October 13, 2023


    Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, Staff, and Community Members,


    There is a lot going on at NPCSD so I wanted to make sure you are kept fully in the loop.  Here are a few items that I thought might interest you:


    Substitute Teacher Requirements Changed


    We have a significant shortage of substitute teachers and substitute aides in the district.  Having a lack of subs causes problems in every school as administrators struggle to find proper coverage for classes.


    Until recently, in order, to be a substitute teacher you had to have either a four year or a two year college degree.  In a perfect world, this would be a very reasonable requirement, but unfortunately it is a luxury we can’t afford in a world where it is so hard to find employees in just about any profession you can name.


    At the school board meeting on October 4th, the board took action to address the problem of not having enough substitute teachers.  The board voted unanimously to change the requirements to be a substitute teacher in our district.  Now, individuals with a high school diploma who have been out of high school for one full year can apply to be a substitute teacher.


    The board feels that there is a lot of talent in the community that we will now be able to tap into.  We have already begun advertising to SUNY New Paltz sophomores, juniors, and seniors to try to enlist them to apply for the positions.  We are also hopeful that other community members will be interested in joining our team.  Stay at home moms and dads, retired persons, and anyone who loves working with kids are free to apply.  Here is the official job posting.



    We hope to hear from you.  We should also note that we are very short on subs for nursing, teacher’s aides, cafeteria workers, and custodians.


    Guy Gardiner retires, Michael Logue named Director of Facilities at NPCSD


    For the past few years, Guy Gardiner has served as our Director of Facilities.  Mr. Gardiner has done a great job overseeing the facilities and custodial staff who have kept everything inside and outside of the school buildings looking good and operating correctly.  Mr. Gardiner will be retiring soon.  I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Mr. Gardiner for his valuable service to our district.


    I am pleased to announce that at the board meeting on October 4th, the board unanimously approved Michael Logue to be our new Director of Facilities.  Mr. Logue has served as the Director of Facilities and Maintenance at Vassar College since 2015.  Prior to that he served as the Operations Supervisor for the Physical Plant at Marist College.


    We are very fortunate to have found someone with Mr. Logue’s experience and enthusiasm to take on this important and demanding position.  We look forward to welcoming Mr. Logue to his new position at the New Paltz Central School District on November 6th.



    What will replace the former District Office?


    As you may recall, last spring the school board decided to demolish and remove the former district office building in the corner of the Middle School parking lot.  Demolition will begin early next summer and is estimated to take 4 to 6 weeks.


    With the district office gone, we will have an area of approximately 0.16 acres on one of the busiest corners in New Paltz to develop.  At a recent meeting of the district facilities committee, the group proposed soliciting community and student input on what could be done with the space.  The committee is looking for a design that is environmentally friendly and will beautify the area.  We will be announcing an official community wide contest soon where you can make specific proposals about how we should make the best use of this area.  Please stay tuned for an official contest announcement.



    International Exchange Students


    We are very happy to have two international students attending the New Paltz High School this semester.  We believe that hosting students from other countries and cultures goes a long way toward helping our students understand and appreciate the world outside of the United States.


    NPCSD will be working with the New Paltz Rotary Club to expand our international student program and bring more international students to our high school.  In order to host more students, however, we must have more local host families.


    I had the pleasure of hosting a Russian international student in my home a few years back and I can tell you that it is an interesting and rewarding experience.  I am hopeful that we can find some families in our district who would be willing to work with the school and the Rotary Club and host an international student for a few months.  If you have any questions about what it is like to host an international student, please contact me and I will be happy to discuss with you what it is all about.


    Fall sports are wrapping up, winter sports are coming


    We have had a great fall sports season with lots of success and lots of fun.  Congratulations to our modified and JV teams who are wrapping up their seasons.  Good luck to our varsity athletes who will soon be competing in sectionals.


    Registration for all JV and Varsity Winter sports opens today, Friday, October 13th. A list of potential Winter Sports offerings can be found by accessing the Athletics webpage: https://www.newpaltz.k12.ny.us/domain/26

    Please contact Jenna Manning with any questions at jmanning@newpaltz.k12.ny.us

    Last Chance Winter Sports Physicals will be held on Monday, October 30th at 8:00 AM. Please contact Nurse Hekking at shekking@newpaltz.k12.ny.us to schedule an appointment if you are in need of a physical.  JV and Varsity Winter sports begin on Monday, November 13th.



    Speaking of sports wrapping up, tonight is homecoming at NPCSD.  Students participated in a great outdoor pep rally today complete with a dunking booth, food, pie eating contest (well done Mr. Castro), musical chairs, tug of war, relay race, and the talents of our very own marching band.



    Thank you to all who made the community lunch and pep rally possible.  The big homecoming football game vs. Liberty is tonight at 5 pm.  The homecoming dance will happen after the football game.  Come out and enjoy the fun.


    New Paltz Students Compete in Karate Championships

    While we love and appreciate our interscholastic athletes, we understand that our New Paltz students have a tremendous amount of other talents and interests that they pursue enthusiastically, but sometimes under the radar.

    I would like to give a shout out to three New Paltz students who recently traveled to London for a karate competition.

    Congratulations to Lyric Schenker for reaching the podium at the BKK British Open as part of USA IFK Team USA in full contact Kyokushin Karate. A 2nd place finish in a tournament of this magnitude is a huge accomplishment as she is the first USA fighter to ever reach the podium for 2nd place in the tournament's 45 years of existence. 400 fighters from 25 countries!

    Congratulations to Mason Salvestrini and Caitlyn Anderson who work tirelessly and passionately at their chosen craft with sweat, skill, effort and sacrifice. Each went to over-time extended match periods & both fought bravely with skill and strength!

    Parents, if your child has done something worth sharing in their chosen pursuit (it does not have to be sports), please let us know.  We would love to highlight their efforts on our social media platforms)




    There is a lot going on in the community and in the school.  Here are a few upcoming events:


    The village of New Paltz Fire Department will be having an open house tomorrow:



    The Duzine/Lenape PTA will be holding a Trunk or Treat:



    The MS PTA has a skating event coming up soon:



    And now…the worst for last


    It is hard to write any kind of update right now without commenting on the recent troubles in Israel and in the Gaza strip.  I am probably no more able to make sense of the situation than you are, but as a public school leader I worry about the effects of these horrible events on students and families in our district.


    I am sure many parents and educators are wondering how to discuss these events with our students and how to help them better understand the world that we live in. The NY State Education Department has prepared a website resource that consolidates and highlights helpful information for educators, caregivers, school leaders, and parents/guardians to use as they navigate through, and engage in, conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.  These resources can be found at:





    That ends my update for now. I hope you find the information useful.  As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help your children have an even more successful school year.


    I will leave you with the highlight of my day.  This was my first pep rally at the NPCSD.  It was a beautiful day with lots of fun and energy.  My favorite part was getting to meet our official school mascot.



    Enjoy your weekend,


    Stephen Gratto  - Superintendent