Clarkstown Central School District
September 18, 2020
Dear Clarkstown School Community:
I hope this communication finds you and your family members in good health and spirits.
I want to take this opportunity to express my continued appreciation to all employees in the District, as well as students and parents, for our partnership in education on behalf of the students we serve.
We have now been in our 100% remote teaching model for 11 days and I appreciate the efforts being made by teachers, staff, and administrators to instruct, support, and guide our students. My visits to our schools are rewarding experiences where I see firsthand the creativity, perseverance, and passion on display as teachers work to meet the needs of our students. The important element of student and teacher connectivity should be valued and appreciated now, more than any other time, in the history of our schools.
Looking ahead, the targeted date of September 29 to begin our hybrid model, barring a major uptick in the COVID-19 infection rate, draws closer. On that topic, there were multiple presentations made last night at the Board of Education meeting that I bring to your attention in the remainder of this newsletter.
Thank you for your patience and support while we continue to navigate a Reopening to Schools that the global society has never experienced before.
Stay strong! Stay healthy!
Martin D. Cox, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Instructional Models Update
Insight was provided on the topic of Instructional Models for Remote as well as Hybrid Learning. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Susan Yom shared highlights of the current distance learning plan. She focused on the importance of Relationships, Rituals and Resilience during Remote Learning. She also noted the ongoing analysis and dialogue taking place pertaining to feedback about technology glitches, the daily schedule and screen time.
David Carlson, Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Pupil Personnel services referenced many topics including, but not limited to, asynchronous and synchronous instruction/service support, related services, professional development, evaluations and reevaluations, and Special Education Programs including STRIVE and SPIRIT.
Health and Safety Update
District Health Coordinator Sue Sherlock provided a report titled Returning to In-Person Learning: A Health Perspective. Ms. Sherlock’s update included detailed insight on the following topics: Mitigating Behaviors, Monitoring Health, Face Coverings, Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing, Travel Restrictions, Cohort/Seating/Attendance, School Nurses/Health Office, Protocols, Testing and Tracing, Rockland County Department of Health, and Visitor Protocol.
Athletic Director Dr. Chris Serra presented on the topic titled Road to Reopening Clarkstown Athletics. The presentation referenced a decision-making process involving the Stated Department of Health, New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association, and the Section I Executive Committee.
The Board of Education supported Dr. Serra’s recommendation for varsity and junior varsity “low to moderate risk athletics” to begin on September 29. Students involved in field hockey, soccer, cross country, and girls tennis will be able to try out for those sports in what is being titled a Fall Season 1. Varsity tryout outs for the sports mentioned will be conducted on September 29th and Junior Varsity tryouts will begin on October 2nd. Athletic Sign-ups will be available from the Health Services webpage. Dr. Serra provided insight about tentative plans still being discussed locally at the Section I level for a Winter Season, Fall Season 2, and Spring Season.
Dr. Serra emphasized throughout the report the numerous health and safety protocols that will be put in place for student-athletes and coaches to adhere to when practicing and competing.