August 31, 2016
Welcome to the 2016-17 school year! It is hard to believe that our warm, sunny summer days are behind us and we are gearing up for the new year. Our two high schools will share nearly identical enrollment levels with Ramapo at 1133 students and Indian Hills at 1145 students. The freshmen at both schools have had freshmen orientation and we hope are a little more acquainted with our facilities and expectations. The senior ambassadors always do an outstanding job of supporting the incoming students and we all appreciate their tremendous efforts.
As we begin the new year, I would like to bring to your attention a couple of administrative changes at Ramapo High School. As you may recall, Dr. Moore left us at the end of last school year and Mr. Travis Smith has taken over as Principal of Ramapo. He certainly hit the ground running on July 1 and many of you may have already met Mr. Smith. Additionally, during the summer, Mr. Dan VanderMolen left us mid- August to become a middle school principal in Mahwah. We wish Dan all the best as he begins his journey as a Principal. Mr. Michael Mancino has begun at Ramapo as our new Assistant Principal and I look forward to our students and parents getting to know Mr. Mancino. Also, Mrs. Arlene DiFiore, Guidance Supervisor, decided to retire from public school education and take on a position in counseling at nearby St. Joseph High School in Montvale. We wish Mrs. DiFiore the best as she begins her retirement with a new position!! Many thanks to Mrs. DiFiore for all of her support while at Ramapo. Mrs. Jennifer Perry has been selected as the next Supervisor of Guidance at Ramapo and I am sure she will be an outstanding addition to our leadership team in the District. I am very confident that Mr. Travis Smith, Mr. Michael Mancino and Mrs. Jennifer Perry will be tremendous assets to our District and you will be very happy as you get to know each of them.
Just a couple reminders as we begin our year together. First and foremost, we are all role models for students. As administrators, teachers, support staff, coaches and of course parents, our children are watching every move we make. A very high priority for us will be to continue to build an environment of respect. Whether it is through social media, speaking on a cell phone while in the car with students, text messaging, emailing, etc., we are all continually role modeling for our children. If you ever have a concern, please contact the teacher or coach/advisor first to attempt to have the problem addressed. We are all here to try to resolve any issues or problems you or your child may have. Most often, a quick phone call or email to the teacher or coach is the best avenue to begin to find a solution.
We are very excited about a couple new initiatives in the District this year. During the summer, a new bike trail was cleared at both high schools, approximately a one-mile loop, and mountain biking will become part of our Physical Education Curriculum for this school year. Our Physical Education Curriculum continues to build upon lifetime skills, fitness and nutrition. Additionally, we have added several Syracuse University courses to our curriculum through which students will receive both high school and college credit. Our Pathway Programs continue to grow and of course, our University Programs continue to provide students with particular interests, very focused educational opportunities.
The 2016-17 school year looks to be a very exciting time for our athletic programs, drama, music programs, and many clubs. As you know, our athletes, musicians, drama performers, academic team competitors keep us busy and entertained day in and day out through the year. I would like to thank all of the parents and families for the outstanding support of our students in all of their various talents. Many of these activities require the commitment of the entire family in order to get students to and from practices, lessons, games, matches, competitions etc. Without the amazing support and dedication of parents, much of this would not be possible.
As we now move into our new school year, I welcome our incoming 9th grade families to the District and welcome everyone else back for another wonderful year. We are so blessed to have a support structure in place where our children are nurtured by caring families and taught by outstanding teachers.
Please get involved in your high school parent-teacher organization, the PTSO or the APTS. Both of these organizations do a great job at providing you with information as well as supporting the work of our schools.
High school is an exciting time for families. Enjoy every minute because before you can blink your eyes, your children will be off to college, university, work or the military.
I look forward to a wonderful year supporting the needs of students and families in our communities! Best of luck!
Superintendent of SchoolsSuperintendent's Welcome Back