Admin

May 12, 2020


Dear Parents, Guardians and Caregivers,

I hope this letter finds you well.   I am writing to provide you with important updates and information including the status of school closure, meals and the weekend backpack program, third quarter report cards, the Strategic Plan parent survey, graduation and the budget vote and school board election.

School Closed through the Academic Year - As you probably have already heard, last week, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order mandating that all New York State schools to remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.  With this, it means the school building are closed but online instruction will continue and meals will be provided.  If you are having any questions or need assistance with online instruction, please let us know immediately.  It is important that your child have access to and engage in daily instruction.

Need for an Electronic Device - If your child is in need of an electronic device, please contact us immediately through Let’s Talk.  This link is on our district website under the COVID-19 information.

Meals - Breakfast and lunch will continue to be provided to all students.  You can pick up your meals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from the bus stops (routes are provided on the website) or from any district school between 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.  Weekend backpacks can be picked up on Friday from the meal sites.  If you are not able to pick-up your backpack from the bus stop or school on Friday, you can pick it up any day (Monday through Friday) between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. at the Mont Pleasant Boys and Girls Club.   Please check our website often for any changes to meal distribution.

Do You Need a Weekend Backpack? If you are not receiving a weekend backpack but would like to be considered, please let us know.  Call Al Tompkins at 518-390-4773 or email Damonni Farley at farleyd@schenectady.k12.ny.us.  You can also submit your request through Let’s Talk on our website.  Select the COVID-19 interest area.  Please contact us even if you have not qualified in the past.

Third Quarter Report Cards - You should have received your child’s third quarter report card.  We understand that students have been performing under unique circumstances for the third quarter and we want them to understand that we continue to be here to help them learn and will provide opportunities to make up work.  As such, numeric grades were not given for the third quarter.  This report card, instead, reflects either S (Satisfactory Evidence) or IE (Insufficient Evidence).  If a student receives an IE, it means that your child has not, yet, demonstrated sufficient evidence but will be provided with opportunities for revision or re-submission of their work.  Remember, we are all in this together.  We are here to provide support and ongoing opportunities for students to learn.

Summer Enrichment Program – We are currently planning for the 2020 Summer Enrichment Program.  With all that is going on, we are planning for a few different possibilities including:
 1) In-person/on-site as usual  2)  In-person/on-site in smaller groups  3) Virtual Summer Enrichment
The program is available to all students currently registered for Pre-K through grade 7.  Locations and other details are posted on our website.  We have extended the application due date.  If you are interested, please complete the online application immediately.  Feel free to use the Chromebook that the district provided to your family.

Strategic Plan Survey - We recently launched a Strategic Plan Survey in which we are asking parents to respond to a few questions about their child’s school.  The information you provide will be used to help us recognize what we are doing well and identify areas where we can improve.  Your feedback is important as we continue the work of our Strategic Plan and adjust our action plans going forward.  We would like all of you to participate.   So far, 714 parents have taken the survey.  If you are not one of them, please do so today and encourage others to participate as well.  The survey is posted on the homepage of our district website or you can copy and paste this link into your web browser   https://huron.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eh6xcxvCsnXeqO1  You are welcome to use the Chromebook that we provided to your family.  The survey will close on May 22.

Budget and School Board Election - The 2020-21 Budget Vote and School Board Election will take place on June 9.  All voting will take place via absentee ballot.  Ballots will be mailed to the homes of qualified voters.  If you do not receive a ballot in the mail and would like to vote, please contact the Clerk of the Board through Let’s Talk or by emailing  morrism@schenectady.k12.ny.us  Information will be posted on our website.

Parent Support Circles – The Schenectady City School District School-Based Crisis Prevention Team is holding Parent Circles to help you adjust and navigate through the world of social-distancing while allowing for self and family care.  We realize you might be overwhelmed with everything going on and that it might be difficult to find balance in your life.  Our team is here to help and support you.  Virtual Parent Circles will be held now through June 12 as follows:

Monday:  2 – 3 p.m.
Wednesday:  5 – 6 p.m.
Friday 10 – 11 a.m.

Join by Google Meet:  meet.google.com/dmx-hibb-xoc
or by phone +1 315-924-2099 PIN 838 792 191#

Graduation and End-of-Year - We are waiting for guidance from the governor regarding options for high school graduation.  Our high school team is working hard to explore a variety of options for this important celebration.  We are also looking for thoughts and ideas from others about how we can make this day special.  Look for the thoughtexchange on our website and please share your thoughts and ideas.   We recognize the significance of graduation and want to ensure that our seniors are recognized and celebrated for achieving this milestone.   We are also developing plans for closing out the year, including a plan for students to pick up any items that they may have left in school or their lockers.  We will provide you with more information soon.

U.S. Census – If you haven’t already, please don’t forget to complete the U.S. Census.  You can respond online:  https://2020census.gov/  This is important information that drives funding to our school district for critical services and programs. 

We will continue to provide you with information as it becomes available.  Please make sure that we have your correct phone number on file and please check the website for updates often.

If you have questions or concerns, please submit them through Let’s Talk at any time.  We have a team behind each topic, ready to respond and support you.

Thank you for your cooperation and ongoing support.

Sincerely,

Dr. Aaron T. Bochniak
Acting Superintendent of Schools

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