(Friday, February 19, 2021)
Dear CES Family,
I hope the close of this week finds you rested and restored. Meanwhile, my staff and I have been hard at work! I am delighted to report that, just under a year after 2020 demanded an emergency shift to 100% virtual instruction, Catskill Elementary School will welcome our entire cohort of Hybrid students back to classroom learning four days a week. CES students whose families chose the Hybrid model will attend school in person on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday will continue to be a virtual instruction day for all our students.
The planned transition will be done in waves. Second and Fourth Grade students will switch to a four-day schedule beginning right after Winter Break, on Monday, February 22nd. Third and First Grades, Kindergarten, and Pre-K will make the switch the following week, on Monday, March 1st. Fifth Grade students are tentatively slated to switch on Monday, March 1st, as well. This brief delay offers classroom teachers, food service, and transportation providers time to ensure that all CDC safety guidelines continue to be upheld to their fullest.
My office has spent the past two weeks reaching out in writing and by phone to every CES family in the District. The response from our school community—parents, families and students alike—has been immediate and enthusiastic. While Hybrid families were given the option of moving to the Virtual model rather than to Team 4, the overwhelming majority expressed joy at the prospect of more in-school time for their children. Over and over, parents laughed, cried, and told us how much a return to classroom learning will mean to their kids.
Our goal is to provide the strongest, safest possible education for each of the young people entrusted to our care. I want to acknowledge the enormous amount of planning and work it takes to accomplish this much in such a short time. Please let me briefly recognize our Results Team and grade level leaders; our District Registrar; and our Special Education, Transportation, Technology Department and Main Office staff; as well as our food service crew and our dedicated custodians. Furthermore, every CES staff member deserves a round of applause for going above and beyond on a daily basis. Thank you all for your hard work throughout the past year on our students’ behalf.
Have a wonderful weekend. I look forward to seeing the return of Second and Fourth Grade Hybrid students to a four-day in-person schedule. After several weeks of 100% virtual instruction, I know we are all looking forward to seeing CES students filling our quiet hallways and classrooms with life.
Wishing you continued safety and health,
John Rivers, Principal
Catskill Elementary School