Dear Parsons Families,
I would like to begin by thanking you for your countless messages of support and thanks over the course of these past few weeks. As you know, Parsons Faculty and Staff have been working tirelessly to support your children from a distance; your partnership, kind words, and pictures of your smiling families have helped all of us continue to move forward with excitement and innovation. We know that every member of our school community; students and their families, faculty and staff, are working to balance and manage family responsibilities, personal responsibilities, and the adjustment to learning from home. Our amazing partnership and support has further demonstrated that #ParsonsPride is very real and that the strength of the Parsons community is indeed, #ParsonsStrong!
In addition, our ongoing gratitude is shared with the members and volunteers of our Parsons PTA. The current shift in the location of schooling has not stopped them from thinking of different ways to enhance the experience of our students, families, and staff. This is easily evidenced by their organization and support of our first ever Virtual Parsons Spirit Day!
Yesterday 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.
As a result of one of Governor Cuomo's recent executive orders, all school districts are required to cancel spring break and continue virtual instruction. Spring break, scheduled for April 6-10, is canceled. The District’s online instruction, Learning From Home, will continue without interruption. However, students are not expected to participate in school during days of religious observance.
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.
As Learning from Home continues, families will continue to see teachers and students investigating the use of new and different technologies and platforms. Keeping in mind that our students’ classrooms at home look a bit different than their classrooms at school, we will continue our search to find and utilize instructional tools that provide meaningful opportunities for learning and are accessible to children and families. I also would like to remind families that art, music, physical education, and library instruction is still occurring in the online environment, and that student participation in these classes is expected. Students can communicate with any of their teachers via Seesaw and Google Classroom, just as they do with their classroom teacher.
A few reminders...
- Medical experts and scientists 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 have closed playgrounds and encourage you to limit your children’s exposure to the nuclear family. Playdates, pick up games, and other group activities should be strictly prohibited. This is hard to do. The idea of “staying apart so that we can be together again” is something that can help as we navigate a very difficult time.
- The District is providing free breakfast and lunch for eligible students. Meal distribution takes place twice a week: 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 me. All inquiries are confidential.
- Technology Support: 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 the support please complete this form. If you have questions contact Brian Seligman (914-630- 3389) or (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Childcare and Support for Medical Professionals and First Responders: The District is providing academic support, supervision, and childcare for children (ages 3-12) of medical professionals and first responders from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday. The Harrison Children Center provides childcare to preschool children and the Town of Harrison is supporting Pre-K and after school services. If you or someone you know requires this service please complete this survey immediately.
While family plans for Spring Break may have been altered, there are still many ideas and activities for families to engage in together to enjoy this time of year! Consider taking a walk or finding a new trail to hike or bike, schedule a family game night or complete a thousand piece puzzle together, watch some classic television shows or movies you enjoyed as a child and see if your own children enjoy them too, take virtual trips to famous landmarks, or create a scavenger hunt around your home.
However you choose to spend your time together, I hope it is in good health and with good spirits. We all look forward to seeing you again soon at Parsons.