• Educational Update: January 14, 2021

    Posted by Amy Watkins on 1/14/2021 3:00:00 PM
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  • Educational Update: December 22, 2020

    Posted by Amy Watkins on 12/22/2020
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  • Educational Update: December 10, 2020:

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 12/10/2020 2:00:00 PM
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  • Education Update: December 3, 2020

    Posted by Amy Watkins on 12/3/2020 4:00:00 PM
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  • Educational Update November 24, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 11/24/2020 11:00:00 AM
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  • November 19, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 11/19/2020 3:00:00 PM

    November 19, 2020 Educational Update

    Good Afternoon WCSD Learning Community:

    This letter has been added to the Community Notifications section of the Re-Opening website and can be translated into your primary language if needed. Para leer este mensaje en Español haga clic donde dice "translate" (arriba a la derecha)  y escoja el idioma Spanish y lo llevará a la página en Español. 

    Topics Covered In This Educational Update

     

    • Update on COVID Advisories
    • Clarification on Revised Phase-In Hybrid Plan (January 11, 2021)
    • Winter Sports Update
    • WCSD Calendar Update

     

     Update on COVID Advisories

    We are doing our best to ensure our entire WCSD community is aware whenever there is a COVID-related event which affects school operations in our District.  We also receive inquiries about unrelated positive cases, and questions about why we aren’t notifying the entire community each time we learn of an instance which does not affect school operations.  We would like to ensure that our COVID Advisories are limited to only those which do affect school operations; however, we do recognize the importance of sharing information about all of the cases that are reported to us.  

    With that being said, the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH), operating under Executive Order from the NYS Governor’s Office, requires school districts to complete a daily survey for each of our schools indicating whether or not we have any positive COVID cases for students or staff (whether they are in-person or remote only).  To help with transparency, and to minimize emails related to matters that do not impact school operations we have posted a link to the NYSDOH Dashboard on our website.  The information on this dashboard will be refreshed every 24 hours, and will reflect all known positive cases of COVID in the District.  We will continue to send notifications to our community for all instances which affect school operations.

    Clarification on Revised Phase-In Hybrid Plan (January 11, 2021)

    In our Educational Update from Monday November 16th, we shared with you our updated Phase-In Hybrid Plan.  We received a number of questions about this plan, which is scheduled to begin on January 11, 2021.  One of the most common had to do with a Cohort A / B Schedule, please know that we will continue to utilize the Cohort A and Cohort B models in our Hybrid Learning Plan until the NYSDOH reduces constraints surrounding social distancing.  Students will attend the in-person hybrid model two days per week based on their assigned Cohort.  Cohort A attends Monday and Tuesday.  Cohort B attends Thursday and Friday.  Students, who have been previously approved to attend in-person instruction four-days per week, will continue as scheduled (i.e., selected Special Education students and English Language Learners). 

    We will continue to analyze our capacities and will, when possible, bring students with higher learning needs into school for up to 4 days per week when we are able to do so.

    Winter Sports Update

    The NYSPHSAA has indicated that low/moderate risk sports can begin on November 30.  This includes: Indoor Track and Field, Boys Swimming, Bowling, and Gymnastics. Section One will provide districts with further guidance on if the Section One Districts will begin on November 30th or on a later date.   High risk winter sports: Basketball, Cheer, and Wrestling have been postponed until January 2021.  The District will provide students and families with updated information as it is received. 

    WCSD Calendar Update

    In a previous Educational Update we shared that the January Regents Exams have been cancelled by the NYS Education Department.  Please know that at our November 16th Board of Education Meeting an updated school calendar was adopted, which now shows the Regents Days in January as regular days of attendance.  The District is reviewing upcoming January PSAT testing options.  As a result, we may revise the school calendar once again should we find that it is necessary to provide a testing day for the PSAT exam, which is currently scheduled to coincide with the now canceled Regents Exams.

    Sincerely,

     

    Dr. Dwight Bonk

    Acting Superintendent

    Wappingers Central School District

     *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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  • November 16, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 11/16/2020 4:00:00 PM

    Good Afternoon WCSD Community

    Attached is a very important update regarding our Hybrid Learning Plan.  Due to the embedded charts within the document, we needed to send it as a PDF to ensure that the formatting was not lost in the email.

    Thank you for taking the time to review this Educational Update, we hope you have a wonderful evening.

    - Daren Lolkema

    Assistant Superintendent for Compliance and Information Systems


    November 16, 2020: Educational Update

    Good Afternoon WCSD Learning Community:

    This  letter  has  been  added  to  the  Community  Notifications section of the Re-Opening website  and  can  be translated into your primary language if needed. Para leer este  mensaje en Español haga clic donde dice "translate" (arriba a la derecha) y escoja el idioma Spanish y l o llevara a la pajina en Espanol.

    The purpose of today’s Educational Update is to share with you our plan to increase in-person learning opportunities for all of our students. We shared with you in the October 23, 2020 update that our goal for our Hybrid Learning Plan is to return to an in-person learning schedule that is as close to ‘normal’ as it possibly can be during a time when adherence to CDC and Department of Health Guidance is required. Over the past couple of weeks, we were able to make significant improvement in this area. It is with this in mind that the District will be implementing a phase-in model that will improve upon the current hybrid model and lead to increased in-person instructional time. I would like to thank all parties who participated in this truly collaborative effort to increase the amount of in-person instructional time at the secondary level on behalf of our students and community.

    Please understand that this plan will be evaluated on a regular basis; however, we believe that it is important to provide you with as much notice as possible regarding our plan as of now so that families may adapt accordingly, as necessary. In addition, it is important that the District continues to increase instructional time in phases. We understand that many members of our community would prefer that we start with Phase-Two in January and skip Phase-One. However, we must remain vigilant and cognizant of our current staffing needs and health and safety concerns as they relate to COVID-19. Increasing instructional time in phases will allow the District to monitor, review, and adjust as necessary. 


    Phase-One

    Phase-One will include a return to a two-tier transportation system, whereby all of our elementary schools share the same school day schedule. During Phase-One, which is anticipated to begin on January 11, 2021, we will follow the following schedule for hybrid learning:

    • Secondary Arrival / Dismissal: Students will arrive at 7:25 AM and dismiss at 12:45 This schedule allows for us to continue to use existing resources to cover classes as needed, while also maintaining a portion of the day for teachers and support staff to connect with remote students during the afternoon.
    • Elementary Arrival / Dismissal: Students will arrive at 8:25 AM and dismiss at 2:25 In addition to creating a unified schedule for our elementary schools, this schedule also allows for teachers and support staff to connect with remote students during the afternoon.
    • Remote Learning Wednesdays: We will be extending our secondary school remote learning times on Wednesdays to match the same Phase-One period schedule for secondary schools. This will represent an increase in remote learning time and will allow us to keep our remote schedule in sync with our hybrid learning schedule. Elementary students will continue to follow their existing remote learning schedule.

    The Phase-One schedule may be thought of as a 2-hour delay schedule for secondary students and a 1-hour delay schedule for elementary students. However, it should be noted that secondary students will have more time in the building during Phase-One than if it were truly a 2-hour delay schedule. It is important to know that the extra time during the afternoon is critical for our remote only students to be able to receive additional support and services as necessary. 

    The secondary period schedule will be modified to reflect the new arrival/dismissal schedule as follows:

    Phase-One Secondary Period and Remote Learning Schedule:

    Secondary Period and Remote Learning Schedule
    Revised Remote Wednesday Schedule: Secondary students will follow the same schedule on Wednesday that they follow the rest of the week (See Period Schedule Above).


    Phase-Two

    Phase-Two which is anticipated to begin on April 12, 2021, will further extend our Hybrid Learning Schedule for secondary students. Elementary students will continue to follow the schedule indicated in Phase-One.

    • Secondary Arrival / Dismissal: Students will arrive at 7:25 AM and dismiss at 1:25 This schedule supports a ‘typical’ school day structure where teachers will follow their normally assigned period based schedule (including lunch). This schedule does still allow for a portion of the day to have teachers and support staff to connect with remote students during the afternoon.
    • Elementary Arrival / Dismissal: Students will arrive at 8:25 AM and dismiss at 2:25 This schedule allows for teachers and support staff to connect with remote students during the afternoon.
    • Remote Learning Wednesdays: The remote learning schedule will be evaluated prior to the beginning of Phase-Two. Any recommended changes will be shared well in advance of the schedule taking place.

    The Phase-Two schedule may be thought of as a 1-hour delay schedule for all students K-12. It is important to know that the extra time during the afternoon is critical for our remote only students to be able to receive additional support and services as necessary.


    The secondary period schedule will be modified to reflect the new arrival / dismissal schedule as follows:

    Phase 2 image

    Please understand these schedules may have to be adapted, based on COVID-19 related circumstances, or regulation from New York State or other governmental offices. In the meantime, we will continue to do our best to work towards our goal to return to an in-person learning schedule that is as close to ‘normal’ as it possibly can be during this difficult time.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Dwight Bonk Acting Superintendent
    Wappingers Central School District

    *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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  • November 12, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 11/12/2020 3:00:00 PM

    November 12, 2020 Educational Update

    Good Afternoon WCSD Learning Community:

    Para leer este mensaje en Español haga clic donde dice "translate" (arriba a la derecha)  y escoja el idioma Spanish y lo llevara a la pajina en Espanol.  This letter has been added to the Community Notifications section of the Re-Opening website and can be translated into your primary language if needed.

    We are near the end of our first week of Hybrid Learning for our Senior High Schools, and I am very pleased with the way this first week has gone.  It was great to see so many of our high school students back in the classroom.  I would like to thank our students for how well they have embraced our new safety protocols, and I’d like to thank our parents, faculty, and staff for doing all that they have done to support our students during this transition.

    We have had, as you know, some new reported positive cases within our community since our last Educational Update.  Please know we will continue to do the best that we can to provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff.  But we do know that the number of new cases can spike in different parts of our learning community, and at any given time.  With that being said, I would like to share a brief video that describes our WCSD COVID Contact Tracing Protocols which will hopefully answer some of the more commonly asked questions that we have been receiving since our first reports of a positive case affecting attendance in our community.  

    As we move forward, I think it is important to share our challenges with COVID positive cases.  We have seen eight (8) cases within our learning community since October 29th, and in seven (7) of these cases we have seen a domino effect as it pertains to the person who tested positive followed by the number of individuals (both staff and student) who must then quarantine for 2 weeks.  Our challenge isn’t in cleaning our schools or maintaining our health and safety protocols. Our challenge lies in the quarantine process itself.  According to the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health, any individual who shares a classroom space or a bus with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 for a certain duration must be excluded from in-person attendance from school for 2 weeks.  It is very difficult for us to maintain a healthy learning environment when we lose 4-6 staff members for a single instance of COVID.  Combine this with multiple buildings overlapping the same week and we could see this number multiplied by 2 or more concurrent instances.  This of course puts a strain on our resources, and while we have been fortunate enough to maintain our hybrid classes thus far, it is certainly possible we may not always be able to do so, meaning we may have to close a school, or a grade level as necessary if we determine we are unable to open safely due to a lack of resources.  This is something I wanted to share with our community as we continue to assess and make decisions every time these situations arise.

    January Regents Update

    In our last Educational Update we shared with you that the January Regents Exams have been cancelled by the New York State Education Department.  This will have an impact on our high school student attendance calendar.  Our current calendar shows January 26th - 29th blocked off for the January Regents Exams. We will be updating our calendar to show that January 26th - 29th will now be considered regular attendance days for all of our high school students.  

    K-6 Parent Teacher Conferences and Report Card Access on Parent Portal

    As a reminder, Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled for next week, November 17, 18, and 19.  Parents/guardians can access Report Cards for Marking Period 1 on the Parent Portal. We will be opening up report cards for parent portal access on Monday, November 16th. Report cards will not be mailed home. 

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Dwight Bonk

    Acting Superintendent

    Wappingers Central School District

    *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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  • November 6, 2020

    Posted by Daren Lolkema on 11/6/2020 10:00:00 AM

    November 6, 2020 Educational Update

    Good Morning WCSD Learning Community:

    I am pleased to have this opportunity to share with you our November 6th Educational Update. Please note that starting next week, Thursday, November 12 the weekly updates will be sent out to our community on Thursday’s. 

    The past week and a half has not been without its challenges, as we have shared with our WCSD community, we have had four separate COVID-related incidents to manage within our school communities. I would like to thank everyone we have worked with for their patience and understanding as we work through these critical issues.  I do anticipate that as we move further into the school year and into the cold winter months that the frequency of incidents will increase. We will work together as a community to address these incidents in a manner that focuses on the health and safety of our entire learning community.

    This Educational Update will cover the following topics: 

    • Secondary Hybrid Learning Update
    • Daily Health Screening
    • Transportation Update
    • January 2021 Administration of the High School Regents Exams
    • Winter Sports / Winter Workouts

     

    Secondary Hybrid Learning Update

    Although we must take pause due to the incident at Wappingers Jr High School we would like to reflect on the positive outcomes of bringing back our Junior High School students this week.  Our students returned to Van Wyck Jr HS and Wappingers Jr HS this week on a modified schedule.  While we know this schedule is not ideal, it has provided us with the ability to open our doors for in-person instruction, and we were very happy to see the excitement our students shared with their return to school.  

    We are very excited to welcome back our High School students starting with Cohort A on Monday, November 9th.  This will be Cycle Day 2 for both Monday and Tuesday for all of our secondary students.  We look forward to seeing them back in school, and I hope they have a wonderful first day of Hybrid Learning.

    Daily Health Screener

    We  have completed our creation of student accounts in our EZScrn application.  If you have not yet received an ID or Password from EZScrn there is a good possibility that your email account has blocked the invitation as SPAM.  This appears to be especially true for AOL and Yahoo email users.  

    If you have not yet received your ID or Password for EZScrn, we ask that you please try the following steps in order to generate a password for your account:

    1. Go to https://app.ezscrn.com/
    2. Click “Accept” on the disclaimer
    3. Enter the same email address you are receiving this message from as your User ID
    4. If you never received a Password notification, click “forgot / change password” to generate a new password for your account.

    Hopefully this will help get you into the system.  Again, use the same email account that you are using to read this message as your user ID for the system.  If you continue to have issues, please send an email to wcsd.comments@wcsdny.org.

    Transportation Update
    Please be aware that we have made a change to our Transportation Regulation to allow us to increase the potential time a student is on the bus from 45 minutes to 1 hour.  This may not impact your child, but it will allow us some flexibility when it comes to routing of buses during this pandemic period.  Please know that this regulation includes the time the students board the bus at home and departs the bus at school.  Oftentimes there is a waiting period before the students disembark while on campus that adds to the overall time the student is on the bus.  

    January 2021 Administration of the High School Regents Exams

    The January 2021 administration of the High School Regents Examination Program has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic.  This cancellation applies to all Regents Examinations that had been scheduled for the January 2021 Regents Examination period.  The New York State Education Department has shared the following in their notification to our District:  

    “As this school year has progressed and the dates for the administration of the January 2021 Regents Examinations have grown nearer, there remains much uncertainty as to when all secondary-level students in schools all across the State will return to fully in-person instruction. Consequently, we are cancelling the January 2021 Regents Examinations administration as we cannot be certain that these examinations can be administered in a fair, equitable and safe manner for all secondary-level students and teachers across the State at that time.

    The Department has not yet made decisions about the June and August 2021 administrations of Regents Examinations or any of the other State assessment programs. The Board of Regents and the State Education Department will continue to monitor data related to modes of instruction amid the ongoing pandemic. When it is time to decide about these Regents Examination and other State examination administration periods, those decisions will be fully informed by all available and relevant public health and educational data. And as always, we will put the health and safety of students and teachers first.”

    Winter Sports Scheduled to Begin November 30, 2020

    Winter Sports is scheduled to begin on November 30, 2020.  Winter sports include: Track, Basketball, Wrestling, Bowling, Gymnastics, and Cheerleading.  Students should plan to obtain the required health examination prior to participation in the winter,  Fall II, or spring 2020-2021 sport seasons. This means for winter sport athletes, a physical exam dated November 1, 2019 or later must be uploaded to your Family ID account or on file in the nurse’s office.  If you are unsure if your child requires an up-to-date physical, please contact your child’s Health Office and the School Nurse will check for you.   If your child has a completed physical from a private physician, please upload it onto FamilyID or submit it to the Health Office for approval by the school physician.

    Please register on FamilyID from Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 22.  Additional information can be found on the Athletics webpage

    The Fall II season is scheduled to begin in March.  Fall II sports include: Football, Cheerleading, and Volleyball. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.  High risk sports for winter and Fall II sports include Basketball, Wrestling, Cheerleading, and Football) and will be discussed further by NYSPHSAA and Section I in mid-November.   Information regarding the start of high-risk sports will be provided as soon as it becomes available. 

    WCSD Off-Season Workouts to Begin on November 9, 2020

    Off-season workouts will begin on November 9, 2020.  WCSD Athletics will utilize a phase-in approach for off-season workouts for Winter and Fall II sports.  Starting on Monday, November 9, 2020, students from Cohort A may participate in off-season workouts on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Wednesdays will be a day off.  Students from Cohort B may participate on Thursdays and Fridays.  All proper screening protocols and health and safety guidelines will be followed.   Athletes can email the coaches for information on workout schedule.  Coach contact information can be found on the athletics webpage or accessed here.  Phase-one workouts will focus on cardiovascular exercises. Students will not share equipment or use the locker rooms. 

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Dwight Bonk

    Acting Superintendent

    Wappingers Central School District

    *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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  • November 2, 2020

    Posted by Amy Watkins on 11/2/2020 3:00:00 PM

    Immunization Grace Period is Ending

     
    Good Afternoon WCSD Community

    On October 12, 2020, the NYS Department of Health sent a letter to school Administrators titled:  "Guidance for School Administrators Regarding Limited Temporary Enforcement of Student Immunization Requirements"

    This letter notified Districts to a grace period of 30 days from 10/12/20 easing the need to enforce immunization requirements for students attending school exclusively through remote learning.  This grace period is set to expire on November 11th, 2020.

    The District was informed, that during this grace period, students engaged in remote learning must obtain all required vaccinations, if they have not already, to be eligible to continue attending school following the expiration of this grace period (which ends on 11/11/20).

    All school-aged students must have received a complete series of vaccinations and/or be "in-process" of receiving all scheduled vaccines in order for enrollment to continue.  This includes our Jr. & Sr. High School Students who are only starting to transition to hybrid learning,  This also pertains to "remote only" students, if you plan to remain virtual/remote for the foreseeable future these immunization requirements still apply.

    Any student's who have been identified as having incomplete immunization records have already received a call from our health offices.  If we do not receive notification of immunization / "in-process" of immunization by November 11th, student enrollment will be suspended.

    If you have any questions specific to your child, please contact your school's health office for further information. 

    Thank you

    Daren Lolkema

    Assistant Superintendent for Compliance and Information Systems

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