February 11, 2022
Hello North Rockland Families,
The first full week of February in NRCSD has been full of learning, engagement, and of course, fun-filled events!
I watched and was impressed by our students and athletes' positive energy and exemplary skills displayed during the Districts' Upper Elementary Spelling Bees, school building Winter Olympics and Concert, League Championship competitions, and more. This week I'm more grateful than ever to witness children participating in person. If there is one positive outcome from the last two years of dealing with COVID, it is how much we now appreciate the everyday activities in life. As our future returns to a greater level of normalcy, we continue to work together to provide every opportunity possible for our students!
Last Friday, our school community again enjoyed a good, old-fashioned snow day! While our goal is to have students in the classroom whenever possible, sometimes students and faculty need to bask in the fun of a traditional snow day. It's a North Rockland Tradition that rejuvenates our kids as they play outside, sip hot cocoa, sleigh ride and spend time with loved ones. That being said, now that we have used three allotted snow days for the school year, we will transition to remote days in the event of inclement weather. In today's update, parents can find more information on that policy under Important Information.
While the indoor mask mandate has expired in New York for businesses and workplaces, Gov. Kathy Hochul is leaving the requirement for masks in schools in place, at least for now. She has advised school districts that state officials would revisit the school mask mandate in early March after students return from midwinter break, and officials have an opportunity to analyze case numbers in schools and distribute test kits to students.
I completely understand how the frequent changes to rules and regulations this year can be frustrating, and I ask for your continued patience as we navigate decisions that are often beyond our control together as a school community.
While the mask mandate remains in effect in all NYS Schools, including NRCSD, we anticipate it will be reevaluated or could even be retracted and left up to local control come March. At that time, masks will become optional for all students and staff in all our school buildings. The District intends to comply with the mask requirement while it remains a mandate. Ignoring this mandate is considered breaking the law and could lead to monetary and legal sanctions that would negatively affect our school community.
I ask that as we prepare for another transition during this unprecedented pandemic that we all remain caring and respectful of others. Regardless of where you stand on the masking and other NYS requirements, please know that the best, tried, and true ways we can get through challenges are NRStrong and NRTogether.
If you feel strongly about the rules and regulations that districts are required to follow such as the mask mandate you can let your voice be heard by sending letters to elected officials.
Senator James Skoufis
55 West Railroad AveBuilding 24, Suite A2
Garnerville, NY 10923
The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Betty Rosas Commissioner of Education
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
In closing I just want to reiterate how proud I am of our students, their families, and our entire staff as we have persevered during unimagined and uncertain times.
Where we are the last two weeks
Where we were at our height
Snow Day Update
As you are aware, the North Rockland Central School District has used our three (3) emergency closing days that were built into the 2021-2022 District Calendar. On each of these inclement weather days, the District utilized a traditional snow day and did not have remote instruction for students.
Moving forward, it is my intent to use “Remote Learning Days” when it is determined that weather conditions warrant a school closure. To prepare for the possibility of Remote Learning Days, you should remind your child to:
- Bring home their devices daily
- Ensure that they have a private place in your home to participate in school
- Have access to internet connectivity.
Those whose children do not have internet access should complete the form linked here to be assigned a hot spot.
***Please note that while it is my intent to utilize Remote Learning Days when appropriate, certain factors such as widespread power outages may prohibit the District from doing so on specific days. I would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation and support in ensuring that the District is prepared for all learning possibilities throughout the remainder of the winter.
Free Test Kit Distribution Update
The District continues to be afforded an extensive supply of free Rapid Home Antigen test kits that the Rockland Department of Health (RCDOH), in cooperation with our partners at Rockland BOCES, has delivered to be distributed to all interested North Rockland families.
Requested test kits can be picked up with photos id at our testing site at 65 Chapel Street, Garnerville Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am to 7pm. You will see signs for COVID testing. Please pull up to that area and a security guard will assist you. Test kits will also be available at various District events.
***Please note these tests cannot be used as clearance to return to school or work if an individual is symptomatic. A student or staff member who was symptomatic can only return to school or work with a written report from a rapid antigen test, PCR test, or a doctor's note with an alternative diagnosis.
North Rockland EdTech Policy
Schooling in 2022 is both high-tech and high-touch.
With the rise of remote learning, the District's transition to utilizing edtech enabled our school community to maintain learning through unimagined uncertainty and interruption.
Chrome books are now a vital resource for instruction. 1-on-1 technology has become standard, many students bring their devices with them daily. Wear-and-tear and mishaps are going to happen. In North Rockland, the District replaces the device if there's a problem. "It's not at the cost of the individual child or family."
The district built in a buffer with extra devices for damaged, broken and lost devices and took precautions to stem damage. NR also passed out cases, or skins, to help keep Chromebooks safe and teachers talk about proper care. Younger kids don't have to bring them in every day.
"Losing some devices is part of the cost of doing business in this way," Superintendent Dr. Kris Felicello said. "Previously kids would lose textbooks."
Felicello added that "We didn’t feel it would be in our community’s best interest to track down those families" whose kids turned in broken devices. "Economic struggles are magnified during a pandemic."
Thank you to Journal News/lohud Journalist Nancy Cutler for speaking with our Superintendent about the Districts' policy. Full article link.
NRCSD Budget Information - Updated
The Board of Education and Administration, District and Superintendent have a shared goal to provide our students with an exemplary experience while controlling taxes for our community. We understand the fiscal challenges that living in Rockland County pose which is why they are collaboratively working to control taxes for the third consecutive year. The latest 2022-23 school budget presentation can be found linked here.
As always, our budget fully supports the curriculum, instruction, and professional development that addresses the needs of all learners. Our budget also includes the expanded use of certain “green technologies” and facility improvements to enhance our learning and working environments while achieving real cost savings. The District is planning and analyzing the best approach to utilize COVID and Capitol funds to upgrade facilities and opportunities for students. These include:
Outdoor learning spaces
Climate control and upgraded air filtration
Athletic facility upgrades
Before and after school programs
Expanded fields trips
Expanded course offerings
Work study programs
Stayed tuned there is more to come on this groundbreaking, exciting work and what our five year plan will look like soon!
National School Counselor Week
NRCSD celebrated National School Counselor Week with a special appreciation spread of treats!
While the roles of these caring individuals looks different at each grade level, they all share one mission, to advocate for students needs! No matter the circumstances, our team is always there.
This year our counselors took an additional role by supporting elementary, middle and high school students not only in-person but in NR's Remote Academy. Whether choosing to meet virtually, scheduling an in-person meeting, or communicating through google classroom, our team of counselors ensured virtual leaners were both checking in and staying on track.
"The counselors have been working collaboratively with all the Remote Academy's teachers and myself to stay in touch with our kids." explained Principal Jim Mulligan. "It's been a great combination of teamwork and success for the students and school community. The whole operation runs very smoothly."
Let's make some noise one more time for our wonderful school counselors who make each day BetterTogether! Thank you for being awesome!
Upper Elementary Spelling Bees
The word of the day is.. success!
Can you use it in a sentence?.. "The #RedRaiders had tremendous success onstage at North Rockland's Spelling Bees!"
This year marked the return of one of our favorite #NR traditions, the District's in-person Spelling Bees! Today, Haverstraw Elementary hosted our third and final upper elementary bee for 2022.
Over the last two weeks of resumed competition at #HES, Farley and Willow Grove Elementary, grades 4,5, and 6, learners have been fiercely facing challenging rounds of spelling and vocabulary questions with special spectators in attendance. Other supporters were able to cheer on the spellers from their classrooms “Watch Parties” complete with treats and popcorn as the event was also live-streamed to the entire student body.
The last competitor standing took home the trophy, the title, and the glory of being crowned the best speller in each school. The top finishing students from each grade level also will move on to the #NRCSD Championship Spelling Bee coming up on March 8. The winner of that championship will earn an all expenses paid spot to move on to the regional competition in Washington DC.
Congratulations to our WINNERS:
Farley - David Douge
Willow Grove - Paige Patterson
Haverstraw - Mahibah Waheedullah
Up next are the lower elementary bees, which kick off next week. So.. stay tuned!
Use the links below to have your own watch party #NRTogether!
FES Bee - https://youtu.be/atArwyW3nxQ
HES Bee - https://youtu.be/gcMouLJ7Aw8
WGES Bee - https://youtu.be/vlGzy0kBsXk
Spring Sports Registration
The spring sports for North Rockland High School will begin Monday March 14, 2022. Online registration will open on Monday February 14, 2022. Student-athletes should register online and check in with a nurse.
NRHS student-athletes who need a physical can receive one, free of charge, at Urgent Care
in West Haverstraw.
Click here for NR Online Registration
Another day, another NR title!
Saturday the Red Raiders competed in the Section 1 Class AA indoor track and field championships at The Armory. With 13 schools scoring, North Rockland captured the girls team title with 129 points! Introducing the 2022 Section 1 Champions! Take a bow ladies.
Check out all the events and winners linked here.
Red Raiders Finish Undefeated!
Girls and Boys Bowling
The North Rockland Varsity Bowling Teams have worked so hard all season! Both the boys and girls team closed out their seasons UNDEFEATED with a final win against Clarkstown CSD!
Girls and Boys Basketball
NR Athletics Store
The NR Athletics Department wanted to offer everyone access to purchase our Athletics apparel and support our Red Raiders. The Athletics Department is proud to provide a unique online store that offers a variety of athletic apparel, with a portion of the proceeds of each sale going towards funding programs, equipment, and more for athletes. Even shipping is available, so please check it out. We appreciate you helping us get the store off the ground.
NR Athletics Online Store link - NOW OPEN!!!
For more info on Athletics, visit the NR Athletics homepage linked here.
Be sure to follow our Twitter @NRockathletics for all the latest sports action!
LocalLiveWant to watch remotely? No problem! The District has partnered with LocalLive, allowing most of our athletic contests to be live-streamed and recorded. Missed a game this week? Watch it on our LocalLive channel by clicking here.
NR Goes Green
Green Tips for Spring Break!
Spring break is right around the corner! As you plan your vacation activities, remember to think of your impact on the environmental, local businesses, and the community.
1.Transportation - Going on a trip? Rent hybrid vehicle or bike to get around. Opt for your bike when traveling around town too. Carpool when you can!
2. Activities - Try to plan low-impact activities such as: biking, hiking, canoeing, paddle boarding, swimming, unplugging, going outside and more are less harmful on the environment.
3. Camping - Camping is a great low-impact way to enjoy a vacation!
4. Prep - Before leaving on a trip, be sure to close your blinds, unplug appliances, and turn down your heat to save on energy
5. Choose Reusable - Pack lunches in reusable containers and beverages in reusable bottles to avoid waste as you travel!
NRCSD Universal Pre-Kindergarten & Full-Day Pre-K Program Application Notice
In recent weeks there have been several changes to the guidance, protocols, and mandates regarding the management of COVID. NR has implemented the following updated guidance for our schools.
Quarantine is for individuals who have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus through close contact with someone who is infected, but has not tested positive for COVID-19 and does not have symptoms.
What has changed in regards to quarantines?
- The quarantine period has been reduced from ten days to five days.
- Students who we can not confirm had direct contact will not be required to quarantine; however, they will be notified that they may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID.
- Students who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine unless they experience symptoms.
- Students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to quarantine for five days from their point of exposure if they do not experience symptoms. They should be sure to wear a well fitted mask in public spaces for five additional days from their quarantine.
This adjustment will primarily affect school transportation and unstructured locations such as lunch rooms. Under the previous requirements, any student who was suspected of being a direct contact were mandated to quarantine, causing many students to miss time at school even though they may not have been exposed.
North Rockland will notify parents if an individual on their child’s bus has tested positive. Those students will not be required to miss school if they remain symptom free. In these situations, we will ask parents to closely monitor their symptoms and avoid coming in contact with high risk folks.
Isolation is for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, even if they don't have symptoms.
How long must my child remain out of school if they are required to Isolate?
- Isolation ends after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).
- After leaving your isolation, you must continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.
- Students may return to physical education and/or athletics after their isolation period ends with a doctor’s note. Students unable to obtain a doctor's note may return 10 days after isolation as long as they have not been treated with prescribed medication for COVID-19 or were admitted to the hospital.
It is North Rockland's philosophy to adjust our plan after information provided has been vetted. In the weeks to come, our COVID management strategy may change based on the information that is provided and what makes sense for our school community.
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On November 2, 2021, following the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization (EUA) on October 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice’s (ACIP’s) recommendation for children ages 5-11 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is the first authorized vaccine permitted in this age group. All children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive a two-dose primary series of the pediatric formulation Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, effective immediately. Parents or guardians with questions about the vaccine are encouraged to talk to their child’s pediatrician or another trusted healthcare provider.
NYSDOH Pediatric Vaccine Guidance is linked here.
Upcoming Rockland County Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics that will offer Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric doses for 5- to 11-year-olds.
To make an appointment at an RCDOH clinic, visit http://rcklnd.us/covid19. Appointments are strongly encouraged. You may walk into any clinic without an appointment, but you may need to wait. See the attached for more details.
To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the RCDOH Clinic, click here.
The Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) is participating in New York State’s #VaxToSchool campaign! Starting October 19th, youth ages 12 to 17 will get a gift card with a first and/or second COVID-19 vaccine at a RCDOH COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Sun River has informed us that they are providing immunizations, COVID-19 vaccinations, physicals, and child health insurance assistance. All of these services are available for #NRCSD students and school community members. To make an appointment, please call (845) 659-2436 or visit https://www.sunriver.org/.
Free emotional-support service offered by NYS
**Visit the New York State Am I Eligible webpage or Vaccines.gov to find a vaccine near you. For questions, more information, or if you need assistance scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, call 845-238-1956 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.
NR Weekly Positive Case Report
***NRCSD continues to work tirelessly to ensure that all health and safety protocols are working effectively. It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to make sure all safety protocols are followed at all times—in and out of school— so we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We must work together in partnership—schools, families, and students—and be mindful of the great responsibility we all have to protect ourselves and those around us. This virus can be present without any symptoms. That fact alone can lead to the unintentional infection of others.
School Meal Information
School Meal Sign up!
Red Raider Reminder
NR students who enroll in the free/reduced breakfast & lunch program qualify for college application fee waivers, free ACT and SAT exams and reduced AP exam registration fees! To qualify please complete the Free or Reduced Price Meal Application Form linked here as soon as possible.
Join the NRCSD Family!
Food Service Helpers
The North Rockland (Haverstraw-Stony Point) Central School District is seeking candidates for Food Service Helper positions at various school buildings for the 2021-2022 school year. The starting rate of pay is $14.00/hour. Apply here