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RCSD Community Update: 9/30/22

Dear RCSD Community,

It’s been a short week, but a busy one. It’s amazing how much you can pack into three days when you need to! A reminder that Yom Kippur is next Wednesday, October 5. Schools and offices are closed on that day. Tzom kal, or “have an easy fast,” to those who are observing.

Back to School Nights

We have now concluded back to school nights at all five schools. RMS and RHS back to school nights were held virtually based on feedback our principals received from the Parent Organization leadership indicating that parents preferred a virtual format. We appreciate parent feedback about the nights with an eye to next year. Please feel free to reach out to your building principal, parent organization leadership, or email to feedback@ryeschools.org. We expect that all back to school nights will be in-person events next year.

Coyote Sighting

On Wednesday, a coyote was spotted on the Rye Middle and High School campus, on the lawn directly in front of the High School.  Out of an abundance of caution, we moved recess and gym indoors for the afternoon. Some of you who lived here in 2010 may remember when two children were bitten by coyotes. A study from the time found that children are more frequently involved in predatory coyote attacks, so when there is a coyote on school grounds we will be exercising extreme caution. What we are hearing anecdotally from the Rye PD is that coyotes in Rye are seemingly less wary of humans than they used to be.

Fentanyl Crisis

There are other, more horrific dangers facing our youth these days. Fentanyl is surging to the forefront of consciousness for many parents these days and with good reason. The news media is full of heartbreaking stories about children who have died after taking a single pill laced with deadly fentanyl. Many of these pills resemble prescription opioids, stimulants, or even colorful candies. They are being distributed via social media platforms like Snapchat. I urge every parent to speak with their children about the dangers associated with taking just one pill. Parent resources can be found on the DEA’s “One Pill Can Kill” fentanyl informational website here. Locally, our local youth substance abuse coalition, RyeACT (Rye Action for Children and Teens), can be of tremendous help. ABC’s “Nightline” program just aired a segment on the crisis that has good information; watch it here.

Parent University

This morning you should have received the catalog for our 2022-23 Parent University offerings. I encourage parents to take advantage of these helpful, informational (optional!) sessions to learn more about all sorts of things, including technology, security, assessments, literacy, and math. We will be sending out email reminders one week prior to each session as a helpful reminder. The first workshop, on Google Classroom fundamentals, is on October 17.

The Game

The 95th edition of the Rye Harrison game is coming up next weekend. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, in Nugent Stadium at Rye High School. Look out for an email from RCSD Communications early next week with all the logistical details. The information will also be posted to the home page of the District website and sent to local media so everyone in the community can prepare for game day. Go Garnets!

National Principals Month

October is National Principals Month. Please join me in thanking our school principals for all they do for our students, parents, teachers, and staff every day. They keep our schools running smoothly and efficiently and provide guidance and aid to all. Thank you!

Rye High School Suzanne Short
Rye Middle School Joseph (Joe) DiGiovanni
Midland School James (Jim) Boylan
Milton School Annemarie (Annie) Piekarski
Osborn School Angela Garcia

National Custodial Workers Day

This Sunday, October 2, is National Custodial Workers Day. It might seem odd that the day is on a weekend; I think it’s fitting given that these folks work on weekends and around the clock to keep our schools in tip-top shape. Not to mention the herculean efforts they put in during emergencies (snowstorms, flooding events, pandemics) and to set up and break down after big events (The Game, graduation). Please take a moment to thank one of our valued custodians if you see them this week. We couldn’t do it without them!

Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,
Eric Byrne, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools