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RCSD Community Update

October 30, 2020

Dear Rye Community,

In keeping with the theme of 2020, today we are dealing with heavy rain and high winds resulting from the remnants of hurricane Zeta. Even with the weather challenges of the day, Halloween is still a source of lots of fun in the schools. Children came dressed in costume and enjoyed festive activities and programs. 

Some areas north of Rye experienced the first snowflakes of the school year this morning. While we did not see any flakes here in Rye, it certainly reminds us that colder weather and snow are not too far in the future. I have had a number of students and parents ask me if we will still have snow days this year. The answer is “yes.” While a snow day in Rye is somewhat rare (we have only had a few in recent years), if the weather creates hazardous conditions, then we will have snow days this school year. I will again rely on students across grade levels to assist in creating snow day music for any necessary delay or closing messages. 

We have had two new cases of COVID-19 crop up in schools this week: one at Rye High School and one at Milton School. I want to remind parents and faculty/staff to notify the District as soon as possible after learning of a positive COVID-19 test. The sooner we know about a case, the sooner contact tracing can begin and the District can determine whether or not a school can stay open. Time is truly of the essence here, so please don’t hesitate to reach out late at night or over the weekend.

I am happy to report that neither of the cases originated in the schools, and so far we have not seen any spread within the school buildings. We are hopeful that our stringent mitigation efforts are working and this will continue to be the case. Unfortunately, the Department of Health has directed a number of students and faculty/staff to quarantine as a result of direct exposure to these cases. Teachers will be teaching remotely when possible during quarantine.

This week I have received many emails from families and faculty concerned about the upcoming holidays and travel. With COVID-19 rates increasing across the county, New York State continues to add new states to the COVID-19 Travel Advisory list. Please be advised that travel to any of the states on the list requires a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon return to New York State. 

This coming Tuesday is Election Day and school is not in session. Voting will be taking place at Rye Middle School, Osborn School, and Milton School. Our faculty and staff will participate in a full day of professional development focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our faculty and staff are committed to continuous improvement and to learning how best to provide inclusive learning environments for all students. Some of the offered sessions include:

  • Utilizing Phonological Awareness Resources for Learners Who Need Additional Support
  • Dynamic Features of an Inclusive Mathematics Classroom
  • Examining Equity and 3D Assessments in Relation to the NYS Science Learning Standards
  • Creating a Classroom and School Culture of Equity and Inclusivity for All Transgender and/or Non-Binary Students 

Enjoy the weekend and have a safe and happy Halloween. 

 

Sincerely,
Eric Byrne, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools