Notes from the New Paltz School District (10/27/21)

Sarah Tanner and Fabio Alvarez win University at Albany’s Multicultural High School Scholar’s Award

Last week the staff of New Paltz High School (NPHS) congratulated Grade 12 students Sarah Tanner and Fabio Alvarez, both New Paltz residents, for winning the University at Albany’s Multicultural High School Scholar’s Award. The award recognizes Upstate New York high school students for their outstanding academic performance and school and community involvement. Sarah’s contributions have been numerous, ranging from volunteer dance instruction to engagement in social causes. Fabio tutors his peers in math and science and also plays lacrosse. He comes from a line of University at Albany graduates as well. Left to right: NPHS School counselor Jessica Bradley; award-winner Sarah Tanner, NPHS Principal Dr. Samuelle Simms, award-winner Fabio Alvarez and school counselor Ben Shuchat.

Unified sports program now in New Paltz

For those who enjoy physical activity best when there are winners and losers, the news that two more sports are being added to the options for New Paltz students should bring a smile. What makes unified basketball and bowling different, however, is that they are intended to be inclusive of all children, including those who might have some kind of disability. According to School Board member Teresa Thompson, these are varsity-level sports with rules tweaked to focus on the physical prowess without creating barriers to participation. Information about unified sports available on the Special Olympics web page highlights the value of using sports as a tool for social inclusion.

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Accountants say tax money is managed well in New Paltz School District

The accountants conducting an audit of New Paltz School District funds issued a “clean opinion” of the books, signaling that staff members are using generally-accepted accounting principles to safeguard tax dollars. The auditors in particular praised a tactic used to keep the fund balance — excess money that’s intended for emergencies — from ballooning to excessive levels. Some money has been diverted into reserve accounts, which can only be used for specific purposes such as covering increases in workers’ compensation payments. Many of the standard reserve accounts in the district remain low, but this step was deemed a “sound fiscal plan” that should be continued.