Advocacy at Valley Central School District

The Valley Central School District is aligned closely with a host of advocacy groups to work as proponents for our students and our staff.  The District collaborates with these organizations to ensure the State hears the concerns of our community regarding COVID-19 and the numerous mandates that have changed continuously this school year. 

 If the Board were to disregard mandates and regulations put out by the NYSDOH, OCDOH, and/or NYSED, and refuse to enforce them, the District may be subject to potential enforcement proceedings.   We understand that many of our families are frustrated with the current mandates, however, our recommendation is to continue adherence to the Governor’s Executive Orders, including mask-wearing inside the schools, until that Executive Order is modified.

These are some of the organizations we are a part of and communicate with regularly, to advocate on behalf of the Valley Central School District community.

New York State School Boards Association
NYSSBA communicates directly with Gov. Cuomo and the state Health Department. It was NYSSBA that asked them to consider adopting the three-foot guideline in New York or explain why they believe scientific evidence does not support such a change. NYSSBA issued the following statement. “We have full confidence in our schools, which have proven they can keep children and staff safe in accordance with science”

Orange County School Boards Association
During the current school year, the Orange County School Board’s Association has continuously asked for the guidance being provided to be more clear and fair for all stakeholders. They have stressed to State and local agencies that all districts in NY should be doing the same thing and this is only possible if the guidance is clear and specific. 

New York State Council of School Superintendents
This Council exists for the sole purpose of helping school superintendents and all other members succeed on behalf of the children and communities they serve. Advocacy is one way in which they pursue that goal.  NYSCOSS has been instrumental in helping school district leaders understand the requirements accompanying the federal aid tied to COVID-19. 

The School Superintendents Association
AASA, The School Superintendents Association advocates for equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education and develops and supports school system leaders. This year they launched an advisory panel to assist district leaders as they grappled with the challenges caused by the coronavirus. Recently, AASA created an online platform to help its members share communications strategies, resources, and ideas, engage with colleagues across the nation and grow professional learning communities. 

Orange County Chiefs
Superintendent Xanthis has participated in over 110 meetings this school year with the other Orange County Superintendents.  The primary focus of these meetings is the mandates and guidelines imposed by the local and State agencies in regards to COVID-19. Orange County Health Officials have been part of these calls on numerous occasions.  The Orange County superintendents have been united in their advocacy efforts this year. 

The Orange-Ulster BOCES Instructional Council
The BIC meets monthly under the direction of Terry Reynolds.  This forum provides the opportunity for the Assistant Superintendents to share information from their districts to help maintain consistency in COVID-19 procedures and protocols. 

School Administrators Association of New York
SAANYS provides its membership with a unified voice to influence legislation and policymaking. This organization makes sure that members’ opinions are heard on important issues including COVID 19 mandates. They meet regularly with the Governor’s Office to provide the perspectives of their members and make sure there is an accurate understanding of the state’s policies. 

New York State United Teachers
Recently NYSUT put out the following statement: “Educators know that being in-person is the best way for students to learn and for teachers to teach. We support offering full-time in-person instruction five days a week and await formal guidance for the fall on how districts, working with educators and parents, should construct their plans to bring all students back to the classroom.”