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October 22, 2020

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Dear Valley Stream District 30 Families and School Community:

On Monday, October 19th, we had the opportunity to celebrate the volunteerism of our Board of Education. These advocates for public education work tirelessly for our students. On behalf of the District, I thank the Board of Education for their time, commitment to education and high expectations for the students and staff. A special thank you is sent to Forest Road (our host school this year) for their wonderful presentation to the Board that included this year’s theme, “Picture This,” in an entertaining video and a beautiful picture frame for each board member.

National celebrations for the month of October included National Principals Month, National Custodial Workers Day, and National Techies Day. Especially during this unprecedented time, we are grateful for the leadership of our principals, the commitment to keeping our schools safe and clean by our custodial staff and the technical support that is needed to maintain remote/hybrid learning by our technology department. Thank you to our principals, custodial workers and technology staff for your contributions and dedication to our school district.

Once again, the Board and I are very pleased with our recent external audit report that was presented to the public on October 19th. The District continues to receive a very positive report on our financial standing and operations. Brian Phillips, Assistant Superintendent for Business, and the entire business department, is commended, once again, for their role in maintaining high standards and procedures that contributed to an outstanding external audit.

Since the opening of school, guidance from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has been updated. Please review the document (Parents - review, at least, pages A1 and A2) at:

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/10/prek-gr12_toolkit.pdf

Steps to be taken by students and staff – if they have tested positive, been exposed to a positive case or exhibiting covid-like symptoms – is outlined. Guidance on returning to school or work – after testing positive, being exposed or exhibiting covid-like symptoms – will be followed by the District. It is very important to note that, if the school or parent determines that a child is exhibiting covid-like symptoms or a staff member is exhibiting covid-like symptoms, the attached school form and applicable supporting documentation will be required for return. Covid-like symptoms (fever, cough, body ache, loss of smell/taste, nausea, etc.) requires a medical consultation, which can be done in person or remotely. Local Covid-19 testing sites: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QNxZ2wYHfe0a9S3PNAdcpqsGZm-VrATTYrAKR_1xd-0/edit?usp=sharing

The school cannot accept a parent note or phone call. The NYSDOH is aware that these procedures may cause some inconvenience for families and staff but, during this pandemic, these are the procedures that need to be followed to keep the public safe. Again, please review the attached and, if there are questions, please do not hesitate to contact your school principal or nurse. The cooperation by our entire community, thus far, has contributed to low spread rates in our District and community.

As previously shared, families who have their children attending school remotely every day will be receiving a commitment letter to identify if they want to switch to the hybrid model or remain remote after December 4th. The letter will be sent by the end of the month.

Please check your electronic backpacks for the flyer on “Putting your Best Mask Forward.” Due to the guidance on limiting mass gatherings and overall safety, the annual Halloween Parades will not occur at school. Students will be creating their own “masks” to be worn at school instead of the traditional customs. I thank you, again, for your understanding.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend and remember that school will be physically closed for students on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd, but remote instruction for everyone (remote and hybrid) will occur in the morning. Professional development activities are being planned for the staff in the afternoon.

Sincerely,

Nicholas A. Stirling, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools