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UPDATES for April 9, 2020

Dear Families:

Many of you have questions about what the Governor’s extended school closure means for our students’ online instruction, grades, graduation requirements, and June Regents exams which have now been cancelled. The following explains what we know at this time.

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Are students still earning grades?

Yes. The 3rd marking period ended March 13, and report cards will be coming out soon. We are now in the 4th marking period, which includes new material.  Due to the length of this school closure, we have moved beyond reviewing material as new content is added.

Grades for the 4th marking period will be based on students’ work, either online or through course packets. Work that is incomplete and not turned in will be marked as incomplete and may impact students’ grades. It is important to give students credit for the work they are doing now, and to remind students that they have more to learn.

It’s still hard for our family to connect with all our kids’ teachers.

We understand all the ways this has been challenging for everyone. Until we are able to return to school, we will continue teaching, learning, and connecting in new ways. Students should be connecting daily through the various platforms teaching are using.

We have been streamlining ways students connect with teachers and keep up with their work. If your child can’t connect online, please call or email the school so we can get work to you. Contact your child’s teachers first, or leave a message at the school office (315-653-7218), or email Mrs. Richards ([email protected]). 

We are having  trouble with school-issued devices.

Help is available for issues you may be having with Chromebooks, iPads, or laptops. Both parents and students are welcome to call the Help Desk: 607-766-3800.

We heard Regents Exams have been cancelled. What does this mean for students?

The New York State Education Department modified student requirements needed to earn their high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements.  These modifications apply to all students enrolled in grades 7-12 during the 2019-20 school year who were intending to participate in one or more of the June 2020 Regents Examinations. Students who during the June exam period would take one or more Regents Exams shall be exempted from the requirements pertaining to passing such examinations in order to be issued a diploma. In order to qualify for exemption, students must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
 
  • The student is currently enrolled in the course of study culminating in a Regents Exam and by the scheduled date of the June 2020 Regents Examination will have earned credit in such course of study;
  • The student is in grade 7, is enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents Exam and will have passed such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year;
  • The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents Exam and has failed to earn credit by the end of the school year. Such student returns for summer instruction to make up the failed course credit and is subsequently granted diploma credit in August 2020; or
  • The student was previously enrolled in the course leading to an applicable Regents Examination, has achieved course credit and has not yet passed the associated Regents Exam but was intending to take the test in June to achieve a passing score. 

Can students exempted from Regents Exams still earn a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation?

Yes, any students who are exempted from Regents Exams due to the cancellation of the June 2020 exam administration are not required to pass the Regents applicable to the Regents with Advanced Designation.

What about students preparing to take the +1 Pathway Assessment in June 2020?

Pathway students are exempt from passing an approved assessment for  the purposes of meeting diploma requirement. In order to qualify for this exemption, students must meet eligibility requirements:

  • The student is currently enrolled in a course of study leading to the +1 Pathway Assessment, and will have earned course credit by the end of this school year;
  • The student was previously enrolled in a course of study leading to the +1 Pathway Assessment, achieved course credit, hasn’t yet passed the assessment, and was intending to take the test in June 2020 to achieve a passing score; or
  • The student is now or was previously an English Language Learner whose home language is one of those tested by the NYSED-approved assessments, and who was intending to take the Languages Other Than English +1 Pathway Assessment.

What about students preparing to get the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential and +1 Pathway?

Any student exiting high school in June, including a student with a disability who meets eligibility requirements for a Superintendent’s Determination of a local diploma, who is unable to complete the CDOS Commencement Credential or the CDOS +1 Pathway due to the COVID-19 crisis, and has demonstrated proficiency of the CDOS learning standards, may be granted a waiver from the completion of the 216 hours of Career and Technical Education (CTE) instruction and/or the 54 hours of work-based learning requirement. 

Students who are continuing their high school education beyond the 2019-20 school year may be exempted from the requirements that were not met due to school closure. Such students must fulfill any requirements scheduled or planned for completion in subsequent school years.

Students preparing to take a NYSED-approved examination leading to the CDOS commencement credentials or CDOS +1 Pathway who are meeting or have met the expectations of the course of preparation for such  examination may be exempted from the examination requirement for this pathway for the purpose of using the +1 Pathway to earn a Regents or local diploma. 

Where do I go for information about graduation requirements, credentials, and Regents Examinations not mentioned in this letter?

The New York State Education Departments provides additional information and guidance at this link. You can also check in with Ms. Moisan ([email protected]) who can help you with information specific to your student. 

What is happening with the school budget for 2020-2021 and the next Board of Education election to fill scheduled seat vacancies?

We do expect this public health crisis to have a budget impact. Our Board of Education is monitoring the Otselic Valley budget and state guidance on all aspects of budget activity and voting.  

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We will continue to monitor instructions from NYSED about graduation, course credits, and Regents Exams scheduled for August and beyond. We will also implement any new announcements from the Governor about school closure. According to the most recent directive, schools are closed statewide until at least April 29, 2020. This will be reevaluated at the state level in the coming weeks.

Please remember that even though we aren’t together in our building, we are together in our virtual classrooms. School is open, active, and different. One of the Core Beliefs identified in our Strategic Plan has never been more appropriate:  “A partnership among students, staff, families, and community is necessary to achieve success.”

Thank you for your partnership as we work together to help Otselic Valley students achieve excellence.

Together, we will find a way!

Peace,

Rob

Robert G. Berson, Superintendent of Schools
Otselic Valley CSD
(O) 315-653-7218
(M) 315-529-4318

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