North Salem Schools COVID-19, Coronavirus Update No. 7 March 16, 2020
School Closure Information
This morning Westchester County Executive, George Latimer, conducted a conference call with Superintendents and announced that he is issuing a local emergency declaration for five days beginning Wednesday, March 18th. This is a renewable declaration and he expects to be renewing it several times. This now means the North Salem Schools are closed up to and including March 31st at minimum.
When Will We Reopen?
The decision to reopen public schools in Westchester County will be determined by the county executive. We are planning for the likelihood of being closed beyond March 31st.
180 Day Waiver
The Governor reiterated that he will grant waivers for the required days and hours IF school districts use all available vacation and snow days first. This is the reason why in North Salem we rescheduled all available vacation days in the calendar including spring break and Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Unused snow days and the change of the PQ parent/teacher conference day to a student day accounts for March 23-25 at PQ. At the MSHS, we have an additional snow day, which brings us to March 23-26 as no school days.
Student Engagement with Learning
Beginning March 23rd, learning resources will be available on the school webpages as we transition to online learning. The purpose of these materials is to reinforce skills previously taught as a means of staying connected to learning. Should we remain closed for an extended period of time beyond March 31st, we will update you on additional online learning resources.
The Career Fair scheduled for March 27th at the MSHS is canceled.
We have arranged for “Feeding Westchester” to bring their mobile pantry to North Salem on Wednesday, March 18th and 25th from 9:00 - 11:00 am in the MSHS parking lot. There will be a farmer’s market-type set-up with free food distribution for those in need. The pantry will offer frozen food, dry pantry items, canned foods, etc… Please bring bags if you have them, otherwise, they will be provided for you. Anyone who needs food is welcome.
State and National Testing
Directives, recommendations, announcements regarding 3-8 State Testing, Regents, AP exams, and SATs/ACTs are being issued frequently, sometimes multiple times a day. We will keep you posted as information regarding testing is made available to us.
Families who are still in need of a district device and/or Internet access should complete the technology survey found on the MSHS and PQ website under Announcements. ONLY complete the survey if you need a device and/or Internet access. We will let you know the date and time we will be issuing equipment in a later update.
If you are in need of WIFI, some companies are offering free service to eligible families. Parents should contact your cable or cell phone provider for information regarding free WIFI services.
All CSE meetings are canceled for the next two weeks. Maria Bruen will be in contact with parents in the near future regarding rescheduling these meetings.
Section One announced on March 16th (today) that all scrimmages and games will be postponed until March 30th where the Section One Executive Committee will re-evaluate the Spring Season.
As of today, all practices, scrimmages and games in the North Salem Schools are suspended until further notice. Captain's practices are not permitted.
Board of Education Meeting
The Board of Education Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Match 18th is canceled. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 25th. The items on this week's agenda will be moved to the agenda on the 25th. Time and location will be sent out in one of our next updates.
Next Update Tomorrow
To assist our Families with guidance regarding Covid-19 here are a few useful links that we will update as information is provided to us by the Department of Health and other agencies.
As with SARS, MRSA and H1N1 outbreaks, all decisions regarding public health will be made by the Department of Health, guided by the CDC.
The clear advice from health officials is a firm recommendation that if you feel sick, stay home.
The links below are recommended for the latest updates.
NY Department of Health
Hand washing link from Nurse Driscoll
BrainPop Video for Student
Area School Districts
As Dr. Freeston mentioned in his communication where the potential impacts of this outbreak on our schools and programs was discussed, school field trips, large group gatherings and the delivery of instruction may possibly be impacted in the future. Those decisions will be guided by the Department of Health.
A month ago we aggressively stepped up our cleaning procedures in an attempt to contain the spread of the flu. These efforts obviously will continue. We are also grateful for the great work our nurses are doing with children and their families during this challenging time.
March 16-20 - Agriculture Literacy Week
March 17 - Joint PQ/MSHS PTO Meeting @ MSHS 9:00 am THIS IS A CHANGE IN DATE AND TIME!
March 25-26 - NYS ELA Testing Grades 3-5 (Makeups on the 27th, 30th, 31st)
March 29 - Yearbook orders are due today
March 30 - Author David Adler visits Grades 4 and 5