Duanesburg Elementary Parent Newsletter, September 2020

From the Principal

To our Duanesburg Elementary Families I give you a huge, warm welcome back!  We have missed you all so much. The faculty and staff are excited to be back in the building  doing what they truly love to do; educate. As I’m sure you can understand, I have many new pieces of information to share with you. We had to re-envision our instructional day so that our greatest treasures, your children, will experience a safe, positive and welcoming environment. If you have any questions or concerns after reading through this letter, please reach out to me – aconover@duanesburg.org
Let’s begin!


Attestation:  Please remember to complete the attestation form, https://entry.neric.org/dcs, daily before your child leaves for school.
Please follow this link to review our plan for health and safety: 
Our first week of school, Wednesday, September 9, through Friday, September 11, will have a staggered attendance schedule:

  • Kindergarten and UPK will be scheduling individual orientation times during the 9th – 11th
  • Sixth and Fifth grade will be the first two grades to attend on Wednesday, September 9th
  • Fourth and Third will join on Thursday, September 10th
  • Second and First will join on Friday, September 11th
  • UPK – 6th will have their first full week together beginning on Monday, September 14th

Our start/end times for the school day will be 8:50 a.m. to 3 p.m. For those parents transporting their children, morning drop off will begin right after the last bus leaves the parking lot. Parent pick up for dismissal will begin right after the last bus leaves the parking lot. For parent pickup, we ask that you pull up to the curb and give your name to a staff member. The staff member will notify the office.  The office will call into the student’s classroom to dismiss the student. We will be using the red light at the entrance to help parents know when they can and cannot enter the parking lot.  
At this time, the YMCA is reviewing the elementary school for possible locations to hold before/after school care. As soon as they determine the space needed, they will send out information for families to sign up.

Classroom (Teacher) Assignments /Locations:
Student classrooms will be able to accommodate approximately 15 students (some rooms 17). For example, a grade consisting of 45 students will require three rooms instead of just two. In order to provide maximum support and supervision, two classroom teachers, a support staff member and a special education teacher will separate duties and rotate between these three classrooms. All three rooms will also be connected via distance conferencing technology. You may also notice that the parent portal lists all of the adults that will be working with your child.  We hope that having access to these additional staff members will help students learn and succeed in this different environment. 
In order to minimize cross-contamination, travel between different parts of the school will be minimized. Art, Library, and Music classes will be pushing into your child’s classroom; however, students will relocate to the gym for Physical Education. Recess is an important part of the school day and will still take place, though in a way that allows for practical distancing and along with some team play.

Students will be eating both breakfast and lunch within the classroom. They do not have to wear masks during as they will be socially distanced. 
We will be asking that students select their breakfast choice the prior day.  Breakfast will be delivered to the classrooms as will lunch. Lunch can be selected the same morning. It is strongly encouraged that you sign up for NUTRIKIDS/mySchoolBucks. There is no longer a fee to use this service anymore. It provides students and their families with a convenient and confidential way to manage student meal and allergy information, pay for meals and manage accounts. If you must send in money, for breakfast or lunch, it must be exact change and in a sealed envelope with your child’s name written clearly on the front.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to apply for the confidential Free & Reduced Price Meals Program, which provides free meals for all qualifying children. This program also benefits students beyond the cafeteria: participation may also provide them with fee waivers for tests, applications, scholarships and programs including College in the High School courses.  Paperwork is attached to the end of the letter.

Each grade level will be assigned a recess period during the day. The teachers will take students out to a designated area. There will be nine stations designed to allow movement, some team play (with distancing) and a chance to be outside without their face mask.  Classrooms may not interact with each other. 

Transportation/Bus Slips:
Any permanent  changes needed for bus pick-up/bus drop off, must be made to Joanne Boyd.
The Transportation Department will need up to ten days to make any busing changes. If the change requested is to move to parent pick up/drop off, that may take effect immediately. 
Bus Slips will be honored for parents who need to pick up their child from school either at or before dismissal. Please call the office upon your arrival to pick up your child and the office will ensure they are escorted to your car.

To ensure the health and safety of the staff and community, only visitors who have been invited to come to the building by a faculty member, the nurse or the Principal will be allowed to enter. Before entering the building, visitors must self-attest using this link:  https://entry.neric.org/dcs.

Open House:
At this time, the expectation is to hold a virtual Open House. We will have different grade levels at different times and hold a live stream that evening.  More information will be coming the first full week of school.

Please email or call with any questions, concerns. I want you to know that all the faculty/staff/administration have worked hard to ensure that we provide the best educational experience possible for all the students, while ensuring their safety. We will undoubtedly hit a few bumps in the road, but we will work hard to make corrections.