July 9 2020
Posted by Daren Lolkema on 7/9/2020 11:00:00 AM
July 9, 2020 Update
Good Morning WCSD Community:
Congratulations Class of 2020
On Friday, June 26 and on Monday, June 29, 2020, our WCSD Seniors from John Jay HS, Orchard View HS, and Roy C. Ketcham HS had their commencement ceremonies and successfully graduated. The District conducted eight in-person ceremonies under the guidance of the Governor’s Executive Order. We would like to share our appreciation to all of our Valedictorians, Salutatorians, Senior Class Presidents, Student Government Council, and Senior and Junior Class Officers who committed their time to be present for each ceremony and provide their actual speeches and/or presentations live for their Senior classmates. It is beyond words just how much commitment, respect, and appreciation was demonstrated for their class. Overall the District has heard many great commentaries and words of appreciation for providing our Senior class with in-person ceremonies. Once again, congratulations to the Class of 2020.
Reopening of Schools
In the June 12, 2020 Update, you received the following information:
- September 2020 Re-Entry Plan: For the next Update, we will provide you with an opportunity to help serve in one of our sub-committees that we are putting together to help develop a plan that we have to submit to the New York State Education Department for entering back to school in September 2020. Preliminary work has begun. For example, each Senior Staff Administrator, will serve as the Sub-committee chair and provide guidance to the work they are responsible to complete. We have to ensure that we address areas of Health and Safety, Transportation, Facilities, Nutrition, Teaching, Learning, Virtual Learning, Budget/Fiscal, Social Emotional Learning, Special Education, English Language Learners, Staffing and Human Resources. The following link provides access to a document that has been made available to Districts to use as discussion points when planning for the reopening of schools.
Although we have done preliminary groundwork to prepare for September 2020, we have yet to receive official and formal guidance from New York State on what the guidelines will be for reopening of schools. Yesterday, we received an official timeline from the Governor's Office indicating how school districts will proceed and work on reopening plans for the Continuity of Learning. Please see the following timeline outlined below:
- Governor is releasing his plan on Monday, July 13
- District plans are to be submitted to the New York State Education Department (SED) by July 31
- Governor will make the final decision about schools reopening between August 1-7.
We can guarantee that all plans submitted will have to include three models. The three models consist of Continuity of Learning (Remote Learning as if schools are not going to reopen), Hybrid Model (a combination of Remote Learning and In-Person Learning), and In-Person Learning (all students returning physically back to school).
We would like to take this opportunity and thank all of our WCSD community members and staff who filled out the survey and committed to volunteering their time to participate as an integral member of our local task force. You will receive a letter confirming your participation on the WCSD Task Force for Reopening Schools, along with the sub-committee you will be serving on.
Our goal is to comply with the Governor’s and SED’s guidelines and regulations on reopening. We can assure you that if the District does not comply with these guidelines and submits a plan that does not meet the established guidance, it will be kicked back to the District for revisions.
Once we receive the guidelines from SED, we will send out our next update and post all necessary information to keep you informed of what WCSD is doing and how the process is coming along. Our goal is not to waste anyone’s time or energy. To the contrary, our process is set and we will be ready to roll up our sleeves with our locally established timeline to ensure that we have submitted viable plans, as per the State’s guidance and regulations.
Continuity of Learning
Our high school students who are required to attend summer school will continue to do so through the Continuity of Learning. In addition to our high school students, designated Students with Disabilities (SWD) have also commenced their extended school year program through the Continuity of Learning. We wish all of our students great success during this period. We are thankful for our teachers who have committed to providing our students with Continuity of Learning instruction during this period.
Summer Break Resources
During the summer, we will continue to provide families with activities, readings, and other instructional learning opportunities that students can do independently from the Continuity of Learning. No one expected to have our schools closed and we want to ensure that we continue to support WCSD families in different ways.
News and Notes from the New York State Education Department
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) releases a monthly newsletter informing the New York learning community of updates and happenings related to teaching and learning in the State. The Staying Connected: Your Stories - July 3, 2020 contains information which you may find useful. Click on the link to access the document or visit the NYSED website for more information.
The term Homeschooling is technically referred to when students receive their education at home by their parents. Although there are different variations to what this can look like, it does mean that the home is solely responsible to provide the instruction to their child and submit quarterly reports and other required documentation to the District for approval.
With that being said, we have received an increase in the number of parents/guardians requesting to homeschool their child(ren) for the 2020-2021 school year. In the event that the Governor’s order remains for Continuity of Learning for an extensive period of time at the start of school (September 2020), families, if they choose, can cancel/rescind their homeschooling request and re-enroll their child in school.
WCSD Website - www.wappingersschools.org
Since the start of the pandemic, WCSD created an entire section to the website to keep our learning community informed of all Federal, State, County and local updates. Please continue to view WCSD Emergency Response Website / Homepage. There is viable information for you to review.
Thank you and stay well.
Jose L. Carrion
Superintendent of Schools