HCSD Continuity of Education
While this Continuity of Education Plan is thoughtfully developed, it also represents our evolving thinking about a set of circumstances that are dynamic, and for which there is no preexisting template.
Our Plan comprises four key elements:
Our educators will remain a positive presence in the lives of every child every day.
Engage students each day in thinking and learning that remains true to our District Vision of "educating modern thinkers who create, care, solve and discover", as well as that which honors our District Mission and our Core Values.
Engage each day with our students for whom the school is a primary source of mental and social emotional health support.
Provide breakfast and lunch to students and families in need.
Provide child care for the children of health care workers and first responders.
Clean and sanitize our school buildings in preparation for the return of students and staff to school.
This past September, we discussed as an entire staff about the fact that the modern world is increasingly dominated by VUCA - volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. This current health crisis represents all of those things . . . and then some. The point made at the time was that nearly everything in the modern world, especially our work on behalf of children, requires that we work closely together with our partners. The Hamburg School Family is strong and resilient, but we will need the help of our partners in local, state and federal government to be able to emerge from this public health crisis intact and ready to serve the totality of the needs that our students, staff and families will present in the months and years ahead.
Our district utilizes multiple methods to support communication with parents, students, and staff. These include telephone and video calling, email and social media. All communication is recorded and stored on the COVID-19 page located on our district website www.hamburgschools.org. Updates will be provided by the Superintendent to the staff and a separate communication will be shared with community members.
Remaining a Positive Presence in the Lives of Our Students
All of our educators have developed the capacity to engage with students and families using technology (Remind, Google Classroom, Google Meets, etc.) through the regular course of their work with students. Our Vision Statement requires that we engage "all students in learning experiences that inspire lifelong learning and empower each for their future." It is in this spirit that we will continue to offer learning experiences for students.
The purpose of the new instruction during this period of school closure is to offer learning experiences to each student that will most likely support their success in the next level of that class for 2020-2021. Given the fact that teaching and learning remotely is very new to everyone, each teacher have built units of learning around 4-6 "Power Concepts" that will become the focus of learning for the rest of the academic year, whether, or not we return to regular session. Since the vast majority of our educators have long since moved away from classroom learning based on printed "packets" because it is difficult to promote modern learning in that way, they had no intention, nor did we of reintroducing the overuse of printed instructional materials under these circumstances.
Work will be assigned and assessed by the teacher using a framework of "Satisfactory" and "Incomplete", with an emphasis on productive teacher feedback to students regarding the student's level of effort in completing the task, the quality of thinking demonstrated by the work product, and the student's ability to apply the learning. This mindset is supported by best practice and is the most fair and equitable way to assess under at this time.
Each educator is an expert in their respective grade level, content area, and most importantly, in the needs of their students. Through their expertise, and the support of their colleagues and the district, our educators have done a great job fulfilling our Vision, Mission, and Core Values under these very unique circumstances.
Accessibility to Meals
The Hamburg Central School District has many students and families in need. We have developed a plan to prepare and distribute breakfast and lunch to them for each of the days that we are closed due to COVID19. Every family has already been contacted by our Food Service Department regarding the specific plans for distribution. Distribution will begin on Wednesday, March 18th. Meals can be picked up at the High School only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 4:15-6 p.m. Meals are available for delivery upon request.
Mental and Social & Emotional Health
The administrators and mental health professionals (counselors, social workers and psychologists) in each school have developed a plan to stay in frequent contact with those students for whom the school is a primary and essential link to mental and emotional health support. The purpose is to:
assure that we remain a postive force in their lives
continue to support their learning and development within the context of their daily coursework
help students and families overcome challenges associated with remote learning, food insecurity, or any other aspect of this extended school closure
direct students, or their families, to community-based services should their need for support require it
Emotional Support for Families resources are shared and continually updated on our district website
The leadership teams of each of our six schools meet each day to discuss each element of our continuity planning. Central to each daily meeting is conversation about the constantly changing circumstances of our children and their families. This positions our building and district teams to act swiftly in support of families in need.
We also see dozens of students and families each year in our Family Support Center, and touch base with those families who are currently on our Family Support Center caseload.
On March 16, 2020, New York Govenor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order which, among other things, required school districts to distribute information to families regarding childcare facilities that are available for the children of health care workers and first responders. The Hamburg Central School District immediately reached out to every daycare facility in, and around, the Hamburg Central School District to see if they had spots available to accommodate children of healthcare workers and first responders.
We found nine daycare centers who currently have spots available, and provided all pertinent information regarding the ample availability of slots at each facility. We continue to update our Child Care for Families list regularly on our district website.
Every school has been deep cleaned inside and out, sanitized, and locked down. No one has had access to our schools since March 20th, nor will anyone have access to school buildings until we enact our re-entry plan once schools are cleared to open.