Hudson Valley Education


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News items



Dominican College announces new test-optional policy

ORANGEBURG (July 19) - Dominican College announced today that first-time freshmen applicants for the Fall 2018 semester will not be required to submit a standardized test score for admission to the college.  Dominican College is the first college in Rockland County to adopt a test-optional policy, which is a growing trend nationwide.  According to FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, more than 950 colleges and universities nationwide have announced test-optional policies.   

 “We have found that a student’s overall high school academic record is the best indicator of a student’s success in college and the research backs that up,“  said College President Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D.  “We’ve also been particularly concerned that studies indicate performance on standardized tests is closely linked to family income and education level, and may be biased against certain minority students.”

Sr. Mary Eileen added that this new policy aligns with the mission of Dominican College, which is focused on maintaining “a student-centered climate” that “serves a diverse community of students.”  She said, “It’s hoped that this new policy will re-focus both students and parents on what really matters -- day-to-day performance in the classroom and the personal characteristics of the student.“ 

All test-optional applicants will be expected to complete a minimum of 16 units of college-preparatory coursework:

  • 4 units of English
  • 3 units of mathematics (including Algebra and Geometry)
  • 2 units of a laboratory science
  • 2 units of social sciences
  • 5 additional units in any of the above subject areas (and/or in a foreign language)

Certain students will continue to be required to submit SAT or ACT scores, including those who have been homeschooled, have completed a General Education Diploma (G.E.D.), do not meet the above 16-unit requirement, and international students. 

Applicants must indicate on the Dominican College admission application or the Common Application whether they want the standardized test scores to be considered for admission

For more information about the new policy, please email


Bilingual students recognized      

NEWBURGH (June 28) - Congratulations to the 2017 New York State Seal of Biliteracy Scholars for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District! The NYS Seal of Biliteracy is a formal recognition of a student's proficiency and achievement in English and one or more languages other than English.

Students can earn a seal that appears on their diploma as well as a notation on their official transcript.

(contributed photo)


Mad Hatter Show at Head Start in Scotchtown

RECAP Head Start releases annual report

MIDDLETOWN  (June 27) - RECAP’s Western Orange County Head Start announced the release of the program’s 2016 Annual Report. The full-color 23-page book includes a profile of the communities served, proposed budget, expenditures, school readiness goals, and details about parent involvement.

Highlights include kindergarten preparation efforts, job training, and teacher qualifications. Students surpassed GOLD Readiness Benchmarks in all areas including social emotional, physical, literacy and mathematical, language and cognitive areas. The school provides comprehensive services to the entire family, including job training, in which 99 families participated. 100 percent of teachers at the three schools have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher.  

“This report helps the public, lawmakers, and funding sources see the results of the services we provide in our classrooms. We’ve been working hard to give students a head start as they enter kindergarten, and help families reach their goals,“ said Heather Decker, Director of Early Childhood Development, who oversees the three schools in Orange County. The report can be found at

Schools are accepting applications for the fall school year. The schools, in Middletown, Scotchtown and Port Jervis, offer free federally-funded preschool for children ages 3 and 4 from families who meet income guidelines. Ten percent of enrollment is reserved for children with disabilities including severe disabilities.

Children must be age 3 by December 1, 2017 and family must meet federal income guidelines. Transportation may be available. Interested applicants may call (845) 343-4191 for information or visit to print an application. Prompt enrollment is recommended and families are encouraged to contact staff for assistance.


Yeshiva Darchei Emunah Munkacs students: Tzvi Abrahamowitz, Elimelech Brown,
Hershy Gruenbaum, Tzvi Kahana, Joshua Kleinberger, Abraham Stark and David Weissman.

Yeshiva students encouraged to share projects

NEW CITY (June 22) - Fourth-graders at the Yeshiva Darchei Emunah Munkacs were recognized Tuesday during a ceremony led by Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder.

The students were among the participants in this year’s Yeshiva Education Expo in Brooklyn, which was sponsored by the Yeshiva Principal Association. More than 100 students from 10 area schools participated in the expo, which is designed to showcase innovative approaches to teaching general studies in yeshivas, according to published reports.

Legislator Wieder had the opportunity to attend the expo, held Sunday, and wanted to honor the local students for their efforts.

“It was heart-warming to see students from private yeshivas presenting their exhibits, ranging from science to history to commerce,” Wieder said. “They were done with such detail and perfection, and the students had so much pride in the work that they have done.”

In addition to Yeshiva Darchei Emunah Munkacs, a second Rockland school, Yeshiva Adas Yereim Vein, also participated. Students from Yeshiva Darchei Emunah Munkacs joined legislators Tuesday, bringing their projects for display, including those on Africa, the oceans, Europe and more.



Monroe-Woodbury’s Phoebe Balousek awarded 2017 Human Rights Scholarship

GOSHEN (June 22) - Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus and Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission Inaudy Esposito announced that Monroe-Woodbury senior Phoebe Balousek is the recipient of the 2017 Human Rights Scholarship award.

“Phoebe is a role-model for other students and we are all proud to present her with this scholarship,” Neuhaus said. “She represents everything that the Human Rights Commission stands for and we are pleased to recognize Phoebe. She is a caring, civic-minded young woman and I wish her good luck and much success in her future endeavors.”

To qualify for the $1,000 scholarship, students must demonstrate respect and understanding of all racial, religious and ethnic groups. They are also required to initiate and/or participate in programs(s) that foster human rights awareness in their school or residential community.

Balousek is a member of the Black History Celebration Committee at Monroe-Woodbury and helped put together an assembly to celebrate diversity and culture during Black History Month in February. She will attend SUNY New Paltz in the fall and major in Psychology.



Minisink High School graduate Kathryn Heilfurth awarded healthcare scholarship

TOWN OF WALLKILL (June 22) – Crystal Run Healthcare’s Chief Operating Officer,  Michelle Koury, MD, and Chief Human Resources Officer, Mary DeFreitas, BBA, MPS, presented Minisink High School Senior, Kathryn Heilfurth with the Crystal Run Healthcare Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 at the Middletown Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Club recent scholarship award dinner. This year’s scholarship presentation is the fifth consecutive year that Crystal Run has offered it, in partnership with the Middletown BPW, and is one of numerous scholarships that the practice has given to local high school students pursuing higher education in a healthcare related field since 2005.

Kathryn Heilfurth is a 2017 graduate of Minisink High School and will attend East Stroudsburg University this fall semester, where she will major in Nursing. Ms. Heilfurth was selected to receive this scholarship based on her academic performance, community involvement, and her interest in healthcare.

“On behalf of the practice, I am pleased to present Kathryn with this year’s healthcare scholarship.  Not only has Ms. Heilfurth excelled in academics, but she is dedicated to furthering her career in healthcare and helping others, which is why we are honored to present her with this year’s scholarship,” said Dr. Michelle Koury, Chief Operating Officer at Crystal Run Healthcare.





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