MESSAGE FROM DR. JOHN E. STIMMEL
Dear Sayville School District Community,
The 2019-2020 school year ended with the challenge of developing a district response to the COVID-19 crisis. Our students, their families, and educators are to be commended for the creativity, hard work and resilience they demonstrated as we reinvented the way instruction is delivered to our students.
The challenge of the summer of 2020 entailed creating school reopening plans based on a stringent New York State Department of Health and New York State Education Department guidelines. A Reopening Roundtable was formed with representatives from the district’s various stakeholder groups and the district considered input from a broad sample of our community. While the district continues to make every effort to consider the requests and preferences of our stakeholders, it is not possible to honor every request. We appreciate the patience and support shown to us by the community.
The first two priorities of the Sayville Reopening Plan were to maintain the health and safety of our students, staff, and visitors and reintroduce in-person instruction whenever possible. By using all available space in our elementary schools, the District was able to develop a plan for our K-5 students that provides in-person instruction five days per week.
Due to health and safety requirements, including social-distancing requirements from NYS DOH and NYSED, the District had to develop a hybrid plan of instruction for secondary students. Students in grades 6-12 receive a combination of in-person and remote-learning instruction. By reducing in-person attendance by half, the District is able to keep our students six-feet apart while in their classrooms.
The Governor, DOH, and NYSED have warned the District to be prepared to move to full-time remote instruction at a moment’s notice. Our teachers are being given outstanding professional development and the District is working to enhance its instructional technology infrastructure to make sure that our students will receive effective and meaningful remote instruction.
One of the best things to come out of our district’s reopening plan is to see our students able to reconnect with their teachers and classmates. These relationships are critical to the success of our students. The District’s new STRIDES Curriculum along with other Social and Emotional learning activities are designed to enhance our students’ emotional health. We will continue to grow and enhance the program as this school year continues.
It is the sincere wish of the Board of Education, our educators and I that we do not experience school closures as we did in the spring of 2020. If we have learned anything from this experience, it is that there is no substitute for the connections between our students and their teachers and our students and their classmates.
The district will continue to work with our stakeholders throughout the 2020-2021 school year to refine our reopening plans. We will also work closely with our local DOH to maintain safe and healthy schools.
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and well. Please refer to the District’s Webpage, Digital Backpack, Parent Portal and the District Facebook account for updates. Thank you for your ongoing support of our schools.
Dr. John Stimmel
Superintendent of Schools