Important Information from Dr. Cook – Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Dear Catskill CSD Community,

I want to congratulate you on completing the 2019-2020 school year. Although our school year was disrupted with the CO-VID 19 pandemic, we problem-solved and worked through this situation together. Our students continued learning remotely and persevered. Our entire staff worked collaboratively with ensuring that students and families received socio-emotional support, guidance, meals and encouragement along the way.

2020-2021 Budget Approved by Voters

The District’s 2020-2021 Budget was approved last evening. The results are as follows:
1,116 Yes – 669 No

Congratulations to newly-elected Board of Education Trustee Mr. Zebulun Haggerty and returning Trustees Ms. Deborah Johnson and Mr. Ryan Osswald!

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Class of 2020 and Students Transitioning to Kindergarten, Sixth and Ninth Grades

The Class of 2020 as well as students transitioning to Kindergarten, Sixth and Ninth grades were and / or will be celebrated. As indicated in previous correspondence, I share our students’ frustrations. Again, the Class of 2020 will have a traditional graduation ceremony as soon as the Governor uplifts the social distancing restrictions.

Reopen to School Committee Meetings

Last Thursday, stakeholders from our Health and Safety, SAVE and Results Teams met virtually to have conversations regarding the reopening of school. The conversations focused on social-emotional support needed for students and staff, PPEs, daily sanitizing of the buildings, scheduling, transportation, etc. Many ideas were shared and questions were posed and / or answered. We are creating several options on how students will receive support and continued learning in the fall. The District is awaiting guidance from the Governor and the CDC. Nevertheless, planning is in place and all options are being explored.

Some options included: traditional face to face instruction, an A / B schedule , virtual and / or blended instruction. Nothing can replace in-person instruction. Our students thrive through socialization and interacting with their peers. Many of our students have lost that competitive drive.

A ThoughtExchange survey was provided to stakeholder groups throughout 37 BOCES across the state. One of the common themes included, “In-person instruction is very important and we need to figure out a way to make this happen safely and as quickly as possible.” (Please see the attached).

The ThoughtExchange survey and meeting notes are attached for your review. The next Reopen to School Committee Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 1:00pm via Zoom. Please contact the Superintendent’s Office at (518) 943-4696 if you would like to participate in the planning process. Additional meetings will take place in July and August.
Reports Cards and Retrieval of Items Left in Lockers and Classrooms
Report cards will be mailed home on Thursday, June 18, 2020. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s principal if you have any questions regarding the report card. I also need you to contact your child’s principal to retrieve items that were left in classrooms and / or locker spaces. Items have been bagged and labeled with your child’s name for pick-up.

The Return Process for Chromebooks, Books, Calculators and Other School Items

We are collecting District issued chromebooks, library books, textbooks and other items next Monday, June 22, 2020 through Thursday, June 25, 2020, from 9:00am-3:00pm. The drop off area will be located in the High School parking lot, near the gymnasium entrance. A white-gloved, masked representative will assist you. We ask that you pull up to the white-tented area and remain in your vehicle until someone assists you. I thank you in advance for returning the items.

In closing, I am extremely proud of our students, parents and staff for exceeding expectations during this unfortunate situation. Your hard work is commendable. We will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available regarding the opening of school on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Please continue to check the District’s website for updates. I wish you a safe, healthy and restorative summer vacation. Cats Can, Cats Will, Cats Did!


Dr. Ronel Cook
Superintendent of Schools

Posted in District.