October 5, 2020

  1. Allison Conti

Again, I appreciate all the work that done at this unique times. Many including myself have been attempting patience and positivity as we’d want the same grace. I’ve heard many state that school is not a babysitting service and although that is true people have set up their lives around the school day for more years than most of us are on earth. Parents have used the return dates to sign up and hold limited spots in childcare facilities, taken leaves of absences based on those dates and scheduled and budgeted for return to work choices based on those dates and school hours; all of which has seemed to change within a week of opening.

The parents of the district and the community are pondering…

1) - why were buses changed a week after being posted as nothing had changed within that weeks that the public was informed of ?

RESPONSE: As the schedules were being finalized and updated based on current information coming from NYS and the District’s phased in education model, the updated bus routes were provided as soon as possible.

2) why would the day be shortened? Not just change transportation times — meaning

Northern 8-3, Southern 9-4

RESPONSE: With the start of the Hybrid Model, teachers are still instructing students in-person and remotely. In order to ensure all students are receiving equitable academic support the students, attending in person's day needed to be shortened to allow teachers additional time to support the alternate hybrid and exclusive remote learners. Our teachers have to provide a full day of work and most work beyond their 7-hour contractual day.

3) outside of a COVID spread should there be an anticipated changes to secondary start dates Or school hours for any building as that effects many working families?

RESPONSE: Members of the District’s senior staff are working with representatives from the Wappingers Congress of Teachers and the Wappingers Administrators Association regarding the opening of secondary schools during the hybrid phase-in.  The schedule for Hybrid phase-in for secondary students has already been released to the community.  Additional information will be shared shortly.

4) why isn’t the school hours for secondary released? Are they still unknown? If so why?

Families need those to plan if they have younger children or special need secondary students that need care themselves via lack of independence or to plan for outside services?

RESPONSE: See response to #3.

5) will families be required to make choices on decision fir rest of year I’m next survey AFTER actually experiencing hybrid for ALL students? As some have only secondary students

RESPONSE: We continue to monitor the COVID19 increases and decreases throughout NYS.  Just recently, Red, Orange, and Yellow Zones have been implemented to determine school opening and closings as well as for other major agencies. The lack of certainty and clarity does not stem from the district. We are continuously monitoring this pandemic, making revisions, and discussing unanticipated options that may very well occur in the near future.  This question will be addressed as we close out the first marking period.

Let me be clear, every parent should be making their child’s education their first priority, unfortunately most have other obligations like yourselves ( such as employment in our district, elected positions on a school board, civil servant, coaches, comedians, spouse, parent, caregiver to ill spouse or child) with that balancing all of that on an average day can be difficult but during this time is more stressful.  MOST families are doing the best to juggle all of this and are handed last minute schedule changes due to what can appear to be poor planning it spirals (into financial losses, work stress, anxiety issues) which can cause a spiral effect on who matters most in all this... THESE CHILDREN! When the state hands us surprises MOST are reasonable and are understanding, it’s out of the districts control and we had to make do.

Thanks for your time.

  1.  Allison Conti 

Where are the support teachers for remote Learners that have been promised? Are they not available or starting soon?

RESPONSEFull remote students will receive academic lessons and support from their classroom teachers and when appropriate/necessary, additional support from a designated staff member.  The elementary principals have already started assigning additional staff to work with remote only students, to support the instruction provided by the classroom teacher.  Parents should contact their child’s teacher and/or building principal if they have questions about the teaching and learning.