District Update – September 4, 2020 - Back to School!

Greetings Families and all in the Holley School Community,

It’s almost back to school time! We are excited that very soon, our schools will be back in session, and we’ve worked very hard to get ready.

We know that school will look differently this year, but we know it’s going to be a much better situation than what we all experienced this past spring.

The entire Holley staff worked together this week to prepare for our opening, and that work will continue next week on Tuesday (9/8) and Wednesday (9/9).Given all the unique aspects that this school year presents, we’ve needed this extra time to prepare. In many ways, we all feel like we’re entering the first year in our profession, with all the changes and newness (masks, distancing etc.).

The Holley staff has worked hard to prepare for our school opening and we’re very much looking forward to starting back with our students. We encourage all our families to participate in our planned orientation sessions next week, so that students and parents feel confident about returning. These orientation meetings will also provide a great way to learn more about our online learning systems, wearing masks, being physically distant in classrooms and hallways, hybrid schedules, meal times, “Remote Wednesdays,” communication protocols with teachers, health screening, and receiving district-issued technology.

We will be giving parents more information regarding our need to ensure that our students are healthy when coming to school in person. Parents will be asked to sign a required form to attest to sending in their student(s) to school in-person COVID symptom-free. We will also be launching a new app soon, that parents can utilize to be more efficient with communicating with school about their child’s health and even picking up for appointments, etc. This app will be free for families and more information on this will be coming out soon.

Our entire staff will be attesting to their personal health daily as well. The longer we stay healthy, the longer we can remain open for in-person learning, so we all have to do our part. If things continue to stay healthy and safe, as determined by our state and regional numbers (infection rate, etc.) remaining low, we can move toward more in-person learning, which has always been our goal.

We are still awaiting further guidance from NYS regarding requirements to begin fall athletics. Currently, NYS is targeting September 21 as the first day to begin. We will be working toward that goal, as we hope to provide our student-athletes the chance to participate in their chosen fall sports. We have sent information to middle and high school families to determine interest and to start to establish rosters.  Student interest, the availability of coaches, along with the ability to adhere to all the requirements to start inter-scholastic athletic programs safely, will all determine how we proceed with fall sports.

As we approach the start of the school year, we again want to reinforce the importance of our continued need to communicate. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us.

We appreciate greatly the partnership we have with our Holley families. I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend, and I truly look forward to the start of this new school year!

Stay Strong, Holley!
Brian Bartalo
Superintendent of Schools

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