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Superintendent Update # 8: – March 21, 2020

on March 21, 2020

March 21, 2020

Dear Members of the Warwick Valley CSD Community,

First and foremost, it is my sincere hope that you and your family are safe and healthy.

As we all abide by the necessary guidelines to “flatten the curve” of the Coronavirus, and practice minimal in-person social interaction, let’s take comfort in the fact that Warwick is a caring community. We are all in this together…and we will all get through these unprecedented times together!

On March 13, we took steps to protect our most vulnerable community members by proactively closing school buildings through Monday, April 13, 2020. At the time, it was among the most extended school closures in New York State. It is now clear that Governor Cuomo will make the decision when New York schools reopen. It is very likely the Governor will order us to remain closed for an extended period.

Continuing Meal Service

We continue to reduce barriers to food access during this time. This week, our dedicated staff, along with Backpack Snack Attack volunteers, delivered hundreds of meals (breakfast and lunch). I am incredibly proud and grateful to see the long line of volunteers arrive at the school ready to provide meals to our children. Our goal is to continue this service while schools remain closed. If you can join the list of volunteers, please signup at https://backpacksnackattack.com/.

Should you need the assistance of this program, contact the office by email: lradon@wvcsd.org or jhelmrich@wvcsd.org. You may also call (845) 987-3050 x 12890/12895 if you are interested in participating. Please leave a message if no one is available to take your call.

First Responders and Health Providers
I thank our first responders and health providers for their service during this crisis. The District has identified some local and county-wide partners offering childcare to our families of first responders and health providers. We will call the families of first responders and health providers who completed our survey to share the childcare centers accepting children. Please visit the District webpage for a list of childcare centers.

Continuity of Learning
Our planning also gives considerable attention to the continuity of students’ learning to the extent feasible and appropriate. While we cannot replace the incredible daily instruction that our teachers offer in their classrooms, I am very proud of their efforts thus far. Last week, we started to provide distance learning opportunities, understanding that we will need to ramp up our plans.

Our teachers have received guidance to maximize technology use, including but not limited to:
Communication (email, phone, online conferencing, social media)
Teacher/student and student/student interaction (office hours, check-ins, peer collaboration)
Instruction (video/audio recordings of teaching, instructional materials, synchronous distance learning, asynchronous online courses)
Learning materials and content (digital content, online learning activities)

They will also use many non-technological resources to engage our students in meaningful learning.

Our teachers and administrators continue to consult with students and parents, collaborate with colleagues, attend virtual planning sessions, etc. They are working diligently to adapt to this new paradigm. In the coming days, they will continue to share more information on how to access the at-home learning opportunities. Please contact your child’s teacher via email with any questions.

A huge thank you to our incredible educators who have been unwavering in their commitment to student learning and emotional well-being during this challenging time.

Technology Support
If you have any questions related to technology or know of a student who does not have a computer/internet access, please email helpdesk@wvcsd.org. Please leave your name, phone number, email address, and a detailed message.

Google Classroom Support: Please email ykoulikov@wvcsd.org if you are having problems with Google Classroom. Click here for a parent’s guide to Google Classroom that may answer some of your questions.

Classlink: If you are having problems logging into Classlink, please click here for a How-to on logging into Classlink.

Testing Updates
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is suspending all NYS Elementary- and Intermediate-Level State Assessments for the remainder of the school year. The following is a list of Grade 3 to 8 state assessments canceled this year by the State Education Department:
New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test
New York State Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test
New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test
New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test
New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12
New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school

Regents Exams: The NYSED is continuing to monitor the situation closely and will provide guidance on the Regents examinations shortly.

Dual Enrollment/College Level Courses: Students taking college-level courses at the high school for credit will also continue to move forward with their prescribed curriculum using technology.

SAT/ACT Exams: The SAT and ACT exams are postponed/rescheduled through May. Registered students will receive an email with more information from the testing companies.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams: The College Board, which administers the AP tests, announced yesterday that the two- to three- hour exams would now be 45-minute online tests taken at home. The tests will include only questions about content teachers covered through early March. Students will have the opportunity to take the exam earlier than the usual mid-May administration dates. The College Board will offer two exam dates, which will be posted on the College Board’s website with other testing information by April 3.

Please take good care of yourself and your family.

I’ll be in touch.

Sincerely,
Dr. David Leach
Superintendent of Schools

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