Taking a Real Break

Here I am, 18 months post-retirement. You may be wondering how someone who maintained a blog from 2006-2022 could just disappear, but in fact, that’s exactly what I did. For a bit.

When I retired I craved nothing more than the freedom to do whatever I liked each day, with no schedule, no obligations and no responsibility. For about six weeks, I was in Florida focusing on exercise and diet and reading all of the books I’d put off.

But six weeks is really all I needed and I realized later that I just desperately needed a break.

My colleague Jazz Conboy asked me this question during a conversation about how burnt out I felt, “do you get away from the work?” I smugly answered “Yes! We go to Florida to see our son and his family and they don’t have to worry at all because I always have my phone, I stay in touch with everyone, monitor emails and connect any time they need me. They can reach me 24/7.” Jazz, “Well that’s your problem. You’re not actually ever taking a break. Imagine how you’d feel about the work if you left it for two solid weeks.”

This had never occurred to me. Seriously. It is OKAY to take a real break from the work. You can ask a colleague to check in, an administrative assistant to monitor your emails, and someone else to run point if there’s anything urgent. Then do the same thing for that person.

And by the way, I’m back to working full time. I’m in a role with far less responsibility than I had as a superintendent and there’s a certain freedom to being retired and working in an interim role.

Summer is upon us. Be better than I was. Take a real break. You deserve it. You’ll be better for your teams if you do this for yourself. I promise.

Six Months Until Retirement

I will be retiring in the 21-22 school year. My last date of work as the SGI superintendent will be Friday, January 7, 2022. If you’re wondering why I’m announcing my retirement so soon, it’s to provide time for the BOE to conduct the search for the next superintendent. Whenever a superintendent retires, the search consultant requests a six-month period in which to conduct a search. The BOE members met with Dr. O’Rourke on June 21, 2021 to plan the search process.

When I decided in 2015 that I wanted another big challenge before retirement and applied to Springville-Griffith Institute CSD, I didn’t really know what was in store for me. From an outsider’s perspective, I knew some of the struggles the district experienced with leadership. It never made sense to me, what I saw in the media, because I thought “that should be a wonderful district to lead.” In fact, Springville is a wonderful district. The community, BOE members, leadership team, faculty and employees are among the best I’ve ever known. I’m grateful for every positive comment, for every day of hard work from our employees, for a leadership team—including our amazing administrators, union leaders, and BOE members—who works together to do what’s right. I’m grateful for our students and families who are kind and thoughtful and well intentioned.

It’s been a rough year for all of us. If someone asked me why I’m retiring now, I’d be tempted to answer, “social media!” but the truth is that it’s simply the right time for me. I’ve had a fulfilling career in which I’ve been lucky enough to do meaningful work and to form relationships with some incredible people. We’ve righted the SGI ship and now I know that the next six months will continue to be about leaving the place better than I found it while passing the leadership responsibility to the next superintendent.

Personally, I’m looking forward to freedom. I’ve been on the clock since I was fifteen—a work ethic was the #1 thing taught to us in my family and it’s how we were valued. When my father passed away in March at 78, it confirmed for me that life is short, and I have so many other things I want to do before mine is over. I want to wake up without an alarm clock, drink coffee in my pjs, volunteer, travel with my husband and enjoy our grandbabies.

I’m so proud to be the Springville superintendent and will continue to do so with all that I’ve got until January 8, 2022. We’ve got much to do including rolling out the next capital project that will do more for our students than the last project.  I’ll have much more information on that at our July 6th BOE meeting, a public informational meeting this summer and on our conference days in September.

SES Family Survey Results

Prior to the winter break we surveyed our Springville Elementary families as we were working to answer the question, “how do we increase quality instructional time for every SGI student?” When working through the opportunities to increase learning and still meeting the required safety measures, our SES team identified the idea of five in-person half days as the safest model that gains in-person daily contact for our students. Principal Chris Scarpine surveyed our families and with 257 families taking part, we were delighted at the participation rate.

Mr. Scarpine has shared the results of the survey in a letter to families that’s likely arriving home today, January 25, 2021. Of the 257 responses, 87.3% are in support of their children attending SES five half days per week, with 80.6% able to manage the childcare challenges and 82.9% excited about the change.

I want to speak to some of the main issues raised in the 188 responses to “What do you want us to think about as we consider this possibility?” 

Parent preference for which half of the day was mentioned eight times. We will accommodate this request to the extent possible. For example, if your child is in a class that meets in the afternoons and you need a morning schedule, the move depends on the number of students in that teacher’s morning class. If adding your child to the morning class means that we cannot meet the 6 feet of social distancing requirement, then we won’t be able to make that happen. If we can, then we’ll do everything we can to manage requests.

Concerns about childcare costs and availability were mentioned eighteen times in the comments. This has been our biggest worry and is one of the reasons Principal Scarpine and SES teachers advocated to give plenty of time between the announcement of the change and the start date of 2.22.2021. We will do whatever we can to help you and your family with this challenge. If this means additional bus drop offs for your child at the mid-day, please let our transportation department know what those changes are as soon as possible so that they can help with your request. Our SMS/SHS students are still attending in-person instruction either Purple cohort on Mondays/Thursdays or Gold cohort on Tuesdays/Fridays, so older siblings remain available to help–but on different days.

This was an excruciating concern–knowing that almost 20% of our SES families will struggle to change childcare. We are hopeful that the daily contact with our students–many who aren’t participating on remote days or are in desperate need of the love and attention of their teachers on a daily basis–will make the challenge of childcare worth the benefit of more quality core instructional time with teachers, a reduced burden on families for remote learning, and attention to the social and emotional needs of our youngest children.

In a variety of ways, fourteen participants worried about safety. Would we be keeping the cohorts to a safe number? Yes. Will we be cleaning between bus runs? Yes. Will we maintain all of the safety protocols? Yes.

Eleven participants expressed frustration at yet another change. I hear you. The only additional change you should hear from us this year is a return to full, in-person instruction.

The frustration that we’re not fully in-person, five days per week was expressed by thirty-four participants. This was the most repeated idea that you want us to think about moving forward. Many said, “how can kids be in childcare but not in school?” We have different requirements that we must follow than day care providers. The minute that the governor, CDC and NYSDOH, or NYSED change the guidance on maintaining 6 feet of distance–even requiring 3 feet of distance with masks–we can return to full in-person learning. As we look to the experts on the virus and keeping everyone safe, we will continue to follow the mandatory safety protocols that include 6 feet of distance. Returning all SGI students to full in-person learning will be a dream come true for our entire BOE, administrative team and faculty. I promise we will pivot quickly when this is allowed.

Thank you to everyone for your participation in the survey. Please continue to contact us so that we can work to help problem solve challenges with you and your family.

SGI Family Survey Results

Within this post, please find the results to a family survey that we sent out and kept open over the past few weeks. We received 314 responses to the survey, with 32 people taking the survey more than once resulting in 282 unique responses. I’m grateful for everyone who took the time to participate and to share your thoughts in the comments. To understand our purpose for conducting the survey, here’s the introductory letter that accompanied it.

Dear Families:

We can’t believe it’s been ten months since the beginning of the global pandemic that’s forced significant changes upon our school system. Thank you to all of our families who have reached out to share your thoughts, encouragement, suggestions for improvement and gratitude. This has been the single most challenging time of my 32 year career in education and we very much look forward to the day that our students return to us fully in-person, 5 days per week.

Our leadership team, in collaboration with our teachers and BOE members, have made what we’ve thought were the best decisions for the students of SGI. We turn to you to tell us how things are going for your children. For every parent who asks for more rigorous learning opportunities and more instructional time for students on remote days, we hear from families who say, “we’re managing as well as we can now and cannot do anything more.”

Please help us to get a sense of where you are as a family by participating in the survey that follows. We are looking for opportunities to improve instruction for our students at the same time that we acknowledge that every family is different. Your answers will help to guide our decisions moving forward as we face the reality that it may be longer than we hoped before we’re back to “normal” in our schools. As we return to the hybrid model on January 4, 2021, please know that we will clearly communicate any changes to our current plan in a timely manner so that you can manage the changes in your own family.

As a system, you can count on us to carefully focus on your individual comments where there is room for improvement and an ability to change. For example, if the comment was “get our kids back to five days of in-person instruction!“, we cannot do that under the requirement to maintain six feet of distance between our students. There’s nothing we’d like to do more than have 5 days of in-person instruction and yet I can’t deliver on that request.

I also want to acknowledge that the preponderance of positive feedback and understanding of the situation in which we exist under this pandemic was heartening. Thank you for the positive feedback and words of encouragement!

Who participated in the survey? We had an even distribution of families, with 41.7% of respondents identifying as SHS families, 36.9% as SMS, 41.3% as SES and 13.1% as CES which is reflective of our student population distribution.

How are we doing on communication? 78.3% of respondents agree that we are keeping you well informed. Within the comments we learn of times when someone isn’t receiving a return email or phone call from someone at SGI–this is NEVER acceptable. When you reach out to a teacher or administrator, you should expect a response in a timely manner. If you do not receive one, please try following up with a phone call and/or contacting the building administrator.

I also see a repeat comment from families that says, “give us a heads up sooner if my child isn’t doing well.” Please never hesitate to call the teacher, counselor, or principal to get more information and we will focus on being more proactive. Families can always keep up to date on grades by accessing PowerSchool any time, day or night. Please let us know if you need help with logging in and call or email the teacher if you are worried about the grades that you see there. Especially at the MS/HS levels, 90% of the time your child does know why the grades are low and has already had that conversation with the teacher.

Remote days–is the amount of work and time on the computer just right? Here we have 33.7% of our respondents disagreeing that the amount of work and time on the computer was just right. The next question digs a little deeper to find out if that’s because families want more or less time and work.

Do families believe their children can handle more scheduled time working directly with a teacher?  

The answer to this question is as varied as the families we serve. As you can see 44.3% of families agree that more scheduled time on remote days is preferable, with 35.3% disagreeing.

We have been working to develop a more robust schedule for remote days since November. We are looking to add in more time directly on a schedule with teachers on Wednesdays and ways in which we can add teaching support for all students on remote days. 

I need to spend a bit more time on this topic. We have heard our teachers make impassioned pleas to focus on only our in-person students on their two in-person learning days, as we planned from the beginning. As one veteran and well respected SES teacher said to me,

for the two days that we have students in-person, it is precious little time to focus on our children. Please don’t take that away from me or divide my attention by asking me to teach my remote children at the same time. We are making progress under the hybrid model, our students are doing well and they are not far behind where we would normally be at this time of the year.

We understand that teachers want to be with their students, uninterrupted and face to face when they are in school. However, we also understand the need to increase engagement and contact time with students when they are remote. This is why we are considering other ideas for offering more synchronous learning on remote days. It is our hope to have a plan in place for the beginning of the next semester. Three days per week without direct contact with teachers is not good for kids; we have to do better.

Is the school work on remote days manageable and meaningful? Are we extending the in-person learning or giving what’s perceived as ‘busy work’? I found these results to be encouraging and reflective of the hard work our teachers have done on developing asynchronous lessons. 56.1% of respondents agree that the work is meaningful with just 23.2% disagreeing. Our principals are dropping in on remote lessons, just as they always do in the regular school day to look for areas where they can provide feedback, encouragement and support to our teachers.

Last, to make life a little more exciting (!), I added a question about whether or not our families plan to have their children vaccinated. I can only say that I truly hope the decision about whether or not to mandate the vaccine is NOT left to us in individual school districts. As you can see here, the results are again, as varied as our families.

We will continue to focus on all students and families, doing the best that we can under these unbelievable circumstances. Thank you for all of your support, understanding and love for the Springville-Griffith Institute CSD. Your thoughts matter to us and we love hearing from you!

Tell Me About Your Kid

We’re now almost six weeks into the 2020-21 school year and in our district, 94% of our students are learning in a hybrid model with two days of in-person instruction and three days of remote learning. The other 6% of our students are in a fully remote model.

I’ve been receiving more feedback about learning from our families than ever before in my twenty years as a school administrator. All of that experience prepared me to listen carefully, study the issues, do my research and make solid decisions, that I should then carefully communicate. All of that experience, plus ten solid years as a classroom teacher did nothing to prepare me for one new challenge for public schools.

We now have to figure out how to differentiate learning for our families too.

Great teachers work hard to know their students well. They come to learn their strengths and weaknesses and to design lessons that reach every student where it’s needed. It’s called differentiating and it’s exactly what it sounds like–differing how and what we teach based on the students in front of us.

Based on the parent emails and phone calls I’ve received; I recognize that now our teachers and our plans have to differentiate learning for our families.  I’ve had emails from parents requesting more–more time on direct learning through the computer, more supplemental activities that they can do at home, more time for in-person learning. I’ve also heard from families who want less–longer deadlines, fewer assignments to complete, less work on remote days.

Here’s an example of a family concern that came my way that never would have likely hit my desk before this year. The mother of a first grader noticed that her daughter was doing a tracing paper–trace the letters or numbers. She was frustrated at the lack of rigor in this work. She knows that her daughter can recognize and easily write all of her letters–so why was this assigned?

Differentiation for families? Well, that teacher has other parents in the class who don’t have the time and ability to work with their children. We’ve asked teachers to send/post work that’s manageable, what can a first grader do on her own? And of course, some of our first graders still need that activity. In an in-person class, the teacher would have quickly seen that the tracing activity was far below the abilities of this first grader. The teacher would have differentiated her instruction and moved the child on to more relevant learning. Now, it’s going to take longer for that teacher to identify all of the different strengths and weaknesses of her students and to modify her instruction to meet each child’s needs.

Families can help teachers learn more about our students.  Instead of seeing that tracing paper as a concern about the overall quality of teaching, use it as an opportunity to email the teacher and tell her about your kid. Give her information about what you see when your child is working remotely. And teachers, ask our families for information. Parent/Teacher Conferences need to be a two-way conversation now more than ever before–not just a lecture on all of the things your child needs to do better (they never should have been that conversation).  We’ve got to find additional ways to get to know our students really well, ways that bridge the gap left by only two days of in-person learning. Our teachers have time to talk with you on our fully remote Wednesdays. Ask for a virtual conference or telephone call. Teachers, offer families time to talk.

For our middle and high school students, teacher your children to advocate for themselves at this age. They can also communicate with their teachers, ask for help or tell the teacher what’s not working. This is critical for all children in any year, and especially now. My own mom always pushed me to advocate for myself saying, “I’m not fighting your battles for you, go talk to them!” There’s a parenting lesson that’s served me well my entire life.

Our School Community Responds to Reopening Question

What concerns, questions or ideas should we consider when planning to reopen schools? 

That’s the question I asked of our school community last week. Thank you to the 247 people who took the time to respond, share comments and then rate the thoughts of other members of our community. You can read the full report here. 

Please note the survey questions as well. 58% of our survey participants said that they are extremely or relatively comfortable sending their children back to school if the health orders allow it, while 30% are hesitant and concerned and 8% are extremely uncomfortable or will not send their child to school without a vaccine.

Would our survey participants prefer online distance learning or socially distanced in-person learning? 86% prefer to have our students return to us. And last, I asked how satisfied our community is with our communication and response. 67% are somewhat or very satisfied, 13% are neutral and 20% are somewhat or very unsatisfied.

The top thoughts report is accessible in the link in the report. Please know that we will carefully consider all 258 thoughts that were shared in the exchange. Many of the thoughts expressed are shared by our leadership teams–our school administrators and BOE members.

What are we doing to prepare for the new school year? We’re participating on an Erie 2 regional reopening workgroup that brings together educators from across our WNY school districts. We’re awaiting guidance from NYSED and the Governor. Most important, we’re planning a Springville Reopening Committee to consider the guidance from the Erie 2 workgroup and NYSED. We will develop our own plan for Springville. If you’re a parent or student in our district and you’re interested in participating on our SGI Reopening Committee, please email me at kmoritz@springvillegi.org.

As things have changed rapidly throughout this closure, our team of educators have responded to every new challenge with agility and the needs of our students foremost on our minds. We will continue to do so through the remainder of this trying time. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me.

Our Students Need to Return to School in September

Here’s  an email from a mother of four children in our school district. She clearly articulates the struggles of so many families with school age children throughout this closure. The email is reprinted here with her permission.

One SGI mom wrote:

Good afternoon Mrs. Moritz,
I hope all is well with you and your family.
I am trying to review Power School to see where my children stand in terms of grading and it is extremely confusing to me. I have over 200 emails from the school, for the kids google classroom updates, since this pandemic began.
All four of our children have been trying to keep up with schoolwork, as best they can, given the current pandemic.
I am not sure how their Pass/Fail grades will be determined exactly, but I would ask that all of their teachers take the following into consideration:
01) We have one chrome book, which we borrowed mid-way through this pandemic from SGI, for all 4 kids.
02) All four of our children are using this same one chrome book, which I think has to be returned this week as I borrowed it from the high school, and the kids still have past-due work, which I assume needs to be completed, in order to pass given the Pass/Fail grading system?
03) Both my husband and myself have been considered “essential employees” since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
04) Being considered “essential”, both of us have been required to go into our places of employment during normal business hours (roughly 8am until 6pm) since March, when most people were able to at least work from home. Then, we need to work full days still and try to come home and “homeschool” four children, with one laptop and extremely sluggish internet. Hence, some assignments perhaps not uploading correctly and probably some missing.
While I am certainly not trying to make excuses for possible missing assignments, I do believe that most people are under the impression that parents have actually been home during this entire time and that simply is not the case with our family.
I actually do think most families have had at least one parent, if not both parents, at home with their children during this entire time, since March. Unfortunately (or fortunately since we both still have jobs) my husband and myself have been obligated to go into work everyday as usual since March, when the kids were initially released from school.
We are doing our best to ensure our four kids keep up on their school work, to the best of their abilities, and ours, given the tools and resources available.
I would greatly appreciate if the school district and teachers take this into consideration when grading our children in (10th grade), (7th grade), (6th grade) and (3rd grade), at the close of this school year.
Please advise if I need to forward this to any additional personnel at SGI High School, SGI Middle School or Colden Elementary School.
Thank you for your time and please stay safe!

This well spoken SGI mom and I have since connected and I hope she found my words to be reassuring. If our students, particularly at grades K-6, have been connecting with our teachers and attempting to continue their learning, they’ll pass. Much leniency is also in place for our grades 7-12 students while we attempt to keep adolescents moving forward in their learning and achieving course credit. We would have given her four chrome books if we knew she needed them. I cannot imagine the stress she has felt daily as she worried about her children at home, plus school work plus her own work responsibilities.

The current model of remote learning is not the way in which we need to reimagine our schools. Do we need to constantly evolve and rethink the way we do things in our schools? YES! And we need our students to return to us to do so.

Our students left us in mid-March with school being a safe, normal, and nurturing environment where the adults in the buildings care for each of them. If that isn’t a child’s experience because of bullying or a difficult teacher, then that’s a different problem we work on. Our vision at SGI is to be a place where everyone finds value and meaning every day.  Our mission is to be a learning community that cultivates meaningful relationships, commits to continuous growth and improvement, says “YES” to voice, choice and creativity and knows that learning is limitless.

We need our students to return to school in September to live that mission fully.

I know the decision to reopen our schools won’t be up to me–that the state of the Covid-19 crisis prior to September will determine Governor Cuomo’s decision on whether or not we’re reopening schools. We’re knee deep in graduation plans that meet ever evolving guidance and building level planning of some sort of end of the year recognition/connection with our students. We’re nose deep in preparing for reduced state and federal aid revenues–the amount of which is still unknown on this 10th day of June–and considering all of the possible ways to mitigate revenue cuts.

While we’re working on all of the logistics of what re-opening schools MIGHT look like, can we please still have hope for a relatively normal return to school?

Look, I believe that everyone in our organization and every family has done their very best during this time. We’ve all learned how to do things differently. But this has not been the same as having our students with us all day. There has most assuredly been a loss of learning for our students and I worry very much about our neediest children.

We’ll follow all well researched guidance that the CDC/DOH/NYSED give us to keep our students and employees safe.  We need to take smart precautions that keep our students and employees safe while trying to return our students to a school environment that feels safe, nurturing and normal.


What’s Gone Well During this School Closure?

We’re knee deep in figuring out the deadlines for school budget votes and Board of Education elections, as impacted by the Governor’s latest Executive Order. Throughout this school closure we’ve had many questions that we needed to answer and decisions to make. I’m not sure I’ve ever found the work of a school superintendent to be more intense or difficult. So in the midst of all of it, I checked in with our school community and asked everyone for the positives—what good may come from this closure?

The results of this latest thought exchange can be found in this summary report. We asked,

What’s gone well for you during the school closure that may be different from the norm or what you’d expect? What are possible changes you want to make when life returns to “normal”?

I found the thoughts shared to be encouraging and reflective of the caring, supportive community that is Springville-Griffith Institute CSD. Please take the time to read the report. I hope you’re as uplifted by the thoughts shared as I am!

We will reflect carefully on the lessons learned about learning and the way we do “school” after this health crisis. If we just return to the way we’ve always done things and a status quo, we’re missing a massive opportunity to improve learning for all kids. Here’s a Buffalo News article by Jay Rey in which I’m quoted as saying,

I actually hope that after all of this is over maybe we can have some lessons that we learned from this time,” Moritz said. “Perhaps some of these things we’ve clung to don’t seem so important anymore and we can focus on how we really define learning.

I hope that people will really think about the equity challenge and finally see how impossible homework completion is for some of our neediest children. I hope that we’ll capitalize on remote learning for our students who are home sick or who otherwise can’t put in the seat time requirements.  We need to think about maintaining the family connections that so many talk about in the ThoughtExchange. I hope we’ll reconsider our thoughts on “proving” learning through arbitrary grading procedures. Most of all, I hope we’ll really analyze and commit to improvements about the actual curriculum content and pedagogy that we employ in every classroom, every day. As teachers were forced to consider “power” standards, the most important learning that’s necessary for each class, did they also recognize that we’re teaching some content that’s irrelevant, unnecessary, and easily found online? If so, then we need to do the hard work of identifying what will be different in our curriculum and instruction that will improve learning for all kids.

Let’s come out of this health crisis better than we entered it.

Springville Generosity

On a daily basis, I’ve been grateful for someone in our organization, their work and dedication. Today I want to thank a group of individuals in our school community who came together to support our essential workers.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart to:

Julie Noeson

Carla Roetzer

Kate Cummings

Marlene Clark 

Valerie Brown

Wendy Cocca 

Sherry Bligh

Lisa Braman

Kara Andrews 

Polly McCauley 

Denise Lawton 

Elizabeth Casey 

John Baronich

Sue Reinhardt

Lilian Quinn 

Cristin Benz and Lily Benz

Jay McCrory 

Alex Simmons and Andrea Simmons

Christine Small 

Stephanie Sullivan 

John Mrozik

James Bialasik

Reed Braman

Frank Noeson

Rebecca Roudebush 

We are here Monday-Thursday, cleaning, preparing and delivering meals, and otherwise keeping the district running. Last week, I gave all of our masks and gloves to the local medical community. Most were dust masks from the shop, some medical masks. Saturday, the guidance changed and everyone is now supposed to wear masks in public–including everyone who’s here working every day. We are social distancing to the extent possible, but our essential employees have been on my list of people I’m worried about. This morning, I was able to give everyone working at SGI a handmade mask. Here’s mine.

Between Saturday morning when I put out the call for help and this morning at 7:30, our school community came together and made 200+ masks for our employees. I am so very grateful to everyone who did this for us. Having worked in Springville these past four plus years, I’m not a bit surprised at the generosity and caring of our community because I’ve been lucky enough to live it, every day.

Coronavirus Preparedness

Dear SGI Families:

On February 12, 2020, I sent a letter home to all of our families regarding the Coronavirus. A template was sent to superintendents from NYSED and NYSDOH. I want to point you back to the letter as it can be found on our District website, in case you’ve misplaced it. Here it is.

I know that many of you have been asking questions. I watched Governor Cuomo’s address on Coronavirus at 9:45 am this morning and was relieved to hear that the two suspected cases in WNY tested negative. I assure you that we will do everything possible to plan how to handle a Coronavirus emergency in our district. At the same time, I’m encouraged when I read the facts and I encourage you to do so too. Here are two good resources for you to consider. NYSDOH guidance and the CDC. I’ve been inundated with emails from various sources but can point you to none more valuable than those two sites.

PLEASE stress the importance of good hand washing to all of our children—demand it of them and of yourself. We are working to print posters on hand-washing for every classroom and restroom now.

Our full Administrative team is meeting this week to discuss and to plan. We will:

  1. Review our cleaning protocols AGAIN. These were reviewed with the flu outbreak we experienced, and the protocols are similar. Facilities Director Dave Seiflein is working with Hillyard to identify any opportunities for improvement, to answer the question of whether our hand sanitizer, that’s alcohol free, is effective enough, and to plan for the training of all cleaning and custodial staff that’s already scheduled for 3/20/2020. Again, good hand-washing with soap and water is a great method. Teach our littlest ones to do so while they’re at home please.
  2. Review our food service practices and protocols.
  3. Review all scheduled domestic and foreign student travel and monitor those planned trips closely.
  4. Planning for the worst—if we have the need to cancel school for an extended period of time, can we provide an education virtually? What would this look like? Are we equipped to do so, as least for our SHS coursework needed for graduation?
  5. Review perfect attendance awards—a main recommendation is to stay home if ill, therefore we will discuss the ways in which we reward good attendance. This is a tough one because we want our students at school but NOT if they’re sick.

If you have thoughts you would like to share that may benefit our SGI approach moving forward, please email me, call (716-592-3230) or talk with any member of our administrative team who can relay those ideas at our Friday morning meeting. We can work together to keep our school family safe.

Thank you.

Kimberly Moritz