An important message from Superintendent Jan Jehring

Dear Parents, Guardians, Faculty and Staff,

I hope you and your families are doing well during this challenging time. As you are aware, typically there are many events, activities and celebrations in the spring and although we will have to make adjustments and find new ways to celebrate, we are confident that, with your involvement, we will close the 2019-20 school year in a memorable manner!  This letter includes several updates about our plans.

Memorial Day: The Florida Union Free School District will be closed on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. Food distribution and instructional classes will not take place on Monday.  Food distribution will resume on Wednesday, May 27.

Last Day of School: Students will complete the academic year on Thursday, June 18.  Learning activities and resources will remain posted on the website for students and families.

End of Year Celebrations and Activities:  We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the regulations in New York state as we plan end of the year celebrations. We have shifted our focus to finding new and different ways to celebrate our students’ accomplishments and achievements. You will learn details directly from building leaders.

Commencement: Over the last two months, we have had many discussions regarding Commencement and had hopes for a traditional ceremony.  Unfortunately, under the current regulations of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders, the options are quite limited. We are not permitted to have large gatherings even with social distancing in place.  After consulting with various officials, we are proposing a special ceremony on the lawn at S.S. Seward for seniors and their families. The event will live-streamed so the whole community may be included as we honor our seniors and celebrate this important milestone.

While all guests will remain in their vehicles throughout the ceremony, the seniors will be invited individually to the stage to be recognized and receive their diplomas. Class advisors, Mrs. Zis and Mrs. Mythen, along with Mr. Rheaume and Ms. Moore, will be reaching out to seniors and the school community for their involvement to make this ceremony unique and special.   While seniors will not be together on a stage at one time, they will all be together on the school grounds as we mark this important day. The ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, June 27, at 10 a.m.  We will continue to monitor the situation in our region and, should the regulations change, we will consider making adjustments to this plan.

Learning Apart, Together at Heart, Spartans 2020: We are working on a special project to represent this unprecedented time and we need your help. Typically, we take many photos of students at ceremonies, activities, in classrooms and at athletic events throughout the school year.  Since we are operating remotely, we need your assistance to capture this unique time.  Please help celebrate our pre-k-12 grade students as they complete their school year and send short video clips and photos of your children to videoproduction@floridaufsd.org. The images will be used for social media posts, productions and year-end celebrations. Please send clips and photos by May 29.

Budget Vote: The statewide school vote and school board election will be held by absentee ballot, only, on Tuesday, June 9.  All registered voters will be mailed am absentee ballot.

Budget Hearing: To learn more about the budget, you may join the Budget Hearing which will be held through video conferencing on Tuesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. Information will be posted on the District website.

Communications: Occasionally we hear from parents that they are having trouble receiving messages from the school.  If you need to adjust your settings on SchoolMessenger, please email the buildings directly.  Now, more than ever, we rely on SchoolMessenger, texting, phone calls, social media and the website to share important information.

Statewide Online Conversation about Reopening:   Please consider participating in a survey organized by Orange-Ulster BOCES to engage  parents, employees and the school community in school reopening conversations. The survey will be open until early next week.

We miss our students and the activity that typically occurs this time of year. We look forward to the time that we are all together again safely.

Sincerely,

Jan Jehring
Superintendent of Schools