From Mr. Mahoney

4.2.2020

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April 2nd, 2020

Students and Parents/Guardians,


I hope this communication finds you healthy and successfully managing through these ever-changing circumstances. I have to say that I am amazed but not surprised by the efforts of the entire Gananda school community. The display of commitment, resilience and support should make us all feel “Gananda PROUD.” I know there are a lot of questions and unknowns at this time so I would like to provide you with some specific information/updates to the high school that will hopefully clarify and answer your questions. As Dr. Van Scoy has been emphasizing: what we share now could change at any time so please keep that in mind. As always, please feel free to contact me at mmahoney@gananda.org if you have any questions.


High School Events:

I have probably received the most inquiries about this topic and rightfully so. I understand how important events such as the prom, moving up day, senior banquet, graduation and many more are to students, parents and staff. What I can share with you at this time is that our goal is to preserve as many events as possible on the scheduled dates. If we can not, we will first look to postpone to an alternate date and if we have to cancel, we will try to find a way to replace it if possible. All efforts will be made to preserve as many events as possible.


Staying connected and support if needed:

It is important to stay connected to your friends, family, teachers and those close to you, especially in this time when we are all feeling a bit isolated and removed from our normal routines. Take time to text, call, have online video chats, or use other social media to maintain your connections with those that are important to you. I think you will find it helpful and meaningful.


If you feel that you may need some extra support, please don’t hesitate to access the Gananda Mental Health Support line at (315) 986-3521, ext. 4401 or contact one of our Mental Health Support staff through email:


Mrs. Kelleher - School Counselor - kkelleher@gananda.org

Mrs. Crelley - School Counselor - mcrelley@gananda.org

Mrs. Thoen - Social Worker - sthoen@gananda.org

Mr. Whitt - School Psychology - twhitt@gananda.org


Please continue to take care of yourself - get enough sleep at night, eat healthy food, exercise and get outside! These are all very basic ways to maintain some sort of balance in your life during a particularly stressful time.


Academic Expectations:

It is more important than ever that students stay engaged and involved in their education. The instruction and work provided is designed for students to maintain and build skills, improve content knowledge, reinforce concepts, receive feedback, and to stay on pace with the learning required to pass courses. The more that students maintain academic routines and regular work completion, the higher the likelihood that they will experience overall success.


We realize that the learning environment has changed significantly and each student is having successes and struggles. Keep in mind that teachers and counselors are available to help students through this new learning process. I can not emphasize enough the importance for each of you to engage in your school work, especially now that we will be continuing remote/online learning through spring break and up to April 15th. Your performance during this time will have a direct impact on your ability to pass your courses, final exams and regents exams. I know each of you are capable of being successful and adapting to this new way of learning as long as we all work together.


AP Courses and Exams:

The College Board, who oversees the Advanced Placement (AP) Program, made adjustments and students will only be tested on 75% of the course material. Your AP teachers have already adjusted instruction to meet this expectation. They will only introduce new material that will be tested and will then begin review for exams. Please utilize the free resources from the College Board that your teachers have and will share with you to access additional online instruction to support your current learning.


For the 2019-2020 school year only, AP Exams will be 45 minutes in length, made up of free response questions and taken online at home. We will be publishing exam dates as soon as we receive them from the College Board. The College Board will also be providing sample exam questions and practice opportunities online. Once these are released your teacher will provide access as they determine it best fits into instruction.


Gemini/College Courses:

The colleges (FLCC and MCC) have informed us that teachers must continue with coursework as normal in order for students to receive college credit. Teachers are expected to use remote/online learning to instruct, provide feedback, collect work and assess learning according to the college standards for the course. Students are expected to maintain contact with their teacher and follow all prescribed expectations.


Regents Exams:

As of the writing of this communication, the New York State Education Department has not made any changes to the administration of Regents Exams. Students and staff will continue to prepare for taking them.


Final Exams:

Final exams will take place and will be developed based on instruction that has occurred. All exams will be developed taking into consideration and making adjustments based on the impacts of the circumstances we are learning under.


I want to thank you all for your support and commitment to learning and to our school community. Keep up the good work, stay healthy and reach out if you have questions or concerns.


Thanks,

Mr. Mahoney