HCS 2021-22 Budget and Updates

Greetings!

Difficult to imagine, but we are in the FINAL COUNTDOWN of the 2020-21 school year! HCS faculty and staff are vigorously planning and preparing for end of year celebrations which reflect time honored traditions and rites of passage for our students.  The Honeoye High School Commencement Ceremony is just over a month away and scheduled for Friday, June 25th.  We anticipate plans for this celebration to be finalized in the upcoming weeks. Our secondary principal, Mrs. Klaehn, recently travelled to the Adirondacks with members of our graduating class on their senior trip. She was nothing less than "wow"ed by our Seniors, commenting that they "represented HCS" as the source of tremendous pride we know our students to be!  

HCS 2021-22 Budget Passes
Heartfelt gratitude to the HCS community for supporting students, teaching, and learning in the Honeoye Central School District! The HCS 2021-22 Budget passed during the Annual Budget Vote and Election on May 18 with 385 "yes" votes and 131 "no" votes (75% approval rate).

Congratulations to returning Board of Education member, Jerry Passer, and a warm welcome to new board members Jim Helling and Tori Penrod-Clark, who secured Board of Education seats for three year terms, effective July 1, 2021.
BOE Election Results
Tori Penrod-Clark: 272
Jerald L. Passer: 253
Carole C. Baker: 192
W. Keith Stumbo: 150
Cyndi Sherman: 251
James Helling: 309

The HCS Board of Education accepted the budget vote and BOE election results during a Regular Meeting of the Board on Wednesday, May 19.

The Question of Reopening
As I shared with you on 4/10, the New York State Department of Health released an Interim Guidance for In Person Instruction During the COVID-19 Public Health Pandemic. On April 19 and on April 23, the Honeoye Central School District pushed out a survey request via ParentSquare to provide all of our stakeholders the opportunity to "weigh in" and VOICE preference on the question of Reopening to 100% In Person Instruction at the secondary level should transmission rates decline.

On 4/29, I shared the input obtained from the HCS community surrounding a potential return to 100% in person instruction at the secondary level should transmission rates decline to below a HIGH level of transmission.  Recently, the CDC Integrated County View tracker for level of community transmission has reflected a shift from HIGH level of transmission to SUBSTANTIAL.

While the SUBSTANTIAL level of community transmission allows for a reopening to 100% in person instruction at the secondary level, other considerations surrounding a programming shift at this time are being factored:
  • Actual number of school days remaining in the 2021-22 school year (25), 
  • Fluctuation in COVID transmission rates, 
  • Quantitative data obtained from our HCS Risk Tolerance and Preference Survey (see below), and
  • Qualitative data obtained from faculty, staff, students and families.
In the event the community transmission rate for Ontario County drops from a HIGH level and we are able to reopen for 100% in person instruction at the secondary level, the latest date I would be comfortable making such a shift in programming at the secondary level is:


Given the aforementioned factors, it is the recommendation and determination that Honeoye Central School District will maintain our current model of programming as a mixed hybrid model of instruction for the remainder of this school year. We remain ever hopeful and committed to a model of 100% in person instruction for our learning community of students as we future into Fall 2021. Thank you for your patience, support and understanding this year as we navigated the ever changing landscape of COVID-19 and its impact on public education.

Masking and Updated CDC Guidance
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on May 17 that New York State will adopt the CDC's Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People, effective May 19.  New York State will adhere to CDC guidance requiring Pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and healthcare settings to continue to follow our state's current COVID-19 related health and safety protocols.  This ultimately means that HCS must still require masks in all school facilities, even for fully-vaccinated students, faculty, staff members, and visitors. 

Per the Interim Guidance for In Person Instruction at PreK to Grade 12 Schools During Public Health Emergency, any use of a school facility or grounds by the general public is subject to the same guidelines required during all other school operations. 

Pathway of Hope
Ontario County Salvation Army is offering a new initiative called Pathway of Hope. This program provides individualized case management services to families who may be struggling... If interested, please consider reaching out to Kimberly.Howell@USE.SalvationArmy.org

On behalf of the Honeoye Central School District, many thanks to our community for the ongoing support and partnership in advocacy for all HCS students. As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns about the information included in this communication, or otherwise.

Warmest regards,
E. Bridget Ashton

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