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Superintendent's Message
Thomas O'Brien - Superintendent of Schools
Thomas O'Brien - Superintendent of Schools
607-326-4151 , ext. 15
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September Newsletter

"To succeed in life you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone."

- Reba McIntire

Dear Roxbury Families:

As I think about the construction of this letter, our building renovations are continuing. I know there are rumors about a delayed opening. I am confident we will be open on time. This does not mean that everything will be completed, there still could be some work taking place buttoning up loose ends. Once the project is completed I will be scheduling an evening tour to showcase the improvements to our building.

As the physical construction continues so does the work regarding the way our school day will operate, including a clearer set of established expectations that will be followed academically and socially by our entire school community. The value of a well-rounded social/emotional and strong academic education is what is needed for our children to strive towards future success and this will include all involved, including you the families. Research proves that healthy family engagement is an important key to student success. So what does that mean?

At Home:

  1. Devote time for your child to do their homework and engage them in a dialogue about their educational experience.
  2. Encourage Physical Activity.
  3. Monitor their use of social media and on-screen time totally. It is known that young people will remain connected, sometimes for very unhealthy reasons, into the wee hours of the night leaving them exhausted and on edge about ongoing social challenges they are facing.
  4. If you hear something, say something. Please come to us and do not personally turn to social media or gossip to seek the correct answers about issues. It is my expectation that our employees will be open with you but you need to clearly understand that confidentiality is a professional expectation and the law protecting the privacy of our students and employee’s. If there is an issue you are confronting I am asking that it be addressed right away.

Home/School Communications:

Our school has a robust communication system and I want you to be fully aware of this and take advantage of it beyond the telephone which is always available. Every employee has an email address that can be found by following the “Staff Directory” link on our homepage. Each employee’s email address is fashioned after my own, obrient@roxburycsd.org (last name, first initial @ roxburycsd.org). Beyond that you have electronic access to your child’s progress on the secondary level through the Home Access Center, as well as an extensive periodic progress reporting system via mail. If you are not hearing nothing from us, I would like to know personally.

The newsletter is created monthly which is unique as most districts create them quarterly or bi-annually. Our website (www.roxburycs.org) has a wealth of information as well as our frequently updated Facebook page. Shortly we will be rolling out a new district-wide notification system, replacing the present “One Call Now”. This new system, “School Messenger”, has many new features and we will formally introduce it to you when it is ready to be rolled out.

The length of this letter is relevant in the fact that we as a district must make a better effort and not take for granted that you all know the processes, procedures and the infrastructures that we have in place. Please be prepared to be introduced to materials and resources as the school year goes on to more clearly articulate our efforts and to help give you the tools to better understand the channels of communication and how a more positive dynamic relationship can be cultivated between us and to improve your ability to support our efforts at home.

One such resource, that is still in draft form, was just preliminarily introduced to our Board of Education this month. The “Roxbury Behavior Intervention Model” is a comprehensive document to clearly articulate to you and all members of this community how we will be addressing behavioral issues at RCS. This model clearly defines all stakeholder roles and responsibilities and briefly describes the interventions we will deploy to address those issues.

Finally, I would like to introduce to you our new staffing changes. At the end of the last year and over the summer we accepted the resignations of two of our teachers: Ricardo Vargas, Spanish and Laura Gervais, Chemistry. These two vacancies created an instructional void in positions that are very difficult to fill not only in the region but statewide. The pool for these positions is very small and we have developed a viable plan as we were unable to secure any viable certified candidates for either position:

· Spanish: I would like to welcome Gregory Lehn, Margaretville Central School graduate. Greg is presently working on securing his teaching credentials to teach Spanish. Greg is fluent in Spanish and will serve as a long-term substitute as he works toward provisional certification.
· Chemistry: We will not be offering chemistry this year. Instead, we will be offering physics through Mr. Snedeker. For this reason, our juniors will be taking chemistry in their senior year. By doing this, we will have more time to secure a qualified applicant.

Other new positions for 2017-2018 are:

· Erin Filupeit – 7-12 Math
· Jessica Young – Vocal Music
· Kayla Mason – LPN/LTA
- Amy Soule – Speech Therapist
· Robbie Martin – LCSW, Margaretville Memorial Hospital Therapist

Beyond all of this, I hope you all enjoy your last days of summer and the start of the school year. On behalf of our employees and our Board of Education we are happy for the start of school and are excited about the success and challenges we will all face during the 2017-2018 school year.


Thomas J. O’Brien


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map     53729 State Highway 30 | Roxbury, NY 12474
P: 607.326.4151
F: 607.326.4154
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