Our Kindergarten Screening for students who are starting school in September 2020 is postponed. We will notify parents as soon as we have a reschedule date and format. Please continue to register your incoming kindergarteners by calling 691-1032 or e-mailing Elizabeth Salanitri, firstname.lastname@example.org.
All field trips for the remainder of the 2020 school year are canceled. Please be patient as our Business Office works through the list of students/families that previously paid for a trip to issue refunds. You should expect to receive a refund within the next month.
School Budget Vote and BOE elections
By executive order, the annual school budget vote and Board of Education Elections have been postponed until after June 1, 2020. NYS has not yet determined a date for the postponed election. We will share more information once it becomes available.
New York State Education Department and the Board of Regents have canceled the June 2020 administration of Regents examinations. Any student scheduled to take a Regents exam in June is exempted from that particular exam for the duration of his/her years in high school. This means that as long as the student passes the course, they will receive credit, without taking the exam at a later date. Students who intended to re-take a Regents exam in June are also exempted from the exam for purposes of graduation. Your guidance counselors will be in touch with more information specific to your individual situation. You can also access the NYSED guidance document here: http://www.nysed.gov/news/2020/state-education-department-issues-guidance-graduation-and-course-requirement-changes-due
Priorities During the Pandemic
We miss our students and families so much. We understand how overwhelming the spread of this illness and the uncertainty of the future feels right now. We appreciate how much our families are doing to support their children through these challenging times. We also understand that this is not something that is easy to do. We have many parents who are first responders or other essential staff who are still required to work or families who are suffering terrible financial hardship during this crisis. We want you to know that WE UNDERSTAND. It’s okay to not be perfect in these trying times. Everyone, please just do the best you can and understand that the “best you can” will look different for everyone. Your most important priority right now is taking care of yourself and your family, and that means their health and emotional well-being comes before everything else, even school. Remember, you are not alone. The Highland Huskies are a pack, and we will get through this together. #GoHuskies
We continue to supply five days of breakfasts and lunches for families who need them. Distribution takes place on Wednesdays from 9 am-12 pm by the cafeteria at the High School. If your job or financial situation has changed as the result of the stay-at-home order, you may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals when we return to school. You can apply for the program on our District website at these links:
We recognize that this abrupt change to our lives is neither easy nor comfortable to manage. If you or your children are struggling or would like someone to talk to, please reach out to our school psychologists, school social workers, or one of the many resources found on our COVID-19 resource page. We will get through this better together.
We are working to distribute the last of the devices to the families that have requested them. If you need a device and have not yet notified your building administrator, please do not hesitate to let us know. If you have questions or difficulties with your devices, please e-mail email@example.com. Please be patient about a response, as the volume of requests we are receiving as we get everyone set up and running is large. We will attempt to respond within 24 hours.
Schoology for Middle and High School students continues to experience intermittent outages due to the large volume they are experiencing across the country. We are in contact with the company and hope to see a resolution shortly. Please be patient and try again. Many users report that refreshing the application addresses some of their issues.
This week marked the beginning of our work in remote learning. During this first week, we have been working hard to connect with students and ensure that they have the devices and connectivity needed to continue digital learning. For the duration of this emergency closure, teachers will be presenting new content and review materials in a digital format. The expectation is that students will be moving forward with their learning. This will look different for different ages and levels of learning. We have encouraged our teachers to be reasonable and flexible with their expectations and timelines for assignments and “direct” instruction. We ask that you also be flexible and patient as we learn more about the best ways to reach your child in this new learning environment. We will be adding new skills and strategies every day.
You can expect that each of your students’ teachers will be available for “office hours” for two hours each day. This is a time when they are available for questions and interactions. The teachers will let you know what method of contact should be used for each session (the method may change). This does not mean that teachers are unavailable or that they won’t reach out to you at other times of the day, but this is a time when you know they are available. Teachers will be using the remainder of the day for lesson planning and construction in this new learning environment and for individualized contacts or other planning.
For our elementary students, we will continue to follow the report card schedule and calendar that began at the start of the school year. For our Middle and High School students, we will finish the third quarter as it was originally scheduled (ending on April 17). Students should work with their teachers to complete any outstanding work from before the closure. Any new work assigned will be graded/weighted at the discretion of the teacher. We have not yet made a decision about the fourth quarter. We are awaiting direction from the New York State Department of Education about Regents exams, end-of-year testing, and the length of the school closure. We will make a decision and share it with you in the next two weeks.
High School Course Selection
The High School guidance counselors are continuing course selection meetings in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year for our 9th, 10th, and 11th graders. This will be done through virtual meetings and/or phone calls. High School students should check their Highland email accounts in the coming weeks for course selection appointment times and directions. Please email your counselor with questions. Internet Safety We ask that parents/guardians monitor their students’ internet usage. With the increase in screen time due to remote learning, there may also be an increase in the temptation to engage in cyber-bullying or to visit inappropriate sites. You are the best defense against this type of negative behavior.
Annual Review and CSE Meetings
All scheduled Annual Review and other CSE meetings have been canceled. Families will be contacted directly by the CPSE/CSE Chairperson assigned to their child.