Newark Central Schools

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Superintendent's Message

  • Message from Matt Cook, Superintendent of SchoolsMatt Cook

      

    Good Afternoon Newark CSD families and staff,

     

    I have several updates to share in this latest COVID-19 update, so I’ll start with a bulleted list followed by a more detailed explanation. 

    • Instruction and food service will continue next week during what was to be the spring break.
    • Our food service team and transportation department continue to do a fantastic job of getting meals out to families. During the period of Spring Break, meal service will occur on Monday and Wednesday only as follows: 
      • Monday 4/6/2020: 2 lunches and 2 breakfasts per student
      • Wednesday 4/8/2020: 3 lunches and 3 breakfasts per student
    • The latest Governor’s Executive Order (EO) closes school through 4/14/2020. The Governor is issuing these orders in two week increments.  Given that the forecast of the apex of the Coronavirus will happen during that week and the President’s message about extending social distancing through the end of April, it is very possible that this will get extended again.  As soon as I know more, I will communicate more.
    • There is still no information about Regents exams or graduation.
    • Please take this time to fill out your US Census Now, more than ever, Wayne County needs to have our numbers counted!  This translates into political representation and funding for our schools and local governments. 
    • School Board elections and School Budget votes will be delayed until after June 1, 2020. When I have more specific information about this, I will share it.
    • One last reminder that it remains important that we all support as many local businesses as possible during this difficult time. So many of our business are a great support to the school district.  Please practice social distancing while supporting local businesses.

     

    As we approach the time period that was supposed to be spring break, I want to let you know about the latest directive from the Governor and what that means for Newark students and staff.  The Governor’s last Executive Order, which closed school buildings through 4/14/2020, led to this communication from the New York State Education Department (NYSED):

     

    “Districts must continue to provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and childcare for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020 and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time.”

     

    At Newark CSD, that means we will offer meals over spring break using the same Monday, Wednesday schedule that we implemented this week.  We have gathered information regarding childcare options for essential workers as defined by the Governor’s EO (heath care and first responders) and have had our plan approved by NYSED. 

     

    As for instruction, while we expect students to engage with the materials that have been provided, I want to let you know that we do not expect families to replicate a full day of instruction during the period our buildings are closed to students.  Family time is different than school time and I do not want you to feel the pressure that teachers feel to make academic gains.  That’s not the job of the family.  Our teachers are working to help find this new balance.  You should have received some pacing information and teachers should be checking in with students to see how they are doing.  If that has not happened, please email your child’s teacher or the building principal (or call the building), so we can help make these important connections.  There are still too many of our scholars that we have not connected with and I remain concerned about their safety, emotional well-being and the equity problems that this closure is causing. 

     

    Our administrative team, department and grade level teacher leaders have been meeting to plan for what new instruction will look like after 4/14/2020, should we remain out longer, as I suspect we will.  The President has signaled that he would like social distancing measures to remain in place through the end of April, but we await the next Governor EO before we have our official directive on school building closures.  Our instruction next week will look similar to what has been happening to this point, though we recognize the need for a break and the that some of the initial work that was prepared has run out or is running out.  We have been trying to focus on foundational skills, so our scholars do not fall behind during this time.  After 4/14/2020, should we remain closed, we will be shifting to some new instruction and there will be more communication about this coming from your principals and teachers. 

     

    Thanks again for all you have done and all you will continue to do to support each other.

     

    Respectfully,

     

    Matt Cook, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools

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