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April 28: PRE Principal's Message

Care for Yourself, Care for Others, Care for Preston ( and your home)
We Belong Together!

Dear Preston Families,

Greetings! I hope you were able to enjoy the weather on Saturday. I’m grateful that I was able to be outdoors in the sun. I welcome warmer days with more extended daylight. 

Last week, the school focused on the habit of Thinking about our Thinking (metacognition). Students reflected on what is going well and what needs to improve for them Learning From Home. Some examples of areas in need of improvement were learning mathematics, handling distractions, and for many, missing their friends. They were insightful, reflective, and sincere. 

This week, I challenge the school to make a plan for improving their learning habits. To do so, we will use the practices of being flexible and creative/innovative. Students will select an aspect of learning from home they want to improve. Then they will share a plan with teachers and post it on Seesaw to share with the school. I need to work on scheduling activities and events in the evening that I can look forward to doing.  Please view Preston’s Monday message. Also, please view the Preston Superhero video: Humor part 2.  The video will bring a smile to your face. 

Learning From Home
Teachers continue to work in collaboration with the school and district leadership teams to plan instruction.  Teacher and student interactions are essential to learning and social-emotional development. These interactions are a combination of pre-recorded videos, video conferencing, simulations, and virtual field trips.  Teachers receive ongoing support with digital platforms to interact effectively with students.  We are monitoring students’ experiences to ensure that learning is maximized. 

Last week you received information regarding your child’s District Google account. The District supports the Learning From Home experience with the following:

  • Students in Grades 3-5 have access to email through their District Google accounts, to facilitate communication between teachers and students. The email account only allows communication to others within the District.  

  • Students in Grades K-2 have District Google accounts to access District programs in a secure environment.  Parent permission for account creation, your child’s username, and password were sent to you via email by HCSD Director of Technology, Brian Seligman.

  • Google Hangouts/Meet and Zoom are tools to support teacher/student interactions. Students access these platforms using secure District Google accounts.  Learn more about the District’s Video Conferencing Guideline here.

Art and Music (General Music, Orchestra, and Band) teachers post lessons once per week.  Physical Education teachers provide lessons on days classes are scheduled to meet. Assignments include long-term projects in Art, watching and creating practice videos in Music, and fitness activities, games, dances, and sports for Physical Education.  These lessons can be completed at the student’s pace. If your child is struggling with assignments, please contact the teacher.

Family Resources
The District has created resources that can be found on the Parent Resources tab on the Learning from Home page.  The Family University K-5 offers suggestions for optimizing learning from home. 

West Harrison Public Library Offerings: The Public Library calendar of events.
Programs for children: Technology programs: Minecraft, Battle of the Books for kids, Yoga with Angela, Sing along with Chloe, Rock out with Spencer, Bake with Nora, and more.
Programs for adults: Programming with Python, 1-on-1 eHelp, Conversational English, Conversational Spanish, ESL Book Club, and Bilingual Book Club (English and Spanish), among others.

I will connect with your children by visiting them during their virtual meetings with their teachers.  Please be sure to have them attend.  I wish you and your family resilience, a stronger connection, and compassion. 

With gratitude,

Dennis Kortright

Ongoing items to note:

The Governor has directed schools to remain closed until May 15, 2020. 

The District provides free breakfast and lunch for eligible students. If you are currently eligible but have not yet applied, please complete the request form.  If your circumstances have changed and you are in need of food assistance contact your principal. All inquiries are confidential.

If your child needs a device, if there is a problem with your equipment, or if your family does not have internet access, the District will provide a device and/or a mobile hotspot to deliver internet access. If you require technology support please complete this form. If you have questions contact Brian Seligman (914-630-3389) or (