Letter to Families: November 16 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians and Caregivers,

I hope that you and your family are healthy, safe and that your school year is going well. I am pleased to enclose a copy of our 2020-2021 district calendar and am providing you with important information about our district plan in the event that we have a short or long-term school closing. With the many unknowns regarding COVID-19 and the winter weather soon upon us, it is important that we are prepared and all aware of the teaching and learning plan and expectations. Please carefully review the information below.

If there is a closing that impacts your child, you will be notified.

Notification if school is closed: If school is closed for any reason, we will contact you by phone, text message and email. We will also post any updates on the district website and on all of our social media sites. Please be sure that we have a correct phone number and email address for you on file. If you don’t already receive text alerts, you can sign up from the link on our district website under the ‘parents’ dropdown.

Transition to all-virtual learning: In the event of a closing, whether it is for one day, such as a snow day, or for an unknown or extended period of time, students will transition to virtual learning. This includes students who currently attend hybrid (in- person and virtual). All-virtual learning will take place for the period of time that school is closed.

If your child currently attends all-virtual, he or she will log in to his or her classroom, as usual. There is no change to how he or she attends school.

If school is closed and your child typically attends hybrid school, all classes will be held virtually during the closure. Students will be required to log into their Google classroom or SeeSaw for daily instruction. Class instruction will be live (synchronous) and daily attendance will be taken. If you do not have information to connect to your teacher’s virtual SeeSaw and/or Google classroom or if you experience any issues, please contact your child’s teacher.

Student services: Students who attend hybrid school will continue to receive English as a New Language (ENL) services either from a co-teacher in your child’s class or through other arrangements with your child’s teacher. You will be contacted by your child’s teacher.

Speech, occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT) and psychological counseling will continue to be delivered virtually either through Google Meet or a secure therapy platform. Your child’s therapist will contact you via email, phone or your child’s Google account to confirm a schedule. If you are unable to connect with your child’s therapist, please contact your school psychologist/committee on special education chairperson. Phone numbers and email addresses can be accessed on the district website or you can use Let’s Talk. Select the area of “special education.”

Student medication: Parents, guardians and caregivers should ensure that they maintain an adequate supply of your child’s medication at home. This may mean supplying the school nurse more frequently, with fewer doses at a time. If, at the time, it appears that school will be closed for an extended period of time and circumstances permit, the nurse will make arrangements to return medications to you.

Technology and Internet access: If you have already made a request for a device, you will be contacted to make arrangements to receive the device. If you have not requested a device, but need one, please call your school and we will make arrangements to get you a device quickly.

If you do not have existing Internet access, please call your school immediately. We are providing hotspots (wifi) to families who need Internet access.

Technology issues: Please submit any questions or concerns through Let’s Talk. You can access Let’s Talk from the homepage of our district website at www.schenectady.k12.ny.us or by going to http://bit.ly/SCSDLetsTalk.

Seesaw and Google Classroom: If you have a question or are having difficulty with Seesaw and Google Classroom, that your child’s teacher cannot resolve, please submit it through Let’s Talk and select your child’s school as the area from the options.

If you have a question or are having difficulty with your device (not connecting, not powering on, not working etc), please submit it through Let’s Talk and select “technology” as the area from the options, or you can call 518-881-3967. If a technician is not available, please leave a voicemail.

Meals: If school is closed, you can pick up meals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from any district school or at any of the Meal Delivery Bus Stops at the times designated (see attached). You are not required to present tickets for meals.
When you pick up meal, you will be provided with meals for two days at a time. If you have more than one student, pick up all of your meals from one location. The Meal Delivery Bus Stop schedule is attached.

Weekend Backpack: Each school is setting up a system for how Weekend Backpacks will be distributed, in the event of school closure.

If school is closed, please look for notification from your school principal about how to receive it.

Resources: Please visit our website for technology, childcare, COVID-19 guidelines, resources and more. Remember you can submit any questions to us, at any time, through Let’s Talk.

Calendar: Please find attached our 2020-2021 calendar. While you will find school events listed on the calendar, it is important that you check with your child’s teacher or principal for any updates. Due to COVID-19, circumstances are subject to change so events on the calendar may be tentative or held virtually.

Once you open the calendar, you will quickly see that the theme this year is Anti- Racism. Our district is committed to ensuring equity and a culture of care, kindness, empathy and inclusion. You will find resources, tools, tips and messages from our students and others about how we can, and must, work together to combat racism and support our Black and brown students. I hope as you thumb through the calendar, you are moved by the inspirational and heartfelt messages and that you will find our anti-racism tools helpful.

Thank you for all that you continue to do to keep our schools safe. Please continue to follow COVID-19 protocols and procedures which include keeping your child home if he or she is not feeling well and always following the guidance of your healthcare provider. The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school or submit them through Let’s Talk.

Please check our website often for any updates. I appreciate your cooperation and partnership.


Dr. Aaron Bochniak
Interim Superintendent of Schools

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