Monday, December 11, 2017

What's New

Case of pertussis confirmed at neighboring school

pill bottle graphicJune 1, 2017 -- Superintendent of Schools Jesse Harper notified parents in a letter today of a confirmed case of pertussis that's been reported at a neighboring school district.

The text of the letter follows: 

Dear Parent/Guardian:

The Arkport Central School District recently learned that an elementary school student who receives specialized instruction at a neighboring school district has been diagnosed with pertussis, also known as whooping cough. While this student does not attend Arkport Central School, they do travel to school on a district bus, although not at the same time as ACS students. In addition, the affected student has an older sibling who does attend Arkport--and tested negative for pertussis this morning.

The district felt it was important to notify all parents of the diagnosis and provide them with information on the symptoms of pertussis, along with recommendations from the New York State Department of Health.

The vast majority of children at the Arkport Central School have already been vaccinated against pertussis. The vaccination decreases the risk of your child contracting the disease. Unfortunately, since no vaccine is 100 percent effective, it does not guarantee you or your child will be immune. Adults are also at risk for contracting pertussis.

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air by cough. It begins with cold symptoms and a cough that can worsen within one to two weeks. Other symptoms of pertussis include a slight fever, vomiting, turning blue or difficulty breathing.  If you have any reason to suspect that your child may have pertussis, please do not send them to school until you have discussed the matter with your private physician.

For more information on pertussis and immunizations, please visit the following website: If you have any questions on this disease, please contact Steuben County Public Health at (607) 664-2438 or (800) 724-0471.

Thank you for your help and support in keeping our students healthy and ready to learn. If you have any questions on how the district is responding to this case, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Jesse Harper
Superintendent of Schools


Actionable lead levels found in six school water sources

Nov. 8, 2016 -- In September 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that requires all public school districts to test water for lead. The law requires school districts to sample all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes in buildings that may be occupied by students and to submit those samples to a state-approved lab for analysis.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Arkprot received the results of water testing completed on 132 outlets in the school building on Sept. 22, 2016. The results showed that six of the water samples had concentrations of lead that exceeded New York state’s “action level” of 15 parts per billion (ppb). The district immediately shut off these affected outlets, none of which is a drinking water source:

  • Second-grade girls restroom, right sink (22 ppb);
  • Art room, left slop sink (81 ppb); 
  • Faculty men’s restroom, second floor (22 ppb);
  • Science lab station No. 2, left tap (17 ppb);
  • Science lab station No. 2, right tap (21 ppb); and
  • Science lab station No. 6, right tap (55 ppb). 

“The health and safety of our students and staff remains a top priority here at Arkport,” Superintendent of School Jesse Harper said. “As soon as we received these results, we took immediate steps to cut off access to the affected sources. We’re in the process now of formulating our next steps and will post our full remediation plan on the district website as soon as it’s ready.”

Click here for more information about lead in drinking water and New York state regulations. Links to additional resources can be found on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

Time to review procedures for snow days & delays

snowflake imageNow that we've had the season's first snowflakes, it's a good time to review how Arkport Central School District handles weather-related closings and delays.

When school is closed or delayed because of weather or other emergencies, early morning announcements will be made over local broadcast stations, including TV stations YNN, WETM and WENY and radio stations WLEA/WCKR, WHHO/WKPQ and WHAM. In addition, Arkport will use its automated notification system to send recorded voice messages to families’ phones.

Here are more details about the different procedures employed for one- and two-hour delays and school closures:

One-hour delay procedures

  1. The automated notification system will be used to notify staff and students;
  2. Principals will contact any necessary personnel for supervision;
  3. All faculty and staff are expected to report to school as close to 8 a.m. as possible.
  4. Cereal, juice and milk will be the only items provided for breakfast in the cafeteria;
  5. Any Regents exams that might be scheduled will take place at their scheduled times;
  6. Students will be transported to morning BOCES; and
  7. School begins at 9:05 a.m.

Two-hour delay procedures:

  • Steps 1-5 above.
  • There will be NO BOCES bus run. Full-day and afternoon students will be transported during the afternoon run; and
  • School begins at 10:05 a.m. 
School-closing procedures:
  • The automated notification system will be used to notify all staff and students; and
  • All after-school activities are automatically canceled.

Arkport Board of Education appoints new superintendent

photo of Jesse HarperThe Arkport Central School District Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Jesse Harper as acting superintendent of schools during its Aug. 10 regular board meeting.

Harper has served as the school’s Grade 7-12 principal and Committee on Special Education chair since 2012. He joined the district in 2005 as a science teacher, and also served as a girls basketball and soccer coach for several years. Superintendent Glenn Niles, who in June announced his plans to retire, will stay on through Sept. 30 in an advisory role.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been appointed acting superintendent of the Arkport Central School District,” Harper said. “I am very grateful to the Board of Education for giving me the opportunity to serve the district and community that has embraced and supported me and my family.”

A native of Syracuse, Harper earned a Bachelor of Science degree in material science in 2002 and a master’s degree in education in 2003 – both from Alfred University. He earned his certificate of advanced studies in educational administration in 2010 from SUNY Brockport. Before Arkport, he worked as an adjunct chemistry professor at Alfred State College and a permanent substitute teacher at Alfred-Almond Central School.

“We are pleased Mr. Harper has accepted our offer to lead the district,” Board of Education President Stephen C. Hoyt said. “We’ve had a front-row seat to Jesse’s achievements here in Arkport for the past 11 years and now look forward to watching his commitment to our students and staff continue to shine in the years ahead.”

Harper and his wife, Michelle Grillo, who teaches high school English at Cuba-Rushford Central School, have two sons: Otis, 3, and Leo, 9 months.

“I have always taken great pride in being a member of the Arkport faculty, and that will only grow in my new role, as we work together to maintain an outstanding learning environment for our students.”