Dear Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers,
I am writing to provide you with an update about the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), and the Ulster BOCES’ efforts to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff in our buildings.
As you are aware, by Executive Order, Governor Cuomo has mandated the closure of all schools in the state through the end of the academic year. While this was disappointing news, considering the spread of the coronavirus in the state and nation, such a decision was anticipated. Our planning since day one was to deliver instruction for an extended period. We did not expect to be back in school and our planning, from day one, anticipated that.
I recognize that this decision places parents in what may be an unfamiliar role, instructional support person. Our teachers continue to deliver instruction, embedding new content, in a virtual setting. They continue to interact with each of their students on a regular basis. When we do not “connect” with a student for a period of time we have instituted “wellness checks” where we reach out by phone, by email, and even with personal home visits.
We understand that there are many challenges for parents including scheduling home resources, instructional support, technology, connectivity, and just the normal stress of family life that our current situation exacerbates. To that end, we want to extend our support services to each parent, guardian, and caregiver.
Social-Emotional Support/ Check-In for Parents/Caregivers:
We are well aware that these are stressful times for all. Our primary concern during this period is on the social and emotional health of our students, staff and our families To that end we are making available to our parents, guardians and caregivers all members of our counseling staff to assist you in navigating through the many stressors that our current situation has imposed on us all. If you have any questions or needs regarding a student who attends an Ulster BOCES program or if you need support for yourself during this unprecedented time, our lead nurse Margaret Short will direct your request to a member of our counseling staff who will then contact you to set up a time to speak or to connect virtually.
To reach Nurse Short call 845.522.2825 between 8 AM - 5 PM or leave a message anytime. You can also email Nurse Short. If you are emailing or leaving a message, please be sure to include your name, student's name and program, phone number, and a brief description of your concerns. All calls are confidential.
If you need technical support for a student who attends an Ulster BOCES program, you have the following options available:
Call 845.391.6881 - 8 AM - 5 PM or leave a message anytime, or
Call 845.391.2081 - 8 AM - 5 PM or leave a message anytime, or
If you are emailing or leaving a message, please include your name, phone number, and issue.
We have also created a Family Support Resource Toolkit. This toolkit, developed by our Model Schools staff, is populated with several resources to assist parents to help their children navigate through this period.
You can access the Toolkit by clicking here.
We will also be sending out a survey to all students to see how they are doing and to determine if there are things that we need to do during the last few weeks of this school year.
Rather than sending out a separate survey for parents, I’d like you to assist me by emailing me your answers to a few questions.
· How are things going?
· How are we doing measured against your original expectations for our program?
· How are we doing given the limited time that everyone had to adapt?
· Since it is possible that there will be some form of distance learning for a while, what can we do better?
Just copy and paste these questions into an email and send your email to me. Please use PARENT RESPONSE in the subject line.
Thank you and be safe and be well.
Charles V. Khoury, Ed.D.