S.S. Seward Principal’s Corner

June 4, 2021

June Good news…

It is June!  Prom, awards, end of the year events and GRADUATION are right around the corner.  We are all so pleased that we can hold these modified, yet traditional student events.  The kids seem to be very excited about them!

This past Wednesday, I attended the Scholar-Athlete and Humanities Awards, hosted by Orange/Ulster BOCES.  Please join me in congratulating Morgan Kelly and Bradley Vogt, our scholar-athletes, and Emily Romano and Tyler Pauwels, our Humanities honorees.  Super students who have excelled at their passion inside and outside the classroom.

Next week, our valedictorian, Bradley Vogt, and salutatorian, Josely Medina, will be honored at a similar ceremony.  Congratulations to our top two scholars and the entire Class of 2021!

The Class of 2021 has made it.  Graduation is scheduled for Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 10 a.m. here at Seward.  Our in-person ceremony will be live streamed so that our community can share in this great celebration of our kids.

Congratulations to Ms. Moore!  As Seward’s next principal, she will ensure a well-rounded, challenging and caring experience for our kids.  I cannot thank her enough for her friendship, help and laughs throughout our time working together.  I have been a very lucky man to work alongside her.

I wish you success, happiness and good health.  May the Spartan Nation continue to shine upon our community’s most precious resource – our children!  Thank you for your support, Spartan Pride and interest in education.  Once a Spartan, Always a Spartan.

M. Rheaume

April 16, 2021

Happy Spring!  It is a banner year for my favorite spring flower-the daffodil. I hope you have had time to be outside to enjoy the sunshine.

We have moved into our fourth instructional period and are so happy to see students choosing to be in person. Welcome back – especially to our seniors! Whether in person or remote, we are all Spartan strong! Wear a mask, stay distanced, wash your hands and stay away from large gatherings.

We are looking forward to a safe and fun last 10 weeks where we are hoping to be able to offer more clubs and activities in person, hold a prom for our juniors and seniors and plan a special graduation ceremony. We have received updated guidance and will follow it as decisions are made about end-of-year events and ceremonies. We will provide updates as decisions become finalized.

Make sure your student finishes off the year strong and ready for the next school year. Look for emails from me about Regents examinations, instructional days and end of year events.

Thank you all so much for your continued support and patience as we have collectively navigated one heck of a school year. Be you, be kind, be Spartan strong!

M. Rheaume

March 5, 2021

We are saddened to lose our dear friend, colleague and top security guard, Rafael Muriel.  Rafi was a true Spartan, kind, supportive and full of tough love.  May his family find peace in knowing that he had a tremendous impact on our school community and its students. Once a Spartan, always a Spartan… 


March has arrived and our days are growing longer.  It is so nice to take a walk outside, to feel the sun shine on your face and hear birds singing as they return to our area.  Our emotional health is so important.  Take a walk, take some time to enjoy your surroundings and de-stress-it does the body, and the brain, good!


We will hit the midpoint of marking period three on March 5, 2021.  This means we have 15 weeks of school remaining-WOW.  Whether in person or remote, ensure your child is taking advantage of the opportunities they have.  Finding their path, their passion and then plugging into courses, clubs and activities that keep that fire burning are the keys to success.  We offer so many opportunities here at Seward, please talk to your child about taking advantage of those that interest them.


As the fourth ten-week period approaches, our last ten weeks of the school year, know we will be asking about any shifts in instruction you might want to make from remote to in person or vice versa.  We will be asking for you to email us proposed changes soon.


On a personal note, I have decided to retire at the end of this school year.  When I began my career in education in 1987, never did I think I would be blessed to spend 16 wonderful years in Spartan Nation.  Thank you for all of the support, patience and kindness you have shown me and my family over the years.  I want to thank you for trusting me with your children.  It has been my honor to work with them.  

Go Spartans!

M. Rheaume

Jan. 25, 2021

The kids are back!!!  It has been so exciting to open our doors to in-person instruction for our students. While we are all adjusting to being in school, it seems those in school are excited to be here. Welcome back!

On a daily basis we take steps to ensure we are keeping everyone safe. We have continued our daily cleaning and sanitizing. We continue to wear masks, be socially distant and mindful of staying out of large gatherings. We have reduced the number of students in study halls, lunches and looked to enhance our distancing practices. Everyone has responded in a positive way and that is much appreciated.

As we move into February, we see the beginning of the third marking period and second half of the school year.  With this comes our thoughts about NYS Regents and grade 3-8 assessments. We have not received word that any of these assessments have been cancelled for this year. We are expecting guidance from NYSED very soon and will share that with you once received. In the meantime, we continue to prepare our students to be ready for these assessments and real life.

In February, we do have a break, from Feb. 15-19, 2021, when schools are closed. I hope we have some nice weather during this time so we can all be outside in the fresh air! As well, on the 11th, there will be “Coffee with the Principal” at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. All sessions are held via Google Meet in a virtual setting.  Information will be shared and posted on our website.

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we all work together to navigate this unique school year. Go Spartans!

S. Moore & M. Rheaume

Jan. 4, 2021

I have never celebrated a New Year more than this year as the world welcomed 2021.  Hope, positive energy and the Spartan Nation are all huge parts of my belief that this year will be great!  Happy New Year to you all.

As time moves on, we are planning for the rest of the school year.  We are hoping that conditions allow us to welcome students back to Seward on the 19th.  Stay tuned for updates and be on the lookout for our third ten-week form to let us know about in person or remote learning as a choice.  Please know that we will do all we can to have students back in school.

With the return to school comes the reminder about mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing.  All of these elements add up to school being open.  As well, avoiding large groups outside of school helps to lower the risk of exposure to the virus.  The collective efforts of us all will help us to open and remain open to in-person instruction, as we did for the first three months of this school year.

I’ll update this message in about a week, once we have a clearer picture about welcoming students back.  In the meantime, be sure to attend all classes, be involved and get smarter each day.  And in between, go for a walk, fresh air does you good!

Rock on Spartan Nation!

M. Rheaume

December 9, 2020

Spartan Good News…

Our good news kicks off with the recognition of one of our Spartans, Bradley Vogt.  Bradley has been named a National Semi-Finalist because of his stellar performance on the PSAT!  He is featured here on our webpage.

Hard work, works!  Way to go Bradley, Spartan Nation is proud of you!

We miss you all.  Please be sure to stay safe, wear masks and avoid any type of gathering.  These small gatherings are what seem to have fueled this spike in cases of COVID.  Staying socially distanced is tough, and Spartans are smart and resilient.  Keep yourself safe by avoiding gatherings!

December has arrived and so has the holiday season.  No matter the holiday you and your family celebrate, we all hope you celebrate and relish in the love and joy family can bring.  We held a very small Thanksgiving, just the four of us who live at my house.  While it was quiet, it was nice to be able to relax and spend time to tell stories of days gone by.  When my 95-year-old mother in law told me I have a lot of gray hair, it certainly was time to laugh!  Enjoy the time with family, and please be safe.

Here is a link to a great resource on making the best of learning from home courtesy of Khan Academy, which offers free tutorial videos and help:

Looking forward to welcoming everyone back in January!

Have a restful and joyous holiday season.  Spartan Nation is here for you.

November 23, 2020

Spartan Nation:

As you know, we dismissed students early today due to a student here at Seward testing positive for COVID-19.  We did so to ensure the health and safety of our school community.

This requires us to do the following as it relates to our school schedule and instruction:

  1. Students will now be learning via a remote platform (Google Classroom) from 11/24/20 through 12/11/20.  Students will be able to return for in-person instruction on 12/14/20, as of now.
  2. Our daily class periods and schedule will continue from 7:57 a.m. to 1:47 p.m. everyday.  Students will follow the same schedule they have had since we kicked off the school year.  Google Classroom will be the platform used for instruction by our teachers.  Please be sure to log on and be present for all of your classes.  Students should not come to Seward until 12/14/20.
  3. The Orange/Ulster BOCES CTech students will learn from a remote platform, beginning today, as well.  Teachers from CTech will be in contact with students to facilitate classes.  Students will continue on the every-other-day schedule for CTech. (see schedule below for CTECH class instruction details)
  4. We will be making follow-up phone calls to students not engaging in school during our remote instructional period.  In extreme cases, we may do a home visit to ensure students are safe and able to engage in school.  Please make sure your child attends every class, every day!

As we work together through these days of a different type of school year, please know we will be here at Seward to support you.  Our socio-emotional team, teachers, aides and administration are here to help further your child’s education.  Please contact us by calling (845)651-3095 should you need us.  We are here for you.

Updates will be sent via SchoolMessenger and will be posted to our website.  Please check in regularly.

On behalf of everyone here at Seward, we wish you a safe, healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Susan Moore & Michael Rheaume

See below for our class schedule and remote student guide

S. S. Seward Institute

Remote Student Guide for Success

(to be used by any student learning remotely)

We wanted to supply you with a guide to help you be successful while learning remotely.  Above all, you must be in attendance each day for each class, as if you were coming to school. This means logging in on time, showing your face on camera and answering your teachers when called upon.   Life is about showing up-make sure you do!

Keys to your success include:

  1. Ensuring your Chromebook is charged or plugged in and ready for use each day.
  2. Having each Google Classroom access code so you can log in and join your peers and teachers.  Access your school email to stay connected and updated.
  3. Being ready to go at 7:57 a.m. each day.  We will be looking for you during the Pledge of Allegiance and announcements.  You are required to show your face during class so we can verify you are in attendance.
  4. Classes beginning at 8 a.m. They are 35 minutes in length and you will have a four minute break in between each class, plus lunch.  Your schedule will guide your day, make good use of your time.
  5. Your being fully dressed, out of bed and ready to learn from your “at home classroom.”  That space should be quiet and allow you to focus upon school.
  6. Your being ready to learn, having eaten and having only water/drink with you for class and have the supplies you need while not disturbing others.
  7. You behave in an appropriate manner.  Disruptions of class take learning time away from others.  Do not lose your access because of poor behavioral choices.  You are learning from home, so please behave well!
  8. Remembering to be active in your classes.  Utilize the icons and chat in Google Classroom to ask and answer questions.  Earn those participation points!
  9. Letting us know if you need help with anything that might come up.  We are here for you!

S. S. Seward Institute

Bell Schedule

2020-21 school year


Period                                                        Begins                                            Ends

Pledge/Announcements 7:57 8:00
1 8:00 8:35
2 8:39 9:14
3 9:18 9:53
4 9:57 10:32
5 10:36 11:11
6 11:15 11:50
7 11:54 12:29






Be sure to take a break in between classes to stand and move – be healthy!  If you need us, email or call: 651-3095.

CTE will follow a full remote schedule from 11/30/2020 thru 12/11/2020. Students will return to in-person instruction on 12/14/2020. During this time period, CTE instructors and staff will be available for providing synchronous instruction to students; therefore, the students will check-in remotely at the traditional times.

  • Students in the AM Sessions are asked to check in between 8:05-8:15 a.m.
  • Students in the PM Sessions are asked to check in between 12:30-12:40 p.m.

The full remote schedule will include both synchronous and asynchronous instruction for the students.

  • Students scheduled for CTE AM Sessions are expected to be available and online between 8:05-10:35 a.m. each day.
  • Students who regularly attend CTE PM Sessions are expected to be available and online between 12:30-3 p.m. each day.

The day will be broken down into synchronous and asynchronous segments for the students.

November 2020

Snow? Wait a minute, we just started November and snow is falling from the sky? Just another reminder that we are well into our school year. As we begin November, here are some important dates to remember:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 – Conference Day-no school for students
  • Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 – First marking period ends.  Reports card will be available via SchoolTool on Nov. 12, 2020.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 – Veteran’s Day  Schools are closed
  • Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 – Coffee with the Principal  10 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Virtual format
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 – Early dismissal
  • Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26 and 27, 2020 – Thanksgiving  Schools closed
  • Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 – National Honor Society Induction  TBA

Please attend these events as best you can. We appreciate your support and engagement.

As a community, we should be proud of what we have accomplished in support of our kids. Your communication, honesty and willingness to have your child follow our expectations have made our plan successful to date. I know we are all working together to keep everyone safe and healthy. Thank you.

Take the time to thank a Veteran by sponsoring a flag via our High School Student Council.  Information is here on our webpage. Thank you to all of our military families for your service and sacrifice for our country!

Along with everyone here at Seward, we wish you a happy, safe and festive (but socially distanced) Thanksgiving!

M. Rheaume

October 2020

The leaves are changing colors and mornings have changed from hot and hazy to chilly and crisp. As the seasons change, so too does our school year as we shift into high gear with five weeks of school behind us. Can you  believe we welcomed students back five weeks ago?

Our year has been highly positive and successful thus far. Every Spartan has adjusted and taken on school with the spirit and determination we expect. Our students have been gracious and thankful to be back in school, while being happy to see their friends. Our Spartan education team has taken on the challenge of teaching in two settings with tenacity and care. To see them in action, leading and coaching our kids in all of the academic areas has inspired me each day. Wonderful job everyone!

When a plan works out well it is sometimes easy to forget that support is always there should you or your child need it. We continue to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students and encourage you to take advantage of this. Our students here at Seward have their lunches delivered to them! Our cafeteria colleagues have gone above and beyond to make that all happen.

More support is available via our guidance office. We have our middle and high school counselors, a school psychologist and CSE chairperson ready and happy to help you. Reach out to them should you need to: T. Martino (MS counselor), G. Geroux (HS counselor), C. Bermudez (school psychologist) and J. Pavlik (CSE Chairperson). All are wonderful, helpful members of our family who are here for you and your child.

Your support of all of us here at Seward is felt universally. We so appreciate your trust, patience and dedication to education. Together we will continue to set our children up for lives full of success, happiness and kindness, knowing that hard work and determination help to make it all happen.

In short, thank you!

M. Rheaume & S. Moore

September 2020


We are back in action as we begin the year remotely, and change to our hybrid model on Tuesday, 9/8/20.  Regardless of the learning environment you have chosen, working hard at learning and being present and involved remain as the foundation for success.  Show up and be great!

As you know, we all must wear masks and practice social distancing at all times while on school grounds.  We want to stress this requirement and know we will all do our part to keep each other safe.

Our school day will run from 7:57 a.m. to 1:47 p.m. each day.  There are no after-school activities or late bus at this time.  Students must exit Seward at dismissal.

Changing of classes will be staggered by announcement.  Please follow your teacher’s directions and do not leave class prior to being dismissed by an adult. We must maintain social distancing at all times. As you move from class to class, please go directly to your next class. Hallways will be closely supervised to ensure that you do not congregate between classes.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for free to all students. You must order lunch via the form being released each day. Lunch will be delivered to the location you are eating in. You will not be able to buy any food or drink here in school and microwaves are not available for your use.

As a reminder, we are not using lockers this year.

School will be different, yet everything that makes Seward our school, our home away from home, is here. We are all so excited to see you, no matter the forum. We are here for you, we love working with you and your success is ours. Show up and take advantage of the opportunities provided to you.

Parents, please continue to check our webpage, ensure you receive SchoolMessenger alerts and stay involved with your child.  We can do this!

Charge that Chromebook everynight…

Looking forward to a fantastic school year,

Ms. Moore & Mr. Rheaume


July: Seward’s Good News

It’s in the mid 90’s outside, a stark contrast to the weather in March when we last saw each other at Seward.  We remain hopeful that we will be able to safely reopen for September.  

Our Governor, the Department of Health, and the NYS Education Department have issued guidance and deadlines for decision making about reopening of schools across our state.  We are actively seeking public input via our survey, which was sent out last Friday. Please be sure to answer the survey to help us in planning.

The guidance we received calls for social distancing, the wearing of masks by everyone who comes to Seward, hygiene measures such as frequent hand washing, mask cleaning and temperature checks.  These measures may seem extreme.  All are proven to protect each of us and it is our shared responsibility to keep each other safe and healthy.  Please know we will be doing everything we possibly can to keep our students, and colleagues safe.

You are a critical piece of this collective effort.  We need you to keep your child home if they don’t feel well, have a fever of 100, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.  Daily temperature checks and wearing of masks will become the norm as we navigate the virus and a return to school.  Please understand how important the personal responsibility we each take is.

While more decisions remain to be made, know that our plan looks to have all students in school everyday.  The day will be different, school will be different.  Riding a bus will be different.  

As we move along, I will update this message to reflect current guidance and any decisions made at the State and Federal level.

Meanwhile, please be safe, and enjoy the summer.  I have been challenging myself to become more anti-racist through professional development and reading and trying to improve my woeful (at times) golf game.  Be kind to each other.

Go Spartans!
M. Rheaume

June: Seward’s Good News

Spartan Nation,

Equity, safety and peace to you all. I hope you have taken time to talk to your child(ren) about the pandemic and the horrific events in Minnesota. The ensuing protests and violence across our nation must provoke us to examine our own thoughts and behaviors. Only together can we bring an end to inequality in our nation.

Our social studies teachers will be sending resources for our kids. No grades, no requirements, just thought-inducing items to help them navigate the turmoil we are all witnessing. We hope you read them as well and engage in positive conversations with them.

June is here  and we see this unique school year coming to a close. We want to thank you for helping us make these last few months meaningful and safe for your family and others. Our community has taken care of each other so well.


  • June 10: Last day for our senior class.  All assignments will be completed at this time (exceptions apply to some college courses).
  • June 12: Last day of new instruction for students in grades 6-11.
  • June 18: Students in grades 6-11 complete all assignments and hand in any outstanding assignments.

Marking period four progress reports was made available on June 3.

Teachers will remain available during online office hours until June 18.  From June 22-25, teachers may post optional enrichment activities for students who wish to further explore subject areas of interest.

Students will be holding onto their Chromebooks for the summer months, with the exception of our seniors. Please be sure to take care of these devices so we are ready for our return to school. As in the past few months, we will follow official guidance for reopening plans.

Your patience, support and engagement have been remarkable. We are all very fortunate to be members of the Spartan Nation. Please be kind, compassionate and strong as we forge ahead to create a safer, more equal country for our children to live, grow and succeed in.

With Spartan Pride,

Michael Rheaume

March: Seward’s good news

Longer days, sunshine and moderate temperatures have made these last few weeks so nice.  All of the spring-like weather is welcomed by us all! And, oh by the way, it is March—four more months are left in the school year…

I must say I was saddened by the low response we saw from our community at our March 2 vaping and e-cigarette forum.  We had two parents attend, which was much fewer than I had hoped for. As a community we are bound together by our children.  We hold these forums to keep our kids safe and to provide timely information for our community so that our partnership grows stronger, all while keeping our children safe.  We will continue to offer these forums and I hope to see many of you at our next one, planned for later this year, covering social media and screen-time pitfalls. Come out and learn Spartan Nation!

We are in the midst of finishing a historic basketball season.  Alexa Roach has become our all-time leading scorer in basketball—congratulations to her and her family, teammates and coaches.  Her example of hard work, team and sacrifice should inspire us all to do our best everyday. The Lady Spartans play on March 5,  at 5 p.m. in Middletown, in the next round of the playoffs.  Put on some orange and blue and come cheer them on!

Friday, March 13,  marks the midpoint of the third marking period.  Please be sure to check the parent portal and Google classroom to ensure your child is on track and doing their best in school.  We offer peer tutoring, after school help and other programs to help—give a call and we will see what we can do to help!

Do your best to guide, advise and assist your child in growing.  Urge them on, let them know they are loved and cherished and the sky’s the limit.  Together we make a huge difference—let’s keep working together to ensure our kids have bright and successful futures.

Hoping to see you soon in our school community, be well, wash your hands and Go Spartans!

M. Rheaume

February: Seward’s good news

We are back at it after a long and relaxing weekend to kick off February.  Last Thursday we held a Winter Pep Rally that was a bucket load of fun.

Students playing basketball in the gym.

Our Spartan Spirit and pride always puts a smile on my face.

Another reason to smile is our newly named after school help program called “Spar-Time” (thanks, Mr. O’Connor).  Link to it here.  It takes you to a spreadsheet with teachers listed alphabetically  and the program dates.  Please have your student take advantage of this program to help them complete homework, prepare for quizzes and tests, and to keep up their great work in school.  Questions? Please let me know.

Coming up…

Feb. 19 – Our tenth graders will begin working on their genocide project. They will investigate past genocides, create a museum walk and do their part to end genocide around the globe.

Feb. 26 – members of the High School Chorus (with Mr.Visconti, music director) will be attending the broadway show, Dear Evan Hansen on their yearly New York City trip.

Feb. 21 – The 2020 Coffeehouse Concert will take place at 7 p.m. Led by Mr. Visconti, it is an evening of Spartan talent and entertainment.

March 2 – PLEASE join us on Monday, March 2, at Warwick Valley Middle School to learn more about vaping/Juuling and e-cigarette usage. These unhealthy devices have made young people sick, addicted to nicotine and, in some cases, cost them their lives. The program begins at 7 p.m. Please make it a priority to be there!

Please stay involved in your child’s education, ensure they understand that HARD WORK WORKS! And that we are all part of the Spartan Nation!

Go Spartans!

M. Rheaume


Mr. Rheaume’s January Message

January 2020

Welcome to the New Year!  Spartan Nation keeps rolling on our journey to student success and happiness in 2020.  Our continued partnership in guiding our children to succeed and grow remains as the glue of our community as we look to the new year with excitement and hope.

We are well into the second marking period, which ends the first week of February.  Please be sure to check your child’s grades and progress in school on a regular basis to ensure they are passing their classes and preparing for the next step of their life journey.  The link to SchoolTool and the parent portal is on our website.

January will see our basketball and cheer-leading teams in action, while we also have a swimmers and divers showing off their skills in the water.  Middle School Drama Club continues to rehearse for “Aladdin,” and we have numerous students looking to take Regents exams in two weeks. Our seniors are hearing from colleges they have applied to, and many are finding out that hard work pays off as they have gained acceptance into their “dream” school.  Congratulations to all of our seniors as they prepare to leave Seward and begin anew in college, the military or the workplace.

Please continue to be involved in your child’s life and education, check-in on them, ensure they are using social media properly, and talk to them about staying away from unhealthy habits, such as vaping and e-cigarettes.  We all benefit from your parenting and high expectations for your child. Thank you for all that you do to send us kind, well-prepared young men and women.

See you soon and GO SPARTANS!

M. Rheaume