From the Superintendent
July 31, 2020
Dear Mahopac Community,
I hope you and your families are finding ways to enjoy summer, even under these unprecedented circumstances. Today, I am writing with an update on the work of the Mahopac Central School District over the last several months to reimagine teaching and learning and how we can support a safe and successful school year while dealing with this pandemic. The Mahopac CSD Reopening and Mitigation Plan - which reflects several months of working with PNW BOCES, the Putnam County Department of Health, school district health experts, regional partners, and feedback from our families, teachers, nurses, staff, students - will be our guide throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
Reopening Plan Update
As you are aware, all school districts in New York are required to submit three plans for reopening: 100% in-person learning, a hybrid (a combination of in-person and distance learning), and 100% distance learning with enhancements. In each version, the health and safety of students, faculty and staff is our top priority. The plans are posted on our dedicated website. These plans have been designed with flexibility which will enable us to move between modalities based on current health conditions. We anticipate the Governor's final decisions on school district reopening plans on or around August 7th.
2020-2021 School Year
NYSED requires our plan to detail a number of approaches; however, we anticipate that MCSD will begin this school year utilizing a hybrid plan and that students will be learning five days a week, whether in person or remotely. We have learned a great deal from the Spring and have used this information to strengthen our remote instruction as well as our health and safety requirements. Complete details can be viewed on our dedicated website.
Starting the Year in a Hybrid Learning Schedule
As of today, we anticipate starting the year on a hybrid schedule which combines in-person and distance learning. Our hybrid learning schedule limits the number of students in the building at one time, allowing us to adhere to health and safety guidelines. The hybrid schedule emphasizes our teachers interacting with students - both in person and remotely - in real-time and has a strong synchronous (live) learning component.
A Closer Look at the Hybrid Schedule
- For the vast majority of students, the hybrid schedule will cluster students into two cohorts: The Blue Cohort and the Gold Cohort. On Blue designated days, students in the Blue Cohort will be present on-site, in school, for instruction while students in the Gold Cohort will engage in remote/distance learning viewing the live stream of the teacher from a district provided Chromebook with access to Google Classroom. On Gold designated days, students in the Gold Cohort will be present on-site and students in the Blue Cohort will engage in distance learning. Specific scheduling decisions reflecting cohort assignments will be communicated to families prior to the Fall opening.
- For high-need students with disabilities that receive extensive services, to the greatest extent possible, daily in person services, within the classroom will be provided for high-needs students with disabilities who require significant and substantial special education and related services. Specific scheduling decisions reflecting this will be communicated to families prior to the Fall opening.
- For English Language Learners, that are most at-risk, to the greatest extent possible, we will be provided with daily in-person instruction, within the classroom. Specific scheduling decisions reflecting this will be communicated to families prior to the Fall opening.
Sample schedules for each building and cohort can be viewed here. We understand the child care issues associated with the hybrid plan and have made it a priority to ensure that families are in school on the same day to address this concern. For planning purposes, please expect to receive schedules and the cohort groups on or about August 14th.
We recognize that there may be families who are undecided or uncertain whether their child should participate in in-person learning. A form allowing you to opt-out of in-person instruction will be sent to all families next week.
Students will be required to wear masks upon arrival at the bus stop and for the duration of the bus run. They will be physically distanced to the greatest extent possible while on the bus. More details to follow on this as the first day of school approaches from the Transportation Department and in the Reopening Plan.
Please Join Us
Next week, we will host two virtual town hall meetings which will provide in-depth information of the hybrid model and allow questions to be asked and answered. I invite you all to attend one or both dates either via Zoom:
- Monday, August 3rd at 2 p.m. Please use this link to join the meeting: https://E2CCB-GST.zoom.us/j/92371897374
- Wednesday, August 5th at 6 p.m. Please use this link to join the meeting: https://e2ccb-gst.zoom.us/j/97135075399
In order to accommodate the necessary teacher training, review of safety protocols, and student transition the planning, the following changes to the 2020-2021 Calendar have been made:
- September 8th- Superintendent’s Conference Day (No students)
- September 9th- Half Day (Blue Cohort)
- September 10th- Half Day (Gold Cohort)
- September 11th- Remote Learning Day
It Takes A Village
Reopening our schools is a community-wide effort that impacts us all. Getting "back to normal" will take the Mahopac community working together, being positive, and most importantly following the health and safety guidelines. Please continue wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and social distancing.
Thank you for your continued support as we approach what may be the most challenging year for education our state and country has ever seen. As we have shown so many times before, we are "Mahopac Strong" and by working together, we can and will have a successful and rewarding 2020-2021 school year. Please continue to email and call my office with your questions and concerns.
Superintendent of Schools
News & Headlines
Mahopac Board of Education Names President and Vice President
Michael Mongon, a 1979 graduate of Mahopac High School, will serve as Mahopac Board of Education President for the 2020-2021 school year, while Adam Savino assumes the role of vice president.
Mongon and his wife, Lynne, a 1981 graduate of MHS, together have six children including three MHS graduates. Mongon is a Sports Fields and Parks consultant and Assistant Superintendent for Parks in New Jersey. He also serves on the Town of Carmel Recreation Committee.
“It’s all about creating an environment where our schools’ staff, both instructional and non-instructional, feel supported, trusted and respected,” Mongon said. “This can be achieved with strong leadership, vision and communication – hallmarks of creating and establishing a true team.”
Although cognizant of the challenges facing school districts amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mongon nonetheless said he was looking forward to helping Mahopac teachers, non-instructional staff and administrators emerge from the crisis stronger than ever. He praised the district for getting Chromebooks to students during the distance learning period.
“When everyone had to shut down and switch to remote learning, our first thought was how are we going to ensure that all students can get to a computer,” said Mongon. “We were one of the districts able to outfit all of our students with Chromebooks.”
As the district moves forward, Mongon said he would like to enhance training for teachers who need to gain greater confidence with instructional technology, while continuing to support those teachers who are already facile in the use of technology.
“We have excellent teachers and an amazing and very skilled support staff,” he said. “We have to give them the resources to do their jobs effectively. It is an entire team effort.”
Savino, who has worked in the utility industry for 30 years, is also a longtime resident, having been raised in Mahopac. The father of two was elected to the board in June 2019, having served as co-president of the Lakeview PTO for two years. He is active in the community, notably as a member of the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department and Vice Chair of the Board of Fire Commissioners.District News & Headlines
Welcome Stephen Luciana - Mahopac's New Director of Physical Education, Health, and Athletics
The Mahopac Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Anthony DiCarlo are pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Luciana as Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics for the Mahopac Central School District. He was appointed during a special meeting on May 6, 2020.
Luciana has an extensive background in physical education, health and athletics and will join Mahopac from the Pelham Public School District, where he served as director of health, physical education and athletics. During his tenure, he worked collaboratively with each department implementing the district’s philosophy of inspiring excellence to address the academic, physical, and emotional needs of his students. Specifically he increased the number of athletic teams, created a student athlete committee, and played an integral role in capital improvements related to district athletics. Prior to Pelham, he served as the Assistant Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics in the Yonkers Public Schools and taught physical education at Greenburgh Eleven and P.S. 32 in the Bronx. He has also held various coaching positions in football, baseball, basketball, and lacrosse in Ardsley and Chester.
“I am pleased to welcome Mr. Luciana to Mahopac,” Superintendent of Schools Mr. DiCarlo said. “His commitment building school spirit and promoting a positive culture will be an excellent fit in Mahopac as we work to define the future of our programs. His passion for athletics and his student-centered approach will serve us well in leading our physical education, health and athletics department. ”
Luciana earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland and his master’s degree in school administration Mercy College.
“I am honored and humbled to join a team of administrators that fosters such a high standard of student achievement and pride,” Luciana said. “I would like to thank the Board of Education for entrusting me with the highly-respected athletic programs of the Mahopac Central School District. I am eager to begin our partnership and bring my dedication and experience in fostering academic and athletic excellence to the Mahopac community.”
Mr. Luciana succeeds Frank Miele who came out of retirement to step back into the Athletic Director position in Spring 2019, “Frank provided us with steady, reliable leadership just when we needed it most, “DiCarlo said. “He re-established the connections among our athletic department, student athletes, coaches, and community which have positioned us well for the next chapter in Mahopac Athletics. His legacy in Mahopac will live on forever. I cannot thank him enough.”
Luciana will step into his new position on July 1.District News & Headlines
Please take our Transportation Survey
Parents and guardians, please click here to take the Transportation Department’s survey to help us plan for September.District News & Headlines
Share Your Thoughts on Regional Reentry Planning thru 7/13
Recently, Mr. Tromblee, our Assistant Superintendent Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Learning, held town hall meetings to discuss considerations should the district need to reopen in a distance learning format. These discussions are part of a larger planning approach to reopening. Thank you to all who participated. Additionally, MCSD has been engaged in regional discussions to help coordinate reopening planning and to align to best practice.
As school districts in our region collectively prepare to continue to plan for reentry in some capacity in Fall 2020, 12 districts within the Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES region are interested in learning what you believe is most important to consider for reentry.
The Thoughtexchange tool is being used to capture a broad range of perspectives and to gain a better understanding of what is important to those in our school communities and throughout our region about reentry.
We hope our families, staff, students, and community members will take time to participate in this regional discussion. To access the Thoughtexchange, click this link: https://my.thoughtexchange.
After entering the Thoughtexchange, click the participate button to share your thoughts and then rate at least 20-30 of the thoughts shared by others.
When participating, please keep the following in mind:
- This exchange is confidential. Your thoughts will be shared, but not your identity.
- Please be polite and respectful as you share and rate thoughts.
- If you see a thought that is rude, hurtful or identifies a person or group, you can report it by clicking in the upper right corner of the thought.
Please feel free to revisit the Thoughtexchange site often to rate new ideas until it closes at midnight on Monday, July 13, 2020.
Thank you for participating and sharing your thoughts to help our school communities and our region best plan for a smooth and successful reentry.
Participating school districts include: Bedford CSD, Brewster CSD, Carmel CSD, Chappaqua CSD Croton-Harmon UFSD, Garrison UFSD, Mahopac CSD, Katonah-Lewisboro CSD, Lakeland CSD, North Salem CSD, Ossining UFSD, and Somers CSD.
If you need technical assistance, please call Thoughtexchange at 1-800-361-9027 ext. 4 or email email@example.com. For more general information about Thoughtexchange, go to: www.thoughtexchange.com.
Mahopac Central School DistrictDistrict News & Headlines
A Message from the District and Buildings Leadership Team
Dear Mahopac Community,
The senseless killing of George Floyd, as well as the countless other similar occurrences that involved men and women of color, brings forth both feelings of anger and sadness. During these unsettling times in our Nation's history, it is fair to say that none of us has all the answers. However, we recognize that the recent organized and peaceful demonstrations have magnified the pervasive and persistent inequities and oppression that people of color experience in our country. The Mahopac school community is steadfast in its condemnation of racism and discrimination in any form.
We stand in solidarity with communities of color and we are committed to taking a stance against racial and institutional injustice. To that end, we will continue, as well as enhance, our efforts in supporting our staff through professional development experiences that can raise awareness of racial and institutional structures that result in inequities in our society. We are also committed to not only teaching our students the value of being caring, collaborative and compassionate people, but also the importance of understanding multiple perspectives so they can be equipped to challenge the racist norms and inequities that still exist today.
If you have experienced a situation in our schools that you would like to bring to the attention of the leadership, please contact your building principal. We are here to listen and to help. We know that too often we feel unprepared to have these necessary yet difficult conversations with each other and with our children. We offer the following resources:
National Association of Child Psychologists - Supporting Students, Tips for Educators, Understanding Race and vulnerability. https://www.nasponline.org/
June 6th 10:00am Time as a Family to Understand -This show will talk to kids about racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding.
Child Mind- Children are Listening and Talking about violence and racism can be difficult but is difficult but necessary. https://t.e2ma.net/message/n84pdg/bjx540
The Parent Toolkit -How to talk to kids about Race and Racism? There’s no question: talking about race can be sensitive, and yes, even a bit messy.
Explaining the News to Our Kids - No matter how old your kids are, threatening or upsetting news can affect them emotionally. Many can feel worried, frightened, angry, or even guilty. Anxious feelings can last long after the news event is over. What can you do to help your kids deal with all this information? https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/explaining-the-news-to-our-kids
We will continue to foster open dialogue and efforts that are meaningful and thoughtful within our district so that we can support our students, families and our larger community. We are dedicated to educating ourselves so that we can continue our own learning and growth. We are not where we need to be, but we are committed to getting there.
If you or a family member needs support, please reach out to anyone on our clinical and guidance team:
Mahopac Middle School
Mahopac High School
-Peter Vanno firstname.lastname@example.org
-Anna Boyle email@example.com
-Jaclyn Mittman firstname.lastname@example.org
-Marianna Callagy email@example.com
-Terry Lauchman firstname.lastname@example.org
- Trina Capone email@example.com
- Julie Cummins firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stephanie Grella
School Social Workers
District and Building Leadership Teams of the The Mahopac Central School DistrictDistrict News & Headlines
Meet the Class of 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorian
Mahopac High School Seniors Thomas O'Brien and Matthew Luongo have earned the school’s top honors. They were named the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2020.
Throughout his high school career, Thomas O’Brien has proven to be a stellar student dedicated to achieving great academic success and being an active member of his school community. “I started in Mahopac Schools in 1st grade at Fulmar Road Elementary School with Mrs. Stefunek.” He excelled in rigorous courses, was awarded Signature Student on multiple occasions, is an AP Scholar, and will graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors and Mastery in Math and Science.
“I’ve enjoyed numerous classes at MHS. Some that stand out are Algebra 2, Geometry, Personal Finance, and Introduction to Engineering,” he said. “My parents have inspired me both in my studies and in life to do my best and give my best effort in everything I do. I would like everyone to know that with hard work and dedication, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I would like to thank all of my family, teachers, friends, coaches, and peers who have helped me succeed and have always been there for me.”
In addition to being a top-notch student, Thomas has been a member of and has held leadership positions for various clubs and activities, has volunteered and worked in his community, has earned All-Section for Cross Country, and is a member of our Varsity Basketball and Lacrosse Teams.
“Thomas has been a positive role model to his peers and demonstrates a value for excellence that is beyond compare,” said Principal Matt Lawrence. “We are so proud of all of his accomplishments and wish him continued success in his future.”
Thomas, who will attend Notre Dame University in the Fall to study business analytics, added, “I would like to thank all healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers helping us through this tough time. I want them to know their work is appreciated by the entire community. I am very disappointed to miss out on all of the senior year milestones like prom, graduation, and my final lacrosse season at MHS. I am staying optimistic and hope for the best. However, I understand the greater picture. Go Pac!”
“Matthew Luongo’s focus, confidence and unwavering drive has led him to many accomplishments over the past four years in both academics and athletics,” said Dr. Lawrence about this year’s salutatorian. “Over the course of his high school career, Matthew has taken the most challenging classes offered at Mahopac High School, including eight honors classes and eleven AP and college level classes, earning high honor roll throughout every semester of high school.”
A student in Mahopac’s schools since Kindergarten, Matthew's stellar academic performance was matched by both his athletic talent, and commitment to community through clubs and service. On the field, Matthew is captain of both the Varsity cross-country and baseball teams, earning the NYSPHSAA Student Athlete award every year since he was a freshman. He is also the vice-president of the senior class, president of the Italian Club, captain of the Math Team, member of the Student Athletic Council, Biology Club, National Honors Society, Science National Honor Society, Italian National Honors Society, and Math National Honors Society.In addition to his participation and leadership in school, Matthew has given back to his neighbors and peers by volunteering over 300 hours of community service through his work as a youth basketball coach and peer tutor.
“My parents have inspired me throughout my life, both in and out of the classroom,” Matthew said. “They’ve always stressed the importance of having balance in my life between school and fun. I would like to thank my family, my teachers, my coaches, and my friends. They’ve all inspired me in different ways and have all been a part of my successes.”
Matthew, who will be attending University of Southern California in the Fall, majoring in Engineering, added, “I like math and science and would love to make a positive impact on the world. This is why I chose engineering.”
Echoing the sentiments of many seniors in the class of 2020, he said, “It’s devastating to think about missing graduation and my senior baseball season because those are the things that I have worked the hardest for my entire life. It’s also sad to possibly miss out on events like prom, senior day, and Seaside because I’m missing out on all these memories I could have been making with my closest friends before we go off to college. It’s been a process working through all these monumental senior events that we’ve lost, but I understand it is more important that everyone stays safe so we can go back to our lives before this. I hope that everyone stays safe during these unpromising times and thank you to everyone who is helping in any way.”District News & Headlines
Austin Road Welcomes New Principal, Bryan Gilligan
At the Board of Education meeting on May 21, Bryan M. Gilligan, Austin Road’s Assistant Principal for the last five years and acting principal from February to June 2019 and March to May 2020, was named Austin Road Elementary School’s new principal. He takes the reins from Mr. Jim Gardineer, who will retire on May 29, 2020.
“I speak for the entire administration in saying that I am pleased that The Board of Education selected Mr. Gilligan as Austin Road’s new principal. We look forward to bringing his many ideas and plans to fruition as he builds on the sturdy framework that Mr. Gardineer so carefully constructed during his years as principal,” said Superintendent of Schools Anthony DiCarlo. “Bryan is an elementary-years expert who is child-centered. I look forward to working with him as he leads Austin Road forward with passion and dedication.”
As assistant principal, Mr. Gilligan attended Teachers College Reading and Writing Institutes with a team of his teachers, was a member of the District Teachers College Reading and Phonics roll-out team, and facilitated a K-5 Writing Committee to develop a district-wide writing program. As a member of the District’s Response to Intervention (RTI) team, he worked to help struggling students through skills and lessons designed to help them succeed in the classroom. He also facilitated the renovation committee for the new Learning Lab and was instrumental in a variety of professional development and safety committee initiatives.
“I am honored to be named Principal of Austin Road,” said Mr. Gilligan. “For the last five years, it has been a pleasure and privilege to work closely with Mr. Gardineer and all of our dedicated teachers, staff, and families. I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to learn from Mr. Gardineer’s leadership. In my new role, I am determined to continue building on his strong foundation to ensure that our students have a wonderful Austin Road experience. Truly, it is the commitment and enthusiasm shown by our teachers and staff that motivates me to do my best every single day. I work with such an amazing community! I cannot highlight enough how thankful and humbled I am by their support.”
“Jim Gardineer’s kindness, understanding, dedication, and love of learning have benefited all of us in Mahopac. It is inspiring to realize the impact he has had on the entire community as both a teacher and administrator,” Mr. DiCarlo said about Gardineer who began in September 1991 as a teacher and in 2008 became an assistant principal and a principal in 2010. “We will miss Jim and we wish him well as he embarks on his retirement.”
Mr. Gilligan, who lives in Ossining, NY, earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, in elementary education and special education respectively, from Manhattan College. He went on to Bank Street College in 2006, where he earned his certification as a New York State School District Administrator. Before joining Austin Road in 2015, Mr. Gilligan served as a fourth grade teacher, literary coach, and assistant principal at P.S. 8 Briggs Avenue Academy in the Bronx.District News & Headlines
DISTRICT CLERK ANNOUNCEMENTS
For future updates, please visit the NEW District Clerk page.
This information provided here will now be posted on the District Clerk page which can be found under the Board of Education tab above, by clicking the District Clerk button on left side of the District Homepage, or by following this link: https://www.mahopac.org/groups/80131/district_clerk/district_clerk_homeDistrict Clerk