Important Information from Dr. Cook, March 30, 2021: 4 Days of Hybrid In-Person Instruction, Grades 3-8 Assessment Information, Parent Teacher Conferences, Spring Break & Travel Advisory

March 30, 2021

Dear Catskill CSD Community:

Spring is here and it’s an exciting time in the District! As the District moves forward to bring back additional students into our schools for in-person instruction, I wanted to remind you that the students are now in school 4 days a week. Hybrid in-person instruction is occurring on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. All students continue to receive virtual instruction on Wednesdays. Virtual students receive remote instruction 5 days a week. The District will continue to operate in this format for the remainder of this school year. 

Our custodians continue to clean and sanitize all Catskill CSD facilities on a daily basis. In addition, the District contracted with a cleaning service to provide additional sanitizing on Wednesday and Friday evenings. 

Secondly, the majority of our staff have received both doses of the Moderna vaccine. The chart below illustrates the most current data.   

COVID Vaccination Information

Staff Vaccine Information Number of Staff
Fully vaccinated staff 195
Staff with 1st dose/awaiting 2nd dose  20
Staff wanting the vaccine  81
Staff not wanting the vaccine 40

I hope you find this information comforting to know when deciding to return your child to in-person instruction. 

The District continues to adhere to CDC and department of health regulations with regards to sanitizing, social distancing and mask wearing. I encourage you to return your child to in-person instruction. Our schools are the safest place for your child to be. Please contact your child’s principal as soon as time permits to inquire about returning him or her to school. 

Grades 3-8 NYS Assessments

Unlike last year, students in New York State will have to take state assessment tests for the 2020-2021 school year.

Earlier this year, the New York State Board of Regents petitioned the federal Department of Education (DOE) for a waiver to cancel the Grades 3-8 Math and English Language Arts exams, as well as the Grades 4 and 8 Science exams, but was denied. These exams were canceled during the 2019-2020 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While students will have to take the state assessment tests, there will be some changes this year. Only the first session of the Grades 3-8 Math and ELA exams will be administered instead of two sessions. Only the written portion of the Grades 4-8 Science exams will be administered while the performance tests will not be given.

Please be aware that the New York State Education Department has stated that it will not be possible to administer any state assessments remotely this year. All exams will be administered in-person. Students who have opted to learn in a fully-remote environment will not be expected to participate. Nevertheless, we are encouraging all students to take the exams as the data will be needed to provide Academic Intervention Support (AIS) to students, who qualify, when they return in September. 

Fully-remote students will be invited to come in to take the assessments on Wednesdays, while our hybrid in-person students receive remote instruction at home. Assessments will begin at 9:00 a.m. for fully-remote students in Grades 3-8 and transportation will be provided to and from school on assessment days (by request). Our principals must be notified in advance if your fully remote student will take the exam and /or needs transportation on assessment days.  Each principal has a separate assessment letter with their outlined processes and protocols. The assessment letters for Catskill Elementary and Catskill Middle Schools are included in the link below. The assessments will conclude at 11:30 a.m. and arrangements will be made for students who need extended time. Fully-remote students will be dismissed at 12:00 p.m. on assessments days. 

The chart below illustrates the Grades 3-8 NYS Assessment schedule the District will adhere to for April-June 2021:

Grades 3-8 NYS Assessment Schedule

New York State
Grades 3-8 Assessment
Assessment Schedule for Hybrid In-Person Students Only
Administered during the regular school day
Assessment Schedule for Fully Remote (Virtual) Students Only
Administered on virtual day of school (9:00am-11:30am) for virtual students with Early Dismissal
English Language Arts Tuesday, April 20, 2021 Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Mathematics Tuesday, May 4, 2021 Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Science (written test only) Monday, June 7, 2021 Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Regents Exams

The state Board of Regents deployed emergency regulations for exemptions to Regents diploma requirements. For June, 2021 examinations, only exams required under the Every Student Succeeds Act will take place, including English Language Arts, Algebra 1, Earth Science and Living Environment. August Regents exams will be canceled. We will continue to update our community as more information is released closer to the date of the state assessments.

Parent-Teacher Conferences Date Change

Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled to take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. The date was changed to balance the number of in-person instruction days and the need to administer the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts assessment for our remote students. All classes are cancelled on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Please contact the Main Office of your child’s school to schedule the virtual conference. 

Spring Break / Travel Advisory 

Spring Break begins Friday, April 2, 2021 and ends on Friday, April 9, 2021. School reopens for Hybrid in-person and virtual instruction on Monday, April 12, 2021. 

It is imperative that you continue to communicate with us over the break regarding any quarantines and / or positive COVID cases that may occur in your household. You can convey this information to your child’s principal or school nurse. Their contact information is listed below.  

High School                                        Email                                                          Telephone 

Mr. Junait Shah, Interim Principal                         (518) 943-2300 

Ms. Holly Hebb, Nurse                                            (518) 943-2300

Middle School

Ms. Kerry Overbaugh                                         (518) 943-5665

Ms. Sue Weber                                                       (518) 943-5665

Elementary School 

Mr. John Rivers                                                       (518) 943-0574

Ms. Diane Ashley                                                  (518) 943-0574

Ms. Meghan Jenkins                                            (518) 943-0574

I encourage you to continue to be responsible and follow CDC protocols with mask wearing, social distancing and hand sanitizing. Effective April 1, 2021, the Travel Advisory restrictions have changed. The following link will provide you with the most current information regarding domestic and international travel regulations. 

In closing, we continue to encourage staff and students to stay home if they are feeling ill and / or have COVID related symptoms. Again, in-person and remote instruction will resume on Monday, April 12, 2021. We ask that you continue to check the District’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns. I can be reached at (518) 943-4696.


Dr. Ronel Cook
Superintendent of Schools


Posted in District.