Coronavirus Update 5/15/20 – Celebrations/Recognitions, Budget Vote/Board Election and Year-end Calendar. More info…

Written by on May 15, 2020

Coronavirus Update 5/15/20

The purpose of this message is to provide some updates and, in so doing, dispel the unfortunate misinformation and rumors that are circulating throughout the district.

First and foremost, the primary focus of the district during these unprecedented times are broad and includes:

  • Ensuring the academic success of all students in grades K-12.
  • Ensuring students are not negatively impacted and are academically eligible for graduation despite on-site classes being suspended
  • Providing social-emotional support to many students through our counseling staff as we also continue to partner with many community agencies to ensure the well being of  families. 
  • Providing thousands of meals to students and families in need.

Celebrations and Recognitions

We fully understand and are committed to providing our students with the types of recognition they earned and deserve. We are in the process of planning

  • Remote award ceremonies
  • Senior “walk-throughs” for elementary schools
  • Moving up celebrations
  • A significant ceremony to recognize and celebrate the members of the Class of 2020 that entails physical participation with adherence to appropriate to health and safety requirements

Please understand that these are significant events that take careful planning with adherence to appropriate health and safety requirements. Once we receive the appropriate clearances and refine logistics, plans will be shared with families. Simply know that we hear you and we are working to provide significant and memorable experiences for our students and families.

Budget/Board/Election

The Governor ordered that the June 9 Budget and Board Election be held by absentee voting only. Consequently, the district has been engaged in due diligence to administrer the budget process accordingly. Is it important to note that Shenendehowa does not do registration voting, it does poll voting. Shen is made up of portions of six different municipalities, so a registration roll from the County for the district does not exist. The Executive Order has been vetted by school attorneys from across the state, and the Board of Education and administration is adhering to the consensus recommendation. The specific recommendation from the New York State Association of School Attorneys that applies to Shenendehowa’s situation states: “Identifying a qualified voter in a district with poll registration is more difficult because there does not exist a system of personal registration of voters. We suggest that districts start with the list of households to which they send the required budget notice.”

By law, we will be doing three mailings with regard to the budget

  1. A postcard that is required with information on the date of the vote, the public hearing and information about the link to an online form (https://bit.ly/ShenVote) for qualified voters who may not be on the household listing to request a ballot. This is being mailed on May 15.
  2. The absentee ballot with a return postage-paid envelope will begin processing on May 20 after the budget is adopted by the Board of Education and will be mailed first class to all taxpayers within the district before June 2. In addition, the district’s mailhouse is sending a list of all addresses with names in the 12065 area which will be cross-referenced with the tax roll list. In addition, district staff members are in the process of typing all of the names and addresses of voters who signed in at the last two budget votes. Those eligible voters will be sent ballots. Completed ballots must be mailed back and received no later than 5:00PM on June 9. 
  3. The annually required budget notice which is required to be mailed after the public hearing on May 26 using the same bulk mailing list as the annual budget notice.

Calendar

Pursuant to contractual stipulations and Executive Order 202.18, schools are required to work through schedule breaks/vacations. This includes the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend (May 22). Memorial Day is a federal holiday, so the district will be closed on May 25, no online classes.

The year end date for school has been revised as follows:

  • Elementary
    • Last day of classes for students in grades K-5 will be June 16
    • Last day for teachers grades K-5, which will be designated as an Elementary Superintendent Conference Day will be June 17
  • Secondary
    • Last day of classes for students in grades 6-12 will be June 17
    • Last day for teachers grades 6-12, which will be designated as an Secondary Superintendent Conference Day will be June 18

Support staff work calendars are unchanged and will be shared by the Office of Human Resources

Again, thank you for your support. We hope you and your families are well and navigating our current reality. Please never hesitate to reach out for support for your student.

We are committed to excellence and we are committed to our students. We are Shen!