5-29-2020 Updates: Last Day of School at HCS and Collection of School Materials

Dear HCS Community,

It is difficult to imagine that we have reached the end of May.  We are planning for end of year activities amidst an extended closing due to COVID-19.  I have always found it ironic that as we scurry to wrap up the school year, we are simultaneously consumed with planning and preparation for the subsequent year.  This communication reflects such spirit… While we strive to close out the 2019-20 school year, we contemplate models for reopening in the fall which factor in COVID-19 and its potential continued impact on our lives.  I think a lot about hopefulness and the aspiration that our continued district response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be measured, in large part, by our efforts to generate a collective sense of belonging. We are Honeoye, and there is every reason to feel #bulldogpride in our community.  

Last Day of School Update
Given the most recent guidance from New York State and a review of our school calendar, the last day of the school year for HCS students will be Tuesday, June 16. Our Board of Education approved a resolution to amend the 2019-20 school calendar to reflect this change during a Regular Meeting of the Board on 5/27/2020. While we do not anticipate any additional revisions to the school calendar, we will certainly notify families and provide updated information in the event there is an additional Executive Order from the Governor or guidance from the State Education Department.

Collection of Devices and Textbooks
HCS will need to collect all student chromebooks, textbooks and other district learning materials to ensure readiness for the launch of the 2020-21 school year.                                                        

  • Please plan on returning all instructional materials - devices, textbooks or other district learning materials, for all K-12 students at the Honeoye Central School District on Wednesday, 6/17, between 1:00 - 6:30 or on Thursday, 6/18, between 10:00 - 3:30 to the District Office Entrance from the Allens Hill Road district lot.

Fourth Marking Period and Final Grading
Effective 4/15/2020, the HCS Distance Learning Rubric became applicable for PreK-12 grading throughout the period of extended closing due to COVID19.

Elementary School Notes about 4th Marking Period and Final Grading:

  • At the Elementary School level, the HCS Distance Learning Rubric will be utilized for reporting fourth marking period and final grades for the 2019-20 school year.

Secondary School Notes about 4th Marking Period and Final Grading:

  • At the Secondary School level, the HCS Distance Learning Rubric will be utilized for reporting of pass / fail grades for the fourth marking period.  
  • At the Secondary School level, student performance during marking periods one thru four will be utilized for reporting of pass / fail final grades for the 2019-20 school year.
  • Note on final grades at the Secondary School level: A passing grade indicates evidence that a student has achieved learning outcomes for units of study completed in a courseA failing grade indicates lack of evidence that a student has achieved learning outcomes for units of study completed in a course.  
  • At the Secondary School level, credit accrual for any / all 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 were provided opportunities to engage in remedial learning opportunities to achieve learning outcomes for units of study completed.  Teachers and administration have been working with individual students and families on these plans for remediation. PLEASE reach out to teachers if you have any questions or concerns about student completion of these remedial learning tasks.
  • Students who did not achieve learning outcomes for units of study completed in a course and who receive a failing grade for a course will be invited to participate in summer school for credit recovery. Failure to participate in summer school will result in scheduling of credit recovery in the 2020-21 school year.
  • NOTE: Course work in Gemini, SUPA and AP classes will be graded per guidance from cooperating educational institutions.  

Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony
Mrs. Klaehn is working tirelessly with the Class of 2020 advisors, counseling department and a Graduation Task Force to develop a plan which best honors the HCS tradition AND meets compliance expectations surrounding current NYS Executive Order.  The current Executive Order prohibits assembly / gathering of groups.  At this juncture, we want to be prepared to offer as close to a “traditional” commencement ceremony as possible, while adhering to executive order and CDC guidelines which may be in effect.

  • Approach 1: Traditional Commencement Ceremony, ONLY IF ALL restrictions encumbered in “PAUSE” are lifted.  Regrettably, we are less than hopeful that we may execute this plan.
  • Approach 2: Traditional Commencement Ceremony with MODIFICATIONS, if “PAUSE” restrictions surrounding gathering are lifted, but REOPENING GUIDELINES are in effect: social distancing, masking, sanitizing, hand washing. This plan would require consideration of and include provisions for the following (and MANY more):
    • Reducing density (fewer guests and spaced seating)
    • Social distancing at 6 feet apart during all facets of ceremony (entry and exit of building, seating, presentation of diplomas, no food or access to restrooms, etc)
    • Masking for all graduates, guests, and HCS staff members in attendance
  • Approach 3: Virtual Commencement Ceremony, ONLY IF ALL restrictions encumbered in “PAUSE” remain in effect (no gathering at all).  Mrs. Klaehn has begun the coordination of a virtual ceremony to ensure timeliness of its development.  More information about this approach will be communicated directly by Mrs. Klaehn upon receipt of caps and gowns in district.

Please know that we are committed to planning and creating the very best possible scenario for our Class of 2020 Seniors while upholding long standing HCS traditions that may be preserved despite COVID-19. As such, we still have not finalized a decision about commencement in effort to “buy time” towards securing the most traditional graduation possible for our students AND for their families. 

MS HS Awards Ceremony
In lieu of our traditional awards ceremony, Mrs. Klaehn will be pushing out a recognition video on June 5 via email to all award recipients and their families.
Summer School
On Thursday, Governor Cuomo announced that all in-person summer school experiences would be cancelled this year. However, HCS High School students requiring credit recovery will be invited to participate in WFL BOCES virtual summer school programming.  The WFL BOCES summer distance learning opportunities are scheduled from July 8 through August 12.  
Additionally, to support K-8 students retain the skills they developed during the school year, we are coordinating summer distance learning programming. This program will replace our usual Elementary School Summer Academy, and Ms. Wright and Mrs. Klaehn will be finalizing details in the days ahead. Invitation for students to participate in the summer distance learning programming will be based on academic performance and teacher recommendation.  Logistics for this program:

  • What: 3 x 4 Virtual Summer School Program (3 days a week for four weeks)
  • Where: Distance Learning model of delivery
  • When: July 6 - 31 (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays, ONLY) 
  • How:  Blended model of ELA and Math instruction delivered virtually with emphasis on high interest “passion projects” and required student participation in small group sessions during office hours with teachers.   

U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools
U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools rankings have been released. Based on our Honeoye Middle/High School rankings, we have been recognized as "eligible to display the award badge!" Kudos and congratulations to the entirety of our learning community on this acknowledgement!  Please access this link for more information about how high schools are ranked and identified. 
HCS Rankings:

  • HCS #417 / 1342 in New York High Schools
  • HCS is #38 /75 in Rochester, NY Metro Area High Schools
  • HCS is #5,056 / 17792 in National Rankings

Capital Project: Please Excuse our Mess!
HCS has launched capital project work on our exterior campus at the front (Main St./20A) sidewalks and bus driveway.  Physical demolition work on the front walks began Wednesday, May 27th.  Beginning on Thursday, May 28th, and running throughout the next 6-8 weeks, all parties who might need access to our facilities will need to park in the Allens Hill Road district lot and enter the building through the District Office Entrance.  Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. 
You’re Invited: Honeoye Central School District Town Hall 
The Honeoye Central School District will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, June 4, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The purpose of this Town Hall meeting will be to debrief the HCS response to our extended closing due to COVID-19. This event will be hosted virtually as a Google Meeting and access link information for the event will be shared prior to the event 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 questions and to identify areas of concern moving forward. 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: Reflecting upon the district response to our extended closing due to COVID-19, what suggestions or feedback might you share surrounding how HCS executed our Plans for Continuity of Instruction, Meals, and Access to Childcare?
  • To participate and provide feedback,  please access the Thought Exchange link: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/546451815
  • The Thought Exchange link will be open for comment and viewing on 5/26 and close on 6/1.
  • 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.

2020-21 Budget Information 
The Budget Vote and Annual Meeting for election of school board members will be held Tuesday, June 9, 2020.  The Annual Meeting for election of school board members and budget vote will take place remotely. Qualified voters will vote by absentee ballot ONLY.  Absentee ballots will be mailed to qualified voters by the district. 

  • To be an eligible voter, an individual must be:
    • 1) US citizen
    • 2) at least 18 years of age
    • 3) a resident of the school district 30 days or more prior to June 9, 2020
  • Absentee ballots must be received at the District Office by 5:00pm on June 9.
  • If you have not received your absentee ballot by June 2, please contact our District Clerk, Jennifer Green, at jennifer.green@honeoye.org or at 585-229-4125. 
  • Board Elections: Each of two (2) candidates, who receive the greatest number of votes, will serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023.
  • The annual HCS Budget Booklet has been mailed and should have been received at your homes. Please reach out to Jennifer Green at 585-229-4125 or Jennifer.Green@honeoye.org if you did not receive one.
  • If you have any questions or concerns specific to BOE Elections or the Budget Vote, please contact our District Clerk, Jennifer Green, at 585-229-4125 or Jennifer.Green@honeoye.org.

A number of years ago, I read an article about what measures a “successful school.”  While there are certainly data points which relate to student achievement and “success,” a qualitative indicator of course, is that students WANT TO BE IN SCHOOL.  I think about this a lot right now, given we are in week nine of an extended closing due to COVID-19.  It is my sense that students are missing HCS, and DO want to be in school.  This is a tribute to the dynamic faculty and staff at HCS.  No surprise, given the heartache of our teachers and staff who would like nothing more than to be surrounded by the smiling faces of our students. Though a picture is worth a thousand words, even a compilation of photographs cannot quantify how much we are missing our Bulldogs.  To all of our students and families, please click on this link to view our attempt at relating the sentiment.

Thank you for your partnership in delivery of distance learning during the extended closing due to COVID-19!  “We got this,” and we will reach the other side of COVID-19. Thank you for all that you have done and for all that you will continue to do.  Hold on to hope.  

Warmest regards to you and yours,
Bridget Ashton

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