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Nyack Schools Report: Super Search Continues with Special Meeting

The Nyack School Board met at the Hilltop Administration building (13A Dickinson Avenue, Nyack, NY) on Tuesday, September 6, the first day of school. Below is a brief discussion of what happened, what was discussed and what’s up next, including a special meeting to discuss the search for a new Superintendent on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 pm. (Here’s the Zoom link.)

Board report

Board members described visiting the schools and remarked on the joy of students, teachers, staff and parents, saying it was basically a return to a greater level of normalcy than was experienced over the last 2 years.

Superintendent James Montesano has returned for an interim period while another superintendent search is conducted. He is contracted through January. The superintendent search firm has been contracted and will be gathering input from the community. (It’s unclear exactly how they’re going to gather that input, but we might know more after Wednesday’s special meeting.)

The Superintendent’s report included minor issues with bussing on the first day and a word of caution that due to ongoing issues with bus driver shortages, sports may be impacted – particularly girls swimming, which has to bus to Rockland Community College every day.

Amber McDonald is student body president and the new student Board representative.

Trustee John Duval mentioned a NY Times article, based on the annual National Assessment of Educational Progress, that said the pandemic erased two decades of national progress in math and reading – disproportionately impacting students of color.

Trustee Davidson discussed the free lunch that was provided during pandemic was critical for many families and argued that the program should be continued. (It hasn’t?)

Workshop items

As it does each year, the Board read the Board’s own code of conduct. There was a first reading of a revision on a policy for Board-Staff communication. A discussion between Trustees Marshall and Hughes on the finer points. A second reading will include minor revisions.

There was a second reading on the policy to Support Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender Non-Conforming Students. A Gender Support Plan mentioned in the policy needs to be provided and the Board can vote on it.

Personnel items

There were a total of 11 resignations, including teaching assistants, security aides and receptionists.

There were also 12 appointments, including, most notably, a new Music department chairperson Michael Humphrey after the unexpected summer departure of first year chair Sarah Loveland-Gill.

What’s next? How can I learn more?

The Nyack school board generally meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the administration building (13A Dickinson Avenue, Nyack, NY), although times and locations are subject to change (find upcoming dates here).

There is a “special” meeting scheduled for this Wednesday, Sept. 14. To join on Zoom, click here.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for September 20. Click here to find out when and where you can attend upcoming meetings.

To listen to a podcast of recent meetings, click here.




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