A message from the Superintendent
Superintendent's Update #7
August 26, 2020
Dear Chappaqua Central School District Community,
I write to you this morning from a place of empathy and compassion for the many members of our school community who have expressed concerns related to the opening of our schools and the potential spread of COVID-19. As a parent, I understand the challenges of remote learning and the significance of opening our schools to our students and community. As an educator, I understand the worries that many teachers across this country are expressing as schools begin to reopen.
In recent communications, both the NYS Education Department and Department of Health have stressed the importance of returning students to in-person instruction at this time. I want to again reassure you that we have the resources and materials needed to reopen as safely as possible. This includes personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and ample space to appropriately socially distance. We have also completed extensive maintenance on our HVAC systems this summer in preparation for opening our buildings this fall. Furthermore, our entry process is purposefully designed to onboard small cadres of students to ensure we can safely educate, supervise, and support our children, as well as make last-minute adjustments due to unanticipated staffing needs.
While we have partnered with many stakeholders over the last several weeks to develop our plans, there are staff members who remain uncomfortable about being in school. This is expected and it is certainly understandable in light of the ongoing pandemic. In response, we have taken meaningful steps to support our staff. These steps include weekly meetings with our staff led by our principals to address concerns, building-wide staff teams for logistical planning, ½ days on Wednesday for professional development, authorization of telework for staff who qualify due to existing medical needs, and an additional day of professional learning at the start of the school year.
I firmly believe that our opening plan reflects the best interests of our school community. Barring an unforeseen issue, such as a drastic increase in the regional infection rate, we will open as scheduled and as outlined in our plans for September. We will continue to support our teachers and our families as we prepare to return to our classrooms.
For additional information, we encourage you to explore our COVID-19 Opening Information website. We look forward to welcoming our students back to school in September.
Christine Ackerman, PhD
Superintendent of Schools