“The kids adapt a lot faster than the adults do,” said David Carr, Superintendent of Wallkill Valley Regional High School.
He told the school board at its Sept. 22 meeting that the year is off and running. “The kids are adjusting and are back to where they were before the pandemic,” he said.
“Our teachers have done a great job at adapting, and we did have a large increase in students attending Wallkill Valley High School this year,” said Carr. Growth is definitely the direction they want to go in, he said.
“The custodians did a wonderful job getting the building ready, and everyone is getting back into a routine, thank goodness,’ he said.
The mask mandate is being followed throughout the school, he said. On the buses, everyone is being compliant.
“It’s been a really great start to the school year,” said Carr. “It was great to see the students back in the building. We certainly had some challenges, and it’s the first time a lot of our kids have been back in school after two years.”
Carr said he enjoyed seeing a lot of people attending the sports games again, soccer and cross country, with the band playing out front.
“At the first football game there was a full house and the parking lot was packed,” said Ginny Jones, the school board vice president.
Joseph P. Hurley Jr., school administrator and board secretary, told the Advertiser News that the school plans to renovate the auditorium, replace student lockers, upgrade the HVAC units in the new wing of the building, upgrade the track, renovate the tennis courts, upgrade the equipment in the shop classes, and upgrade the fire alarm system.
“We are hoping to be able to renovate the entire auditorium,” he said.
Updates will be discussed at the October board meeting
A full schedule
● Visual arts: Carr said Visual 1 art students are researching endangered species affected by climate change. Visual 2 art students are discussing family traditions and learning about different foods, and their artwork reflects that. “It’s great to go into the classrooms and see what the student’s are doing,” Carr said. “They are having great conversations, and the students seem so happy to be back at it. The science department is back to having in-person labs. A lot of the labs were virtual last year but it is so much better to have in person labs.”
● Computer science: Computer science students are building their own computers called Raspberry Pi, a computer with minimal information on it. The students are programming the computers, and can put software and games on them.
● Peer tutors: The English National Honor Society will be tutoring students in English and other subjects they might need help with, The tutoring began on Sept. 21 and will be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays until 3.30 p.m. in the media center. “These are really gifted kids academically, and sometimes a student has a much better way of explaining something to another student other than a teacher,” Carr said. “The peer tutoring has been a really great thing.”
● Tennis and soccer: The girls tennis team “is on a tear,” Carr. The team is 5 and 1 and is first place in their division. All seven girls advanced to the championship. Boys soccer is also doing great, with the team 3 and 0. Last week they went into overtime and won the game. “The girls soccer team is a bunch of tough girls,” Carr said. “They get out there every week and are very determined and a lot of them are freshmen. The future is very bright for the girls soccer team and they are building a good foundation for the future.”
● Honoring veterans: Students will be going to the Franklin American Legion on Thursday, Oct. 21, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.to set up an “everything party” for the veterans. They are celebrating all the holidays and time with families that were missed last year. “We are always happy to support our veterans,” Carr said.
● New assessment test: Strong Testing, a new assessment test being given statewide, was conducted at Wallkill Valley the week of Sept. 27. The tests aim to show where the students are now, after any learning loss that may have happened during the pandemic.
● Back to School Night: Carr said it was great to see parents again during Back to School Night. The cheerleaders assisted parents who were lost while looking for their kids’ classrooms. There was a good turnout, and the parking lot was full.
“It was great to see the students back in the building. We certainly had some challenges, and it’s the first time a lot of our kids have been back in school after two years.” Superintendent David Carr