HCSD plans ahead, assessing lessons learned

HUDSON—As the current school year approaches its end, the Hudson City School District (HCSD) is busily planning for the next one, administrators reported at the Board of Education meeting June 1.

The enlarged summer school requires “more challenges than in the past” for both transportation and food services, observed district Business Administrator Jesse Boehme. The HCSD will provide buses to summer school and serve its summer students breakfast and lunch. It will also prepare meals for summer camps.

The board designated its associate principals as principals for the summer school: Amanda Klopott (Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School) for kindergarten through second grade, Ian MacCormack (of the same school) for 3rd through 5th grades, and William Wood (High School) for 6th through 12th grades.

The busiest time for the district Business Office is June through September, Mr. Boehme reported. During that time, the district “closes the books” for the ending school year, opens the books for the new school year, prepares for audits, sends out tax bills and starts processing tax payments.

Planning for the school term that starts in September is in full swing, reported Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier. Discussions with stakeholders contribute to this preparation. Opening Day’s schedule depends on what social distancing rules are in place at that time. Factors to adjust for include how many students of what grades will get in-person instruction, how many will get remote instruction, and how many will use a hybrid model. Teaching a class that is partly on site and partly remote can be difficult.

‘The pandemic has brought challenges. But it has also brought opportunities.’

Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier

Hudson City School District

For the fall, Mr. Boehme reported that the district is reviewing bus routes. And the IT Department is busy getting chrome books ready for students.

Assistant Superintendent for School Improvement Dr. April Prestipino recommended taking stock of “what we have learned from remote learning. In-person instruction feels foreign, ironically.”

“There is a renaissance in education,” said Dr. Suttmeier. “The pandemic has brought challenges. But it has also brought opportunities.”

Also at the meeting:

* Dr. Suttmeier read a report from Student Representative Noshin Tasnim about the success of movie night. “The Student Council is beyond happiness”

* The board accepted the retirement of Deborah Ruitto, after over 30 years as a teacher aide, and wished her well.

* Dr. Suttmeier reiterated the district’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. Though this is probably easier in the HCSD than a more homogeneous district, she said, “There’s still a lot to do to change the culture. We’ve been working on it, revising our Code of Conduct to make it less punitive.”

The next meeting of the HCSD Board of Education will take place Tuesday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m., in Hudson High School.

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