Welcome Back to School

Welcome Back to School!
Posted on 09/01/2023

Dear Rhinebeck families, 

On Wednesday, September 6th, we will welcome back our students! In the past few weeks with the start of Fall athletics, new teacher orientation, and walk-your-schedule events for our 6th graders – the excitement and optimism for a new year has been brewing.  

In an exceptionally busy summer, our maintenance, grounds and custodial crews refreshed and restored our buildings and campus landscaping, our clerical and central office employees addressed innumerable logistical and organizational measures to ensure a strong start. We are especially excited to share that over the summer, our BMS/RHS Library Media Center has been updated with new furniture – including outdoor courtyard seating.

All summer long, our teachers and school leaders engaged in numerous professional development experiences and curriculum projects. We are ready to warmly welcome our students and families to what we expect to be another great year together. 

Welcome to Rhinebeck

In addition to our returning students, and our incoming Kindergartners, we are also welcoming an additional 38 new students across the district. We warmly welcome and look forward to meeting our new families and students.

Get to know the recently hired probationary teachers who were welcomed as the newest members of the Rhinebeck Schools faculty by clicking here: Rhinebeck Happenings: New Teacher Edition

Calendars and Events

The District Calendar is now active and populated on the main page of the school website: The full year calendar can be accessed by clicking on the link located beneath the “Upcoming Events” on the right side of the page. We intend to improve and increase our use of this calendar as a means of keeping families informed in advance of events, schedule changes, and more. Individual school buildings also send regular communications through email and newsletters that include upcoming school events.

Mark your calendars for the full school community Rhinebeck PTSO Welcome Back event, held Friday, September 15 beginning at 2:45 PM until 5 PM at the mini-park located at the intersection of S. Parsonage and N. Park. We encourage all students and families to join us for this informal social event after the school day.

Supporting a Culture of Learning at Home

Does parental involvement help students? That is a resounding “yes” but the form of involvement matters according to a review of over 400 studies on the topic synthesized by the American Psychological Association. In a traditional sense involvement is seen as coming to the school for events, open houses, conferences etc. Attending those events, supporting school outreach efforts, and maintaining a positive relationship with teachers does matter. However, at-home discussions and encouragement regarding school have even more powerful and positive outcomes.

According to the National Association for Family, School, and Community engagement, what families are doing to create an environment of learning and supporting learning at home has vital impact on  the social and psychological dimensions of student experiences and on academic growth.

 For these reasons I urge us all to collaborate and communicate together warmly and patiently, and to see the power of positivity when it comes to school. I know that our faculty and professional staff come to work each day with the goal of helping and supporting our students to be their best.

A mantra that I hold deeply to my heart comes from the work of educational expert Jon Saphier: “What we’re doing is important; you can do it; and I won’t give up on you”. Bringing out the best in our children is not solely the work of the school, your partnership is essential. A unified message that school matters, that students can succeed, and that we (both families and schools) will never give up on them -- can make a difference.

Some items, from a list far too long to include completely, to consider for creating a culture of learning at home:

  • Make School Attendance and Timeliness a Goal
    • Showing up each day, and being on time for school, makes a difference for students in their academic performance and in their social development. Creating habits around good attendance and timeliness both with arrival to school and with assignments involves developing organizational strategies like planning and preparing. Both the process of striving for good attendance and the outcomes are tremendously valuable lifelong skills. Supporting school attendance supports your child and their development.


  • Sleep schedule
    • Related to attendance, a regular and full night’s sleep is an essential part of being ready to learn. Sleep is a high priority for a developing brain. Loss of sleep impacts attention, working memory, mood, and even motor dexterity. Taking good care of growing brains through healthy sleep and nutritional habits supports a culture of learning. Sleep well, think well.


  • Read together
    • Every chance that you can, read with your child. Reading for pleasure develops language and thinking skills. Let’s move away from the idea that reading is an assignment and find ways to connect by reading together. Reading to, or being read to helps to foster strong relationships, initiates conversations, and creates a positive lifelong habit.  This is powerful for all ages and with all forms of content and text.


As noted above, the website calendar has been updated and includes many events for students and families. For your convenience, a few highlights for September include: 

September 15: PTSO Back to School BBQ Event, Rhinebeck Mini-Park, 2:45-5:00 PM

September 14: BMS Open House, 6:30 PM 

September 20: CLS Grades K-2, Open House, 6:30 PM 

September 27: CLS Grades 3-5, Open House, 6:30 PM 

September 28: RHS Open House, 6:30 PM 

We hope to see you there!

Again, welcome back to our students and families. See you very soon!

All my best,

Albert Cousins, Superintendent

Rhinebeck Central School District