Dear Monticello families:
County Manager Josh Potosek issued an emergency declaration last night ordering all schools in Sullivan County to close from Monday, March 16 through April 3 in an effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. As such, beginning Monday, March 16 the Monticello Central School District will be closed to all students until April 3. All school events, field trips, athletics and other activities during this time are cancelled or postponed.
I believe this is a necessary step in reducing the opportunities for the coronavirus to spread and support his decision. Nevertheless, I know this will create hardships for many of you.
The school district will be doing several things that will, I hope, make your lives a bit easier and your children somewhat occupied. We have scheduled two staff conference days on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. To support social distancing, only half of the staff will attend on each day. During this time, our building leaders will work with teachers to help prepare and plan to distribute enrichment and review materials for students to work on while they are at home. This will include surveying families as to what devices and/or internet accessibility they have at home.
We are committed to equitable opportunities for all students and will make modifications as needed to ensure that all students have access to these materials. If you do not have internet access at home, Charter has recently announced that it will offer free Spectrum broadband for 60 days to families with children in grades Pre-K through 12 and college students. You may call 1–844-488-8395 to learn more about this offer. Some cell phone service providers have also announced that they will increase the monthly data usage on individual plans, and I encourage you to reach out to your provider to learn more. If you do not have or cannot obtain internet access, we will provide learning materials in a paper format – just let us know by calling your school office.
In addition to providing academic work for students, we are designing plans to make food available to them on a daily basis, have school counseling and psych services staff connect with students regularly (especially emotionally fragile students), and have nursing and administrative staff available to respond to your questions. The IT department will also provide information to you on accessing school and outside resources.
Please know that while the district’s administrative team has been planning for this possibility for quite some time, the fluidity of this evolving situation, along with its unprecedentedness means we still have unresolved questions at this time, including provisions for state testing or whether we will continue with our planned spring break. We simply do not have those answers at this time, but we are committed to keeping our families informed throughout these upcoming weeks through our usual channels. 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. William Silver
Interim Superintendent of Schools