April 1: Update from Dr. Silver re: spring break cancellation and schedule

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Dear families: 

Things change very rapidly…   

As I’m sure most of you know from the headlines in the Herald Record, we have been ordered by the Governor to cancel spring break and continue with the three activities we are required to do to preserve our state aid.  To quote the guidance from NYSED, “districts must continue to provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and child care for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020 and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time.”   There is no information on what will happen after April 14, but I suspect we will be closed for an indeterminate period after that. 

We will be shifting our focus from providing review and enrichment for students to providing new instruction in a virtual learning environment.  The IT staff are preparing to distribute 750 devices to students who have indicated they do not have one at home.  Access to the internet is still a problem for a number of students and families, and we are trying to find an affordable solution to reach all kids. 

To facilitate this shift in instruction, we will be providing direct instruction Mondays through Thursdays, with Fridays being reserved for students  to use Fridays to catch up on work from the week, revise work submitted based on feedback from their teachers, and to turn in completed work.  We will try to make this day as flexible as possible while providing some respite from everyone’s daily stressors.  

To support you as much as we can, we are planning on continuing to deliver breakfasts and lunches.  The schedule for deliveries next week will be the same as this past week – Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with a double portion delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I will send a robocall to remind you over the weekends. 

We are also concerned about the anxieties and fears you and your children may be experiencing, or just the “cabin fever’’ of being in close quarters for this extended period of time as we shelter in place.  I want to remind you that our school counselors are available to provide social/emotional support and connections to resources if you need help.  Direct links to them can be found at https://www.monticelloschools.net/enrichment-review-information-during-the-school-closure 

We continue to make the best of the extraordinary situation we find ourselves in.  None of us have ever experienced anything like this, and we are all inventing solutions as we go.  I hope that you and your family are healthy and safe, and that the school district is supporting you in ways you find helpful – food, schoolwork, contacts with teachers, and emotional support if you need it.  Let us know what else we can do.   

 Please continue to check our website frequently for the most up-to-date information.  

Again, as always, I thank you for your patience and support.  


Dr. Silver