UPDATE: Message About School Closures
March 31 UPDATE: Message About School Closures
Posted on 03/31/2020

March 31, 2020
Dear Families and Staff,

On behalf of the Oneida City School District, we hope you and your families are remaining safe and doing your best to follow guidance regarding measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 within our community. Events have continued to unfold, and we recognize that this raises questions about potential impacts on students, families and our full community. Where answers exist, we will work quickly to provide them. However, we anticipate that many other questions will require additional research and/or consultation with local, state or federal officials.

Spring Vacation
The district was notified yesterday at 4:56 PM from the NYS Education Department that all “districts must continue to provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and child care for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020 and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time.” This decision can be found in Governor Cuomo’s executive order 202.11. As a result, our teachers will continue to provide instructional from April 3-April 13. You will be hearing from your students teacher(s) by the end of week or the beginning of next week.

We know that our staff and families have been working diligently for the continued care of our students. We also know that everyone is dealing with anxiety and fear and, in most cases, looking forward to some uninterrupted time together, even if we are unable to get away due to the state of emergency. I have no doubt that the staff within our community will continue to demonstrate the perseverance and concern for our staff and community during this time of uncertainty.

Chromebook Deployment

More information about Chromebook delivery for all students in grades 7-9 will be sent via a ‘robo’ call, email and text. We are continuing to meet and plan on how we can best service all students PK-12.

School Feeding Program
Our food service department continues to support students who are food dependent on the district. We will continue to provide meals throughout our closure. Information regarding ‘Grab and Go” meals can be found at www.oneidacsd.org > COVID-19 or:
https://www.oneidacsd.org/c_o_v_i_d-19/grab-and-_go_meals

Childcare for Essential Employees in Our Community
Child care placement is available to personnel who provide essential services, supplies, or support during this unprecedented time. Essential personnel can call the Oneida-Herkimer- Madison Child Care Resource Center at 315-223-7850 extension 222 or email earlycareandlearning@cornell.edu for information on childcare placement. The Child Care Resource Center will continue to evaluate and adjust plans as necessary to best meet the childcare needs of essential personnel. Thank you to all essential personnel who continue to protect and support our community.

Student Email
As we work to increase communication between students and teachers, the Oneida City School District has turned on email accessibility for students in grades 6-12. Students can access this feature by going to mail.google.com or by clicking on Gmail in the Chrome browser and typing in their Oneida issued Google address. As a reminder, student email reads as their graduation year, first initial, full last name and @ocsdny.org. For example: John Smith graduating in 2020 is 20jsmith@ocsdny.org. The student’s password is their existing network password. Please visit the Student Email Acceptable Use Policy at www.oneidacsd.org.

Google Meet
The Oneida City School District has turned on Google Meet for students K-12 as an additional option for communication. Google Meet is a video conferencing application that integrates with the Oneida Google for Education Suite. Students will have the ability to join a Google Meeting created by their teacher, but do not have the ability to start their own meeting.

Communication
Contact emails for each building:


Oneida City School District remains committed to open and transparent communications to support our students during this crisis. Our priority is the safety and education of all our students. As always, thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility.

Sincerely,
Mary-Margaret Zehr
Superintendent




March 27, 2020

Dear Families and Staff,

On behalf of the Oneida City School District, we hope you and your families are remaining safe and doing your best to follow guidance regarding measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 within our community.  Events have continued to unfold, and we recognize that this raises questions about potential impacts on students, families and our full community. Where answers exist, we will work quickly to provide them. However, we anticipate that many other questions will require additional research and/or consultation with local, state or federal officials.

 

Return to school date

The Oneida City School District initially closed from March 16- April 13th,  with a return to school on April 14th. Today, Governor Cuomo indicated at his press conference that schools will be closed until April 15th.  We have not received official information in an executive order yet. 

 

Instruction

In March, students received instructional guidance that focused on review material that is not graded, rather than new instructional material.   We will not be providing additional instructional materials until after our originally planned spring vacation (April 4 - April 13).   Our administrative team is working in collaboration with other districts to establish how learning will continue (iLearning Plan) if we remain closed longer than anticipated.  As soon as we hear if we will be closed beyond April 15th,  we will share our iLearning Plan with faculty, staff, and families. 

 

Chromebook deployment

After much discussion and the need to potentially implement an iLearning Plan, the district will provide Chromebooks to all students grades 3-12.  This is important to ensure that our kids can continue to learn if we are out of school longer.  We anticipate that we will be deploying grades 7-9 by the beginning of next week.  Grades 3-6 will take a bit longer as we have placed an order for the devices.  More information about Chromebook delivery for all students in grades 7-9 will be sent on Monday via a robo call, email and text. We are continuing to meet and plan on how we can best service all students PK-12. 

 

Student email

As we work to increase communication between students and teachers, the Oneida City School District has turned on email accessibility for students in grades 6-12. Students can access this feature by going to mail.google.com or by clicking on Gmail in the Chrome browser and typing in their Oneida issued Google address.   As a reminder, student email reads as their graduation year, first initial, full last name and @ocsdny.org. For example: John Smith graduating in 2020 is 20jsmith@ocsdny.org. The student’s password is their existing network password.   Please visit the Student Email Acceptable Use Policy at www.oneidacsd.org

 

School Feeding Program

Our food service department continues to support students who are food dependent on the district. We will continue to provide meals throughout our closure.  Information regarding ‘Grab and Go” meals can be found at www.oneidacsd.org > COVID-19 or:https://www.oneidacsd.org/c_o_v_i_d-19/grab-and-_go_meals

 

 

Childcare for Essential Employees in Our Community

Child care placement is available to personnel who provide essential services, supplies, or support during this unprecedented time.  Essential personnel can call the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Child Care Resource Center at 315-223-7850 extension 222 or email earlycareandlearning@cornell.edu for information on childcare placement.  The Child Care Resource Center will continue to evaluate and adjust plans as necessary to best meet the childcare needs of essential personnel.  Thank you to all essential personnel who continue to protect and support our community.

 

Communication

Contact emails for each building

Oneida City School District remains committed to open and transparent communications to support our students during this crisis. Our priority is the safety and education of all our students.   Hearing from you will help us identify areas of improvement.   As always, thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility.

Sincerely,

Mary-Margaret Zehr

Superintendent




March 25, 2020

Dear Families and Staff,

On behalf of the Oneida City School District, we hope you and your families are remaining safe and doing your best to follow guidance regarding measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 within our community. During this time, we all need to continue to support one another and work to stay informed, as information continues to shift rapidly. We remind you to please refer to the district's homepage for the latest updates. Additionally, updates can be found on the Madison County webpage:  https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/2479/Coronavirus-COVID-19

Events have continued to unfold quickly, and we recognize that this raises a range of important questions about potential impacts on students, families and our full community. Where answers exist, we will work quickly to provide them. However, we anticipate that many other questions will require additional research and/or consultation with local, state or federal officials.

 

Return to school date

The Oneida City School District initially closed from March 16- April 13 with a return to school on April 14 because of an order to close all schools by the Oneida County Executive.  On March 17 and March 18, Governor Cuomo issued two Executive Orders that indicated schools will be closed until April 1 and that any other order issued may not be upheld.  Essentially, the school district is waiting for further guidance from the Governor.  As soon as we have updated information, we will share it will our families.


Instruction

While we are closed, we ask that you keep safe and have students work on educational materials that have been  provided to you by our hardworking teachers. We want to keep students engaged in their learning while we address this global pandemic. Students have received instructional guidance that focuses on review materials rather than new instructional material. It is also important to note that all material that has been given to your child up to this point is not graded.   We have been working all week with our staff and in collaboration with other districts to establish how learning will continue if we remain closed longer than anticipated.  We will be sharing information as soon as we know if the closure time frame will be extended.

 

School Feeding Program

Our food service department continues to support students who are food dependent on the district. NYSED has provided guidance that schools may continue to provide breakfasts and lunches to children during school closures related to COVID-19.  Information regarding ‘Grab and Go” meals can be found at www.oneidacsd.org > COVID-19 or: https://www.oneidacsd.org/c_o_v_i_d-19/grab-and-_go_meals

 

Childcare for Essential Employees in Our Community

During this current health crisis, you may be classified an essential employee who is still required to work.

Childcare placement may be available to essential employees who work in health care, are first responders, who work in grocery stores, in transportation, some construction fields, certain non-profit agencies and in food or supply distribution fields.  If you believe that you may qualify, please call the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Child Care Resource Center at 315-223-7850 extension 222.

Communication

Contact emails for each building

Oneida City School District remains committed to open and transparent communications to support our students during this crisis. Our priority is the safety and education of all our students.   Hearing from you will help us identify areas of improvement.   As always, thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility.

 

Sincerely,

Mary-Margaret Zehr

Superintendent



March 20, 2020

Dear Families and Staff,

On behalf of the Oneida City School District, we hope you and your families are remaining safe and doing your best to follow guidance regarding measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 within our community. During this time, we all need to continue to support one another and work to stay informed, as information continues to shift rapidly. We remind you to please refer to the district's homepage for the latest updates. Additionally, updates can be found on the Madison County webpage:

https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/2479/Coronavirus-COVID-19

Events have continued to unfold quickly, and we recognize that this raises a range of important questions about potential impacts on students, families and our full community. Where answers exist, we will work quickly to provide them. However, we anticipate that many other questions will require additional research and/or consultation with local, state or federal officials.

NYS Assessments

We have been informed by NYSED that all 3-8 Assessments, NYS English as a Second Language Achievement Test, and the NYS Alternative Assessments have been cancelled and NYSED is monitoring the situation and will
provide guidance on the Regents examinations in the near future. The district is also wading through the guidance from the College Board on AP exams. As soon as we have a decision regarding the new guidance, staff will be contacting students who will be impacted.

Instruction
While we are closed, keep safe and have students work on educational materials that will be provided to you. We want to keep students engaged in their learning while we address this global pandemic. Students have received
instructional guidance that focuses on review materials rather than new instructional material. While your student is using technology, please take the time to know and understand what sties they are visiting and who they are
connecting with.

School Feeding Program
Our food service department continues to support students who are food dependent on the district. NYSED has provided guidance that schools may continue to provide breakfasts and lunches to children during school closures related to COVID-19. Information regarding ‘Grab and Go” meals can be found at:

https://www.oneidacsd.org/c_o_v_i_d-19/grab-and-_go_meals

Cleaning of our buildings
Our custodians and maintenance crews have been deep cleaning and disinfecting all of our buildings during the past week. We expect that our buildings will be prepared and clean when we reopen.

Childcare for Essential Employees in Our Community
During this current health crisis you may be considered an essential employee who is still required to work. Child care placement may be available to essential employees who work in health care, are first responders, who work in grocery stores, in transportation, some construction fields, certain non-profit agencies and in food or supply distribution fields. If you believe that you may qualify, please call the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Child Care Resource Center at 315-223-7850 extension 222.

Communication
Contact emails for each building

Durhamville  Durhamville@oneidacsd.org

North Broad  Northbroad@oneidacsd.org 

Seneca Street Seneca@oneidacsd.org 

OHS  Oneidahigh@oneidacsd.org

OSMS Ottoshortell@oneidacsd.org 

Willard Prior   Willardprior@oneidacsd.org 


Community Blood Drive
Oneida High School will be hosting a blood drive with the Red Cross on Wednesday, March 25 from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. All donors must schedule an appointment. It is important to note that appointments are necessary to keep the number of people in the gym at the same time to a minimum. The direct link to schedule an appointment is: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=oneidahighschool

During the last couple weeks, thousands of Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in more than 86,000 fewer blood donations. We expect that number to rise. A critical role of the Red Cross is to supply blood products to hospitals and patients.

Oneida City School District continues remains committed to open and transparent communications to support our students during this crisis. Our priority is the safety and education of all our students. Hearing from you will
help us identify areas we may be able to more effectively communicate. As always, thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility.

Sincerely,
Mary-Margaret Zehr
Superintendent




March 16, 2020

Dear Families and Staff,

On behalf of the Oneida City School District, we hope you and your families are remaining safe and doing your best to follow guidance regarding measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 within our community. During this time, we all need to continue to support one another and work to stay informed, as information continues to shift rapidly. We remind you to please refer to the district's homepage for the latest updates. Additionally, updates can be found on the Madison County webpage: https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/2479/Coronavirus-COVID-19

Events have unfolded quickly, and we recognize that this raises a range of important questions about potential impacts on students, families and our full community. Where answers exist, we will work quickly to provide them. However, we anticipate that many other questions will require additional research and/or consultation with local, state or federal officials.

Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, we asked that all of our staff work from home to assist in containing the spread of COVID-19 within our community. Additionally, during our closure we will be ‘deep cleaning’ each of our buildings in preparation for opening school. Furthermore, we will be establishing an email for each building so that parents and community members can communicate, ask questions, and get information from our schools.

Contact emails for each building

Durhamville  Durhamville@oneidacsd.org

North Broad  Northbroad@oneidacsd.org 

Seneca Street Seneca@oneidacsd.org 

OHS  Oneidahigh@oneidacsd.org

OSMS Ottoshortell@oneidacsd.org 

Willard Prior   Willardprior@oneidacsd.org 

Information regarding ‘Grab and Go” meals can be found at: https://www.oneidacsd.org/c_o_v_i_d-19/grab-and-_go_meals

Oneida City School District remains committed to open and transparent communications to support the continued focus on teaching and learning. We are focused on the instructional continuity, meal distribution, and cleaning our buildings. Our priority is the safety and education of all our students. Hearing from you will help us identify areas we may be able to more effectively communicate. As always, thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility.

Sincerely,

Mary-Margaret Zehr
Superintendent





March 13, 2020

Dear Families and Staff,

I know you have been following developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and our leadership team has been working diligently in the background to plan and prepare for any possibility. As of today, we do not have any confirmed positive cases in our two counties. As you may have seen, Oneida County Executive, Anthony Picente, has declared a state of emergency and has closed all Oneida County schools which includes Madison-Oneida BOCES and Durhamville Elementary. This means that our Durhamville students, Career and Technical students, and our special education students who receive services in Oneida County will not be able to continue programming as usual. It is important to provide all of our students with equitable educational opportunities. With that in mind, as a precautionary measure, we have decided to alter our calendar and close our instructional programs beginning Monday, March 16 through Monday, April 13.

Schools will be closed for students beginning Monday. All staff should continue to report on a normal schedule on Monday.

We know that our schools play an important role in providing stability and safety for our students, families and staff, and we understand that an extended closing can pose a hardship for families. However, our leadership team believes this decision is in the best interest of our entire community’s health, safety and well-being.

In order to prepare for this closure, we have rescheduled our Superintendent’s Conference Day to Monday, March 16. This will provide our instructional staff with time to prepare materials and plans for students to utilize while they are home. We will be communicating how we will be delivering educational materials to our students.

While students are home, we would ask that they not congregate unnecessarily. Our staff is working diligently to finalize plans for educational materials that focus on review of previously learned materials for our students.

While we are closed, keep safe and have students work on educational materials that will be provided to you. We want to keep students engaged in their learning while we address this global pandemic. Students will receive instructional guidance that focuses on review materials rather than new instructional material. Please look for emails, phone calls and ‘regular’ mail directing you to important information that pertains to your child’s academic progress over the next few weeks.

In addition, we are working with our food service department to support students who are food dependent on the district. NYSED has provided guidance that schools may continue to provide breakfasts and lunches to children during school closures related to COVID-19. Please look for emails, phone calls and ‘regular’ mail directing you to important information that pertains to our feeding program.

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to monitor this developing situation and continue to consult with regional colleagues and state health and education officials. We will update you with developments as they become available. Please be assured that we are doing everything in our power to continue to provide academic opportunities and minimize disruption to our students, families and staff during this unprecedented situation. As always, thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility.

Sincerely,

Mary-Margaret Zehr

Superintendent



March 10, 2020

 

While the Oneida City School District does not have a confirmed case  of Coronavirus (COVID-19) , district officials continue to monitor information from local, state, and federal officials. 

The NYS Health Department and the NYS Education Department is communicating with school leaders regarding procedures on how to respond to COVID-19 and recommending non-pharmaceutical interventions and containment measures. Additionally, the guidance indicates that the local health department will notify schools if and when a school must close due to COVID-19 and when a school can reopen.   

Oneida City School District is taking additional preventative measures such as:

·       Coordinated strategic planning meetings with MOBOCES on a regular basis

·       Participation in training with Madison County Health Department

·       Discussions with the MORIC regarding continuation of district office operations

·       Review of all local and out of the area field trips

·       Review of all emergency plans

·       Review of all nursing protocols when students are ill

·       Increase of cleaning procedures to include but not limited to disinfecting of desks, door handles, countertops, light switches, etc…

·       Discussions of continued education in the event of a lengthy closure

·       Review of our meal program procedures and communication with local organizations to provide students with meals if schools are closed

·       Creation of educational materials for students regarding good practices for hygiene

We are also continuing to encourage staff and students to follow proper hand-washing techniques, cough or sneeze into a tissue or sleeve (not hands), stay home when ill, and take basic health precautions as they relate to any communicable illness. Personal hygiene is imperative for stopping the spread of germs and illness.

Below are some resources from the state and local health departments and the CDC for your reference. While the information often refers to pandemic flu, the content is equally appropriate for any community outbreaks of COVID-19.

 

Protecting Yourself from Respiratory Illness: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

CDC Information Page: www.cdc.gov

NYS Department of Health: https://www.health.ny.gov/

Madison County Health Department: https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/206/Health-Department

 

The New York State Department of Health has also set up a coronavirus hotline: 1-888-364-3065 if you have any questions or need additional information.

Our first priority is always the health and safety of our students and staff. When new information becomes available from the health departments or CDC, we will pass that information on to you and respond accordingly.

 

Sincerely,

Mary-Margaret Zehr

Superintendent of Schools





March 4, 2020

Dear Parents and Families:

Oneida City School District continues to work closely with and rely on the expertise of the Madison County Health Department to monitor all health concerns, including those related to coronavirus. As of today, there are no confirmed cases locally and we continue with regular instructional and operational activities.

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a respiratory illness, spread person-to-person similar to influenza. Currently there is no specific treatment or vaccination to prevent COVID-19. Nonpharmaceutical interventions, like those to avoid other respiratory illnesses such as influenza, are the best method to avoid ongoing community spread.

The Health Department professionals have indicated that, at this time, the activities that our district is carrying out to address seasonal influenza are appropriate and satisfactory for the coronavirus. These activities include regular and ongoing cleaning and disinfecting of school facilities, surfaces, and objects. Cleaning and disinfecting are part of a broad approach to preventing infectious diseases in schools.

We are also encouraging staff and students to follow proper hand-washing techniques, cough or sneeze into a tissue or sleeve (not hands), stay home when ill, and take basic health precautions as they relate to any communicable illness. Personal hygiene is imperative for stopping the spread of germs and illness.

Below are some resources from the state and local health departments and the CDC for your reference. While the information often refers to pandemic flu, the content is equally appropriate for any community outbreaks of COVID-19. Further, since we are still in the middle of our annual cold and flu season, this information is just as timely to address those illnesses.

Protecting Yourself from Respiratory Illness: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 

CDC Information Page: https://www.cdc.gov/ 

NYS Department of Health: https://www.health.ny.gov/

Madison County Health Department: https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/206/Health-Department

The New York State Department of Health has also set up a coronavirus hotline: 1 888-364-3065 if you have any questions or need additional information.

Our first priority is always the health and safety of our students and staff. When new information becomes available from the health departments or CDC, we will pass that information on to you and respond accordingly.

Sincerely,
Mary-Margaret Zehr 
Superintendent of Schools 
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