PHILADELPHIA, NY — First, I hope all is well with you and your family during these difficult times. COVID-19 continues to have a great impact on our society and recent events on the national level have added to the uncertainty. Through all of these challenges, Indian River Central School District has thus far, and will continue to be, a place where students, staff, and community can expect thoughtful decision making while we serve as a source of both strength and consistency for our community.
To this end, the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff continue to be our number one priority. You can see from our daily correspondence that we continue to experience an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the post-holiday time period in-district. This is also true for our region, with several related data points continuing to trend in an alarming direction. While our schools have not been a place where COVID-19 has spread (a testament to our amazing students and staff), community positivity rates will continue to increase, causing further quarantines and general impact to our school programming. The day-to-day challenge of not knowing what to expect is also stressful on students, parents, and staff – especially with the potential for changes on any given day.
With these points in mind, the District has made the difficult decision to transition to our remote learning plan for students in grades PreK – 12 effective Tuesday, January 19, 2021 through Friday, January 29, 2021. Indian River has decided that pivoting to remote learning for the majority of our students is a necessary precaution to manage the challenges associated with the spread of COVID-19 throughout the District and in the community. The decision was not made lightly, and we recognize that this temporary shift will create challenges for families. It is for this reason that we share this decision with you now to allow for planning.
In preparation for this transition, please understand that:
- Teachers will continue to provide instruction, albeit in a virtual setting following our existing hybrid schedule. (Specific schedules from the school buildings and teachers will be forthcoming via ParentSquare and/or email.)
- Students should be prepared to participate in live and/or offline/paper-based learning activities and complete required assignments. Your continued support of your child’s education during this remote period is greatly appreciated.
- Students who attend BOCES Career and Technical Education programs (CTE) and/or the ACES Program at the Bohlen Technical Center may continue to attend in person due to the hands-on nature of this instruction and/or connect virtually. (Transportation will be provided but details will be forthcoming)
- Students who are in current four-day-per-week special classes at Calcium Primary, Evans Mills Primary, the Intermediate School, the Middle School, and High School may continue to attend in person due to the significance of their needs. For these students, transportation will be provided but details will be forthcoming. Parents who want their children to receive remote instruction during this two-week period can do so through contacting their child’s teacher.
- Regardless of which building your child attends, meals will be available via pickup at Antwerp Primary, Calcium Primary, Theresa Primary and the Intermediate School from noon to 2pm. Next week, two days of meals will be provided on Tuesday, 1/19 and Thursday, 1/21. The following week, two days of meals will be provided on Monday, 1/25 and three days of meals on Wednesday, 1/27
- All athletics and in-person extracurricular activities are postponed indefinitely.
- If needed, emergency closing for weather-related issues (i.e. snow days/delays) will still take place. There will not be virtual learning on snow days.
- The shift to a fully remote schedule may be stressful. Our school counselors are available to provide assistance and support for any social, emotional, or related programming needs. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our staff.
- Though details are not yet finalized, please remain on the lookout for details on how IRCSD may soon be able to provide symptom-based COVID testing for students. We are also in the early stages of requesting status as a vaccination site and will share information if and when it becomes available.
Our previous temporary movements to remote instruction this school year for some buildings have been very successful, and our fully-remote plans are ready to be activated. Indian River Central School District will continue to serve the needs of our students, staff, and community – especially during this time of uncertainty. We will always provide our students with essential learning and growth opportunities, and we will do all we can to help manage any disruption caused by our temporary shift to a fully remote schedule. Together, we can work through and overcome these challenges.
A great deal of additional information regarding building/grade/class-specific plans will come directly from the school buildings and classroom teachers. Please direct classroom-based questions to building and/or classroom staff. Thank you for your continued support and understanding during these difficult times..
Please stay safe, stay healthy, and remain #WarriorStrong!
Mary Anne Dobmeier
Superintendent of Schools