Important Information On School Schedule - April 2, 2020
Dear Clarkstown Community:
I hope this communication finds all of you in good health and spirits.
I am thankful and appreciative of all of your efforts as we support each other in numerous ways on a daily basis. Your perseverance, creativity, and resolve during this health and safety crisis serve as an inspiration to everyone in our school community.
As we move into April, I am writing to end the uncertainty surrounding our scheduled Spring Break. The Clarkstown Central School District Spring Break was scheduled from April 9 through April 17. That break, through at least April 14,has been cancelled. The remainder of the break, from April 15 through 17 will also be cancelled and used for remote instruction if the Governor extends the current school closures. Please note that the direction from the Governor and the State Education Department does not provide for an exception for Passover (April 9) or Good Friday (April 10). Those days will be treated as any other school day on which a religious holiday falls when school is open.
Executive Order 202.11, which Governor Andrew Cuomo issued on March 27 directed schools to remain closed for an additional two weeks - until April 15 - due to the coronavirus pandemic. The order stated that no school district would lose state aid for providing fewer than the required 180 days of instruction as long as (1) it provided continuity of instruction, meal service and childcare called for by prior executive orders, and (2) it exhausted any available snow days or vacation days.
The New York State Education Department has since issued a memo of clarification that directs school districts to continue to provide remote instruction, meals to students and childcare for essential workers every weekday through April 14 to receive waivers from the 180-day instructional requirement - even if they had been scheduled to be on spring recess during that time.
I understand that this schedule change is not welcome news. Please know that we continue to do our very best to manage the ever-changing directives and mandates of local, federal and state officials. Your efforts to adapt to a "new normal" each day have been extraordinary.
While there are numerous challenges during this health crisis, one of them is the element of the unknown because we don’t always have answers to questions that continue to emerge on a daily basis. Despite the unknown, I encourage you to focus on taking care of your health and well-being along with those individuals around you. While we are in the unfortunate position of having to cancel school events in April, please be reassured that hope will never be cancelled.
Stay strong! Stay healthy!
Martin D. Cox, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools