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COVID-19 Update - March 24 Message from Superintendent Pero

March 24, 2020

Dear Families:

Email Delays
Some people have expressed concern about a delay in the receipt of PCSD urgent message emails. These delays are the result of increased internet traffic due to COVID-19 and your associated email providers. If you experience a delay in the receipt of an email message and would like to view it sooner, visit the District website where all messages will also be posted: www.pittsfordschools.org.

Here are some other updates for you with new information we have received regarding NYS COVID-19 guidelines on how to “Flatten the Curve,” NYS Assessment Tests, SAT Tests, AP Tests and “Learn at Home” enrichments.

Help Flatten the Curve
New York State Governor Cuomo has enacted new policies in its “New York State on Pause” initiative to assure uniform safety for everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies are meant to flatten the curve of the virus so that the spike in the infection rate does not rise so rapidly that health care systems are overwhelmed. It is critically important for each of us to do our part in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve. Below are Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 guidelines for NYS (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home):

  • Stay 6-Feet Away: All non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason are banned.

    • ALL non-solitary outside activity like basketball, soccer and other team sports are not allowed due to the 6’ rule.
    • The Town of Pittsford has closed Thornell Farm Park for this reason. Trails remain accessible. You must stay a minimum of 6 feet from others when using them or participating in any activity outside of your home.
    • The Town has advised that if prohibited activity occurs in other Pittsford Town Parks, those too will be closed.
    • Please note that all PCSD fields, playgrounds and schools are also closed.

  • Limit your activity to getting necessities like groceries and medicine. 

  • Exercising outside is ok but stay a minimum of six feet from others.

  • Matilda’s Law has been enacted to protect New Yorkers age 70+ and those with compromised immune systems, and states that people in this demographic must: remain indoors or only do solitary exercise when outdoors, pre-screen all visitors by taking their temperature, wear a mask in the company of others, stay at least 6 feet from others, do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary.

  • Local health departments are to be the community contact for COVID-19 concerns: https://www2.monroecounty.gov/health-coronavirus.

Pittsford Central School District has compiled resources about COVID-19 & health/mental health resources here: https://www.pittsfordschools.org/COVID-19INFORMATION.

NYS Grades 3-8 Assessment Test Cancellations
NY State Education Department has suspended all NYS Assessment Testing for Grades 3-8 English Language, Mathematics and Science.

Ongoing home learning resources from your teachers: Please look for communication from your building principal. We are working on a plan for the next 2-3 weeks.

PBS “Learn at Home Enrichments
PBS has joined forces with local school districts, BOCES, teachers and parents to provide “Learn at Home” enrichments for pre-k through grade 12 students. For a link to WXXI’s “Learn at Home” schedule and PCSD home learning resources, visit: https://www.pittsfordschools.org/Page/23785.

Secondary Students: Please remember to check your Pittsford email account for communication from your teachers regarding home learning. If students don’t remember their email, they can go to this link to get help from PCSD tech (The link is also available on the PCSD COVID-19 site under Home Learning Resources): https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=FavmrYQ8YES4y3A_6inbnAOb-4sygKBOpUcPrbLOfVBUOFpKMDNMSFdDVjRTWFdFVlFRRVRPNzBEVC4u

SAT Cancellations
College Board cancelled the May 2, 2020, SAT test. This includes Subject Tests and international tests. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled March 28) are also canceled. Registered students will receive refunds. http://spr.ly/60121tyEn

College Board has stated that it will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as feasible in place of canceled administrations. The June 6, 2020, SAT test has not yet been cancelled, and College Board will continue to assess its status with the health and safety of students and educators as its top priority.

To help students keep their college readiness skills sharp when many schools are closed, the College Board and Khan Academy will continue to provide free resources online, including full-length practice tests and personalized learning tools at https://khanacademy.org/sat.

Changes to AP Testing
College Board has announced that due to the challenges created by COVID-19, a new at-home AP Exam option is under development. College Board states that full details will be released by April 3, 2020, but has provided the below information:

  • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

  • For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates. Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice.

  • We encourage students to wait until closer to test date to decide. Any student already registered for an exam can choose to cancel at no charge.

  • Students who choose not to take the exam will still be eligible to receive high school course credit, providing they meet the course expectations.

  • The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3.

  • College Board will unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam.


For updates from College Board, visit: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update. PCSD teachers will be in touch with students regarding further details regarding specific AP courses.

I hope you are all well. I encourage you to reach out to teachers and principals with any questions related to home learning or specific AP course-related questions.

Sincerely,

Michael Pero, Superintendent of Schools