Melody LaRocca
2019-2020 Annual School Board Member Election Vote will be held on May 21, 2019 at Mahopac High School from 6:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Prospective Candidates, please see attached:
Letter to Prospective Candidates
Qualifications for Candidates
Campaign Expenditures timeline 2019
Workshop offered for Prospective Candidate by Westchester Putnam School Boards Association
There are four (4) vacancies. Petitions are available at District Office and must be filed no later than Monday, April 22nd at 4:00 p.m.
If further information is needed, kindly contact Melody LaRocca at: (845) 628-3415 X 10550 or email email@example.com