Jr./Sr. High School Principal’s Email Update, March 17

The following email was sent at about 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17 by the Jr./Sr. principal:

Good evening Schoharie Jr./Sr. High School Families,

Please read through this entire email. It is lengthy, but it will provide you with the most up-to-date information on the district’s plan for instruction.

What Has Already Taken Place

District Staffing Plan- The Jr./Sr. High School will be minimally staffed Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in order to receive and disseminate information and materials. ANYONE who enters the building must report to the main office when they arrive and when they depart. No one should be in the building after 2 p.m. or at any time over the weekend so as not to interfere with the cleaning and sanitizing protocol being put into place. All athletics and extracurricular activities are postponed at this time.

District Food Service Plan- We are still able to provide bagged breakfast and lunch to students in need. Meals can be picked up or delivered. This was a tremendous undertaking, and we are grateful to the MANY teachers and staff members who have volunteered to help with this process. Please call 518-295-6600 if you are in need of this service to ensure that we have enough food prepared.

Backpack/Food Pantry Program- These programs will continue to be staffed and supported while classes are not in session. The coordinators of each program will be in touch directly with the families who are involved.

District Technology Plan- Chromebooks will be available to any 7th or 8th grade student who requests one. Please stop by the main office any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. if your child is in need of a device. At this time, we do not have any more Mi-Fi mobile hotspots to loan out.

Resource Allocation- Some teachers were able to send home materials with students last week, and many more teachers came in on Monday and Tuesday to make sure that classroom materials were copied, scanned, emailed, or left in the office for pickup. I would like to recognize the tremendous effort that has already taken place. To that end, we now need to focus on the next phase of this process.

What To Expect Going Forward

I have asked our teachers to take the following steps as we work toward the successful completion of this school year:

1. Connect with students/families

2. Supply resources as appropriate

3. Provide meaningful instruction

These three expectations WILL LOOK DIFFERENT based on the subject matter and grade level of students. The following are some suggested ways that teachers can meet or exceed these expectations. This is not an exhaustive list.

Connect

Call students/families on the telephone 

Send regular emails to students/families

Post in Schoology (if you have already been active with Schoology this year) 

Send a Google Form Re: Internet access, textbook access, etc.

Supply

Share resources and materials via Schoology

Scan and email resources directly to students/families

Photocopy and leave resources in the main office (make sure that families know when materials are ready for pickup)

Use Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides) to create, share, review work

Instruct

Post lessons and activities online via Schoology regularly

Flip instruction by recording short video lessons and sharing them via email/Schoology/YouTube links

Use Google Hangouts (Video), Google Conference, or Zoom (https://zoom.us/) videoconferencing to provide live instruction or review classes if students are available to meet at certain times during the day

Other means as appropriate based on the subject matter and grade level of the students

What Now?

This is a lot to absorb at once, but it is going to be our “new normal” for the time being. Please understand that this situation is fluid and literally changes every day. At this time last week, we had men’s and women’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments and all major sports leagues in full operation. Today, we can gather in groups no larger than 50 and restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms are closed to patrons. Who knows what new developments will be in place by next Tuesday (or even by tomorrow).

At this time, we are unclear when/if the NYS 3-8 ELA and Math assessments will be administered. For students taking a Regents science course, there has already been a conversation at the state level about waiving the number of labs required to sit for the exam in June. We will address these issues as time goes on.

Thank you for everything you have done over the past few days to help ease this transition for our students. This is a difficult time for us as a school and as a community. Our chief concern will always be the health and safety of all students and staff.

We will get through this…together!

Sincerely,

Kevin T. Calacone, Ed.D.
Principal