Weekly Update Parents and Students

March 21, 2020

Inspiring Learners to Achieve Extraordinary Success

Federal Testing Requirements, State Grades 3-8 Assessments Suspended

The President announced yesterday that the federal government is going to waive all testing requirements. The New York State Education Department followed by announcing, "The administrations of the 2020 elementary- and intermediate-level State assessments have been suspended for the remainder of this school year. Yea!

Spring Break and Emergency Days relating with 180-day Requirement

Today we received clarification from the Governor regarding whether schools would have to utilize spring break, if we were open by then, and emergency snow days to make up for days closed due to coronavirus.

Here is the official answer:

“Districts will not need to use vacation and emergency days to make up days missed in response to Governor Order 202.4. As part of the Governor Order, school districts are required to develop and implement a plan for alternative instructional options, including distance learning. It is expected that instruction and learning will continue during the two-week period.”

This is great news and should reduce some of the concerns I know many of you had. The governor clarified that under the current Executive Order, schools are scheduled to open April 1. We anticipate the governor to declare another executive order regarding schools this coming week.

My yard this afternoon.

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Essential Workers

Yesterday, the Governor announced that 100% of non-essential workers must stay home. After consultation with our attorneys, our meals program will continue. Our tech services team/help desk will still be operating. We will have reduced clerical support to answer phones.

Remote Instruction and Learning

Teachers received these expectations from principals on Friday for Grading:

Effective today these grading practices are in effect until March 26.

  1. Any work you intend to grade should have an open deadline. No zeros.

  2. Any quizzes or tests or other assessments should be put on hold unless you have verified all students taking the assessment have Internet access and have completed any prerequisite work online prior. No exceptions. Good practice would be to wait and offer some practice or pre-assessments to make sure students are comfortable in this mode of learning.

We are working with our Internet providers to connect every student. We anticipate this being accomplished by Wednesday.

In the meantime continue to provide lessons and timely feedback. Not everything needs to be graded. Remember our students are adjusting to this type of learning like you are. Give assignments in small chunks. Displaying or assigning a week’s worth of work can be overwhelming and difficult for our students to manage. Some will thrive in this type of learning environment while others will struggle. Let’s all keep the number of kids struggling to a minimum.

Prior to March 26th the administrative team will provide an update on expectations for grading.

Meals Program Update

As the number of students requesting free meals grows, now at 278 kids, we are making plans to increase to four days per week our pick-up and deliveries. This will allow us to practice even better social distancing in our kitchen and better meet demand as the number of requests grows. You will receive a separate communication when that begins.


The New York State Education Department and New York's nine public television stations announced today that expanded educational resources and "Learn-at-Home" programming is now available for all of New York's students in response to school closings across the state.

See schedule below

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Steve Hartman Will be offering daily 30 minute lessons on Kindness

Support our local businesses in our Coxsackie -Athens community.

County Music Fans

Fans can watch the Grand Ole Opry show live at 7 p.m. on Circle, a new country music lifestyle network launched by Opry parent company, Ryman Hospitality, or for free via Circle All Access Facebook and YouTube pages. Catch the Opry radio broadcast via WSM 650 AM in Nashville or digitally at wsmonline.com.

Screen Free

With the added screen time related to school work let us all promise to try and keep our kids off screens on weekends.

It might be a little chilly outside, it is still March, but get them outside. Take a walk, spring clean the yard, ride a bike. Remember kids and adults should be practicing social distancing.


Please fill out the census that is arriving in homes now. Every person counts!

Distance Learning Resources from the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian is committed to supporting teachers and their students around the globe as they face unprecedented new learning challenges. Here, on the Learning Lab, teachers have access to millions of digital resources from across the Smithsonian's museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more.


Each of you should be receiving in the mail today information from the school district. We want to make sure families who are not on the internet are receiving the same updates. Copies of the mailing are on our website.

Hopefully, you aren't stuck in your houses too much.

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Greene County has had four confirmed cases as of Thursday. None in our district and the four are residents of downstate who are quarantining on the mountain top.

If you or a student in your household are asked to self-quarantine, or test positive for COVID-19, please contact me. Right now our school must rely on self-reporting.

Tech Services Appreciation Month

This month is tech services appreciation month. The folks who make up the IT team, Paul, Erin, Kelly, Stacey and Phil certainly earn our thanks everyday.


Social Media

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Our Why ~ To develop self-directed college and career ready students

Our What ~ Inspiring Learners to Achieve Extraordinary Success

Our How ~

  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Growth Mindset
  • Student Centered/Directed Learning
  • Digital Conversion
  • Pathways to Success