March 27 message from Supt. Long

Dear Menands School Families,

As we all adjust to the challenges and changes that have come with COVID-19, I want to share my deepest appreciation for your patience and cooperation as we attempt to navigate these unchartered waters. I always try to do my best to find the “silver linings” in any situation; among the most significant here is the ability to strengthen the partnership with parents and families on behalf of our students – your children.

Our staff worked very quickly and diligently to gather meaningful learning resources and materials for our students in anticipation of a short term closure. This included creating and gathering “paper” and “digital” resources, along with distributing Chromebooks, so students could access materials. We so appreciate the efforts of our parents and families to facilitate student engagement.

Our initial focus was for a short term closure. Materials and resources are in the hands of all of our students. Our instructional staff is accessible and available during the regular school day via email, and in many cases via Google Classroom. Student emails have also been activated, in a manner so that students can only communicate within the Menands.org domain (to communicate with their teachers and fellow students).

That said, I want to share with all of you what I shared with our staff: It is not reasonable to think that students can and will do at home, what they would be able to do when they are here at school, and that is OK.

Though the materials and opportunities are accessible, we understand there are limitations and challenges to doing so, when you yourself may be working from home, or if you have multiple students at multiple grade levels, along with any other implications that come with “real life”. Do not feel pressured, do what you can.

If you need guidance, reach out to your child’s teacher, or call us here at school. We have a “skeleton crew” on campus right now, but we are monitoring all phone calls. Let us know what you need, and we will do anything we can to help.

The Governor’s Office announced today that statewide school closures will extend through April 15. Please know that the administration along with our faculty and staff will continue to plan for how we will best meet the needs of our students. Anticipate ongoing communication in this regard.

Please be sure to monitor our webpage: www.menands.org for the latest updates, and for other resources available during these unprecedented times, including: childcare, provision of breakfast and lunch, and access to board meetings and budget workshops.

I hope each of you and your children are doing well, Menands School is here for you!

Sincerely,

Dr. Maureen A. Long
Superintendent of Schools