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Message from the Superintendent

October 9, 2020

Dear TUFSD Families and Staff:

It was great to have our schools resume their schedules this week, with in-person learning occurring at all buildings. I’ve been very proud of how our teachers and administrators have managed necessary changes these past few weeks and appreciative of our families and students for their flexibility and understanding.

Following are updates for this week:

Schedule for Week of October 12:  On Monday, October 12, the district will be closed in observance of Columbus Day. School resumes on Tuesday, October 13 with Cohort A in school on Tuesday and Wednesday and Cohort B in school on Thursday and Friday. Looking ahead to the week of October 19, we will begin ‘Flex Wednesdays,’ which will allow for an additional day of in-person instruction. The week of October 19 Cohort A will be in school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and during the week of October 26,  Cohort B will be in school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Reminders will be sent to families and you can always refer to this calendar as a reference. The cohort and remote days can also be found in the 2020-2021 District Calendar which was mailed to your home.

Emergency Evacuation Drills: Even with the changes in our buildings this year, it is imperative that we continue our emergency preparedness. We are scheduled to conduct a district-wide evacuation drill on Friday, October 16. In the past, students and staff from each of our five schools moved to their off-site evacuation location and were dismissed from there.This year, given COVID restrictions, we are going to conduct the drill differently. Schools will conduct an emergency evacuation/dismissal drill 15 minutes prior to their normally scheduled end time. Students will be dismissed directly to buses, waiting parents, or allowed to walk home while administrators and teachers will conduct and check their procedures regarding attendance, class rosters, communication, and required equipment. Additional information will be shared from each building principal. 

Spectator Rules for Athletics Events: We are excited to see some of our athletic programs resume, with teams taking to the fields, track and courts for competition beginning next week. Please be aware; however, that the Section One Executive Committee, under which the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns operate, has approved new spectator protocols for this season. Only the home team will be permitted to have spectators attend games and each athlete is limited to two spectators per game. To be clear, spectators from our district are not permitted to attend any away contests; our opponent communities will also abide by the same protocol. The district will monitor attendance at home games utilizing a check-in process prior to any spectator entering the facility. 

Further, all spectators will go through our health screening process upon arrival to the campus. This process will include checking each spectators health attestation form as well as their temperature prior to entering each respective facility. Spectators will be required to wear face coverings and remain in the designated seating area at all times. All seats will be marked to ensure appropriate social distancing.

Surveys on Remote and Hybrid Learning:  Thank you to all of the parents who provided feedback through our recent survey. We are in the process of reviewing the data and will be sharing the results at the Board of Education meeting on October 22. 

Meals Update: The Public Schools of the Tarrytowns continues to provide FREE grab & go meal distribution at W.L. Morse, Washington Irving and Sleepy Hollow Middle School. Meals are packaged with both breakfast and lunch and are free until December 31st or until the USDA runs out of funds. We will distribute 3 days of meals on Tuesdays and 2 days of meals on Fridays from 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM. All students are eligible to pick up meals at any of these three locations. 

Free breakfast and lunch are also available daily to all hybrid students that report to their school building. Please encourage your child to grab a packaged breakfast on their way into the building. Students must remember to bring their laminated lunch ID card for both in school and grab & go meal service. School Menus are available on the district website.

Federal Funding for Public Schools: Public schools continue to advocate for Congress to pass the federal stimulus package known as the Heroes Act. In the TUFSD alone, we have incurred more than $600,000 in pandemic reentry costs while at the same time Governor Cuomo has repeatedly stated that without financial support from the federal government, this year’s budgeted State Aid to schools would need to be cut by as much as 20%. This would have a significant negative impact upon our students and programs. I urge you to have your voice heard on this critical issue. Please contact our representatives in Congress to tell them that Washington must deliver more financial assistance to ensure that New York State can continue to support public education and numerous other essential services within our community.  One way to do this is by simply clicking on the link below to send an email using the Westchester/Putnam School Boards Association’s Voter Voice:  

https://www.wpsba.org/domain/57

In addition, you can also make a phone call to their offices at the numbers listed below:

Congresswoman Nita Lowey: (914) 428-1707

Senator Charles Schumer: (518) 431-4070

Senator Kristen Gillibrand (518) 431-0120

I hope that you all enjoy the long holiday weekend!

Sincerely,

Chris Borsari
Superintendent