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Coronavirus Updates

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UPDATE May 1: Governor Cuomo has announced that all school districts in New York State will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Distance learning, grab and go meals, and child care will continue, and we will share new information as it becomes available.

Be sure and continue to practice social distancing and stay home to the extent possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

For details on distance learning, grab and go meals, child care, and more, click on the links to the left.  We will continue to communicate with our school community as new information becomes available. 

Update: May 22, 2020

I hope you are all well, that you are healthy, and you are looking forward to better times to come. 

On behalf of the district, our thoughts and prayers are with all who have lost family members, neighbors, or friends from the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us all hope that the future will bring a healthy start to the summer season.

I want to thank you for your continued support as we navigate these difficult and uncertain days. By working together,  we will come out of this stronger than ever.  We know this is a difficult time, and we appreciate your ongoing patience.

This year, the school district budget and board election will look very different. According to the Governor's Executive Order, voting will not take place at polling locations, instead registered voters will receive absentee ballots in mailboxes sometime next week.  Ballots can be returned to the District Clerk anytime but must be received by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.  Despite the challenging economic climate, we are proud to share that this year is one of the lowest budget-to-budget increases in the district's history. Further information, as well as essential questions and answers, are available on the district website. 

Our teachers, staff, and administrators continue to provide innovative instruction while offering new and meaningful learning opportunities. We ask that you visit the district website to fill out a brief survey that will help us further support your child's academic and social-emotional learning.

We are proud that Longwood was one of the very few schools that launched Distance Learning on March 18.  Since then, the Governor has ordered all schools to work through any, and all, recess periods throughout the spring; consequently, we lost our spring recess.  Since we prepared accordingly, that lost time will come back to our school community. At last night's meeting, the board approved a change to our existing school calendar. The last day of school will be Monday, June 15, rather than the original date of June 25.  All distance learning assignments must be completed and handed in by Tuesday, June 16.

As part of a plan to open school in September, we are putting together a task force to work through the challenges, such as what social distancing guidelines will be needed to allow students and staff to return safely.  We will share more information shortly.

In preparation for the end of the school year, building administration will reach out to you starting the week of June 1 to schedule dates and times to pick up your child's personal belongings.

There have been many questions asked about how the district plans to handle end-of-year events, including graduation. We understand that these celebrations are essential to our students, our families, and our staff. We have been meeting with our senior class members and will share our plans shortly to honor the Class of 2020.

I will continue to share new information as it becomes available.  In the meantime, stay safe and stay strong.

Thank you and stay safe,
Dr. Lonergan



Update: May 1, 2020
Today, Governor Cuomo announced that all school districts in New York would continue with distance learning and other essential supports through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

This means that while school campuses are closed the rest of the school year, distance learning, grab and go meals, and childcare for frontline workers will continue. While we understand this poses hardships to families, it is the most effective way to slow the transmission of this pandemic and do our part by continuing to implement social distancing practices.

Like you, I am saddened by this news. Longwood Schools is truly a special place, and the relationships between and among students, staff, and families are the heart of our community. Our thoughts are with our students, particularly our seniors. We know that our graduates are the most impacted, and we have tremendous empathy for the lost opportunities in this challenging time. Any announcements regarding plans for the Class of 2020 will be shared in the near future.

Being closed through the end of the year will require a new level of distance learning. Our teachers have connected with the vast majority of our students, and our goal is to engage every student. In the coming days and weeks, staff will collaborate to cover the critical standards of the remainder of the year. We are committed to ensuring students have the resources and services they need to continue their learning and engagement despite the closure of our school facilities.

The extended closure raises numerous questions for students and families, and we are working to answer these questions as soon as possible.

As a reminder, tonight, the stadium lights at the high school will shine for our seniors for 20 minutes from 8:20 pm to 8:40 pm. We ask you to participate by staying home and flashing your lights at the same time. DO NOT arrive on the fields or parking lots as all public gatherings are prohibited. THE CAMPUS IS CLOSED. Photos of the event will be shared on our district website and social media.

We are in the midst of a difficult and challenging time, but I am confident we will emerge stronger.

Thank you and stay safe,
Dr. Lonergan


Update: April 27, 2020

Your support and outpouring of help and patience during this challenging time is so appreciated. We are experiencing an unprecedented period in history and one that we never expected.

While our school buildings are closed, our commitment to our children and families remains the same. Our teachers, staff, and administrators are working hard to ensure that we continue to provide support for our students. Statewide school closures continue through May 15, and we will continue to share any new updates as they become available.
Now in our sixth-week of distance learning, our families remain critical to supporting student learning at home. Our teachers are delivering innovative instruction while offering new and meaningful opportunities for learning.

However, there are secondary level students that have not yet connected with teachers. Beginning next week, teachers and administrators at the Junior High School and High School will contact students personally to engage in the learning process, and we ask parents for assistance. Do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or administrator with any questions or concerns about your child’s schoolwork.

The Child Nutrition Department continues to provide Grab and Go meals for students Monday through Friday. Since school closure, we have provided nearly 29,000 meals for our students.

The coronavirus pandemic creates an extreme amount of stress for many, and we urge you to be mindful of your family’s social and emotional needs. Our mental health staff is available to assist you as needed. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

Due to the extended school closure and being mindful of social distancing, sadly, Longwood Day joins a long list of traditional events canceled for this year.

We are doing our best, given the challenges we face, but I remain optimistic that each challenge brings opportunity. As educators, we can continue to support our students. As community members and neighbors, we support one another. Together, we will get through this.

Take good care,
Dr. Lonergan


Update: April 16, 2020
Earlier today, Governor Cuomo announced that all schools would remain closed through May 15 with a potential opening on May 18, 2020. Throughout this time of closure, we will continue to provide the grab and go meals for our students, offer child care for our first responders, and maintain our distance learning.

I hope your child is taking part in this week's virtual "Wellness and Spirit Week" and has taken time to catch up on any outstanding work and assignments. On Monday, April 20, we will resume our Google Classroom distance learning platform. As a reminder, our families must continue to connect with teachers, counselors, and administrators to provide students with the stability they need to learn and stay current with their work.

There remains much uncertainty about this health crisis, but I will continue to share updated information with our school community as soon as it becomes available.

Please stay safe and stay well.

Sincerely,
Dr. Michael R. Lonergan
Superintendent of Schools



Update: April 6, 2020
Governor Cuomo announced an extension of school closure until April 28, with a potential opening of schools on April 29, 2020. During this time, we will continue to provide the grab and go meals for our students, offer child care for our first responders, and maintain our distance learning platform.

As I stated in a previous message, beginning April 9 through April 17, teachers will lighten new work assignments to provide students with an opportunity to catch up on outstanding work. Our teachers and administrators will continue to provide instruction and assistance to all students in this modified fashion.

We realize that the coronavirus pandemic has created an extreme amount of stress for many, and it is essential to take a break to address your family’s social and emotional needs. Additional outreach from our mental health staff will take place during this time as well.

We were also informed by the New York State Education Department that all Regents examinations scheduled for June are canceled. We are waiting for further guidance from the Board of Regents and will keep you updated on new information as we it is received.

Additionally, the Parent Portal will remain open for an extended period through April 24 to provide teachers and students with time to complete distance learning assignments. Further information on third-quarter grading for grades 5-12 will be provided to you at a later date.

We are facing so many unanswered questions during this health crisis, and I ask for your patience. I will continue to share updated information as soon as it becomes available.

There is hope that we are starting to see some much-anticipated relief from the spread of this virus. In the meantime, let’s continue to support one another, be kind and compassionate, and take good care of yourselves and your family.

Sincerely,
Dr. Michael R. Lonergan
Superintendent of Schools



Update: April 5, 2020

On behalf of the Board of Education and Central Administration, I would like to extend our thanks for your ongoing support during these challenging times.  

We recently received clarification from New York State that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the district must continue to work through spring break to have the 180-day school requirement waived. We will continue to provide distance learning for our students, childcare for medical personnel, first responders, and transit workers, and give the grab and go meals for our school community.  

Since we began our distance learning program on Thursday, March 19, our students and staff have excelled and adapted to this new way of instruction and learning. We know how difficult it has been and are sensitive to the amount of work assigned.  Starting April 9 through the remainder of our school closure, we invite you to take focus on your family’s social and emotional needs. During this time, teachers will relax, assigning new work to allow our students to catch up on items that may have been missed.

We have every confidence that the strong partnership we enjoy in our school community will allow us to continue providing students with the best education possible under these very trying circumstances. 

As always, we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.

Thank you and take good care,

Dr. Michael R. Lonergan
Superintendent of Schools 





Update: March 29, 2020
On Friday, March 27, Governor Cuomo announced that he would extend the statewide closure of schools for an additional two weeks, until April 15, 2020. The waiver from 180-day requirements will also be extended. The Board of Education and Central Administration are working to confirm that we can correctly interpret the new order incorporating emergency closing and vacation days.

Grab and go meals continue to be distributed at all elementary schools, Monday through Friday from 10:30 am through noon, and we are now offering child care for essential workers through our before and after-care program, Right at School.

Our dedicated teachers continue to work with students through Google Classroom, which serves as the primary point of communication with teachers and a means of access to classroom assignments and material. Our administration and staff remain committed to providing the best instruction possible during these challenging times.

I realize there are many unanswered questions during this health crisis, but I will continue to keep the community updated with accurate information as it becomes available. While I realize these are unsettling and frustrating times, I know that we will be okay, and our children will finish the school year.

Stay strong, stay safe, and stick to the facts. Please check our website often for information as it becomes available.

Sincerely,
Dr. Michael R. Lonergan
Superintendent of Schools

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Update: March 25, 2020

This is a difficult time, and we know there are many unknowns, but one thing is certain. The health and safety of our students and staff remain our top priority.  

As directed by the Board of Education, the district has closed all facilities to the public; this includes athletic fields, tracks, and parking lots. Since schools closed on March 16, there has been a significant increase in groups congregating on our campuses. In the interest of containing the spread of the coronavirus, all facilities are closed until further notice. 

As per executive order from Governor Cuomo, schools are to remain closed through Tuesday, March 31. As of today, we are scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.  As always, we’ll update the community as we hear of any updates or changes.

Last week, the district distributed close to 1,000 chrome books in preparation for our new distance instruction and learning.  I’m happy to share that the majority of students and staff are exceptionally engaged in this unique learning experience, and our staff and administrators remain in constant contact. 

However, some families have not responded to our outreach efforts.  If your children are not communicating with their teacher(s), please reach out to their building principal immediately. 

While we know that continued education is paramount, we cannot neglect their mental health needs.  Our counseling team is available to speak with students and families as needed.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to them.

As part of our emergency feeding program, the Child Nutrition Department has distributed more than 4,500 meals, and will continue to do so at all elementary schools from 10:30 am through noon, Monday through Friday. 
 
The Board of Education and Central Administration remain closely connected with our local and state health officials, and we urge our school community to do their part in halting the spread of the virus by following suggested CDC guidelines, including social distancing and good hygiene.

I know the strength, power, and pride of our community, so I know we will continue to work together to support one another during the days and weeks ahead. Stay healthy, be sure and wash your hands, and take good care.


Sincerely,
Dr. Michael R. Lonergan
Superintendent of Schools

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Update March 25:  By Executive Order of Governor Cuomo, all schools in New York State are closed through April 15, 2020.  The district will keep our school community updated as we move through this fast-evolving and unprecedented situation.  Thank you.


District Communications Regarding COVID-19

 


New York State Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065

Helpful Resources:
Center for Disease Control
CDC COVID-19 Fact Sheet (English)
CDC COVID-19 Fact Sheet (Spanish)
New York State Department of Health
Suffolk County Department of Health
New York Center for School Health

Talking to Children About COVID-10: A Parent Resource


Video Resources:






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