Hudson’s summer school expands to meet the need

HUDSON—Summer school and evolving requirements received attention at the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meetings April 13 and 20.

The district is expanding summer school to serve kindergarten through 12th grade, Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier and Assistant Superintendent of School Improvement April Prestipino announced. In recent years, it has served only 6th through 12th grade. But now, more students in all grades need to make up for the past year’s “learning loss” and get set for the next grade, Dr. Suttmeier said. With the increased summer enrollment, the district will provide buses to summer school.

Even in the regular school year, Business Administrator Jesse Boehme reported the need to increase bus runs, telling the board, “we’re bringing in more” junior and senior high school students. Eleventh and twelfth graders now have the option of coming to school in person twice a week. And Dr. Suttmeier has reported that about 50 junior high students who were judged insufficiently responsive have started coming in four days a week. Read more…

Taconic Hills opts for no hike in school levy

CRARYVILLE—The Taconic Hills School District (THSD) Board of Education considered four budget plans this year, three of which called for various tax levy increases ranging from 0.62% to 1.92% and one plan with no levy increase at all. In the end, the board adopted a proposed budget of slightly more than $38.9 million with 0% tax levy increase for the 2021-2022 school year.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. and school district voters decide whether to approve the budget on Tuesday, May 18. Both the public hearing and election will be held at the THSD Performing Arts Center.

State aid to the district is up $281,777 or 2.26% compared to the current year. Also, THSD receives $512,037 in federal Cares Act Restoration funding. BOCES aid drops considerably by $87,703 or nearly 15.3% while spending on software, library and text books decreases by $5,292 or almost 5%. Read more…

Hudson schools budget set at $52M for 2021-22

HUDSON—School District officials presented a proposed budget for the 2021-22 school year to the Board of Education at meetings April 13 and 20. The proposed budget of $52 million, with a 1.35% tax levy increase, faces voters in the school elections of May 18. The election will also include three board seats.

The proposal calls for state aid covering $25.3 million (48.4%) of the total, with local taxes contributing $24.5 million (46.8%), and other sources covering 4.8%. The total $52.2 million is 3.08% higher than the current budget and the tax levy 1.35% higher. The revenue sources are in line with previous years: about 95% divided almost evenly between state aid and local taxes.

Of the state aid, several categories depending on school enrollment will stay separate, despite proposals to combine them all into one category called “service aid,” reported school district Business Administrator Jesse Boehme approvingly. Read more…

Watts up? Valatie’s hydro plant returns

VALATIE—On April 26 at 1:46 p.m., the door to the waters of the Kinderhook Creek was opened and Valatie Falls Hydro began generating power for the first time since June of 2018. The plant is off of Route 203 at the entrance to Main Street in the Village of Valatie.

The Valatie Falls (VF) Hydro plant will be providing continuous power of approximately 160 kW and will eventually be providing direct energy to the village, as well as charging the electric vehicles of PlugIn Stations Online, according to a press release from company President John Doran.

“I think it’s going to be great for the village,” Valatie Mayor Frank Bevens told The Columbia Paper. He did say that currently the village could not use the power from the plant yet, but it will be good “when we are able to.” Read more…

Would you call this a board meeting?

The Chatham Skate Park, located in the Crellin Park on Route 66, was busy on Sunday, April 18. Chris Ross (pictured), from Orange County, has been skateboarding all over the country for about 20 years. Work to upgrade and renovate the skate park was completed last summer with a ribbon cutting in October of 2020. The skate park was created and funded by The Crellin Park Foundation in 2008. Photo by David Lee