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Nyack Schools Report

Code of Conduct Comes into Focus (September Meeting Notes)

In our Nyack Schools Report, we do our best to highlight the most important ideas, decisions and debates coming out of each monthly meeting of the Nyack School Board.

Summary

The September meeting focused on 3 key topics: the areas of focus for the 2022-23 school year, superintendent search schedule changes and policy updates.

The areas of focus for the school year were simpler than in years past, which is to be expected from an interim superintendent. Here they are:

  • District Morale
  • Code of conduct policy student discipline
  • Capital projects work order efficiency
  • Middle school schedule 
  • K-12 curriculum
  • K-5 STREAM
  • K-3 Literacy
  • Family resource centers, Nyack Basics
  • Disproportionate student outcomes

There was discussion on a few of these items: 

  • Disproportionate outcomes and code of conduct policy items intend to look at student discipline. Dr. Jamilia Blake is engaged in teacher professional development at the middle school focused on classroom management. The superintendent specifically mentioned an observation by one teacher, who works in both the high school and middle school, that some teachers can easily de-escalate a student disruption while, for other teachers, it is like putting kerosene on a fire and the disruption escalates, ultimately leading the student to be called insubordinate. This are the type of de-escalation skills, Blake will be working with teachers to develop.
  • Family resource centers: 3 of 5 coordinators left in the last year, opportunity to look at what they were intended to do originally and how they should be serving families today. Group of administrators and staff to look into this, not clear how student and family voice will be incorporated.
  • The Superintendent search timeline update did not yield significant change – slate of candidates will be presented in early December with interviews to be conducted shortly after. Proposed changes to the survey were not required as they are aspects of the district’s priority already well known – focus on equity, importance of classroom experience and not requiring a doctorate.
  • Finally, there was a unanimous passing of the new gender non-conforming students policy with an accompanying gender support form (which basically creates a plan among all school stakeholders to support non-conforming students) after a year of working through it. Additional revisions required for the staff/Board communication policies were another topic of discussion for future action.

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).

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Nov. 15. 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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