Coronavirus Update 3/20/20 – Message from Dr. L. Oliver Robinson, Superintendent of Schools

Written by on March 20, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3/20/20 – Message from Dr. L. Oliver Robinson, Superintendent of Schools

In these crucible moments, where our lives are being transformed daily; we hold tight to the fundamental values and beliefs that drive our work as educators…that our actions must always be focused on the best interest of our students. Over the past week, we have been tactical and strategic in our planning and our efforts. This is a societal crisis that requires us to work together, support each other, and have patience for the actions and efforts. There is no playbook to contend with the challenges we are encountering, only a steadfast commitment of conviction to do what is right and preserve equity in opportunities and outcomes for our students.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s declaration on March 20, 2020 called for 100% of the workforce to work from home, other than those charged with performing  essential functions to maintain business operations (cleaning, maintenance, payroll, IT, etc.). Those functions will be carefully identified and a plan developed and communicated to those individuals. 

Consequently, all district buildings will be closed to the public and opened only for limited official business.  All communications will be done by email. Employee (administrators, teachers, support staff) email addresses can be found here: https://www.shenet.org/contact-us/

It is critical to note that while most employees will be at home, the work shall continue remotely. Employees are being compensated and will perform work functions remotely, as much as feasible, and be ready to perform related work functions when called upon. The same expectations continue. Teachers will teach, related service providers will provide support to students, support staffers will work remotely under the guidance of supervisors, as much as feasible, and all others will stand ready to support efforts as needed.

As you may be aware, Governor Cuomo’s declaration on 3/18/20 said that school districts will be required to develop a plan for alternative instructional options, including distance learning; distribution and availability of meals; and daycare, with an emphasis on children of parents of first responders and healthcare workers.  

Regarding online learning …

Shenendehowa administrators and teachers have been working to develop a formalized plan for educational opportunities for students during this time. Information will be provided by your child’s schools on Monday, March 22, 2020.

Teachers have been and will continue to communicate with students in their classes. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher via email with specific class related questions. Other school related questions should go to your child’s principal or other relevant parties. All Shen instructional personnel are willing to lend support and ensure a positive learning experience for our students. 

Students in grades 6-12 already have district provided Chromebooks.  Your school principal will be sending out information next week to arrange for device pickup for those who don’t have one at home.

We have also been informed by the NYS Board of Regents that the administrations of the 2020 elementary- and intermediate-level State assessments have been suspended for the remainder of this school year.

 

Regarding the availability of meals…

Shenendehowa Food Service and Transportation Department will continue to deliver breakfast and lunch for students, free of charge, while schools are closed at the following locations:

  • Cheryl’s Lodge/Halfmoon Heights-12pm
  • D&R Village-12pm-12:30
  • North Pointe Apts-12pm-12:30pm

Lunch and the following day’s breakfast will be provided at the above pick-up location each day.

Backpack program meals will be delivered on a limited basis, once a week. More information about the delivery schedule will be communicated.

 

Regarding child care for emergency personnel…

The Capital District YMCA is responding to the critical need for childcare services for emergency personnel. Effective Monday, March 23rd, beginning at 7am, the Capital District YMCA will provide childcare for emergency personnel who do not have the option to work from home, as defined by The New York State Education Department.

Emergency health care professionals include licensed health professionals such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, LPNs, nurse assistants or laboratory personnel and direct support professionals. Additionally, they are covering first responders, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, and firefighters. The following YMCA branch locations will provide services:

  • Bethlehem — 900 Delaware Ave, Delmar, NY 12054
  • Duanesburg — 221 Victoria Drive, Delanson, NY 12053
  • Glenville — 127 Droms Road, Glenville, NY 12302
  • Greenbush — 20 Community Way, East Greenbush, NY 12061
  • Greene County — 35 Rt. 81, Hope Plaza, West Coxsackie, NY 12192
  • Guilderland — 250 Winding Brook Drive, Guilderland, NY 12084
  • Schenectady — 433 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305
  • Southern Saratoga — 1 Wall Street, Clifton Park, NY 12065
  • Troy — 2500 21st Street, Troy, NY 12180

Online registration can be found at: www.CDYMCA.org/EmergencyChildcare. Emergency personnel needing care are also welcome to call the Capital District YMCA at 518.869.3500.

 

Please know that, as always, the education, health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness and provide equity in opportunities for our students. 

Please continue to look out for information and updates on the district webpage (www.shenet.org), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ShenendehowaCSD), Twitter (https://twitter.com/ShenNews), and SIS messages. We will make all attempts to provide the most current and accurate information. Please do not rely on hearsay or social media chatter for your information source.

 

Committed to Excellence,

Dr. L. Oliver Robinson

Superintendent of Schools

Shenendehowa Central School District