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April 7: PRE Principal's Message

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

Dear Preston Families,

You and your children have inspired me with the many examples of what it looks like to be a hero during these days of the COVID-19 crisis. Teachers had students share their ideas on Seesaw, participate in discussions on google meet, and write about the heroes in their lives. Please see the video that captures some of the wonderful examples here: Preston’s Heroes  

We will continue to expand on the idea of being a hero during a time when we need it most. 

A typical day for me at Preston would be observing classrooms, spending time in the cafeteria and playground, meeting with parents and faculty. Now, I still stay connected, but it looks different. I'm learning more about your children through their responses on Seesaw and google classroom, where I have left written and recorded comments. I participated in a 5th-grade google meet, read Enemy Pie to class 2GM, and I spoke with individual students with their teachers to encourage them to be a hero by persisting with completing assignments. The remote learning feels more personalized, and as a result, I know your children better. I want students to see that We BELONG Together; they are always cared for by all members of the Preston Family. 

 Important Updates:

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 differently 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.   

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 Governor Cuomo's previous executive order, 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. 

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 your principal. 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 support, please complete this form. If you have questions contact Brian Seligman (914-630-3389) or (

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.

Thank you for being such wonderful families. I wish you joy, peace, and resilience.  


Dennis Kortright