Dear Parents and Guardians,
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday, April 6, that schools in New York state will remain closed until Tuesday, April 28, with students and staff returning to school on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. As a reminder, this executive order requires all schools to continue instruction and food service every day, Monday through Friday, even through our scheduled April break.
We fully acknowledge that many students, families, and staff members are weary from the remote work to date. However, the governor’s executive order requires that RCS continue to provide continuity of instruction. We ordinarily have a 180-day student attendance requirement and are still awaiting guidance about what the end of our school year may look like in June as a result of our work this coming week.
Here are the main topics for today’s communication:
- New Instruction to Begin Thursday, April 9, 2020
- Cancellation of NYS Regents Examinations
- District Activities, Facility Closure, Food and Childcare Resources
- Health Care Assistance for Families
- At-home Learning
New Instruction Will Begin Thursday, April 9, 2020
Since our closure on March 13, 2020, we have been reinforcing prior learning (no new learning). The governor’s new closure directive has affirmed that we, along with all neighboring schools, must move forward with instruction. We will begin to integrate new instruction on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
District and building-level teams have met to discuss how grading will look for 3rd and 4th quarter at the secondary level and for the 3rd trimester in the elementary. You will be receiving specific information about grading from your child’s principal. At the secondary level, these grading plans will likely be a combination of numeric grading and some type of “pass/fail.” For all of our students, the underlying requirement is that students must complete the expected work. We will continue to measure evidence that students are learning the required content and skills. Even if there are spans of time where there is no formal, numeric grading, your child will continue to be assessed.
Our RCS staff members are continuing to work diligently on behalf of your child(ren). Please remain in contact with your child’s teachers to ensure success. Here is an important message about resources and instructional expectations from our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Mr. Engelhardt.
Cancellation of NYS Regents Examinations
The district has been informed by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) that the June 2020 administration of the NYS High School Regents Examinations have been cancelled in response to the statewide closures of schools. This cancellation applies to all Regents Examinations that had been scheduled for the June 2020 Regents Examination period. We will keep you up-to-date on how this impacts the school calendar for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. This is highly impactful news for all New York State students. Here is a very informative Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that may assist in answering questions about how these cancellations will affect student grading and transcripts.
District Activities, Facility Closure, Food and Childcare Resources
As we’ve indicated in earlier communications, all school activities and after-school programs will continue to be canceled during s school closure. Our school facilities will remain closed, both inside and outside our buildings, through the end of the day on April 28, 2020. We are unable to sanitize and maintain outside equipment and for everyone’s safety outdoor school facilities are closed while schools are closed. This includes basketball and tennis courts, play grounds, and the high school track.
We will continue providing meals to families through a federal grant every day that we are providing continuity of instruction. Any child under 18 years of age will be allowed to receive healthy meal and snack choices through the RCS district’s food service program. In addition, those parents/caregivers seeking information related to child care for essential workers can also be found online. All information related to those important programs can be accessed through the District updates and resources on Coronavirus (COVID-19) web page.
Health Care Assistance for families:
With the recent closure of businesses across the state, many New Yorkers are at risk of losing their health insurance coverage as a result of COVID-19. Many are likely to be eligible for health coverage with financial assistance through NY State of Health due to their loss of coverage and income. NY State of Health opened a Special Enrollment Period last month for people who are uninsured, and the Marketplace has started an awareness campaign to let people know that NY State of Health is there as a safety net in difficult times like these. Please follow this link to important information.
Our teachers have continued to stay in contact with students and their families to provide instructional materials. We are now working to expand the district’s at-home learning plan to accommodate this extended closure. Please access the district’s “Work from Home” page to access necessary materials for your student(s). For additional details, visit here.
We are thinking about you all during this difficult time and are eager to see our students again soon.