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RCSD July Community Update: 7/23/21

July 23, 2021

Dear RCSD community,

I hope you and your families are having a wonderful summer!

Back to School

I’ve been hearing from quite a few of you asking about what school will look like in the fall. The simple answer is that we’re not entirely sure. We have not received any guidance from the State as of yet; we are hopeful that they will issue some soon. I can tell you that we are expecting and planning that our schools will be fully open with no remote programming. As soon as we receive any information, I will communicate that out to the community.

Summer Programming

In driving by the school buildings, you may have noticed that there is a fair amount of activity going on. Our summer school programs are going very well. The elementary program has completed one session and the second is underway. The Middle School summer program is just completing week one. The High School program is in its second session. The Special Education Extended School Year (ESY) program and the English as a New Language (ENL) program are both in their third weeks.

Construction Update

You may also have noticed a fair amount of construction taking place at the school buildings. Work is progressing well in all the buildings. Much of the work being done  is to things that students and teachers can’t necessarily see - electrical upgrades, HVAC improvements, and the like - but they will vastly improve the efficiency of the school buildings. New secure entrances are also being installed at each of our schools. We are expecting that most if not all of the work will be wrapped up in time for September. 

Professional Learning

Many of our faculty and staff are taking advantage of professional development opportunities over the summer. Thirty-six Rye teachers and staff attended a Literacy Institute that focused on phonics instruction in late June. Twenty more faculty will attend an Orton-Gillingham Institute offered by the Haskins Laboratory next week. For those who may not be familiar with the Orton-Gillingham approach, it is a method of teaching literacy when reading, writing, and spelling does not come easily to individuals, such as those with dyslexia or other learning disabilities. Haskins Laboratories is a private, non-profit research institute with a primary focus on speech, language, and reading; they are located in New Haven, CT, and affiliated with Yale University and the University of Connecticut. The District has been in a partnership with Haskins for a year; this is the kick-off of our second year. The partnership will benefit both our students and the instructional program. 

New Families

The real estate market in the New York metro area suburbs has been quite active this past year and over the summer. In Rye, there have been a lot of home sales with new families making the move to our community. As we prepare for the start of school, it is helpful to connect with new families and shepherd them through the registration process. If you have a new neighbor or know of someone who is new to Rye, please help to connect them with the school district. Feel free to refer new families to Gabriella O’Connor at 914-967-6100, ext, 6270, or oconnor.gabriella@ryeschools.org. Thank you.

Enjoy this beautiful weather.

Best regards,

Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools