Dear Ketcham Nation:
I hope this letter finds you and your family well and that you were able to enjoy the summer and get some well-deserved rest and relaxation. We welcome you back to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The end of the last school year and the start of our upcoming school year have been like no other we have experienced. There are still so many questions to be answered. As you know, things are often changing, and we will make sure to stay in constant communication with you. The district will continue to update you with the changes that are coming from the CDC and Department of Education. Please know that your partnership is key in navigating through these difficult times.
As we begin another school year, the faculty, staff and administration would like to welcome back all our returning students and extend a very warm welcome to our new ninth grade students, the RCK Class of 2024.
In starting the year off remotely, there will be different challenges for our students and families. We would like to encourage a few things for your child(ren)'s success and provide you with helpful information.
Be Punctual- Here at RCK, we have made it a priority to make sure your child(ren) arrive at school and class on time. A key to success in life is showing up for it! This means that our students’ first priority is getting to class on time and being ready to work! This is particularly important in our new remote learning environment. Please make sure that your child(ren) sign on to their Google meet with their teacher on time.
Be Present- Student attendance will continue to be taken every period, every day. Attendance and punctuality are essential in order for your child to get the education they deserve, especially since synchronous learning will be 10-25 minutes daily. Please emphasize this with your child before school starts so that positive behavior becomes a habit and regular attendance and punctuality in all classes are uniformly encouraged by parents and school staff. Also, please have your child(ren) check their email for a Google link from their teacher. This will give your child(ren) access to attend live classroom discussions. Please remind your child(ren) that they are not to share the link with anyone.
Administration- As always, the RCK administrative team is here to help and assist you or your child(ren) with any questions or concerns. We are happy to help where we can during this difficult time and look forward to continuing the partnership and relationship with our families and community members. Please feel free to contact us directly as needed. We are committed to supporting you!
Freshman Orientation- As you know, we were unable to host our traditional freshman orientation, but welcome all students and families to view our welcome messages on the RCK website
Communication- We strive to maintain an open line of communication with students and their families. Announcements will be made throughout the school year via e-mail, our website and social media. WCSD also utilizes a phone/text system to apprise you of any urgent matters. Please make sure your contact information is correct with RCK and WCSD. Remember, if you have concerns, please contact your child’s teacher first. If you still have concerns regarding grades or another issue, please contact your child’s guidance counselor and then their grade-level administrator.
Grade-Level Support- Our building will continue the cohort model. Our current administrative set-up is listed below by grade. RCK always encourages you to reach out to your grade-level support group as they are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have. We are excited to welcome two new Assistant Principals to RCK - Mr. Michael Lopez and Ms. Nicolle Strang. We look forward to seeing all that they share with our amazing community.
Please note, all guidance offices are located in the second-floor Guidance Suite.
Class of 2024
9th Grade Counselors
Ms. Kate DeGroat (A-K) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Phil Toretta (L-Z) email@example.com
9th Grade Adminstrator
Ms. Nicolle Strang (Room 185)
Class of 2023
10th Grade Counselors
Ms. Kathy Leonard (A-Li) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Antoinette Sarna (Lo-Z) email@example.com
10th Grade Administrator
Mr. Michael Lopez (Main Office)
Class of 2022
11th Grade Counselors
Mr. David Townsend (A-H) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Kalah Boscia (I-Z) email@example.com
11th Grade Administrator
Ms. Kathleen Schenck (Room 228)
Class of 2021
12th Grade Counselors
Ms. Laura Margini (A-H & ENL) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Jennifer Soltish (I-Z) email@example.com
12th Grade Administrator
Ms. Megan D’Alessandro (Room 194)
RCK has experienced much success with the house cohort model which has many advantages for our students. Again, please contact your cohort with questions and concerns. Their contact information can be found on the RCK website and, as always, I am here to help and assist in any way I can.
Pupil Personnel Services- Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) staff includes school counselors, school psychologists and social workers. These professionals are in an ideal position to protect the health and safety of all students. Roy C. Ketcham High School has a complete PPS staff to assist in student success. They are highly skilled and have been trained to evaluate factors that contribute to student difficulties with behavior and academic achievement. Now more than ever students are experiencing higher anxiety, stress, and the feeling of detachment. While difficult, we encourage students to reach out to our support staff as needed. The PPS staff can make unique contributions because they work in different ways and in different settings with students and their parents. Specialists in PPS can work cooperatively with other specialists to enhance the intellectual, as well as social and personal development of each student. These professionals are available to assist all students and can be contacted using the information provided below.
Please see each professional’s website for additional resources.
School Psychologist Robert Furlong (A-K) e-mail: Robert.Furlong@wcsdny.org
School Psychologist Jennifer Walis (L-Z) e-mail: Jennifer.Walis@wcsdny.org
Social Worker Carolyn Ryan e-mail: Carolyn.Ryan@wcsdny.org
Social Worker Deborah LoCicero e-mail: Deborah.LoCicero@wcsdny.org
Student Services (IEP & 504) Assistant Directors of Special Education, along with their respective offices, will contact families and teachers via phone or email to schedule Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings. These meetings will be held in a virtual platform that will be communicated to you through each office.
Any family considering a 504 plan, please contact your guidance counselor. The grade-level counselor can review your concerns and discuss any interventions that have been implemented. A current medical diagnosis along with treatment plans can assist committees in determining what impact there may be in your child's educational setting. If your child continues to struggle, the documentation along with a written request to convene a 504 committee can be emailed to Mr. Lopez at Michaelj.Lopez@wcsdny.org. His assistant, Ms. Dawn Cavaccini, will contact you to schedule a virtual meeting.
If your student has an existing plan that you feel needs to be amended, please contact Mr. Lopez in the same manner; copy the guidance counselor and/or grade-level administrator and Ms. Cavaccini will schedule a meeting with you. As previously stated, any/all documentation that describes the change and thus the need to amend should be attached to the request.
Council on Addiction Prevention and Education (CAPE)- CAPE is a Dutchess County prevention agency that provides support to students with at-risk behaviors and their families. If you have a concern about your child’s risk-taking behaviors, we will continue to provide CAPE resources. CAPE will offer prevention and education services utilizing Telehealth apps and services during the COVID-19 state of emergency. These apps are temporarily approved by NYS OASAS and the U.S Dept. of Health and Human Services to ensure best practices and confidentiality. Students can continue to receive the following services by contacting their Student Assistance Counselor, Ms. Jessica Sirianni (e-mail: Jessica.Sirianni@wcsdny.org):
• Individual Prevention Counseling (Project Success)
• Group Education Counseling (Project Success)
• Teen Intervene Sessions
Students will need parental consent. CAPE will provide all appropriate consent forms. Students will also need reliable internet/telephone access and a device that allows for video and audio capabilities. If you need further assistance, please contact Ms. Sirianni.
Student Schedules- Student schedules were released on September 3 and we are currently in the process of working through student requests. If you would like to add or drop a course, we ask that the electronic add/drop form be filled out. Our school counselors will contact you once your request has been completed. Prior to making any requests, I suggest that you speak with your school counselor. Many times, there is a reason that you have been scheduled for the class that is in your schedule. We want to be sure that all students are on track to receive the amount of credits and electives needed to graduate on time. The schedule change form was shared with students in Google Classroom and can be found online. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfLK_52sDnjZIPpccNIPa8lcJnulOMTkClqCtGigXyw3Q75rQ/viewform
Grading Policy- The Wappingers Central School District will revert to its previous grading practice. Each teacher will provide a syllabus to students allowing them to see how grades will be calculated for each class. We ask that if you have any questions with grades received that you follow the following process. First, please contact the teacher and speak with them directly to determine why a grade was received. 2nd please contact your school counselor who may be able to help further resolve any differences you and the faculty may have. 3rd please contact your house principal who will be able to help resolve your concern. While we remain remote and phase into a hybrid model, it is important to stay involved in your child’s education. The faculty at RCK is here to work with you and your child. One way to help monitor your child’s progress is through Parent Portal.
Parent Portal- We strongly encourage you to register and monitor Parent Portal. With your password, you can log onto SchoolTool and access your child(ren)’s data including progress reports, report cards, daily attendance, etc., online. To register, please call the school at 298-5100, ext. 31000. You will need to provide us with an email address. In 24-48 hours, you will receive your temporary password in your email. Both WCSD high schools will continue to issue four report cards covering 10-week marking periods and four interim progress reports covering the five-week interval time periods, as was done last year. These reports will be available via the parent portal.
Stay Involved- All families, including students, are encouraged to join the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and to maintain an active open relationship with our faculty and staff by email, telephone, or scheduled meetings. You can join the PTSA online. Details are available on the PTSA webpage. https://www.wappingersschools.org/domain/1415
Athletics/Extracurricular Activities- We know there are many questions regarding the start of athletics, clubs and other activities for our students. While the NYSPHSAA has ruled that fall sports can begin on Sept. 29, we will await final guidance from the WCSD Athletic Department and our Board of Education before announcing any plans for extracurricular activities for 2020-21.
New BELL SCHEDULE for the start of the 2020-2021 School Year, Remote Learning: Our new bell schedule can be found at the end of this document as well as online: https://classroom.google.com/u/5/c/NzQwNTE0NjgwNDNa
Student Forms If you haven't already done so, please fill out all required student forms which can be found online. https://sites.google.com/wcsdny.org/rckstudentforms/home
As always, we will continue to provide updates on our website, via e-mail and through social media. We know communication is key and look forward to keeping in touch with the RCK Community in all ways.
Dear Families & Students of the Class of 2024,
This is the beginning of an exciting time in your educational career. Everyone here at Roy C. Ketcham H.S is looking forward to helping you make your high school journey a positive, productive and successful experience. Each year we welcome our freshmen with an orientation to our school. As you know, we were unable to do that in person this year due to the COVID 19 pandemic, which is very unfortunate. At our freshman orientation, you would normally get to know the building layout and become familiar with the hallways and location of your classes. Typically, you would be provided with your schedule and would be able to walk around and tour the building without the traffic of a typical school day.
You’d also get the opportunity to hear from my administrative team and hear all about the student experience here at RCK. I am so proud and honored to work with such great professionals who go above and beyond for our students and families and I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to make those initial introductions in person. But I can’t wait for you to meet them and all of your teachers. It won’t take long once you’re in the building for you to get to know your grade-level teachers, counselors and Assistant Principal and I hope you warm up to them just as quickly while on remote learning.
This year, we welcome Mrs. Strang as your new Assistant Principal. We are extremely lucky to have Mrs. Strang on our team. In the short time she has been with us, she has proven to be an amazingly caring individual who is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to guide you on your journey through high school. She is going to support and advocate for you during your time at RCK from now until your graduation. Please feel free to reach out to Mrs. Strang if she can be of assistance to you. Her office number is 298-5100 x31008.
Each grade level also has dedicated guidance counselors that welcome them in as freshmen and will work with them for their four-year high school experience culminating in graduation. The two supportive and knowledgeable counselors for the Class of 2024 are Mr. Toretta and Ms. DeGroat. If you have any questions regarding your schedule, please reach out to them.
Normally, our orientation would include an opportunity to hear about the many wonderful extracurriculars to be part of at RCK. Here at KetchamNation, students can participate in clubs and activities, sports teams or even our drama production program, Masque and Mime. It is our goal for every student to find their niche and to be involved in our community. As you will soon learn, here at RCK we strive to achieve our motto to go #allinallways
We are so proud of the great things students do for our school and community, so we thought if we couldn’t bring you here to meet our students, then we would send our students’ and staff messages to you. Our students always say that getting involved will be the best decision you can make and will make high school unforgettable.
In spite of all the obstacles, it is very important to us here at RCK that we take the time to welcome our Class of 2024. Attached to this email is a video from our RCK administration, faculty and students. Please feel free to reach out to Mrs. Strang or me if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to your journey with us over the next four years. We are here to help you achieve your goals and aspirations and can’t wait to celebrate many happy milestones along the way.
Link to video below:
Dave Seipp, Principal
1 September 2020
The Anonymous Alerts® reporting app was created to help students, parents or community members choose a school official to contact, type of incident to report, school building and/or a specific location, set a priority level of normal or high and upload a photo, screenshot or video related to the incident. This reporting system is meant to allow for anonymous reporting but still provides for District and Building Administrators to respond (via the app) to the person who submitted a tip to the District.
If you plan on submitting an alert anonymously please be sure to check the "message center" in the application itself to see any responses to your tip, or requests from District Officials for additional information.
The purpose of the app is for members of our school and community to report suspicious activity, bullying or student-related concerns to a school administrator. For all other reports, please contact your child's school directly. If you feel the need to keep this submission anonymous that is OK, we completely respect your right to privacy and appreciate you making us aware.