Message to Parents 6/1/2020
This unprecedented time of COVID-19 has presented difficulty and struggles for our families and staff alike. We recognize that supporting your children in their continued learning in the midst of this crisis has often been challenging and overwhelming. We are so impressed by the resilience and resolve our families have shown in light of these challenges, and so very grateful for all that you are doing to support the success of your child as we finish the 2019-2020 school year using this remote learning format.
We share your disappointment that our summer program will continue to be taught by remote learning. As we all know, long distance learning is NO substitute for in person instruction. However, the decision to return to school is not in our control, but is being made by Governor Cuomo following guidelines based on statistics regarding COVID-19 prevalence and treatment. Each region in the State may open in sequential phases, if incidence does not increase. Unfortunately, this decision is not based on student need, but on COVID-19 incident frequency.
Although the COVID-19 statistics will be examined every two weeks, it is expected that school openings will be slow to happen because of the complexities involved. The State will soon issue guidelines to schools detailing what we need to do before we can reopen. Schools will be required to submit detailed safety plans to the State for review. These plans involve new procedures for maintaining safe distance, wearing masks, use of other PPEs, provision of temperature checks of students and staff, and the purchase of new equipment like handwashing stations, to name a few considerations. Of course, this planning will require considerable time and money.
The Governor is also concerned about the possible connection between COVID-19 and a serious health condition that effects children called Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). We are watching this very carefully and trying to learn all that we can about it. We want to reassure you that this illness is fortunately very rare, but it would be important to be aware of the symptoms: Click Here for more information.
Now that we are clear that remote instruction will need to continue for at least the summer, we want to encourage parents to take full advantage of the instructional support we can offer, including zoom sessions with teachers and therapists, learning plans, and remote parent support meetings. We are now also developing a series of trainings to help you use the most effective teaching strategies in your home, and will be sending parent newsletters including an Ask the Experts section, web resources, and health updates to help keep you informed and create the best possible learning environment for your child.
We welcome other suggestions and ideas on how we can make long distance learning work better for you and your child. Please share them with your child’s teams. Whenever possible, we are planning to keep the summer program staff the same, so there will be no unnecessary transitions. We are all in this together, now more than ever!
Stay safe and be well.
Jamey Wolff, Program Director, Susan Buckler, Administrative Director, and your child’s team of dedicated professionals