Message from the Superintendent of Schools

COVID-19 April 5th Update re School Closing and Spring Recess

 

Dear Freeport Families,

We hope you are doing as well as possible as we continue to live through the unprecedented times we are facing due to COVID-19. The Governor’s order that has kept many of us from leaving our homes and closed our schools has caused a major disruption in our normal way of life, but is necessary to keep our families and communities safe and healthy. Freeport Schools has viewed this not as a closure, but a transition. The well-being of our students, staff and family are still our top priority even as we connect remotely. The Governor’s Executive Order has our schools closed through April 14th, and we have worked our hardest to sustain our children though our Online E-Learning, mental health support, and Grab and Go meals.  

As per Governor’s last Executive Order, we know that school closures are extended through April 14th with plans to reevaluate at that time. It is more than likely that schools will be ordered to remain closed for a longer period of time. During our current period of closure, based on the Executive Order, schools are required to continue online E-Learning and provide meals for students even if the district is scheduled to be on Spring Recess. We have sought clarification from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the Governor’s Office. Guidance from NYSED has confirmed it is required that our schools must remain open and providing online learning during this time. Based on this, we will not be having our planned Spring Recess period (April 9th – 17th) and our Online E-Learning and Grab and Go Meal plan will continue Monday through Friday until further notice.

I understand many of our students, families and staff will be observing religious holidays during the period we were scheduled to be closed for Spring Recess. The District respects the rights of those wishing to observe their religious holidays even as we remain open online.  While our schools will continue online learning activities in compliance with the Governor’s order, assignments given prior to April 9th will have flexible due dates to accommodate those wishing to observe the religious holidays. Some staff members may not be available during this period due to religious observance. Students may use April 9th and 10th to catch up on their work and focus on health and wellness. Please see our website for Social Emotional Learning resources.

Our Grab and Go Meal Plan continues to run Monday through Friday from 9:30 am – 12:00pm. You can choose to pick up at either of our two locations:  Freeport High School and New Visions School.

An additional part of our continuity plan is the availability of Emergency Child Care for qualifying families. Freeport Public Schools is participating in

a countywide plan to provide child care through SCOPE at locations throughout the county. The criteria for qualification for this program are set by New York State. Information regarding eligibility and registration can be found on both the district website on our COVID-19 Resource Summary page or at the SCOPE website, https://www.scopeonline.us/scope-emergency-child-care/.  

 

Furthermore, New York State has determined that school district Board of Education elections and budget votes will be postponed until at least June 1, 2020. Therefore, the vote scheduled for May 19, 2020, is postponed and we will inform you when a new date has been set.

The expectation of Freeport Schools for excellence in education remains the same.  Our staff has risen to the occasion, and has shown the same dedicated passion for delivering high-quality instruction remotely, healthy meals for our children, and concern and care for our students and families as they always have. Our teachers and students have been outstanding in maintaining continuity of learning. I am awed and grateful to our staff, students and families for their commitment to working together at this truly difficult time. As we come together to do what is the best for our safety and health, we continue to support you - our families- in every way possible. Freeport has extraordinarily resilient, determined, and talented students and staff—and nothing will ever change that.

The Board of Education and I wish you and your families a peaceful, reflective time as you celebrate your religious holidays. It will certainly not be the same without family and friends gatherings, but please come together in spirit and hope for our future. We will provide you with updates as they become available.  Visit our website at www.freeportschools.org, download the Freeport Public Schools app and sign up for push notifications. Please remember to wash your hands, follow social distancing, and be safe, healthy and strong. Thank you.

Regards,

Kishore Kuncham

Superintendent of Schools