FB Message From CG School Superintendent

March 25, 2020

FB Message From Canisteo-Greenwood Superintendent Tom Crook:

Dear CG Families,

These past 12 days has been one of the most odd and surreal times we have ever had, not only in education, but life in general. Never in my lifetime have I experienced such a whirlwind of messages, that change almost hourly, and the emotions attached to them. Luckily for us, we have a fantastic staff that has adapted to the ever-changing landscape. They have taken this closure head on and I am forever grateful for what they have done during this time. I have never been prouder to be a part of the Canisteo-Greenwood community.

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on where the district is on the mandated COVID-19 closure. The Executive Order placed by Governor Cuomo has us currently closed until April 1st. Prior to his order, the Steuben County Health Department had closed schools until April 14th in Steuben County. Our staff planned for that original 11.5-day closure that took us through spring break. If the Governor opens schools next week, with our snow days and spring break we will continue with the original schedule of having our students return to school on April 14th. This is the best-case scenario but with the exponential growth of COVID-19 cases in New York state over the past week, I would be surprised if the Governor ordered schools to re-open on April 1st. With that being said, we must start mentally preparing as a community for a closure that may last longer than April 14th. The last thing we want is to be caught off-guard and not have a plan in place. The staff has been informed that planning for an extended closure is on the horizon and what that would potentially look like for our students and families. My hope is that the Governor decides sometime this week which will give us time to start planning either for a return on April 14th or an extended closure.

Below are some updates:

Work for Students: Teachers have been diligently working on their curriculum and being accessible to students. Many are being creative and using technology to keep in touch with their students and keeping them “academically engaged”. For the original 11.5-day closure, teachers were asked to not introduce new content (except ACE and AP classes) but rather provide opportunities for our students to become fluent in concepts they already have been introduced to. As we move ahead, this landscape may change.

Internet Access: I am sure that you have read that Spectrum and Empire are offering free service. I am not sure how this is panning out because I have not heard of anyone that has taken advantage of it. The district has taken some steps in assisting in getting internet access to our students. The parking lot located next to the District offices has been designated a Wi-Fi spot for individuals to park and access the school’s internet. You can find CG Guest and the password is canisteo. We also have ordered 4 Verizon hot spots that will be here as soon as possible. Once they arrive, we will place them strategically throughout the district and allow families to park near the hotspot and get work they need. I have seen a few commercials around some car companies (Chevy) opening their Wi-Fi capabilities in the vehicles that feature. Please call your car companies if you have that feature in your vehicle.

Food: Last week (Wed – Fri) the district served 1,570 meals to our families. Our food distribution will be provided throughout the duration of any closure. Here are ways that you can receive food:

Pick-Up Locations: Canisteo-Greenwood Elementary School and Greenwood School, 10am –12pm Monday – Friday.

Delivery: M,W, and F. If you would like to be added to the delivery list, please call 698-4225 Ext. 2403 or email tcrook@cgcsd.org or ctaggert@cgcsd.org. We will add you to the list and get food to you the next scheduled day.

Childcare: The school has been asked to be a conduit for childcare service for all community “essential” workers. If you are an essential employee for any business in our community and need childcare, please call either of the following numbers. You must call the county in which you reside.

– Accord Child Care Services (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Wyoming) 585-268-7605
– Chemung County Child Care Council – 607-734-3941
– Childcare Aware (Steuben, Schuyler) – 776-2126 ext. 236
– Family Enrichment Network (Broome, Chenango, Tioga) – 723-8313

State Testing: All grade 3-8 state testing has been suspended for this school year. Student will not be required to take those exams this year. As of today, we have not heard about the Regents exams. As soon as we hear, we will let you know.

Budget Process: The administration and Board of Education have been working on next year’s budget. There has been some talk about this year’s budget vote at the state level but as I am typing this, there have been no updates. We are going ahead as scheduled and fulfilling of the requirements for a potential May 19th vote. This may be something that changes over the next few days.

Sports: as of right now the spring sports season is on hold. NYSPHSAA has put out messages over the past few days and have determined April 27th to be there decision deadline date. We will know by that time whether there will be a spring sports season. Athletes, please stay in shape and be ready if we do end up having a shortened season.

Seniors: I know this must be a very difficult time for you and your families. You are supposed to be savoring the senior “lasts” (prom, sport season, senior trip, etc.) and of course graduation. Please know that everything is on pause right now until we hear how long this closure is going to last. Whatever amount of time we are given, we will make sure that you experience everything that you possibly can and deserve. There are no guarantees currently except for one; you WILL get to experience a graduation ceremony IF this closure extends through the rest of the school year. We will make it our mission as a district to give you the best send-off possible!

As we continue down this road of uncertainty, we will do the best we can to keep you informed. I don’t want to flood you with messages, but I want to make sure that you are informed. The message from the state and federal governments changes daily.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep supporting each other.

Yours in service,

Thomas J. Crook