At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Stillwater Central School District. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are joining with all 31 WSWHE BOCES component school districts and canceling classes and all school events and activities from March 16 through April 19, 2020. At this time, students will return to school on April 20, 2020 and there will not be an extension of the 2019-2020 school year into July. Given that this is a rapidly evolving public health issue, we feel that this is the most proactive and prudent action available to us.
We are moving forward with the Monday, March 16 Superintendent’s Conference Day for all staff, including elementary staff, to allow time for instructional resource planning in light of this closure and the potential for an even more prolonged period without school. During this closure, students will not be required to report to school, however, we will provide online resources. See more information below. Students will be allowed to enter the building to gather materials and personal belongings during regular school hours.
We recognize that this is a major inconvenience to our families, but our primary concern is the health and well-being of our community. The district has been and will remain in communication with local health department officials. It is our hope that this closure will provide time to prevent any potential community spread of illness.
We are committed to providing educational resources for our students during this closure, but it is important to acknowledge that there are practical limits to instructional program continuity. Our commitment will be to share a variety of educational resources for student learning. Accordingly, we are working to create a list of age-appropriate resources that you may use with your child. This will include online and traditional activities. We will share this with our families as soon as it is available. Principals will also be available by email during normal school hours to answer any questions you may have regarding the resources. We encourage you to look at the resources that have been created by our teachers with the learning needs of all children in mind.
We are working on a plan to provide students with a device for online learning if they are in need. We will share more information on how they can get a device from the district as soon as possible.
Reassure children that they are safe and let them talk about their worries, share your own coping skills and add time in your day for stress relief. Online resources for social/emotional support will also be provided. Direct support, as typically provided by our counseling department, can also be requested. More information regarding access to these supports will be forthcoming over the next few days.
Free WiFi for Students
Beginning Monday, Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To learn more and enroll, visit their website.
The district will provide breakfast and lunch to any student in the Stillwater Central School District beginning Tuesday, March 17. We are finalizing the plans for this and will share in an additional communication on Monday.
More to Come
As Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated during his press conference on Friday, school superintendents have the ability to decide to close their school districts, and the superintendents of our region have made that determination with careful consideration.
The New York State Education Department continues to work with the governor’s office, the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Department of Education to provide guidance to our schools around issues such as instructional time and test scheduling.
This situation is very fluid and could change as we continue to work with our local departments of health and New York State Department of Health. The most current and accurate information about the coronavirus can be found at www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus.
Thank you for your continued patience and partnership, and we will provide you with more information as soon as we can. Please keep checking your email and the district website for the most accurate and updated information. We appreciate your support, cooperation and understanding.
Superintendent of Schools