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Letter From Dr. Godshall September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020

 Dear Orleans/Niagara BOCES Students & Parents:

Welcome back to the 2020-2021 school year.  The O/N BOCES will be open for students commencing on Tuesday, September 8th or depending upon the local district’s opening plans. Our staff has been busy on site reorganizing space, purchasing PPE supplies, gaining additional technology, obtaining training and preparing for the myriad of challenges that await.  Our teachers and support staff continue to work to provide onsite and virtual learning opportunities based upon student and local district’s requests.  Most recently, we added a virtual career and technical education (CTE) option that will fulfill some academic needs but omits the “hands-on” component of the CTE experience.

Our reopening plan is responsive to the varied component school district schedules.  Staff and student safety will be priority #1.  Prior health screening at home by staff and students will greatly facilitate building access.  Masks and social distancing requirements will be mandated.  Liberalized parental and student driving will supplement transportation limitations for the districts while getting the students to our sites.

All O/N BOCES campuses and locations, along with adult/community learning sites, while open, will be limited to outside visitors.  Please call ahead if you have questions or service requests.

This time is challenging for all communities, but we are dedicated to serving our students and keeping them as safe as possible while still allowing educational growth.  Here are some important points to consider:

  • All O/N BOCES campuses will be open for services. Staff remain available via telecommunications to assist.
  • Students should be receiving directions for the return to BOCES from your principal.  Technology resources (including Google G Suite for Education) will be available to students.
  • Students in special education and alternative programs will continue to receive the educational support needed to be successful.  Service providers have been in contact to discuss the specific needs of students.  Instructional work will continue to be received and directed by our great teachers.
  • Faculty and staff will be available throughout the reopening, through multiple channels, to support our students, support student work, answer questions, and ensure continuity of education.
  • State and local officials will determine whether the duration of the opening must be adjusted, using public health information as their guide.
  • Please continue to keep your households as safe as possible by washing your hands regularly, avoiding contact with those who are sick, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and staying home when you are sick.
  • We appreciate your support during these challenging times.  We continue to be proactive in keeping our students, staff and communities safe. Please take care of yourself and others.

We are confident that the O/N BOCES can safely adhere to all the requirements of the agencies which oversee our operations – NYS Department of Health, County Health Departments and the State Education Department.  We will continue to work with students, families and the O/N BOCES community, so that we can fight this pandemic together.  We welcome everyone to the 2020-2021 school year.

Sincerely,

Dr. Clark Godshall
Orleans/Niagara BOCES
District Superintendent