A Few Noteworthy Items

Good Afternoon,

I hope that you are enjoying your Tuesday. I am reaching out to inform you about a few noteworthy items.

Still Waiting: NYSDOH Guidance Document
As of this writing, school districts have not received an updated NYSDOH guidance document. This does not shift our position on masking.  As shared on 2/28, the Honeoye Central School District will shift to a “masking recommended,” but not required, approach for our families, faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status, effective Wednesday, March 2.  We strongly encourage our families and staff members to assess risk and to make a determination around masking which best meets need and circumstance for individual(s).  As alluded to above, when the county reaches green or yellow zone designation of transmission, our position will be strictly “masking optional.”

The district will provide the HCS community updated information surrounding quarantine, isolation, test to stay, etc. at such time we have received the updated NYSDOH guidance.  Thank you for your patience!  

Reporting of Confirmed COVID Cases 
Effective today (and shared on 2/28), the HCS community may monitor and track confirmed COVID cases on the NYS COVID-19 Report Card site.  In the event that transmission rates spike significantly within our district, we will resume daily reporting to you via ParentSquare.

A Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Students (MTSS)
In 2021-22 HCS has engaged in initial stages of developing a Multi-Tiered System of Supports for students. MTSS is a framework many schools utilize to provide targeted support to struggling students. The goal of MTSS is early intervention and response to academic, behavioral, social emotional and attendance concerns. As alluded to in its name, tiers of support are integral to MTSS.

MTSS is an “umbrella” term in the educational community and includes a few systems of support you are likely familiar with such as RTI - Response to Intervention (which assists students who may be struggling with academics) and PBIS - Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (which is an approach schools use to promote school safety and good behavior).  The Honeoye Elementary school authentically incorporates PBIS within their behavioral expectations known as the Bulldog Four.

Currently, HCS is assessing our existing structures and systems of support for students. Our leadership team has engaged in the completion of a Tiered Fidelity Inventory to identify gaps and growth areas for the district that will drive our continued work in this area spanning multiple years. To support this work over the next three years, HCS is optimizing ARP and CRRSA stimulus monies to fund the inclusion of a Teacher on Special Assignment, and more specifically, an MTSS Coordinator. Our very own, Kaitlin Iati-Lafave, is now serving in this role and working closely with district leadership on the creation and development of facets of our district vision for an effective Multi-Tiered System of Supports.

At this time, HCS is proud to share information about three additional MTSS supports that we are launching this spring/summer: Safe School Helpline, Mental Health Teen First Aid, and PIRI training.

Safe School Helpline
This week HCS is launching a new district wide platform for the HCS community to use. The Safe School Helpline is yet another safety net and security measure designed to support the mental health needs of our students and community.  Students may use the Safe School Helpline to report threats of violence, suicide and illegal activity that could harm students in our schools. It is a convenient, confidential way for anyone to report information about situations that might affect safety at our school. You can call the number any time of the day or night to report concerns about unsafe or potentially disruptive activities or situations including drug or alcohol abuse, weapons, or threats. All calls are completely confidential.
How can I report information?
Call: 1-800-4-1-VOICE ext. 359
(1-800-418-6423 ext.359)
Text: 66746, TIPS
Please watch the below video to learn more about the Safe School Helpline:

Teen Mental Health First Aid
As our Pupil Personnel Director shared with secondary families on February 14, the Honeoye Central School District is currently implementing teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) training at the secondary level. tMHFA is an evidence based training that instructs teens in grades 10–12 around the skills they need to recognize and to support their peers/friends with mental health and substance use challenges and how to get the help of an adult quickly.  Please Note: This course is not being introduced because of any specific problems at our school. Mental health challenges are common in teens. tMHFA is an identified means to better support and equip secondary students with information and skill sets around mental health.  

tMHFA classes started this week for sophomores, juniors and seniors and are scheduled for completion before April Break.  All instructors teaching the course have received special training and are certified to teach the course by Mental Health First Aid USA at the National Council for Behavioral Health. Teens will receive a Certificate of Completion for taking the course.  tMHFA overview:
  • Recognizing early warning signs that a friend is developing a mental health challenge.
  • Recognizing warning signs that a friend may be experiencing a mental health crisis. 
  • Explaining when and how to get a responsible adult involved. 
  • Discussing where to find appropriate and helpful resources about mental health challenges and professional help.
  • Applying the tMHFA Action Plan to help a friend with a mental health challenge or crisis.

PIRI Training at HCS
We could not be more pleased or excited to have had the opportunity to consult with PIRI before break surrounding partnership in work around community building and restorative practices.  If you are not familiar with PIRI, PIRI is the acronym for the organization Partnership in Restorative Initiatives.  Their vision speaks to fostering healthy communities and restorative practices:
We envision a world where restorative principles and practices are known, respected and used to redress harm, restore peace, improve relationships, reduce violence, promote healing and build healthy communities.
HCS is prepared to enter into agreement with PIRI to support the development of community and restorative practices within our organization. At this juncture, we will contract with PIRI as follows:
  • Summer 2022: Community Building training
  • Summer 2023: Restorative Discipline training
  • Summer 2023: Academic Circle Training
We anticipate the incorporation of PIRI practices at the advent of the 2022-23 school year.  More information will be provided to families as we ready for September 2022.

As always, please feel free to reach out should you have any questions or concerns about this information. Thank you for your ongoing support and patience throughout the COVID pandemic. We appreciate your partnership with the district to ensure successful execution of a 100% in person learning model amidst this difficult public health crisis. Be safe, and be well!  

E. Bridget Ashton

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