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9/20 Board of Education Meeting Recap: Superintendent's Report

Eastchester administrators provided the community with important updates during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, as Dr. Ronald Valenti’s Superintendent’s Report touched on developments across a wide variety of topics important to the District.


Valenti began his bi-weekly report by recognizing the accomplishments of two high school seniors,  Antonio Ramos and Zhuoyi Zou, who were named National Merit Semifinalists. Valenti commended the duo for their outstanding performance on the PSAT/SATs and thanked them for taking time from their schedules to attend Tuesday’s meeting.


“This is such a wonderful honor to have two National Merit Semifinalists,” he said. “They both agreed to be here tonight because they love their school and their district.”


Valenti also welcomed Eastchester’s newest hire, Amarachi Duru, a registered nurse with a wealth of experience as a health-care professional. 


“I can’t tell you how hard it is to recruit and find qualified, certified nurses; it’s become the new challenge in public education,” he said. “We have hundreds of competitors out there, hospitals, corporations, etc., and we managed to find a gem.”


Duru said she was honored to be joining the District.


“Thank you so much, everyone. I’m very excited to start my career here at Eastchester,” she said.  “I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and working with the students and the parents.”


Valenti then turned his attention the Eighth Grade Parent/Student High School Orientation event—which has been moved from the spring to October 26—explaining that he wanted to highlight the Eastchester High School experience for middle school students.


“It’s an opportunity not only to meet with our counselors, but to see a broad range of programs from athletics to scholastic activities through all of the subject areas,” said Valenti.


Superintendent for Pupil and Personnel Services Dr. Greg Stowell then took time to explain the steps the school district has taken with regard to its partnership with Sandy Hook Promise—a national organization aimed at preventing school tragedies. Stowell clarified the reporting process that is central to the organization’s core and announced the formation of an in-district response team designed to swiftly handle potential crises.


“Although [Sandy Hook Promise’s Crisis Center] is open 24/7, seven days a week, 365 days a year, our school buildings are not,” he said. “So what happens during those times is that there is a flex team, so there is always someone from Eastchester that is ready to respond to a student in need or a potential crisis.”


Also on the subject of safety, Assistant Superintendent for Business Lee Lew responded to questions raised during the Sept. 6 Board of Education meeting about the hiring of a second School Resource Officer.


Lew walked the community through the process of reallocating unused-yet-previously-budgeted-for funds to hire a second SRO to be posted at the District’s elementary schools.


Finally, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Scott Wynne announced that access to the online grade book for parents had officially been opened, and that students would soon be able to access this information as well. Wynne also said the District planned to help parents use this new feature of the Home Access Portal for the first time.


“We are planning to do a parent training, which will be announced fairly soon,” he said. “So if there are any parents who have questions about how to access information and grades, we would be more than happy to walk you through that process.”