March 2014 Education Roundup-Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow Students at Phelps HospitalSleepy Hollow Freshmen Tour Phelps
On March 4, freshmen from Sleepy Hollow High School were given a unique opportunity to interact directly with healthcare professionals from Phelps Hospital and learn about career possibilities in the field of healthcare. The program, Healthcare Career Day, is just one of the joint programs between Phelps and Sleepy Hollow High School to give students valuable hands-on experience outside of the classroom.

At right, Sleepy Hollow Students at Phelps Hospital

School Budget Gets State-Aided Boost
The upcoming 2014-2015 budget for the Public Schools of Tarrytowns is expected to be a relatively painless one for district taxpayers, due largely to an increase in funding coming into the District from the State of New York. “We’re proposing that it will be under the tax levy cap,” said Superintendent Christopher Clouet. “It will take advantage of a couple of positive developments, like the growth factor [calculations made by the State]. This year we got a bump in terms of our growth factor resulting in a bump in State aid.”

The “bump” amounts to just under $1 million, which will allow the District to add a few positions, particularly in the area of special needs. Specifically, the District is looking to add a “communication needs” classroom for their students on the autism spectrum. “We need to provide for students on the spectrum, whether that’s in our District or out of our District, depending on what’s available,” explained Clouet. “We think it’s better for the children to be closer to their neighbors and siblings in the District, and it turns out that’s more cost-effective as well.”

The end result should be a budget that comes in under the current tax levy cap of 1.4%. “We think that it is only fair to come to the voters with a proposal that will be under the tax levy cap by virtue of their recent support of our capital bond. We’re respectful of that and thankful for their support,” said Clouet. “It’s never easy to do a budget, but this one is less heart-wrenching than it is in many cases.”

New Fields Expected Fall of 2016
Three new playing fields supported by the recently-passed school bond should be ready for use in the Fall of 2016, pending approval from the State Department of Education. The fields, which won’t appear in the school budget until the 2015-2016 budget, will all be renovated at the same time. They include a new artificial turf field at Sleepy Hollow High School, a new artificial turf field replacing the current lower field at Washington Irving, and a renovated natural turf field and new irrigation system for the upper field at Washington Irving.

A proposal is underway to rename the upper field the Howard Goodwin Field, in honor of the late Mr. Goodwin, a longtime supporter and advocate for the school district.


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About the Author: David Neilsen