Dear Putnam Valley Families,
It’s been exactly seven months since we started online learning March 13th of last year. Thankfully, the warm weather this fall has provided our teachers and students with many opportunities to go outside and enjoy the fresh air during the school day. We are hoping the temperatures will continue to be warm and give us the flexibility we need during this time of social distancing.
We have received several inquiries from parents regarding classes where a teacher has only posted an assignment in Google Classroom for the day and is not present online. If your child’s teacher is absent, our substitute teachers work only with students who are in the building on that day. We do not want to put students in any potentially negative situations online that are difficult to control with a substitute teacher. Therefore, please have your child check the Google Classroom daily for each course to be clear on assignments and expectations for the day. Our teachers are regularly adopting new technology platforms to create meaningful online learning for students. However, we do have concerns about the number of hours of screentime students are absorbing each day. We are encouraging teachers to also design lessons where students can minimize screen time for class and go outside or another area of the house for a hands-on experiment or experience.
This Friday, November 13th, marks the end of the first quarter for all students. We have been meeting with students and families of those students who are struggling academically. Some students with learning disabilities have been allowed to return for additional days of schooling per their IEP or 504. It is our wish that all students can return to the building, but we do not have the space available with social distancing to accommodate those requests. We are currently exploring ways to bring in students on Mondays once the second semester arrives.
Your child’s grades will be posted in PowerSchool by Thursday, November 19th. If your child is finding the academic work too challenging or stressful, please notify your child’s guidance counselor who can help support them and find a free tutor through one of our Honor Society programs.
The COVID crisis puts many things beyond our control. But, we can provide students with all the materials and equipment needed to complete their assignments with greater ease. We have many materials for students waiting to be picked up by parents. Parents can stop by any time during the day on Mondays or beginning at 2:00-3:00 pm on Tuesday thru Fridays. Additionally, If your child’s laptop is malfunctioning, please bring it to school, and we will provide your child with a loaner laptop while the computer is being fixed. We can also create opportunities for students to come into the building to take tests after school if requested. This opportunity will provide a more formal setting that is conducive to test-taking.
To accommodate as many students as possible during Thanksgiving Week, we are slightly altering the schedule on Monday, November 23rd. Instead of an all-remote learning day, we will be bringing in the L-Z cohort for periods 1,3,7,9. All other students will be remote on that day.
If you notice your child multitasking (texting, earbuds for music, etc.) while attending virtual lessons, please have a conversation with them on the harmful effects of multitasking. To quote an article by psychologist Kendra Cherry from the mental health site, the verywell mind, “Experts also suggest that the negative impact of chronic, heavy multitasking might be the most detrimental to adolescent minds. At this age, in particular, brains are busy forming important neural connections. Spreading attention so thin and constantly being distracted by different streams of information might have a serious, long-term, negative impact on how these connections form.”
Mr. Mello has sent out several Connect Ed messages regarding payment for Advanced Placement and IB exams. Please review these messages for important deadlines.
Please stay connected to our High School happenings through Instagram page (putvalleyhs) or Facebook (Putnam Valley High School). Mr. Mello and I also gave a recent presentation to the Board of Education on October 22nd with news on our new IB program. You can watch our presentation HERE or find it on the Putnam Valley Central School District site under the Board of Education videos. We will also hold an all remote PVHS Administrative Listening Hour on Wednesday, December 2nd at 6:30 pm to hear how we can continue to support our students this year. The link will be sent out the week after Thanksgiving.
Thank you for your continued support.
Sandra Intrieri, Ed.D.