Story By Shelley R. Clapper
The Warwick Valley School Board meeting on Mon., Sept. 17 opened with the presentation of a certificate of appreciation given to Katherine Brieger and Jeanette Shanahan, the leaders of Dulce Esperanza, the Warwick Area Migrant Committee Summer Enrichment Program, which utilized space at the former Pine Island School.
Superintendent Dr. David Leach congratulated all those who took part in this year’s homecoming celebration.
“All the way from young children to seniors were involved. The weather cooperated although it was a little hot,” said Dr. Leach.
There were over 100 students who participated in the parade and festivities including the homecoming royalty. Dr. Leach announced that the new student representative to the Board of Education, Madeleine Wadeson, was the Homecoming queen this year.
School Security Update
Dr. Leach provided an update on school security in the District. The Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17 requires that each school district review and update their emergency planning procedures by Oct. 1 each year.
A resolution to adopt the Warwick Valley Central School District’s District-wide Emergency Response Plan for 2018-19 was on the evening’s agenda for the Board to approve. Dr. Leach said that the Middle School and High School campuses are closed to visitors from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and that during that time, parents are asked to refrain from signing students out and from dropping off forgotten items such as lunches and homework.
He said that the policy is a security enhancement and an effort to minimize unnecessary visitor traffic in the school. If a student must leave school between 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for an appointment or other reason, the student will be escorted to the door to meet the parent. Crucial items that are brought in for students may be left with the security greeter and will be delivered to the student.
Capital Projects Update
Dr. Leach provided an update on the District’s capital projects. He reported that the air conditioning project at Park Avenue Elementary School is ahead of schedule. He also reported that the high school pool project was close to completion and that it should be operational for the girls’ home swim meet. Upgrades of the pool include new tile, water filter system, air quality filter system, diving boards, starting blocks, etc. He said that the Middle School athletic challenger course will also be operational soon.
Dr. Leach said the District had engaged in an extensive review of the regulations and guidelines aimed at ensuring the safety of students riding school buses. They District took a closer look at driver training and random drug and alcohol screenings.
An update was given on the arts at the high school and the middle school. The high school band had over 100 students participate in the Homecoming Pep Rally, parade and football game. The band will also perform at the next home football game on Fri., Oct. 5 and marched in the 103rd annual Orange County Fireman’s Parade in Greenwood Lake.
All State High School Musicians
Dr. Leach announced that two high school students have been named as alternates in the All-State ensembles and will be likely to join an ensemble: Rachel Goldbaum, on flute, in the All-State Band and Izabelle Horowitz, on violin, in the All-State Orchestra. Two other students will participate in the All-State ensembles: Daniel Brenner (Mixed Chorus) and Ethan Tuomala (Vocal Jazz).
Dr. Leach also announced that several high school students, including Rachel Goldbaum, Ashley Emmanuel and Granger Ottley, are currently rehearsing with the Hudson Valley Honors Band, culminating in a concert on Sat., Oct. 6.
The names of students eligible for Area All-State consideration were submitted to the selection committee. Warwick H.S. students who are accepted will participate in November with other high school students from Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, Rockland, and Greene Counties in the band, chorus and orchestra.
Several band members from the Middle School successfully auditioned for the Hudson Valley Honor Band and will perform in their concert on Sun., Sept. 30 in Monroe, NY.
Members of the eighth grade orchestra will present Music for Munchkins at the Albert Wisner Library on Sat., Oct. 13 at 11 a.m.
The Guitar Club will meet at the end of September to begin auditions. All students in grades five to eight are welcome to attend the Guitar Club meeting and audition.
The Warwick High School Drama Club has announced the shows chosen for their 2018-19 theater season. This fall, the Drama Club will bring back their “Literature to Stage Series” with a live, on-stage adaption of C.S. Lewis’s classic novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This production is scheduled for Fri., Nov. 2 and Sat., Nov. 3. In the spring the club will debut the mega-hit Broadway musical Mamma Mia! Both productions will be directed by Nick DiLeo, who is celebrating his 20th year as the Club’s advisor. Joining him will be Donna Nestor as the producer, Beth Maisonet as the choreographer, and Chris Persad and Noreen Hanson as musical directors.
The Warwick Athletics Program is off to an excellent start. The official first day of the fall season was Mon., Aug. 13 when all the high school teams began to practice. Coaches handled the challenge of dealing with mandated state heat indexes over 96 degrees, which pushed practices to early morning starts at 6 a.m. or late practices when the temperature dropped.
Athletics Team Enrollments
Warwick has a full athletics program at all levels and enrollment is impressive. For example, varsity football has 63 varsity players, varsity girls’ soccer has 32 players, varsity boys’ soccer has 22 players, girls’ tennis has 20 players, and girls’ swimming and diving has 27 members. These enrollment numbers do not include the junior varsity or freshman teams for all sports, which will more than double the student-athletes involved.
Modified sports at the Middle School began the first day of school and the process of team selections and practices has begun.
Dr. Leach reported on enrollment in the District saying, “We kicked off the year with almost 3,600 students.” At Park Avenue Elementary School there are 490 students, Sanfordville Elementary School has 710 students, the Middle School has 1,080 students and the High School has 1,310 students.
The next regular Board meeting will be held on Mon., Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, located at 225 West St. in Warwick NY.