Dear Southern Cayuga Families & Friends,
Despite a global pandemic, it is with great enthusiasm that I welcome everyone to the 2020- 2021 school year. First of all, I want to express my appreciation to the Southern Cayuga community for their continued support for our students and schools. Together we can make this work!
We find ourselves in unique times, challenging the conventional notion of what school should look like. The district is providing families a choice of the hybrid model, meeting for in-person instruction on alternating days, or the option of 100% remote learning. The hybrid model reduces classroom occupancy by 50% and allows for social distancing, along with other safety protocols to reduce the potential of coronavirus infection. As mask wearing and keeping friends at an arm’s length become our new normal, I’ve been quite pleased with the willingness of students, parents, and staff to work together to reopen our schools. After just a couple of days, it became quickly apparent that students were glad to be back.
Currently, about 80% of our students returned to the school building, while 20% have remained at home. As significant investment in technology and training has taken place over the past five years, we find ourselves well prepared for the challenge ahead. I’ve been amazed with the resourcefulness of staff and students to learn new ways to connect through Google Classroom, Google Meet, and Zoom. We also recognize the challenges families faced with the abrupt shutdown back in March as we strive to more effectively engage students this fall. Detailed information regarding the start of school can be found in our district reopening plan which can be located on our webpage. If you have any questions, please let us know.
Looking to the year ahead, we will continually assess the current public health crisis and strive to keep our students, staff, and families safe. If and when a positive case of coronavirus is identified within our school community, parents and guardians will be notified through the school messenger system. The notification process begins with a general notice to all parents of a confirmed positive case. Specific information of potential exposure will be shared with those parents and students who have been identified through the Cayuga County Health Department’s contact tracing process. The Cayuga County Health Department will contact families directly. The district will support their efforts by providing names, addresses, and phone numbers of any person who may have had proximate contact. Proximate contact is defined as anyone within six feet of a confirmed positive case for longer than 10 minutes. If someone needs to add their email to this system, please have them contact the appropriate school office.