October 28, 2020
I was informed this afternoon that one of our Mynderse Academy faculty members was a direct contact of someone outside of the district (Ontario County) who tested positive for COVID-19. This faculty member left the building as soon as they received this information. As a direct contact, this faculty member has been quarantined for 14 days under the direction of the Ontario County Department of Public Health.
I immediately communicated with Seneca County Department of Public Health (SCDPH) about the situation. At this time, there is no further action required by the District. As this is an ongoing and fluid situation, we will continue to work with the SCDPH to monitor and adjust our response as needed. As always, please be aware of any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 that your children may experience.
If we continue to practice proper hand hygiene, physical distancing and wearing face coverings, we will minimize the risk of spread and exposure. Safeguarding the health and safety of our schools and their programs starts with each of us individually. Please continue to practice these safety precautions and take our daily health screenings and respond accordingly so that we reduce the chance of infection to others.
If you have any questions regarding this or other COVID-19 related concerns, please contact your child’s school health office, main office, district office, the Seneca County Department of Public Health (SCDPH) or your family physician. You will also find helpful resources posted on our district website under the COVID-19 tab.
The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority.
Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19
Fever of 100.0 or greater or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
New loss of taste or smell
Thank you for your continued cooperation, support and understanding,
September 3, 2020
The start of the 2020-21 school year is upon us. Even with the many changes and the physical appearances that make school look different this year, it is still the same great place, remotely or in-person, with the same amazing people. A new school year still brings excitement and opportunities. Collectively, whether we are learning remotely or in-person, we will make this a healthy, safe and positive environment like every other year.
Our vision, strategic plan, building improvement plans, etc. will still drive our goals and outcomes.
We are still here to support our students socially and emotionally.
We are still committed to safely transporting and feeding hundreds of students each day.
We are still focused on supporting our students as they continue to grow their knowledge and skills.
As educators, we are still growing ourselves so we can prepare our students for college and/or careers in the 21st century.
While there is no denying things will look different, whether learning remotely or in-person, it is still the same caring and committed Seneca Falls community supporting each other.
We have never worked harder to prepare for the opening of school. This preparation has been physically, mentally and emotionally draining, but our students deserve all that we have to give. There is no doubt this year will present greater challenges than any other, but our commitment to work together as a community, will allow us to overcome these challenges and celebrate the many positives along the way.
Knowing how much we all care and want the best for our students, needs to remain at the forefront of our thinking and actions. Let’s all continue to be Seneca Falls CSD PROUD and together make this an amazing school year.
For all of our families whose children are attending in-person, please plan for day care in the event we need to make a quick change to a remote/distance learning model where students would not be reporting to the school buildings for a period of time. A sudden change to a full remote/distance learning for all students could be a district decision, county decision or mandated by the state.
Daily Health Screenings PARENT ACTION REQUIRED
Parent Square - https://www.parentsquare.com/signin
In order to comply with the NYSDOH, NYSED, and CDC guidelines for the opening of schools, all staff and students will complete a daily health screening.
Whether a child is learning in-person or remotely, all families need to download the ParentSquare app. to successfully complete the daily health screening. Students must complete the health screening prior to entering a bus or school building/grounds. Students learning remotely may need to come to the buildings at times so we are asking that families of remote learners also complete the health screening daily.
If you have any issues with accessing ParentSquare or activating an account, please contact email@example.com
It is highly recommended that you set your calendar as a daily reminder M-F to complete the survey each morning.
For any parents who are in need of a thermometer to complete the daily health screening, please contact Jacqueline Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome Back and Health & Safety Videos
Please click HERE to find several helpful district videos regarding health and safety of students returning to school.
School Hours & Drop-off/Pick-up
Please be flexible when it comes to student drop-off and pick-up, especially the first few weeks as we all adapt to the changes.
Busing will most likely not be on schedule to start the year as we work through some of the adjustments and we welcome our new riders still learning the process for the first time. Buses may be early or late the first few weeks, but please be patient as we work through the process. Remember, our transportation department is temporarily located on Oak St. for the 2020-21 school year.
K-5 students will have half days on September 8th and 9th. FK Dismissal will be 11:00 for Kindergarten and 1st grade pick ups, 11:10 for 2nd grade pick ups and 11:15 for bussers. ECS will be 11:30.
Frank Knight Elementary School
Frank Knight hours will be 9:15-3:00 with staggered arrival and dismissal times.
Bus students will begin entering the building at 9:15.
Kindergarten and 2nd grade students being dropped off will enter the building at the playground doors beginning at 9:20.
1st grade students being dropped off will enter the building at the Porter St. (District Office) doors beginning at 9:20.
Kindergarten students will be dismissed at 2:40.
1st grade students will be dismissed at 2:40
2nd grade students will be dismissed at 2:50.
Bus riders will begin boarding buses at 3:00.
If there are siblings in the building, please drop-off and pick-up at the time/location for the student in the lower grade.
Parents/guardians will need to park and walk their children to the doors for both drop-off and pick-up. All are asked to bring identification, wear masks and social distance during drop-off and pick-up.
Students will need to wear masks and follow all safety social/ distancing guidelines.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elementary School
Cady Stanton hours are from 9:30 - 3:15
Students riding the bus will begin a staggered unloading at 9:30 am and enter through the front of the building.
Students walking to school will use the front or back entrance and be permitted to enter at 9:20.
Student drop off will be in the back of the school only, starting at 9:20 am. Please look for the 3 marked "drop off" areas to unload your student(s). Students can enter through the back door until 9:40.
In the afternoon, students walking and being picked up will dismiss at 3:05 and bus students will dismiss at 3:15. All families picking up students must park in the back lot and wait at the assigned door to meet their student(s). Please refer to the building communications for all details.
Students will need to wear masks and follow all safety social/ distancing guidelines.
Middle School hours are from 7:35am - 2:14pm
Students riding the bus will begin unloading at 7:25am and enter through the front main entrance.
Students walking to school will use the front entrance near the MS Library and enter the building between 7:30- 7:35am
Students that get dropped off will use the back entrance of the MS (off Mynderse St.) and enter the building between 7:30-7:35am. If you have children who attend both SF Middle School (MS) and Mynderse Academy (MA), please drop students off at the MA student drop off and the middle school student will walk down the sidewalk in front of the building and enter with walkers at the MS Library entrance.
All students will report directly to their first period classroom upon entering the building.
Students will need to wear masks and follow all safety social/ distancing guidelines.
Mynderse Academy hours are from 7:35am - 2:14pm
Students riding the bus will begin unloading at 7:25am and enter through the main lobby entrance.
Students who drive will use the main lobby doors and enter the building beginning at 7:25.
Students walking to school will use the front gym lobby doors and enter the building between 7:30- 7:35am
Students that get dropped off will use the front gym lobby doors and enter the building between 7:30-7:35am. If you have children who attend both SF Middle School (MS) and Mynderse Academy (MA), please drop students off at the MA student drop off and the middle school student will walk down the sidewalk in front of the building and enter with walkers at the MS Library entrance.
All students will report directly to their first-period classroom upon entering the building. Students will need to wear masks and follow all safety social/ distancing guidelines.
Lunch and Breakfast
Once the school year begins, Seneca Falls Food Services will offer FREE MEALS to ALL enrolled Students until the USDA Waiver ends on December 31, 2020. This includes in-person and remote learners. Starting in January, full pay students will need to pay for meals at their regular rate (there MUST be money on their account to pay for meals that are pre-ordered) Lunch prices are $2.80 for all grade levels. Breakfast prices are $1.80 for all grade levels.
For the 2020-2021 School Year, we are asking that all meal accounts be replenished using checks, made out to “Seneca Falls Lunch Program” OR set-up an account with our online Meal Payment System (Myschoolbucks.com). This will be important for students wanting to purchase ala carte items at the beginning of the year. For additional important information, please visit the food service web page- https://www.senecafallscsd.org/domain/50
Thank you to United Way of Seneca County and BonaDent for their most recent and generous donations in providing the district with resources to supply personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfecting supplies and other important materials to support our staff and students. We are so fortunate to have a supportive community.
Symptoms Flow Chart
The county and our school physician, in partnership with other medical experts in the region, has created a COVID-19 School Symptom Flow Chart to identify the symptoms associated with COVID-19 and the process for each student who may be showing symptoms and/or tests positive.
To access this flow chart, please look for the flow chart listed in the column on the left of the COVID-19 page of our district website- "Seneca County COVID19 School Symptom FlowChart"
SUPERINTENDENT UPDATE - ATHLETICS
Fall 2020 Update (8/24/2020)
The Governor announced this afternoon that school sports may start September 21, 2020. Low-risk sports may start practicing and competing on the 21st under NYS Department of Health guidelines. High-risk sports may start practicing on the 21st, but cannot compete until further notice from the Governor.
The following statement came from the NYS High School Athletic Association Executive Director, Robert Zayas:
"Interscholastic athletic guidance released by Governor Cuomo today. Low risk sports will be played starting September 21, 2020. High Risk sports can practice, but cannot compete at this time. Dr. Zayas will meet with Section Executive Directors and the COVID Task Force Tuesday, August 25, 2020 to review the specific guidance and provide further guidance and clarification."
As we better understand what this latest decision and guidance means for school districts, we will provide updates.
We ask that if your child is planning on playing a fall sport, that you please register them on the Family ID link which is required for them to participate in any sport this year. If you have any questions regarding Family ID, please contact the Athletic Director’s office.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time and we are looking forward to the start of the new school year.
Click HERE to register for Family ID
August 20, 2020
Good afternoon. I hope this message finds you and your family well. I also hope you get an opportunity to enjoy a portion, if not all, of this beautiful day.
I want to thank all of the parents who joined our many Zoom sessions over the course of the past few weeks. Your engagement allows us to answer the many questions and concerns you have and we appreciate the gratitude you have expressed in our continued partnership and willingness to collaborate.
During one of the last Zoom sessions, a parent asked about being able to donate supplies to the classrooms and hand sanitizer specifically. Hand sanitizer will be available to students in the classroom, but if you would like to donate more, please make sure it’s purchased at a store and contains at least a 60% alcohol concentrate. Hand sanitizer needs to be dropped off at the main office, as students should not be carrying it in their possession per NYS Education Department. Youth size face masks are always needed. If you want to wait until school starts to ask your child’s teacher what they could use, that may be most effective. Again, these are just suggestions based on some parents asking how they could help and what they could possibly donate. Do not feel obligated to make a donation and thank you to those who do.
Technology Resources For Families
You can find several videos on our website that will provide families with support when it comes to using technology. This support will be helpful whether your child is attending in-person or learning remotely. Please take a minute to check out this list of resources and thank you to the administrators, faculty and staff involved in putting this together.
NYS Travel Advisory
The travel advisory was effective at 12:01 am on Thursday, June 25, 2020. If you have traveled from within one of the designated states (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory ) with significant community spread, you must quarantine when you enter New York for 14 days from the last travel within such designated state, provided on the date you enter into New York State that such state met the criteria for requiring such quarantine. The requirements of the travel advisory do not apply to any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel.
Examples of such brief passage include but are not limited to: stopping at rest stops for vehicles, buses, and/or trains; or lay-overs for air travel, bus travel, or train travel.
The travel advisory requires all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out of state, to take personal responsibility for complying with the advisory in the best interest of public health and safety. If you travel to one of the states on the list within 14 days of school starting, please do not report to school until you have completed your 14-day quarantine and are symptom free. If your child cannot start school on September 8th, please contact the nurse to let her know.
There is a Facebook post that states- if children get sick with COVID, the state is going to take them out of their homes for a 10-14 day period to quarantine them. This is not true. I have never heard the State say anything of this nature and the Health Department stated in one of our parent Zoom sessions that it is not true. We will continue our past practice of contacting parents if a child is sick and needs to be picked up.
Athletics are slated to start September 21st, but the Governor is supposed to provide an update early next week on the status of athletics for public schools. Once we receive information, we will provide an update to families. If there are athletics this fall, the State did clarify that those students learning remotely can participate.
Building Level Information
You have or will, start receiving information from building principals over the course of the next week about orientations, class assignments/schedules, supply lists, forms/paper work to be completed annually, etc. We are behind schedule, not because of a lack of effort, but due to the extensive process and planning required to open schools this fall.
August 13, 2020
Good afternoon. I hope this message finds you well. Last night, the administrative team and I made a recommendation to the Board of Education to start the 20-21 school year by bringing most of our students back to the school buildings for instruction. The Board approved a resolution declaring the in-person model as the means of instruction for most students to start the 2020-21 school year. Districtwide, we will be bringing back approximately 72% of our students while the rest of the student body will be learning remotely (family choice). Those families who preferred remote/distance learning have made this commitment to start the year, which allows the district flexibility in regards to bus and building capacity. If you are considering a change in your preference, please email your child’s principal to inquire about the possibility, but know that capacity on a bus and/or in classrooms is the driving force behind our decision, as we need to meet the health and safety protocol of social distancing. Details on the in-person model can be accessed within our comprehensive reopening plan - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UUcl6vFGtshIPtdP6M8Sz4LVTxBN-kvO/view (page 6). For those learning remotely, further details will be forthcoming as to what that model will look like by building as it is dependent upon the number of students and teacher availability.
Not only can you access the learning models at the link above, but you will also find guidelines for health and safety measures. Within the SFCSD comprehensive plan, you will find a health management plan link that will provide you with greater details regarding health and safety measures. We continue to update this plan and will do so as we continue to collaborate with our school physician and County Health Department.
While we are planning, at this time, to start the year in an in-person model for approximately 72% of our students and remote learning for approximately 28% (family choice), we know that things change rather quickly these days. Throughout this pandemic, we have continuously made shifts and looked for answers to the many questions we all have. We realize that we must be flexible and ready to shift at any time based on health concerns. Knowing that things could change overnight, like they did in March, we are asking families to please have a plan for daycare in case it is needed at any point this coming school year.
There will be more details forthcoming from principals as they continue to work on schedules, annual documents sent home to families and other important information for the start of a new school year. Please be patient, as student scheduling will take some time to work out all of the specific details.
We are offering the following Zoom sessions for parents to ask questions about the in-person model or about remote learning for those that preferred that instructional model for their child(ren). These are the same dates and times I shared yesterday (8/12)
Parent Q & A- Instructional Learning Model Zoom Webinar:
August 13th 4:30-5:15
August 17th 4:30-5:15
Please click the link below to join the Zoom webinar:
Superintendent of Schools
August 10, 2020
Reopening Plan Submission to the NYS Department of Health
Today, Monday, August 10, the Seneca Falls Central School District was notified that it failed to submit a COVID-19 School Reopening Plan to the NYS Department of Health.
However, the district did submit its plan in a timely manner with submission formally taking place on Friday, July 31. This is the same date we uploaded our plan to our district website.
At this time, the district is working with the State to address the issue.
The safety of students and staff, throughout the planning process for reopening school, has been the top priority and will continue to be.
Sorry for this confusion and I will be sure to notify all families when our plan has been approved.
Superintendent of Schools
Seneca Falls Central Schools
August 7, 2020
Today, Governor Cuomo announced, based on the state’s Covid-19 infection rates, schools may open this fall. The governor stated that every region is below the threshold established by the state. Thus, schools in every area of the state may reopen. Cuomo reiterated that if there’s a spike in the infection rate, the state will revisit school reopenings. I will be reviewing, in greater depth, the details he outlined in his news conference today and communicate that information with all families in the next couple of days.
Now that we know the Governor’s decision at this time, we will need to review parent responses on Tuesday and Wednesday from the Parent Choice Form submissions following calls to all parents on Monday who did not respond. It is critical to our final plans that we hear from as many parents as possible when it comes to parent choice in regards to your child(ren) returning to the school building or choosing to have your child(ren) learn remotely.
Again parents, if you have not already done so, please go to the Parent Instructional Preference page under our COVID tab and complete the Parent Choice Form by the end of the day Saturday (bottom of page).
As I stated in my message on Thursday, a final decision will be made on Wednesday (8/12) and communicated to families no later than Thursday afternoon (8/13).
Thank you and we look forward to moving forward with our plans for opening school for the 2020-21 school year.
Be safe and enjoy your weekend!
Superintendent of Schools
Seneca Falls Central School District