Fresh school year set to kick off in East Ramapo with new superintendent

From problems with the school board to looming budget cuts, East Ramapo is no easy district to navigate. Dr. Ellis says he is confident he can.

News 12 Staff

Sep 9, 2021, 9:39 PM

Updated 1,047 days ago

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The new school year kicks off Friday in East Ramapo with a new superintendent leading the charge.
On Thursday, Dr. Clarence Ellis did final sweeps of his district, ahead of the first day of school.
From problems with the school board to looming budget cuts, East Ramapo is no easy district to navigate. Dr. Ellis says he is confident he can.
"I'm kinda uniquely prepared for it as long as we focus on student outcomes, I think the community will galvanize behind us," says Ellis.
Ellis was appointed in the spring, following a 16-year career as a superintendent in New York City, which faced issues similar to East Ramapo.
"Where the majority goes to private schools and the minority goes to public," says Ellis.
He has a few advantages, including state-appointed monitors that can overpower the school board.
"It's been a very transparent relationship. They've offered a great deal of guidance I respect their experience they're both veteran administrators," he says.
Along with $162 million in federal funding, the superintendent tells News 12 the task force is gearing that spending towards facility upgrades.
"Comforts are important, so if buildings are shown to be in upkeep, I believe the community will feel their tax dollars are being spent wisely and feel better about our venture which is get children on track and get them ready for young adulthood," says Ellis.
As for frustrated families who feel students aren't being put first, Ellis says, "I've just arrived, I have a mindset of positivity our main goal is our children are taken care of."


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