Hudson eyes new approach to school discipline

HUDSON–Restorative justice, the Power of Peace, the Children’s Book Fair and the Intermediate School Concert received attention at the Hudson City School District Board of Education meeting Monday, June 5.

The district is exploring restorative justice, an alternate approach to disciplining students, and Robert LaCasse, associate principal of Hudson Senior High School, and Ian MacCormack, associate principal of Hudson Junior High School, are to attend training for it at Skidmore College this summer.

An example of restorative justice might be to replace some suspensions with community service, suggested April Prestipino, coordinator of School Improvement for the district.

Ms. Prestipino also said that students who are under long-term suspensions will receive a visit at their tutoring center by Michael Arterberry, who runs Power of Peace workshops.

On another topic, Superintendent Maria Suttmeier reported on the success of the annual Children’s Book Festival May 6 and the Intermediate School concert. Lisa Dolan and Jennifer Clark, co-directors of the Book Festival, came to the meeting at Dr. Suttmeier’s invitation and were recognized by the Board. This was the festival’s ninth year.

“To sustain a program so long in a small community is really something,” said Board member David Kisselburgh.

Dr. Suttmeier noted that the day after one festival ends, Ms. Dolan and Ms. Clark start planning for the next year’s.

The superintendent called the Intermediate School concert “awesome,” with singing “loud and proud,” instruments, bands, solos, and choreography. Board member Sage Carter praised the selection for including songs in Spanish as well as English.

“The music program is on fire,” declared Dr. Suttmeier, attributing its dynamism to “good hiring decisions” for music teachers.

Also at the meeting Dr. Suttmeier announced that a scoreboard for the new athletic field is on order and that construction on the field is proceeding despite the need to sandwich it between frequent periods of rain.

The next meeting of the Hudson City School Board will be Monday, June 19 at 7 p.m. at the High School library.

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