Rhinebeck Central School District Update : April 1, 2020

April 1st, 2020

BREAKING NEWS – No Joke! Extended School Closure and School Calendar Changes: Please give your careful attention to the following information:

• Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order that extends the closure of New York State schools through April 14.

• The Governor also has directed school districts to schedule all remaining school vacation days and unused snow days during the period ending on April 14 as student instruction days, and mandated remote learning to continue for all students, or risk losing State Aid;

• So in compliance with these required Executive Orders, the following days are now scheduled as student instruction days:4 unused Snow Days (Wed, Apr 1, Thurs, Apr 2, Fri, April 3, Tue, Apr 14);
5 Spring Break Days (April 6 through April 10);
The Pre-Memorial Day Vacation Day (May 22) (Mon, April 13);

• We are implementing these New York State requirements upon the advice of the school’s legal counsel in interpreting these directives from NYS.

What does this mean for students?

• From April 1 through April 14, students will receive, and are expected and required to engage with, remote learning instructional materials and support from their teachers;

• School is scheduled to resume on April 15. It has not yet been decided by Governor Cuomo whether or not schools will continue to be closed after that time;

• If NYS schools are closed after April 14, it will very likely be a continuation of the current remote learning model; ­­­

• Since some families observe religious holidays during Spring Break week (i.e. Passover, Good Friday), their students are not expected to complete work on these specific days;

• After the above dates, the only remaining school holiday at this time is Memorial Day, May 25, which also could be modified through the Executive Order of Governor Cuomo.

What does this mean for teachers?

• Teachers will continue to provide their students with relevant instructional material, and with support through their remote learning methodologies and platforms.

• Teachers are scheduled to return to regular classroom teaching on April 15. However, they should plan for the likelihood that remote instruction will continue after that date.

School Outdoor Recreational Facilities: We remind you that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus is to observe social distancing. Those who use our track, our fields, and our basketball courts should be especially mindful that a distance from one another of at least 6+ feet is the standard for safety. Because of that, our basketball courts are closed to use by more than one person at a time.

Also, please avoid touching any surfaces for which the covid-19 virus can last for any amount of time. This includes plastic and metal surfaces, especially playground and exercise area equipment. Since we are unable to clean and disinfect our playgrounds and exercise equipment as often as frequent use would require, our school playground equipment and exercise equipment are closed at this time until further notice. Avoiding use of this equipment could save someone’s life, even someone in your own family.

School Breakfast and Lunch Service: We can’t thank our food service staff for coming together to provide breakfast and lunch for our students for the families that request them since the start of the school closure cycle. With their help, we will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch for any student whose family lives in the Rhinebeck Central School District community, for as long as the school closures due to the coronavirus crisis last, and regardless of where the student attends school (RCSD, private and parochial, home-schooled).

Free student breakfast and lunch will be made available from 8:00 am until 10:30 am on a “grab and go” basis at BMS/RHS parking lot every Monday (3 days’ worth of meals) and every Thursday (2 days’ worth of meals. For more information or questions, to place an order, and/or to request delivery, please email a message to meals@rhinebeckcsd.org no later than 7:00 am on the morning of pick-up. Please let us know if your child has any food allergies.

Building and Technology Access: In the interest of limiting access to our buildings for the purpose of social distancing, all access to either CLS or BMS/RHS will be on an “appointment-only” basis. Contact your school’s principal by e-mail. E-mail information is on the District web site and the school’s web page.

Any RCSD family needing assistance with technology in support of the continuity of instruction should e-mail technology@rhinebeckcsd.org. Steve Jensen, our Director of Technology & Communication, will respond and work with you to address your technology needs.

Joseph L. Phelan

Superintendent of Schools

Rhinebeck Central School District

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