District Reopening Plan
Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff Members:
As the 2019-20 academic year draws to a close this Friday with our outdoor graduations, I want to thank you for your partnership and support as we quickly transitioned to remote learning and instruction. Everyone – students, families and staff – demonstrated a true level of perseverance that was both inspiring and uplifting. Congratulations on a successful school year and best of luck to those moving on to the next stop in their educational journey.
Our attention turns now to the work of finalizing plans for the 2020-21 school year. At this time, we have targeted Wednesday, September 2 as the date that school will begin.
The direction of our reopening will depend on several important pieces: implementing New York State Education Department (NYSED) directives and guidance, county and state efforts to ensure COVID-19 is under control and cases continue to decrease, progress along Governor Cuomo’s regional phased reopening plan, guidance from state and local health officials and, just as importantly, input from our stakeholder groups.
Starting in May, Rockland BOCES convened a stakeholder workgroup to inform recommendations and guidance for local school districts as superintendents plan for the reopening of Rockland County's schools. The broad workgroup consists of more than 100 school administrators, educators, health and safety experts, mental health clinicians, transportation planners, facilities personnel, communications strategists, government officials, community-based organizations, parents and community members. This workgroup has met three times to date.
Policies and guidance developed by this large committee will be used to support smaller, district-level reopening workgroups, charged with drafting reopening plans unique to each school district, including the Clarkstown Central School District.
By working collaboratively, school districts and BOCES hope to ensure consistency and simplicity with all reopening plans, directives and communications. The groups are expected to conclude their work by July 15, 2020 when the NYSED Task Force releases their guidance.
In a process that parallels the countywide stakeholder workgroup, the District is in the process of preparing for the reopening of schools in September. At the June 11, 2020 Board of Education meeting and on the District's Facebook page, I shared a roadmap for reopening. On June 16, 2020, I led the first District Task Force Committee meeting consisting of forty-three members of administrators, teachers, students, and parents.
I will be working with the District Task Force chairs on June 29th reviewing the most recent guidance and information from NYSED. After July 1, 2020, the subcommittee chairs will notify members of meeting dates and they will be leading meetings to receive feedback and strategies from various stakeholders in the following areas: athletics, communication, facilities, food services, health and safety, human relations, instruction (including Social Emotional Learning, Special Education and English Language Learners), technology, and transportation. Each subcommittee will consist of administrators, faculty and staff, parents, and students.
Starting next month, we will provide regular committee updates on the status of our reopening plans. We want to keep you as informed and as up-to-date as possible.
It’s important for all of us to be flexible and to anticipate that we may need to adjust our plans as circumstances shift. We will continue to follow guidance from our state and local agencies to ensure our plans throughout this process reflect the best practices to protect our students and staff.
No matter what form instruction and learning takes in the coming school year, the Clarkstown Central School District remains committed to prioritizing health and safety above all. Getting back to class is critically important, but doing so responsibly is paramount.
Martin Cox, Ed.D
Superintendent, Clarkstown Central School District