I would be remiss, if I did not remind our families that ALL students in ALL Pine Bush schools will Return to Learn tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Children in an elementary school assigned to “A” days, will interact with their teachers, and children assigned to “B” days will meet their teacher through a welcome video. Other assignments for “B” day students will be mostly asynchronous, unless they are scheduled for art, music, or physical education.
Children in middle schools and high school will start at their regular beginning of school time and follow their schedule throughout the day. They should meet all or most of their teachers tomorrow as well, and they will have mostly synchronous instruction. For those secondary students, Wednesday will be mostly asynchronous.
Regardless of what school your child attends or what grade he or she is in, every student will need to log into their Chromebook and access their Pine Bush email account at the beginning of the school day. In fact, they should actually consider doing that tonight or at least 10-15 minutes before the beginning of the school day, to be sure they can get in and so that they can accept the teacher’s invitation(s) to join their Google Classroom(s).
We hope that the instruction this fall will be true distance (and for some, later blended) learning. Last spring there wasn’t much distance learning. It tended to be closer to what John Hattie recently described as “crisis teaching.” This fall we are trying hard to make improvements that result in more meaningful instruction. But I ask parents to understand that while we will be doing our level best to refine our delivery, we are learning at the same time we are teaching. That is one of the reasons, we have worked some flexible time into the instructional calendar – so that teachers can continue to refine their craft and also to make sure they are reaching all students.
In another couple of weeks, we still expect to bring pre-k and special class students to school for some in-person learning, and we are still scheduled to begin hybrid classes (for students whose parents chose that model) on Tuesday, Oct. 6. When we begin hybrid learning, the flex day at the secondary level will shift from Wednesday to Monday. Eventually, it is my hope that we can get all of our students back in school before this school year comes to an end. We just don’t know for sure when that might be able to happen. Until it does, we will continue to offer you and your children the best we can under less-than-ideal circumstances.
Though this message was largely intended for Pine Bush parents, I wanted our staff to also know what I said, so they’ve been included on this message.
Unusual though it may be, tomorrow will still be the first day of school, and I am so looking forward to it. Our teachers spent most of last week getting ready to welcome your children. So let’s make tomorrow a great beginning!
Tim O. Mains, Pine Bush School Superintendent