Information Regarding NYSIR and Storm Damage


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Dear Community, September 22, 2020

On August 24, 2020 the Whitehall community was hit with a devastating storm that resulted in over 6” of rain falling in a very short period of time. That storm created significant water and sewer back-up into the Whitehall High School leaving over 1” of standing Category 3 (black water) in all areas of the High School facility with several inches to several feet of water in other areas.

The district IMMEDIATELY reached out to our Insurance Carrier, NYSIR (the New York School Insurance Reciprocal) who after several calls by the district, sent an adjuster to the building on the 25th. Since this time, we have been STRUGGLING DAILY to get a response on coverage for this multi-million dollar loss. The district has been asked for, and has provided to NYSIR all documentation requested; including a preliminary engineering report identifying the root cause of the damage being “Water and Sewer backup” that resulted from overwhelmed drains and sewer system. Of important note, the district is covered for 30+ Million Dollars for water and sewer backup, yet NYSIR continues to remain SILENT on coverage after 4 weeks.

As I sit here on September 22, 2020 in a temporary office space with our entire high school student body relegated solely to remote instruction as a result of the extensive damage to the school; we have STILL not received a response from NYSIR on coverage. We have been told repeatedly that we would receive a response “soon”. On September 8, 2020 NYSIR sent ACTUAL REPRESENTATIVES to the district for the first time since the loss. At that meeting, we were promised a response in 48 hours. That timeline has come and gone. Each and every day that NYSIR takes to make the right choice to cover the extensive loss of August 24th , the longer that our students will be precluded from being offered and receiving the in-person instruction that they deserve.

I am reaching out again today to the local Print Media as well as Television News Media to share our story. Additionally, below I share with the Whitehall Community which includes our Parents, Faculty and Staff as well as our Elected Officials and Board Of Education the contact information for the New York School Insurance Reciprocal Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director, the Vice President of Claims as well as their Board of Governors. Should you wish to reach out to any of these individuals and express your concern; I would certainly encourage you to do so.

Together, I truly hope that we can encourage (NYSIR) the New York School Insurance Reciprocal, to make the Right Choice and provide coverage for our qualified loss. Our students deserve to receive an in-person education in a clean and safe facility.

In Solidarity,

Patrick Dee
Superintendent of Schools.

New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal
333 Earle Ovington Blvd. 
Suite 905
Uniondale, New York 

Robert W. Lulley, Jr.
Executive Director
Ph: 516-640-3053
Email: [email protected]

Thomas “Tom” Austin
Assistant Executive Director
Ph: 607-435-8107
[email protected]

Michael Peace
Vice President, Claims
[email protected]
Tel:             516-750-3991
Mobile:      516-287-7953

Deborah A. Heppes, President
Orange-Ulster BOCES
Ph: 845-291-0160
[email protected]

Timothy Whipple, First Vice President
Pleasantville Union Free School District
Ph: 914-741-1400
[email protected]

Janet M. Bryan, Second Vice President
Longwood UFSD
Ph: 631-345-2782

[email protected]
Eric Stark, Immediate Past President
Carmel CSD
Ph: 845-878-2094, ext. 213
[email protected]

Dr. Stephen Lunden, Past President
Cheektowaga-Maryvale CSD
Ph: 716-631-7472
[email protected]

John Abbott
East Irondequoit CSD
Ph: 585-339-1260
[email protected]

Eric Bell
Champlain Valley Educational Services
Ph: 518-957-2230
[email protected]

John J. Belmonte
Sayville UFSD
Ph: 631-244-6530
[email protected]

Julie K. Bresett
Madrid-Waddington CSD
Ph: 315-322-5746, ext. 222
[email protected]

Anne Marie Marrone Caliendo
Half Hollow Hills CSD
Ph: 631-592-3030
[email protected]

Sharon L. Cihocki
Adirondack CSD
Ph: 315-942-9208 (option #8)
[email protected]

Richard J. Cunningham
Plainview-Old Bethpage CSD
Ph: 516-434-3050
[email protected]

Nancy Dingman
Hannibal CSD
Ph: 315-564-7900, ext. 5001
[email protected]

Dr. Wayne Loper
Valley Stream Central High School
Ph: 516-872-5610
[email protected]

Dr. Angelina Maloney
Brunswick CSD
Ph: 518-279-4600, ext. 2602
[email protected]

Jeffrey Martin
Scarsdale UFSD
Ph: 914-721-2423
[email protected]

Thomas P. McDaid, Jr., Esq.
North Merrick UFSD
Ph: 516-282-1803
[email protected]

Doug Scofield
Iroquois CSD
Ph: 716-652-3000, ext. 1001
[email protected]

Kelly Seibert
Byram Hills CSD
Ph: (914) 273-4198 ext. 5931
[email protected]

Michael Senno
North Rockland CSD
Ph: 845-942-3006
[email protected]

Kevin Sheldon
Arlington CSD
Ph: # 845-486-4460
[email protected]

Robert D. Yusko, Jr.
Glens Falls City School District
Ph.: 518-792-1451
[email protected]

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In the Event of a Positive COVID Test Result on Campus


September 18, 2020

Dear Parents, Faculty and Staff,

As the school districts across New York State have reopened for the 2020-2021 school year, the guidelines for the continued daily operation of the district continue to be reviewed, modified, and updated. Specifically, the Department of Health has provided a revised protocols in the event that there is a Confirmed COVID positive case in the district.

If the Washington County Department of Health has a confirmed positive COVID diagnosis of a student, faculty or staff member, the district will be applying an automatic closure and period of remote learning for the entire building in which the positive case exists for a minimum period of twenty-four (24) hours. During this period, the district will work in conjunction Department of Health, who will begin their initial investigation and contact tracing procedure. The results of the Department of Health investigation will then determine the extent of possible exposure and recommendations for further quarantine and/or reopening the district.

In the event that we have a positive case on campus, I will notify the community of that fact as well as the date(s) of the closure via Robo-Call as well as a posting on our website. As such, it is VERY important that the district has an accurate telephone number as well as email address for you. While we hope that the district will continue to remain COVID free, we want to ensure that we inform our community of the various scenarios that we may encounter.

We appreciate your continued support of the district during these trying times. If you should have any questions regarding this information, I would encourage you to please contact your child's administrator or myself.


Patrick Dee
Superintendent of Schools

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Memo from the Superintendent


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Dear Parents, Students, Faculty and Staff,

As you are aware, Governor Cuomo had authorized low/moderate risk interscholastic athletics to begin on September 21st. Sports such as soccer, cross country and golf are considered low/moderate risk and would be allowed to begin. The high risk sports such as football, had been delayed until the "Fall 2" season, scheduled for early March.

Over the past few weeks, a great deal of discussion has taken place regarding interscholastic athletics and potential for the increased risk of exposure, and transmission of COVD-19, contacttracing, transportation, scheduling, and the safe management of sports. Also discussed has been how this potentially impacts the daily operation of our school districts and our ability to maintain a sound educational environment for students. In addition to these discussions, our district had to couple these concerns with the loss of our High School Facility for an unknown period of time.

Last night the Adirondack League conducted a vote on whether or not to carry out fall sports. The results of the final vote of league schools determined that the Adirondack League will not be participating in fall athletics at this time. The option to play in the NYSPHSAA "fall 2" season from March 1st, 2021-May 8th,2021 is still available for our fall student/athletes. League districts will monitor it again once we get closer to this date and make determinations based on student safety. The Whitehall CSD supports and will follow decision made by the league.

I fully understand how difficult this news is to hear; especially for our student athletes. Please understand that the district has not cancelled athletics for the year. Each season will be considered individually and we will continue to engage in discussions and explore how we can provide opportunities for our students.

Patrick Dee

Superintendent of schools

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Board of Education Meeting

The Board of Education will have an Adirondack League Discussion at 5PM on Monday, September 14th, 2020 in the Elementary Cafeteria.

Audio will be streamed online.

For Parents