November 1, 2023


    Dear Parents, Faculty, Staff, and Community Members,


    Soon, I am going to ask you to click on this link and take a survey: 


    Click here to take a brief survey


    But first, let me explain why:


    A few years back, the New Paltz Central School District received the Federal American Rescue Plan Grant in the amount of $1,767,449.  The money was to be used mostly during the 2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24 school years, although remaining money can be spent until September 2024.  The purpose of the grant was to provide resources to support safe in-person instruction and to meet the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of students, with a focus on the students most impacted by the pandemic.  One caveat of the award was that at least 20 % of the grant money had to be used to address learning loss caused by the pandemic.


    Back in 2021 when the grant was announced, the district was given the task of surveying constituent groups to learn what the community felt were the best ways to spend the grant money.  The district was expected to take the community's opinions into account when creating the plan.  Furthermore, the district was required to regularly update parents and community members on the ongoing usage of the money as well as changes made to the funding plan.  Parents and community members were to be given the opportunity to comment on these spending decisions.


    As we near the end of the grant window, which ends in September 2024, I wish to continue to satisfy the requirements of the grant by letting you know how the money has been spent and is being spent and to give you the opportunity to comment on this information.


    Here is a breakdown of the expenditure plans.  Please realize that the approved expenditures will vary somewhat from the original plan approved by the district back in 2021.  Some changes have been made over the past couple of years due to changing needs.  Proposed changes to the plan have been sent to the Federal Government for their approval.





    Expense Category

    Total Budgeted Amount

    Enrichment summer school

    (Including teachers, Principal, nurses, monitors, secretaries, and substitutes)


    Supervisor of Elementary Instruction (2022-2023)

    Assistant Elementary Principal (2023-2024)


    After School Tutoring for MS and HS Students


    Four Additional Social Worker Positions


    Pre-K Teacher and Aide

    (Additional monies for pre-K were paid out of the CRRSA grant, Universal Pre-K Grant, and the General Fund)


    Foreign Language Teacher (2023-2024)


    Floating Nurse 

    (in addition to one school nurse in each building, additional money for this position paid for by other grants)


    Curriculum Writing

    (Allows teachers time to align their curriculum with new educational standards)


    District Substance Abuse Counselor

    (Still trying to fill this position)


    Mental Health Services Provided through Astor



    Diversity and Equity Training for Employees


    Bias Awareness Training for Employees


    Reading and Math Progress Monitoring for Students in Grades Kindergarten through 8   Star Progress Monitoring


    High School Library Furnishings


    Sensory Room in Lenape


    Updating and Adding Security Cameras


    New Musical Instruments for the Bands


    Books Supporting Restorative Practices Initiatives


    Safety Locks for Lenape Classroom Doors


    Updating AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) and Electrode Pads


    Updating Wireless Access Points in the District to Support Wifi Access for Students and Teachers


    BOCES Credit Recovery Summer School for High School Students Who Failed Courses


    Fringe Benefits for Employees Hired Using ARP Funds including Retirement, FICA, and Health Care


    Total of all ARP Funds



    The money listed above either has been spent or is budgeted to be spent.  This plan will continue to evolve as things change.  For example, you will see that we have $60,000 budgeted for a substance abuse counselor but we have not yet found a substance abuse counselor to hire.  Other budget codes will vary as well since the actual expenditure does not always end up equaling exactly what we thought it would cost.  We will continue to make adjustments as needed and seek the proper approval for these changes.  Rest assured that all grant money will be spent before the deadline in September 2024.


    The 2024-2025 budget creation process will soon be upon us and it promises to be as challenging as the 2023-2024 budget process.  It is important for all district tax payers to understand that all of the items listed in the chart above are either fully or partially funded by a grant that will soon go away.  The school Board will have tough decisions to make as they consider which items with recurring expenses will be paid for in the future by taxpayer dollars and which items we will no longer be able to afford to keep.


    We do value your opinion.  Please click on this link to take a brief survey.


    Please click here to take a brief survey


    The survey will ask you your thoughts on how the money has been allocated and what you feel are our continuing needs.  Basically, we want you to tell us what items you would support in the future.  


    The school board will consider your input as they decide the best way to spend any remaining ARP funds before September 2024, and which items they should consider funding in 2024-2025 when the ARP grant money is gone.


    Thank you in advance for taking this survey before November 15, 2023.  We will share the survey results with you as we begin the budget building process for 2024-2025.


    As always, please feel free to reach out to me or another district administrator if you have any questions or comments.




    Stephen Gratto - Superintendent