LATEST UPDATES FROM THE DISTRICT

SCHOOL CLOSURE
 All schools are CLOSED from Monday, March 16 through Monday, April 13 due to a Broome County State of Emergency in response to coronavirus, COVID-19. More details for families will be added to the website as they become available.
All district playgrounds, fields, courts, the track and outdoor facilities are CLOSED until further notice by order of the County Executive.

LATEST UPDATES FROM THE DISTRICT

March 24, 2020 Superintendent's Update

Maine-Endwell School Community Update to the COVID 19 Pandemic

EDUCATIONAL CONTINUITY:

The US Department of Education provided states the option of eliminating testing requirements for grades 3-8.  NYSED has issued an official notice to all school districts all NYS 3-8 Assessments are cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year.  We are appreciative of this decision as it eliminates concerns over lost instructional time and student achievement. 

As for NYS Regents examinations, there has not been any guidance yet.   We fully expect guidance from NYSED on this in the coming days / weeks.   As for grades for quarter 3 and potentially quarter 4, Mrs. Julie Gallagher, Director of K-12 Instruction, is working with other districts in our region on a plan.  We have been told by NYSED that this is a ‘local decision’.  We will be working with our faculty to determine grades and hope to have answers for students and parents shortly.

Building principals are checking in with faculty and students, assessing resource needs, and providing support as needed.  All administrators are meeting daily (via live stream) to review needs, answer questions, and provide guidance.  One area we have brought up is technology distribution EK-5.   The decision initially was not to distribute because of a host of concerns however we are reviewing this especially if we go beyond April 13th.   

 
Special student needs including mental health, related services, and students with disabilities are being reviewed daily.  Mrs. Vanessa DuBrava, Director of Special Education, is working with regional colleagues to ensure we are meeting federal and state expectations.  Guidance is coming from the federal government and NYSED.  Regarding mental health needs, various resources have been shared including our website and our school social workers, psychologists, and counselors are available to address needs on a case by case basis.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to them with questions.

FOOD SERVICE:

We continue to see an increase in meals served.   As of today, we are averaging over 1000 meals daily.  Beginning March 30th, we plan on providing meals twice a week – Monday and Thursday.   Enough meals will be provided each day to cover the week.   This is in response to the mandate to limit exposure if at all possible.   New locations are posted on our website.  If you are unsure, please contact the District Office at 754-1400.

CHILD CARE:

Part of Governor Cuomo's first executive order was for schools to provide child care for essential employees if necessary.   Broome County has expanded their child care offerings in response and allowing school districts to utilize these sites for purposes of complying with the Governor's order. The District is not opening a building or providing child care in-district.  However, if we are requested to do so by the Office of Emergency Services, we have a community provider who has available space.   

DISTRICT CONTINUITY:

Governor Cuomo's second executive order restricts who can report to work.   School District functions are considered essential and thus we are not included in these orders IF they are for purposes of providing food service, child care, or educational continuity (limited).  Thus, we have reduced our staff levels to the following through April 13th:

  • Food service - as needed.
  • All Buildings - where applicable, everyone is working from home
  • Transportation - where applicable, everyone is working from home
  • District Office – Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent are reporting to work.   Cleaning / sanitizing services are being maintained in the DO, Food Service, and IT areas as needed and our Maintenance Supervisor is providing logistical support for all buildings.  District Office staff are working from home and answering phone calls and responding to emails.

BOARD OF EDUCATION / BUDGET WORKSHOPS:

The Board of Education will conduct its regularly scheduled Budget Workshop and Regular Meeting on 3/26 and 4/9 via live stream.  We will be restricting access to meetings to only Board members and essential district staff.  All OML procedures will be followed.  More information will be forthcoming regarding accessing the meeting on our website.

THANK YOU:

While we recognize the immense stress and hardship this event has caused, we are learning a lot about our ability to adapt and overcome.   I shared the following quote from Winston Churchill with our faculty and staff last week as it sums up our goal during this pandemic: 

“An optimist see the opportunity in every difficulty”

To our parents and community members who are on the frontline of this pandemic, we thank you for your selfless dedication to serving our community.  Thank you for protecting all of us and putting service over self.

Sincerely,

Jason

March 19, 2020: Superintendent's Update

Good Morning All:

We are off and running!  While we are working through some logistical challenges (which we expected early on), some information for you:

1. EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS WILL BE POSTED BY 3PM TODAY (per Brenda Potsko). Please pass this along.

2. I want to clarify the role of our Building Principals during this closure:
WHILE SCHOOL IS CLOSED:

• Building Principals are responsible for the implementation of all instructional continuity and will be working with their faculty to address any / all questions. 

• Building Principals will be communicating with their faculty daily to address questions and provide support. You may communicate with your building principal by email as they are available 8AM to 3PM.

• Building Principals will communicate with the District Office regarding additional resource needs, etc. 

3. The role of the District Office during the school closure:

• Building Principals will report any major disruptions, needs, challenges, etc., for a district-wide coordinated approach. For example, if we identify the need for technology resources, this will be addressed from our Informational Technology team and not left to each building to address.

• Instructional questions, social / emotional support questions, student need questions (for example) will flow through your Building Principal who will determine the next course of action.

As a former social studies teacher, I have wondered what living through a significant world event must have been like… and while 9/11 gave us a glimpse, this is truly a historical national / world epidemic.   We need to breathe, relax, clear our heads, and make sure that we don’t lose sight of what we are trying to accomplish.   My new favorite quote:

“Patience, you try to have it / keep it, but it comes and goes”

Thank you everyone for what you are doing and for having patience and understanding – it is appreciated.

Jason

March 17, 2020: Superintendent's Update

Dear Maine-Endwell Families,

Some highlights of activity in the District:

EDUCTIONAL CONTINUITY:  Our instructional staff worked very hard today to develop educational plans for your children. Materials will be posted on our website and should be available by the end of the day Thursday.   

FOOD SERVICE:  We have provided over 200+ meals today and expect the number to continue upward.  

MENTAL HEALTH:  Our guidance counselors, school psychologists, and social workers met to provide resources for you and your child. Do not hesitate to reach out to them as needs arise or if you need additional resources or support.   

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these stressful times.

Very Sincerely,

Jason

March 16, 2020 Superintendent's Update

Maine-Endwell School Community:  UPDATE ON COVID 19 RESPONSE              

Good evening everyone.   I will provide a daily update of important changes and answer to common questions that we receive.

FOOD SERVICE:   Huge THANK YOU to our Food Service staff who worked Sunday and Monday morning to be ready to serve meals.  Over 100 meals were provided to students and families.   We have an abundance of food if you are in need.  IMPORTANT:  If you are unable to pick up food at designated times, we are (1) looking at new areas to have food for pick up, (2) will give a neighbor or  friend food for you if possible / more convenient, and (3) working on plans for individual deliveries (for extraordinary circumstances).   Please reach out with your request and we will make every effort to accommodate you.  IMPORTANT:  Food service will continue Monday-Friday, beginning 3/16 through 4/10 (longer if needed) at the locations already designated.

EDUCATIONAL CONTINUITY:  Our faculty will be providing resources and materials for your children starting later this week.   Your building principals will be assisting faculty with the dissemination and logistics.   We are going to make the best effort we can at providing resources and support but please understand this will not be a ‘continuation’ of the curriculum.  At best, our focus will be on maintaining what has been learned so that reintegration back to school is manageable.   The New York State Department of Education will be providing additional guidance on NYS assessments and Regents examinations.   Locally, we will be discussing how to handle gradebooks, marking periods, etc.   We guarantee that no students will be negatively impacted (grades) as a result of this closing.

STUDENT NEEDS:   While there may be an assumption that students are enjoying the time off, we know this is not true for all.  If your child is anxious over the closure, a few tips to help include: (1) Keep to a routine.  If your child is used to going to bed and waking up at specific times, keep them on schedule; (2) Find a book that they enjoy and encourage them to read.  Reading keeps your brain active and keeps vocabulary acquisition occurring; (3) Encourage exercise, walking, and / or outdoor activity.  Stress relief through exercise, activity, or engagement with the outdoors provides stimulus that can release important chemicals in our brains that help ‘override’ our fears.  You know your child best and if there are activities that help them stay on routine or engaged in learning, anything will help.

ACCESS TO BUILDINGS:   Beginning March 18th, 2020, buildings will be on full lockdown.  All Staff will be working from home.   More information will be forthcoming regarding communications with your child’s teachers, however, all other questions can be forwarded to the District Office by calling 607-754-1400 x2311 or via email at [email protected].

Very Sincerely,

Jason

Jason R. Van Fossen,
Superintendent of Schools
Maine-Endwell Central School District
712 Farm to Market Road
Endwell, NY 13760
607-754-1400 x2311
[email protected]

3/15/2020: School closure, meal distribution, academics, retrieval of essential items

Maine-Endwell Community,

Due to the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, the Maine-Endwell School District has been directed by Broome County to close our schools, and prohibit all public access to our school facilities from Monday, March 16, 2020, through Monday, April 13, 2020 as a way to reduce social gathering and to create social distancing. There are no known cases of the virus in the district at this time.

No extra-curricular activities, athletics and events will take place during the closure.

We recognize that this may be an inconvenience to our families, but our primary concern is the health and wellness of all students, staff and community members. The district has been in communication with local health department officials who have provided guidance.

It is our hope that this closure will provide time to help stop the spread of illness. Cleaning of buildings will be taking place during the closure.

We plan to open on our regular schedule on April 14, 2020.

ACADEMIC INSTRUCTION: Staff will be coming into school this week to develop K-12 plans for educational continuity.  More information will be provided later this week.

BREAKFAST/LUNCH SERVICE: Drive up food service will be provided for students’ meals,  Monday through Friday. The district will provide two meals a day, breakfast and lunch. Both meals will be distributed at the same time. Pick up of both meals will take place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at two locations, Maine Memorial and the High School. However, please note that meals can be picked up at any of the Broome-Tioga school locations. CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE LIST OF DISTRIBUTION LOCATIONS.

If you have special needs or need help receiving meals, please call the Superintendent’s Office, 754-1400, ext. 2311.

RETRIEVAL OF STUDENTS’ URGENT, ESSENTIAL ITEMS FROM SCHOOL BUILDINGS: Students in grades K-12 will be allowed into school buildings on MONDAY, MARCH 16, FROM 3 to 7 p.m. ONLY to retrieve urgent, essential items. Students may enter the school through the building’s main entrance. They will sign in and STUDENTS ONLY will be allowed to go to classrooms or other areas. In order to limit the number of people entering the building, we please ask that students only come if there is an urgent need to retrieve essential items. We ask that students move through the building and exit quickly. Younger students will be escorted by administration. Parents will be asked to wait in the school’s lobby.

M-EALS DELIVERIES: M-EALS deliveries will take place two times during the closure. Packages will include two weeks of food in each delivery.

MORE ABOUT CORONAVIRUS, COVID-19

Exposure to COVID-19 can occur from person-to-person contact. If you have any concerns about your student’s health, we recommend contacting your medical provider. 

We encourage families to continue taking steps to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. The New York State Department of Health recommends the following:

  •      Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Heavily soiled hands should be washed.
  •      Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  •      Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  •      Stay home when you are sick.
  •      Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  •      Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

In addition, we encourage students and their families to limit the time spent among groups of other people, such as gathering at a friend’s house, shopping center or restaurant. The Centers for Disease Control advises that this can help minimize the spread of illness. 

We will continue to monitor this situation and keep families informed if any new information develops. We know this is a serious matter of great concern to many of our families Please contact Superintendent Jason Van Fossen with any questions, 754-1400, ext. 2311, or [email protected].

 Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Jason R. Van Fossen

 

Resources

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) homepage

Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Includes guidance for schools with and without COVID-19 identified in their communities.

     Handwashing: Clean Hands Saves Lives

Includes fact sheets, videos, posters and social media posts and graphics

     Pandemic Preparedness Resources

     Pandemic Flu Checklist for K-12 School Administrators,

     Get your School Ready for Pandemic Flu

U.S. Department of Education, The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools

     Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities

 

New York State Department of Health

     COVID-19 section

View text-based website