• October 23, Update

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 10/23/2020 4:00:00 PM

    October 23, 2020 Educational Update

    Good Evening WCSD Learning Community:

    Hybrid Learning Parent’s Guidance Document

    We would like to thank all of our faculty, administrators, parents, students, and staff in our K-6 schools for helping us roll out our K-12 Hybrid Learning Plan for the elementary grades.  We know that challenges remain, but as a whole, our Hybrid Learning Plan for grades K-6 has been successful, and we truly enjoy seeing our students back in their classrooms.  The District will continue to review the elementary hybrid model to see if  our ENL students can be in attendance four days a week as per the guidance from New York State Education Department. 

    In the K-12 Hybrid Learning Plan, we have added components for the secondary instructional program, but we ask that everyone review this guide as there are some changes that affect our Learners and Families at all grade levels.  Over the past week we have received emails regarding this plan which offered some great ideas and other items for consideration.  We thank you for your input.  As part of these recommendations, our offices will hold a virtual meeting in order to provide further detail on the schedule and to serve as an opportunity to get your questions and comments that can help WCSD as we continue to move forward. A virtual presentation will take place on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 6:30 PM (details to follow).  

    We would like to emphasize our primary goal:

    • Our Goal is to return to an in-person learning schedule that is as close to ‘normal’ as it possibly can be during a time when Hybrid Learning is required (i.e.: return to a traditional two-tier transportation schedule where all of our elementary and secondary schools are on the same transportation tier, and all of our secondary schools are in school for all of their instructional periods on the same day).  As our staffing constraints are alleviated (hopefully sooner rather than later), this document, including our in-person schedule, will be reviewed and modified accordingly.

    We constantly monitor and assess the instructional models. We are making and will continue to make modifications and adjustments as needed. 

    The current Hybrid learning plan for elementary and secondary students does not reflect a traditional day of 100% in-person school for students.   However, it balances the need to bring students back to school for social, emotional, and educational purposes, and ensures the health and safety of our students and staff. 

    We remain hopeful that NYS will continue its downward trajectory regarding COVID-19 infections and restrictions will continue to be lifted or at the very least reduced.  As the community becomes more and more comfortable with the District's plan for maintaining the health and safety of students and staff, including the routine cleaning and disinfecting of the learning environments, we will be in a better position to increase the number of "points of contact" our students and staff will have and increase the length of the school day for our secondary students.   For example, offering an eight-period day would require 8 passing periods and 8 classrooms that the students will be entering and exiting, thereby increasing points of contact and the opportunity for possible exposure.  Following a four-period schedule reduces the points of contact in half, however it increases the in-person learning for each instructional period.  (This will be explained in further detail in the parent meeting presentation.) In addition, the modified day schedule for students eliminates the lunch period for students.  Social distancing in a cafeteria with many more students enrolled at the secondary level increases challenges for the individual secondary schools.  Students need to eat six feet apart from each other and remove their masks while eating and drinking.  This type of environment would increase possible exposure if a student were to be asymptomatic.  Ensuring the health and safety of all staff and students is paramount at this time.  It is important for the District to begin to implement the Hybrid learning model slowly and cautiously while we monitor the levels of infections and possible transmission rates. 

     

    In the meantime, teaching and learning not only occurs during face-to-face instruction between teachers and students, but also occurs during the assignments and activities that students are provided asynchronously.  So while the students at the secondary level may have a modified schedule for synchronous learning, learning also continues with asynchronous activities.  The District will continue to support teachers in a variety of ways to provide quality instruction to all students regardless of the model of instruction that is being implemented.  In addition, we are committed to ensuring that all students receive the instruction that is required to not only meet but exceed the New York State Learning Standards. 

     

    Remote vs. Hybrid Instruction for Marking Period 2

    We had shared with our community that we will continue with a remote only online learning option for the foreseeable future.  As we plan ahead for our second marking period we would like to share that we are no longer sending out a new survey for marking period 2.  We are going to rollover your current selection for the second marking period, but ask that if you wish to change from remote only to hybrid or vice versa, that you please contact your building principal and let them know.

    Please know that our building administrators felt this would be easier for them to manage rather than putting out an entirely new survey.

    Camera Usage and Remote Instruction

    Learning in an online environment comes with unique challenges and differing perspectives.  One of the conversations we have been having in our District regarding remote learning is the idea of mandating the use of cameras in our google classrooms.  From a classroom management perspective, we are going to ask that all students keep their cameras on at all times while in class (unless otherwise advised by the classroom teacher).  Exceptions are allowed, and if you feel your child should have an exception to this rule please contact your building principal to request one.  

    It is important that students are able to show they are online during class time, and are present and paying attention to the lesson/class activities.  We are hearing that some students are logging into the class, then turning off their cameras.  In some instances teachers are reporting that students who do so are not paying attention to the lesson, or are walking away from the computer altogether.  It makes it very difficult for us to not only monitor student behavior but their academic progress as well if we can’t see them. 

    On the flip side, camera usage, student privacy, and the tendency to post images online is clashing with what we consider acceptable use of technology.  It has come to our attention that some children are using their phones to record or photograph online sessions and sharing them on sites like Tik Tok and Snapchat. Not only is this harmful to the child(ren) being posted but it is a violation of the students’ privacy.  We would also ask that you please speak to your child and let them know that unacceptable use of student images will not be tolerated and that we will adhere to our Student Code of Conduct when it comes to any violations of our classroom expectations.

    Virtual College Fair

    The WCSD is excited to announce that we will be hosting our first-ever Virtual College Fair Event!  College admission officers representing dozens of colleges will be available virtually on Thursday, November 5, 2020, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM to help make your college search and application process less stressful and more productive, despite world events. Since physical restrictions are in place, virtual college fairs are essential in helping colleges and students stay connected. Virtual College Fairs have proven to be extremely effective. It is for this reason that we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE your participation in this exciting event! Before the Virtual College Fair, Dutchess Community College will be hosting informational sessions on Navigating the College Search Process and Financial Aid.  Please see the information on our website regarding these workshops, along with registration information. This event is open to all WCSD high school students and their families.


    Sincerely,

    José L. Carrión

    Superintendent of Schools

    *Please note that during this pandemic, which began impacting schools in March 2020 and the subsequent Governor’s Orders, the communications provided in the District’s Updates may be subject to change, pending any future modifications made by the Governor’s office, the Department of Health, the CDC, and the New York State Education Department.  In this ever changing environment, many things are not guaranteed.

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  • October 20, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 10/20/2020 5:00:00 PM

    October 20, 2020 Educational Update

    Good Evening WCSD Learning Community:

    Hybrid Learning and Remote Students for Grades 7-12

    Hybrid phase-in for students in grades 7 and 8 in Cohort A will begin on Monday, November 2, 2020 and students in Cohort B will begin on Thursday, November 5, 2020. Students in self-contained special education classes will attend in-person instruction with their cohort beginning November 2 and will report to school four days per week beginning on Monday, November 9, 2020.   A Parents’ Guide to Hybrid Learning will be available with the next Educational Update, no later than Friday, October 23, 2020, which will outline the instructional model and schedule for Hybrid learning for grades 7-12.  

    We can share with you that students will attend classes on a modified schedule.  Students in grades 7 and 8 will attend school from 7:40 am until 11:50 am.  During each day of instruction students will attend either periods 1 - 4 (and half of period 9) OR periods 5 - 8 (and half of period 9), this will be illustrated further in the Parent’s Guide that we will share later on this week. In addition,  you will be hearing more from your school principal.   This will also include our remote learning schedule as our remote learners will follow this new schedule as well.  Our instructional periods will be extended from the current 25 minutes per period in our remote sessions to 48-minute periods for hybrid learning. Unlike our high school schedules, our middle school students have a nine period day instead of eight periods, which does play a significant role in designing the hybrid teaching and learning schedule. 

    The rationale for creating such a schedule is that we are able to create a unified lunch period for our faculty members for a time after the buses dismiss at 11:50 am.  This will allow us to free up time in our staff schedules to help cover classes as needed throughout the morning, which is critical in ensuring that we have a layer of coverage to be used when necessary.   

    A note about covering classes:  Covering classes in a normal school year can at times be difficult as we are not always able to get the number of substitutes needed on a given day to cover absences.  This year it would seem to be especially true as our sub calling service is only able to fill on average 50% of the jobs we post every day.  We have been fortunate enough to be able to manage thus far at our elementary level, but this problem will only be exacerbated as we add more in-person instruction to our schools knowing our pool of substitutes will remain the same, but the possibility of needing more substitutes on a given day will surely increase.

    Please keep in mind that the building principals at the Middle/Junior High Schools will schedule 7th Grade Orientation and review health and safety protocols with students the week of October 26.  Students will be scheduled to attend an orientation session and to tour the building prior to their start of in-person instruction.  Specific information regarding the 7th Grade Orientation/Health & Safety Session will be provided by the Principal/Assistant Principal. 

    Our recruitment efforts to hire designated staff continues and we encourage you and/or people you may know to inquire about current vacancies that must be filled.  As per our last Educational Update, we are still searching for bus drivers, as well as other designated staff (i.e. monitors) who are able to supervise students outside of the classroom.  We continue to implore strong recruitment efforts to fulfill these vacant positions.


    Board of Education Approved Calendar Changes Regarding Upcoming Half Days (K-12) and Parent Teacher Conferences (K-6)

    On the evening of October 19, 2020, the Board of Education approved a revision to the 2020-2021 school calendar.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2020 will be a Professional Development Half-Day for Grades K-12.  Instruction for all students will end at 12:30 pm.   Friday, October 30, will be a regular day of instruction for all students. 

    K-6 Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on November 17, 18, and 19.  All conferences will be held virtually.  Tuesday, November 17, and Thursday, November 19, will be remote teaching days. No students in grades K-6 will report to school for instruction on 11/17 and 11/19.  Instruction on November 17, 18, and 19 will end at 11:30 am.  

    Your continued support is necessary during these difficult times. The implementation of reopening schools has been extremely difficult and challenging throughout New York State and addressing 15 schools with diverse needs and size continues to be a challenge that we feel confident we will overcome.  Once again, your continued support is necessary.

     

    Sincerely,

    José L. Carrión

    Superintendent of Schools

     

    *Please note that during this pandemic, which began impacting schools in March 2020 and the subsequent Governor’s Orders, the communications provided in the District’s Updates may be subject to change, pending any future modifications made by the Governor’s office, the Department of Health, the CDC, and the New York State Education Department.  In this ever changing environment, many things are not guaranteed.

    Comments (-1)
  • October 17, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 10/17/2020 7:00:00 AM

    October 17, 2020 Update

    Good afternoon WCSD Learning Community:

    Hybrid Learning and Remote Students for Grades 7-12

    We would like to thank all of our Faculty, Administrators, Parents, Students and Staff in our K-6 schools for helping us roll out our Hybrid Learning Plan for our Elementary Grades.  We have remained on the schedule provided for elementary students and this week marks the point where Cohort B students enrolled in the hybrid models in Grades 5th and 6th grades completed their first two days.  We look forward to welcoming in our Cohort A students enrolled in the hybrid models in grades 5 and 6 start in-person on Monday, October 19, 2020.  There are always challenges, and we know there is more work we continue to face, but by and large it has been successful, and we have our entire learning community to thank for that and we are grateful for their continued support. 

    We have a Board of Education Meeting scheduled for Monday October 19th, beginning at approximately 7:30pm.  You may view the Agenda on Board Docs, and view the meeting as it is live streamed on our website.  During this meeting we will discuss in detail the challenges and constraints we face to opening school for Hybrid Learning at the Secondary Level.  

    As we look ahead to our grades 7-12 rollout we are facing a new round of challenges that we have continued to work diligently to overcome.  However, it has not been easy.  These challenges stem from staffing shortages to resource constraints, we needed to take a serious look at what is vs what is not possible as we look at our Hybrid Implementation Schedule.  However, moving forward considerations may be given to modify the start date pending the challenges we have yet to overcome.

    In this Community Update we would like to share with you the following details from our Grade 7-12 Hybrid Learning Plan.  Just like we noted in our Elementary Hybrid Learning Summary, we would like to once again emphasize that this is extremely new with lots of unknowns that will have to be worked out as the hybrid model is being implemented.  We have learned a lot from our Elementary experience.  We know that our teachers have been exceptional throughout this transition period. We know that as we move forward, adjustments may or will be made for both our in-person and remote learning in order to have the greatest impact on student learning while maintaining an achievable and conducive work environment for our teachers.  We also know that it is going to take time to transition into a cohesive routine that will allow these components to work together.  Some things look great on paper, but the reality of what does or does not work will quickly become apparent to us. We will do our best to resolve issues affecting both our students and our staff as quickly as we can.  We will ask that you please show your continued support and anticipated understanding with our building administrators, teachers, and all support staff, so that we can work to best serve our WCSD students. 

    We would like to share with you the following thoughts and concepts from our Grade 7 - 12 Hybrid Learning Plan that will be shared with the Board of Education during Monday’s Board meeting (Please keep in mind that due to financial constraints, and pending approval by the Board of Education regarding financial matters related to the following information.  Some of these bulleted items may be impacted as a result of Monday’s Board meeting.):

    • When we enter into the hybrid model, teachers will continue to have the same students on their rosters as they do currently (in the remote model).  As we indicated in a much earlier Educational Update, we understand that there are certain circumstances that are out of our control which may require some of our student rosters and/or teacher assignments to change.  The building Administrator will let you or your child know if a teacher is changing, we are hopeful that this will be minimal, but know that this may happen for some of our classes.
    • Teachers will provide synchronous instruction for all students on their roster through either a live-stream of a current lesson/activity OR as a class discussion derived from a previously recorded lesson or assignment.
    • As your child’s grade level transitions to hybrid learning, students are expected to log-in (if remote) to the lesson with their camera turned on and student visible as per the updated hybrid period schedule, while students who are designated as in-person will be in the classroom. 
    • On Wednesday, which is identified as a Remote Teaching and Learning Day, teachers will provide synchronous and asynchronous instruction to students which will follow the current Wednesday remote teaching and learning structure.
    • Teachers will continue to take daily attendance, Wednesdays are an official day of schools and all students are required to be in attendance for online asynchronous and synchronous learning. 
    • Pending our Board of Education meeting, scheduling considerations for Grades 7-12 Hybrid Instructional Model may require modifications.

    Specific information regarding the hybrid schedule will be shared on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, after the Board of Education meeting.  Our recruitment efforts to hire designated staff continues and we encourage you and or people you may know to inquire for vacancies that we must fill.  As per our last educational update, we are still searching for bus drivers. 

    Daily Health Screener:

    We will be rolling out our EZ Scrn Daily Health Screener tool this week to our families of Grade 7 & 8 students.  We are intentionally rolling this out to smaller groups of families at a time for the initial round.  We will send out invitations to our Grades 9 - 12 families later on next week.

    For our 7 & 8 families, you will receive a notification indicating your account has been set up, it will include login instructions as well as your ID & PW.  Please do not contact EZ Scrn directly as they are not able to support individual family members with end user questions.  You can download the APP, or simply use the website app.ezscrn.com.  The IOS App is available in the Apple Store.  The Android App is not currently available in Google Play, further directions will be shared as that app is made available for Android users.  But again, the web version of this tool works perfectly fine. 

    Here is an orientation video on how to use the daily screener.  While the screens may vary slightly, this video does give you a general idea of how to use the tool each day your child is scheduled to attend school for live in-person instruction. 

    Community Notifications

    Throughout a normal school year we receive requests from non-profit organizations to distribute flyers to our students.  Even though we are not in school on a regular basis we are still getting requests from our community organizations to help them distribute information that our students and families may be interested in.  In order to help facilitate this we have created a website that presents these flyers to you.  We will not email flyers out individually as we believe our email communications should be kept to specific school related business, but if you are interested in viewing our community flyers on this website we welcome you to do so.  Flyers will be added as they are received.

    Dutchess County Halloween COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

    The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health has put out Halloween safety guidelines for families.  

    Sincerely,

    José L. Carrión

    Superintendent of Schools

     

    Comments (-1)
  • October 2, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 10/2/2020 5:00:00 PM

    October 2, 2020 Update

    Good Afternoon WCSD Community:

    Family Resources 

    We were excited to welcome Cohort B, K-2 students back to in-person instruction this week. Since this past March, WCSD has been responding to the ever-changing requirements provided by New York State. We have documents developed based on the current conditions and have revised them as needed. To ensure you always have the updated version of information we have organized the resources in one easy to access location. Each document is located in the Family Resources Shortcuts folder, which you can view by clicking on this link. This folder is designed to allow parents to access the documents in one place.  If updates are needed, the updated document will replace the previous version. We will continue to add documents to this folder based on the requirements of New York State and the needs of our families.

    New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)

    The NYSDOH has put out new guidelines that can assist you in determining whether your student can attend school or not.  With that said, we will review them first with the Dutchess County Health Department, along with other school districts in Dutchess County, to determine whether there will be other measures added to it.  In the meantime, please do not hesitate to view the guidelines:  NYSDOH COVID-19 PreK-12 Toolkit.

    First Phase-In Model

    Our Cohort BB Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 students have just completed two days in school.  The students are excited to be back in their schools.  Principals, teachers, and support staff all shared the same sentiment.  The students were able to engage in learning and be with their classmates in-person, while also ensuring that mask wearing and social distancing were conducted accordingly.  On Monday and Tuesday, October 5 and 6, 2020, we will be welcoming our Cohort AA Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 students to school.  

    As we previously asked, please continue to be patient with our teaching and learning program, bus schedules, and other matters pertaining to this new world we are living in related to the Hybrid schedule.  We will continue to monitor our processes and procedures and make necessary adjustments as often as necessary to ensure we are providing the best service for our students that we possibly can.  

    Google Classroom Login

    It is important for us to mention that online Google Classrooms are for students only who are participating when they are not in person during their Cohort schedule. When students are in class for in-person learning their online student logins will not be admitted into the online Google Classroom.  

    Student Transportation

    There are many parents who have committed to transporting their children to and from school.  We appreciate you taking the time to do this as we continue to evaluate our transportation system for students entering in Grades 7-12.  

    Due to health and safety reasons, the District will not be accepting notes from parents requesting to either pick up or have their child ride on a bus.  We ask that you solidly commit to either having your child(ren) ride to and from school on the bus on their scheduled cohort days or to transporting them to and from school daily.  This will also help to determine how we can streamline the transportation schedule for K-6 and 7-12.

    Bus Drivers Needed

    There are times in certain school years where we need to exhaust every recruitment effort possible to hire bus drivers.  If you are seeking employment and are interested in driving a bus, contact the transportation department at 845-298-5225, extension 44104.  Please make note that in order to drive a bus there are requirements that we must follow to comply with the NYS Department of Transportation guidelines.  However, WCSD provides training at the district level. 

    Daily Health Screener

    We will be rolling out our EZScrn Daily Health Screener tool on Monday to our families of Grade 5 and 6 students.  We are intentionally rolling this out to smaller groups of families at a time for the initial round.  We will send out invitations to our Grade 7 - 12 families incrementally as the hybrid start date approaches.

    For our Grade 5 and 6 families, you will receive a notification on Monday indicating your account has been set up. It will include login instructions as well as your ID and password.  Please do not contact EZScrn directly as they are not able to support individual family members with end user questions.  You can download the APP or simply use the website app.ezscrn.com.  The IOS App is available in the Apple Store.  The android App is not currently available in Google Play; further directions will be shared as that app is made available for Android users.  But again, the web version of this tool works perfectly fine.  

    Sincerely,

    José L. Carrión

    Superintendent of Schools

    * Please note that during this pandemic, which began impacting schools in March 2020 and the subsequent Governor’s Orders, the communications provided in the District’s Updates may be subject to change, pending any future modifications made by the Governor’s office, the Department of Health, the CDC, and the New York State Education Department.  In this ever changing environment, many things are not guaranteed.

    Comments (-1)
  • September 29, 2020

    Posted by Amy Watkins on 9/29/2020 5:00:00 PM

    Good Afternoon WCSD Community, 

    ***Attention Staff and Kindergarten through Grade 2 Families***

    With the beginning of our hybrid model phase in i.e., Kindergarten through Grade 2, scheduled to begin this Thursday with cohort "B," it is extremely important that the health and safety of all our students and staff is front and center. With this in mind, as a community, this is what we must adhere to. 
    • Everyone, both students and staff, need to have their temperature taken before arrival at school. Temperature needs to be below 100F and if above 100F, students/staff can not attend school and if students are sent to school and it is determined that their temperature is above 100F, parents will be notified to take their children home.
    • In addition, all students/staff are expected to complete the daily health screener, complete with a question regarding temperature.  It is extremely important that you complete the daily health screener each and every day school is in session. The daily health screener, in addition to face coverings, social distancing and good hand hygiene is one of the four cornerstones in our efforts to address the health and safety of our students.  
    • You should have received an email invite regarding the program EZ scrn. Please use this daily with respect to the daily health screening, whether as an app on your phone or web page, as this will assist our efforts to ensure everyone entering our buildings is healthy and safe. Please see below for information regarding EZ scrn. 

    You can download the EZ Scrn App from the Apple Store, or simply use the website app.ezscrn.com.  The Andriod App is not currently available in Google Play, further directions will be shared as that app is made available for Android users.  But again, the web version for this tool works perfectly fine. 

    Here is an orientation video on how to use the daily screener.  While the screens may vary slightly, this video does give you a general idea of how to use the tool each day your child is scheduled to attend school for live in-person instruction.  If you have a moment, please review this video before you log into the system so you know what to expect once you finally do so.

    You should have received the automated system email with your login ID and password. We are asking that you complete this daily health screener each day that you intend to send your child to school.  

    Thank you

    Richard Zipp & Daren Lolkema

    Comments (-1)
  • September 25, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 9/25/2020 3:00:00 PM

    September 25, 2020 Update

    Good afternoon WCSD Learning Community:

    Thank you for taking the time to review this very important update regarding our phase in Hybrid Learning Plan.  We will cover topics in this update that provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that we have received since our last update.

    Hybrid Schedule

    Since our last update, we received several questions about the ‘consolidated schedule’ that we shared earlier this week.  We have revised this schedule to include Columbus Day and to clarify some points about when Cohorts A and B will begin their first day of school in October.  Please see our revised schedule, one we hope is easier to follow. As we have also indicated, our ultimate goal is to be able to have 100% of our WCSD students return back to school.  We will continue to provide you with updates as we assess our processes, procedures, and constraints along the way.  Should any portion of the schedule need to be changed, we will notify you as soon as we decide that a change is necessary.  

    Masks and Student Attendance

    We know there are a lot of questions about masks and what will be expected of our students when they return to school starting next week.  We will be enforcing a rule that states all students and staff shall wear a mask to the ‘greatest extent possible”, which means students will have to wear their face covering at all times with minimal exception.  This means:

    • we will ask students to wear masks while they are in their classrooms, even if they are seated socially distant apart;
    • we will ask that students wear masks throughout the day as they travel/walk in  the hallways to various locations;
    • we will allow students to remove their masks during designated socially distant ‘mask breaks’ (these “breaks” for individuals, a small group, and/or an entire class of students will be determined at the building-level in collaboration with principals and teachers); and
    • we will allow students to remove their masks when they are eating, which means that all students will be socially distanced.

    Essentially we will ask that students and staff wear their masks for the duration of the school day, with those exceptions in mind.  In addition, we recognize that some persons may be medically excused from wearing a mask, and we will deal with these situations on a case by case basis. Keep in mind for the very small exception of students and staff who meet this requirement, socially distanced practicing will be required.

    Hybrid Learning and Remote Students

    As a District, we understand the challenges that will come with hybrid learning.  We also know that as a parent you have lots of questions.  We are about to embark on a learning modality that has never been systemically and formally attempted by our staff and students.  

    We anticipate that there will be significant challenges and obstacles as we enter into our hybrid model. This is extremely new with lots of unknowns that will have to be worked out as the hybrid model is being implemented.  Our teachers have been exceptional. We know that as we move forward adjustments may or will be made for both our in-person and remote learning in order to have the greatest impact on student learning while maintaining an achievable and conducive work environment for our teachers.  We also know that it is going to take time to transition into a cohesive routine that will allow these components to work together.  Some things look great on paper, but the reality of what does or does not work will quickly become apparent to us. We will do our best to resolve issues affecting both our students and our staff as quickly as we can.  We will ask that you please show your continued support and anticipated understanding with our building administrators, teachers, and all support staff so that we can work to best serve our WCSD students. 

    We would like to share with you our newly created Parents' Guide to the Hybrid Model, as well as the following thoughts and concepts from our Hybrid Learning Plan:

    • When we enter into the hybrid model, teachers will continue to have the same students on their rosters as they do currently (in the remote model).  We understand that there are certain circumstances that are out of our control which will require some of our student rosters and/or teacher assignments to change.  Your building Administrator will let you know if your child’s teacher is changing, we are hopeful that this will be minimal, but know that this will happen for some of our classes.
    • Teachers will continue to take daily attendance, even on Wednesday when all students are online for remote learning.
    • Teachers will provide synchronous instruction for all students on their roster through either a live-stream of a current lesson/activity OR as a class discussion derived from a previously recorded lesson or assignment.
    • As your child’s grade level transitions to hybrid learning, we will provide updated schedules for synchronous instruction (live-streamed lessons or discussions) with students/parents in advance to allow for ample time for planning/scheduling to minimize conflicts.
    • On Wednesday, which is identified as a Remote Teaching and Learning Day, teachers will provide synchronous and asynchronous instruction to students.
    • Students who are designated as 100% Remote Only may receive academic support, assessment, and instruction from a separate teacher, in addition to their normally scheduled teacher.  This is important for us to ensure that students receive instruction or assessment that keeps them on pace with their hybrid peers.

    As part of our Parent Workshop Series, it is our pleasure to welcome the families of Wappingers Central School District to an evening session about i-Ready Assessment and Instruction. Join us for a tour of the platform and a conversation around how i-Ready helps teachers serve the best instruction to keep your child growing and learning across the school year.

    Date: October 1, 2020 Time: 6:30PM

    Looking Out for #1: Your Child and i-Ready

    Workshop Link    Meeting ID: 977 1550 4984     Passcode: 709064

    We know that there are more questions that you may have, but we hope that this Update has provided you with some answers ahead of this extended weekend.  Remember, there is no school for students on Monday in observance of Yom Kippur.  For those who celebrate, I would like to wish you a wonderful holiday weekend.

    Sincerely,

    José L. Carrión

    Superintendent of Schools

    *Please note that during this pandemic, which began impacting schools in March 2020 and the subsequent Governor’s Orders, the communications provided in the District’s Updates may be subject to change, pending any future modifications made by the Governor’s office, the Department of Health, the CDC, and the New York State Education Department.  In this ever changing environment, many things are not guaranteed.

    Comments (-1)
  • September 22, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 9/22/2020 6:00:00 PM

    September 22, 2020 Update

    Good afternoon WCSD Learning Community:

    We are very excited to begin welcoming WCSD students to our school buildings for hybrid learning.  However, please make no mistake that we continue to focus our attention and commitment to all of our students, those who will remain in the remote/virtual learning schedule and those who will attend the hybrid in-person model.  

    The focus of this update is to inform parents that the hybrid phase-in model is in effect and ready to begin. Please read this entire educational update since it includes information related to the hybrid model phase-in re-opening plan, transportation, student rosters, daily health screening, and athletics.  We will also provide additional information in the days ahead. 

    Hybrid Learning:

    Our transition/changeover to hybrid learning will begin the week of September 28th.   Please know that Monday, September 28 is a scheduled holiday (Yom Kippur) and there is no school for students.  In our original plan, Kindergarten to Grade 2 students assigned to Cohort A were originally scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 29th.   Rather than begin our hybrid learning with a single day of instruction for Cohort A students in Kindergarten to Grade 2, we will instead officially begin our week of hybrid learning with Cohort B students in Kindergarten to Grade 2 on Thursday, October 1st -- this will be the first day of in-person learning for our students who will attend in the hybrid model.  

    Please know that Thursday, October 1st will be Cycle Day 4, as per our District ReOpening Parent Forum presentation. Students in Cohort B will be in-person on Thursdays and Fridays.   Cohort A students in Grades K-2 will attend school beginning Monday, October 5th, and will continue to attend Mondays and Tuesdays.  

    The updated Instructional Delivery Timeline shows the revised schedule for our K-12 students as we phase-in to hybrid learning for the rest of our grade levels.  For a further breakdown of the phase-in model you may wish to review this Consolidated Timeline.  Cohort groups were assigned by alphabetical order by last name, such that Cohort A includes students with last names beginning A-K.  Cohort B includes students with last names beginning L-Z.  If you are still unsure, you can see your child’s cohort membership by logging into Parent Portal and reviewing the User Defined tab inside the student record.

    Additional information related to hybrid learning is outlined in the sections below. 

    Transportation:

    On September 14th we published our transportation routes on our website indicating pickup/drop off times and locations for all of our students.  The bus route information posted on September 14th has been modified and has been changed.  The new bus stop information and schedule will be posted on our website at the same time that this community update is being released.  

    WCSD has been working diligently in its recruitment efforts to hire more bus drivers.  As we continue to work through finding competent certified and qualified bus drivers, we will begin our elementary hybrid school year with a modified two-tier bus run schedule.  A change in start and end times for our in-person school day is currently necessary in order to ensure that we provide busing to all of our students.   

    Our modified two-tier elementary schedule will now be as follows:

    • Tier 1:  Brinckerhoff ES, Fishkill ES, Fishkill Plains ES, and Gayhead ES will be on the first tier. (This is necessary as these routes have the longest distances to traverse, so from a timing perspective these schools were placed in Tier 1).  Start time for these Tier 1 schools will begin at 8:25 a.m. and end at 2:25 p.m. (new bus pickup / drop off times are viewable on our website).
    • Tier 2:  James S Evans ES, Kinry Rd ES, Myers Corners ES, Oak Grove ES, Sheafe Rd ES, and Vassar Rd ES will be on the second tier.  Start time for these Tier 2 schools will begin later at 9:25 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m. (new bus pickup / drop off times are viewable on our website).  

    We will continue to work on hiring additional bus drivers and, if necessary, contract with outside transportation companies to provide the additional drivers to help increase our transportation. The modified day that has been established is also to ensure that we provide for other learning modalities to ensure that connections are made with our online learners. 

    As per our policy, we do create a bus schedule that allows for all students to ride to and from school.  However, we will be asking for a commitment from those parents that have already decided that they will take charge of driving their child to and from school.  

    For more information about student bus schedules, please visit our transportation website.

    Student Rosters:

    We are still able to offer our families with different modalities/methods of learning, so as to reduce any concerns they have about their child attending school in-person during the first marking period.  We have committed to allowing families to opt for 100% remote learning or hybrid learning for Marking Period 1.  You can see by the results of our Parent Survey that a large number of families are opting for 100% remote learning for the first quarter. In order to continue making the necessary modifications to either remain in a hybrid schedule, back to virtual learning, or 100% in-person,  we will continue to monitor this pandemic, potential Federal and State Aid reductions, and/or orders from the Governor moving forward to the second marking period.  

    As we have indicated in past Educational Updates, all efforts will be made in working with our K-6 colleagues (specifically our Building Principals and Teachers) to keep our student rosters and teacher assignments as consistent as possible; therefore, we can report that most of our current class assignments will remain the same.  However, due to other extenuating factors that may be out of our control, some modifications to student roster assignments may be necessary. In the event that a change in roster occurs for your child, you will be notified by the building Principal of this required change.  

    If you have any questions about student rosters, please contact your Building Administrator.

    Daily Health Screener: 

    We will be rolling out our EZScrn Daily Health Screener tool this week to our families of K-4 students.  We are intentionally rolling this out to smaller groups of families at a time for the initial round.  We will send out invitations to our Grades 5-12 families incrementally as the hybrid start date approaches.

    For our K-4 families, you will receive a notification by Wednesday indicating your account has been set up, it will include login instructions as well as your ID & PW.  Please do not contact EZScrn directly as they are not able to support individual family members with end user questions.  You can download the APP, or simply use the website app.ezscrn.com.  The IOS App is available in the Apple Store.  The Andriod App is not currently available in Google Play; further directions will be shared as that app is made available for Android users.  But again, the web version of this tool works perfectly fine. 

    Here is an orientation video on how to use the daily screener.  While the screens may vary slightly, this video does give you a general idea of how to use the tool each day your child is scheduled to attend school for in-person instruction.  Please view the daily screener video since it will be very helpful when you receive specific instructions to this process by your building principal since it may differ in process due to the size of our schools. 

    Alternatives will also be finalized and will be shared with the families that do not have this type of technological access.  

    Athletics Update:

    The WCSD will participate in Section I Interscholastic Sports this fall.  Girls tennis, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls soccer, and field hockey will begin practice on October 1. Only Varsity and Junior Varsity levels will participate.  There will not be a modified fall interscholastic sports program.  

    The Athletic Department has prepared recommendations for WCSD Athletics Fall Guidance. This document addresses the requirements for athletes, coaches, spectators, and school administrators and can be found on the Athletic’s website main page

    Presently, transportation will not be provided to students to get to campus for tryouts, practices or games.  Transportation will be provided to pick up students from campus for away games scheduled at schools in other districts. 

    Registration on FamilyID is required and will remain open until September 28.   Please upload all required documents.   Documentation will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis.  Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school should you have any questions or need further clarification, they will be sure to direct you to the indicated individual.

    Sincerely,

    José L. Carrión

    Superintendent of Schools

    * Please note that during this pandemic, which began impacting schools in March 2020 and the subsequent Governor’s Orders, the communications provided in the District’s Updates may be subject to change, pending any future modifications made by the Governor’s office, the Department of Health, the CDC, and the New York State Education Department.  In this ever changing environment, many things are not guaranteed.

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • September 8, 2020

    Posted by Amy Watkins on 9/8/2020 12:00:00 PM

    This evening, two of our Technology Integration Specialists, Mr. Nikola & Mr. Roberto will be providing a virtual Parent Workshop on the use of Google Classroom.

    During this session, you will learn all about Google Classroom from a student perspective, as well as the 'parent/guardian' feature within this online tool.

    The workshop is being held tonight (Tuesday, September 8th) at 7 pm.  To view the live presentation please look for the 'live' link on the following website (the live link will appear when the meeting starts):

    Live Youtube Parent Workshop Channel

    In addition, to submit questions live to the presenters during the presentation please use the following form:  Question & Comment Submittal Form

    We hope you can attend, but if you cannot, please know this session will be recorded and posted on our youtube channel in the link above.

    Comments (-1)
  • September 4, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 9/4/2020 12:00:00 PM

    Good Afternoon WCSD Community.  

    The September 4th Community Update is coming out as an attachment so the charts in the PDF can be easily displayed on your screen.

    Thank you and have a nice weekend.

    - Daren Lolkema

    Comments (-1)
  • August 29th, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 8/29/2020 6:00:00 AM

    Good Morning WCSD Community.  

    The August 29th update is coming out as an attachment so the charts in the PDF can be easily displayed on your screen.

    Thank you and have a nice weekend.

    - Daren Lolkema

     

    Comments (-1)