May 21, 2020
Dear Sewanhaka Central High School District Family,
We were all so disappointed that we could not return to our beloved schools this spring. All of us have made so many adjustments to life as we know it and we are all greatly anticipating a return to normalcy as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. Our shift to remote instruction has had glitches here and there, but it has worked exceptionally well overall. Our teachers and administrators adapted quickly to this new medium and I am so proud of all they have accomplished for our students. I am grateful for how our students adjusted rapidly to this new form of instruction and remained engaged throughout the remote learning process and for how our parents supported these efforts.
We are finalizing the date of the last day of school, in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Education Department and will share that information with you shortly.
We have been working diligently to organize events for our incoming students and for our graduates. Plans are underway to create a remote 7th grade parent orientation, with follow-up parent forums during the summer. We will also create a remote building tour for our incoming 7th grade students, in which they will also be introduced to building administrators and teachers. We are planning for in-person student orientation programs prior to the opening of school in the fall.
Since 2007, all our central high school district graduation ceremonies have been held in the basketball arena at Hofstra University. That is not possible this year. The Executive Orders issued by New York State prohibit us from holding any type of large group gatherings, indoors or outdoors, even with appropriate social distancing. While this year's graduation ceremonies will look different, we have developed a plan, which honors traditions and celebrates the achievements of our students.
We will be able to provide an in-person opportunity at each high school where students will come to their respective high school in cap and gown, "cross the stage" to receive their diploma, and have their photograph professionally taken. Families will be provided with individual time slots for this awarding of diplomas. In order to maintain social distancing, two family members may accompany the graduate. In addition to the in-person presentation of diplomas, the traditional graduation ceremony, complete with speeches, reading of graduate names, and conferral of degrees will be pre-recorded and broadcast for every family to enjoy and share with family and friends. The ceremonies will take place on Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, 2020.
Details and arrangements, specific to each high school, will be sent to parents of Seniors well in advance of the ceremony by your high school principal.
Please be reminded there will be no instruction on Monday, May 25, 2020 in observance of Memorial Day.
This pandemic has presented all aspects of our society with many challenges. Please accept my thanks for your support, cooperation and understanding as we have moved forward together during this time.
Dr. James J. Grossane
Superintendent of Schools
May 1, 2020
Dear Sewanhaka Central High School District Family,
Today, Governor Cuomo extended the school closure until the end of the school year. While we can all understand the reasons why this was done, it is with regrets that we will not be able to return, physically, to school this year. I know that our students miss their teachers and friends, and that all of us who work in the district miss our students and colleagues as well.
Please join me in thanking our faculty and staff. These times have brought out the best in all of us, and we have made herculean efforts to keep learning moving forward. I know you join me in thanking them and we will continue remote learning until our official last day in June.
For some time now, our thoughts have been with the students in our senior class, and all the special moments that were taken from them. We are finalizing plans to make their end of school experience as positive and rewarding as possible. This includes plans for graduation ceremonies; they may look different, but it is important to us that we celebrate their accomplishments. While the ceremony will be different, it will also be special and memorable.
We are also formulating plans for all students to retrieve personal items left behind in school before our closure in March. These plans will be in accordance with the CDC guidelines of social distancing, including the wearing of face masks. You will be notified directly by your school as the plans will be specific to each building.
I know it seems redundant, but these are extraordinary times. It is only through the cooperation of all the members of our school community - students, parents and school faculty/staff- that we have been able to keep moving forward. As we hear and see so often, we will get through this because we are doing this together.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.
April 16, 2020
I hope this message finds you and your family well and coping with these extraordinary times.
As you may have heard today, Governor Cuomo has extended the Executive Order keeping schools closed now until May 15th. Please know that our remote learning plan will remain in place during this extended time, and we appreciate your support in ensuring that your children actively participate every day to ensure they continue with their education. I would like to thank our dedicated teachers and administrators who are working so diligently to provide our students with a valuable learning experience.
I'm sure you have many questions about what the remainder of the school will look like. Please know that there are still many uncertainties, and we are continually planning and discussing how to best serve our students through the end of the school year.
As a reminder, our grab and go meal program will continue to be open every day until further notice. The meals are available at each of our kitchens everyday from 9 am to 11 am.
Directives from the State are being updated regularly and we will continue to provide you with information as quickly as possible. Please continue to follow CDC, State and local guidelines. We thank you for your partnership and know that we stand ready to support you in any way possible should you need assistance.
James J. Grossane, Ed.D.
April 6, 2020
I hope this message finds you and yours well. As we work through these difficult times, we continue to address unprecedented issues as they arise.
Today, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State schools will remain closed until April 29th and remote learning will continue during this time. Also today, the New York State Board of Regents announced that Regents examinations will be not be administered this June. We expect additional details from the New York State Education Department on this and several other matters tomorrow. We will share all information with you then once we have a clear picture of the many implications this may have on an already unique school year.
As you are aware, instruction will be continuing over the previously scheduled Spring recess as per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order. We know that many families will be observing Passover or Good Friday during this time. The Board of Education recently adopted a policy regarding Days of Religious Observance that our teachers will be following. Please know that if your child is observing these holidays and unable to attend class or submit assignments on these days, they will not be penalized. Parents should e-mail teachers to advise them of your observance of these days.
It is also very important that we all work together to keep each other safe and healthy. As most school districts have also done, we made the difficult decision to close our tracks and fields. Sadly, too many instances of groups not practicing Federal, State and Local guidelines regarding social distancing were occurring.
I understand that personal items were left in the schools after our closure on March 13 and our subsequent closures by the County Executive and Governor. Out of an abundance of caution, we will not be permitting students into the buildings to retrieve these items at this time. We will follow the advice of the Department of Health to determine when it would be safe to permit the retrieval of these items.
Everyone, especially our students, must understand the importance of social distancing and the practicing of good health habits, especially in what is now considered a crucial time in the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
James J. Grossane, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools
March 31, 2020
I hope this finds you and your family well and navigating these difficult times successfully.
Last week, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.11 extending the closing of school until April 15, 2020. Upon first read, most of my colleagues agreed that this order permitted us to continue instruction until April 8 and then commence our Spring Recess on April 9. However, further questions from educators around the state led to the New York State Education Department to issue guidance last evening to school districts. The most pertinent directive in the Executive Order from the governor is the following:
Districts must continue to provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and child care for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020 and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time.
I know this is an unexpected development, but we must follow the Executive Order. Therefore, remote instruction will continue through April 14, 2020. We will have guidance from the Governor and the New York State Education Department prior to April 15, 2020 to inform us if schools will remain closed and for how long. The Governor has frequently stated in his daily briefings that decisions such as these will be made in two week increments.
This is a time where directives and guidance are being issued frequently. I will keep you apprised of these developments in as timely a way as possible.
I know this is a stressful time for everyone. Thank you for your continued support of our remote learning initiatives. Stay safe and be well.
March 27, 2020
Today, Governor Cuomo extended his Executive Order closing schools until April 15th. The Executive Order will be re-evaluated prior to that date to determine if it needs to be extended further.
This means that remote learning will continue as per our school calendar. If your child is not actively participating in remote learning, you will be contacted by school personnel, who will determine the reasons for non-participation and work with you to ensure the continuity of learning for your child. Please know that it is crucial that all students participate in remote learning so that they will be fully prepared when regular instruction resumes.
Thank you to the many parents that have contacted teachers and administrators regarding their tech concerns and for their compliments and support. We were asked to completely change the way we teach in a brief period of time. Our teachers are to be commended for their efforts and we will continue to refine this process as we now move forward for the near future with remote learning.
These are unprecedented times, and as we are all aware, the COVID-19 virus is spreading rapidly. I have been in contact with the Nassau County Department of Health regarding several self-reported positive results for COVID-19 of faculty, staff and students. As March 12 was the last possible contact with any of these individuals, the quarantine period has passed. The Department of Health has assured me that any individuals who needed to be contacted regarding close association with any of these people who have self-reported positive results either already have been notified or will be notified by the Department of Health's investigative team.
The Department of Health also asked me to remind you that this virus is now present in our communities and that we should all be following the CDC recommendations. Those recommendations are to wash our hands frequently, cover your mouth and nose if sneezing or coughing, avoid contact with people who are ill, stay home if you are ill and thoroughly clean frequently touched surfaces in your home daily. If you are feeling ill, contact your physician before visiting a doctor's office or the emergency room of your local hospital.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation during these unprecedented times. I will keep you apprised of any updates.
Good health to you and your families,
James J. Grossane, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools