COVID-19 Update, April 27, 2020: School closed through May 15, how to return school work

From Superintendent Michael Williams

Dear TV parents and community members,

I hope this letter finds you all well! It’s been a while since I updated you on things going on with our extended closure, so I thought this might be a good time to do so.

On a statewide level, frankly, not too much has changed. All schools are continuing with our new learning environments as we all hope for a return to the traditional school day. Unfortunately, that return has been delayed yet again (through May 15) and as Governor Cuomo commented last week, “There is currently no plan to re-open schools.” While we all believe we know what that means, we continue to look for more guidance from the state and federal government as to what will happen with schools across the country, and most especially in Grahamsville!

Turn in school work on April 29

For our elementary-level students and those secondary school students without internet connectivity, we have scheduled a work (paper work) collection day on Wednesday, April 29 (and subsequent Wednesday’s from this point forward). Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., parents (or those students that drive) will be able to drop off any work that has been completed so far. Elementary work can be dropped off at the Elementary School and secondary work can be dropped off at the Secondary School. In both buildings there will be boxes placed just inside the outer doors. The work should be dropped off in the box respective to the student’s grade level. Any family that has meals delivered to their homes can turn the work in when the meals are delivered on Wednesday.

Please be sure that each piece of work has the student’s first and last name, grade and teacher (for elementary students). Secondary school work should have the student’s first and last name and the teacher that work should be returned to. The work can go into the box labeled with the appropriate grade.

Work for students without internet connectivity will be mailed home starting on May 1. From this point forward any elementary student with internet access will be expected to complete assignments online. No work will be mailed home for any student with internet access. Many elementary teachers are already working with students online and we want that to continue. Secondary students without internet access will continue working with the paper materials sent home by the school.

Grading

Now, you may ask yourself “what happens to the work we return?” GREAT QUESTION! The District administrative team is working on a grading system for the 4th quarter, but we want to develop a system that benefits as many students as possible, so we don’t want to rush into anything. Whatever decisions are made could have both positive and negative impacts well into the future, so we want to get this right!  We are close to finalizing how we will grade students on the 4th quarter work and as soon as we decide we will share the details with all of you, so stay tuned!

What is most important for students to know is that STUDENT EFFORT will play a large role in how grades are determined for the 4th quarter! Students must put forth their best effort at all times. Participation in crucial and students should continue to do their best work. That being said, EFFORT DOES NOT MEAN PERFECTION! These are unusual times and I know that many students and parents are stressed right now (as are staff, teachers and administrators). Students should pace themselves when doing work and remember that their safety and well-being is more important than making sure to get large amounts of work done each day.

I want to remind any student that is taking a class that would normally result in a Regents examination that you will be granted credit for the Regents Exam without taking it, but you must pass the class to get credit!! Continue to work diligently even though you will not have to sit for the Regents exam(s) this year.

For our Senior Class, we are developing different scenarios for what Graduation may look like this year. I don’t believe we will all be sitting in the theater together for a traditional graduation ceremony, but we are exploring every option available to us. Decisions made by the Governor can affect what our options may be but we will do everything we can to make your Graduation as memorable as possible. Seniors, I will continue to update you as plans develop!

That’s it for now! I want to reassure all students and families that we are doing everything we can to try to make this challenging time as “easy” as we can. The well-being of our students and families is our first priority and we continue to navigate through uncharted waters. Ultimately, we will emerge even stronger than before! Until that time, be safe, be well and I hope to see everyone on campus again soon! Take care!

Mike