3-23-2020 HCS UPDATES DURING EXTENDED CLOSING DUE TO COVID-19

Dear Honeoye Central School District Community,

 

It is difficult to imagine that only a mere few weeks ago we were operating under a vastly different lens: planning for less than 15 weeks left of instruction, hiring for vacancies, readying for field trips, spring athletics and performances, preparing for capital project work, contemplating 2020 commencement, and MANY other educational and operational facets of our work at HCS.  Now COVID-19 has arrived, front and center, and its impact is omnipresent. We have shifted from a "what if" stance to the management of a new reality.

 

Honeoye Central School District will be closed from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, April 3. Spring Break is scheduled for Monday, April 6 and runs through Monday April 13. At this time, we anticipate welcoming HCS students back to school on Tuesday, April 14. In the event that this timeline is altered in any way due to State or Federal Executive Order,  Honeoye Central School District will communicate with our community via email, ConnectEd robocall, and on the website. 

 

I am reaching out to you this evening to provide you with updates and reminders which I believe will have tremendous utility for you during our extended school closing: 

 

Continuity of Instruction, Meals and Operations at HCS

Honeoye Central School District has developed a multi-phase response to the extended school closing due to COVID-19:

  • Phase I Response (Week Ending 3/13) - Planning for continuity of meals, instruction, operations
    • Thank you to all of our incredible teaching and support staff for their flexibility and efforts in planning for and preparing instructional materials on Friday, 3/13 and Monday, 3/16, in anticipation of continuity of instruction for all of our HCS students!
  • Phase II Response (Week Ending 3/20) - Implementation of plans for continuity of meals, instruction, and operations:
    • HCS offered families the opportunity to pick up students’ instructional materials at the Honeoye Central School District on Tuesday, 3/17/2020 between 9:00 - 3:00 and 5:00 - 7:00. The community response was strong and positive. At day's end, there remained only 15 packages at the ES level and 15 packages at the HS level left for distribution! A plan for delivery of these materials to student homes was developed and executed. Kudos to our clerical, transportation and administrative personnel members who brought this plan to fruition.
    • Our Food Service Director, Sheila Lowe, collaborated with our Business Official, Mike Bastian, to launch the HCS Meal Plan program on 3/18/2020. "Grab and go" meals (breakfast and lunch) are available daily for pick up at school by families between 10:00 - 12:00.   Please note: If you would like to receive meals for your child(ren) while Honeoye Central School is closed, please access this link and complete a brief GoogleForm to help us prepare to serve those interested 
      • If you have any questions regarding the meals or the pick-up process not answered within this posting, please email Meals@honeoye.org and a staff member will respond to your question.
    • Many thanks to Gary Shaffer and the entirety of our Facilities and Maintenance crew who worked tirelessly this week to ensure our HCS campus has been thoroughly deep cleaned and disinfected!
    • honeoye.org now contains a COVID-19 Updates link for ease & ready access to information specific to the COVID-19 HCS district response and extended closing. Thank you to Michelle Meyer for crafting this page and for working closely with the district to update on nearly a daily basis.
    • Effective, 3/17/2020, and until further notice, “essential” personnel ONLY may access campus facilities. Essential personnel are those who are needed for the “response to the COVID-19 emergency” and continuity of operations.
    • Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES has put together a list of regional childcare facilities to assist essential health care workers and first responders in finding childcare while school is not in session. Please access https://twitter.com/WFL_BOCES for more information.
  • Phase III Response (Beginning week ending 3/27, and period in effect TBD) - Monitoring, adapting, and enhancing district plans for continuity of meals, instruction and operations
    • This will include planning for additional instructional materials for students in the event of an extended closing beyond 4/3.
  • Phase IV Response - Planning for recovery and return to normal operation upon school reopening

NYS Testing in Grades 3 - 8 Suspended

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) shared a memorandum on 3/20/2020 indicating that they would be suspending all NYS Elementary- and Intermediate-Level State Assessments for the remainder of the school year in response to the statewide closures of schools and districts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The suspension of exams applies to the following State testing programs:

  • New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Tests
  • New York State Grades 3-8 Mathematics Tests
  • New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test
  • New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test
  • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12
  • New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school

SED commented that the focus of effort is local school and community needs and not preparing for State assessments. NYSED has applied for federal waivers for testing, accountability, and reporting requirements.  Please note: NYSED is continuing to closely monitor the situation and will provide guidance on the Regents examinations in the near future.

 

Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations

AP Central has released the following information specific to the administration of the 2020 AP examinations:

"Through our members across the country, we understand the new time constraints on everyone in the education community. These solutions are meant to be as simple and lightweight as possible for both students and teachers — without creating additional burdens for school leaders during this time.

  • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.
  • Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates.

The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3. We'll also unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam."

More information surrounding administration of the AP exams will be shared with our HCS students and families as it becomes available. 

Glenn Miller Event and MS Band Trip to Cedar Point Cancelled

The Glenn Miller Orchestra concert scheduled for Thursday, April 23 has been POSTPONED by the GMO and we would like to RESCHEDULE it. The GMO has offered to reschedule the performance in April 2021.  Any tickets sold for the April 23 date will be rescheduled for the makeup date, and we can also issue direct refunds if people are unable to come to the rescheduled performance.  More information will be forthcoming from Brian Wilkins as it becomes available.

The Middle School Band trip to Cedar Point, scheduled for May 8-9 has been cancelled.  On Monday, Cedar Point announced they would not be opening their park until mid-May at the earliest.  Mr. Wilkins has contacted our travel company, who indicated that they should be able to refund most or all of our money. More information will be forthcoming from Brain Wilkins as it becomes available.

HELPFUL REMINDERS FOR FAMILIES

Additional Nutritional Supports

School Related Medical and Health Inquiries

  • For additional information about COVID-19, I would invite you to review the materials linked below from the NYS Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control. 
  1. CDC’s dedicated 2019-nCoV website at https://www.cdc.gov/nCoV.
  2. NYSDOH’s dedicated 2019-nCoV website at https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
  3. NYSDOH directory of local health departments https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/
  4. New York State Center for School Health website at www.schoolhealthny.com
  • You may also reach out to our school nurse, Marybeth Tonkery via email at mtonkery@honeoye.org if you have any questions about this information or in the event you have a school related medical or health concern.

Continued Usage of NPIs (Non Pharmaceutical Interventions)

  • During the extended school closing, it is likely that your children may want to engage in social activities such as get togethers, sleep overs, and play dates.  Please consider current guidance specific to social distancing when making plans.
  • Additionally, please adhere to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommendations for minimizing the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • While sick, limit contact with other people as much as possible.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
    • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Voluntary home isolation when students are sent home ill. Students should remain at home when ill, except to obtain medical care or necessities

Mental Health/Counseling Services

  • Our HCS psychologists and counselors have provided the following  information related to mental health/counseling services.   
  • For all students in K-12, we have several phone numbers/text lines to contact for support.  If a student is at-risk for self-harm or harming others, contact 911 right away. If a student is struggling and needs to talk, here are resources available 24/7:
    • Life Line: 877-356-9211
    • 1-800-SUICIDE
    • 1-800-273-TALK
    • Text HOME to 741741
  • 2-1-1 USA National 
    • Services: Crisis + Emergency, 
    • Disaster Assistance, Food, Health, Housing + Utilities, Jobs + Support, Reentry, Veterans
  • In the event that schools are closed for an extended period of time, please utilize community resources as warranted.

Technology Supports

  • The technology department will be able to supply a limited amount of remote technology support for students as they are utilizing district devices for remote learning during the period of extended school closure.
  • The district has created an email address for use during the duration of this situation.  Students should direct inquiries to support@honeoye.org. Please note, while this address will be actively monitored, responses may take up to 24 hours.
  • Effective immediately and throughout the extended closing, our Honeoye technology department will not be able to complete onsite computer repairs.

Updates and Communication

  • The COVID -19 situation remains fluid and rapidly evolving. 
  • As new information impacting HCS becomes available, updates will be communicated via email, ConnectEd calls, social media and on the webpage.  

COVID-19 has certainly impacted us, but it does not need to define us. Please continue to lift each other up and to provide support for one another. Heartfelt thanks to the entirety of the Honeoye Central School District community for the support, flexibility and patience over the last week while HCS planned for and executed an extended emergency closing due to COVID-19. The graciousness, spirit, empathy and resolve that is characteristic of HCS is exactly what does and will continue to define us. #wearehoneoye

 

Warmest Regards,

Bridget Ashton

Elizabeth Bridget Ashton

Superintendent, Honeoye Central School District

8528 Main Street

Honeoye, New York 14471

Bridget.Ashton@honeoye.org

On Twitter: @EBridgetAshton

 

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