4-18-2020 HCS Update During COVID-19 Closing

April 18, 2020


It is my genuine hope that all of you are "hanging in there" and finding moderate comfort in the time spent with family and friends (in person or remotely) during our global experience with COVID-19. As you are aware, Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that his executive order specific to the closing of non-essential businesses and schools across the state has been extended through May 15. While the message may not reflect the outcome we had our fingers crossed for, my hope is that we may each find a sliver of relief in the simple knowing. During this time more than ever, it will be important that we strive for forgiveness of ourselves and those we care most about in moments of "stress and obsess" surrounding the reality and impact of COVID-19 on our lives. There is light on the other side of COVID-19 and WE WILL OVERCOME...

HCS would like to thank all of you at home for your patience and partnership in the navigation of our shared, ever evolving COVID-19 landscape. In truth, it has been difficult to plan for the unplanned. We hope that families are settling into routines and finding moderate success with supporting distance learning from home. We also recognize that this is a “heavy lift” for students and for families.  HCS wants you to know that teachers, staff and administration are committed to supporting you and being accessible throughout the extended closing due to COVID-19. 

To frame our approach to instructional delivery and distance learning, it is important to note that moving forward with new instruction, we are focusing on the “must know” standards, or anchor standards, attached to each grade level / course. We hope to provide students the opportunity to access instruction surrounding anchor standards and to offer multiple means by which a student might demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes for units studied.  This approach is consistent with the State Education Department guidance which indicated that credit accrual for credit bearing courses should be awarded to students who have achieved learning outcomes for units of study completed.

On Wednesday, 4/15, HCS shared a Distance Learning Rubric which outlined the “HCS Approach to Grading During Extended Closing Due to COVID-19.” The rubric reflects a significant shift in grading practices for HCS. It is important for students and families to consider the following:
Effective 4/15/2020, the HCS Distance Learning Rubric is applicable for PreK-12 grading throughout the period of extended closing due to COVID-19.

  • At the Elementary School level, the HCS Distance Learning Rubric will continue to be applicable for grading upon reopening of school for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
  • At the Secondary School level, the HCS Distance Learning Rubric will be factored into the traditional grading model (mathematical weighting to be determined) upon reopening of school for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
  • At the Secondary School level, credit accrual for credit bearing courses will be awarded to students who have achieved learning outcomes for units of study completed.
  • At the Secondary School level, students at risk of not meeting minimal proficiency levels upon completion of the first three marking periods must engage in remedial learning opportunities to achieve learning outcomes for units of study completed. Teachers and administration will work with individual students and families to develop plans for remediation.
  • NOTE: Course work in Gemini, SUPA and AP classes must continue to be submitted by students and will be graded per guidance from cooperating educational institutions.

We have received many questions following the release of our Distance Learning Rubric, and as such have developed a Questions and Answers: Grading During COVID-19 Closing document.  This document may be accessed via the link above or on the district website COVID-19 Updates page. 

Honeoye Central School DistrictTown Hall Meeting, Thursday, 4/23/2020
The Honeoye Central School District will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, April 23, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m in effort to provide an update on the HCS COVID-19 related school closing. This event will be hosted through Google Meet and more information about the event will be shared next week via email. 

  • To help drive the conversation, we are asking for community member input.  The input received through this exchange will allow us to answer common questions and to identify areas of concern. The platform by which we will secure feedback is Thought Exchange. ThoughtExchange is a tool that analyzes trends and data based on the thoughts and ratings gathered. Initially, the exchange will ask you to list a thought. It is also important to go in and rate the thoughts of others and to return to the same link and to continue to rate responses until the thought exchange ends. 
  • Respondents will be asked to share their thoughts surrounding the question: How are students and families faring with the HCS Continuity of Instruction and rollout of new instruction via distance learning during the extended closing due to COVID-19? Please share identified areas of strength and areas of growth / opportunity. What else would you like us to know about the HCS extended closing response due to COVID-19?  
  • To participate and provide feedback,  please access the Thought Exchange link: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/166217200
  • Please note, responses are anonymous. Inappropriate, hurtful and off-topic responses will be removed and are deemed not appropriate for this platform or for the purpose of this outreach. Information collected will be used to allow us to better assist our students and community. We hope to use this tool again in the future, as applicable, to gather feedback from the HCS community.

At this juncture, HCS is well under way in the process to fill our Secondary Principal vacancy. Vetting of candidate credentials are scheduled for Monday, 4/20 and screening interviews will be scheduled for 4/22 and 4/23. 
HCS Secondary Principal Search Anticipated Timeline:

  • March 24 - April 20: Honeoye Secondary Principal Vacancy Application Period
  • April 3 - April 10: Internal and External Individuals Identified for Stakeholder Group Interview Committees
    • Note: Stakeholder committee groups have been identified which represent students, parents, instructional staff, HTA, and administration.
  • April 3 - April 10: Development of Honeoye High School Principal Leadership Profile
    • Note: The HCS Secondary Principal Leadership Profile has been developed based on stakeholder input. Regrettably, this information must remain confidential to ensure integrity of the hiring process.
  • April 13 - April 17: Creation of Stakeholder Interview Questions and Performance Tasks
    • Note: On 4/16, each stakeholder group had the opportunity to provide input into the development of committee interview questions.
  • April 21 - April 24: Vetting and Screening of Applicants
    • Note: Vetting of candidates by each member of the administrative team and HTA Co-Presidents is scheduled for Monday, 4/20.
  • April 27 - May 1: Stakeholder Interviews of SemiFinalists (Virtual or live)
    • Note: Semi Finalist Interviews will be scheduled for Monday, 4/27, and Tuesday, 4/28.
    • Note: Stakeholder committee groups will provide feedback and confidence ratings directly to the superintendent.
  • May 4 - May 8: Finalist Interviews with the Superintendent
  • May 20: Board of Education Appointment of HCS Secondary Principal
  • July 1, 2020: HCS Secondary Principal Start Date

It was brought to our attention that not all students were aware that they had active district email accounts. Given access to Google, each student also has access to an HCS gmail account. Please share with your child that their student login information to access their school Google account also provides them with a working school email address. Once they are logged in to their Google accounts, they can click the gmail link and enter their information (astudent@honeoye.org) and then utilize their regular login password to access email. We welcome and encourage our students to correspond via email with their teachers, counselors, support staff and administrators to best support their distance learning experience.          

First, a “thank-you” is in order to our local Subway store and franchise owner John Marrapese.  John and his staff have been providing Subway sandwiches for distribution to children receiving daily meals as they are able.  We know that families have appreciated this gesture and we do as well.  During what is a very challenging time for small business owners, John has sought to show his commitment to this community through his donation.  Please let the folks at Subway know that you appreciate their support of child nutrition in our town.

Also deserving thanks are the members of our food service department, led by Food Service Manager Sheila Lowe.  Sheila, Tracy, Colleen, Sandy and Karen continue to prepare, package and serve a variety of healthy breakfast and lunch meals to Honeoye’s children.  Our kitchen crew has served 2,222 meals to Honeoye’s youth since we began on March 18th!  We currently average approximately 60 students served per day.  (Tuesday and Thursday meals are available for pick up on Mondays and Wednesdays.)  See details below if you are interested in enrolling your children in this opportunity.  Please don’t hesitate to share information regarding this service with other district families!

Meal Schedule Moving Forward  
(10:00 - 12:00 pick up at HCS School Cafe backdoor - Rte. 20A side)
Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 
Through Friday May, 15th*

To clarify once again, meals are available to all school-age children residing within the Honeoye Central School District.  This opportunity includes resident-students who may attend private schools, out-of-district placements or are home schooled.   We are observing an “open enrollment” process so parents can register their children at any time by clicking here.  Once this three question GoogleForm is completed, recipients can come to school between 10:00 - 12:00 on the next scheduled service day (M/W/F) to receive their meals.  Specific questions or concerns can be addressed to School Business Administrator Michael Bastian at Meals@honeoye.org.

Lastly, we are sadly aware that many of our district’s families have faced economic hardship during the “NY on Pause” closings for schools and non-essential businesses.  If your family falls into this category, take a moment to consider completing the 2019-2020 Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals/Milk before students return to school to secure meal service while school is in session.  You can access the application form on the HCS website within the Food Service Department page, or by clicking here.  Please reach out to Food Service Manager Sheila Lowe at 229-5171 x3022  with any questions you may have about this process.

*If the NY State-mandated school closure continues beyond May 15th, we will remain on our M-W-F pick-up schedule.
*Continuity of Meals Update provided by HCS Business Official, Mike Bastian.

"School Lunch Hero Day" is recognized on May 1. School Lunch Hero Day was designed and is intended to provide the opportunity for school districts and communities to "showcase the difference school nutrition professionals make for every child." In light of our extended school closing due to COVID-19, and the district commitment to Continuity of Meals during such closing, please consider reaching out directly to the HCS Food Service Director and staff via Sheila Lowe (slowe@honeoye.org) or to me (bridget.ashton@honeoye.org) to share words of gratitude for their immeasurable contribution to the HCS learning community.  

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 (please note all COVID related resources may be accessed on HCS website via COVID-19 Updates link on homepage).
  • Please be certain to check your email frequently throughout the period of our extended closing.

Warmest Regards,
Bridget Ashton
Elizabeth Bridget Ashton
Superintendent, Honeoye Central School District
8528 Main Street
Honeoye, New York 14471
On Twitter: @EBridgetAshton