Maine-Endwell Central School District News Article

Superintendent's Update: March 24, 2020

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

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