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April 7: PUR Principal's Message

Dear Purchase School Families,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones well. Thank you for your support as we begin our fourth week of Learning From Home. Our faculty continues to work collaboratively to support student needs. This includes members of each grade team and departments holding regular meetings in a virtual environment to plan instruction that supports student learning. Additionally, each team has scheduled meetings with the instructional coach and me in order to ensure a cohesive approach. 

I am proud of the hard work and innovation of the Purchase School teachers. We miss seeing our students each day and there are many examples of teachers making personal connections with students in order to provide direct support. One family shared that their child was struggling with their music lesson. The music teacher connected with them in order to help the student tune their instrument and provided some direct feedback to support the student’s performance. This is one great example of one of the many ways teachers are working to keep personal connections with students in our current learning environment.  

Another connection to students is happening through physical education. The teachers are assigning various physical activities and holding virtual classes in order to connect with students. Students are then posting pictures, images and completed fitness logs back to the teachers. Here is an example of a proud student with his completed fitness log. 

Some items to note:

School Closure Extended: 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.

Spring Break: 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. 

Religious Holidays: 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 4 pm 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 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.   

Social Distancing: 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. 

Food Assistance: 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 the 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.

Although we are not physically together, the entire staff at Purchase School is here to support your children. We look forward to being back at Purchase School soon and if there is anything you need in the interim, please reach out to your child’s teacher or me. 


Adam Gutterman
Purchase School Principal