Important Information From Dr Cook – May & June Events, Summer Programs, Vaccination Survey, and Reopening 2021-22

(May 19, 2021)

Dear Catskill CSD Families:

I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. Please allow the following correspondence to serve as an update regarding District matters:

Budget Vote / Board Election Update

On May 18, 2021, Catskill Central School District voters approved the 2021-22 School Budget and elected Jennifer Shanley, Jeremy Engelin, Stephanie Oakley-Edwards, and Brittany Williams to the Board of Education.

May 18, 2021 voting results:

Catskill Central School District 2021-22 Budget: PASSED 346 yes – 245 no

Catskill Public Library Proposition: PASSED 405 yes – 179 no

Board of Education Candidates:
Jeremy Engelin: 352 – three-year term running July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024
Stephanie Oakley-Edwards: 336 – three-year term running July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024
Brittany Williams: 317 – two-year term running May 19, 2021 – June 30, 2023
Jennifer Shanley: 378 – three-year term running July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024

Thank you to everyone who came out to vote and congratulations to the Board of Education candidates!

Give-Back Days

Due to continuity of instruction with remote learning, the District did not use four of the inclement weather days allotted for this year. As a result, no virtual or in-person instruction will take place on the following days:

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2021
  • Thursday, May 27, 2021
  • Friday, May 28, 2021
  • Friday, June 18, 2021 (District closed in observance of Juneteenth)

The District will also be closed on Monday, May 31, 2021, in observance of Memorial Day. Special thanks to the men and women who served and continue to serve in the armed forces!

End of the Year Celebrations and Ceremonies
As the county’s infection rate declines and more individuals have been vaccinated, the District is committed to facilitating as many in-person end-of-the-year celebrations and ceremonies as we are able to. Our principals are in the process of providing you with informational letters regarding specific building-related functions. It is imperative that you review the informational letters and RSVP by the designated date so that we are able to appropriately plan for the events.

The District must continue to adhere to CDC, NYS, and Department of Health guidelines and regulations with regards to the number of individuals attending such events.

Summer Programming
The District intends to offer in-person summer programming for elementary, middle and high school students. The elementary and middle school programs will serve as remediation and enrichment for students, while the high school will facilitate our traditional credit recovery program for students who were unsuccessful with passing specific courses. The District also intends to facilitate our Summer Media Camp.

Please note that all District summer programs and 12-month staff from our elementary and middle schools will be temporarily relocated to the High School. This also includes the Office of Special Education. Our elementary and middle school buildings will not be accessible effective Monday, June 28, 2021 through the end of August due to summer Capital Project work scheduled for those buildings. Office phones are being transferred to the temporary location at the High School, so that you will be able to use our current phone numbers to contact staff from the Office of Special Education, elementary and middle schools.

Students 12 Years of Age and Older Eligible for the Pizer Vaccine
Representatives from the Greene County Department of Public Health have tentatively set up a POD for the Pizer vaccine for students ages 12 and older. The POD is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in the Catskill High School Gymnasium between the hours of 12:30-4:00 p.m. Participation in the vaccination POD is voluntary. The hours may be extended or shortened depending on the response. 

Please complete the online survey as soon as possible, so that we can plan appropriately. You can contact the Superintendent’s Office at (518) 943-4696 for any additional questions or concerns. Please take the survey by following the link below:

https://forms.gle/1ecQfjDSqzvSopDu6

Reopening of Schools September, 2021
The District is in the process of planning and preparing for the reopening of schools for September, 2021. Our goal is to safely return all students to in-person instruction five days a week. We are committed to providing our children with a high-quality education in a safe and secure learning environment. Although the CDC and NYS have lifted some restrictions, at this time, NYS still requires masks, social distancing, and other safety measures in schools, regardless of a person’s vaccination status. The District will continue to follow our established safety guidelines for the duration of this school year.

Our reopening of schools committee will reconvene after the Memorial Day break to review the updated CDC and NYS guidelines with regards to social distancing for September, 2021. Nevertheless, we understand some parents whose children have medical conditions may still have concerns with returning their children to in-person instruction in September. We are exploring a remote option for those students. The remote option will not entail instruction provided by Catskill CSD staff. We are collaborating with Questar III BOCES for the remote option. In order to qualify for remote instruction for September, 2021, your request must be accompanied with a note from a medical provider that indicates your child’s diagnosis.

An electronic survey will be available for parents to complete after the Memorial Day break to inform our District of your intent for September, 2021. A hard copy form will also be made available for parents to complete who do not have access to technology. The survey must be completed and / or returned to us no later than June 11, 2021. If we do not receive a survey from you, we will assume your children will return to schools five days a week for in-person instruction. The District will continue to monitor the status of the pandemic and our initial plans may be subject to change.

In closing, I wish you and your family a restorative Memorial Weekend break. As always, please feel free to contact me at (518) 943-4696 if you have any questions or concerns.

Regards,

Dr. Ronel Cook
Superintendent of Schools

Posted in District, Elementary School, High School, Middle School.