• 2022 - 2023 Superintendent's Updates


    June 29, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Schools Community,

    One of the most important partnerships that our school district has is with the Village of Scarsdale. While our work intersects in a variety of ways, perhaps the most important area of collaboration is around safety, security, and emergency management. To that end, we thought it important to reshare the Village of Scarsdale emergency notification communication sent on June 28, 2023. It is important to note that the Village of Scarsdale and the Scarsdale Public Schools maintain distinct emergency notification lists. For example, this message was distributed through the Scarsdale Public Schools notification system.

    We strongly encourage you to follow the steps outlined to register to receive emergency alerts and press releases and other general announcements from the Village of Scarsdale. For further details, please read this letter from Mayor Arest.

    In partnership,



    June 9, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Good morning. I am writing to let you know that the improvement in air quality has allowed us to resume normal activities today, including those held outdoors. Of course, we recognize that the current conditions may still pose a challenge to some with respiratory conditions, and will accommodate individuals accordingly. We will continue to monitor air quality throughout the day and will adjust our activities as conditions warrant. I realize the poor air quality this week meant events and trips were postponed or canceled, causing disappointment among our students and staff. We are doing everything we can to make sure as much planned programming takes place as possible, and we hope the improvement in the air quality continues. With any luck, I won’t need to send another message on this topic! In the meantime, thanks for your continued patience, and enjoy the weekend.



    June 8, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Good morning. I am writing to provide a brief update. We have extended yesterday's approach into today, including indoor PE, recess, lunch, etc. A number of field trips and activities have had to be postponed, including our HS Boys Lacrosse state semi-final, which will now take place tomorrow in Albany. This level of disruption can feel frustrating and difficult to those impacted. Of course, this event also brings with it a level of worry for some, as well as potential health challenges for those with respiratory vulnerabilities. As we navigate another day of this, please know we will be keeping a close eye on our students and are ready to support anyone that requires it. Please reach out to your building administration if you have specific concerns. 

    I have reminded our faculty and staff that expressions of empathy and understanding go an extra-long way in situations like this, as do expressions of appreciation. Our custodial and facilities teams have been working hard to maintain the air quality in our buildings, and I appreciate their efforts. The latest forecast calls for improving conditions into this evening with a chance of thunderstorms. We will continue to monitor the situation and look forward to improved air quality as we get closer to next week.



    June 7, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Good afternoon. I am writing to share a few thoughts related to the air quality situation that addresses some of the questions that have been raised by community members.

    • First and foremost, we continue to monitor the situation, and acknowledge that this is a weird one. The haze, sepia toned sky, and smoke is disconcerting, if unavoidable.
    • Our facilities team has been in contact with our head custodians to review best practices with respect to our air handling systems, and we are engaged in these practices. 
    • Mechanical systems that bring fresh air into our building pass that air through MERV13 or HEPA filters, filtering out particulates including PM2.5, the predominant pollutant with these fires.
    • The smell of smoke is not able to be filtered out, unfortunately. We are keeping windows closed so as not to introduce outside air containing smoke or particulates into our spaces.
    • While there is no particular reason to encourage or require masking indoors, we have a supply of masks and are happy to make them available to students or staff members who request them.
    • There is nothing in particular that makes school any less safe than home at this point in time.
    • There are no plans for an early dismissal, and any planned after-school activities will continue indoors.

    Once again, I thank you for your support and cooperation as we navigate this environmental challenge.


    Dr. Drew Patrick
    Superintendent of Schools


    June 7, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Given the persistent poor AQI (Air Quality Index) today, we have decided to restrict outdoor activities in order to limit student and staff exposure. Activities that would normally take place outdoors will take place inside today, including PE classes, recess, and lunch. We have also adjusted scheduled outdoor programs, including gardening activities, to take place indoors. Offsite activities, including field trips scheduled for today, will continue with adjustments or modifications to limit time spent outdoors.

    We will monitor conditions throughout the day and will make a decision about tomorrow’s activities following approximately the same time frame as today. For more information about AQI, please visit airnow.gov or dec.ny.gov

    Thank you for your support and cooperation as we navigate this environmental challenge.


    Dr. Drew Patrick


    June 1, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Since the announcement of current principal Meghan Troy’s appointment to the position of Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, we have been engaged in a search process to identify an Interim Principal for Scarsdale Middle School. I am pleased to tell you that the search has concluded and that Chris Coughlin, Assistant Principal of Scarsdale Middle School, has been selected to fill the role for the 2023-2024 school year. Chris will be recommended for appointment at the June 5, 2023, Board of Education meeting. Please join me in extending our congratulations to Chris, along with our thanks and appreciation for his interest in helping to continue the outstanding work that takes place every day at SMS. Since joining the Scarsdale community four years ago, Chris has been able to draw upon his wealth of experience to make important contributions to the school while learning with and from the amazing SMS community. His passion for students, knowledge of teaching and learning, and a strong commitment to collaboration will ensure a successful transition and a positive year ahead. Once approved, Chris will officially assume the role of Interim Principal on July 1, 2023.

    Of course, appointing Chris to the role creates a new vacancy. We will begin the process of searching for an interim assistant principal for the 2023-24 school year immediately upon his appointment on June 5. I also want to acknowledge the feelings of uncertainty that a change in leadership can conjure. In addition to the supportive transition conversations Meghan Troy will have with Chris, I will also be actively supporting Chris, Assistant Principal Rochelle Hauge, and the entire SMS community throughout this transition year. The goal of this support will be to ensure that the needs of the school community are met. Even as Chris commences his service in the role of Interim Principal, we will begin to organize ourselves for the search process for the permanent leader of Scarsdale Middle School. That process will include collaboration with and input from the SMS community to define desired characteristics, describe strengths and practices that should continue, and identify opportunities for growth and improvement. I am confident that with this process, and with Chris’s leadership, SMS students will have a fantastic year, and the school will be set up for success going forward.

    In partnership,


    May 25, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    This past Monday we had the opportunity to update the Board of Education on the lockouts that took place on April 24, 2023, and we are writing to share that update with the community.

    On April 24, 2023, at approximately 2:50pm, the District was made aware of a developing situation involving a fugitive evading police in the confines of the District, specifically in the area around Quaker Ridge and Heathcote. We made the decision to place both Quaker Ridge and Heathcote Schools into our lockout protocol due to the police activity in the area near these schools. As a reminder, in a lockout, the school recovers all students from outside the building, secures the building perimeter, locks all outside doors, and restricts visitors from the building. Within the school, activities proceed as usual. After a relatively short time, we made the decision, in consultation with the Scarsdale Police Department, to end the lockouts. The lockout at Quaker Ridge ended first, prior to regular dismissal time, and they moved ahead with their normal dismissal procedures. The lockout at Heathcote was lifted about fifteen minutes later, after their regular dismissal time. Once lifted, they too followed their standard dismissal protocol.

    While the building leaders handled the practical logistics of the lockout and eventual dismissal, the district administration drafted and disseminated communication to the community. A total of three communications were sent, two to the Heathcote community (at 3:17pm and 3:28pm) to inform them of the lockout and the delay to regular dismissal and one to the entire school community (at 3:38pm) to give an overall picture of the situation. A separate message was not sent to the Quaker Ridge community because their dismissal occurred on time and we prioritized informing the entire community of the situation.

    This incident, like others, provides a real-life test of our procedures. Almost as soon as the event was over, we began to reflect on our decisions and actions. We also began to hear questions from community members, staff, and cooperating agencies. Raising such questions is an important part of our process of continual improvement. Some of the questions surrounding this particular incident have included:

    How were the decisions to lockout, and then release students made?

    • In all emergency situations involving a police response, the District communicates and collaborates with the Scarsdale Police Department. Given the unknown whereabouts of the fugitive at the start of the incident, the decision was made to place the proximal schools in a lockout in order to allow the police to assess and respond to the situation. As the police gained information including sightings of the individual and an understanding of where agency resources were deployed, Scarsdale Police Department felt that the area was sufficiently secured to allow for the dismissal of students.

    Why were students allowed to walk home or be dropped off in neighborhoods that were part of an active police investigation?

    • The District got word of the situation after Scarsdale Middle School had already been released for the day and buses were already in the area. The decision to dismiss both Heathcote and Quaker Ridge was made in consultation with the Scarsdale Police, who had stationed officers in the area and felt that the area was sufficiently secured to allow for dismissal.

    Do we have the ability to communicate with our buses once they have left the schools?

    • Yes, all of our vehicles are equipped with radios that are in contact with the transportation dispatch office on Secor Road.

    As a matter of practice, the District and Village engage in post-incident debriefing to assess the response and identify areas of improvement. At this time, the District has completed those debriefs with the elementary schools involved, Scarsdale Police Department, Scarsdale Village, and Scarsdale Neighborhood Associations representing the areas where the incident took place. These debriefs raised the following areas for discussion and reflection:

    • Alignment of Village, Police, and School communications internally and with the public;
    • Response options for student dismissal, including school busses already engaged in routes when an emergency occurs;
    • Identifying established channels of communication that residents can easily access to reduce the possibility for inaccurate information to spread

    In the coming weeks, the District Emergency Response Team will synthesize the information from these debriefs and make recommendations for future emergency responses. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank the Village, our Police, building staff, and the community for their response and care in keeping our students safe.

    Thank you,

    Dr. Andrew Patrick, Superintendent of Schools
    Mr. Eric Rauschenbach, Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services


    May 19, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Schools Community,

    Today, I am writing to express my gratitude on behalf of the Scarsdale School District for your strong support of our schools expressed through Tuesday’s school budget and auditorium bond vote results. Your overwhelming endorsement will have a significant and lasting impact on the quality of education we are able to provide to the children in our care.

    The Scarsdale School District has long been committed to providing an exceptional educational experience for our students, empowering them to explore their passions, develop critical skills, and cultivate a love of learning. This vision is made possible through the collective efforts and collaboration of our dedicated educators, involved parents, and engaged community members.

    The Board will be certifying the results of the vote and election at their meeting Monday. The results that will be entered into the record are as follows:

    • Budget: 555 yes; 91 no (approval rate of 86%)
    • Auditorium Bond Proposition: 536 yes; 108* no (approval rate of 83%)
    • School Board seats:
      • Ms. Yusuf was re-elected with 571 votes
      • Mr. Klein was re-elected with 559 votes 

    *note this was mistakenly reported as 180 in an email sent on 5/16

    The community’s support for the school budget enables the expansion of access to mental health support for our students, continues the rollout of our Reveal Math curriculum, and funds an athletic field study jointly with the Village. Additionally, the approval of the Scarsdale High School Auditorium bond reinforces the importance of the arts as an integral part of a well-rounded education. We will transform the auditorium into an enhanced, modern, safe, and accessible facility that will serve as a hub for creativity, self-expression, and civic engagement for our students and for the wider Scarsdale community. We expect work to commence in approximately one year from now, and conclude in January 2025. I invite you to visit the auditorium website to see the full project scope and timeline.

    I also write today to congratulate Amber Yusuf and Robert Klein on their re-election to the Board. Both have worked tirelessly throughout their first terms, collaborating with their fellow Board members to make thoughtful decisions based on careful study and insightful questioning. As Board President, Ms. Yusuf has provided steady, capable, student-centered leadership throughout this year. I am excited to work with Ms. Yusuf, Mr. Klein, and the entire Board to keep the positive momentum going in 2023-24! 

    In closing, it is a privilege and an honor to lead a school community that values outstanding education and actively works to shape a brighter future for the next generation the way Scarsdale does. Together, we will continue to foster an educational environment that celebrates our WIDE community and equips students for success in our complex, ever-changing world.

    With gratitude,
    Dr. Drew Patrick


    May 10, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Schools Community, 

    Next Tuesday, May 16, you will have the opportunity to vote on three important aspects of the work of our schools

    • An expenditure budget of $177,774,187 to support teaching and learning, provide student support services, and fund District operations.
    • A bond proposition not to exceed $4.75 million to fund repairs, renovations, and improvements to the Scarsdale High School Auditorium.
    • Election of Board of Education members to fill two open seats for three-year terms expiring June 30, 2026. Ms. Amber Yusuf and Mr. Robert Klein are running for re-election, unopposed.

    budget overview

    The proposed budget includes funding to extend social work support to our elementary students, expansion of our exemplary Reveal Math program, and other critical, student-centered work. The ballot also includes a bond proposition for the repair and renovation of the auditorium at Scarsdale High School, which has been largely unimproved for over 40 years. Safety, accessibility, and acoustic upgrades will result in an enhanced experience for both students and audiences. You are invited to learn more about the budget and bond proposition by reading our publication The Insight and by visiting the Auditorium Bond Website

    The Budget, Bond, and Board Member votes will take place in the gymnasium at Scarsdale Middle School. We ask all voters and parents to enter the school grounds via Kelwynne Road at Catherine Road and to follow directions from staff to parking. The Mamaroneck Road entrance will be closed to all visitors, all day, including during pick up and drop off. 


    Click here to see if you are registered to vote. Voter registration forms must be signed in person at the District Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 11. We hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to cast your ballot on these important issues.



    May 4, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Over the past two months, we have been engaged in a robust search process to identify our next Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources & Leadership Development. I am pleased to share the news that this search has concluded and that our own Meghan Troy, Principal of Scarsdale Middle School, has been selected out of an incredibly talented candidate pool to fill the role. Please join me in extending our congratulations to Meghan, along with our thanks and appreciation for her willingness to bring the leadership skills and abilities that have made her so successful at SMS to the broader school community. Along with the recent appointment of Andrew Lennon to the position of Assistant Superintendent for Business, our newly configured District Cabinet will officially take shape beginning July 1, 2023.

    Of course, Meghan’s decision to accept this new challenge means we have another critical leadership position to fill - that of Middle School Principal. As I did with the Edgewood community recently, I want to assure you that we will thoughtfully and diligently act to find a successor to lead Scarsdale Middle School. Like with Edgewood, the timing of this change is relatively late in the hiring season, significantly decreasing our chances of attracting the kind of diverse talent pool we would want. As a result, we will concentrate our efforts on identifying potential candidates to fill the vacancy on an interim basis for one year, reserving the vibrant and robust search process we have come to expect in Scarsdale for next winter. We will invite interest for the interim role both internally and externally and will seek to have the interim principal identified well before the end of this school year.

    In closing, I understand this news brings mixed emotions to our school community. Meghan has been an exemplary leader for our middle school, and it will be hard to see her move on. However, I am confident the good work and strong community she supported will continue to flourish. Meghan’s work was built on a strong, student-centered foundation, and supported through collaboration and consensus in decision-making with faculty, staff, students and parents alike. I am confident those pillars will be maintained and strengthened by the middle school community, as she provides support to SMS in a different way through her new role. I will continue to provide updates as our search for interim and permanent principals take shape, and thank you for your continued support of our students.

    In partnership,

    Dr. Andrew Patrick 


    April 24, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Schools Community,

    We are writing to inform you that earlier today, the Scarsdale Police notified us of the pursuit of a suspect who was on foot in the area near Quaker Ridge and Heathcote Schools. Once we learned of this situation, we initiated our lock-out protocol at both schools and temporarily held dismissal. We also temporarily held an athletics bus traveling to Crossway Field. Throughout the situation, we were in contact with our partners at SPD, who kept us apprised of the evolving event. The lockout was lifted at Quaker Ridge first, allowing for normal dismissal. However, Heathcote's dismissal needed to be delayed by approximately 15 minutes. In each case, the decision to lift the lockout was informed by our dialogue with SPD. 

    As is our practice, we will gather our emergency response teams to debrief today's events. We thank our building leaders for their quick action, and our partners at the Scarsdale Police Department for the timely and clear communication. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused our families. 


    Dr. Drew Patrick, Superintendent
    Mr. Eric Rauschenbach Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services


    April 21, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    As I previewed during the March 27, 2023, Board of Education meeting superintendent report, this week the New York State Board of Regents did indeed adopt the proposed change to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education that has the potential to impact our use of the name Raiders for our athletic teams. The change is entitled, “Use of Indigenous Names, Logos, or Mascots Prohibited,” and states, “no public school in the State of New York may utilize or display an Indigenous name, logo, or mascot.” The regulation requires boards of education to, “commit, via resolution, to eliminating the use of all Indigenous names, logos, and mascots by the end of the 2022-23 school year. Such resolution shall identify a plan to eliminate all use of the prohibited name, logo, or mascot within a reasonable time, which shall be no later than the end of the 2024-2025 school year.” While the regulation makes no mention of specific names, logos, or mascots, in recent remarks to BOCES superintendents, the Senior Deputy Commissioner specifically identified the names warriors, raiders, and red raiders as examples of names that will be prohibited under this new Regulation. Indeed, several news outlets have reported the same, including an article dated April 18, 2023, on syracuse.com.  

    I want the community to know that the District is committed to approaching this issue thoughtfully and objectively. That means, before assuming we are beholden to this State mandate, we will first seek to fully understand the history, meaning, and importance of our Raider name and heritage within the Scarsdale context. For those curious, the background about this history can be found on our website (under the section A National Institution). According to this account, our team name was originally Red Raiders and was adopted from Colgate University. Seeking to learn more about Colgate’s history with the name, I reached out to their athletic department, and they graciously shared this information with me. Unlike Colgate, we are not currently aware of any Native American imagery having been associated with our teams, nor have we had an athletics mascot other than the Bandersnatch, a fictional literary character. We expect to continue to compile as full a history as possible so as to be able to contribute historically accurate context and understanding to any conversation with our community and with the State Education Department (SED).

    In terms of SED, I have initiated communication with them on this topic. Some weeks back, they indicated that the name Raider is one they expect to require a name change, but that guidance would be forthcoming once the regulation is enacted. Once issued, SED will provide assistance to school districts through an Indigenous Mascot Advisory Group. We welcome the conversation with the group and look forward to sharing our findings as to the meaning and context of our Raider name. Nonetheless, whether or not the Scarsdale Raider has an indigenous connection, it is prudent for the District to begin contemplating a path forward should it be determined that our teams' name is subject to the mandate. In that vein, I have started to have discussions with the administration, including SHS Principal Ken Bonamo and Athletic Director Ray Pappalardi, the Board of Education, and the leadership of Maroon and White, our athletics booster organization. If it is determined that we are mandated to head down the path of a name change for our teams, it will be important to have an inclusive process that engages our full community, including students, parents, alumni, coaches, faculty, staff, and partners.

    Overview of Timeline and Expected Next Steps

    • The Board of Regents approved the new regulation on April 18, 2023
    • The State Education Department is expected to issue guidance to school districts related to the newly approved regulation to help districts determine if they are impacted by the new regulation 
    • If our school district is impacted by the new regulation:
      • a commitment to making the required changes will need to be adopted by June 30, 2023
      • a new team name will need to be adopted by June 30, 2025

    I expect to keep the Board and the public up to date on this, including via an information item at a future meeting, so as to invite Board discussion and public comment on the topic.

    In partnership,

    Dr. Patrick


    March 30, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    The purpose of this communication is to provide information about how we keep our students and staff safe in and around our schools. Vigorous debate around this topic is to be expected, and opinion varies widely as to how far schools should go toward “hardening” buildings and classrooms. We want to be very clear: we have a plan, processes, and procedures for school safety, and for decision-making. We invite our community to give input, and we regularly consult with experts in this arena, including our law enforcement partners, to make improvements. We hope this communication helps to build understanding and trust within our community by illustrating some of our practices, and demonstrating that we take this work very seriously, and think about it daily.

    Before inviting you to read further, please note that the PTC hosted a comprehensive panel presentation on this very topic this past November at Scarsdale Middle School. We encourage you to watch the video presentation by clicking on the link below. This information also appears on our website. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

    In partnership,

    Dr. Drew Patrick, Superintendent

    Mr. Eric Rauschenbach, Ass't Sup't for Special Education and Student Services


    March 2, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    Earlier today, the Eastchester School District shared information with us about a serious incident that occurred this morning at about 7:54 AM. An Eastchester school bus was stopped at the corner of Stratford Road and Warwick Avenue to pick up students.  As a father was putting one of his children on the school bus, an unknown male entered the parent's running vehicle and drove away with his young child inside the vehicle. Fortunately, the vehicle was found down the street with the infant inside unharmed.

    The Eastchester Police Department is investigating the incident in collaboration with the District.  Due to the serious nature of the incident, we thought it important to share this information with you and encourage extra vigilance and awareness. Our own police department is aware of these events as well. 

    Below are links to official communications from Eastchester by way of reference.

    Thank you,



    February 9, 2023

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    I extend my deepest gratitude to the Board of Education for putting their trust in me to lead this extraordinary school community. It is truly a privilege and a professional dream come true. To my mind, what makes leading this District so special is the combination of an exceptionally engaged student body and an extraordinary faculty and staff situated in a community deeply committed to ensuring a world-class education for its youth. The collective contribution of goodwill, energy, innovation, and resources cultivates an environment of possibility in our schools. I have been energized by our work over the past nine months, and am excited for the future we will create together. To that end, I would like to take this opportunity to share some preliminary thoughts about what lies ahead for our work as a District.

    Upon assuming the role of Interim Superintendent, I began a modified entry plan designed to help me better understand the school district as an organization, and to learn about the priorities of each school and district department. While my work on this plan continues, early conversations informed my belief that Scarsdale’s mission requires us to lead with urgency and purpose. This is because what we can truly predict about the futures our students will encounter is limited due to the pace at which our world is changing. What we do know, however, is that our students will need to master both traditional content knowledge and skills, and an array of other critical dispositions if they are to fulfill Scarsdale’s mission by becoming effective and independent contributors in a democratic society and an interdependent world. 

    While our core curriculum--what students learn--is built upon the foundations of a classical education, how they learn demands a progressive approach that emphasizes not only this foundation, but also essential “power skills”--critical thinking, skillful practice, compassionate leadership, non-sibi contribution, and lifelong learning. Of course, there has been meaningful work done around these dispositions for many years in Scarsdale. As I see it, our present challenge is to determine together how we will adapt our approaches to teaching and learning to match the demands our students will face as they move beyond our community. Fortunately, this is work I believe we are well-equipped to undertake.

    A first step in meeting this challenge will be to develop a process that results in the generation of a common vision for our District. This will require the active engagement of our students, faculty, staff, families, and community partners. We will make space in this process to pause and imagine the range of possible futures we conceive of for our students, and that our students desire. Based on this, we will craft a shared vision that articulates how we expect to support our students to become the most effective agents in the construction of their future worlds. Finally, we will use this vision to identify and prioritize strategic goals that will inform our decisions, guide our practices, prioritize the application of our resources, and ever more closely match our programs to our students’ needs. To accomplish this, we will need to create multiple avenues for input to ensure we invite the varied perspectives held by our stakeholders. It is my hope that this conversation--focused squarely on our students--will serve to further connect our wide community.

    In closing, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the remarkable history of educational innovation in Scarsdale. We are all beneficiaries of the accomplishments of generations of Scarsdale educators, giants who have set the standard of success over the preceding decades and established Scarsdale Public Schools as a lighthouse district. One only need count the number of SHS graduates who find their way back to this community to teach or to send their own children to our schools to gauge that success. Indeed, one of the great privileges of being a member of this community is having the chance to contribute in our own unique ways to that success. As we embark together on this next chapter, I ask that you join me in the process of thoughtfully and intentionally building upon our past successes and present strengths to keep our lighthouse shining brightly so as to ensure a future filled with possibility for our students.

    In partnership,



    February 1, 2023  

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, I presented a draft calendar to the Board for discussion that reflects an effort to balance a wide range of input from our school community. As I outlined at our December 19, 2022, Board meeting, there are three primary drivers that determine the calendar: State laws, requirements, and minimums, including:

    180 day; and 900 (grades K-6) or 990 (grades 7-12) hours requirements; the observance of certain holidays under New York’s General Construction Law; Timing of assessments, including the 3-8 tests; Regents exams; and AP exams. Collective bargaining agreements. Values, traditions, and past practices.

    In total, we received 458 comments via the survey that was published on December 20, along with dozens of individual emails to the Board. I also met several times with the Scarsdale Teachers Association to discuss the calendar, as is required under the Board’s agreement with the STA. Throughout this process, we have listened to and read all of the ideas and suggestions, and have tried to address individual questions and concerns. The bulk of the feedback centered on a collection of themes, and in some cases, the feedback included preferences directly in opposition to one another. For example, many people expressed an interest in a two-week break in December/January, and many people expressed that such a long break is a hardship due to the need for childcare at a time when it is hard to come by. Other major themes included:

    A desire to continue to observe holidays that have been traditionally observed alongside new ones that represent a growing portion of the community. Concern over the number and days of the week for half days. Differences over whether to start before or after Labor Day. Concern over the lateness of the end of the school year, and a related concern over the date of graduation. Comments related to the disruption that mid-week holidays and school closures present.

    I will be the first to admit that there was no single solution that would align with the preferences of all of our stakeholders. Undoubtedly, some will look at the proposed calendar and see their own ideas and interests represented, and others will not. While I wish this wasn’t the case, this is the compromise that best satisfies the drivers.

    This calendar starts the school year prior to Labor Day, on August 31. This compromise allows other flexibilities in the calendar, including a two-week break in December/January. Several observances that fall on weekends are noted on this calendar, including Rosh Hashanah, Diwali, and Lunar New Year. This was done to signal the intention of including these as days of school closure in the future. The December and March parent-teacher conferences- which are contractual obligations with the STA- have been moved to Fridays and Mondays to allow for a more contiguous school week. The trade off for an earlier start date is a two week holiday at a time of year when many feel a break is welcomed. Some in our community will use the opportunity to travel, while others won’t. The duration of this break provides opportunities for our students (especially our older students) and educators to recenter and recharge. I have been asked why the two weeks can’t start on December 18th instead of extending into the first week in January. The best answer to that question is to seek consistency with other schools that we transport students to. There aren’t many, if any, that expect to take the week of December 18th off. Both the Easter and Passover holidays are recognized with time off, and placing April break during the week of the 22nd creates stronger instructional continuity between the February break and Spring break. We are able to observe Eid al-Fitr as a holiday by making it one of our four Superintendent’s Conference days. Finally, the last day of school is scheduled for June 26, 2024. Many who have written to the Board since the draft was released have expressed concern over this late end date. I must remind the community that we do not set that date- that is determined by the New York State Education Department based on the administration of Regents Examinations. Similar to the 2018-2019 school year, the 2023-24 school year simply ends on a Wednesday, and that is out of our control.

    Importantly, the proposed calendar does not yet include a date for the graduation of the Class of 2024. The primary and rain dates for this celebration are currently being discussed and will be determined and communicated out in short order. Once the final calendar is adopted (expected to occur at the February 13, 2023, Board of Education meeting), planning will begin for the many activities and events that are so important to the student experience. For example, orientations, senior year activities, exam schedules, concerts, etc., will be determined during the spring months. Of course, as next year unfolds we will examine the impact our decisions are having to help inform decision making in future years.

    In closing, I want to thank the entire Scarsdale community for participating in this process. Your engagement has modeled respectful dialog and disagreement, honored the presentation and communication of divergent opinions, and lifted up new voices, including those at the center of our mission: our students.

    Dr. Patrick


    December 18, 2022

    Dear Scarsdale Community,


    I am writing in advance of the December break to share some important updates and reminders regarding seasonal illness, winter weather, and the development of the 2023-24 school calendar. Please take a few moments to read on. Absent the need for further communication this week, I will use this opportunity to wish all of you a restful break, a joyous holiday season if you observe, and a peaceful start to 2023!



    Dr. Patrick


    Seasonal Illnesses

    The past several weeks have seen a significant rise in respiratory illness including influenza, RSV, and COVID19 across the county. As a result, we have had an increase in absences as these illnesses impact our students and staff. Please note the following:

    • The spread of respiratory illnesses has prompted an increasing number of students and staff to opt to wear masks during the school day, consistent with recommendations made by the CDC and NYSDOH. We expect our students and staff to make the decision that makes the most sense to them and to respect each other's choices.
    • COVID tests are available to students, families, and staff through our nurses. Students can drop by the health office and pick them up at SMS and SHS, and at the elementary schools, simply email the school nurse and she will be sure to send tests home with your child.
    • COVID is not the most prevalent respiratory illness in our community currently. Please be sure to have your child stay home and see the doctor if they are not feeling well even if they test negative for COVID-19. Students must be fever free without medication for 24 hours to be in school.


    Winter Weather

    The long-range forecast is hinting at the potential for a significant winter weather event at the end of this week. Since this would be the first significant event of the year if it materializes, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our Emergency Notification Procedures in the event of a delay or closing.


    2023-24 School Calendar

    Discussion and planning for the 2023-24 school calendar has begun. Along with the traditional considerations, there has been a call from a significant portion of our community to consider new school holidays to accommodate important cultural observances, including Diwali, Lunar New Year, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha. At our next Board of Education meeting on Monday, December 19, 2022, I will be presenting an overview of the calendar development process, along with an analysis of various scenarios and their impacts for 2023-24 and beyond. Presenting these scenarios in December creates an opportunity for community input prior to proposing a calendar for Board adoption in February.  


    November 15, 2022

    Dear Scarsdale Community,

    As the weather begins to cool, it's time to remind our community about our procedures for closing, delaying, or closing schools early during inclement weather. Please note that we will only utilize remote learning days if it becomes necessary to do so to meet our minimum number of instructional days or hours, as explained below.

    The decision to close school, delay its opening, or dismiss students and staff early is made by the Superintendent if the District believes that current or potential conditions pose a potential danger to students and staff. Some of the factors that contribute to these decisions include the precipitating event, weather conditions (both in-the-moment and predicted), students and staff safety, days with special activities/events, and, of course, the balance of losing a day of session when that day may need to be rescheduled later in the year. For weather-related schedule changes, decisions are made in coordination with other local school districts, whenever possible. 

    All notifications to High School students, District-wide staff, and parents/guardians are made via text messages, robocalls, and by email using the Blackboard Mass Notification system. 

    Please note that staff and parents/guardians/caregivers should make contingency plans for closings, delays, and early dismissals well in advance of an emergency event. We recognize that both staff and parents/guardians may have commutes that make responding to schedule changes difficult; therefore, we ask that everyone make advance plans in regard to transportation, childcare, and other needs. When schools are closed, delayed, or dismissed early, childcare and supervision are not available at any of our schools.

    Important information regarding types of schedule changes:

    • If the decision to close or delay school the evening before any given school day, notifications will be sent by 9:30 p.m., whenever possible.
    • If the decision is made the day of school, notifications will be sent between 6:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., whenever possible.
    • If the decision is made to delay the opening of school, the delay will be for two hours, unless otherwise indicated in the message.
    • If the opening of school was delayed and conditions worsen to the point of a need for closure, the decision to close school will be made by 7:30 a.m., whenever possible. Notifications will be sent as soon as the decision is made.  
    • If it is necessary to dismiss students early, the decision will be made at the latest, by 10:00 a.m., and notifications will be sent as soon as the decision is made. 

    Transportation Notes:

    • In the event of a delayed start or an early dismissal, transportation will be provided to eligible students (students who already normally ride the bus). If the opening of school is delayed, students will be picked up at their bus stops TWO hours after their normal pick-up times.  Early dismissal for the Middle School will take place at 11:20 a.m., and at noon for elementary and High School students.

    For all Closing/Delays:

    • Information will be posted on the District website, cable TV stations (Cablevision Channel 77, FIOS Channel 27), and District Facebook page: (www.Facebook.com/scarsdaleschools).
    • Local media will be notified, including News12, NBC-News 4, WHUD-FM, and online news websites such as the Journal News/LoHud, Scarsdale Inquirer, Scarsdale 10583, Scarsdale HamletHub, Scarsdale Patch, and Scarsdale Daily Voice.

    Make-up Days/Remote Learning Days:

    • New York State public schools are required to hold 180 days of session inclusive of up to 4 Superintendent Conference Days. The typical school calendar in Scarsdale schedules 185 days of session.
    • In addition to days of session, grades K-6 are required to hold at least 900 hours of instruction annually, and grades 7-12 are required to hold at least 990 hours of instruction annually.
    • If the number of emergency or inclement weather-related school closures indicates that our schools will fail to meet one or both of these minimum requirements, days of session and/or instructional time will be added to the calendar using one or more of the following options.
      • Half-days scheduled for the last week of school may be extended if it is necessary to add additional instructional hours.
      • Vacation days scheduled for April (a.k.a. Spring) break may be scheduled as days of session.
      • As a last resort, if the above are not available due to the timing of necessary school closures in the school year, remote learning days may be scheduled in lieu of an additional school closure.


    Dr. Drew Patrick,
    Interim Superintendent


    September 13, 2022

    Good morning,

    Please be aware that due to the recent rains, conditions around town might cause a little slow going today. The High School brook has flooded as it usually does and will cause some diversions and difficulty parking for some of us.

    The PTA's, "Off and Away for The Day- Parent Cell Phone Workshop" scheduled for this morning will continue as planned. There will be a second workshop tomorrow at 7 p.m.

    Please be patient at each of our schools as we get the morning started and reach out to us if you have any issues or problems that we can help to address.

    Thank you,
    Dr. Drew Patrick
    Interim Superintendent


    September 1, 2022

    Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Community Members,

    As we say in the schools, Happy New Year! As the summer gives way to an exciting new school year, I do hope you have all taken the time necessary to rest, recuperate, and reflect. I am delighted to add my own welcome to the 2022-23 school year to those extended by our Board of Education and our building principals. 

    On Wednesday morning, the faculty and staff gathered for our annual convocation ceremony on Butler Field to launch the new year. In addition to staff, Board of Education members were in attendance, along with this year’s Parent Teacher Council President, Lauren Grossberg. Board President Amber Yusuf shared words of encouragement for the year, as did Ms. Grossberg and Mr. Joe Vaughan, the President of the Scarsdale Teachers Association. As I stood to deliver my own message, I was energized by the fact that there were strong overlapping themes among our words. We each acknowledged the shared hardship of the past two and a half years, along with the hope for a return to the familiar. We also communicated messages about building community, and the importance of reengaging with our parents and with each other, as the challenges of the pandemic start to give way to more inclusive and collaborative opportunities. In short, we are unified in our view that the year holds incredible promise for our students and families!

    That’s not to say we won’t have challenges to address and overcome. As I noted in my remarks, we are in new territory as educators, operating at a unique moment in the history of public education. Our responsibility is to fulfill Scarsdale’s mission to sponsor each student's full development, enabling our youth to be effective and independent contributors in a democratic society and an interdependent world. We must do this at a time when our democracy seems increasingly fragile, with the first generation of young people living their entire lives in the presence of social media, and in a landscape where truth and facts are expertly distorted and disguised. On top of this, we continue to confront the circumstances of raising and educating kids in the midst of a devastating global pandemic. As I said, there are challenges, but I assure you we are up to the task.

    One of our strategies this year will be to organize our work as educators around a few key priorities. We are calling this effort Connecting our WIDE Community. Connecting refers to both connecting the dots- helping our educators to see the full K-12 picture, and to recognize how their individual goals and work support the mission and the larger purposes of the education we provide. Connecting also refers to working with one another in partnership. Our best work happens when we are working well together, sharing, and learning with and from one another in order to advance something greater than ourselves.

    The acronym WIDE stands for Wellbeing, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. This reorganizes DEI to include well-being as a co-equal partner in the work of creating an even more inclusive, diverse, and equitable learning community. WIDE reflects both a fundamental precondition for learning and an ambitious goal. We want our students to be good at learning AND at life; and we all must seek to thrive, not just survive. Thus, we must find ways to make everyone in our learning community feel like they belong and are included. Last year we were challenged by our DEI consultant Dr. Derrick Gay to reconsider the word diversity, and to do so in two important ways. The first, to see diversity as a space to which we all share a claim, because we are all diverse. The second, to shift our mindset from thinking about diversity as a particular type of person to thinking about it as a goal that adds value for everyone in our community by focusing on excellence and equity simultaneously. We expect to continue this work by aiming to adopt shared definitions for the terms inclusion, belonging, diversity, and equity, and by constructing a visual representation- a model- that communicates both these definitions and our vision for how DEI, or WIDE, can guide our practices. Simultaneously, we will continue our collaboration with Dr. Gay to deepen our knowledge and skills, even as our seven schools continue their WIDE work in unique and specific ways. We look forward to communicating more about this important work in the near future. In the coming months, I will be attending elementary school general PTA meetings to hear from parents about their hopes and interests with respect to our work in this area.

    Finally, nurturing community is our fundamental charge as educators and human beings, and it is the surest route to wellbeing. However, the pandemic, coupled with the challenges of digital life, has surfaced disruptions in typical patterns of social emotional growth and development, as well as challenges to concentration, engagement, and deep thinking for our students. Complicating things further, the pandemic also upset our normal patterns of school:home connection. Our ability to confront these challenges depends on our willingness to come together as a community, and to actively work to create community in all of our spaces, interactions, and encounters. This is because each of us plays a role in creating community, utilizing partnerships and leveraging the urgency of our purpose. We will be challenging ourselves each day to think of ways we can build community and help our students, families, faculty, staff, and leaders flourish.

    In conclusion, it is my hope that this simple framework, Connecting our WIDE Community, can serve as a helpful structure for collaborating to fulfill our mission. I want to thank you, our parents, caregivers, and community members, for entrusting us with your children. We look forward to engaging with you in our schools and events, and expect this to be a transformative school year!


    Dr. Drew Patrick

    Interim Superintendent of Schools


    August 26, 2022

    Dear Scarsdale Community, 

    We are writing today to share important updated information pertaining to the opening of the Scarsdale Public Schools in light of the most recent guidance from public health and education authorities. We ask that you please take the time to read this message in its entirety.

    Over the past two weeks, both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the New York State Departments of Health and Education (NYDOH/NYSED) have adjusted their COVID-related recommendations for schools. These new recommendations remove many of the previous requirements that schools were asked to enforce and signal a continued shift toward individuals and families as decision-makers with respect to COVID response. In light of this guidance, the Scarsdale Schools will be refocusing our energy on more traditional and familiar educational responsibilities and spending less time managing and enforcing these recommendations. Of course, we will make appropriate adjustments to this approach should changing health conditions in our schools and community warrant. 

    Key Updates From Recent CDC/State Recommendations:

    • Individuals exposed to COVID are no longer required/recommended to quarantine.
    • The guidelines and recommendations no longer differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
    • Isolation for those testing positive for COVID is still required.
    • Regular testing for COVID within schools is no longer recommended. Schools are encouraged to provide testing around the return from breaks or higher-risk activities.
    • Schools should adjust their mitigation/testing protocols in response to the local COVID metrics and prioritize in-person schooling for all children.

    Links to NY State and CDC Guidance:

    Scarsdale’s Protocols in Response to Updates

    Returning to School After Symptoms or Illness:

    The recommendation remains for students exhibiting a COVID-related symptom to stay home until two antigen or one PCR test show negative result(s), but is no longer a requirement. We continue to strongly encourage any students or staff who experience symptoms related to COVID to test prior to returning to school after an absence or illness; however, the nurses’ office will no longer be collecting the negative results.

    Returning to School after a COVID Diagnosis:

    Students testing positive for COVID are still required to isolate according to the CDC guidelines for a minimum of 5 days. The CDC still recommends wearing a mask indoors on days 6-10 after release from isolation.

    Distribution of Covid-19 Antigen Tests:

    On Tuesday, August 30 from 9am to 6pm at the Scarsdale High School Brewster Road Entrance (in the drop-off circle), the District will distribute COVID antigen tests to all interested families. No sign-up is necessary and families may come to pick up tests at any time during the distribution hours. We only ask that you limit your request for tests to 2 boxes (4 tests) per child. Tests will continue to be available throughout the year in the nurses’ offices for families and staff.  

    We strongly encourage all of our families to test on September 5th or 6th prior to arriving for the start of school. This testing is not required and the school will not be collecting results, but community actions like these throughout the year can help avoid large-scale spread in our schools and reduce the number of students and staff needing to isolate and miss instruction.

    Learning Supports for Students in Isolation

    During the 2022-23 school year, students who are required to isolate due to Covid-19 will be supported in the following manner.  

    • In the event of a first instance of isolation during the 22-23 school year, support for continuity of education will follow pre-Covid school: home communication practices (i.e., similar to how a medical absence was treated in the past). This will involve communication between the teacher(s) and the student and will include one or more of the following methods: posting assignments to our digital platforms (Google Classroom (HS); Schoology (MS); Seesaw or Google Classroom (ES)), emails, and/or phone calls home. The District will publish and distribute a more detailed description of what to expect by September 15.   
    • In the event of a second instance of isolation during the 22-23 school year, continuity of education will be supported via an agency or district-contracted tutor, based on a modified implementation of the District's Homebound Instruction policy. Notable differences from the specifics of this policy include 1) instruction will be provided for the second isolation period even if the total isolation period is less than 10 days, and 2) elementary students will receive the same 2 hours (not 1 hour) per day of absence as secondary students.
    • Please note that tutoring will no longer be provided by Scarsdale teachers unless the District is unable to secure an agency or contracted tutor. 

    Background and Rationale

    As many will recall, we instituted a temporary change in practice last year to encourage Scarsdale teachers to provide tutoring outside of teaching hours in order to support continuity of learning to students in isolation. Among the variety of reasons for this approach were: last year marked the return to full-time, in-school learning for all students since the onset of the pandemic; access to vendor-provided tutoring was severely constrained due to nation-wide demand which necessitated the recruitment of our own teachers to serve in this capacity;  students under isolation and under quarantine were required to stay home at the start of last year; unlike typical pre-Covid medical absences, many of our isolated students were asymptomatic and did not need time at home to recover from symptoms that might interrupt their ability to focus on school.

    Our approach for the 2022-23 school year reflects changes in each of the reasons identified above. In particular, we anticipate fewer student isolation days overall, along with greater access to and availability of vendor-provided tutoring resources. We truly appreciate that we were able to engage the knowledge and expertise of our own Scarsdale educators during this unique time. However, this return to a practice more aligned with our Homebound Instructional Policy will allow our educators to refocus on professional priorities that were impacted in order to enable them to tutor. It is our expectation that students will have access to work and learning materials during any period of absence and that our faculty will do what they do best- support all of their students, including those who miss time in school.

    In conclusion, we hope this information helps to create an understanding of the approaches we will use for the coming school year. 


    Dr. Drew Patrick, Interim Superintendent
    Eric Rauschenbach, Assistant Superintendent for Special Education & Student Services