May 22, 2020
End of Year Graduation Celebrations, HS, MS and Elementary
As you already know, even with the Pause order being lifted, many barriers exist to hosting large gatherings in our “new normal.” To complicate matters further, the health and safety guidelines that we must follow to keep everyone safe continue to change, and it is difficult to predict what the next few months will bring. With executive orders present to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, our schools are working hard to make sure that no matter the boundaries present that our students will be acknowledged and celebrated for their accomplishments.
One of the proudest traditions that we have is our High School Graduation Ceremony. We understand the importance of maintaining as many of our traditions associated with graduation as is possible given the safety parameters. In keeping with this theme, the Valley Central High School graduation will be a combination of live events along with a virtual presentation in June. Then, if permitted, a recognition ceremony and All Night Grad celebration in August with the entire graduating class will take place. The first event will be a celebratory cap and gown pick up or what we have deemed your not so ordinary gap and gown pick up. Students will participate in this event while remaining in their cars. Next, we will formally invite parents and students to individually attend as a family for an intimate receipt of diplomas and yearbooks. Finally, we will stream the graduation ceremony “live” on June 20, 2020 where families, friends and community members can watch from the comfort of their own homes.
Valley Central Middle School has several end-of-year events to celebrate our students’ accomplishments. One of the most enjoyed traditions each year is the 8th Grade Awards Ceremony. While this will look different from our traditional ceremony, our 8th grade advisors are working hard to create a meaningful and enjoyable experience for all of our 8th grade students and their families. Other activities being planned for our 8th grader students include a virtual yearbook signing and a virtual dance. Each event is meant to acknowledge our students’ tremendous achievements. Teacher teams will also be scheduling team-wide events such as virtual field trips, virtual field days, and more.
At the elementary level, we understand that 5th Grade students will not have the opportunity to celebrate all of their hard work together in our schools at the end of the year. In order to make this a positive experience, the four elementary schools have been working together to plan a virtual celebration to recognize all of our students’ hard work. In lieu of a typical Moving-Up Ceremony, we will be organizing a Virtual Moving-Up Ceremony for our families. This virtual ceremony will be similar in format to the ceremony facilitated each year for 5th grade students. The elementary schools are also planning a day for students to obtain their certificates, awards and care package to help celebrate.
You all mean so much to us! We promise our students and our families of our graduating classes of 2020 that our staff is working hard to provide you with the most special and memorable graduation events. In addition, while we cannot control the uncontrollable, we will move forward with the very best intentions. Specific details about each celebratory event will be forthcoming in the next few days. In these uncertain times, it is comforting to know that our school community can pull together for each other, and most of all, keeping students center as we continue to go through this crisis together.
BOCES ThoughtExchange about Re-Opening School
May 21, 2020
Principals and their committees have been working earnestly to plan something special for the classes of 2020. Because the guidance we get from the State and County changes regularly, we been taking time to ensure we are giving you the most up to date information but in order to make personal plans, we will begin sending out specifics over Memorial Day weekend and early next week.
In addition, Principals are sending out information in regard to the plans for picking up and dropping off student supplies. If you borrowed a Chromebook, you may keep it over the summer, unless you are a Senior. We will providing summer resources for your children to utilize if you wish for them to do so.
Valley Central has determined that the last day of academics will be Tuesday, June 16th. The last day of online instruction will be Friday, June 5th. Students will have until Wednesday, June 10th to complete and turn in all their assignments, with continued assistance and feedback provided by teachers during that time. From June 11th – June 16th, on school days, teachers will provide independent end of the year student oriented fun activities for your child to enjoy. There will be no grading or collection of these activities.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday, therefore there will be no online instruction on this day. Please take this day to relax and to also remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives defending our country and our freedom.
The District will continue the meal program and the Childcare program until June 26th. We will update you on any plans for additional service in the summer if that is something we are able to provide. At this point we expect that the Backpack Snack Attack program will continue.
Thank for your continuous support of the Valley Central School District and for the way the community continues to respond to this challenge.
Instructional Plan during the Coronavirus Shutdown
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has extended New York State’s shutdown through the end of the academic year. Valley Central’s current online instructional plan can be found here and will remain in effect through the end of the academic year.
Advice from VCSD School Physician
Lin-Lin Remenar MD, FAAP
During this COVID 19 pandemic, as the district’s school physician, but more importantly as a mother, I am concerned about our students’ well being. As we all know, school is a major contributor to the social, emotional, and nutritional support of many of our students. Since the stop of physically attending school, many of these supports are at risk. Compounding these issues is the fact that some kids have parents, grandparents, loved ones, friends, and neighbors that have been infected by this disease. We also know that many families are being financially impacted which creates another layer of stress. With true concern for the families in our school district, I have been collaborating with others for many weeks to provide some resources to hopefully help ease some of the difficulty you may be facing.
- How to Ease Children’s Anxiety about COVID-19
- Working from Home while trying to manage kids schooling
- Find local programs to help you get food, pay bills, and other assistance
- NY State COVID-19 Emotional Support Line: (844) 863-9314
- Ask Shirelle is a fun, unique site for kids, teens, adults and parents where you can get advice and answers about just about anything!
- Reach Out offers many tools to cope with the coronavirus
- Mindfulness can help you find a sense of calm
Fortunately, we know that the COVID19 virus does not affect children medically as severely as adults, but they are facing their own challenges. Although, the kids are practicing social distancing, please help me make sure they are not going into social isolation. We came into this crisis as an amazingly strong community and school district and I am hoping to help ensure that we come out of this crisis the same.
School Budget and BOE Elections
Childcare for Essential Workers
As you know, school districts in New York State are currently closed for an extended period of time. One of our priorities as a school community is to ensure our families/caregivers who have been deemed essential workers by the Governor of New York State, have necessary child care supports in place so they can continue working outside of the home during the extended school closure.
If you are a first responder or health care provider who requires child care support during Valley Central’s current extended school closure, please take a few minutes to complete this survey so the District can assist you. Please click here to access the survey or email email@example.com.
Grab and Go Meals are available to anyone in need. Breakfast and Lunch is provided for every weekday with distribution on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (Tuesday and Friday’s meals are included with Monday and Thursday) from 10:30 am – 12 Noon at four locations in the district. The locations are:
- ALC at Maybrook – Around back, first door
- East Coldenham Elementary School- Bus Lane
- Walden Elementary School- Maple Street
- Valley Central Middle School- side parking lot
We are at Sleepy Hollow Trailer Park in Coldenham (inside the gate) the same days from 9:45-10:15 AM.
On Thursday only, we are at David Weiss Memorial Park in the Country Club Heights neighborhood in Maybrook from 10:30 AM-11:00 AM.
It doesn’t matter which school your child attends, or if you have a child in school. Meals are given to anyone in need.
It is drive-up or walk-up.
Backpack Snack Attack is being delivered to our families who usually receive it during this crisis.
We are Here to Help
Please reach out to teachers, support staff, counselors, building principals, directors and central office administrators with any questions or concerns you may have. This is new to all of us and we will experience some glitches along the way. We are here for you. Please reach out if you need anything.