Letter to Parents – Schools Closed Until April 15

Dear OESJ Families,

We are now into the second full week of this strange and unpredictable future for our families, children and staff as we address this COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, March 27th, Governor Cuomo ordered schools to remain closed until April 15, 2020. This includes all school activities and use of playgrounds and athletic fields. We continue to monitor guidance from the NYS Department of Education on how these circumstances will impact the April break and Regents exams.

During times like these we need to work together even as we are asked to keep our distance from one another. We are working on how to recreate and function as an educational system. Faculty are considering ways to provide new instruction. Currently teachers are providing remote learning in the form of review material and subject matter previously covered. We want our children to progress as we plan for the delivery of new instruction. We encourage families to take advantage of some of the free offers from various internet providers. Free WiFi is available in district parking lots near all three school buildings.

The development of new instructional strategies will take a bit of time. Our teachers are doing a commendable job of putting together materials as we all work together to help them in their efforts as we move forward. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

I take this opportunity to provide you with an update on various district activities. Here are a few reminders:

●  Grab and Go breakfast and lunch is available for pickup at the OESJ Jr/Sr High School and the OESJ Elementary school from 11:00am to 1:00pm each weekday.
●  We continue to develop resources to keep our children engaged in learning opportunities.
●  The school district continues to monitor all guidance from local, state and federal agencies. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus among our students or staff.
●  Consistent with the state’s effort to restrict public gatherings and maintain social distancing, the April 1, 2020 Regular Board of Education meeting will not be held in person but remotely and the meeting recorded for public view.
●  OESJ offices are on a half-day schedule from 8:00am -12:00pm.
●  You may contact your child’s teacher, counselor and/or social worker for any assistance needed.
●  Mental and emotional support during this time can be provided by calling 1-844-863-9314. The Family Counseling Center has also implemented a Warm Line from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday through Friday and from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday by calling 518-725-4310 ext.333.
The IT Department has set up an IT Help Line for teachers, students and parents. The phone number is (518) 568-2011 ext. 3159. Leave a message if there is no answer. They will assist in family and student needs regarding their ability to access district educational information.

As conditions change, information will be disseminated through our web page and other means available.

Thank you for your support and understanding. Be safe and healthy. Sincerely,

Dr. Joseph L. Natale, Interim Superintendent