• Message from Superintendent Paul Finch to RHCSD Employees:
    March 14, 2020
    Good Morning:
    A few key points for you during this mandated closure:
    • Staff are still able to occupy the buildings. Actual attendance expectations of all staff will be subject to the discretion of the Superintendent of Schools.
    • 12-month staff will continue to work normal hours until further notice. The exception is that all custodial staff will go on a day shift schedule.
    • Faculty members will have access to classroom spaces as needed (until further notice).  
    • My expectation is that faculty complete assigned tasks whether at home or at school as needed (e.g. to complete copying, etc).  The first task is to complete the ten days of assignments for students and follow directions from Building Leaders as to how/where to post or submit hardcopies. All materials should be ready for distribution by Wednesday, March 18, at the latest.  It will be critical for you to be in communication with building leaders about which, if any, textbooks and/or reading books need to be distributed to homes for students to complete these assignments.
    • 10-month support staff will be called in as needed (e.g., cafeteria workers, office staff, etc.). Follow the directives of Building Leaders and Department Heads.
    So many people have offered to help with food and other distributions. Thank you. If we need help with distributions I will let you know.
    Paul Finch, Superintendent of Schools

    Email sent to parents and guardians Saturday afternoon, March 14 below:

    March 14, 2020


    Dear Parents/Guardians:


    Here are the latest updates:

    • To the best of my knowledge, there continue to be no reported cases of Covid-19 in Red Hook.  That said, I think it is safe to assume that the virus is circulating in the area.
    • School closure is mandated until March 29.  At present (subject to change), schools will reopen on March 30.  I will keep you informed of any updates regarding the calendar. The impact of this closure on the previously scheduled Spring Break is unclear at this time (more to follow on this topic).
    • Faculty are preparing approximately ten days of assignments for students. These assignments will be available to parents on a variety of platforms (e.g., email, webpages, Microsoft Teams, and/or snail mail) no later than Wednesday, March 18
    • Each Building Principal will be responsible for communicating with you the methods for retrieving these assignments as they will vary by grade level (and possibly teacher). 
    • Each Building Principal and/or teacher will be responsible for addressing the transmission of completed work back to the teacher(s).  This is a very difficult challenge that we will attempt to address as creatively as possible.  Ultimately, however, it may not be possible in certain cases.
    • Teachers will be instructed to limit traditional “grading” of student work during this time and focus on providing guided feedback as mechanisms to do so are put into place. 
    • Our buildings are open to staff only at this point. Please do not come to the school to retrieve items. We are developing plans to facilitate the collection and distribution of any personal items and/or instructional supplies (more to follow on this topic).
    • Distribution of food items to students in need is currently being coordinated. I am expecting that distribution (or collection at the school) will begin as early as Wednesday. (More to follow on this topic).
    • To the best of our ability, the school district will attempt to be a conduit for babysitting support. I will be establishing an email account today at babysitting@rhcsd.org. If you send an email to this account with a specific request, it will be transmitted to district personnel who know older students who are willing to babysit.  We do not guarantee babysitting and encourage each individual to assess the health and supervisory risks involved.  The district will only serve as a platform to transmit the requests to possible resources.

    There are many logistical hurdles to overcome this week.  I ask your patience as we adapt to the new normal.  We will get there!


    Paul Finch, Superintendent of Schools