Message from the Superintendent

  • Community and Families

    REOPENING

    July 28, 2020

    Hello Families,

    I hope that this message finds everyone well and enjoying their summer. We all certainly needed a summer with great weather! If you are not aware, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) both released their guidance documents for return to school plans during the week of July13, 2020, giving school districts two weeks to complete and submit a reopening plan to the state. Both of the state plans are comprehensive and include several specific regulations that school districts are required to follow. Governor Cuomo plans to announce his decision about NYS schools reopening this fall, the week of August 1 – August 7. Schools districts across the state are required to prepare a plan for 100% in-person instruction, a hybrid plan that would include some in-person learning, and a 100% remote learning plan. We have been meeting with all of the departments in the school and Madison County Department of Health to develop our plan. Our primary concern is the health, safety, and welfare of the students, families, faculty, and staff. I can honestly say that one thing is certain, school will not look the same this year as it has in the past. Several of the mandates from the state are found below and will give you a better idea of what school will look like in September. I have included information that pertains to Stockbridge Valley and links to useful resources for students, families and staff. Please note that school district plans need to be completed and submitted by July 31, 2020. As soon as our plan is completed we will release the full scope and details to the community.

    WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION/ASK QUESTIONS

    As always communication is critical. We have developed a webpage that will be solely dedicated to information regarding a return to school in September. https://sites.google.com/stockbridgevalley.org/back-to-school-updates

    In conjunction with this, we have created an email address dedicated specifically for questions related to the reopening of schools. Please submit questions that you may have to SVCSReopening@stockbridgevalley.org

    MAIN REQUIREMENTS OF NOTE IN THE GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS

    • All students and staff must have their temperature taken prior to entering a school facility. This should be done at home by the individual staff member and by the parent/guardian of a student prior to arriving at school.

    • All students and staff must wash their hands upon entering a school facility and will be required to wash their hands throughout the day.

    • All staff must submit a daily health screening assessment related to contact with COVID-19, students must periodically (weekly) submit the same.

    • Schools are strongly encouraged to 'cohort' students, meaning that once students enter a classroom with a group, movement throughout the building will be restrictive. Lunch may be eaten in the classroom. Students must be socially distanced in the hallways and in classrooms. This most likely means 12 students per class.

    • Supplies will not be shared.

    • Masks must be worn by staff at all times, while working with students. Students are required to wear masks while moving throughout the building or when social distancing is not possible.

    • Hand sanitizing stations will be available in all classrooms.

    • Transportation will be provided, however, students must wear a mask at all times and be social distanced on a bus. Hand sanitizer is not permitted on school buses due to the flammability.

    • Meals will be served to all students regardless of if they are in-person or virtual learning students. However, as of now, meals will no longer continue to be free of charge for students. Families must submit the traditional Free and Reduced Lunch Application to re-qualify for this benefit. A copy of this application is available from our Food Services Department and on our website at: https://www.stockbridgevalley.org/Page/1784

    • For a more comprehensive list, please review the guidance documents linked below.



    ATHLETICS AND OTHER EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

    The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHAA) announced this week that the fall sports season will begin no earlier than September 21, 2020. At this time, we are taking the same approach to all of our extracurricular activities for the sake of consistency and reducing additional activity in our buildings. It is likely that the building will be closed for cleaning at a certain time in the late afternoon with no outside groups and school groups allowed in our buildings during the evening hours.



    VISITORS AND BUILDING USE

    At this time, visitors are not allowed in the building. Any parent/guardian that needs to pick a child up from school will be required to wait in their vehicle while the student is escorted out to the car. All parent meetings will be held virtually and we will continue to encourage our staff to do as much of the normal operating procedure virtually as possible. This will help reduce the possibility of exposure and minimize cleaning requirements for our staff. Any individual that is permitted into a building will be required to wear a mask and to have a temperature screening and complete the health assessment survey. After hours facility use is going to be strictly prohibited at this time. We will re-evaluate the situation later in the year depending on the recommendations of the DOH and NYSED.



    HELPFUL LINKS/INFORMATION

    http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/reopening-schools/nys-p12-school-reopening-guidance.pdf- NYSED Reopening Schools Guidance

    https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/Pre-K_to_Grade_12_Schools_MasterGuidence.pdf - DOH Interim Guidance on Reopening Schools

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/videos.html?Sort=Date%3A%3Adesc - CDC COVID-19 Informational Videos

    https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you - NYS COVID-19 Testing Site Locator

    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/business/stay-home-when-sick.htm - CDC's Stay Home When You Are Sick Information

    https://www.syracuse.com/schools/2020/07/ny-schools-reopening-we-read-145-pages-of-rules-on-masks-and-woodwinds-so-you-dont-have-to.html- Syracuse.com Synopsis of the NYSED Guidance Document

     

    Stay Safe,

    Cindy Stocker,
    Superintendent