District Important News
Announcement of Middle States (MSA-CESS) Accreditation
We are excited to report that the District has received accreditation from Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Based in Philadelphia, the Middle States Association is the worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 130 years, Middle States has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement. With more than 2,500 accredited schools and school systems in 34 states and over 100 countries, MSA-CESS is proud of its continuing legacy and its ongoing innovations to meet the challenges of improving education in the 21st century.
Lisa Marie McCauley, president of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. “The entire district, from administrators to teachers, staff, parents and students, are to be commended for working together to create a plan focused on the long-term success of the entire district, and for their commitment to providing high quality education for all students.”
Accreditation is a multifaceted evaluation process that schools and school systems voluntarily use to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of research-based performance standards. The 12 Middle States Standards for Accreditation are: mission, governance and leadership, school improvement planning, finances, facilities, school organization and staff, health and safety, educational program, assessment and evidence of student learning, student services, student life and activities and information resources.
7 Years to show growth on these Objectives:
- Student Achievement #1 - By the year 2025, Nanuet School District students will demonstrate a raised awareness of the Core Values as identified in the Belief Statements of our Mission.
- Organizational Capacity - By the year 2025, the Nanuet School District will develop K-12 so that 20% more students participate in the 4Cs of Learning, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity.
- MS Objective Student Achievement #2 - By 2025, Nanuet students will improve their academic and lifelong, learning skills, allowing them to successfully pursue post-secondary options as measured by an increase in AP participation and % of 3, 4, 5’s on assessment.
We are the only Public School in Rockland and Westchester to achieve K-12 System Accreditation! Congratulations to the entire District on this incredible achievement!
Go Golden Knights!
Veterans’ Limited Tax Exemption Adopted 10/22/19:
- The Board of Education asked its voters on May 21, 2019 and the voters overwhelmingly approved a non-binding plebiscite to offer an exemption to its veterans.
- The District conducted a public hearing on October 22, 2019 to give the public an opportunity to be heard on the issue of the Board's proposed adoption of the Alternative Veterans' Exemption pursuant to Section 458-a of the Real Property Tax law.
- During the Board Meeting on October 22, 2019, the Board adopted the Alternative Veterans' Exemption for assessment rolls prepared on the basis of the taxable status date occurring on or after January 1, 2020, at the following basic maximum levels:
- Basic Exemption — Tax exemption of 15% of the assessed value of the property, not to exceed $12,000 or the product of $12,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the assessing unit, whichever is less.
- Combat Zone — An Additional tax exemption of 10% of the assessed value of qualifying residential property of veterans who are documented to have served in a combat zone, not to exceed $8,000 or the product of $8,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate, whichever is less.
- Disabled Veterans - In addition to the above exemptions, where the veterans received a compensation rating from the Veterans Administration or Department of Defense based upon a service related disability, the qualifying residential property will be exempt to the extent of the product of the assessed value multiplied by 50% of the veteran's disability rating, not to exceed $40,000 or the product of $40,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate, whichever is less.
- A certified copy of the adopted resolution was provided to the Towns of Clarkstown and Orangetown assessor's office.
- Veterans who apply by March 1, 2020 to their town assessor should see a reduction in their school tax bills sent by the town in September 2020.
On behalf of the Nanuet Board of Education and District staff, welcome to the 2019-20 school year. We are looking forward to another wonderful year of building meaningful connections and strengthening our life-long relationships.
In keeping with the District's mission, we are committed to the personal development of each student, so that upon graduation, he or she is prepared and inspired to apply learning in a changing, complex and interdependent world. The Nanuet Union Free School District will provide opportunities for students to apply learning in “real world” situations requiring the development of critical “21st Century” skills. This includes a significant focus on the social and emotional development of our young learners.
We want our students to be academically well prepared to pursue further learning after high school and to have had opportunities to explore and develop individual talents, interests and passions. We will continue to open opportunities for all students by increasing access and equity to rigorous and enriching programs, courses, and clubs within our K-12 continuum. We are focused on providing continuous professional development for our staff so our students can attain the highest levels of academic success on all local, state, and nationally-normed assessment indicators. Lastly, we will expand and improve communication strategies to best engage our entire Nanuet School District community. You are all a part of our family!
I encourage all District residents to immerse themselves in our school culture and become an active part of the school community. For the latest news and events scheduled at our schools and for daily updates, please follow us on our website: www.nanuetsd.org and follow us on ParentLink, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Go Golden Knights!
Superintendent of Schools
We are not just teachers. We are the managers of the world’s greatest resource: CHILDREN!
- Robert John Meehan
2018 - 2019 School Year:
The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the current school security and safety provisions in our schools. Our staff works very hard every day to keep your children safe while they are in our care. At each building we have an Emergency Response Team that meets periodically to review and update Emergency Response Plans, conducting evacuation, lockdown and lockout drills in collaboration with the Clarkstown Police Department and the Rockland BOCES Office of Safety and Risk Management. Both entities are on-site during our emergency response drills to provide critical feedback for improvement.
The following is a summary of school security measures in place that we feel ensure the safety of your children:
Emergency Response Plans and Teams: With the assistance of the Clarkstown Police Department, the Rockland BOCES Office of Safety and Risk Management and local emergency officials, the District has a school emergency plan in place for each school as well as a district-wide safety plan.
These plans, reviewed annually, contain procedures for responding to a wide range of emergencies that include:
- Evacuation: In the event an evacuation takes place and students are transferred to a nearby site, parents are notified via the K-12 Alert Notification System. Students follow fire drill procedures and leave the building along assigned routes.
- Activation examples: fire, chemical release, extended power or heating system failure.
- Lockdown: This procedure is used to secure areas within the building to hide. In addition to hiding and staying out of site, escape and counterattack may be safer responses.
- Activation examples: intruder, active shooter, hostage incident.
- Lockout: This procedure involves securing school building and grounds during incidents that pose an imminent concern outside of the school. All doors are locked. Outdoor activity ceases.
- Activation examples: incidents that pose an imminent concern OUTSIDE the school building such as criminal activity in the area.
- Shelter-In-Place: This procedure is used to shelter students and staff inside the building.
- Activation examples: bomb threat, threat outside, environmental incident.
- Hold-In-Place: This procedure is used to limit movement of students and staff within the building while dealing with short term emergencies
- Activation example: medical emergency.
If an emergency response procedure is underway in another school district, the Rockland BOCES Office of Safety and Risk Management notifies the Superintendent’s Office immediately so that Nanuet can implement safety precautions as necessary to keep students safe.
Single Point of Entry: During school hours, all buildings operate using a single point of entry and all perimeter doors are locked at all times and only opened when supervision is provided. In addition to the replacement of all exterior and interior doors throughout the District which took place several years ago, we also have locks that enable staff and teachers to secure their doors from the inside in the event of an emergency. Perimeter doors at Miller and Highview are locked and checked regularly. At Barr Middle School and Nanuet High School, all perimeter doors are locked and alarmed.
Student IDs: Nanuet High School students are issued color-coded identification cards, which allow staff and security personnel to recognize and confirm membership of the student body and their respective privileges.
Security Cameras: Security cameras are located at strategic locations both within (excludes bathrooms and locker rooms) and select areas outside each building.
School Personnel: In addition to Clarkstown Police Officer Negri, the District’s full-time School Resource Officer who is stationed at the High School, private security personnel are stationed inside the entranceway of each building and at strategic places outside. We require that all visitors sign-in and wear visitors’ tags in all buildings.
Emotional Support: Nanuet Schools recognize the critical need to support students who may be at risk for depression, anxiety, or may just have a need to talk. The District added a full-time social worker several years ago and more recently increased the number of psychologists to address these important social and emotional needs.
Nanuet School District K-12 Alert Notification System: Through our K-12 Alert notification program, the District is able to notify parents via email, text and voice mail messages of emergency situations, including activation of a lockdown, early dismissals and emergency relocation of children (e.g., temporary breakdown of electricity or heat).
Please note: It is important to notify your child’s school of any change to the Emergency Authorization Form. This includes numbers at home as well as back-up phone numbers at work. When notification of an emergency is necessary, the system will not leave a message on answering machines. Therefore, numbers you provide on the Emergency Authorization Form must be numbers where a “live answer” will occur.
Protecting the safety of our students and staff continues to be our first priority.
Mark S. McNeill
October 19, 2018
Due to the potential residential development associated with the Town of Clarkstown’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Zoning Plan, last July the Nanuet School District contracted with the Western Suffolk BOCES Office of School Planning and Research to conduct a Comprehensive Long Range Planning Study that would provide the Board of Education with objective data and analysis covering the following areas:
- Demographic Analysis (population, births, housing, non-public enrollment)
- Enrollment Analysis (includes enrollment projections associated with the Transit-Oriented Development Zoning Plan)
- Facilities Analysis (includes operating capacity and space allocation)
Note: A draft of this Comprehensive Long Range Planning Study report is found on the following link:
Within the past 20 years, the Western Suffolk BOCES Office of School Planning and Research conducted two other comprehensive studies that provided the Board of Education with objective data that led us to re-open the Highview Elementary School and undertake building expansion and renovation work across the District.
At the Board Meeting next Tuesday (10/23), I will provide a brief summary of this report as it relates to the Town’s TOD Zoning Plan.
Mark S. McNeill
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Given the tragedy in Paramus, I wanted to share with you the requirements that New York State, the Education Department and the District have in regard to School Bus Drivers.
The District primarily uses Peter Brega, Inc. as its transportation contractors. The District maintains its own fleet of three large buses and one small bus for use in field trips and sports. All of our buses have seat belts installed for student use.
All of the buses and their drivers operate using the same, stringent guidelines.
Our bus drivers (and Brega’s) need to be 19A certified under the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. To become certified, drivers have to have a commercial driver’s license with a student endorsement. The driver abstract is pulled before the certification is given. After they are certified, the following safety measures apply:
- Biennial written tests
- Biennial skills test (road test)
- Every year the driver’s abstract is pulled
- SED requires two refresher classes a year.
- Physicals every year
- Random drug and alcohol tests
- Each year, three bus drills are conducted
- Fingerprinting is done for criminal background checks
- The District randomly (and when it receives a report) monitors whether bus drivers are exceeding the speed limit
- Cameras are on each bus to review safety as needed
Below there is a link to the New York State DMV’s requirements:
The District takes student safety very seriously, including on its buses. If residents see a bus operating in an unsafe manner, it should be reported and it will be investigated.
Dr. Mark McNeill