Coronavirus: District Updates
- Gov.'s Executive Order Mandates School Calendar Change: Superintendent's Message
- Friday, March 27: Message from the Superintendent
- Monday, March 23: Message from Superintendent Dr. Shaps
- Thursday, March 19: Superintendent's Message
- March 13: Support Resources for Students and Parents During School Closure
- Schools to Close March 16 & Re-Open March 30
- Wednesday, March 11: Message from the Superintendent
- Tuesday, March 10: Superintendent Communications
- Monday, March 9: Letter from the Superintendent
- Sunday, March 8: Letter from the Superintendent
- Saturday, March 7: Letter from the Superintendent
- Friday, March 6 District Communications
- Thursday, March 5: Important School Announcements
- Wednesday, March 4: Letter from the Superintendent
- Tuesday, March 3: District Communications
- Wednesday, February 26: Letter from the Superintendent
Letter from the Superintendent
Dear Parents and Community Members,
This serves as a follow-up to the message sent out last evening informing you of a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 within our school community. We have been informed by the NY State Department of Health (DOH) that the diagnosed individual is a parent of children at Chatsworth Ave. School and Mamaroneck High School.
The parent has not been on school grounds and self-quarantined prior to receiving a lab confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. The DOH has indicated that family members were directed to quarantine, pending the parent's lab results. These family members are not showing any symptoms and will remain under quarantine in accordance with the DOH guidelines until March 17th. The DOH does not test children unless they are showing symptoms. We ask that if you or anyone in your household is directed to quarantine, please contact your child's building principal immediately.
We advised DOH of our already-planned disinfecting regime for all school buildings this weekend, adhering to DOH guidelines for mitigating Coronavirus. The DOH has not directed us to close any of our school facilities and indicated we should continue to operate our regular school days. All school buildings, however, will remain closed throughout the weekend to ensure proper decontamination and deep cleaning.
Earlier this week, I established a crisis leadership team to prepare, plan, and respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19. This includes stockpiling disinfectant resources, procuring third-party cleaning services, standardizing the protocols for daily cleaning, determining lines of communication with public health agencies and point persons, and evaluating the risk associated with a range of school activities (field trips, large group gatherings, facility use, etc.). We are taking recommended precautions and will continue the dialogue with health officials to meet our top priority of ensuring the safety of others.
We will communicate with any additional information we receive about the impact here in our community, respond as quickly as we can to questions and concerns that come in via email (posting on our website), and keep you informed with any further updates over the next 24 hours. As this is a developing situation, we want to ensure that all information disseminated is accurate.
Dr. Robert I. Shaps
Superintendent of Schools
Dear MUFSD Community,
Earlier today, the District was notified by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) that one of our school community members has tested positive for the novel Coronavirus COVID-19. Consistent with the DOH’s regulations, the family members are quarantined. During the conversation with DOH, we informed them of our prior planned efforts to disinfect (according to DOH guidelines for mitigating Coronavirus) at all schools this weekend. As such, the DOH has informed us that it is safe to operate on Monday as a normal school day. As always, we will consult with and follow the directives of the DOH.
We will continue to keep you informed over the weekend if there is additional information to report.
Important School Announcements
We seek to minimize exposure associated with large group gatherings and continue our heightened level of cleaning measures to keep our school facilities as sanitized and germ-free as possible.
- March 11 Superintendent's Conference Day Will Now Become a Regular Day of School
- School Facilities to Close at 6:30 pm Weekdays and On Weekends Until Further Notice
Dear Mamaroneck School District Parents,
Earlier today, I informed middle and high school parents of our plan to train teachers in the use of online tools (distance learning) that would allow for continuity of instruction in the event of school closure from the Coronavirus. Consistent with this training at the secondary level, our elementary school principals this afternoon used their regularly scheduled Wednesday faculty times for similar teacher training, familiarizing elementary teachers with online technology for the purpose of sharing instructional resources and sending daily messages to students.
While the teacher trainings are part of our proactive effort to prepare in the event of a prolonged school closure and not in response to any immediate concern over the Coronavirus in our community, I believe it is critical that we have a plan in place and set clear expectations around the continuation of learning.
Today I also participated in a conference call with other area superintendents, convened meetings with my administrators and principals at all levels, and worked to consider any potential impact the Coronavirus may have on all aspects of student life. We will continue with the extensive cleaning protocols we have put in place throughout our district and work closely with our health partners, following their guidance should an outbreak occur in our community.
As you are aware, there are so many unknowns related to the Coronavirus that we expect the situation to evolve frequently. I am committed to providing you with timely updates as information is released by local, regional and national authorities and certainly informing you of any decisions we must make moving forward. Additional resources and information can be found on our dedicated section of the Mamaroneck School District website.
Dr. Robert I Shaps
Superintendent of Schools
Dear Mamaroneck School District Parents and Community Members,
As concerns around the spread of the coronavirus continue to mount globally, our administrative team, school physician and nurses -- along with the Board of Education -- have been closely monitoring the situation as assessed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NY State Department of Health and the Westchester County Health Department.
As always, you can be reassured that we will continue to work in tandem with our community health partners, stay on top of the most up-to-date information and take every step possible to keep our community healthy and safe. We encourage you too to remain informed and, to this end, provide you with the links below, offering current information about what authorities know so far about the virus, its spread and preventative measures.
A few points I want to highlight:
- To date, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of New York.
- The CDC recommends avoiding travel to China. Updated related travel information can be found here.
- There is no need to cancel school or social events at this time, and there is no need for students or school staff to wear surgical masks to school.
- Prevention: There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including 2019-nCoV:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Symptoms: Information to date suggests that 2019-nCoV causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
In the coming weeks, as advised by local, state and national health organizations, we will continue to use flu-season precautions in our school buildings and monitor pending school trips. We will be sure to share information with you as more is learned about this virus and/or conditions evolve.
Dr. Robert I. Shaps
Superintendent of Schools
NYS Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Website
NYS Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Hotline 1-888-364-3065
March 16, 2020
As we all know, this is a rapidly-evolving situation with many unknowns and new questions arising each day. The information posted on this page is being updated frequently. For more general Coronavirus information and updates, check out the Resources tab in this section.
How long will our schools be closed?
For purposes of the school calendar, Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th are designated as "inclement weather days" for students and staff. Mamaroneck School District's remote learning program will officially begin Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Students and staff will return to school on Monday, March 30, 2020 (now updated to April 15, 2020, as per Governor's 3/27 directive) pending our assessment of the situation at that time. Based on future actions by Governor Cuomo and/or the New York State Commissioner of Education, we may communicate additional changes to the school calendar including adjustments to school vacation and previously designated days.
What will happen after the two-week school closure period?
The District’s plan to re-open schools on March 30 (now extended to April 15) is contingent on a number of factors that we don’t have answers to at this time. These factors include possible decisions by State, local or federal government around school closings and considerations around the ability of staff and students to attend. We will continue our constant communication with the NY State Department of Education, NY State Department of Health, elected officials and local municipalities to monitor this rapidly changing situation over the next two weeks and provide the community with updates.
Are the schools’ playgrounds and fields open during this time?
All District facilities, fields and playgrounds will be locked and off limits to the general public and local organizations.
- School Closure
- Remote Learning
- Emotional Support for Students and Parents
- Providing for Students Who Qualify for Free and Reduced Price Meals
- Coronavirus Symptoms and Testing
- Social Distancing and Staying Connected
- Additional Questions
How can I find out about the District’s remote learning plans?
Visit the Home-School Connection page for information on the comprehensive elementary remote learning plans being implemented at our four elementary schools, plus a range of resources and links designed to help empower you in supporting your child as a learner. Additionally, your child’s teacher will be sending out separate communications. ENL teachers will also be posting resources and staying in contact with families. Visit the page frequently for updates.
Who should I contact if our family has questions or issues with remote learning?
Contact your child’s teacher and/or principal with any questions or concerns regarding implementing the remote learning plan.
What support is being provided for students currently receiving Academic Intervention Services (AIS)?
AIS providers are in the process of developing additional resources for classroom teachers to share. In addition to the resources available on the Home-School connection page, AIS providers will be communicating separately with families, and planning for CSEs and team meetings.
What support is being provided by Student Support Services for identified students?Individual families will be contacted by the appropriate teacher and/or specialist. Below only serves as very general information. CSE and 504 meetings scheduled between now and March 30th have been canceled and will be rescheduled. We are in the process of making plans for ways to conduct these meetings virtually should we be closed longer than the 30th. More specific information will be provided to individual families.
Integrated Co-Teach (ICT)
ICT will be collaborating with general education teachers on daily learning plans.
Resource room teachers will be planning daily lessons related to the student’s learning goals in addition to the general education teacher’s work.
Special Class teachers will communicate with families and post work and resources as appropriate to the student’s learning profile and IEP goals.
My family currently receives services from the District’s behavior intervention specialists, speech therapists, occupational and physical therapists, psychologists and/or social workers. How can I obtain information about services that will be available during school closure?
Over the next eight days, the majority of these specialists will communicate with individual families and provide support as needed. Most of these mandated services are provided weekly or bimonthly, so at this time we are speaking about two sessions barring a more extended closure. Our behavior Intervention specialists created a resource center for parents and will provide parent phone consults. Psychologists and social workers will remain in contact with students and families on their caseload. Many are emailing and posting resources for parents starting Wednesday. Occupational therapy and physical therapy services are more complex to provide virtually. We are actively brainstorming on ways to address these areas in a meaningful manner and more information will be provided in the near future.
Should you have questions regarding your child’s services after Wednesday, please reach out to your child’s special education teacher, one of our Directors of Special Education (Jmonaco@mamkschools.org and Alafontainecasabona@mamkschools.org) , or our Asst. Supt. for Student Support Services Dr. Mazzone (email@example.com). We will be sure to have your concerns answered and addressed to the fullest extent possible.
What can my family do if we need some additional emotional support during this time?
Key resources for families include the following:
During this difficult time full of uncertainty, Mamaroneck School District social workers are here to support our students and parents. Social workers will be available beginning Monday, March 16 to help with the disruption and emotional impact of school closure.
Beginning Monday, March 16, the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center (LMCCC) will operate a Coronavirus Coping Skills and Parent Support Line for Mamaroneck School District students and parents. From 12 noon until 2 pm each weekday, LMCCC professional staff members will provide emotional support, teach coping skills and advise parents over the phone on how to help children through this stressful time. The number to call is 914/698-7549 + press 5
All psychologists, social workers, and behavior interventionists will be checking email daily and providing support as appropriate for the situation. You do not need to be classified for special education services to reach out to the school psychologists or social workers. In fact, we encourage you to do so!
Will breakfast and lunch continue to be provided for MUFSD students who qualify for free and reduced price meals?
Yes. The District has made arrangements with its food service provider, Aramark, to continue to provide breakfast and lunch for students who receive free or subsidized meals. Aramark will make bagged meals, both breakfast and lunch, at Hommocks each morning while schools are closed. Our district social workers have worked with local interfaith organizations to utilize a limited number of community volunteers, who will pick up the meals each morning at Hommocks and bring them to the distribution locations: parking lots at Hommocks Middle School, Mamaroneck Avenue School and St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
If someone in our family is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms, what should we do?
Contact your physician immediately if you or someone in your family is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms. Report any confirmed cases of COVID-19 or requests by the health department to quarantine to your school principal.
Is the New Rochelle testing site at Glen Island accessible to Larchmont-Mamaroneck residents?
To be tested, an individual must have a physician order. New York’s first drive-through COVID-19 mobile testing center is operational in New Rochelle. It is our understanding that the center is providing testing for some residents in surrounding areas of New Rochelle. To make an appointment phone 888-364-3065. Check out Westchestergov.com for more info.
What does the District recommend when it comes to social distancing during this time of school closure?
In accordance with CDC recommendations, practice social distancing and avoid large groups. Students should not congregate with others to the extent possible. Even if you are healthy, these efforts can help prevent spreading Coronavirus to others, especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. The CDC recommends maintaining at least 6’ distance between people. Staying connected through technology is the best recommendation at this time.
Additional health information regarding the Coronavirus is posted under the “Resources” tab.
Center for Disease Control 2019 nCoV website
NYS Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Website
NYS Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Hotline 1-888-364-3065
New York State Department of Health Local Health Departments
New York State Center for School Health
Westchester County Department of Health
Latest Info on Health Emergency - COVID-19 - Coronavirus from United Way of Westchester & Putnam , including FAQs on Coronavirus in General from United Way of Westchester and Putnam
March 13, 2020 NPR: Flattening A Pandemic's Curve: Why Staying Home Now Can Save Lives
March 13, 2020 NY Times Daily: Learning to Live with the Coronavirus
Science News Coronavirus Articles
Child Mind Institute: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
NBC News: How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus
CDC YouTube video: What You Need to Know About Handwashing
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused serious disruption and instability for many families. Please see this list of community resources to access food, wifi, and crisis services.
Elementary School Parents: Make sure to visit the Home-School Connection page of the website to access learning resources, as this page will be the hub for all elementary curriculum and instruction during the school closure period. For questions and/or concerns regarding remote learning, contact your child's teacher.
Other Key Resources for Support During School Closure
Additional suggested Resources from the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center
Brain Pop video explanation of COVID-19 that emphasizes hand washing.
Mystery Doug/Mystery Science video about germs yesterday.