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RCSD Community Update: 4/14/23

Dear RCSD Community,

I hope you and yours had a wonderful spring recess. Happy Easter and Happy Passover to those who celebrated, and Happy Ramadan to those who are continuing to celebrate. I visited all our schools on Tuesday morning, and the majority of students looked rested and happy to be back. I feel certain that many of our parents were quite pleased to have their children back in school!

Swat Calls Update

As I am sure you recall, just prior to spring break, there was a rash of swatting incidents across New York State and in several neighboring states. In one day, 266 schools in New York were subjected to swatting calls. While we were closed for spring break, the trend continued with 50 additional swatting calls in N.Y. school districts. Last Wednesday, I received a call from a senior staff member in Senator Schumer's office who wanted to discuss the incidents and hear my thoughts. As you might imagine, she got an earful. I spent over an hour on the call and gave some very frank feedback, probably ensuring that they lose my number permanently.

There is a high probability that we will be subjected to one of these swat calls. If and when we do, the affected school will go into lockdown immediately and we will follow our lockdown procedures fully. No one likes the practice drills we conduct regularly, but they are an important part of what we do to keep students and staff safe.

RCSD Tree Plan

Trees and the preservation of trees have been a hot topic in the community of late. The school district has quite a number of trees on our four school campuses, and their care and maintenance have always been an important part of the work of our buildings and grounds crew. An exciting community-based initiative has now been launched called Spring for Rye and, as a result of this effort, we now have in place a District master tree plan. 

Thanks to dedicated community members, RHS students, and RCSD staff, the plan will help ensure that we continue to be good stewards of our existing trees and prepare for the planting of new trees. On Tuesday, students from the RHS Civics Club addressed the Board of Education. Watch them by clicking here and begin watching at 43:04. We thank them for both their interest and their efforts in this arena -- it is very much needed and appreciated.

RMS/RHS Social Tonight

Tonight from 7:00-10:00 p.m. is the RMS and RHS Social at the Apawamis Club and what a beautiful night it is going to be for a party! This is the two schools’ only fundraiser of the year.  Proceeds will go towards wonderful things for our students and faculty at the Middle and High Schools. Tickets are available at the door, so come on over. I hope to see you there!

RyeACT Marijuana Talk

RyeACT is holding a timely event this coming Monday, April 17, at 7:00 p.m. in the RMS Multipurpose Room. It’s called, “Today’s Marijuana Isn’t Woodstock Weed.”  It’s for parents, guardians -- or really any interested adult -- who wants to learn about the new marijuana landscape, chock full of high-potency THC vapes, waxes, dabs, and edibles sometimes masquerading as everyday candies and snacks. See the flyer here.

Rye Boys Rugby Match vs. South African Team

Next Wednesday, April 19, at 3:45 p.m., the Rye Boys Rugby team is playing an exhibition game against a team from St. Andrews College (actually a high school) which is touring the U.S. from South Africa. We are one of three high schools they are playing against, including Staples High School in Boston and Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. To my knowledge, Rye High has never hosted an international team before, so please come on down to Nugent Stadium to cheer on the boys while learning odd-sounding “rugger” terms like “scrum,” “prop” and “try.”

Challenge Success Talk on Anxiety and Mental Health

Also on April 19th, from 7:00-8:00 p.m., Challenge Success is hosting a free event with licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist Lynn Lyons. Lynn has been helping youth with anxiety for many years and will share concrete strategies that caregivers, educators, parents, and students can use in the face of anxiety. It is intended to be a lighthearted and helpful session that dives into youth mental health and how we can support students everywhere. For more information and to register for the event, click here.

Have a wonderful spring (summer?) weekend.

Eric Byrne, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools