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Archive of 2012-13 Letters

Letter from the Superintendent: International Baccalaureate (IB) Update

April 16, 2013

Dear Parent(s) and or Guardian(s):

In case you are not aware, at the April 4th Board of Education Meeting, the Board of Education voted to discontinue the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. We would like to take a moment to thank our educators for being the strong instructional leaders they are.

There was a great deal of work put into implementing the IB program at the Emma C. Chase building and a great deal of work put into building the IB program at the George L. Cooke and Kenneth L. Rutherford buildings. As noted at the meeting, we are extremely pleased with the strong instructional work that has been done as a result of this program. It is also important to note that we intend to build forward, take what we have learned from IB, and build toward a successful future implementing the college and career readiness expectations demanded of the Common Core. Our work with IB has absolutely perched us at an excellent starting point to undertake this rigorous task.

Discontinuing IB was not an easy choice. As you know, budgetary limitations imposed by the 2% tax cap forced us to look not just at our ability to carry forward with the program this coming year, but to take into account the fiscal capabilities to continue the program in three years and beyond. In looking at the information, it was evident that we would need to make reductions each year in order to comply with the imposed cap, and we wanted to set forward on a path that would allow for compliance with cap, but would also allow us to aspire to the vision that we become "One Monticello."

Although fiscally we could not continue forward with the program, we know full-well that we will reap the future benefits of the educational dedication and instructional improvements that resulted from IB's implementation.

Your partners in education,

Daniel A. Teplesky, Superintendent of Schools & Tammy Mangus, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction

Monticello CSD Hall of Distinction Nominations Sought

February 5, 2013

Nominations are currently being accepted for inductees to the newly-created Monticello Central School District Hall of Distinction (HOD). This initiative is intended to establish a tradition that honors highly successful graduates, former students and former employees who have achieved distinction, outstanding accomplishment or significant contribution within their school, family, career, community and/or personal lives. The new Hall will be located in the lobby outside the Arnold Packer Hughes Auditorium at Monticello High School.

The inaugural group of recipients will be selected by the HOD committee in the spring of 2013 and honored at a reception at the National Senior High School Honor Society induction in the fall of 2013.

“The Hall of Distinction inductees will represent the caliber of students who attended the Monticello School District and the contributions and achievements of our former staff members,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel A. Teplesky. “It will also be a positive motivational force for our current students.”

Nominations forms are available at the bottom of this page or at the MCSD Administration Office, 237 Forestburgh Road in Monticello. Nominations must be submitted by April 15, 2013.

For more information, please contact Laura McAndrew at 845-794-7700, ext. 70511 or lmcandrew@k12mcsd.net.

CLICK HERE for the nomination form in Microsoft Word format (this version may be downloaded to your computer, completed and emailed to the district office.)

CLICK HERE for the nomination form in PDF format.

The Monticello CSD Hall of Distinction was established by the Board of Education and is comprised of committee members Susan Purcell, Alyce Van Etten, Robert Bellamy, Cathleen Doherty, Jonathon Farrow, Martin Miller, Les Kristt, Lewis Kaufman, Robert Green, Denise Cedeira-Thornton, Dr. Randy Katz, Dana Taylor, Lori Orestano-James, Christine Worthington and Robert Harding.

Monticello CSD’s APPR Plans Approved by NY State

Plans lay out teacher and administrator performance evaluations

December 18, 2012

The Monticello Central School District Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans for teachers and administrators have been officially approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). The approval satisfies a requirement of the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) education initiative and makes Monticello eligible to receive its allotted education aid. All school districts in New York must have their APPRs approved by NYSED by January 17, 2013 or risk losing funding. APPR

The approval is the result of months of collaborative talks between Monticello officials, the Monticello Teachers Association (MTA) and the Monticello Administrators and Supervisors Association (MASA).

“I am grateful to have such a wonderful team of professionals in this district,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel A. Teplesky. “During the process of refining the APPRs, no one ever lost sight of our common goal: to provide the best educational opportunities possible for our students, and the best professional growth model for our teachers.”

The new APPRs create high expectations for teachers and administrators, yet at the same time provide flexibility to meet the diverse needs of students and staff. Student performance on local and state exams will factor into a teacher’s evaluation. Other factors include growth in student work and assessment of classroom skills through observations by a trained evaluator.

Administrator evaluations will consider factors like assessment growth toward determined goals and assessment of leadership and management. Evaluation scores will now categorize teachers and administrators into one of four categories: highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective. Monticello submitted its APPRs to NYSED after their adoption by the Board of Education at its November 15 meeting. VIEW APPRs

CLICK HERE to view the approval letter from NYS Commissioner of Education John King.

Photo: from left, Monticello Schools Superintendent Daniel Teplesky, teacher effectiveness guru and author Kim Marshall and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Tammy Mangus at a recent professional develop.m. ent seminar for staff members. Monticello Schools is utilizing the Kim Marshall evaluation rubrics in its newly adopted APPRs for teachers and administrators.

Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

December 15, 2012

On behalf of the entire Monticello Central School District, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to those families who have been affected by Friday's tragic events in Newtown, Conn. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Children in today’s world live in a very different world than when we grew up and we should anticipate that children in our community will have questions and concerns. For parents who are looking for help in dealing with their children, the following links will be helpful to you as you have these conversations with your children:

The safety of your children is our first priority as a school district. Keeping students safe requires us all to work together on many fronts. At school, we begin by emphasizing the importance of treating everyone with respect and telling a trusted adult if students are concerned about anything.

We also have a number of measures in place to deter school violence. These include: identification badges for staff members; visitation procedures that require visitors to sign-in and wear name tags in our buildings; and a traffic flow at all of our schools that brings visitors directly to the main office.

Over the next week our administrators in conjunction with our head custodians in each building will do more frequent walks around the buildings, grounds and parking lots.
Our district has an excellent working relationship with the Sullivan County Sheriffs Department, the Monticello Police Department and the New York State Police. We believe that Monticello students and staff members feel safe and are safe when they are in our schools. We will do everything we can to make sure that this remains true.

Please remember that it is imperative to pay attention and follow all district protocols especially when you enter and leave our buildings. Always stop at the office or greeters desk and state the purpose of your business. Please follow your specific building procedures when your child must be released early.

Our students’ well being is our utmost priority in Monticello. We will make our counselors available for any students who may be having difficulty coping with these terrible events and, of course, we will continue to provide as safe and nurturing a learning environment as we possibly can. Please feel welcome to contact your school principal for help.

I appreciate all of your continued support. May all of your families have a safe and happy holiday season.

Daniel A. Teplesky
Superintendent of Schools

Monticello Schools: “Wall of Distinction” Committee Members Wanted

August 17, 2012

A committee comprised of four Monticello Schools Board of Education members is working to create a “Wall of Distinction” as a way to honor individuals who have made lasting and outstanding contributions to society and/or the Monticello Central School District. The new MCSD Wall of Distinction will be located in the hallway outside the Arnold Packer Hughs Auditorium in Monticello High School.

The district is seeking to form a 15-member committee to review nominations and select individuals to receive this honor. The committee will be comprised of four board members, eight community members and three alumni.

Those who wish to serve on the committee should email a letter of interest to Superintendent of Schools Daniel A. Teplesky at dteplesky@k12mcsd.net no later than Friday, September 14. When the committee is established, the criteria will be determined and the timeline for nominations will be decided.

Archive of 2011-12 Letters

Memo to Staff and Parents about SchoolMessenger

May 24, 2012

The Monticello Central School District is proud to announce it has added the SchoolMessenger notification system as a way to communicate with parents/guardians and staff members in our school community. This new service will launch in May with a small sampling of test messages while we refine the system. Full implementation of SchoolMessenger will begin September 2012.

SchoolMessenger allows the district and each of its schools and departments to send messages via telephone, email and text for a variety of purposes, including emergency situations, school closings and delays, parental outreach (for example, state assessment dates, school and athletic events, student attendance, etc.) and other communications as necessary.

SchoolMessenger is programmed to work hand-in-hand with the SchoolTool student management system and is designed to place automated calls to the primary phone number of staff and parents. Monticello’s technology department has set up a Contact Manager Database website that allows all users to input additional contact information, including a cell phone number to receive texts, an email address or secondary contacts.

SchoolMessenger will replace our School News Notifier (SNN) messaging system which is currently utilized for closings and delays and other school notifications. The SNN “District News” category will still be used to send district-level news to the general public. As of September 2012, all other notifications will be sent via SchoolMessenger. We look forward to the roll-out and implementation of SchoolMessenger allowing the Monticello School District to keep you up-to-date with important information.

For more information about the SchoolMessenger system, please contact your child's school principal.

MCSD Named One of the Best Communities for Music Education

May 23, 2012

NAMM The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has announced the results of its 11th annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the country for their commitment and support of music education. The Monticello Central School District has been selected, for the fifth straight year, as a Best Communities for Music Education designee for 2012 .

Districts receiving this honor scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions, including those regarding funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, and support for the music program.

The district’s music teachers are: Ann Trombley, Timothy Buckley, David Chidsey, Dawn Clayton, Karen Laufersweiler, Margo Marusek, Joyce Wells, Michael Mingo, Amy Phillips, Aaron Rovitz and Nancy Wegrzyn.

Regarding the honor, Superintendent Daniel A. Teplesky stated, “This honor would not have been possible without the support and commitment of our talented teaching staff, administrators, the Board of Education, parents and the Monticello Central School District community as a whole.”

For the complete 2012 "Best Communities for Music Education" listing, please visit, www.nammfoundation.org.

Proposed 2012-2013 Budget Focuses on Containing Costs and Keeping Academic Excellence a Priority

April 27, 2012

MCSD studentsThe Monticello Central School District, like many districts throughout New York State, is trying to maintain the integrity of its educational programs and offerings while weathering the prolonged economic downturn. Many of our residents struggle as the prices for food and gasoline continue to slowly inch upward.

We know increases in personal expenses have not been offset by an increase in salary and in some cases, overall income has diminished. The Board of Education’s goal was to try to strike a balance between the needs of our students and the ability of our community to fund our educational programs. The result was a proposed budget with a tax levy increase of 2 percent.

From January through March, the Monticello School District held four Citizens’ Advisory Budget Committee meetings where discussions served as a way to engage the district’s many publics in two-way communication. As a way to continue its commitment to transparency and follow-up through the entire budget formation process, the Board also hosted three budget workshops with the community.

After much discussion and analysis, a budget of $77,384,789 was adopted by the Board - this represents a decrease of <.08> percent from our current operating budget. The proposed budget was crafted to address the diverse perspectives of what is most important to our school community.

The overriding philosophy used to develop the budget was to build a sound spending plan that not only meets the needs of our students, but also meets the needs and expectations of our taxpayers. Rather than just eliminate, reduce became a common theme in an effort to contain costs. While some of the reductions include 20 staff positions, eight of those were achieved through attrition (positions that are already vacant and are not being filled rather than someone being laid-off). The proposed budget also reduces spending for materials and supplies, and includes educating a number of our special needs students in-district instead of transporting to BOCES.

Difficult decisions were made and as a district, the reductions in the proposed budget will reduce spending and leave us with adequate resources. As we move forward to fulfill our mission and focus on our priority of providing the best educational experience possible for all our students, remember that together we can create:

One Vision, One Goal, One Monticello.

Should you have any questions about the proposed budget, please feel free to contact me.

Your Partner in Education,
Daniel A. Teplesky

Monticello schools chief takes reins: He's gone from 'drumstick to drumstick'

September 2, 2011 - by Victor Whitman from the Times Herald-Record

Daniel A. TepleskyMONTICELLO— The new superintendent of Sullivan County's largest school district, Daniel Teplesky, is seated around a small conference table in his office in a converted home in Monticello near the high school.

Teplesky, 62, has been on the job in the Monticello School District for one month.

Teplesky promises to be open and return telephone calls, and get the opinions of parents, teachers and students before making decisions. He describes his style as "collaboration."

He formally will lay out the district's challenges and his vision Thursday. There will be challenges.

Teplesky hinted Monticello, which has roughly 3,400 students and 470 employees, is in danger of being put on a list of districts in need of improvement. Several administrators have retired or are leaving for other jobs.

He calls these changes an opportunity.

Teplesky has a four-year contract at $173,500 annually to lead the district. Off the cuff, Teplesky mentions public schools superintendents always get hammered for making big money, but then he smiles.

"I am at the office at 6 a.m., probably leave at 10 tonight."

Here's a little more about him: He comes from Buffalo, and yes, he's a Bills fan.

Long before he worried over budget lines and federal testing guidelines, Teplesky played the drums. Says he didn't pick up the sticks to be a rock star, though. He did get a music education degree from the University of Wisconsin, parlaying that into a job as a band director in the mid-70s in upstate New York schools. He also has a master's in education from Niagara University.

He left education altogether in 1981 and co-owned a poultry distribution company that peaked at 75 employees.

"I went from drumstick to drumstick," he says.

Ba-da-dum.

After his company closed in 1999, Teplesky was certified to be an administrator, holding jobs as a principal; he has seven years' experience as a superintendent in two upstate districts, recently the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk district.

He says family — his wife and adult son and daughter — is the most important thing to him. Without prompting, Teplesky mentions his 29-year-old son, Jacob, a captain in the U.S. Army, is serving his third tour; twice having served in Iraq, he was deployed this winter to Afghanistan. They flew up to North Pole, Alaska, when he deployed. It was about minus 30 degrees near Fairbanks, but they couldn't miss a chance to see their son off again.

CLICK HERE for this story on the Times Herald-Record website.

Archive of 2010-11 Letters

Monticello Appoints Superintendent of Schools: Daniel A. Teplesky

June 29, 2011 - SC BOCES press release

Daniel A. TepleskyThe Monticello Board of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel A. Teplesky, of Granville, NY, as the Superintendent of Schools for the Monticello Central School District.

Mr. Teplesky was officially appointed at the June 28 Board of Education meeting to fill the position currently held by Interim Superintendent Edward Rhine. Mr. Rhine has been at the helm since February 2011, when Dr. Patrick Michel left to take a new position at Hamilton, Fulton, Montgomery (HFM) BOCES.

Mr. Teplesky comes to the district with seven years of experience as a Superintendent of Schools. In addition, he served for five years as the principal of the Churchville-Chili Central School, Royalton-Hartland Central School and Niagara Catholic Junior Senior High School.

Mr. Teplesky currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS) Central School District in Ravena, NY, where he has been since 2009. During his time at RCS, Mr. Teplesky was instrumental in moving the district forward in a number of ways, including using data-driven instructional methods to help improve student achievement. He was also instrumental in helping the Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary School increase student achievement enough to be removed from the School in Need of Improvement (SINI) list.

From 2004-2009, Mr. Teplesky served as Superintendent of the Granville Central School District. Mr. Teplesky brings with him a strong commitment and dedication to communication and working with the community to create an environment that will positively influence the district and promote student success.

"The Board of Education is looking forward to working with Mr. Teplesky and welcome him into our entire educational community. He will begin August 1," stated Board of Education President Susan Purcell.

CLICK HERE to read an interview with Daniel Teplesky by Sullivan County Democrat reporter Dan Hust. (courtesy of the SC Democrat)

CLICK HERE to read the article, "Monticello School District selects new superintendent" in the Times Herald-Record.