Ms. Martha Ryan



Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Martha Ryan

May 6, 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I hope you are enjoying the spring season and all the special events that this time of year brings. Time is passing so quickly. It is hard to believe that we have almost finished another school year. However, there is much to come in the next few weeks before we break for the summer.

Before I talk about what is to come though, let me recap some of the exciting events from the past month. We began the month of April with the grade three to five state language arts test on April 2nd and 3rd. I was so proud of the students’ perseverance through this challenging exam. The same grade levels later took the state math assessment on May 1st and 2nd. The final state assessment is the science objective and performance assessment which is given only to fourth grade students. This test is scheduled for May 30th (Performance assessment) and June 3rd (Objective assessment). Finally, our third grade students will be taking the Cognitive Achievement Test (CogAT) in May. This test is one of the measures used to identify students for the district Dimensions program.

On April 4th our second graders were invited to attend the South High School production of Beauty and the Beast. We were all amazed by the talent of these high school students several of whom were Strawtown alumni! Some of our second grade girls attended in their Belle costumes which was precious! We hope this becomes an annual tradition.

Speaking of talent, our own amazing students showed their own at our Strawtown Talent Show on April 12th. Every year I can’t believe what an incredible show our students put on thanks to all the parents who volunteer each year to make this so special. So many wonderful memories that students and families will cherish for years to come!

We are happy to share the great news that Mrs. Koppel-Mohr had a baby boy named Austin. We are so thrilled for Mr. and Mrs. Moh,r and wish them great happiness with their new bundle of joy! We also welcome Ms. Emily Apfelbaum as her long term substitute until the end of the school year.

The Health and Safety Team met on April 15th. We discussed the new Raptor Visitor Management System that has been installed at Strawtown. Parents and visitors are now required to show a driver’s license or government identification card to gain access to the building. A reminder call was sent out to all parents to assist them in remembering to do this. I also shared the news that we have a new security guard, Mr. Johnny Kleber. He is doing a great job ensuring that students and staff are safe, and the building  is secure. We are pleased to have him on our team! We are continuing our practice lockdown and evacuation drills and have received great feedback from staff and security personnel about their success.

Thank you to the P.T.A. and the Cultural Arts Committee for the wonderful programs that have been brought in for our students. In April, we had the Kazuko Omori origami presentation in grade three and a full school Brain Challenge assembly. Students loved both programs. May will bring the Child’s Play Theater group, and our fifth grade will visit the Hopper House Museum in Nyack.

Under the direction of Ms. Pierce and Ms. Protzmann, our grade five students in the Samaritans Club met on April 30th. Dr. Lori Greene, United Way Board Member and two students from the South High School United Way Club came to talk to the students. They shared various activities that have been held over the past few years to support those in need in our community. Most recently, United Way has been reaching out to help those impacted by the recent condominium fire in Valley Cottage. Casey Dunbar and Jack Ryan (yes, my son!) shared ways that the students can get involved even before they get to high school to support these causes.

The next time you are visiting Strawtown, please take the time to see our new “Movement Hallway” outside the gym. In this area you will find various decals on the floor that students can jump, hop or do push-ups on. These hallways are being installed in schools across the country to provide “activity breaks” for students. Allowing students the opportunity to burn some excess energy has been shown to improve concentration and performance upon their return to the classroom.

There is much to look forward to in the weeks to come including field trips and special events for each grade. Please review our monthly calendar for grade level specifics. Listed below are some of them:

  • Incoming Kindergarten Orientation on 5/21 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Budget Vote on 5/21.
  • Memorial Day Parade in West Nyack on 5/27.
  • Kindergarten Moving Up on 6/3 at 8:30.
  • Fifth Grade Moving Up on 6/14 at 8:30.
  • T.A. Meeting on 6/17 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Early Release Days 6/21-6/26 (time schedule to follow).
  • Last Day of School on 6/26.

I look forward to seeing you at these exciting events in the weeks to come. My best wishes to the Class of 2019 for continued success in the middle school. I want to thank you, our parents, for your continued support. Good luck to the families leaving Strawtown, we will miss you!

Sincerely yours,


Martha Ryan