As we mark the end of this extraordinary school year, the Schodack Central School District Board of Education would like to acknowledge our students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, and community for their hard work and dedication throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fact that, while Schodack CSD continues to rank as one of the top school districts in Rensselaer County by setting high marks for graduation rates and state testing, we are much more than impressive statistics.

Think about everything that we have faced together: Our students are realizing their individual goals and dreams. They have developed different interests, learning styles, and social skills. Throughout the year, the Schodack CSD faculty and staff remained committed to helping our students achieve their potential, whether through a traditional classroom setting or remotely. Our teachers and administrators were thrusted into an unprecedented situation, which necessitated the instant creation of remote learning strategies, and rose to the occasion. They kept the learning lamp lit while navigating uncharted waters. Our students responded exceptionally, as well. We commend everyone for their perseverance, including family members who wore many hats and kept students focused throughout their time away from our buildings.

We know, and regret, that the Class of 2020 missed out on numerous irretrievable experiences, including dances, field trips, athletic seasons, prom, and opportunities to spend time with the friends and teachers they grew close to over the past 13 years. Yet, we are thankful to the District administration and faculty for working hard to create many new year-end events, such as a convoy throughout the community placing signs on the lawns of each senior, to give students lasting memories. Being able to hold an in-person graduation was no small feat, considering the ever-shifting and late-evolving state rules and regulations put in place as results of the pandemic and who will forget the senior parade following graduation?

Great thanks are due to our District’s administrators, who overcame obstacle after obstacle to put together the fiscally-responsible budget that was approved via absentee-ballot voting – another first for all of us.

The new school year will undoubtedly present new challenges for our faculty, administration, staff, students, and community. To meet those challenges, the Reopening Task Force has been meeting to help create a plan for the Fall.  Subcommittees include Communications, Operations, Budget/Personnel, and Instruction. Community input will continue to be solicited, including through parent surveys with results compiled and taken into consideration. State guidance was delivered in mid-July and districts must finalize a plan for re-entry by July 31. This is another immense task that we are sure our administration will handle exceedingly well.  Growth and innovation will be important as we go forward and prepare for the new year.

Finally, as we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, we will miss those who are retiring. Congratulations to Kris Christensen (Teacher, 29 years), Ruth Gregware (Secretary, 28 years), Mary Mosher (Teacher, 21 years) and Deb Walling (Monitor, 18 years). While Schodack CSD will not be the same without you, we know we have your best wishes to meet the challenges ahead.

We hope everyone enjoys the remainder of the Summer and is refreshed and ready to return for what is sure to be a unique and challenging year.  It will take teamwork on behalf of our students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, and community to deliver a meaningful and equitable experience for all amidst the circumstances we will face this coming school year.