PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Four Peekskill City School District guidance counselors have been reassigned as the district investigates transcript irregularities among several students.
Superintendent of Schools James Willis released the following statement to parents Thursday afternoon:
"A routine course-offering review by high school principal Fred Hutchinson has led to the identification of an irregularity among a relatively small number of current student transcripts. Mr. Hutchinson immediately brought his concerns to me, and as a result, we launched a thorough investigation of the matter.
"At this point in the initial investigation, which is focused on transcript irregularities of current students who were potentially at risk of not meeting district graduation requirements, it does not appear that these reported irregularities affect the majority of students. The district's legal counsel has notified the State Education Department of the situation and will work collaboratively with State Education Department representatives, as needed, throughout the process. The SED will remain involved and may offer support and recommendations, including determinations made at the conclusion of this matter.
"While the investigation is being conducted, three high school guidance counselors and one middle school guidance counselor had been placed on administrative reassignment with pay. As this component of the issue relates to district personnel, I am not at liberty to offer any further information concerning their potential involvement.
"This is, obviously, an evolving story that we have not fully concluded investigating. I recognize that this may be frustrating, and all I can promise is that we will work as quickly as possible to resolve the situation and communicate details to our residents.
"Because I have taken what I believe is necessary action to re-assign four members of our guidance staff, parents of students at the high school may have concerns that their guidance needs will go unmet. This will not be the case. The district already has begun an expedited recruitment process to place well-qualified professionals into the guidance department for as long as is needed, and these individuals will be introduced shortly. In the interim, building administrators, including a high school assistant principal whose current role includes overseeing guidance functions, along with our experienced support staff, have been charged with maintaining the school standards of excellence and continuing to serve as a valuable resource for students.
"If it becomes necessary, you have my assurance that the district will personally contact the students and their families who have been directly impacted by this situation.
"As always, our top priority is to ensure that Peekskill city students receive services and are provided an educational experience that meets their academic, social and emotional needs. As seen to the district's initial rapid response, we will provide transparent communication on this and all other student matters."
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