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Superintendent Update #11 – April 6, 2020

on April 6, 2020

Dear Members of the Warwick Valley CSD Community,

It is hard to believe that the Coronavirus has kept most of us housebound for almost a month. Maybe the first positive sign that some normalcy is around the corner is that Spring is finally here! Let’s all get outside to check out the flowers blooming, the green grass growing, and the leaves budding! 

All of us at Warwick Valley Schools thank those of you on the front line in the fight against this pandemic — the doctors, nurses, first responders, hospital and nursing home staff, and others who are risking your lives to protect all of us. You are our heroes! 

Our administration and faculty have been working nonstop transitioning from a brick and mortar to a remote school environment. We remain so proud of our students and community-at-large for supporting one another during this time. 

I continue to monitor developments daily to protect the health and safety of all community members and to keep everyone well-informed. Here’s the latest update:

School Closure Period Extended Through April 29

During his daily COVID-19 press conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would extend the school closure mandate, with schools possibly reopening on April 30. The Governor continues to reassess the pandemic crisis to determine if a more extended closure is necessary.

Board of Regents Meeting — June Regents Exams to be Cancelled

The New York State Board of Regents met by conference call this morning (Monday, April 6). Chancellor Betty Rosa announced the cancellation of the Regents Examinations for this June. She shared that information about graduation standards will be issued tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, April 7).

WVCSD Budget Vote Postponed

According to the Governor’s Executive Order 202.13, the Warwick Valley Central School District’s Annual Meeting, Election and Budget Vote, previously scheduled to occur on May 19, 2020, has been postponed until at least June 1, 2020. The district awaits further directive as to the timing, location, or manner of voting. 

NYS State Budget and School Aid

In February, the Warwick Valley Central School District cut spending by about $1.1 million in its preliminary 2020-21 budget proposal. This projected deficit assumed the district would receive the NYS aid offered in the Governor’s original plan, set before the recent economic downturn. Typically, the final adopted state budget in April includes additional state aid for the school district; however, Warwick Valley Schools’ Foundation Aid appropriated in the NYS Budget budget was less than anticipated, frozen at the same level as in 2019-20. Moreover, the NYS budget deal reached last week includes a provision for automatic reductions in state spending, including school aid, at points during the upcoming fiscal year, controlled by the Governor. This change in practice, along with the current economic downturn, creates uncertainty in revenue. Therefore, the district’s actual budget deficit remains uncertain, likely requiring further budget reductions. 

Students’ Social and Emotional Needs

Faculty are keeping all children’s social and emotional needs at the forefront of their instruction. Our school mental health clinicians (i.e., psychologists and school counselors) are to communicate, support, and refer as needed. Click on this link to access their contact information. 

 

Best regards,

David Leach 

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