News at Hudson City School District

August 2017 -- Please note that since the Register-Star transitioned to, some links to past newspaper articles may not have transferred.

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News 2017-2018

District Insights: 2017-18 Year-End District Recap

(June 13, 2018) -- Before reflecting on how much we’ve achieved since September 2017, I would like to thank our district voters for approving our 2018-19 school budget. We are grateful for your support of our academic, art and athletic programs. Additionally, we are excited to extend new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) opportunities to our students in the elementary grades.

It seems like only yesterday that we welcomed staff back to school while on the grounds of the beautiful Bluehawk Sports Complex. It was a day of celebration and a new beginning for the Hudson Bluehawks as we kicked off the school year with an acrostic poem to help define what it truly means to be a HUDSON Bluehawk:

H (Heroic), U (United), D (Diverse), S (Scholarship), O (Optimistic), N (Nurturing)

Here we are 10 months later and the words used to define Hudson ring truer than ever as evidenced by what we have accomplished since opening day. As we close another school year, I’d like to highlight some of the numerous achievements of our Bluehawk students and staff.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's June 2018 column >>

Budget Vote Results

(Wednesday, May 16, 2018) -- Hudson City School District voters approved the district's $48,769,728 budget for the 2018-19 school year, with 308 in favor and 187 opposed. Voters also approved the proposition to transfer funds to a Repair Reserve by 328 yes votes to 162 no votes.

In the Board of Education election, incumbents Lucinda Segar and Willette Jones were re-elected. Ms. Segar received 363 votes and will fill the three-year term beginning July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021. Ms. Jones received 357 votes and will complete the remainder of Mr. Kisselburgh’s term, effective July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. There were 34 write-in votes.

Thank you to everyone who voted.

District Insights: Budget Boosts STEM and Career Guidance

(May 9, 2018) -- To prepare the Hudson City School District’s 2018-19 budget, we spent the last few months carefully considering our present status and, more importantly, what must be done to continue building upon our improvement efforts. We are pleased to propose a forward-thinking spending plan that puts career readiness and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) programs at the forefront.

The primary goals of the $48,769,728 proposed spending plan are to keep strengthening academic programs (particularly Math and Science), athletics and occupational development opportunities available to Hudson students.

To help our community be well-informed before casting their votes on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, the main features of the proposed budget are highlighted in this month's column as well as on our Budget Information webpage.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's May 2018 column >>

District Insights: Nearing the Capital Project’s Finish Line

(February 13, 2018) -- It has been two years since voters in the Hudson City School District approved our capital improvement project, and we are proud of our progress up to this point. The final stage of the capital project is to complete the transition to a two-campus school district. The merging of the John L. Edwards and the M.C. Smith schools is scheduled to occur in September 2018, at which point the M.C. Smith school will become a unified PK-5 elementary building. As we prepare for the transition, there are several points of consideration to ensure a smooth process.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's February 2018 column >>
(Please note that date of the JLE Parent/Teacher Conference Night has been changed since the time of publishing. The new date is Wednesday, March 28 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.)

CASDA Honors Craig Bender with 2018 Friends of Education Award

Craig Bender, a volunteer with the Hudson City School District, will be honored with the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) Friends of Education Award on Thursday, February 16th at the Friends of Education Dinner. CASDA presents this award to recognize the selfless contributions of individuals who dedicate themselves to serving students and the school community.

Mr. Bender has been a volunteer in the Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School for more than five years. During this time he has been an active participant in the Hudson Reads program, instilling a love of reading that supports academic growth. Along with his wife, he established a writing award for 6th grade students. Craig has also hosted field trips at his equine rescue farm for 4th graders, allowing them to interact with nature and discover organic farming. Craig’s most significant impact, however, may be through the Kids Need Music program, a non-profit organization he founded to provide instruments and opportunities to Hudson’s music students. What began modestly has grown into a program that donates more than 50 instruments each year. Music teacher Leah Phillips states that “without his help, our music program would not be what it is today.” Craig Bender’s endless generosity makes him a genuine Friend of Education.

Dr. Suttmeier Receives Positive Image Award

Dr. Maria Suttmeier holds award plaqueCongratulations to our superintendent, Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier, for being named a recipient of the Sons & Daughters of Italy Positive Image Award!

The award from the Columbia County Sons and Daughters of Italy 659 recognizes local residents of Italian heritage who promote positive images of Italian-Americans and positively contribute to the community. Dr. Suttmeier and another award recipient, Ted Filli, received plaques at a ceremony on January 7, 2018.

District Insights: What Mentors Mean to Us

(January 16, 2018) -- “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

We are proud to have a variety of mentorship opportunities throughout our schools that support student success and development. Since January is National Mentoring Month, which was established to promote youth mentoring in the U.S., Superintendent Suttmeier highlights some of the amazing mentoring programs available to our students in her January 2018 column >>

Pre-Payment of School Taxes

(December 28, 2017) -- Please note that the Hudson City School District cannot accommodate pre-payment of school taxes for federal tax purposes. Payment of 2017-18 school taxes was due in August and October installments. Per New York State law, our district cannot provide property tax bills for the 2018-19 school year until after the school budget has been adopted (the budget vote is on Tuesday May 15, 2018) and the subsequent tax warrant has been issued. While Governor Cuomo’s recent Executive Order No. 172 gives counties and towns the ability to collect their 2018 property tax payments by the end of 2017, it does not authorize school districts to collect the 2018-19 school taxes before the adoption of next year’s budget.

District Insights: Getting Ready to Close the 1st Quarter of the Year

(December 12, 2017) -- Students and teachers at the Hudson City School District are preparing to close out the first semester of the school year. Although we have many attendance days still ahead of us, the past several weeks show a good start to the year. We have seen promising student attendance numbers during the first semester.

Since missing just two school days per month can have negative impacts on academic performance, starting as early as kindergarten, we hope to continue improving student attendance through the spring. In order to do that, we will continue working with families and the community to reduce absences and truancy across all grade levels.

On behalf of the HCSD, I wish you a safe, warm winter recess and a healthy, happy new year. If you make one New Year’s resolution, please consider making school attendance a priority in your family. We are looking forward to recharging and returning to school in January, ready to get back to work and finish the school year strong.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's December 2017 column >>

Closing Ceremony at Barrett Field (Photos by Chip Moon)

On Wednesday, September 27, 2017, members of the school and local community celebrated decades of Hudson athletes at the Closing Ceremomy for John A. Barrett Field. Thank you to Hudson graduate Chip Moon for taking and sharing great photos.

Closing Ceremony at Barrett Field

The Hudson City School District also extends its gratitude to these individuals/community organizations for their sponsorship and support of the Closing Ceremony of Barrett Field and the Grand Opening of Bluehawk Sports Complex.

District Insights: Coursework Options on Horizon for N.Y. Students

(October 9, 2017) -- More options for required coursework are on the horizon for students in New York State. The Board of Regents recently approved regulations that will allow students to meet middle school Career and Technical Education (CTE) coursework requirements through a broader range of subjects.

Previously, state regulations required that all students completed a rigid series of coursework by the end of grade 8 that provided for the first formal introduction to CTE in two specific disciplines: Family and Consumer Sciences and Technology Education. Following the Board of Regents’ ruling, students will be able to achieve these coursework requirements through the study of business, agriculture, health sciences and/or trade and technical subjects (actual courses will vary by school district). Overall, districts will be better positioned to design meaningful programs in any CTE discipline, thus creating a link between middle and high school programs.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's October 2017 column >>

District Insights: What Does It Mean to Be a HUDSON Bluehawk?

(September 12, 2017) -- We kicked off another school year in Bluehawk style when faculty and staff congregated at our new track/athletic field for Opening Day last week. There were a few clouds in the sky but the atmosphere was brightened by the participation of students and the sounds of Bluehawk cheers.

This is a momentous time for us in Hudson. When I allow myself to sit back and contemplate how much we have accomplished together with our community of supporters, I am filled with appreciation and awe. The overwhelming approval of the Capital Project and 2017-18 budget gave us a clear and resounding message that we have people who believe in us, who want to help us give our students the very best experience, and who want to provide every Bluehawk with the opportunity to soar into a successful future.

Just as the Capital Project is reinvigorating our campus, we too must reinvent ourselves and take the opportunity to refine what it truly means to be a Hudson Bluehawk. It sounds simple enough, but what does it really mean to be HUDSON?

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's September 2017 column >>

News 2016-2017

Dan & Mary Udell Receive the 2017 Friends of Education AwardRecipients of the 2017 CASDA Friends of Education award

Dan and Mary Udell of Hudson were honored with the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) Friends of Education Award on February 16. This award recognizes the selfless contributions of individuals who dedicate themselves to serving students and the school community. Read the full press release here

Not only do the Udells help produce videos for the Hudson City School District, but they have been reading mentors in the Hudson Reads program at M.C. Smith Intermediate School for more than a decade. From all of us at HCSD, thank you Mr. and Mrs. Udell for your dedicated service to our students!

District Insights: A Successful School Year Comes to a Close

(June 19, 2017) -- It is hardly believable the end of the school year is upon us already. How quickly we progress from Opening Day to Graduation Day always amazes us. On Opening Day in September, we consider the possibilities offered by a new school year. As we approach Graduation Day, we close out another year by reflecting on and celebrating the achievements of our Bluehawk staff and students. During this school year, there were several noteworthy accomplishments from students and teachers.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's June 2017 column in the Register-Star >>

Budget Vote Results

(May 16, 2017) -- Hudson City School District voters approved the district's $46,566,172 budget for the 2017-18 school year with 346 in favor and 155 opposed. Voters also approved Proposition 2 (land donation to the City of Hudson) by 426 yes votes to 73 no votes. In the Board of Education election, incumbent Carrie Otty received 419 votes to 17 write-ins. Thank you to everyone who voted.

District Insights: A Budget Aimed at Improving Student Supports, Programming

(May 9, 2017) -- It’s that time of year again: budget season. School districts across New York State have been diligently preparing proposals for 2017-18 spending plans to go before voters. We think it is important to be open about the annual budget so our community can make informed decisions when casting votes on May 16, 2017.

The Hudson City School District is pleased to propose a 2017-18 budget that supports our Destination Graduation goals to raise the bar, close the achievement gap, align curriculum and instruction, and promote the social emotional development of our students. We are proud of our accomplishments so far and are committed to continuous improvement.

The $46,566,172 proposed budget not only maintains all current programs, but provides increased student supports, enrichment activities and enhancements to programs. The proposed budget increases spending by $655,801, which is a 1.43 percent increase from the 2016-17 budget. The District would be able to continue the wide variety of student supports and programs without a large increase in the general budget due in part to offsetting expenses with grant funding whenever possible.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's May 2017 column in the Register-Star >>

Parent Letter Regarding Netflix Series "13 Reasons Why"

You may have heard about or watched the new Netflix series entitled "13 Reasons Why." Due to its popularity among young adults and the serious nature of the show's topics, the District issued this letter with helpful resources for families. Please read it carefully, and contact your child's principal or counselor if you have any questions.

Visit the National Association of School Psychologists website for further information as well as guidance for educators and families.

District Insights: The Virtue of School Libraries

(April 11, 2017) -- “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

School libraries, and libraries in general, give students the capability to do many things. Libraries can empower students to read more books and discover the world through reading. They give a sense of empowerment to young readers by offering children the chance to select books specific to their interests and reading levels.

In addition to offering an abundance of curriculum-based resources, school librarians provide a framework for teaching research skills and digital literacy. School libraries equip students with lifelong learning skills and the ability to retrieve and evaluate information, qualities that will help our students be successful in college and career.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's April 2017 column in the Register-Star >>

District Insights: Multiple Pathways to College & Career Readiness

(March 14, 2017) -- High school graduation is an event that marks a significant stage in a student’s life and it is often a primary focus of educators. Although the Hudson City School District’s slogan is “Destination Graduation,” there is another measure beside graduation rate we use to determine if we are providing a successful education: College and career readiness.

At the Hudson City School District, we offer a variety of opportunities and programs to help students develop the skills they need to succeed as college students, working professionals and active citizens. This is our overall mission in partnership with our families and our community.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's March 2017 column in the Register-Star >>

District Insights: Moving On Up

(February 14, 2017) -- The first step in the capital project was to move the sixth grade from the M.C. Smith Intermediate School into the Junior High School, which was completed prior to the start of the 2016-2017 school year. Other components of phase 1 that are moving forward are plans for the new track and athletic field facility, under roof improvements, traffic flow upgrades and renovations at the intermediate school in preparation for moving the second grade to the intermediate school this September. We are happy to report phase 1 is on schedule and running at or below budget.

As we prepare for the second-grade transition, scheduled for September 2017, there are several points of consideration to ensure a smooth process. We have spoken with administrators and staff extensively so we are better able to address aspects of staffing, planning, safety and the logistics of moving an entire grade to another building.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's February 2017 column in the Register-Star >>

District Insights: Diversity and Bluehawk Pride

(December 13, 2016) -- As another calendar year comes to an end, we find ourselves naturally reflecting on the events of 2016, not only in the Hudson City School District and local community, but nationally and worldwide. Many of us — not just educators — are heartbroken to see recent media reports of increased bullying and insensitive comments in schools across the nation. The frequency of these reports seems to be on the rise, even as many schools finished activities for National Bullying Prevention Month in October.

In light of these reports arising from other schools and communities, please be assured that the Hudson City School District and Board of Education are committed to providing an educational environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality that is free from all forms of harassment. These are important values in at HCSD.

Continue reading Superintendent Suttmeier's December 2016 column in the Register-Star >>

Notice About Nearby Incident Off School Premises

School officials at Hudson CSD recently notified the Hudson Police Department of a report made by two students regarding lewd behavior by a suspicious male off school premises on the evening of November 29, 2016. The incident occurred on the corner of State and 3rd after the bus dropped off students coming from the After School Program. Police were given a detailed description of the individual and are currently investigating the incident.

In light of this information and the proximity to our district, we feel it is important to make you aware of this incident. We ask that you remind your child about these important safety tips:

  • If you See something, Say something: if your child has a concern or issue, please ask them to speak with an adult immediately. If you or your child see something criminal in nature on or near school grounds, please contact district staff and the police.
  • Don’t talk to strangers: it is important to remind children about what to do if approached by a stranger, both online and in person.

For parents/guardians, we also ask that you know and follow your school’s protocols for picking up/dropping off your child, from where to park (to avoid delaying buses) to showing proper identification and signing into our schools.

As always, the safety of our students is our top priority, and while we do not wish to alarm you with this information, we felt sharing this information and safety tips with our school community was important.

District Insights: The Good and Bad of Every Student Succeeds Act

(November 8, 2016) -- For nearly 50 years, the United States has exerted recurring efforts to design and implement an educational paradigm shift to raise the bar, close the achievement gaps and finally address the need to appropriately prepare all students for both college and career in the highly competitive 21st century. Most recently, in December, new legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, was passed to replace No Child Left Behind and it will affect every public school in the country. The act is set to take full effect in the 2017-18 school year.

Since the act is fairly new, it may take some time before the impact on our schools and students becomes clear. The most significant change we can expect is that states will have a larger role in holding schools accountable, thereby allowing for greater flexibility in school evaluations and setting goals for student achievement.

An initial review of the Every Student Succeeds Act reveals some good news and not so good news for schools across the country.

Read the rest of Superintendent Suttmeier's November 2016 column in the Register-Star >>

District Insights: Maintaining Historic Appearance, Maximizing Possibilities at MCSIS

(October 11, 2016) -- When planning began for our Capital Project earlier this year, we expected the typical design challenges. Our goal was to explore all options to be sure we selected the best design for our students. This was particularly true for the new primary wing addition to the historic M.C. Smith Intermediate School. Many in the community rightfully spoke out about the importance of maintaining the new addition’s architectural compatibility with the existing intermediate school.

Over the last several months, district administrators and the Board of Education have worked tirelessly with the architects to ensure the best possible building design that compliments the existing building and our academic programs while fitting within our financial means. One of our goals was to design an addition with a nearly seamless look next to the historic exterior of the intermediate school. However, soil samplings on the south side of the building revealed evidence of unstable soil. These results challenged the district and architects to formulate a more creative solution that would fit the district’s needs, both academically and financially.

After much deliberation, we were able to develop a design that offers a good compromise between structural and architectural integrity while providing a favorable academic program flow between the existing and new instructional spaces.

Read the rest of Superintendent Suttmeier's October 2016 column in the Register-Star >>

District Insights: Welcome Back Bluehawks

(September 13, 2016) -- There is always a great sense of excitement and opportunity as we embark on a new school year. Thankfully, teaching is one of the rare professions where we get a clean slate every year and that brings hope and possibility. That is especially true this year. This is the first time in many years that we are opening our doors not designated by the state for anything. This year, we are truly beginning with a clean slate and for the first time in a long time we face the future unencumbered by negative labels.

Just as our championship athletic teams achieved their success through teamwork, this accomplishment was also a cooperative effort. It took a great deal of planning, determination and most of all, teamwork in every building at every level, as well as coordination with our community partners. We don’t want to talk only about the past or just about this school year, we want to focus on the next four years and beyond. We want to focus on our future as a district on the rise.

Read the rest of Superintendent Suttmeier's September 2016 column in the Register-Star >>

News 2015-2016

District Insights: Volunteers help make it all possible

April is National Volunteer Month and April 18-22 is Public School Volunteer Week. This is a time to recognize volunteers — those who donate their time to benefit others. Our school district needs funding to operate, of course, but it also benefits from all the community volunteers that help make things possible by donating their time to support the district and its programs.

Read the rest of Superintendent Suttmeier's April column in the Register-Star >>

Johnston & Pulcher Bus Co. honored with 2016 Friends of Education award

Tami Johnston and Debbie Pulcher of the Johnston & Pulcher Bus Company that serves the Hudson City School District were honored with the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) Friends of Education Award on April 20th at the Annual Capital Region Education Awards Dinner. This award is presented to recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals serving students and their school community. Read more here

"Thank You" letter from Superintendent Suttmeier

The District was recently able to announce the great news that the Hudson City School District is no longer identified as a "Focus District" (more details in the Register-Star.)

Although addressed to parents/guardians, this "Thank You" letter from Superintendent Suttmeier really goes out to everyone. Coming off the "Focus List" is an accomplishment that would not have been possible without the hard work of our faculty, staff, students, parents and community partners!

Hudson CSD welcomes new School Business Administrator

Just in time for the new year, the Hudson City School District would like to welcome Sharifa Carbon, the new School Business Administrator for the district. Read more about Ms. Carbon and what she hopes to accomplish at HCSD.

Resolution to reimburse new substitutes for fingerprinting passed by Board

At the January 25, 2016 meeting of the HCSD Board of Education, the Board passed a resolution to reimburse the fingerprinting fee for new employees who apply to be substitutes.

After working five times, any new substitute employees (teachers, teacher assistants and aides, and kitchen substitutes) can complete a reimbursement form and then be reimbursed by a separate check, free of taxes, for the full amount of the fingerprinting fee.

For applications to be a substitute, visit the Employment Opportunities page.

Second Round of Community Feedback

The second community conversation regarding Hudson CSD’s long-range planning process, Vision 2020, occurred on October 1, 2015.

It was a follow-up session to the August 20th input session, at which community members responded to key questions built around the HCSD’s “Destination Graduation” commitment. These goals, established in 2013, have been the focus of the district’s ongoing efforts to advance the intellectual, social and emotional development of all students to prepare them for college, career and citizenship.

Read the feedback here. It includes input from both the August and October community conversations.

More information on the Destination Graduation initiative can be found online. For questions regarding the Vision 2020, please call the district office at (518) 828-4360, ext. 2101.

Message from the Board: Hudson CSD Board extends superintendent’s contract

The Hudson CSD Board of Education unanimously approved a contract extension for Superintendent Maria Suttmeier through 2020.

The new contract establishes a salary of $154,452 effective July 1, 2015. The salary listed by the State Education Department in the Register Star article was incorrect by using the Superintendent’s base salary from 3 years ago making the annual raise appear much greater.

The Board extended the contract in recognition of the Superintendent’s leadership and work, which includes helping to raise the graduation rate 15 percent since 2012.

The editorial did not reflect the fact that the Superintendent voluntarily opened her 5-year contract to move to a less expensive health insurance plan that requires greater out-of-pocket expenses. It also did not include the fact that such savings helped offset a portion of subsequent raises.

Hudson CSD is now saving $11,176 a year with the superintendent moving from family to individual coverage. Part of the savings was used to fund this year’s raise.

The Hudson CSD Board of Education looks forward to continuing to work with the superintendent, staff and community to prepare our students for the future. Residents are invited to attend a Community Conversation at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 in the John L. Edwards cafeteria. At the time we will be meeting to discuss long-term goals and how to work together to improve our schools.

District Insights: HCSD looks to future with Vision 2020

We acknowledge that our district must stretch itself beyond what we imagine possible and we should never settle for less. We are better today than we were yesterday and we will be even better tomorrow — our dimensions are being expanded by each step we take together toward Vision 2020. Read more >>

Welcome back to school video from SED

Commissioner Elia and Teacher of the Year: Welcome Back to School

Community members provide feedback

On August 20, 2015 more than 60 community members attended an input session on Hudson CSD’s long-range planning process.

Using a “facilitated conversation” process (often referred to as a “world café”), residents responded to key questions built around the Hudson CSD’s “Destination Graduation” commitment. These goals, established in 2013, have been the focus of the district’s ongoing efforts to advance the intellectual, social and emotional development of all students to prepare them for college, career and citizenship.

Download feedback from the August 20 session. More information on the Destination Graduation initiative can be found online. For questions regarding the Vision 2020, please call the district office at (518) 828-4360, ext. 2101.

2014-15 News Archive