Fall/Winter 2019/2020

Dear Sackets Harbor Central School Community,

This is the second edition of the 2019-2020 District Newsletter.  We have made some changes to the newsletter to reduce the amount of content with hopes that it will encourage readership.  For the second and third editions, certain grade levels and departments will be highlighted rather than all of our grade levels and departments.  The purpose of our newsletter is to provide our school community with news, updates, and to share all of the wonderful things happening here at Sackets Harbor Central School District.   

I am pleased to share that we have had a fantastic start to the school year.  Though, we did not get to kick off the year with Open House, as we are used to, we held the event on October 23rd and had the opportunity to visit with our students’ parents and families.  We also were joined by a variety of organizations who helped to welcome our students and families back for another terrific school year.  We truly have such an amazing support system and we are so thankful.   

I want to take a moment to recognize two organizations who continue to go above and beyond for our District. Our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) led by Brenda Jock- Derouin, Leslie Gayne, Kathy McKeever, and Shannon Mason work so hard to plan events, activities, and fundraisers to enhance the school experience.  We appreciate their leadership and the volunteerism of many other devoted community members.  From Picture Day to the KISS Breakfast, to Activity Nights, the countless hours they donate is so appreciated. 

Our Booster Club, led by Sarah Derouin, Patricia Gibbons, Connie Flint, and Kristen Rigabar continues to raise money to support our student athletes and athletic programs.  This past fall, they once again organized an under-the-lights Senior Night Game to pay tribute to our seniors.  It was two wonderful nights of night soccer.  I thank them and those who have volunteered for our Booster Club. 

We have much to look forward to as we move on in our school year.  Our Twelfth Annual Veterans Day Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 8th starting at 8:15 am. All community members are invited to attend as we pay tribute to active and retired members of all branches of our Armed Services.  The American Legion Auxiliary and our District invite any and all members of our school community to join us in sharing a “Sackets Salute” to these brave and dedicated men and women.   

As much as I don’t want to remind you that winter weather is right around the corner, winter weather looms near.  This is the perfect time of year to finalize your winter/emergency plans should the need arise for a delayed opening, closure, or early dismissal due to inclement weather or emergency situations.  All parents/guardians should receive a notification from Sackets Harbor Central School in the event of a delay, early dismissal, cancellation, or closure.  If you do not receive the notification via email, text, or phone call, please contact the school to have this rectified.  All weather related notifications are also shared via our Facebook Page, with local radio stations, and with Newzjunky (  You can visit any of these sites to get the latest information on school closures, delays, cancellations, or early dismissals.  These decisions are not always easy but they are always made, first and foremost, on the basis of safety.   I thank you in advance for your support and understanding with this process.

The Board of Education, administration, faculty and staff have been very focused on wrapping up Phase 2 of our Capital Project.  As of the writing of this article, we still have a bit of site work left to complete in our back yard.  Aside from that work, our general contractor is completing punch list items which means the end is near!  Phase 2 brought the District a new phone system which has addressed the frustrating issues some of you have experienced in the past.  Faculty and staff now have voicemail and our community can more easily reach whomever they wish to speak with.  Be sure to follow the prompts on the automated system when you call in.  Your feedback on our new phone system is welcomed!  There was a great deal of work completed in a few short months.  For a complete list of Phase 1 and Phase 2 work, please visit our website ( and click on Capital Improvement Project Updates under the “District” heading for a full description of the project and the latest updates.  

In last year’s fall edition of the newsletter, I shared that the District intended on writing a grant to start a Pre-Kindergarten Program.  We are so pleased to share that we were awarded the grant and welcomed a full class of Pre-Kindergarten students in for the school year.  Our collaboration with the Community Action Planning Council (CAPC) is proving to be a great partnership!     

We are wrapping up tax season, monitoring our current budget and working on the start of the 2020-2021 budget.  We would like to share thanks with Margaret Kelly, School District Tax Collector, for continuing to do a wonderful job ensuring a smooth and efficient collection process.  The District and Village of Sackets Harbor again supported a shared-municipal agreement to have tax collection take place in Village Offices.  This has allowed for increased hours and a stable location for our residents.  Thanks to the Village leadership for their continued support of this agreement.  

The Board of Education, district administration, faculty and staff look forward to continuing to capitalize on our strengths and continually improve our school.  I look forward to working with our faculty, staff, and students this year to achieve our mission which is to empower our students to embrace life’s challenges with knowledge, character, and a commitment to learning as they become contributing citizens in the American democratic way of life. 

As I share each year, Sackets Harbor Central School District is a special place and I am humbled and honored to be the superintendent.  We continue to have amazing educators, the most caring staff, a supportive community, and, most importantly, the awesome experience of working with our students each and every day.  I wish you all a wonderful holiday season ahead and hope to see you at our upcoming concerts, basketball games, and other events, of which we have no shortage! 


Warmest Wishes,

Jennifer L. Gaffney








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