3/19/2020 – An update for parents from Superintendent Joseph Natale

March 19, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

As we continue to work our way through the school shutdown associated with the coronavirus outbreak, we wanted to thank our community and families for their patience and perseverance.

With the governor’s latest order, schools will be out of session until at least March 31st, with the possibility of that date being extended. To mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus COVID-19, the facilities and grounds, including playgrounds and athletic fields, are closed other than for official purposes.  We recognize that this extraordinary situation presents an array of difficulties and hardships for our students, employees and families. We are committed to doing everything we can to meet needs and support the community at this time.

We wanted to bring a few items to your attention:

  • Student work is available for students during this shutdown.
  • Spectrum is offering free high-speed internet service and Wi-Fi to households with students.  Families can call 844-488-8395 to enroll.  Installation fees will be waived for new student households.  After 60 days, you will either need to cancel the service or be charged.
  • Jr/Sr HS teachers have prepared assignments for all 7-12 students while school is closed. Students can access their lessons on the internet, email and the web page. Students without internet access may call the school to arrange pick up of paper copies. Please call or email Mr. Ted Kawryga, Interim Principal, at 518-568-2011 for any questions or concerns.
  • Elementary teachers have prepared assignments for students in PK-6 while school is closed.  For some grade levels, teachers will be providing online resources as well. Packets were distributed. Packets that were not picked up will be mailed.  Please call Mrs. Kawryga, Principal, at (518) 568-2014 with any questions or concerns.
  • Please don’t hesitate to reach out to teachers by email and they will be able to respond to families directly. We understand that families are still working out their own daily schedules during this time. Teachers understand and will work with each of you to support your child’s learning at home. You can find your teachers email address by using the district’s search directory at https://www.oesj.org/contact-us/
  • Lunches and breakfasts will be served at each building from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each weekday and include both a “grab and go” lunch and breakfast. Meals can be picked up at the following locations:
  • OESJ Elementary- Main entrance doors
  • OESJ Jr/Sr High School – Back doors by the gym.

If families are unable to pick up meals at either location, please call the school principals to make alternate arrangements.  Families who wish to pick up meals for the week must indicate so prior to a Monday pick up or by contacting the principal. Weekly meals will be distributed on Monday only. The district’s Backpack program will also continue to function. If you participate in this program you will be contacted for more information.

  • OESJ offices will be on a half-day schedule beginning Monday, March 23. If needed, parents can call the Elementary or Jr./Sr. High School offices between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and noon each day, or leave a message if calling after hours. This action is being taken to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus COVID-19 and to comply with the various guidelines regarding social distancing.
  • Student Services: If your child or your family needs guidance and/or assistance accessing mental health resources, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher, counselor or social worker via email; or call the building principal.  Social and Emotional learning resources are available on the district website under the Guidance Office tab on the Jr/Sr High School page.

Please realize that information above may be modified as things change. As always, if you have any questions or the health of your family changes, please contact the school district immediately. All information will remain confidential. Please continue to check the website, www.oesj.org, and the NYS Health Department, www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus, for the most accurate information.

Our concerns for the health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority.  We understand that an extended school closure is a hardship for our families.

We truly appreciate your patience and understanding as we work our way through this unprecedented challenge in our community.

Joseph L. Natale