From the Superintendent
West Irondequoit CSD update from Aaron Johnson
September 10, 2021
As we close an exhilarating week with students back, thank you for everything you've done to support your children and our schools. Traveling hallways and talking with students, they were enthusiastic and upbeat about the return. I believe that starts with you and your approach. Our families are engaged, communicative and action-oriented – all assets in our planning and preparation. Thank you for all the questions and ideas along the way, as they pushed our thinking and helped to create even better plans. Please keep that dialogue going throughout the year!
This week, our team has been busy planning for the next leg of state requirements, including mandatory weekly COVID-19 screen testing and offering them to students. Specifically, the NYSDOH requires that:
- All school staff are tested for COVID-19 weekly OR must provide proof of vaccination verified by the school district.
- Schools offer weekly COVID-19 screen testing to students in moderate, substantial, or high transmission zones. Students may only be tested with parent/guardian consent.
In the next two weeks, we will be collecting information from staff regarding who will be opting out of weekly testing. Also, during this time, we will survey you about which students will request weekly testing. COVID-19 screen testing will commence after gathering all information and necessary consent based on test kit availability. Location and time are to be determined and will be communicated in a timely manner.
Please contact your child's principal, me, or our COVID-19 safety coordinator Mr. James Brennan with questions.
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING INFORMATION
With all that has happened in the past 18 months, on top of what we already knew from our district-wide work with the Children’s Institute in 2019, Social-Emotional Learning has been a critical growth area for us. Those steps and our SEL “Re-entry Planning,” which is a reflection of how we can be properly positioned to support our students, is now detailed on our website at THIS LINK. As always, if you have feedback or ideas, please share it with Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Mrs. Chrissy Miga, other appropriate administrators or myself.
TEACHING, LEARNING ABOUT 9/11
This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. For many of us, we remember the experience of that day unfolding before our eyes on national television and the pain we felt. Twenty years go quickly, and in that time, we haven't forgotten the unbelievable loss of human life and the long-lasting effects of that tragic day. This past week, our K-12 staff delivered lessons to reflect on the events, teach the history, and most importantly, learn from the experience. 13WHAM-TV did a report from IHS that is scheduled to air at 6 p.m. today (Friday). Let’s join together this weekend in remembering those lives lost, everyone who courageously responded over the years and the people who continue to suffer from its impact.
NEW COMMUNICATION FORMAT
Just as families will see in our school newsletters in October, we have switched our weekly Superintendent Update to the “Smore” platform. One benefit is the “Translate” function (top right). It allows this letter to be changed into 100-plus languages. Please note: the Google translate function is not always 100% accurate due to the limitations of Google’s machine-generated translation. Still, in our diverse community it will be useful for many. You can still find prior updates at THIS LINK.
NOMINATED AS ‘BEST PUBLIC SCHOOL’
We are one of five districts nominated for Best Public School in the Democrat and Chronicle 2021 Community Choice Awards. Voting takes only a couple clicks. If you feel inclined to be “true to your school,” CLICK HERE and vote!
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools