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Updated Continuation of Learning Information Due to COVID19

ESM has compiled resources and parent messages for parents/guardians regarding COVID-19 and our online distance learning model we have implemented. Naturally, it is normal to be concerned when we hear about health-related events like this. Please be assured that the health and safety of students and staff is always our top priority. We are updating this web page as we have new information available in this rapidly-evolving situation. See below (scroll down) for messages that have been sent to parents/guardians from the Superintendent via SchoolMessenger.

Visit our Parent Resources page for resource links regarding public services, helping children cope with stress, continuum of learning/learn at home tips/videos and much more. You can also visit Our resource page that includes videos and matericals created by ESM staff, including 
ESM Counselor lessons for students and Videos/Links Created by other staff - Fun, Inspirational etc.:  and also Superintendent Media Interviews

Free (SUMMER) Meals: ESM is offering a free Breakfast and Lunch Program Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays during the SUMMER. Anyone 18 years old and younger can receive free breakfast and lunch. The Summer Food Service Program runs now - Aug. 14 at East Syracuse Elementary School, 230 Kinne St. This year, due to COVID-19, meals will be “grab-n-go” on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10–11:30 a.m. On Tuesday and Thursday, youth will receive breakfast and lunch for two days. No paperwork or identification is required for this state and federally funded Child Nutrition Program. 

Technology Helpline: We have set up a dedicated helpline phone number for parents or students to call if they are having general problems with a district-issued Chromebook or problems connecting their PC/Mac/iPad/tablet/Chromebook to their home WiFi. Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. parents and students can call 315-434-3024. If someone doesn't answer, please leave a message with your name and a call-back number and we will return your call. You may also leave a message outside our business hours. Those messages will be returned the next business day (M-F). For general information on how to connect a Chromebook to your home or other WiFi, check out this multi-page document. This document also gives parents some information about signing on to Google classroom, Chromebooks and more WiFi and Chromebook tips 

Child Care for parents/guardians who are Healthcare Workers and First Responders: There is childcare available for Healthcare workers and First Responders at the Hal Welsh East Area Family YMCA or by contacting Child Care Solutions at 315-446-1220, the clearinghouse for all childcare information. Slots are only available for Healthcare Workers and First Responders.

Child Care for other Families: It may be a challenge to find child care due to COVID-19 related program closures, however the Office of Children & Family Services is trying their best to support families to find the high quality child care that they need. If you are a parent or caregiver who needs child care, please complete this parent need for child care survey. Based on the information you provide about your job, employer, number of children, and financial need, OCFS may be able to help you find the child program you need. Parent Child Care Survey

Families without Internet: Families without internet access for online, distance learning are eligible for internet services for 60 days free of charge through Spectrum. After that the family will be billed for service. This offer only applies to families who have not had Spectrum Internet within the last 60 days. Spectrum encourages families to try to call first thing in the morning to avoid delays at 1-844-488-8395. If you need further assistance, contact Cheryl West, ESM Coordinator for Youth Development & Leadership, at 315-434-3010.

Regents ExamsInformation for parents and students on the June 2020 Regents Exam cancellation.


Parent Guidance for ESM Marking Period 4 (K-12): Parents/guardian important guidance related to Marking Period 4. Page highlights instructional expectations, assessment and grading as well as other information related to our Continuity of Learning Plan and our ongoing distance learning model in place due to the COVID-19 emergency.  

Health Insurance: Resources for families who may need health insurance due to the state of emergency

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the continuation and extension of the PAUSE plan (per Executive Order) through April 29, 2020, with tentative plans for students and staff to return to school on May 15, 2020 (pending further review). ESM continues to receive guidance from both the New York State Department of Public Health (NYSDoH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as well as other state and local agencies on the novel coronavirus.

Superintendent Messages

 

Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 5-13-2020)

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the continuation of distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This decision underscores the fact that the health and safety of our students and staff remains our highest priority.  We recognize all of our ESM students for doing their best to demonstrate their learning and their ability to adapt and adjust to this distant and yet, continually connected world of learning. Our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to all of our ESM members contributing to the success of these efforts. We thank all parents, guardians, grandparents and family members for your ongoing support. We thank you for your patience and devotion as we work together through this uncharted territory. We truly believe that together we will succeed and we will be stronger as a result of our combined and collective efforts.

The calendar for the remainder of the year has been adjusted and will be posted on our website and sent to all parents and students by Friday, May 15, 2020. As we plan for the remainder of the school year, ESM will continue to implement the Continuity of Learning Plan in providing distance learning, sustain the preparation and delivery of breakfast and lunch meals for students 18 years of age and under, as well as, the accessibility of childcare for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers. Technical support is available by calling the Technology Support Helpline at 315-434-3024. Technology staff are monitoring those lines Monday through Friday, so please leave a message and they will connect with you.

ESM will continue the delivery of breakfast and lunch meals for students 18 years of age and under (meal delivery is available upon request and can be arranged by calling 315-434-3026). You may also call this number for any special dietary needs and/or the need for special accommodations.  Our ESM community continues to provide the accessibility of childcare for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers as defined by the Governor’s Executive Order. Please contact Child Care Solutions at 315-446-1220, the clearinghouse for all childcare information.

Parent information, tips and resources can be found on our website. Here is the link: https://www.esmschools.org/districtpage.cfm?pageid=1998

Throughout this period, we have also had great news. U.S. News and World Report named ESM Central High School to its 2020 list of the Best U.S. High Schools. Woodland Elementary has been named a 2019-20 Recognition School by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). We applaud our ESM staff and students for these accomplishments. 

On Monday, May 11, 2020, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) released their Case Studies of Exemplary STEM Teaching and Learning.  ESM is showcased in the work of Molly McGarry and the work of East Syracuse Elementary at the Elementary Level, Jason Fahy and work of Pine Grove Middle School at the Middle School Level and John Herrington and the collaborative work of the High School Level and the Village of Minoa at the High School level. We celebrate the national recognition of this exemplary work.

We are ESM where EVERY STUDENT MATTERS, EVERY STAFF MEMBER MATTERS, EVERY SINGLE FAMILY MATTERS and we are STRONGER TOGETHER!

Sincerely,
Dr. Donna J DeSiato
Superintendent
 

Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 5-1-2020)

Dear ESM Parents/Guardians,

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the continuation of distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This decision underscores that the health and safety of our students and staff remains our highest priority. We hope that you and your family are staying healthy and staying strong. We do not have the details of the Executive Order, at this time, so there will be more information in the near future. Please be assured we will do everything possible to have meaningful celebrations for culminating the school year.

Please join us as we prepare to celebrate Teacher Recognition and Staff Appreciation Week, May 4 – 8, 2020, in thanking our ESM staff for their individual and collaborative work during this challenging time. We recognize and value their exemplary, dedicated efforts in preparing all students for success in learning and life.

As we plan for the remainder of the school year, ESM will continue to implement the Continuity of Learning Plan in providing distance learning, sustain the preparation and delivery of breakfast and lunch meals for students 18 years of age and under, as well as, the accessibility of childcare for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers. Technical support is available by calling the Technology Support Helpline at 315-434-3024. Technology staff are monitoring those lines Monday through Friday, so please leave a message and they will connect with you.

ESM will continue the delivery of breakfast and lunch meals for students 18 years of age and under (meal delivery is available upon request and can be arranged by calling 315-434-3026). You may also call this number for any special dietary needs and/or the need for special accommodations.  Our ESM community continues to provide the accessibility of childcare for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers as defined by the Governor’s Executive Order. Please contact Child Care Solutions at 315-446-1220, the clearinghouse for all childcare information.

Parent information and resources can be found on our website. Here is the link: https://www.esmschools.org/districtpage.cfm?pageid=1976

We are ESM where EVERY STUDENT MATTERSEVERY STAFF MEMBER MATTERS, EVERY SINGLE FAMILY MATTERS and we are STRONGER TOGETHER!

Sincerely,
Dr. Donna J DeSiato
Superintendent


Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 4-16-2020)


Dear ESM Parents/Guardians,

Thank you for all that you are doing to support your child’s learning during this unprecedented time. The health and safety of all students and staff and their family members remains our highest priority. Today, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the continuation and extension of the PAUSE plan (per Executive Order) through May 15, 2020, with tentative plans for students and staff to return to school on May 18, 2020 (pending further review). In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order extension, districts will continue to implement the Continuity of Learning Plan in providing distance learning, sustain the preparation and delivery of breakfast and lunch meals for students 18 years of age and under, as well as, the accessibility of childcare for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers. As we continue the continuity of learning support is available by calling the Technology Support Helpline at 315-434-3024. Technology staff are monitoring those lines Monday through Friday, so please leave a message and they will connect with you.

ESM will continue the delivery of breakfast and lunch meals for students 18 years of age and under (meal delivery is available upon request and can be arranged by calling 315-434-3026). You may also call this number for any special dietary needs and/or the need for special accommodations.  Our ESM community continues to provide the accessibility of childcare for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers as defined by the Governor’s Executive Order. Please contact Child Care Solutions at 315-446-1220, the clearinghouse for all childcare information.

Parent information and resources can be found on our website. Here is the link

History will record the facts and figures of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our students will remember their experiences, their relationships with family, connections to friends, peers, their school family and the memories of their 2019-20 school year. Together, we will continue to make the memorable moments that we will cherish when we look back on this period of time.

ESM STRONG! ESM CARES! ESM TOGETHER!
ESM STRONGER, TOGETHER! Video 

Sincerely,
Dr. Donna J DeSiato
Superintendent

Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 4-8-2020)

Good afternoon Spartans and ESM families,

This is Dr. DeSiato sharing some exciting news! Yesterday, we were notified that ESM has been named one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” in the country for the 7th consecutive year. Congratulations to all ESM students who have performed in instrumental and vocal concerts, musical theatre productions, Marching Band and Winter Percussion Ensemble competitions and many other performances. We recognize and celebrate the talent, creativity and commitment of our ESM music teachers in receiving this prestigious award. Special thanks to all ESM parents, grandparents, family members and friends who have supported all ESM musical events throughout the year!

As we continue our Continuity of Learning Plan the New York State Education Department has informed us of the cancellation of the June 2020 High School Regents’ Exams. For ESM students in grade 8 through 12 enrolled in a course that typically culminated with a Regents Exam more information, will be forthcoming from Ms. Schiltz and Mr. Avellino, later in the week.

We want all of our ESM students to know that we miss you and we recognize that you are working very hard to do your best. Please continue to put forth your best effort so that we can recognize all the accomplishments you are making in learning, as well as, the decisions that you’re making, each and every day.

Special thanks to all of our ESM families for your continued support, understanding and perseverance through this unprecedented, challenging time.

Together, we will succeed!

Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 4-6-2020)

Dear ESM Parents/Guardians,

This afternoon, at the daily press conference, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the continuation and extension of the PAUSE plan (per Executive Order) through April 28, 2020, with tentative plans for students and staff to return to school on April 29, 2020 (pending further review). In addition to the closure announcement, the Board of Regents is expected to cancel all Regents exams tomorrow that were scheduled for June. We are expecting further guidance and logistics from the New York State Education Department this week. The health and safety of all students and staff and their family members continues to be our highest priority.
 
In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order extension, districts will continue to implement the Continuity of Learning Plan in providing distance learning, sustain the preparation and delivery of breakfast and lunch meals for students 18 years of age and under, as well as, the accessibility of childcare for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers. As we continue the continuity of learning support is available by calling the Technology Support Helpline at 315-434-3024. Technology staff are monitoring those lines Monday through Friday, so please leave a message and they will connect with you.
 
ESM will continue the delivery of breakfast and lunch meals for students 18 years of age and under (meal delivery is available upon request and can be arranged by calling 315-434-3026). You may also call this number for any special dietary needs and/or the need for special accommodations.  Our ESM community continues to provide the accessibility of childcare for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers as defined by the Governor’s Executive Order. Please contact Child Care Solutions at 315-446-1220, the clearinghouse for all childcare information.
 
Please practice hygiene and social-distancing protocols, stay healthy and stay connected!
 
ESM STRONG! ESM CARES! This creative video prepared by the Berklee College of Music students shares a special message: We will make it through this, together!

Sincerely,
Dr. Donna J DeSiato, Superintendent

Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-31-2020)

Dear ESM Parents/Guardians,

The health and safety of our students, staff and their families continues to be our highest priority.

The intent of this communication is to provide you with an update regarding Governor Cuomo’s most recent Executive Order extending the New York on PAUSE Plan through April 14, 2020 with tentative plans for students and staff to return to school on April 15, 2020 (pending further review). 

The National Association of School Psychologists provides excellent resources for helping children to cope with changes resulting from COVID-19.

The Governor’s Executive Order encompasses the District’s previously scheduled spring recess for the week of April 6, 2020, therefore ESM’s calendar is amended by executive order to comply with the requirements of the continuation of the three New York State Education Department approved plans. During this extension, ESM will continue to implement the continuity of learning plan in providing distance learning for all students the week of April 6.  It is important to understand that this extension is vital to saving the lives of many and reducing the spread of COVID-19. We will look forward to a time when we can celebrate with a “recess” in the future.

For those students who may have experience difficulties in connecting or need additional support, please call the Technology Support Helpline at 315-434-3024. Technology staff are monitoring those lines Monday through Friday, so please leave a message and they will respond to you.

During the week of April 6, ESM will also continue the delivery of breakfast and lunch meals for students 18 years of age and under (meal delivery is available upon request and can be arranged by calling 315-434-3026). You may also call this number for any special dietary needs and/or the need for special accommodations.

Our ESM community continues to provide the accessibility of childcare for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers as defined by the Governor’s Executive Order. Please contact Child Care Solutions at 315-446-1220, the clearinghouse for all childcare information.

We applaud and praise all ESM students for doing their best in this new learning galaxy! We recognize all of our ESM staff members for their dedication, commitment, creativity and perseverance in contributing to the success of our efforts. We thank all parents, guardians, grandparents and family members for your ongoing support in this uncharted territory. 

Sincerely,
Dr. Donna DeSiato, Superintendent

 
Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-22-2020)

Good afternoon ESM students and families,

This is Dr. DeSiato and yes this is a “SUN” day not a snow day, as a matter fact it is a very sunny day. I am calling with a very special message and some important information for your family, as we learn and grow together, in a virtual world called a continuity of learning.

First, an important message for all ESM students: We are proud of you! Your engagement, participation and accomplishments in learning these first 4 days has been amazing. Your teachers are sharing and celebrating the stories of how you have navigated a Google education classroom. For those students who may have experience difficulties in connecting or need additional support, please call the Technology Support Helpline at 315-434-3024.Technology staff are monitoring those lines Monday through Friday, so please leave a message and they will respond to you. This number is also posted on our website.

We thank our ESM teachers for their ability to demonstrate online and distance learning through our Google education classroom in staying connected with each of you. In addition to your teachers, you have support available to you from your principal, school nurse, librarian, school counselor, school psychologist, literacy and reading teacher, math-science support teacher, teaching assistants and all ESM instructional support staff via school email addresses or phone contact numbers.

ESM is offering free breakfast and lunch meals with distribution on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at East Syracuse Elementary School located at 230 Kinne Street. On Tuesdays and Thursdays families are given two days’ worth of meals. For ESM students/families who cannot get to the meal distribution site, delivery is available upon request and can be arranged by calling 315-434-3026. You may also call this number for any special dietary needs and/or the need for special accommodations.

For parents and guardians who are Healthcare Workers and First Responders, we thank you for all that you are doing for the benefit of our community. There is childcare available for Healthcare workers and First Responders at the Hal Welsh East Area Family YMCA or by contacting Child Care Solutions at 315-446-1220, the clearinghouse for all childcare information. Slots are only available for Healthcare Workers and First Responders.

For all ESM parents and guardians, we thank you for your support, patience and perseverance as we work together through this uncharted territory. We truly believe that together we will succeed and we will be stronger as a result of our combined and collective efforts. All ESM systems are operating from district facilities or from home (for the safety of many). Contact any of our programs or services, if you need assistance or more information.

ESM cares! ESM is here for you! Be strong, please follow hygiene and social-distancing protocols, and stay safe, healthy and connected! Thank you.

Dr. Donna DeSiato, Superintendent
 
Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-19-20)

Dear Parents & Guardians,

We hope that everyone is adjusting to all of the changes we’ve experienced together this week in our ESM 21st century learning community.
Thank you for your ongoing support and positive messages.To prepare for this transition all ESM principals are providing important information for accessing tools and materials and for beginning the implementation of distance/online learning.
ESM teachers and instructional support staff are exemplifying the connectivity to all students with a continuity of learning in all areas in a Google Classroom environment. You will find important links and information posted on our website, updated regularly to help in navigating this uncharted territory.

Today, pursuant to the Executive Order of the Governor ESM submitted three required plans to the New York State Education Department:
1. Continuity of Learning Plan for all students Pre-K -12, including learning materials and content, communication tools, expectations for teacher and student interaction and methods of instruction.
  • The District will provide technology devices to students who do not have access to personally owned devices for the purposes of instruction and learning.
  • he surveyed all parents/families for their access to high speed internet access at home. The parents/families who responded that they did not have access were contacted by School Counselors to facilitate an application to Spectrum                for a free 60-day access to high-speed internet access at their home, so that all ESM students would have access to to high speed internet access at home.
  • The District Plan for Continuity of Learning includes differentiation and accessibility for all students with disabilities (SWD) and all english language learners.            
   2.  Child Nutrition Plan:
The District is serving one day of meals (breakfast and lunch) on Monday and two days of meals (breakfast and lunch) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
During the State of Emergency, “grab-n-go” meals are being provided at East Syracuse Elementary School (230 Kinne Street, East Syracuse) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
These “grab-n-go” breakfasts and lunches will be provided to ALL children 18 years old or younger without charge, including youth from other districts.   
On Tuesdays & Thursdays, families will be given two days’ worth of meals. For ESM students who cannot get to the meal site, delivery is available upon request by calling 315-434-3026.You may also contact that number with any dietary needs and/or the need for special accommodations.

3.  Child Care Plan for first responders and healthcare workers in our District:
  • Child-care will be provided by the Hal Welch East Area Family YMCA for 4 year olds and under.
  • Child-care will be provided by the Hal Welch East Area Family YMCA for 5-12 year olds.
  • Child Care Solutions at 315-446-1220 is the clearinghouse for all child-care information and slots are only available for the children of first responders or healthcare workers.          
ESM will continue to share updates on our website, share via social media on Twitter and Facebook and send Districtwide messages via SchoolMessenger.
 
Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-16-20)

At 10 am this morning, County Executive Ryan McMahon  has declared a State of Emergency in Onondaga County and ordered for Monday, March 16, 2020 at 4PM as the last day for students attending school until Tuesday, April 14, 2020. As per the order of the County Executive Order students will be out of school beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Students are scheduled to return on Tuesday, April 14th.

The County Executive noted during the March 16 Press Conference and has communicated today that as of this date there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Onondaga County. 

All parents received a survey via SchoolMessenger yesterday to provide the information needed for each student to have access to a chromebook and connectivity to the internet. More than 1600 families have responded and we are preparing to meet the needs of all families.

All parents will continue to receive communications from each Principal today in providing further information for each building.

All students will be taking home essential materials and if needed signing out Chromebooks to take home today.

We know that there are many questions that will need to be answered and we will do so as this unfolds.

Thank you for your continuing support.

Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-15-20 Evening)

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Our District’s Leadership Team convened today and is working diligently to communicate and develop plans to support our students and their families and to prepare for the transition to online/distance learning with our staff. 

Here is some important information:

Access to Technology:

  • We will make every effort to provide technology devices to students who do not have access to personally owned devices for the purposes of instruction and learning. All parents received a survey today to gather the data needed. 
  • In the case where a family does not have internet access, alternative methods of delivering instruction and feedback to students will be utilized. 
  • Additional information will be provided regarding how devices will be made available in the communications that you receive from your building principal.

Cancellation of Extra-curricular and Athletic Events:

  • As communicated yesterday, all of next week’s extra-curricular activities and events will be cancelled immediately. 
  • By now, you may be aware that Section III Athletics has announced that effective Monday, March 16, 2020 all interscholastic athletics events will be suspended.  The official start date for all Spring sports will be April 14, 2020.  The dates and structure of postseason competition will be determined at a later date.

Continuity of Instruction:

  • We value and thank all of our staff for the commitment, dedication, teamwork, creativity and flexibility in preparing for this transition, developing protocols for continued learning, and designing lessons that ensure continuity of instruction. This work will continue this week.
  • You can expect further communication from your child’s building principal as to how teachers will communicate with students during the extended closure. 
  • Our special education teachers and related service providers will be working collaboratively with your child’s teachers to design instruction to meet their individual education programs (IEPs). Teachers will be communicating with you to provide further information in this area regarding meeting the individual learning needs of your child.

Student Attendance:

  • All ESM Schools will be in session Monday, March 16, 2020 through 4PM, March 20, 2020.
  • We recognize that some parents may decide to not have your child/children in attendance.  Please know that we respect your right as parents to choose what is best for your child.  If you choose not to send your child to school while we remain in session this week, your child will be considered excused from school. (Please be sure to notify the school by email or a note of your child’s absence).
  • If you are planning to contact the school for school work for your child, during the week of March 16, 2020 through March 20, 2020, or to sign-out a Chromebook for your child, please contact your child’s teacher or the main office in advance to allow time for those arrangements to be made.

There will be ongoing communication. Please check your email and our website, www.esmschools.org, for updates, links, guidance and more.

During this challenging time we are grateful for your ongoing support.


Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-15-20 Afternoon)

Dear Parents & Guardians,

As previously shared, County Executive Ryan McMahon has declared a State of Emergency in Onondaga County and ordered Friday, March 20, 2020 at 4PM as the last day for students attending school until Tuesday, April 14, 2020. As per the order of the County Executive Order students will be out of school beginning Monday, March 23, 2020. Students are scheduled to return on Tuesday, April 14th.

The County Executive noted during the March 14 Press Conference and has communicated today, March 15, that as of this date there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Onondaga County. Based on this data from the Onondaga County Health Department the decision to have school remain in session for students this week will provide time to prepare for child supervision, distance learning connectivity, analysis of accessibility to learning platforms and tools for an extended period of time, preparation for the continuation of the Child Nutrition Program for students qualifying for free/reduced meals, and the communication needed to accomplish all of the aforementioned. 

All parents should have received a survey via SchoolMessenger today to provide the information needed for each student to have access to a chromebook and connectivity to the internet. This will assist each school in preparing for an online/distance continuity of learning.

Preparation to continue the Child Nutrition Program for students qualifying for free/reduced meals between March 23, 2020 and April 13, 2020 are underway and additional information will be provided this coming week.

Principals will be sending more detailed information in the next few days as the plan to transition to remote learning is more fully developed. 

We value and appreciate your ongoing support and remain confident in thoughtfully designing and delivering this new framework for learning. 
 


Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-14-20)
 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

The Superintendents of  all Onondaga County School Districts met with County Executive Ryan McMahon and County Health Commissioner Dr. Gupta earlier today to discuss COVID-19 and the potential impact on this region. As you may be aware the County Executive declared a State of Emergency in Onondaga County. As per the order of the County Executive, Friday, March 20, 2020 at 4PM will be the last day for students attending school until Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

As per the order of the County Executive students will be out of school beginning Monday, March 23, 2020. Students are scheduled to return on Tuesday, April 14th.

Our District will begin to to share more information regarding this announcement tomorrow and throughout the coming week.

As we prepare for continuity of learning/instruction for all of our students we anticipate using the upcoming week to
solidify plans to meet the needs of our students. We understand that as parents you will be making the best decision for your child/children regarding their attendance during this upcoming week.

As questions arise, please contact your child's teacher or principal during the upcoming week. 

Thank you for your support as we navigate this unchartered territory together.  

 
Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-13-20)

Dear ESM Parents/Guardians:

As you know, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be rapidly evolving. The health and safety of our students and staff continue to be our highest priority. The intent of this communication is to provide you with an update on the actions we are taking as a District to address growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

ESM is continuing to follow recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control, the New York State Department of Health and the Onondaga County Health Department. All three organizations are monitoring the situation closely and will provide us with updates as the situation warrants. The District has ongoing communication with our Medical Director and the guidance of the Onondaga County Health Department regarding COVID-19 updates. ESM School nurses and our Nurse Supervisor attended a special training offered by Onondaga County this week.   

The New York State Education Department has issued guidance for closing school in the event there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school. If the Onondaga County Health Department confirms a case of COVID-19 in a District school, that building will initially be closed for a minimum of 24-hours for cleaning and disinfecting, as well as, to determine the next steps. As a District, we need to plan and prepare for online or distance learning at all levels. We have engaged a District level team and will be engaging a team at each building to facilitate analyzing the capabilities, strategies, tools and systems in designing a delivery for online or distance learning in the event we need to close school for an extended period of time. We value the knowledge, experience and expertise of our ESM team in addressing this challenge.

Families should plan for the possibility of a school closing for 24 hours or an extended period of time. Please plan for the necessary arrangements for childcare in the event buildings are required to close on short notice.

As a District, our Facilities Department utilizes extensive cleaning measures to combat the spread of cold and flu-like viruses in our buildings and on all buses. In light of concerns regarding COVID-19, our custodians are disinfecting all classrooms and door hardware on a daily basis. This is achieved by spraying horizontal surfaces and door knobs/latches/pulls with the appropriate disinfectant and wiping them with a cloth. We have also purchased extra alcohol-based hand sanitizers for our buildings to mitigate the spread of respiratory viruses. 

We are presently reviewing all Building and District events to determine on a case-by-case basis what may need to be rescheduled, postponed or cancelled depending on varying factors and circumstances. You will receive notification via SchoolMessenger. The ESM website is being updated on a regular basis.

Thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to keep pace with the hourly updates and monitor the impact of the coronavirus in keeping our school community safe and healthy amid this global challenge.

Sincerely,

Dr. Donna J. DeSiato
Superintendent
 
Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-12-20)

Dear Parents/Guardians:

COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to dominate the news.  As of today (3-12-20), there are several confirmed cases in New York State, however, there are not any confirmed cases in Onondaga County as of this date.

East Syracuse Minoa Central School District continues to monitor COVID-19 and work with the Onondaga Health Department and District Medical Director to determine protocols in the event it spreads to our community.  As with any major health issue, we will continue to seek guidance and make determinations as they relate to:
  • Communicating good health habits
  • Sanitizing frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Students/families returning to ESM Central School District from impacted countries/states
  • Upcoming school trips/field trips
  • How to continue instruction if schools need to close for a period of time
According to the CDC, the most important thing people can do to reduce infection is to practice good hand washing.  Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If clean water and soap are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  By practicing good hand washing and sanitizing, we can help stop the spread of germs.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) has understandably created anxiety for many watching it unfold around the world.  Our students are watching too. For more information about talking to children about COVID-19, please refer to these parent resource from the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Nurses: Parents can also stay up to date on the most recent COVID-19 developments through a myriad of local, state and federal health agency websites. 
Thank you for your continued support as we continue to monitor the impact of the coronavirus and do our best to keep us all safe and healthy amid this global challenge.

Sincerely,

Dr. Donna J. DeSiato
Superintendent
 
Letter from ESM to Parents/Guardians (sent via SchoolMessenger 3-3-20)

Dear Parents and Guardians:

As you may know, New York State recently confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus 19 (2019-n-CoV) in New York City.  A second case has been confirmed in Westchester County. This letter is to inform you of the District’s response to this emerging health concern.

The East Syracuse Minoa Central School District will continue to follow recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the New York State Department of Health.  All three organizations are monitoring the situation closely and will provide us with updates as the situation warrants.

In addition, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES and area superintendents have been working together on a safety plan to address the situation as it continues to evolve.

The District currently has extensive cleaning measures in place to combat the spread of cold and flu-like viruses.  These measures have been quite effective in preventing the spread of illness outbreaks in our buildings and on our buses, and we will continue to review and follow these procedures in the months ahead.

As a reminder, we are still in the midst of our regular cold and flu season, and it is important that we continue to follow recommendations to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including 2019-n-CoV.  Please make sure you share the following reminders from the NYS Department of Health with your children and family members:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.  If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Thank you for your continued support of our School District.

Sincerely,

Dr. Donna J. DeSiato
Superintendent


We are also sharing a letter (below) for parents/guardians that was prepared by the NYS Dept. of Health and the NYS Ed. Dept. Our administrators and school nurses will continue to receive updates and guidance on the coronavirus. 

In addition, we are including a link to a joint letter  prepared for school administrators by the NYS Dept. of Health and the NYS Ed. Dept. This will allow you to see the guidance currently being given to school districts in light of this new virus.

Letter prepared by the NYS Dept. of Health and the NYS Ed. Dept. 

Dear Parent/Guardian,

A new coronavirus called 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first found in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This virus had not been found in humans before. This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and trouble breathing or shortness of breath. There are thousands of diagnosed cases in China and new cases being diagnosed in a number of countries including the United States.

What do we know? Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this new virus, so that we can better understand how it spreads and causes illness. The CDC considers this virus to be a serious public health concern. Based on current information the CDC recommends avoiding travel to China. Updated travel information related to 2019?nCoV can be found at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-china 

How Does 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus Spread? Health experts believe the virus probably spreads from animals to humans and from person to person. It’s not clear yet how easily the virus spreads from person-to-person. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) is not currently a concern for the general public and is not actively circulating among New Yorkers at this time. Therefore, there is no need to cancel school or social events, and there is no need for students or school staff to wear surgical masks at school.

Prevention: There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including 2019-nCoV:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all travel to China.

Symptoms: Information to date suggests that 2019-nCoV causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Are visitors from China being screened? Yes, as of February 2, new screening protocols are conducted for individuals entering the US from China at designated airports. 

Pre-K to 12 schools may have students who attend school and have traveled to various areas in Asia, including China. Students should not be excluded from school or any school activities based on race, country of origin, or recent travel (or a family member’s recent travel), including to any part of China. Schools may only exclude a student if a local health department informs the school that a student must comply with a quarantine order or the student is symptomatic of a communicable or infectious disease pursuant to Education Law §906.

Important Health Information for Those Who Have Recently Traveled to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and Experience Symptoms: If you recently traveled to Wuhan, China and feel sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing; OR you develop symptoms within 14 days of traveling there, you should:
  • Seek medical care right away. Call ahead and tell them about your travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Contact your local health department.
Additional Resources: This is an emerging, rapidly changing situation. For questions please contact your local department of health or the NYS DOH Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

We encourage you to keep up to date about 2019-nCoV, its treatment and prevention by visiting the following websites: