Weekly Safety and Security Update
March 23, 2023
Dear Hudson City School District community,
The past week has brought a wealth of developments advancing safety and security in the Hudson City School District. We received a report on the findings of the Climate and Safety Focus Group sessions we hosted on March 6, held a training session on our secure entry system, plan to bring Bluehawk Academy students on a college visit, produced a draft mission statement on inclusion and learned of a Hudson student welcomed to a new panel giving voice to students’ views on equitable education.
In all, 138 students, teachers, staff, parents and community members participated in the focus groups. Specialized Education Services, Inc., which facilitated the discussions, issued a report recommending several measures to be considered by the upcoming School Climate Safety Advisory Committee (SCSAC), including establishing best practices consistent across all schools, building meaningful relationships with outside partners to increase social-emotional and support services, and exploring programs and strategies to assist students falling behind state proficiency standards and positive responses and interventions for behavioral issues.
“A large majority of students confront inordinate challenges outside of school that significantly affect school success,” the report reads. “A coordinated (SCSAC) strategic approach that includes strategic collaborate partnerships with community-based partners and public agencies serving the “whole child” is essential.”
The report also recommends programs and activities to build student awareness of and readiness for college and careers, and experiences such as field trips that expose students to learning opportunities outside the classroom.
We welcome these recommendations, and I am deeply grateful to all participants in the group.
We will introduce a group of students to college possibilities on March 31, when Bluehawk Academy scholars will visit Columbia-Greene Community College for a tour sponsored by the
college. Students will meet college staff to learn about admissions, applications, programs and financial aid.
Join me in congratulating Hudson Senior High School freshman Warda Mahamud, who was invited to join the League of Innovative Students (LOIS), a new network established by Digital Promise, a non-profit organization established by Congress to advance equitable education systems. With 37 students from 18 districts nationwide, the League will provide a platform for student voices in discussions on policy and advocacy.
On March 17, teachers, teacher assistants, aides, administrators and clerical staff benefited from professional learning opportunities in-district or throughout the Questar III BOCES region in the Regional Professional Development Day. In addition to participating, Hudson hosted and facilitated some of the activities, which included topics that addressed classroom culture, inclusion and other topics related to school climate.
As part of the Development Day, Manager of Instructional Technology Chery Rabinowitz attended a safety seminar, “Critical Planning Steps and Improvement Opportunities for Creating Safer K-12 Schools.” Offered free at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, the seminary was sponsored by Altaris Consulting Group.
Also as part of the event, Dr. Trini Hernandez, the Hudson City School District’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Manager, led an Equity Ambassadors session, which produced this draft mission statement:
The Hudson City School district stands united in fostering inclusive environments in which ALL are empowered to achieve through equitable opportunities. We value the diversity within our community and strive to dismantle systemic barriers through culturally responsive instruction, widening perspectives, and building connections.
Dr. Hernandez will seek input from the district-wide community and will present the final version to the Board of Education for approval and adoption. The team is eager to continue meeting to plan and collaborate.
Power of Peace
This month, Michael Arterberry, facilitator of the Power of Peace program, returned to the Hudson City School District to work with seventh and eighth grade students. On March 13, all students met Mr. Arterberry in an assembly. They will participate in full-day workshops over the next several weeks.
These are some of the developments enhancing safety and security at our schools. As always, I urge you to share any suggestions, concerns and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your partnership and investment in our students’ futures.
Dr. Lisamarie Spindler
Superintendent of Schools
Hudson City School District