Superintendent's Message

COVID-19 Update - May 18, 2020

Dear Mattituck-Cutchogue Families,

With each new letter I write, it is a reminder how much we have been through together the past 8 weeks...yes, it has been 2 months since we started remote learning. While I would be remiss not to say that it has not been easy on everyone, I have also been fortunate to see the best in you and those around us. The community outreach, positive messages and words of encouragement to one another have been the blessings that have kept everyone going. Thank you for believing in yourselves and in our team.

As I am sure, you have not forgotten we had to cancel our spring break due to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order. This past week we learned we are permitted to make adjustments to our school calendar to reflect the spring recess days. As a result, the Board of Education approved a modified calendar on Thursday, May 14th. We will now be ending school four days earlier than originally scheduled. Our last day for students, teachers and TAs will be Monday, June 22nd. Schools will be officially closed from Tuesday, June 23rd-June 26th and reopen again on Monday, June 29th.

In the next four weeks we are going to continue to give it our all- creating connections with students and families, listening to one another and striving to keep the educational component of our plan at a level that we hope meets and exceeds your expectations in this alternate learning environment.

In the meantime, I have several updates:

Instructional

  • Please continue to listen to the morning announcements from your principal. Both Mr. Petretti and Dr. Devine will be sharing news about pick-up of materials, desk/locker clean-outs and upcoming events. 

  • As a reminder, each week we collect materials, finished work, classroom books and library books on the K-6 bus runs. We also plan to create a library book drop off container at the schools should you choose to use it. 

  • The instructional delivery and food distribution for the week of May 25th will occur on Tuesday, May 26th. We will be off from school on Monday, May 25th in honor of Memorial Day. I will be asking our students to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers who died in defense of our country. Thinking of this day puts this pandemic in perspective. 

  • Summer School plans have not been determined. We have not heard whether we need to remain in remote distance learning mode or we can return to in- person instruction. As soon as we hear, we will reach out to those children who receive extended year services. 

  • We had originally planned to host a K-3 summer reading and math program for the first two weeks in August for students receiving AIS services. This program is on hold for now until we receive guidance. If we are permitted to host summer school in-person, this literacy/math camp will continue. If we are not, it will be cancelled. We would then look to try and create catch up opportunities throughout the fall. 

  • We are also evaluating the need for certain math review classes at the junior high/high school level. Should we make the determination that we can host this, an informational flyer will be distributed. 

  • I am sure you are eager to hear about what schools will look like in the fall. (We are too!!!) We also recognize there are all kinds of mixed messages being sent as to the structure of the day, and social distancing/cleaning protocols that may be required to be in effect. Either way, our administration team is proactively working through various plans that may need to be instituted.

Celebrations

  • Throughout the last few weeks of school we will be honoring our seniors and 6th graders. We want to make what would have been typical celebrations and rights of passage still memorable. One way to honor these students and show your Mattituck-Cutchogue pride, is to place a blue or yellow bow around a tree or somewhere in your yard. We hope to flood the community with blue and yellow as a shout out to our students and their families.

  • Our plans for graduation have yet to be finalized. We are still awaiting guidance as to any parameters that may be in place for this type of event. With that said, a graduation celebration of some kind will continue to take place on Saturday, June 27th. (Our goal is of course, in person!). New this year, we will be adding a parade- a car parade of seniors from Laurel to Cutchogue along Main Rd. We hope you will come out on the sidewalks and show your MC Pride! More to follow...

Other

  • We are happy to announce that the majority of the Southwest deposit will be refunded for our seniors attending the Disney trip. The District plans to give each child previously scheduled to participate in the trip their full refund. As soon as we receive the money back, we will be issuing refund checks. We expect this could take up to a month. Again, we are disappointed this trip could not take place, but pleased students will be made whole.

Budget Vote Updates

  • You should have received the MCUFSD 2020-2021 budget postcard in the mail. As a reminder, our school budget vote and BOE trustee election will take place on Tuesday, June 9th via absentee ballot ONLY. The annual budget newsletter should arrive in homes early next week. Following the newsletter, all residents who are registered with the Board of Elections will receive an absentee ballot in the mail. If you are not, qualified voters can register online at https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application OR contact the Board of Elections. The qualified voter definition is as follows: 18 years of age, US citizen and a resident of Mattituck, Laurel or Cutchogue for 30 days prior to the vote. The Budget hearing will take place virtually on Wednesday, May 27th. Please feel free to send questions to the Board of Education in advance of the meeting.

So, anyone that says school is over or has been is clearly mistaken!

Stick with us! Please continue to assist in protecting the health and well-being of those around you by wearing the necessary protective gear and practicing social distancing, where necessary. The more we do now, the sooner we can all be together again!

Warm regards,

Jill M. Gierasch
Superintendent of Schools