As we come to the end of the first week of our cancellation of classes due to COVID-19, I want to acknowledge that we recognize that this is a difficult time for all of us.
The rapid spread of this disease to our country, our state and our region has put all of us, including all public school districts statewide, into uncharted territory. Preparing to deliver instruction and critical services to more than 10,000 regular education and special education students without the benefit of our normal school environments, in a district as diverse as ours, and in a community in which the digital divide has been measured at as much as 40% of our city’s population, is a significant challenge.
However, it is a challenge that the City School District of Albany is up to and continues to address on a daily basis.
That is why all of our schools were prepared to send academic resources home with our students at the end of the school day last Friday, March 13. We have shared that information widely through all of our digital communication tools. Since our cancellation began, we have been working on a daily basis to continue to develop more expansive resources for all of our students. We will roll out those materials through our website next week.
Also beginning next week, you can expect a call from your child’s teacher or another school representative to check in. We want to see how you’re doing, what supports are needed academically and what your access to technology is at home. We want to make sure you are aware of our daily meals program if that is a support your family would like to receive, and to let you know that home delivery of meals also will be an option for you beginning next week.
We want to answer any questions that you have.
We continue to plan for all aspects of our operations – with the social and emotional well-being of our students and academics at the top of the list where they belong – in alignment with the guidance we are receiving from the state, including the State Education Department, and our state and local health officials.
We will continue to share those updates and guidance as it is made available to us.
While we continue to move forward with so many unknowns around us, please know that we miss our students and families. We miss the joy and exhilaration that each school day brings. We miss being at school engaged in all of the work that we know is so critical to all of our students, all of our families and our entire community.
However, please also know that your school district continues to be here for you, working to the best of our abilities under unprecedented circumstances, to provide academic and social-emotional supports to help you better navigate these uncertain times.
We look forward to seeing you again as soon as possible. All in for Albany!