Update from Superintendent Haugh

Update from Superintendent Haugh
Posted on 08/20/2021
News from the Superintendent

August 20, 2021


East Rochester Schools Parents & Guardians,


It is my hope this letter finds you well and that you are enjoying the last few weeks of the summer season. We have been busy on campus this summer, preparing for the return of our students while supporting hundreds of these same children through various summer programs.  When we open our doors to students on September 8 to begin the 2021-22 school year, we will have several new initiatives aimed at supporting our children and their continued development. 


As a follow up to our first return to learning plan released on August 12, 2021 we have recommendations from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Monroe County Health Department, and the New York State Education Department to continue mask-wearing within the school buildings, due to the inherent nature of several individuals being in close proximity to each other for extended periods of time in these settings. Given the prevalence of the COVID variants impacting even vaccinated individuals, we will continue to have vaccinated adults and all students, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks inside the school building when around others, until further notice. We will also continue to have appropriate social distancing, as defined by the most recent guidance. We anticipate some flexibility with vaccinated individuals once the variant threats subside. 


School districts have been encouraged to support vaccination initiatives, so we will offer what will be our fourth Monroe County Health Department vaccine clinic on August 23, with a follow-up clinic scheduled for September 13.  


You may recall from last year, we purposefully delayed our responses following news reports of changes to school operations until we could verify and confirm what those specific changes meant for us. This will continue to be our practice in 21-22, as it is our goal to limit the amount of corrective messages we need to issue in the case we must rush to a decision. I realize in this age of instant information via social media, many of us seek instant answers. We will continue our thoughtful and strategic approach to messaging, after vetting new information to the best of our abilities. 

 

I mentioned to you in June, and now in response to staff and family surveys, we are beginning to use the Federal learning loss grant money as early as this September. Using this grant money, we have hired a second elementary school counselor to provide Tier 1 intervention and support for students, families and staff members. This additional counselor will allow our school psychologist and social worker to focus on higher level interventions with specific students and families. We have 4.0 full time equivalent or “FTE” additional reading and math-support teaching positions at the elementary level to provide increased support to ensure our students are reaching their full potential. Our Middle Level Academy and High School will also have 3.4 FTE additional positions to increase outcomes in math and reading, as well as organizational structure support, for students who struggle to maintain progress toward graduation at the secondary level. We will continue to revise and modify our plans with the federal monies as we anticipate their availability for another three years. 


We are encouraging parents/guardians to engage with teachers and administrators, as collaboration and consistent communication is essential to promote a well rounded educational experience for our children. Each school building has shared decision making committees that need parent volunteers, and we have curricular initiatives that could always use parent input. Please access our Communication Protocols document to contact the appropriate office for your area of interest. 


As our students return to school, we will recommit to establishing an age appropriate emphasis on academic achievement. Keep an eye out for educational themes and areas of focus in messages from teachers and our instructional administrators, that you, as parents/guardians, can reinforce with your children. I look forward to seeing all of you at our evening events, student functions and around our community. Special thank you to those of you saying hello this summer at the fireman's parade and the community concerts in the village. 


Finally, we are sharing a few reminders for safe vehicle operations in and around campus as well as new building security enhancements in the links below.


Sincerely,

Jim Haugh
Superintendent of Schools


Attach:

Traffic Notice

Safety Upgrades