Putnam Valley Elementary School

Dear PVES Families,

I hope that this letter finds you healthy and well.  I know that this is a very stressful time in our schools and in our country.  Please know that your school district is working very hard to make careful, informed decisions, always with the best interest of our students and families in mind.  We are dealing with unchartered territory at this point in education, and we will get through it together.  We will continue to communicate regularly with you throughout this time, and I can be reached regularly via email at mpodesta@pvcsd.org.

At this time, our Putnam Valley schools are closed through March 20th.  There is a very good chance that this closure will be extended, in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.  We are all learning of the importance of “social distancing” at this time, so that our hospitals are not overwhelmed with people who need emergency care.  Our society is working together, and I know that the Putnam Valley community always finds a way of coming together to support neighbors and friends who need assistance.  Our school district will be helping any way possible.

Beginning on Monday, March 16th, our students will begin the daily process of distance learning.  These days away from school are not snow days.  Education and accountability will continue. Assignments and learning activities will be posted by classroom teachers, specialists, and support teachers every weekday, and these teachers can be reached via email for questions, feedback, and assistance. Our students are expected to use their laptops or Ipads and school resources that were sent home this week in preparation for an extended school closure.  You will be receiving MANY emails over the course of this time, and it is imperative that you do your best to stay on top of them.  Our teachers will be communicating with you regularly.

It is important to note that if your child needs to pick up any learning materials or any other important personal items at school, this can be done on Monday morning, March 16th, between 9:00 and 12:00.  Mr. Chickery and I will be in the building at this time to assist with this.

I sincerely thank our amazing teaching staff who worked so incredibly hard this week to prepare for the possibility of distance learning, all while teaching your students each day.  I also thank our technology and office staff who worked to make sure that laptops were available for students who did not have at least one computer in their home.  This was an incredible effort, and once again, I am amazed by our caring and professional school district.  And, of course, thank you to Dr. Luft and our district administration who have so thoughtfully been working through these incredibly stressful days, all while keeping lines of communication open with our staff and the community.  These are new challenges for us, but I do believe your children are set up for meaningful learning at home, and I thank you sincerely for your support.

Unfortunately, our Science/Maker Fair and our PVES Musical are now postponed until further notice.  We will keep you posted on if and when these and other events can be rescheduled.

And, most importantly, I know this is a very stressful time, for both children and adults.  Please reach out to our school psychologists, Mrs. O’Connell and Mrs. Sullivan, via email, if you could use support in talking with your children about the current world events.  Please be reassuring when speaking with your children, validating their fears and disappointments, but comforting them with the love of family and a structured day of learning, board games, outside play, and reading.  Creating a daily schedule for your children during these days would provide a comforting structure that includes school assignments, breaks, family time, and exercise.  If we can be of any help, please let us know.  We are all in this together.  As a reminder, all staff members can be reached via email at first initial, last name @pvcsd.org.  Our faculty is ready to communicate with you.

Please contact me if you have further questions or needs.  We will get through this.

Ms. Podesta