“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation

is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy

November 20, 2022

Thanksgiving marks a holiday reserved for slowing down, enjoying time with the people that matter most to us, and appreciating all that we have been blessed with. It is also a time for expressing gratitude for all that we have and how much we have to be thankful for.

It is safe to say that you settled down with your families in the FLOW community for the outstanding staff and schools, an incredibly strong community, and opportunities for our children that likely exceed our own experiences growing up. I have the benefit of being in the community and around our students and staff each and every day. Our students are thoughtful, honest, open-minded, and empathetic. We want our children to grow up engaged and fulfilled, knowing the value of discipline and hard work, while understanding what it means to be treated with respect and civility. 

As a community, we have a responsibility to work together to meet our objectives, without sacrificing our principles and our core values. Above all else, the Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District is a powerful platform for students to build character, foster positive values, and develop important life skills in an environment that is safe, positive, and inclusive for all students. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, coach, student, parent or interested resident of the community – you all have an important and positive role to play.

I am grateful for the commitment of our students and their dedication to academics, athletics, and extracurriculars. This past week, I had the honor to serve as a judge along with so many wonderful staff for the DECA Roleplay Night. Roleplay Night is critical to the RIH DECA Chapter’s success in competition at the Regional, State, and National levels since it gives our members a chance to practice and improve their skills before competing. Best wishes to our amazing students as they embark on their season. We look forward to hearing all about their experiences this year. 

Let us give thanks to our student representatives who organized and facilitated a tremendous panel discussion on November 16th marking the 50th anniversary of Title IX civil rights legislation. A special thank you to Ramapo Senior Victoria Jolakian, members of Ramapo High School Leadership Club (RAALC), Indian Hills Student Leaders, and Director of Athletics Mr. Mancino for coordinating this special event. Our students engaged in meaningful dialogue with each other and panel experts regarding the law’s history, advancement, where we are today regarding gender equity, and what next steps are ahead for a brighter future.

We are thankful for the progress we have made and our commitments on facilities improvements which include an energy savings improvement project (ESIP). To learn more about this progress on the ESIP, click the following link for the November 14th BOE meeting to watch the video presentation (approximately 4 hours and 10 minutes into the video). The slide deck presentation shared that evening is posted on the district website and may also be viewed here.

We are grateful for the incredible success our steering committee has accomplished thus far with our strategic planning efforts. The feedback from our community has enabled us to focus our vision and goals on the areas of teaching & learning, culture and climate, allocation of time, and student & staff wellness. Focus groups are underway with students and staff for exchange of meaningful dialogue through in-person sessions. Parents will receive an invitation in the coming days for focus group sign ups to participate in feedback sessions. 

This week’s edition also provides an update to the school calendar with two (2) new early dismissals (1/9/23 & 3/6/23) to carve out necessary time for staff development, the Academic Assistance Program supports available to our students, facility improvements planned for athletic field lights at both high schools, and a plethora of other highlights celebrating our students. We hope you take some time to peruse these updates as well as activities in the links below.

Our accomplishments are the fruits of our labor. We have much to be thankful for. So it is most appropriate, this time of the year and every day, to express gratitude. Thank you for your support, for your engagement in our schools, and for entrusting us with your children, and their intellectual and personal development.

It is only fitting during this Thanksgiving season that we extend our thanks to you in our community for all of your support. On behalf of our staff and Board of Education, we wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.

All my best,

Dr. Rui Dionisio

Superintendent of Schools

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