Dear Highland Parents and Guardians:
I wanted to give you an important update regarding our schools. Please be advised that in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order extending the mandatory closing of all New York schools until April 15. He will reassess this decision again closer to that date.
Although our physical schools are closed, educating and learning will not stop. Learning is a lifelong process, and the current school closures and health crisis have provided many learning opportunities for us all.
At Highland, we have been preparing for this likelihood and have our distance learning initiative up and running. Our teachers, administrators, and technical staff have done a superb job figuring out how to switch from traditional, face-to-face classroom instruction to online platforms and other effective means of education-delivery. Most students already have what they need to start their work remotely by Monday. Those students who are still waiting for technology will have it by the middle of the week. If there is anyone who has not yet notified us of their need for a device, please contact your principal immediately. Next week, we will share additional updates about how we will address learning over the extended closure.
The current situation is difficult for all of us. Please know that all of our staff members—everyone from teachers to food service workers, custodians to school administrators—miss our students terribly and remain committed to helping to ensure their education, as well as their social and emotional well-being, are able to continue during this situation. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your child’s principal, teacher, school nurse, school counselor, or another administrator via email. We are ready and eager to assist you and your children in any way that we can.
Although we are disappointed that our school doors are shuttered for the time being, we understand that the most effective way of slowing the spread of this virus is by reducing social contacts—including within our school community. In that light, we ask that you remind your children of the importance of staying home during the school closure. They should not be visiting with friends, or taking any unnecessary trips. Working together, we can help protect the health and safety of us all.
Please refer to the District website often for further updates, as well as resources that may be able to help your family during this difficult time.
In closing, please continue to follow the advice of medical experts regarding the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition to practicing social distancing, these health tips include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your shirt sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
We will continue to reach out as we have any updates to share. Please be patient as we navigate this unchartered territory. Thank you, and stay healthy!