Superintendent's Message

March 12, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are almost a year to the day when we closed schools last year. Our administration team has communicated with you numerous times throughout- sharing new and innovative plans for learning, technology tips/tools, instructional methods, food distribution, re-entry plans, health and safety protocols, cleaning guidelines, celebratory events, mental health supports, quarantine updates, and return to extra-curricular activities. Last March, we would have never imagined the pandemic would last so long or have had such an impact; emotionally, physically or financially. It simply was a year like no other.

These decisions and plans would have never been possible without our faith in the Mattituck-Cutchogue team. There was a team of people in every corner of our organization that needed to reinvent themselves by learning new technologies, changing their daily role, and to be present and available to our students and their families while juggling and being concerned about their own families. When we use the term staff, it is important to spell it out; it means teacher assistants, clerical, teachers, our facilities crew, bus drivers, nurses, psychologists, social workers, guidance counselors, the business department, technology assistants, and our security team in no particular order. We could not have done it without each one of these outstanding professionals doing their very best every day.

Indeed, we are not out of the woods, but we are seeing brighter days ahead. Many of our staff members are fully vaccinated and are relieved their family members are too. Our positive cases have been going down and parameters are being lifted to allow for reinstatement of several cherished activities.

Our mental health team continues to meet and plan for not only now, but also for the year ahead- rethinking services and programs for all children and how we can identify, support, and provide the tools and strategies to be successful in school and in life.

Our instructional program continues to stay on course, closing any gaps at a rapid pace that may have been lost last spring. We are so fortunate to have been almost full-in earlier than most districts, locally and across the country. Staff in both schools continue to monitor progress by identifying any strengths and weaknesses. Students have received exceptional targeted instruction, with our staff paying closer attention to data and areas in need of further consideration. This summer, we plan to offer some opportunities in mathematics at the secondary level and a literacy/math program for identified students at the elementary level.

I hope it is understood that our team is eternally grateful for your support, encouragement, and the many letters, emails and phone calls that albeit all you had on your plate, you took the time to reach out and say thank you. The partnerships of the parents/guardians must be acknowledged. It was your flexibility in regard to transportation, scheduling changes, online learning, and the adjustments to your daily routines, which allowed us to offer a safe and enriched educational experience in these different times. We appreciated the response and feedback in the surveys, which helped inform our new normal. Your messages carried us through the difficult decisions and affirmed our need to persevere and stay focused on your child’s education and social well-being.

We close this year with renewed connections and a rediscovery of the simple joys in life. The arts and nature have become cherished activities along with carved out family time. We know read-alouds, reading independently, and hearing the Pledge of Allegiance by your building principal have now become a comfort. Celebrations such as drive-by parades, banners honoring graduates, and our collective efforts will continue to lift spirits and unite the community.

Today, we are celebrating our collective persistence and resilience to have worked through these incredibly challenging times for all.

With gratitude,

Jill M. Gierasch
Superintendent of Schools

Shawn Petretti 
High School Principal

Geraldine Doherty
Director of Technology

Dr. Kathleen Devine 
Elementary Principal

Meredythe Alligero
Director of Pupil Personnel

David Smith 
High School Assistant Principal

Greggory Wormuth
Director of Athletics, PE and Health

Ilana Finnegan 
Instructional Support Administrator

Donna Brower
Business & Operations Administrator

Thomas Kelly 
Maintenance Crew Leader