Dear LMK Families,
I wish to first and foremost thank all of you for helping us navigate through our new world of Learning From Home. The challenges of building a school schedule for children and managing work from home were daunting at first, but your partnership with us has helped create a learning environment. Your children are incredibly resilient and have shown their commitment to their school and community. I had the pleasure of meeting with each grade level student council this week and they have many ideas for the future to keep spirits high. We talked about spirit weeks in the virtual world as well as ideas of how students can support one another. We also talked about ways to thank the first responders, so many of whom live in the Harrison community and continue to help save lives each day.
On Monday, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order extending all public school district closures through April 29, 2020. The superintendent will provide more information in his Thursday update.
Many of you will be celebrating Easter and Passover this week and I wish all of you a happy holiday season. I hope that despite the current conditions you are able to connect with friends and family even if it is through virtual means. We recognize the importance of these religious holidays and thus all students who observe religious holidays are not expected to complete school work during these days. Deadlines for assignments will be extended until 4pm on Tuesday, 4/14.
Yesterday began the fourth quarter for all students at LMK Middle School and Harrison High School. For the 4th quarter, grades will be based upon the established course grading policies. We will continue to monitor the types of assessment practices used in a virtual environment to ensure they are accurate and fair. In addition, all students that have a new course this quarter have received an email from their new teacher with their Google Classroom code.
We have begun to use more live lesson formats and record them so there is flexibility for students. This allows students to watch the lesson based on their own schedule. The small hangout sessions have been advantageous for students to receive support from teachers. We are trying to recreate the best school setting for students. I ask that when a student is in a live session with a teacher that you provide them a private space for themselves, if possible. This will help then feel as if they are “in school.” One of our goals is to continue to develop independence for our middle school students even in this environment.
As part of our commitment to the district mission of equity and access we have distributed almost 300 devices (iPads, chromebooks and internet hotspots) to families in the district. A special thanks goes out to Brian Seligman, Director of Technology, and the entire technology staff who have made this effort happen. As we continue to engage in Learning from Home, some devices will need servicing and/or replacing. The IT staff will be available once a week at LMK for device pickup/exchange. If you have a district device that needs to be exchanged please complete the online form and Brian Seligman will communicate with each parent on the day and time of the device exchange/pickup. In order to keep within the guidelines of social distancing and protection of everyone we will handle these exchanges like curbside takeout.
If your child is experiencing technical issues or needs assistance, please let us know as soon as possible. If you are struggling with limited internet access, Xfinity internet service providers have opened up all of their public wifi points to anyone. Please read if you would like further information. There are also many hotspots located in our community that can be searched by using this map. If you require further access to technology or a device, please complete the request form or reach out if you need further technology support. If you have questions about technology contact Brian Seligman (914-638-3389) or (email@example.com).
The District is providing free breakfast and lunch for eligible students. Meal distribution is Monday and Wednesday between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Monday pickup includes breakfast and lunch for two days. Wednesday pickup provides breakfast and lunch for three days. 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 please contact your principal. All inquiries are confidential.
Medical experts agree that social distancing is the most effective way to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Experts recommend we all behave “as if” we have the virus and limit contact with others. We encourage you to follow the social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and refrain from visits with friends, pick up games, group activities and other interactions outside of your family.
Ms. Colosimo, Mr. Spector and I continue to be here for you to answer any questions and offer our support.