Dear Parents, Community, and Staff
This communication is intended to keep you informed on the most recent planning and action steps across the coming days. It is important to remember that this situation is fluid and can potentially change very quickly. As the Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon and Health Commissioner Dr. Gupta discussed in their press conference of yesterday, we need to be cognizant of the medical infrastructure and appropriate mitigation based on the facts in our county.
At this time, we are altering the approach based on input from our community and professional staff. Together with the Board of Education, we are weighing options relative to various plans to best serve our community. There is certainly no perfect solution. The administrative staff has worked most of Sunday to plan for an appropriate way to support the needs of families and staff as we approach this unique time in schools.
Tomorrow, Monday, March 16, students will come to school for typical hours. During the day, students and teachers will begin to prepare for altered instruction in coming weeks. As the below dates indicate, this will also provide time for parents to plan for the following altered schedule:
Students will not report to school on Tuesday, March 17; Wednesday, March 18; and Thursday, March 19. Staff will report for the organization of resources that include food plans, technology tools, and teacher professional development for the upcoming alternative instructional delivery. These dates will utilize emergency closing days that have not been used due to the mild winter and an adjusted schedule from later in the calendar year.
Students will return for a half day of school on Friday, March 20 with a Superintendent Conference Day in the afternoon. This will result in a full day of student instruction on May 19 rather than the original staff day at that time. On Friday, students will receive instruction and be provided devices as needed to guide alternative instruction for the weeks to come. Should circumstances warrant, the schedule may be changed.
To be clear, there will be no extra-curricular, co-curricular, or school organization sponsored events until further notice. This includes all athletics, fine arts, booster, and community scheduled events. At WG Middle School, Camillus Middle School, and West Genesee High School, there will be no “Interaction Time” (IT) until further notice in order to provide transportation resources to other areas in need.
Alternative Instructional Period
We are working with instructional staff to plan for learning to continue during the hiatus of March 23-April 13, to the extent possible. We recognize there is no substitute for real-time, targeted, in-person instruction. To say otherwise would inadvertently be an insult to the great work done every day! Instead, please think of “the best we can do under extraordinary circumstances” type of thinking. There will, no doubt, be creative and innovative ways to keep learning going while the priority to health and wellness dictates the suspension of typical routines. We will do everything possible to make leaning accessible though technology, projects, and other less-conventional methods. We understand the school connection that we strive to foster will be interrupted. Any continued connections may help to ease concerns for our students; young children to young adults. Please click here to complete a survey for technology needs.
We have received requests for food supports. At this time, we are mobilizing staff and volunteers for a pick-up system at the high school and delivery for those needing that service. Click here for nutritional assistance during the upcoming shut-down period. More information will be shared as we get closer to implementation of this plan.
We continue to recognize that some of you may be uncomfortable sending your children to school. Please find a resource entitled “Talking to Children about COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource” by clicking here.
Please know that we respect your right as parents to choose what is best for your child. Any absences will be counted as excused.
David C. Bills
Superintendent of Schools
West Genesee CSD