Dear Catskill CSD Community:
I hope your summer has been filled with fun, relaxation and time well spent with family and friends. It is with great enthusiasm that I officially welcome you to the 2018-2019 school year. The school district will continue our motto “Cats Can, Cats Will.” I anticipate this being an extremely exciting, challenging, innovative and productive school year.
Our goal this year is improving teaching, learning and student achievement as we prepare ALL of our students for college, careers, and life in high performing schools. We all know that effective teaching results in quality student learning. Effective strategies and practices implemented by teachers in the classrooms will play a critical role in achieving our primary goal. However, in order to get the desired results we are capable of achieving, it is going to take hard/smart work, dedication, commitment and excellence from ALL CCSD staff members and stakeholders. It must be a collaborative TEAM effort!
We have set clear, specific goals for achievement in the 2018-19 school year, and, as a team we pledge to take purposeful, intentional steps to achieve these goals. Our goals for the 2018-19 school year are:
District Goal 1:
Increase course passing rate by 10% each quarter from the previous year with minimally 50% of students achieving course mastery. * Mastery is 80%.
District Goal 2:
Implement a Positive Behavioral Intervention System in each school to foster positive interventions and incentive programs for students.
District Goal 3:
Increase by 5% proficiency and mastery on state assessments.
District Goal 4:
Maintain a graduation rate of 90% or above.
District Goal 5:
Minimally 80% of students reading on grade level by the end of second grade.
Secondly, I want to reassure that your Superintendent takes safety and security very seriously. As a District, we are proactive in ensuring that your child’s safety is paramount at all times throughout the day. Last school year, the Catskill PD provided us with support during student arrival, dismissal and throughout the school day. This school year, the Catskill PD will continue to provide us with similar support.
In an effort to “ramp up” our safety and security protocols, the Board approved my recommendation to hire Armed Retired Security Officers. At last night’s Board of Education meeting, a resolution was approved to hire the Catskill Security LLC, as consultants to provide the District with security at our elementary and secondary campuses throughout the school day.
The Catskill Security LLC, is composed of seven Armed Retired Officers. Each officer has over 20 years of experience in law enforcement on the state, county and local levels. Several of the officers are Catskill High School graduates who see this as an opportunity “to give back” to the community. They were introduced to our secondary students at last Friday’s grade level orientations. A similar orientation will take place for our elementary students.
The sole responsibility of the Armed Retired Officers is to prevent perpetrators, “the bad guys”, from harming students and adults. They are not School Resource Officers who counsel and mentor students. We have support staff who provide these services to our students.
Lastly, the District will continue to enforce the Code of Conduct, perform mandated safety drills and facilitate quarterly SAVE Committee meetings to review our safety procedures and protocols. Please remind your child that if he / she “sees something, to say something.” Quite often, perpetrators confide with someone about what they intend to do, before they actually do it. As always, please contact me directly if you have any additional questions or concerns at (518) 943-4696.
For our children,
Dr. Ronel Cook
Superintendent of Schools