A Message From Dr. Franchini: Looking to 2020-2021
Dear APCSD Community,
Congratulations on making it through a historic school year, which saw us all adapt to, and overcome, many challenges over the past few months. As a parent myself, I have seen many sides to this pandemic and share many of your experiences.
I am very proud of the work that our staff, students and community members have put in throughout this unprecedented time to ensure that we are meeting the needs of and creating opportunities for every student every day.
Although we are at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we have a long road ahead of us to prepare for 2020-2021. We know that you may be struggling with the uncertainty of how our school buildings will reopen and what next year has in store for all of us, so we wanted to provide you with an update.
Student and staff safety will be our top priority. We have created a district task force with five sub-committees, and each have met and will continue to do so. We also value the feedback of our community, and as we begin to better understand where we are as a district and what will be required of us, we will be soliciting input from parents.
It is important to know that we have not made any decisions about returning to school at this point in time. Below are the answers to some questions that we know you may be thinking about in terms of what the future holds.
Throughout the summer, we will remain in contact with you about any plans that are being created. For more information, be sure to check your email, the district website and our district social media accounts.
Dr. James Franchini
Superintendent of Schools
Has New York State released any guidance regarding the reopening of school yet?
Not at this time. The reopening committee at the state level is currently conducting regional meetings, which will last through the end of June.
Will districts have to submit a plan for reopening to the State Education Department?
Yes, all reopening plans have to be submitted in July for state approval. Districts have had to do this throughout the pandemic for plans such as food service, childcare and continuity of learning.
Will students be returning to physical classrooms in the fall?
Our hope is to bring students back in the fall, but we do not know yet if that will be an option.
Has the district picked a reopening model yet?
Not yet. There are a number of models being considered in schools across the country. No single option comes without its challenges.
The Averill Park Central School District, like our colleagues around the region, state, and country, is researching and analyzing these models. Examples of possible models include, but are not limited to, students returning to buildings full time, bringing students back on a rotating A/B schedule to reduce the population in the buildings, having our K-5 students on campus and students in grades 6-12 learning remotely, and having half the student body attend school Monday through Thursday one week and the other half attend in person the following week with everyone participating in distance learning on Friday. We are working through all of our options now to figure out the best way to proceed.
What is the structure for soliciting input and making decisions?
We have created a task force with five sub-committees, including Teaching and Learning, Social-Emotional Needs, Finance and Operations, Staff and Student Health, and Staff Culture and Well Being. More than 100 faculty, staff and administrators representing every school and department in the district.
The district also plans to solicit input from parents as we receive more guidance and direction from the state and health experts. We look forward to hearing from you through this process, as well.
What is the status of the Fall 2020 interscholastic athletic season?
At this time, valid and reliable information is not available to begin making decisions or providing recommendations pertaining to the fall 2020 season. The fall season is scheduled to begin on August 24; if revisions become necessary, we will inform our community immediately. Registration for the fall season is scheduled to take place via Family ID starting on Monday, July 27 through Sunday, Aug. 9. More information regarding registration will be sent out in mid-July.
Will students be able to participate in summer athletic workouts on campus?
Governor Cuomo has established phases that businesses and organizations should rely upon when evaluating reopening. Schools are within Phase 4, and until Phase 4 is reached, school buildings and grounds remain closed. The NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force has released guidance for summer conditioning workouts on school campuses when they reach Phase 4. More information pertaining to summer workouts specific to Averill Park CSD will be released in the coming weeks.
What if I have a question that is not answered here?
We understand that there are many questions you may have. As we get further into the planning process, we will communicate all new information as it becomes available, and provide opportunities to give us feedback.