October 1, 2022


Dear Chappaqua Central School District Community,

I hope this first edition of What’s Happening In Chappaquas Schools finds you and your family doing well.

Our administrators, faculty and staff are working hard to ensure all students learn and thrive as we continue to provide all the traditional hallmarks of a Chappaqua education – rigorous instruction, interdependent learning, problem-solving, thoughtful communication, and critical thinking.

We are excited to share that September also included the grand opening of the Sustainability Research Center, the U.S. Department of Education recognition of Horace Greeley High School as a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School, and 13 seniors being named 2023 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists.

We had the pleasure of meeting many of our families at the Town of New Castle Community Day, along the sidelines at fall sports, at principal coffees, and during our virtual open house nights and in-person building tours.

I want to thank all of our partners in education who continue to meet, plan, and host events and activities for our students. With this in mind, we look forward to seeing you on October 14th at our Homecoming Kick-off Event sponsored by the Greeley Sports Boosters and the Diversity Family Fall 2022 Gathering hosted by the Chappaqua PTA’s Diversity, Race & Belonging Committee.

Needless to say, I am excited about what this school year has in store! Please take a moment to read about a few highlights from our first few weeks of the 2022-23 school year.


​Christine Ackerman, PhD
​Superintendent of Schools

Welcome Kindergarteners!
We are so excited to have welcomed the Class of 2035 this fall!
We hope you have a great school year and can’t wait to see you learn and grow.


Benchmark PhonicsBenchmark Phonics Introduced to Grades 3-5

This past summer, the District engaged in a process to select a phonics word study/grammar program for grades three through five to complement the Phonics First program already being used in grades K-2. The changes for grades 3-5 include more direct instruction in word study, understanding Greek and Latin roots, more spelling, more grammar, and phoneme manipulation.

What really piqued our interest in Benchmark Phonics was that it is systematic, multi-sensory, schedule-friendly, and offers a strong connection to reading and writing, said Carol Bartlik, Interim Director of Literacy, K-12. In addition, the program spirals so each year builds on the year before.

On any given day, students could be engaged in a closed word sort for the suffixes ...tion and ...sion, learning strategies for reading big words and understanding their meaning by dissecting each word into its prefix, suffix, and base word, and transferring what they are learning into becoming stronger writers.


Musicians at BS work on reading music, breathing, embouchure formation and tone/sound production.


Inspired by artist Sandy Skoglund, HG photography students combine original images in unexpected juxtapositions.


Second-grade mathematicians at DG work on building number sense and then explain their thinking to their peers.


RB first-graders play a round of Human Bingo as a way for students to actively engage with others and to learn more about their classmates.


Current 6th-graders planted the SB garden in May and were delighted with the growth. FACS students then shopped for fresh produce to use in class. #FarmToTable.


The writing/illustration unit is in full swing at WO. Kindergarten students are learning how to draw shape-people, facial expressions, and different hair types.

Anchor TextsAnchor Texts to Support Equity Education & Greeley English Expectations

In response to feedback the District received from our community through Board of Education focus groups, adjustments have been made to our social justice anchor texts in grades K through 10 as well as our literacy expectations for high school students.

This summer, a team of teachers and administrators developed a set of seven guiding principles for the process of reviewing materials that might be selected as benchmark texts for our social justice work. These guiding principles will serve as a framework to make sure students have access to modern, appropriate, and powerful curricula, texts, and instructional materials.

Fall and spring anchor texts for grades K-10 are as follows:


Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin


The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Subriya Kelkar

Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña


Priya Dreams of Marigolds and Masala by Meenal Patel

Drawn Together by Minh Le


The Arabic Quilt by Anait Semirdzhyn

Island Born by Junot Diaz


A Storm Called Katrina by Myron Uhlberg

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom


Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

A Different Pond by Bao Phi


Unit of Study: Reading Life & Narrative

The Hero Next Door, Short Story Collection

“Minnows and Zombies” by Rita Williams-Garcia; “Thrown” by Mike Jung; “Go Fish” by William Alexander; and “The Save” by Joseph Bruchac

“Home” by Hena Khan, from The Hero Next Door


Before the Ever After by Jacquline Woodson

Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by Walter Dean Myers


How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana and Abigail Pesta

Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan; The Jacket by Gary Soto


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Color of Water by James McBride


Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Night by Elie Wiesel

Staff also spent this summer outlining literacy expectations for Greeley students in response to requests for clarity from parents. Each quarter, students will read at least 2-3 full-length works (these are works accompanied by instruction in the classroom) and write at least 3 formal pieces that include a revision cycle.


The Board of Education will continue to discuss a capital improvements bond focused on facilities and safety at its next meeting on Monday, October 3, 2022 at 7:30 PM in the Greeley Auditorium.

Additional information about the bond is available on our website here, which includes the Board of Education’s September 15th letter to the community. Please consider sharing your feedback at the Board meeting on 10/3/22 or online here.

CCEChappaqua Continuing Education
   Fall 2022 Hybrid Program - Registration Is Open

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” ~ Thomas Huxley

We are happy to announce that CCE has an exciting line-up for the fall. Our program is a hybrid of in-person classes, which will meet at Horace Greeley High School (unless otherwise noted), and online classes via Zoom, which can be taken from the comfort of your home! We have added many new and interesting classes to the fall session while continuing many of the favorites from years past. . .with plenty of one-day classes from which to choose.

  • Register early to ensure your spot
  • Many classes sell out
  • We do cancel classes for lack of enrollment, so dont delay expressing your interest.

Please visit www.chappaquaschools.org/cce for course descriptions and to register, or call 238-7201 ex. 2318.

Spelling BeeThe Annual Spelling Bee
Different Month ~ Different Time ~ Same Cause

Every year, SHARE and the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund team up for the HGSF Spelling Bee, with 100% of the proceeds going toward scholarships to Greeley students in need who are pursuing higher education.

Its time to get your team organized and signed up! The deadline to register a team is October 11th.

This years Bee will take place on Monday, October 17th at 5:30pm on the HGHS Competition Field.

Teams of 2 or 3 compete in one of five categories:

  • Middle School Students
  • High School Students
  • High School Seniors
  • Community Members/Groups
  • CCSD Faculty and Staff

There will be prizes for each round as well as a grand prize, a raffle prize, and of course, costume prizes.

There are many ways to contribute and support the HGSF and the Spelling Bee:

Parking Lot Safety

As a reminder to the community, when driving on the Horace Greeley High School campus, please be mindful not to block any walking paths or emergency vehicle access points during drop-off and pick-up times or sporting events. This is happening with increased frequency, especially down by the tennis courts, and poses a safety hazard.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.