Covid-19 Update: September 18, 2020

Letter to Parents - September 18, 2020
Posted on 09/18/2020

September 18, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians:

As we enter week two of classes and prepare for full in-person K-8, I want to thank you for your cooperation and support of our re-opening plans. The energy and positivity that is permeating in the halls and classrooms throughout the district is a credit to the entire staff. Having students present and interacting with one another is a great first step in creating a new reality in our schools. We are slowly introducing new learning and looking back on missed concepts to close any gaps. What is most important is that we stay positive, focus on what can be accomplished each day and give children hope through our actions and words.

Students and staff have been diligent about wearing their masks and following the outlined procedures at each school. We continue to evaluate and tweak our practices based on daily debriefings. Thank you for your patience and response to these practices and changes. Your child’s safety continues to be our first priority.

I am sure you have been reading about the COVID-19 cases that have been appearing within school districts. While we are making every effort to avoid these situations in Mattituck-Cutchogue, I want to be proactive in sharing preliminary plans if such a situation arises in-district.

If a student or staff member tests positive and this person is solely assigned to a particular school, we will close the identified school the next school day for one full day with deep cleaning taking place that evening and into the next day (if it is reported Monday through Thursday). Following notice to families, the entire staff and student body of that identified school will remain home for one full day of remote teaching. The second day and perhaps up to 14 days will likely require some quarantine restrictions for a particular class, group of students and/or a bus, if applicable. Some students may require the full 14 days while others may not pending the specifics of the case, direct contact with others, follow-up testing and direction from the Suffolk County Department of Health.

If it is reported on a Friday, pending the situation, we expect the school to be able to reopen on the following Monday with deep cleaning taking place over the weekend. The same quarantine restrictions will apply.

Communication to all parents and staff will occur as soon as feasibly possible via our School Messenger system. For students and staff immediately affected by any greater restrictions you will receive a School Messenger call and where possible, a direct phone call by either an administrator or assigned staff member which could also include someone from our Pandemic Response Team.

Throughout the day of the in-person closure you can expect the following:

  • Remote learning to commence as per the schedule outlined in each school with a 9:00am start time. Teachers will not report to school. The elementary schools will follow their daily schedule as shared through the Back to School Nights. Elementary teachers will send a copy home by the end of next week. The HS Schedule is as follows:

     Period  Time
     Morning Announcements
     9:00 - 9:05
     Period 1
     9:05 - 9:40
     Period 2
     9:45 - 10:20
     Period 3
     10:25 - 11:00
     Period 4
     11:05 - 11:40
     Period 5
     11:45 - 12:20
     Period 6
     12:25 - 1:00
     Period 7
     1:05 - 1:40
     Period 8
     1:45 - 2:20
     Period 9
     2:25 - 3:00
     Office Hours
     3:05 - 3:45
  • Students in Grades 2-12 will be connected remotely with their teachers via Google Classroom. This includes special education services. Students in K and 1 will have assignments. We are working on acclimating these students with new IPads to eventually be sent home from time to time and to be used on remote learning beginning as early as mid-October.

  • Attendance will be taken.
  • If JH/HS closes, BOCES classes will be cancelled for our students. UPK would be cancelled if there is a closure for Cutchogue East.

  • All previously scheduled appointments would be cancelled (contractors, registrar, etc.)

  • Our Pandemic Response Team will be working diligently to ensure all aspects of our plan is instituted. Contact tracing will begin at the school level and turned over to the Suffolk County Department of Health for follow-up.

  • Communication on re-opening schools will be sent out immediately as soon as information is available. We ask that you are patient with your questions while we work through the guidance and directions form the Suffolk County Department of Health, the NYS Department of Health and CDC.


* We will be sending home a form should your child present with symptoms consistent with COVID- 19 during the school day. The form will be sent through the school nurse to be signed by a parent/guardian and returned.

*Very Important – Please, please sign-up for the Chromebook insurance and eventually the IPad insurance for grades K and 1. Simple screen repairs can cost up to $100.00. Purchasing the insurance is approximately $34.00 per year, per device. This insurance is well worth it since children will need regular access to these devices. The link is as follows:

*As of Tuesday, September 8, school districts are required to report COVID cases to the Department of Health (DOH) on a daily basis. This information will be publicly available on the newly developed DOH COVID-19 Data Dashboard:

. We anticipate that this portal will serve as a primary source of information to keep our learning community updated.

*Please note that due to a new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ruling, all lunches will be available for FREE to all students through December 31, 2020 (or until funds run out) to ensure that students receive nutritional meals throughout the pandemic. This includes both in-person and remote students. Please see more information here. Students that may require lunch on off campus days, please contact Rafael Morais, our Community Liaison at (631) 278-4374 either by phone or text. He will set-up a pick-up time for a weekly meal distribution at the High School.

*At this time, we are not prohibiting Gaitors or masks with a respirator valve; however, we strongly recommend two-ply reusable or disposable masks that cover the nose and mouth.

*For children who have not received their required immunizations, the deadline is Tuesday, September 22 to reenter schools. All parents have received multiple notifications about the requirements and/or the need to complete and send back the appropriate documentation. Please reach out to the school nurse with questions.

*More information will be sent out next week about how to obtain Driver’s Education Hours and finalization of the Senior License Applications.

*Please ensure you communicate your transportation methods with Judi Passiglia at (631) 298-4242 ext. 3504, so we can monitor bus enrollment numbers and driver pick-ups. Parents who are divorced or separated and both live in-district can apply for bus pick-up and drop-off accommodations no later than October 1 for the 2020-2021 school year through the transportation office.

*We are happy to report the introduction of an after school intramural program effective September 29, 2020 for students in grades 7-12. Mr. Wormuth has sent out information about the registration/Family ID process. Let’s continue to keep students active!

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher, the building principals or myself. I continue to wish our students and their families good health as we move through this apart, but never more together.

Jill M. Gierasch
Superintendent of Schools

“Positivity is like a boomerang. The more you put it out there, the more it will come back to you.” - Jon Gordon