Dear CES Families,

I am writing to you today to inform you that Mr. Derby is taking a medical leave of absence beginning December 2. Mr. Derby was diagnosed with cancer last January. Since then, Mr. Derby has continued to serve our district and manage his personal health without interruption. However, he will need to have a medical procedure that will require recovery time. He hopes to be able to return sometime in January 2021.

It is important for you to know that the building will be in good hands during his absence. Assistant Principal, Mrs. Rosher, has worked side-by-side with Mr. Derby throughout the reopening of schools and will take over the day-to-day responsibilities of running CES and I will be working with her to provide assistance.

It is likely that your child(ren) will have some questions about Mr. Derby’s diagnosis and his absence. While there is no right or wrong way for parents to address this, it is often best to share basic information and allow your child to take the lead. Your child may need time to process this information before discussing it further and may have additional questions. Here is a link to a resource about talking with children about a loved one’s diagnosis from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute “Talking with children about cancer”. Our school counselors are also available as a resource for your family. We take comfort knowing Mr. Derby is in the care of a skilled team of doctors and medical professionals.

The Schodack CSD administration and Board of Education are fully committed to the health and well-being of our students, teachers, staff members and principals. We appreciate all of the hard work and dedication that Mr. Derby has shown to help us successfully reopen Castleton Elementary School.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.  We wish Mr. Derby a speedy recovery and cannot wait to see him back in the hallways and classrooms of CES.


Jason M. Chevrier

Superintendent of Schools

View a PDF of the letter

staff lining the walkway

staff greeting mr. derby


District Office Staff Show their support

school administrators

principal walking