With school buildings closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, the district is continuing its plan for remote instruction, which includes developing a grading practice that encourages and supports student learning.
“Our faculty has done a tremendous job of adjusting content and instructional strategies while seeking new and unique ways to connect with students in a remote learning environment,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said.
Below are key messages district officials shared with parents and guardians.
- In response to reduced instructional time, teachers are focusing instruction on essential content and skills from our curriculum maps. Teachers are regularly collaborating with administration and their grade level and department colleagues to modify units of study and ensure district wide consistency.
- Aligned with the state Education Department’s cancellation of assessments in grades 3-8 and Regents examinations, teachers will not be administering final course exams in June.
- Please note there are concurrent enrollment courses where the college or university requires the administration of a final exam. These exams will be administered as directed by the institution.
- The district’s continuity of instruction plan was developed to provide equitable access to instruction for all students while recognizing that students and their families are facing adverse circumstances. As such, faculty has adjusted content and instructional strategies while seeking new and unique ways to connect with students in a remote learning environment.
The school district’s plan for fourth marking period grading is based on the following guiding principles:
- Support all students.
- Provide equitable access to learning.
- Mitigate the stress and anxiety of all stakeholders.
- Encourage ongoing student engagement through the end of the school year.
- Honor the hard work of students and faculty during the closure period.
Please refer to the earlier district communication for the differences between secondary and elementary grading practices.
Last day of instruction
The district anticipates that the last day of instruction for students and teachers in June will be adjusted based on guidance from the New York State Education Department and Governor Cuomo. Information about calendar dates will be forthcoming as it becomes available to the district.
Report cards will not be printed and mailed in June. Rather, report card grades and narratives will be accessed electronically through Schooltool and parents and guardians will receive login instructions in June.
Traditionally, the months of May and June are filled with activities and special events that provide for the appropriate ceremonial closure to the school year. Unfortunately, current social distancing protocols will prohibit many of these traditional celebrations. To the extent possible, some of these events may be rescheduled for a future date assuming that the executive orders which govern public gatherings are relaxed enough to allow them to occur. As plans are finalized for these rescheduled events (including some format of our annual commencement exercises for our graduating Senior Class of 2020, etc.), school district officials will share the details about these events in the weeks ahead.
The governor indicated he will announce a decision regarding summer programs by the end of May. Historically, F-M students have participated in the BOCES regional summer school for high school students in need of course completion, special education summer programs and a small literacy camp for younger students. School district officials are also looking into the possibility of offering an online review program to provide summer support for our students as families prepare for the transition to the next grade level. Once the district receives guidance from the state, information will be shared on the district website and with parents and guardians.
Personal items and the return of district property
Students have personal items in all of our school buildings and there are numerous district property items (e.g., textbooks, library books, Chrome books) that need to be returned. Principals are working on plans for students to retrieve personal items from the school buildings and for the return of district resources, such as textbooks and library books. They will share that information with families in the coming weeks.
The governor indicated that decisions about reopening in September will be made in the future. In the meantime, he has tasked school districts to formulate plans for reopening that would outline expectations for social distancing as well as procedures to promote health and safety.
The district will continue to update the community via the district website with any new information. Any time-sensitive, critical information will be shared via the district’s SchoolMessenger notification system, which sends email, text message and phone call notifications, depending upon how parents subscribed to the system.
The district will continue to update the community via the district website with any new information and frequently asked questions.
Any time-sensitive, critical information will be shared via the district’s SchoolMessenger notification system, which sends email, text message and phone call notifications, depending upon how parents subscribed to the system.