May 1, 2020
Dear Roslyn Families,
Now that Gov. Cuomo has closed schools through the end of the school year, we are turning our attention to the many challenges involved in reopening school in September. In fact, we have been working on plans to re-open almost since the day we closed in the middle of March. At that time, we didn't know that schools would have to remain closed for this long, so we have been busy reviewing many ideas from schools around the nation and the world. When it comes to getting everyone back to school, there is no distinction in being the first, only the healthiest.
In a word, this is complicated. School is not going to look the same, at least not for a long while, and this is going to require flexibility, creativity and patience on everyone's part. The CDC has published guidance on how to re-open for many kinds of entities, including K-12 schools. As we might expect, the recommendations cover a broad range of issues, including disinfecting, social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks. We must operate on the assumption that covid-19 will continue to be a significant public health risk well into the next school year, even if the number of new cases and the hospitalizations in our region continues to decline.
Therefore, precautions will have to be in place to protect the health of students, staff and their families. Classrooms will need to be reconfigured. The school schedule may have to be rearranged. Remote online learning may continue for some students, at least some of the time. Many aspects of the school day that we take for granted will demand re-thinking: riding the bus, lunch, recess, assemblies, sports, extracurricular activities, testing, trips, concerts, competitions, and much more. The elementary schools, the middle school and the high school may call for different changes. Every decision will be guided by the impact it will have on the physical and mental health of students and staff.
This message is not intended to be a blueprint for how we move ahead. There are still many unknowns, and we can expect new and revised guidelines from state and federal authorities as we learn to adapt to this "new normal". At this stage, I want you to know that we are acutely focused on the critical task of starting up school in a way that is as safe as it can possibly be for everyone. Rest assured, you will be hearing much more about this in the weeks and months ahead.
For the remainder of this year, we will proceed with our remote learning plans, which we continue to review and refine, and to provide services and follow the protocols that have been in place since school closed.
Stay safe. Stay strong.
P.S. Tonight at 8:20pm, for 20 minutes, we will turn on the lights at the high school tennis courts, and display a special message on the scoreboard and message board, in a region-wide acknowledgement of senior athletes.
Please take part by staying at home and turning on the outdoor lights around your home at that time. This "Light Up the Night" event is one of several celebrations being planned to recognize the accomplishments of our seniors and give them the send-off they deserve.
New York State's Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065.