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A letter to the residents of the O-M district

April 10, 2020

Dear Odessa-Montour parents and guardians:

I hope that all of our O-M families are healthy and safe as we all cope with these trying times. I'm writing to give you an update of all that we know related to the state of our schools right now. Because guidance from New York State changes frequently, we worked to get answers to the many questions we know would arise before putting out this communication so that we could provide the most complete summary possible.

As per Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent announcement, the school closure mandate has been extended until April 29. In response to this extension, O-M administrators and staff have been hard at work planning for continuation of academics for our students. Assignments up to this point were primarily review work designed to keep students engaged during school closures. The next round of work will include the introduction of new concepts. New work packets for students will be available for curbside pick-up next week on the schedule below. In order to follow social distancing guidelines, please DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE when picking up packets. Volunteers will bring them to you. These times are pick-up only -- please do not bring any completed student work to turn in. Pick-up times, locations and the information you will need to provide are as follows:

Monday, April 13-Wednesday, April 15
8:00-10:30 a.m. Student last name A-L
10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Student last name M-Z

B.C. Cate -- Bus loop at main entrance: Tell volunteer your student's grade level and teacher's name.

Hanlon -- Bus loop at main entrance: Tell volunteer your student's grade level and teacher's name.

Jr. High School -- Bus loop at flag pole: Tell volunteer your student's grade level.

Sr. High School -- Bus loop at flag pole: Tell volunteer your student's grade level and each of the classes on your student's schedule.

If you cannot attend during these times, an additional pick-up session is scheduled for Thursday, April 16 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at each school. We are not sending computers home at this time. Thirty percent of our students live in areas that don't have internet or cellular service. The district is working on purchasing and setting up temporary hot spots to address this issue and we will keep you posted as we have updates.

If your student attends a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at GST BOCES, you will be receiving information directly from GST administrators about the continuation of instructional delivery.

We are looking at guidance from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as to how learning will be assessed at each grade level as we move forward and will share information with you as it is available. One thing we do know is that NYSED has cancelled the June 2020 Regents exams. It is important to note that students need to continue to complete the academic work assigned by their teachers during school closures and pass their Regents class in order to earn credit. If a student does not pass the Regents course, he/she will need to enroll in summer school in order to earn Regents credit, but will not be required to take the exam. This is assuming that summer school will run as scheduled this year; I will let you know if that changes.

I know that many of you are concerned about end-of-year activities. District staff shares in these concerns and we are holding out hope that if/when we are allowed to return to school this year, we will be able to hold as many events as possible, including the spring musical, an abbreviated sports season, prom and graduation. We will do the best we can to give our students some sense of normalcy when this time of upheaval has ended.

I realize that this is not an ideal situation for anyone. I appreciate your patience as we all navigate this uncharted time in history together.

Christopher J. Wood
Superintendent of Schools
Odessa-Montour School District


© The Odessa File 2020
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869