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Letter from the Superintendent

Dear Hendrick Hudson Families,

Today, we received an update from our HVAC technicians, who have been working at the high school to address the functionality issues related to the building’s HVAC system.

Throughout the day, we received real-time updates regarding the status of each of the building’s HVAC units. The technicians shared their assessment that last week’s storm likely created a power surge, which critically damaged the HVAC’s electrical control system.

We are making progress. Yesterday at this time, 15% of the building’s HVAC system was functioning. As of this afternoon, it is approximately 30%.

The most significant damage is impacting classrooms, instructional spaces and the original, east-facing side of the building. To troubleshoot and remedy the situation, technicians must go classroom by classroom, investigating each room’s univentilator and its associated wiring, much of which is located up in the ceiling panels.

In short, this laborious process can only be completed without students in the building, which is a primary reason we were not able to open safely today and will not be able to tomorrow, either.

Our team of technicians will continue to work on the system restorations tomorrow and into the weekend. Based on progress made so far, we remain optimistic that we will be able to open for in-person instruction on Monday. If work needs to continue into next week, it will be conducted after regular school hours.

We plan to employ the following mitigation strategies next week, all of which are outlined in NYS guidance for increasing ventilation in school buildings:

  • Opening windows and doors to maximize fresh airflow
  • Using fans to cross-ventilate rooms
  • Placing portable HEPA air filtration systems throughout the building

We believe that these strategies, in conjunction with universal mask wearing and social distancing, will enable us to open the high school for in-person instruction next week.

We greatly appreciate your flexibility and understanding. Please know that all of these decisions have been made with the safety of our students and staff in mind.

Later today, Principal James Mackin will be communicating with high school parents and students. Please keep an eye out for his communication.


Joseph Hochreiter