• 2023 - 2024 Superintendent's Updates 

     

    February 13, 2024

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Good evening- I hope you're in good spirits as you read this message. I am writing to provide clear and direct information related to last Saturday’s Girls Varsity B basketball game against East Ramapo. Unfortunately, recent media reports are painting an inaccurate picture of what transpired, so I would like our community to hear an account of the event from me, and an update on where things stand.

    First, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to everyone involved in the recent Raiders for Research event. The collaboration between the athletic department, particularly the boys' and girls' basketball teams, and Scarsdale High School’s Breast Cancer Awareness Club, was instrumental in raising awareness and support for cancer research. Each of our basketball teams participated, with games spanning from 9 AM to nearly 9 PM. The event exceeded the fundraising target, raising $2,062 for the V Foundation. Congratulations to the players, coaches, and families that played a role in this great event. 

    Unfortunately, in the final moments of the 3:00 PM Varsity B Girls’ Basketball Game against East Ramapo, the opposing coach reported that his players were subjected to racially charged comments from a spectator or spectators. Our commitment to belonging and a safe, supportive environment for all students—free from discrimination, intimidation, harassment, and bullying—compels us to investigate all such reports. That investigation was ably led by our Athletic Director, Ray Pappalardi, and I’m happy to report that our investigation did not corroborate that there were any such comments made. While East Ramapo’s administration is still completing their side of the investigation, their Athletic Director joined Ray in issuing a joint statement yesterday that conveyed this conclusion.

    Despite this, the news media has decided to report this incident as if it has been confirmed and verified as having occurred--a factually baseless and untrue assertion. While we are absolutely committed to providing a safe environment for our students and visitors alike, we must also be clear when we are wrongly accused of failing to do so. Importantly, the administrators from East Ramapo have not yet completed their side of the investigation, making the news reports even more problematic. Ray and I have each been in contact with our counterparts there, and we know that they seek the same positive experience for their student-athletes as we do. We look forward to the completion of their investigation, ideally by the end of this week. We will report any relevant updates or additional information, as appropriate, once that has been completed.

    In closing, we remain steadfast in our support of our players, our community, and a school environment that celebrates diversity and mutual respect. We are proud of how our athletes conducted themselves this weekend, and congratulate them. Our students will continue to meet or exceed the high expectations we have for them, and we will all remain committed to fostering a welcoming, competitive athletic environment for all of our guests.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Drew Patrick

    Superintendent

     

    February 12, 2024

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Good evening. I am writing to notify you that all schools will be closed tomorrow due to the anticipated winter storm. This also means that there will be no before or after-school programs or meetings, and no out-of-district transportation.

    We appreciate your patience, flexibility, and understanding, and wish you a good evening.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Drew Patrick

    Superintendent

     

    January 15, 2024

    Good Evening. I am writing to notify you that the Scarsdale Public Schools will operate on a two hour delay tomorrow, Tuesday, January 16, 2024, due to the expected weather conditions. As a result, there will be no before school programs or meetings, and all out of district transportation will be delayed as well. As a reminder, a two hour delay means that your school's start time will be exactly two hours later than usual.

    We will assess conditions in the morning, and should the need arise to adjust the delay to a closure, you will be notified no later than 7 a.m. I appreciate your patience, flexibility, and understanding, and hope you have a good evening.

    In partnership,

    Dr. Patrick

     

    January 9, 2024

    Dear Parents and Caregivers,

    As you are likely aware, a large storm system is moving in this afternoon and into this evening. Based on the forecast from our weather service we do not see a need to alter our plans this afternoon. We will continue with our after-school activities, practices, etc.

    As for tomorrow, the most likely local impact will be the potential for flooding at Scarsdale High School. If flooding does occur, we will communicate with students to instruct them not to drive/park on campus. The other possibility is the experience of power outages in Scarsdale. If that occurs, or conditions otherwise warrant, we will use our normal protocols for communicating any change to the school day (prior to 6:30 a.m.). No communication means business as usual. Once again, please consider the following possibilities as you plan your day.

    • Flooding is likely to significantly slow travel. Some roads could be closed or unpassable.
    • Parking may be compromised in the usual places, especially around the Scarsdale High School campus. SHS students may be advised to avoid driving tomorrow if necessary as parking probably won’t be available.
    • Bus routes may be delayed and/or certain stops inaccessible, and school arrival times may be later than normal.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please travel safely tomorrow.

    In partnership,

    Drew

     

    December 17, 2023

    Dear Parents and Caregivers,

    Unfortunately, I am again writing to alert you to the potential for storm-related impacts to disrupt our normal school day tomorrow, Monday, December 18, 2023. Much of this is a repeat of my message from last Sunday, though the timing of this particular storm event looks less favorable. Please consider the following possibilities as you plan your day.

    • Flooding is likely to significantly slow travel. Some roads could be closed or unpassable.
    • Parking will likely be compromised in the usual places, especially around the Scarsdale High School campus. All students should avoid driving tomorrow as parking probably won’t be available.
    • Bus routes may be delayed and/or certain stops inaccessible, and school arrival times may be later than normal.

    We will take necessary precautions to ensure students are able to safely arrive and enter our schools. If conditions warrant, we will utilize a 2-hour delayed start. Please note there is a possibility that a delay COULD be only for one school (i.e., SHS), with other schools opening on time. If there is a delay, we will make every effort to make the call by 6:30 a.m. We will only send a message if there is information to share. Please take a moment to revisit our emergency notification procedures. If you would like further details, please read on.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please travel safely tomorrow.

    In partnership,

    Drew

    Additional Information: The flooding that occurred on September 29, 2023, served to heighten awareness of how susceptible our community is to flooding during heavy rain events, which seem to be increasing in frequency. We will apply lessons learned from that event, including taking steps to ensure students and staff are able to safely enter and exit our schools both during arrival/dismissal times and in the event of a fire or other emergency requiring evacuation. 

    The administration is monitoring both the forecast and on-the-ground conditions in light of the severe storm predicted to last through the night and into the morning. Our buildings and grounds teams are monitoring building conditions and will be on-site earlier than normal tomorrow. Similarly, our transportation team is ready to adjust routes and communicate as conditions require, including for students who attend school out of the district.

     

    December 11, 2023

    Dear Parents and Caregivers,

    If you haven't already done so, we again invite you to complete our BELONGING SURVEYPlease feel free to take this survey multiple times if you have students in different grades and/or schools.

     

    The parent/caregiver survey measures the sense of belonging experienced by parents and caregivers when engaged with our schools. Parents and caregivers are asked to rate their experience of the school environment, staff practices related to diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and to the degree to which those practices are equitable. We sincerely hope you, our parents and caregivers, will also take the time to share your views about your sense of belonging within the Scarsdale Schools community. Please click here for more information about the belonging survey, and click here to visit Search Institute.

     

    The survey will remain open through December 31, 2023. Please share your voice.

     
    The Developmental Relationships Survey for Parents/Caregivers

    The Developmental Relationships Survey for Parents/Caregivers

    The Developmental Relationships Survey for Parents/Caregivers.

    Outgoing link icon   survey.search-institute.org

     

    December 10, 2023

    Dear Parents and Caregivers,

    I am writing to alert you to the potential for storm-related impacts to disrupt our normal school day tomorrow, Monday, December 11, 2023. Please consider the following possibilities as you plan your day.

    • Flooding is likely to significantly slow travel. Some roads could be closed or unpassable.
    • Parking will likely be compromised in the usual places, especially around the Scarsdale High School campus. All students should avoid driving tomorrow as parking probably won’t be available.
    • Bus routes may be delayed and/or certain stops inaccessible, and school arrival times may be later than normal.

    We will take the necessary precautions to ensure students are able to safely arrive and enter our schools. If conditions warrant, we will utilize a 2-hour delayed start. Please note there is a possibility that a delay COULD be only for one school (i.e., SHS), with other schools opening on time. If there is a delay, we will make every effort to make the call by 6:30 a.m. Please take a moment to revisit our emergency notification procedures. If you would like further details, please read on.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please travel safely tomorrow.

    In partnership,

    Dr. Drew Patrick, Superintendent

    Scarsdale Public Schools

    Additional Information: The flooding that occurred on September 29, 2023, served to heighten awareness of how susceptible our community is to flooding during heavy rain events, which seem to be increasing in frequency. We will apply lessons learned from that event, including taking steps to ensure students and staff are able to safely enter and exit our schools both during arrival/dismissal times and in the event of a fire or other emergency requiring evacuation. 

    The administration is monitoring both the forecast and on-the-ground conditions in light of the severe storm predicted to last through the night and into the morning. Our buildings and grounds teams are monitoring building conditions and will be on-site earlier than normal tomorrow. Similarly, our transportation team is ready to adjust routes and communicate as conditions require, including for students who are transported to schools out of the district.

     

    November 8, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Yesterday (Tuesday, November 7, 2023), our faculty and staff gathered for a Superintendent's Conference Day. The day afforded us the opportunity to engage in learning and to collaborate around three primary things: student well-being, the belonging survey, and strategic planning. Below are some important updates related to each.

    Student Well-Being
    As educators, we recognize our special role in supporting our students and their wellbeing. We engaged in dialog about this role and the things our students are experiencing during our professional learning time on Election Day. As a whole faculty, we reflected on how to meet students where they are, and what we can continue to do to support them, especially during this challenging time. A subset of faculty also engaged in a workshop with Dr. Derrick Gay to discuss effective strategies that can help move conflict toward deliberation and discussion through empathy and understanding. Both experiences move us ahead in terms of our understanding and ability to provide our students with what they need to feel safe, supported, and remain engaged. We are committed to supporting each and every student.

    Faculty and staff explored how to support students and meet them where they are.

    Unfortunately, as these past few weeks have shown, Antisemitism and Islamophobia exist in our community, and we have had documented incidents of both in our schools. These events can have profoundly negative impacts on students, and undermine the culture of belonging and inclusion that we strive to foster and that is necessary for our students to thrive. Any and every instance of anti-Muslim speech or action, Antisemitic speech or action, and speech or action targeting identity or expressing bias is totally unacceptable and will be appropriately and decisively addressed. We have and will continue to provide support to students who are impacted by such incidents and to apply our Code of Conduct to guide the application of appropriate consequences for such behavior.

    While we do work to mitigate harm when done, we must strive as a community for prevention. All of us—students, parents/caregivers, faculty, and staff—must have the courage to speak up to educate one another as to the harms these actions have so as to prevent them from occurring. If and when incidents of hate, bias, or bullying of any kind occur, we must notify school leaders immediately, equipped with the knowledge that reports will be investigated without fear of retaliation. We are grateful to those who have spoken up, and ask that you continue to help us by making sure your children know how important it is to take a stand against such action and to speak up whenever they see, hear, or experience this. Students should reach out to a trusted adult in our buildings so we can provide the support and intervention necessary. As a reminder, if you have any concerns about the wellbeing of a student or need to report harassment or bullying of any kind, please visit this link to contact the building DASA coordinator. Furthermore, if you need to report a safety concern or a threat related to a school or a student, please contact the building's administration. Our collaboration is essential to keeping students safe and experiencing a sense of belonging.

    Belonging Survey
    Well-timed given the circumstances, a critical next step in our work around wellbeing, inclusion, diversity, and equity (WIDE) is our belonging survey. We have partnered with the Search Institute to develop and implement the survey to students in grades 4-12 and all parents/caregivers, faculty, and staff. The survey is built around Search’s Developmental Relationships framework, and in fact we deployed it to our faculty and staff this week. This evening, Wednesday, November 8, Dr. McIntosh and I will present an overview of the survey to parents at the PTC/SMS PTA/SHS PTA event at Scarsdale Middle School (at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium). Next week, we will send an email to parents and caregivers explaining the student survey, along with the timeline for engaging students and parents/caregivers to complete the survey. Students will take the survey in school to maximize their participation. We sincerely hope you, our parents and caregivers, will also take the time to share your views about your sense of belonging within the Scarsdale Schools community.

    Strategic Planning
    We have embarked on the development of a multi-year strategic plan that will provide a focus for our work and guide us when weighing alternatives and making important decisions about how to best prepare our students for their future. As part of this process, we have created a number of opportunities for dialog using the World Café model. On Election Day, our entire faculty—530+ educators—convened in the high school gymnasium to consider Our Future, Together.

    Faculty explore Our Future, Together

    The next steps in this process are to seek your voice, vision, and values at one of three interactive World Café dialogs taking place in November and December. 

    • Wednesday, November 15: 7:00 - 8:45 PM – Scarsdale Middle School (Gymnasium)
    • Wednesday, November 29: 7:00 - 8:45 PM – Greenacres Elementary (Learning Commons)
    • Wednesday, December 6: 7:00 - 8:45 PM – Zoom (registrants will be sent the Zoom link)

    Please sign up to attend one of our sessions. To learn more, please view this brief video. We look forward to seeing you there!

    In partnership,

    Dr. Drew Patrick
    Superintendent of Schools

     

    October 11, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    I am writing this message as a follow-up to my email sent on Monday, October 9. This communication serves two primary purposes: first, to apologize for the pain my earlier message caused many in our community; and second, to provide an update on these past two days of school.

    In the email I sent to the Scarsdale Community on Monday, my focus was to convey our preparation to support and care for our students when they returned to school the following morning, which is our core purpose. By failing to condemn the violent attack by Hamas as acts of antisemitic terrorism perpetrated against Israeli citizens, and citizens from many parts of the world including the U.S., my effort communicated a very different message to many members of our community. I am sorry. I took for granted the fact that, as a public school district, it would be clear that we condemn all acts of terrorism, antisemitism, and hate in all of its forms. I do, and we do. We mourn the lives that have been brutally cut short, ache for those whose loved ones were killed, wounded, or are missing, and share the grief being experienced by so many families in our community and across the world. Our systems of support extend beyond students to families, and we ask that you reach out to us if there is any way we can help. I hope our community is able to take strength from the extraordinary people in it, and collaborate to make sure our youth feel the physical and emotional safety they need.

    On Tuesday morning, our school principals convened their emergency response teams to strategize for how best to support students. Each building put a plan in place that includes more intentional listening and checking in with students. We are aware of a number of families who have a direct connection to people impacted by this tragedy, and are providing support to those students. We will also remain vigilant to the potential for harmful speech and actions in the wake of this tragedy and its aftermath. Unfortunately, we have learned of at least one area school district that has reported antisemitic incidents since Monday, and we know from our own experience that we are not immune to hate speech and actions. The Scarsdale Public Schools categorically rejects all forms of hate and will not tolerate such behavior.

    Our efforts continue to benefit from close communication and collaboration with the Scarsdale Police Department, Scarsdale-Edgemont Family Counseling, local school districts, and local faith leaders to ensure we are coordinating on supporting our students and ensuring their safety. Our clinicians have also continued to collect resources that may prove useful when supporting children, which can be accessed here. 

    In closing, I would like to share a portion of Scarsdale’s mission statement--to sponsor each student's full development, enabling our youth to be effective and independent contributors in a democratic society and an interdependent world. I take hope in the fact that central to our mission are the concepts of democracy, including the hope that it brings to all people, and the interdependence of humanity, which holds the key to a future without violence and hate.

    In partnership,

    Drew

     

     

    October 9, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    This weekend’s events in Israel and Gaza are extremely difficult to take in, and the situation looks like it may continue for some time. The images and stories are shattering, and create yet another worry in a world already crowded with concern.  Despite taking place far away geographically, these events are likely to have a personal impact on members of our school community. I am writing to let you know that we will be prepared to support those who need it when we return to school on Tuesday. Our counselors and clinicians will be available to meet with students as needed, and our faculty and staff will keep an eye out for anyone who might demonstrate the need for support. We have also been in contact with our colleagues at the Scarsdale Police Department, and while there are no specific threats in our region, they will be providing an increased presence around our school campuses this week out of precaution.

    Finally, I want to acknowledge the fact that the history of conflict in this region generates a complexity of emotions and feelings, and we carry that understanding into our work with students. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out- we are partners.

    Sincerely,

    Drew

    Dr. Drew Patrick

    Superintendent, Scarsdale Public Schools

     

    October 3, 2023

    Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Community Members,

    We are in the beginning stages of developing a multi-year strategic plan that will provide a focus for our work and guide us when weighing alternatives and making important decisions about how to best prepare our students for their future. As part of this process, we need to know what is important to you. I hope you will take just two minutes to watch the brief video below which serves as a formal invitation to share your voicevision, and values at one of three interactive World Café dialogs taking place in November and December. Please sign up to attend one of our sessions. We look forward to seeing you there!

     
    Click to play: Our Future, Together: Your Voice, Values, and Vision
    We hope you will join us for one of our interactive World Cafe discussions!
    • Wed., November 15, 7:00-8:45 PM - Scarsdale Middle School (Gymnasium)
    • Wed., November 29, 7:00-8:45 PM - Greenacres Elementary (Learning Commons)
    • Wed., December 6,   7:00-8:45 PM - Zoom (registrants will be sent the Zoom link)
     
    Click Here to Register!

     

     

    October 3, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test. The test includes sending a "test message" to all televisions, radios, and cell phones.

    At approximately 2:20 pm Eastern Standard Time, all powered-on cellphones within range of a cell tower will receive a test alert message as part of FEMA’s nationwide test of its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).To read more about the test, please click here

    Thank you,

    Dr. Drew Patrick

    Superintendent of Schools

     

     

     

    September 19, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Earlier this afternoon, Greenacres Elementary School was distinguished with the honor of being named a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School! I hope you will join me in congratulating the students, faculty, staff, and parents on this gratifying accomplishment. In a message to the building earlier today, I urged them to take a few moments to reflect on the individual and collective journeys they have taken as educators, and to consider how this accomplishment helps to reinforce the importance of the care and commitment they demonstrate for their students each and every day. After learning of their nomination last winter, they brought the same level of care and commitment to bear on the voluminous NBRS application. Importantly, they embraced the opportunity to reflect on their practices as a school, identify those that best help define the Greenacres learning community, and put their best foot forward for the broader education world to see. Way to go!

    It has been my observation that our school culture can sometimes downplay or discourage these types of noteworthy recognitions. Perhaps this is simply part and parcel of a high-achieving, high-success environment, or perhaps we are fearful of being viewed as distinct or apart. Personally, I subscribe to the belief that the accomplishments of individuals, groups, and schools within our organization are to be celebrated, as they reflect positively on all of us. Our students embrace their unique elementary experiences and hold on to those identities in important ways even after forging new relationships and more complex identities as they move on to SMS then SHS. Likewise, our collaboration as professionals runs deep, with good ideas, innovative practices, and novel learning opportunities nourishing the broader landscape in which we practice. I am delighted to express joy in this accomplishment both because it is well deserved, and because it reflects positively on the entirety of our District! 

    In partnership,

    Drew

     

     

    September 4, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Schools Community,

    Good evening--I hope the Labor Day Weekend was restful and enjoyable. I want to acknowledge that this week looks to be hotter and less comfortable than last. In anticipation of the potential for uncomfortable heat, I strongly encourage you to send your children to school dressed according to the conditions, and equipped with water bottles to stay hydrated. Each of our buildings has a cooling plan to ensure students and staff who are not assigned to instructional spaces that are cooled have access to such spaces during the day as necessary. If your child has a heat-related medical concern that we are unaware of, please let your school nurse know so they can be proactive in providing support to your child.

    Thank you for your attention to this message, and I hope you have a relaxing evening.
     
    In partnership,
     
    Dr. Drew Patrick
    Superintendent
    Scarsdale Public Schools
     

     

    August 30, 2023

    Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Community Members,

    Happy New Year! On behalf of the faculty and staff of the Scarsdale Public Schools, I would like to formally welcome you to the 2023-2024 school year. After a busy summer of learning, planning, and preparing, we are incredibly excited to open our doors to all students tomorrow morning. If you have a child who is nervous or anxious about starting the new year, please reassure them we are anticipating their needs, are here to support them, and are ready to make the year joyful!

    I realize there is a lot of communication at this time of year, so I have included just a few important reminders and resources to help with the transition back to school. Please take a moment to note the following.

    • Traffic is always tricky in the first few days of the school year. Please be as patient and understanding as possible as those new to our schools learn and adjust to the pattern and flow of traffic. Our focus is on safety during arrival and dismissal, and, as always, our friends in the Scarsdale Police Department will be supporting that goal as well.

    • Information about safety, security, and emergency management can be found here. In a few weeks' time, we will send a TEST emergency call/notification to help our community prepare for inclement weather and other emergencies.

    • Please know we are committed to addressing questions and concerns that arise during the school year. We encourage you to take advantage of the suggestions for communication and issue resolution found in the Parent-Educator Partnership Guides developed collaboratively between our Parent Teacher Council and Scarsdale Teachers Association.

    • We are closed for Labor Day on Monday, September 4. The full calendar can be found here.

    In closing, I wish to express my thanks to our PTA and PTC partners for all they have done to prepare for this year as well. Their commitment to our students means that you can expect a year full of exciting programming! You will also hear more soon about a strategic planning process the District is about to embark on. I wrote about this and more in my piece for the Scarsdale Inquirer, which I hope you will take a few moments to read in case you missed it and want to learn more. Either way, we hope you will continue to be actively involved in our school community this year! 

    In partnership,

    Dr. Drew Patrick

    Superintendent of Schools