• February 22, 2024


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


    This is a busy time of year and I have a few things to share that I believe you will find interesting.


    Theater Season


    This time of year features MS and HS drama productions all around the area.  The shows at New Paltz Central School promise to be some of the best.  On behalf of the New Paltz drama students I would like to invite you to attend the Addams Family musical.


           New Paltz Middle School Drama Club


    Show Dates & Times

                              Friday, February 23th @ 7:00pm

                  Saturday, February 24th @ 2:00pm

    Saturday, February 24th @ 7:00 pm

                            Sunday, February 25th @ 2:00pm


    Tickets purchased online        https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/80081 


    Or at the door: $12/Adults, $8/Students & Senior,      

                                      $5/Children 5 & under

    • Cash or check made out to NPMS Drama Club

    The High School Drama Club Production of Guys and Dolls is also coming up. Shows will be on March 21, 22, and 23 in the High School Auditorium.

    National Honor Society Inductions

    Last Thursday, 44 New Paltz High School students were inducted into the National Honor Society.  It was a beautiful ceremony run by the current members of the National Honor Society.

    Congratulations to all of our inductees and thank you to the students who ran the event!

    Capital Project Update

    Perhaps you have heard that our school is contemplating presenting a capital project to the voters to finance up to three possible bodies of work.  Option 1 would include all of the items that are deemed very necessary to run our school efficiently and safely.  Option 2 might include some upgrades to athletic facilities and lights and sound equipment for the middle school auditorium.  Option 3 might include a swimming pool.

    While contemplation of a capital project is in its very early stages, I am pleased to announce that the facilities committee, the group spearheading the capital project exploration work, was joined at their last meeting by our new architectural firm, H2M.

    The committee was very impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of the three H2M architects who joined them.  The architects took a tour of the facilities and then they discussed the items the school has identified as priorities in options 1-3.  

    H2M will be researching our needs and helping us fine tune the best way to do things.  Tops on the list will be their consideration of how best to heat and cool our school buildings (with environmental priorities in mind), possible use of solar power to meet some of our energy needs, repair of middle school tennis courts, the cost of building and maintaining a swimming pool, the cost of building and maintaining an artificial turf field, and the pros and cons of turf vs. natural grass,

    Architects from H2M will be attending our March 6th board meeting. They will give a presentation on what they have learned about our options and they will answer questions asked by the school board.

    Budget Presentation

    The process of creating a budget for the 2024-2025 school year has officially begun.  At last night’s school board meeting I presented information about the revenue we can expect to receive, our anticipated expenses, the deficit we are facing, and options we have to close the gap and balance our budget.  The video can be accessed at: board meeting.

    I encourage you to watch the presentation at your leisure.  The budget presentation starts at the 53:48 mark of the video.  If you want to see what members of the community had to say about a variety of topics, the public comment session at the beginning of the video may also be interesting to you.  During the budget presentation, I showed a slide show.  You can access the slide show without watching the video, but I encourage you to have the slide show handy while watching the video.  I think it will make a lot more sense that way.

    Would you like to run for the school board?

    The New Paltz school board is composed of seven dedicated unpaid volunteer community members who typically sign up for three year terms.  Each year the public has the opportunity to vote for the candidates of their choice.  This year,  four of the seven seats will be up for vote.  We are hoping that we will have several qualified candidates running for these seats.  If you would like more information about how to run for the board, please check out the Board Member Application Packet.  If you would like to discuss any topics related to running for the school board, please contact me.

    Help needed from high school students and parents

    While things are going well at NPCSD, not all news is good news.  Unfortunately, we have a problem in the high school bathrooms with which we need your help.  Recent updates to the fire alarm systems have equipped us with some smoke alarms that are well calibrated.  As a result, since the repairs took place we have had several incidents where inappropriate student behavior in the high school bathrooms has led to the fire alarm going off.

    As you can imagine, the fire alarm going off at random times is a big distraction to the educational process.  Some class time has been lost and students and staff have spent time standing outside on very cold days.  All the way around, this is an unfortunate situation.

    I am writing to ask parents to help us out.  Parents, please have a conversation with your child.  Please let them know that vaping and smoking are bad for their health and that they are a violation of school policy.  Please remind them that no more than four students are allowed in the bathroom at any one time.  Please make sure they understand that any student who is believed to be vaping or smoking in the school will be suspended from school.

    Obviously, we all want the same thing.  We all want the educational process to run smoothly and uninterrupted.  We want our students to be safe and healthy.  The school is taking steps to solve this problem but we need your help.  Please help us get the message out to everyone that smoking and vaping is unhealthy and not allowed.

    Solar Eclipse

    I have talked to you in past updates about the near total eclipse of the sun that will occur here in New Paltz on April 8th.  It is my hope that we will be able to use a snow day on April 8th so that students and families can experience this rare event without having to be in school.  At this point we have three of our seven allocated snow days left.  Hopefully we will be able to use one on April 8th.  If we have no snow days left by April 8th, we will consider moving an early release day from June 22nd to April 8th.  I just wanted to let you know this fact ahead of time for your planning purposes.  

    If you would like to learn more about the total eclipse and its path, here is a useful link that will answer most of your questions.Solar Eclipse

    Thank you for reading this update.  As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  I hope to see you at one of our many upcoming events, including the board meeting/budget meeting on March 6th.


    Stephen Gratto - Superintendent