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Superintendent's Update - October 9,2020

October 9, 2020

Dear Garden City School Community,

We have been open for just over one month without any school closure.  I am proud of our students and staff for following our safety protocols.  Here are some highlights and work in progress:

 

  • The high school extracurricular athletic fitness and conditioning program started this week with over 750 students participating.
  • The middle school outdoor intramural program will start October 14.
  • Extracurricular clubs and activities are running and are accessible for our fully remote students as well. 
  • K-5 Specials will start the week of October 19th
  • We have ordered additional play items for recess K-5.
  • We have deployed new laptops with better audio and video quality to all K-12 teachers.
  • We will be ordering additional sound systems for our classrooms in large spaces.
  • We will be updating our reopening plan to include delivery of instruction for quarantined students K-5, delivery of special area instruction K-5, and the addition of 4 half days.
  • District calendar has been updated through December, which includes virtual fall parent–teacher conferences.
  • High school students took a student survey today to help us gain a better understanding of their overall school experiences thus far and gauge their social-emotional health. We already have over 850 responses.
  • Middle school students will be taking the survey next week.

 

As part of our effort to seek input from our school community, we are also asking parents to take a short survey. This will give you an opportunity to reflect on your child’s overall learning experience, social and emotional well-being, and our health and safety protocols. The survey will also give us feedback to inform our work. Please complete the Parent Survey by Wednesday, Oct. 14.

 

Next Friday, Oct. 16, at 1:00 p.m., Board of Education President Bill Holub and I will host a virtual Town Hall meeting to discuss our school reopening thus far. We encourage you to submit any questions by Wednesday, Oct. 14.  Here is the link to register for the Town Hall meeting.  For those who cannot attend, we will record the meeting and make it available on our website.

 

As a reminder, Monday, Oct. 19 will be a half-day for all students in order to provide continued time for professional learning and planning among our teaching staff. During the afternoon, students will participate in extended learning activities from home and our secondary students will participate in virtual workshops related to social-emotional health.

 

Finally, as we enter into the three-day weekend, please continue to stay safe and vigilant. As you know, we had three positive COVID-19 cases within our district this past week; however, due to our health and safety protocols, we were able to keep our buildings open.  As the positivity rate continues to increase in our community and region, I urge you to exercise caution. To view the latest statistics by region, click here. The New York State Department of Health also released a Pre-K-Grade 12 COVID-19 Toolkit that is extremely helpful for parents.

 

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!

 

Sincerely,

 

Kusum

 

Kusum Sinha, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools