Good afternoon Pine Bush parents and staff,
Let me catch you up on developments since last Friday; a lot more has happened.
Over the weekend, the NY State Education Department (SED) clarified that the 3-8 Math and ELA tests along with the Science test given in grades 4 and 8 wouldn’t just be suspended, but would be suspended through the end of this school year. They also added the NYSESLAT (given to second language students) and the NY Alternative Assessments to the suspension list. There is no word yet about Regents exams. Advanced Placement or AP tests are expected to be administered on-line (as they have been), but now outside of a designated testing center.
This weekend, state government clarified that spring break and any remaining emergency (snow) days will not have to be “made up” due to the coronavirus state of emergency.
Distribution of meals for kids under 19 will have a schedule change this coming week from every day to just Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. In the week following, we may be shifting to two days a week in an effort to stretch our volunteers over a potentially longer period of time.
The current forecast calls for some snow tomorrow morning (Walker Valley would be hardest hit), but it is also supposed to turn to rain after noon or 1 p.m. I don’t anticipate needing to call off our food, instructional material, and Chromebook distribution and I don’t have our road spotters to report the road conditions to me. So use your best judgement about traveling.
Last week we asked folks to let us know if they needed a Chromebook, and this week we need you to tell us if you LACK access to the internet either via broadband Wi-Fi or directly wired through a modem. You can use the same email: Chromebook@pinebushschools.org or you can call the district switchboard to let us know. We are exploring ways to overcome that barrier. Our desire is to maximize students with direct on-line access as an ideal arrangement.
Despite the challenges we face, this situation also presents an opportunity – an opportunity to more rapidly maximize our digital capabilities and to build some momentum towards technology-enabled classrooms operating more widely. As we make this journey, we ask you to remember that we will be building this bus while we are driving it.
I have confidence that we can get this done together!
Tim O., Mains, Pine Bush Superintendent