Good evening Pine Bush parents and staff,
Tonight, I want to preview for everyone the significant instructional change that is about to take place. Starting tomorrow, teachers will abandon the creation of any new lessons for this initial two-week closure, to begin preparing for new learning that will launch on Monday, April 6. Letters describing this change can be found on our website. Since all instruction from that point forward will be through the exclusive use of Google Classroom and the Google suite of applications, it will now be imperative that families have active Internet access and ample devices for their children to engage with their teachers online.
In this new instructional environment, we understand that it will be challenging for children to have to share a single device at home, so we are going to reopen the opportunity for families to request to borrow a Chromebook, now allowing up to two per family. If you previously requested one Chromebook, and you would like to have another, or if you did not previously request one but need one because you have multiple students at home, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our switchboard at 744-2031. We will schedule distribution of those devices on Tuesday and Thursday of next week. We only have a limited number, so please do not request a Chromebook if you have other devices in your household (i.e. other computers or tablets).
Starting on April 6 and continuing for as long as we continue to be closed, the teachers will structure their lessons and assignments as a four-day instructional week, Monday through Thursday. All of this work will count towards a grade. Fridays will be available for students to catch up, if need be, and for teachers get any needed professional development or meet with broader groups of colleagues. It’s also likely that Fridays will now include more “down time” to just recoup and renew. I understand that this new environment can be stressful for everybody, so having what I call “Flexible Fridays” is our way of looking out for the social/emotional health of our students and staff.
So far, the governor still has not yet formally extended his required school closure, but we are preparing for what we believe will be his eventual decision to do so. For now, students should continue to work on whatever has been posted, as we will count this work as “extra,” helping your grade for 3rd quarter (or even towards your 1st or 2nd quarter). This can be very beneficial to our middle and high school students.
We are moving quickly to adapt to the prospect of a far longer closure, but I know we can and will get through this.
Have a good evening,
Tim Mains, Pine Bush Superintendent