Skip to main content
 
 

Preparing for back-to-school during COVID-19: What do you need to know?


The Baldwinsville school district is committed to keeping the community updated as we navigate these unprecedented times TOGETHER.

Below you will find ALL email communications from the district regarding COVID-19 and the return to school for the 2020-21 school year.
 

For more information on everything you need to know about our response to COVID-19 and reopening our schools: CLICK HERE

  • Calendar for 2020-21 school year -- access HERE
  • COVID-19 Testing -- access the specific plan HERE
  • Contact Tracing -- access the specific plan HERE
  • Remote (100% Virtual) Learning -- access the plan HERE
  • Access the full re-entry plan HERE
  • Read our communications about COVID-19 during the 2019-20 school year, HERE

October 16, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

We have made it to another weekend! Happy Friday!

I wanted to share a few quick announcements from this week:

  • We have started the development process for the 2021-2022 budget and we are seeking community input through budget advisory committees. The District is looking for volunteers to serve on committees to review specific areas of the budget – Facilities, Athletics, Transportation, Special Education and Instructional/Technology. Volunteers will provide input on the budget cost savings prior to the budget components being presented to the Board of Education for review. Read more about the committees and how to join on our website.
  • Our Food Service Department would like to remind families that breakfast and lunch is currently free for all students. The department has been working hard to expand its hot food offering in all of our schools, and is excited to announce that Durgee Junior High School has reopened their cafeteria lines, which allows students to visit the cafeteria to select their own meals. 
  • This week I met with the presidents of our Parent Teacher Associations and I'm excited to report that they are moving forward with plans for taking school pictures. We are hopeful that our PTAs can also safely restore some of their student-centered activities during the coming months!
  • Our fall athletic season is in full swing and we’ve been recognizing our senior athletes during their home games. Check out our social media pages for photos and more. #GoBees

Check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely,
Matthew J. McDonald, Superintendent of Schools
 



October 9, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Happy Friday! There's no school for students today or Monday. I hope you all enjoy the four-day weekend.
Please visit our website for more information on the positive COVID-19 case at C.W. Baker High School. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and communicate updates, if necessary.

I wanted to take a moment to share with you a few announcements from this week.

At the Board of Education meeting on Monday night, I had the honor to recognize the retirement of my colleague and friend, Jamie Rodems. Jamie retired recently from the District after serving 11 years as the assistant superintendent of management services. Jamie was instrumental with securing voter approval on numerous capital projects that have positively impacted our students and helped the District save money. We are grateful for Jamie’s dedication to the community and his fiduciary responsibilities. Jamie will be greatly missed. We wish him a wonderful retirement.

I would also like to extend a warm welcome to Debra Miller, who will serve as interim assistant superintendent of management services. Debra, a Baldwinsville community member, comes to us with more than 30 years of school experience.

C.W. Baker High School announced the Class of 2021 Baker’s Dozen this week. Congratulations to Calista Winders, Geoffrey Tse, Andrew Panos, Bianca Gascon, Aidan Micho, Nathaniel Hahn, Jack McManus, Lindsey Demer, Colin DeLaney, Kyle Rogers, Tristan Miranda, Tiffany Natoli and Jenna Boutilier. I am so proud of you! Keep working hard to achieve your goals!

Check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald, Superintendent of Schools



October 2, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Happy October! I want to take time on this beautiful fall Friday to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication in the reopening of our District buildings and the wonderful start to the 2020-21 school year.

Through every challenge, our staff has risen to the occasion with positivity and professionalism. I’m very proud. Take a look for yourself by viewing the Virtual Curriculum Night and Virtual Open House videos listed below. It’s amazing how our staff has been able to adapt and evolve during this unprecedented year in education!

Please note, Durgee Junior High School’s Curriculum Night videos are delayed due to the recent closure, and will be available later this month. Stay tuned!

C.W. Baker High School
Ray Middle School
Elden Elementary School
McNamara Elementary School
Palmer Elementary School
Reynolds Elementary School
Van Buren Elementary School

Check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Have a great weekend! Go Bees!

Sincerely,
Matthew J. McDonald, Superintendent of Schools



September 25, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Happy Friday. It’s looking like a beautiful summer weekend for our first weekend of fall. I hope you’re able to enjoy it with your families.
I’m pleased to announce that our Food Service Department is making sure all students have access to free, healthy meals while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create challenges for many families. All enrolled students are eligible for a free breakfast and lunch meal every school day, regardless of family income.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended flexibilities it granted to school meal programs to provide free breakfast and lunch for all children 18 and younger – whether learning in-person or remote – through Dec. 31 or until funding is exhausted. Effective Monday, meals will be free for all B’ville students on the days they are receiving in-person instruction. Learn more on our website.

I have a few other updates that I would like to share with you this week:

  • Our Van Buren Elementary School students and teacher returned to their classroom this week after being quarantined by the Onondaga County Health Department. Principal Cronin said the students were excited to return to the school and get back into their in-person learning routine.
  • Durgee Junior High School will reopen on Monday after being closed since Friday, Sept. 18 due to two positive COVID-19 cases. We anticipate welcoming back all students, including the 71 students and 10 teachers who were asked to quarantine as a precaution, on Monday. However, we are still waiting to hear back from the county Health Department regarding the protocol for their return. We will update the community as soon as information becomes available.
  • We are not aware of any additional cases that resulted from the exposure at Van Buren and Durgee, which implies our measures to keep our students and staff protected are working. Keep up the good work!
  • If your child is sent home with COVID-19 symptoms, you will be sent home with a form, which can also be found on our website, for your medical provider. In order for a student to return to school, he or she must follow the New York State Department of Health (which the District is following) protocol, which includes documentation from a health care provider following evaluation, a negative COVID-19 test result AND a resolution of symptoms.
  • If your child tests positive for COVID10, please contact the District so that we can immediately coordinate our efforts with the county.  Please provide the school nurse with a copy of any official quarantine or isolation order.
  • Onondaga County has set up a testing site at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse that is open for symptomatic students and school district employees. Registration is required by emailing CovidTesting@upstate.edu or by calling 315-464-2582 and selecting option #4.
  • Our School Nurse Supervisor Julie Carpenter also wants to encourage our students and staff members to get a flu shot this year.
  • I would like to remind families that face coverings are required at our school bus stops. Families waiting with students should also be wearing a face covering. Thank you for helping us keep our community safe.
  • Our fall athletes started practice this week. You can feel the excitement from the athletes and their coaches. It’s so great to have our fields, courts and stadium back in use!

Check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools



September 11, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

I’m so proud our students, families and staff for a successful start of the 2020-2021 school year. Despite all the changes and new safety protocols, I saw so much positivity spreading through our classrooms.

The Buzz and full-time students are quickly adjusting to our new health and safety practices and settling right back into the classroom routines.  Also, I’ve heard great things from the teachers and families of our remote learners.  I hope you have tuned into my video updates each day.  They are posted on our Facebook page and website.  Today’s update will focus on remote learners.

On Monday, we will welcome our Hive students to their first day of school.  I can’t wait!

I want to also take a moment to address the media reports involving a photo circulating on social media of our Baker High School seniors.  I know as a District we can't control how students behave outside of school, but we hope that they will make better choices.  My goal is to keep our students safe and keep them in school.  The administration at Baker High School is addressing our concerns about this type of behavior with students and families.  The District will continue to educate all its students on safe choices and the impact their actions have on their own well-being and the safety of others. We have to work together.
I wanted to remind our families to obey the speed limit, which is 15 mph, on our main campus and at all of our school buildings.  Help us keep our students safe.
We are also excited to share that Section III Athletics announced today that low and moderate risk fall sports will begin with practices on Monday, September 21, 2020.  Their decision to move forward with fall athletics allows our B’ville Bees student-athletes to take part in opportunities for competitions this fall.  We are excited we can provide more normalcy to our student-athletes during these unique times.  I'm also excited to report that Football, Boys and Girls Volleyball, and Cheerleading will have a season starting March 1st.

There’s more positive news related to the performing arts. I met with area superintendents regarding a revised marching band season for this fall. I am meeting with the superintendents again on Monday and with Band Director Casey Vanderstouw about what the B’ville program will look like during the 2020-2021 school year. More information to come next week.

Check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,
 
Matthew J. McDonald, Superintendent of Schools



Dear Parents & Guardians,

Our months of planning on what to do when we have a positive case of COVID-19 in one of our schools was put to the test this week, and I couldn’t be more proud of our staff, students and families. The safety of our students and staff is my number one priority. Thank you for continuing to show the rest of Central New York what it means to work together and be B’ville strong!

I have a few updates that I would like to share with you this week:
  • Several of our athletic teams – Boys and Girls soccer, gymnastics, field hockey, Boys golf, Girls tennis, and Boys and Girls cross country – will start practice on Monday. #GoBees
  • Football, cheerleading and Boys and Girls volleyball has been moved to March. Our athletic director announced this week that the fall swim varsity/modified season will also be delayed until March. The decision was made as a league due to changes in regulations and several districts not having access to their team’s home pool.
  • We are thrilled to announce that the Baldwinsville Marching Bees will be able to return to the field this school year. Band Director Casey Vanderstouw and his team of instructors are currently finalizing safe rehearsal and performance procedures, music and drill.  Details regarding upcoming rehearsal dates will be announced soon.
  • Last month, families were given the option to return to school in a hybrid (in-person and remote) or a 100% remote (virtual) learning environment. We understand that some families are interested in switching their decision. In our reopening plan, we informed families that selections will remain in place for a marking period at a minimum. As circumstances change, the District will make adjustments and communicate options to students and families.
  • Reminder: If you are looking for a "No Image List" request form or an application for free and reduced meals, please check your Hive newsletter that was mailed to your home. If you need a form, please email sbuckshot@bville.org.
  • Meals are available for Hive and Buzz students when they are learning remotely and for students who are 100 percent remote. The meals are free for qualified families or available for purchase. Visit our website for pickup times and locations.
Check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.


Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,
Matthew J. McDonald, Superintendent of Schools
 

September 8, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Tomorrow – September 9 -- is the first day of school for the majority of our students. The Buzz Cohort, 100% Remote and K-2 students will be starting school tomorrow. The Hive Cohort will return on Monday, September 14.

I’m very excited, and I hope you and your child are also excited!

We have several reminders for those students who are returning to in-person instruction:

  • Students are required to wear a face covering on the school bus and inside our schools. Bandanas and gaiter-style face coverings will not be acceptable. CLICK HERE to learn more.
  • Students should bring a completed COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire to school with them. Students will receive a packet of questionnaires on the first day.  
  • If you have questions about food service, read our Q&A from Food Service Director Brian Wright. CLICK HERE
  • If you have specific questions about your school, watch your building’s Q&A webinar. CLICK HERE
  • All of our principals have created welcome back videos for our students. Watch all videos on our website. CLICK HERE
  • I answered questions from two of our Van Buren Elementary School students about back-to-school for a special edition of Breakfast with the Superintendent. Watch the video on our website. CLICK HERE

Reminders for students who are starting at-home instruction:

  • The Distance Learning Guide is posted on our website. CLICK HERE
  • The Q&A Webinar, which was held this morning, can be watched on our website. CLICK HERE

Reminders for all families:

  • Parent technology tutorials will help families during remote instruction: CLICK HERE
  • OCM BOCES created tutorials for Google products: CLICK HERE
  • The school calendar is available online and will be mailed later this month: CLICK HERE

I hope everyone has a fantastic first day! #BeePride

Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald, Superintendent of Schools
 



September 4, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that two of our students passed away yesterday after a terrible automobile accident on the NYS Thruway. Maryella and Elizabeth Annal were Palmer Elementary School students.
 
The loss of a child is the most difficult part of any job. We all grieve differently and grief is a process. Please reach out to a loved one, trusted friend, a member of our counseling team, or myself if you need to talk. We are a big family and today it devastates me to announce that we have lost two of our own. Let's come together and support each other, our students, and families.

As I write this letter, I am grieving. The work that I have been doing since last night as Superintendent has been heart wrenching. We are now just days away from the return to school for the majority of our students. Wednesday, September 9th is the first day for 100% remote learners, K-2 and the Buzz cohort.  The Hive cohort students will start on Monday, September 14th.

We have several updates to give you from the past week:

  • The District is hosting a 100% Remote Learning Webinar to allow families, who have chosen this model for the 2020-21 school year, the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the student learning experience. The webinar, which will feature a Q&A session will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Registration is required. Click here to register. The video of the webinar will be posted on our website after the webinar. 
  • The District would like to clarify protocols for students and staff members experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) who have not been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive -- Based on updated NYSED, NYSDOH, and Onondaga County Health Department guidance, any student or staff member experiencing a symptom of COVID-19 will be required meet the following criteria (all 3 criteria) in order to return to school or work:
    1. Documentation of evaluation by a healthcare provider indicating the person is diagnosed with another condition and is clear to return to school,
    2. a negative COVID-19 test result, and
    3. no fever (temperature less than 100 degrees F) without the use of fever reducing medicine for 24 hours and symptom resolution.
  • If you have questions about Food Service this school year, visit the Food Service webpage on our website to read a Q&A and view breakfast and lunch menus.
  • Breakfast with the Superintendent will continue during the school year and was moved to Saturday mornings. Tune in at 9 a.m. this Saturday for a special back-to-school episode.
  • We received word from the printers and The Hive was mailed and should be arriving to your homes soon. Inside you’ll find important forms for the school year. The school calendar will be mailed later this month, but you can check out the PDF version on our website now.
  • New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) is expected to release guidance today, which we plan to review as we await further guidance from Section III Athletics on fall athletics.
  • While we haven’t received guidance from the state as it relates to the performing arts, specifically marching band, I’ve volunteered to attend a meeting on Wednesday with area superintendents to discuss our options. I will hopefully be able to report back more information next week.

We will continue to provide updates on a regular basis as we work through our reopening process.  Please check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more.  Please be on the lookout on Tuesday for an announcement with reminders for the first day of school. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools
 



August 28, 2020
 
Dear Parents & Guardians,

Time is flying by, but that means we are so much closer to the beginning of the school year and the return of students to our classrooms for the first time since March 16.

The first day of school is Wednesday, September 9 for the Buzz Cohort, 100 percent remote, and 100 percent in-person students.  The first day of school for the Hive Cohort students is Monday, September 14. Earlier this summer we adjusted our 2020-2021 calendar to bring back our teachers and support staff on Tuesday, September 1. We will hold Superintendent Conference Days on September 1, 2, 3 and 8 to help prepare staff for the new protocols and procedures associated with this unique school year.

The District is buzzing. Our principals, administrators and staff continue to work hard as the summer is winding down. Here are a few updates and reminders for this week:

  • Teacher assignments and class schedules for students will be available in the School Tool portal beginning at 3 p.m. today.  Click HERE to access the portal. 
  • Building specific reopening webinars hosted by the leadership team at each building were held this week. Visit your school’s webpage on our District website to watch the video or click HERE to watch all videos.
  • Students attending in-person classes will need to bring in a Student COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire every day. The form for the first day of school will be mailed to families and a packet of blank questionnaires will be sent home with students on the first day of in-person school. What does the form look like? It can be found on our website HERE.
  • The District will be sending out the traditional school calendar, but it is delayed and expected to arrive to families later next month. In the meantime, our staff will be updating our calendar on our website. Due to the many uncertainties revolving school activities, the online calendar will be your best source for up-to-date events and activities.
  • After further review of our District’s policy on face coverings and research on the use of some of the styles, we have decided to ban the use of gaiter-style face coverings and bandanas. Studies show they are poor at preventing respiratory particles from entering the air thereby less effective in protecting others.

Governor Cuomo gave approval this week for lower-risk sports to start practicing on September 21 and then play after that. We are looking into what this means for our District as we await more guidance from the State Education Department, New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) and the Section III Athletics. We are also awaiting more guidance on extra-curricular activities and the performing arts. We want to offer these activities for our students because we believe in their value in achieving the full potential of our students, but we have to do it safely. We are going to let science guide us. We have to follow the guidelines set forth from the above state organizations. We are expecting further guidance from NYSPHSAA next week. We will update you as soon as any plans are finalized.

We will continue to provide updates on a regular basis as we work through our reopening process.  Please check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,
Matthew J. McDonald, Superintendent of Schools



August 21, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Another Friday has arrived as we draw closer to the first day of school for students and staff.

We are continuing to release more information to help families get prepared for this unprecedented school year.  I would like to take a moment to highlight what has been released this week and preview what’s to come next week.

  • We hosted three webinars via Zoom this week to allow our school community (parents, teachers, students, etc.) to ask questions as we prepare for the return of in-person and remote instruction this September. These opportunities were conducted as part of Governor Cuomo's expectations that school districts offer three Q&A sessions before August 21, 2020. Watch the videos from the three webinars HERE.
  • Our school librarians have compiled tutorials to help parents with technology. The tutorials guide families through how to use Seesaw, which will be used in our K-2 classrooms, and how to use Google Classroom, which will be used in our 3rd-12th grade classrooms. There’s a variety of other videos to help families with technology. The webpage also lists contact information for our school librarians, who will be available to assist families when school starts. Check out the tutorials HERE.
  • Our elementary school principals created a video to show students some changes that will be in effect for the upcoming school year. Watch the video HERE.
  • The District is providing building specific reopening webinars next week hosted by the leadership team at each building. This is an opportunity for students and families to ask questions specific to their school. All webinars will be live-streamed and recorded for future viewing. Register HERE.

I also wanted to clarify a media report from earlier this week. Special Education Director Rocco Nalli spoke to CNYCentral about what special education will look like this fall. Please note that the story mentions that "scheduling for grades 6-12 is expected to be released Friday," but scheduling is expected to be released Friday, August 28 -- not today. We want to get student class schedules and teacher assignments to our families as soon as possible, but as of today, we are still finalizing schedules.

We will continue to provide updates on a regular basis as we work through our reopening process.  Please check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools
 




August 14, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

I can’t believe it is Friday already -- where has the time gone? The days and weeks seem to get faster and faster as we grow closer to opening day for our students and staff.  

The District continues to work tirelessly in preparing for reopening of schools on September 9, 2020. This week’s communication is solely designated to provide information related to where the district is in our re-opening process. Please take a moment to review the information provided below. 

  • We concluded our Re-opening Webinar Series last week.  We thank our students, families, and employees for participating in the informational forums.  If you missed them, you can watch them HERE.  Q&A Documents for each webinar are also located on the website.
  • I would like to announce that the Baldwinsville Central School District will be hosting three (3) additional Webinars via Zoom for our students and families, as well as one Webinar for district employees to allow our school community and employees to ask questions as we prepare for the return of in-person and remote instruction in September.  These opportunities are being conducted as part of Governor Cuomo's expectations that school districts offer Q&A sessions before August 21, 2020.  The Q&A Webinar Events will be hosted by me, Superintendent of Schools Matthew McDonald, and Deputy Superintendent Joseph DeBarbieri.  The webinar events will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions of the district's re-entry plan.  There will be no formal presentation just Q&A.  To register for any of the events, please click HERE.   
The events will be live-streamed on the district's Facebook page for any person unable to register through Zoom. Additionally, video recordings will be made available following each event on our district website. 
  • The district will be providing School specific Re-opening Webinars (8 total - one per school) hosted by each building's leadership team to inform students and families of what building schedules will look like in September.  This will also be an opportunity for students and families to ask questions specific to their school of attendance.  More information regarding these informational webinars will be shared in next week's communication.
  • I am happy to announce that following the completion of student and family selections / registrations of preferred learning options (remote or in-person/hybrid) we are able to have full-time (5 days a week) in-person instruction for grades K, 1, and 2, in all elementary school buildings.  Having our primary-aged students return full-time does not change our anticipated class sizes.  The number of students that chose full remote instruction at the five elementary schools has allowed us to add sections to accommodate small class sizes even with additional grades K, 1, and 2 classes.  The learning environment will meet the state’s guidance of six foot spacing between students.  There will be more detailed information forth coming next week from your building administrator.
  • Cohorts (Buzz and Hive) for grades 3 through 12 have been completed and can be found on the SchoolTool portal.  Click HERE to view directions and access the SchoolTool portal.  We are thrilled we are able to provide cohort information for grades 3-12 prior to our scheduled date of August 21, 2020.  As you would expect, grades K, 1, and 2 will not be provided a cohort since students will now be attending in-person full-time (5 days per week).
  • The Baldwinsville Central School District will be providing five days/week of in-person instruction for students with disabilities that receive integrated co-teaching services in grades 3, 4, and 5.  Special education programs and services will continue to be provided in the least restrictive environment.  Information regarding students with disabilities in grades 6 through 12 will be provided at a later date.  If you would like more information regarding your child's special education program and services, please contact Director of Special Education Rocco Nalli at 315-635-4570 or rnalli@bville.org
  • We have received confirmation and clarified guidance on the requirements for Testing and Contract Tracing.  In terms of testing, the district will work with Onondaga County to announce locations for mobile testing sites for staff and high school students so that they can be tested before school begins.  This service is 100% optional for the students and staff -- It is completely up to the individual staff member or student (with parent/guardian permission) to be tested.  This offering / option may be helpful and convenient for our school community.  Contact tracing of all confirmed COVID-19 cases is the responsibility of the Onondaga County Health Department.  Experienced professionals from the County Health Department have already traced 3,400 within our county.  They will continue to do so when schools reopen working in coordination with our school administration and healthcare team.  More information about testing and contact tracing can be found on our website by clicking HERE  
We will continue to provide updates on a regular basis as we work through our re-opening process.  Please check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools


 
August 7, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

As you may be aware, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this morning that schools throughout the state can reopen this fall.  Based on the current guidance, our reopening in Baldwinsville will include Hybrid and Remote (Virtual) learning environments for students as previously communicated. We continue to review and process changes to requirements so we can plan accordingly for staff and student return.
 
Today is the final day for parents and guardians to make a selection of their preferred learning environment for each student. The SchoolTool Parent Portal can be accessed here and is best viewed on a computer or tablet. Directions can be found here for completing the questionnaire. Please make your selection by the end of the day.
 
We held our Reopening Webinar Series over the past three weeks to include families and community members in our decision-making process for returning to school this fall. Six webinars were held and videos of each are listed on our website. We also answered the questions that were submitted during each webinar. Read the answers and watch the videos HERE.  Additionally, we are planning to provide more webinar opportunities for staff, students, and families to ask questions and prepare for opening day. Please be on the lookout for these future events.
 
Thank you to all those in the community who participated in the webinars. It has been a great experience for us to gain your feedback. Your opinion is valuable to us and your support is appreciated. Thank you also to our panelists, moderator and staff for all of the time and work that made these webinars possible.
 
The District has been working closely with the Northwest Family YMCA to continue our exceptional partnership with its school-age childcare programs that encompasses before and after school care as well as full-day care options. We will continue to offer the YMCA’s programs as in past years, and are looking to expand and discuss additional opportunities. As these discussions progress, the District and YMCA will communicate all the program details.
 
I wanted to also take a moment to say thank you, farewell, and congratulations to two of our school resource officers who have retired. Baldwinsville Police Officer Martin Knaul has retired after 13 years as the SRO at C.W. Baker High School and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Nord has retired after 11 years as an SRO at Durgee Junior High School.
 
Thank you both for your service to our district. You have made our schools, our district and our community a better place. Remember, once a Bee, always a Bee!
 
Have a great weekend!
 
Please check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
 
Sincerely,
 
Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools



July 31, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians:

Our administrators, leaders, teachers and staff members have been working for months to develop a plan to safely reopen our school buildings. 

We received state guidelines for reopening schools in mid-July from the New York State Education Department and Health Department. After careful analysis of the guidelines, district leadership -- with input from representatives of all of the District’s stakeholders – has determined that students will be given the option to return to school in a Hybrid (in-person and remote) or a 100% Remote (virtual) learning environment.  A 3-page overview of our District’s commitments and highlights of the re-entry plan can be accessed here.

For the Hybrid learning environment students will experience a three (3) days in-person and three (3) days remote learning sequence / pattern which will continue for the entire academic year or until circumstances change and the District is permitted to accommodate all students within our school buildings based on health and safety guidelines.   The Hybrid sequence / pattern can be accessed here.  The Hybrid model cohorts will be based on neighborhood / bus route so that families and siblings will follow the same schedule.  More details will follow as plans are finalized and decisions by Governor Cuomo are made regarding reopening schools in September.  

Beginning today, Friday, July 31, 2020, through Friday, August 7, 2020, parents are asked to log into their SchoolTool Parent Portal accounts to make selections of their preferred learning environment for each student. The SchoolTool Parent Portal can be accessed here and is best viewed on a computer or tablet. Directions can be found here for completing the questionnaire.

There are more decisions to be made and more details to be finalized. We are grateful for the continued support from the community. 

Please check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. 

Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald

Superintendent of Schools
 



July 24, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Happy Friday! The weekend weather looks beautiful, which is perfect for honoring the Class of 2020 on Saturday!
 
I hope you are enjoying the summer weather, too. I wanted to take a moment to send you a few announcements and reminders:
  • We held the first two webinars in our Re-opening Webinar Series this week. If you missed them, you can watch them HERE. Additionally, I would be remiss if I didn't give a huge shout out to my deputy superintendent, Joe DeBarbieri, who has taken the lead in providing these re-opening webinars. His vision, leadership and love for kids is always at the forefront of everything he does. THANK YOU, MR. DEBARBIERI!
  • We have four webinars remaining. Registration is required. Visit our website for topic and panelists information, and to register.
  • We sent out a back-to-school survey via email to parents, staff members, and students on July 15. View the survey report by CLICKING HERE.
  • A new video from our series “Breakfast with the Superintendent,” was posted. The series is geared towards our elementary students. Watch it HERE.
  • Members of the Class of 2020 who didn’t take part in our June 21st graduation will walk the stage on Saturday to receive diplomas. The graduation ceremony will be identical to the June 21st event and will be livestreamed on our website. Photos will be posted on our Facebook page after the ceremony.
  • After the ceremony, the C.W. Baker High School PTSA is hosting the “Bee Strong – Graduation Celebration” starting at 11 a.m. The event will safely bring groups of students from the Class of 2020 together for fun, food and raffle prizes.
  • The district continues to collaborate with the Food Bank of CNY to provide food for families throughout the community. Last week, we provided food for about 150 families. The mobile food pantry will continue to be available every other Monday from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in front of C.W. Baker High School. The next date the food distribution truck will be here is August 3rd. Due to the increased participation we ask that when picking up food, families utilize Albert Palmer Lane and enter Baker High School circle from that direction to avoid traffic congestion on Oneida Street. School social workers are also available to deliver food or set up alternative pick up times if you can’t get here when the truck is available. Once distribution is over social workers will deliver food to housing developments throughout the community. To set up a delivery, alternate pick up time or get more information about alternate locations, please email klamacchia@bville.org or call 315-638-6052.
We are committed to providing additional updates on a regular basis as circumstances warrant.

Please check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
 
Sincerely,
 
Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools
 

July 17, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,
As we close out another week, I wanted to send a personal thank you to the Baldwinsville community. These are trying times, but I know that if we work together, we will be able to not only get through them but come out better on the other side.
 
Here are a few announcements and reminders:
  1. Our Re-opening Webinar Series starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 21st. Registration is required. Visit our website for topic and panelists information, and to register.
  2. We sent out a back-to-school survey via email to parents, staff members, and students on Wednesday. The survey is also posted on our website. The survey will close on Tuesday.
  3. The mobile food pantry truck will be in front of C.W. Baker High School from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, July 20th.
  4. Our new video series for elementary school students, “Breakfast with the Superintendent,” launched this week. Visit our website to watch the first episode. New episodes will be available at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays. Have an idea for an episode, email sbuckshot@bville.org.
  5. The New York Public High School Athletic Association (N.Y.S.P.H.S.A.A.) announced Thursday the delay to the start of the fall athletics season. The new start date will be September 21, 2020. Visit our website for more information.
  6. Graduation update: We had initially planned a second opportunity on Saturday, July 25th to host a more traditional graduation ceremony for the entire Class of 2020. However, continued restrictions from New York State regarding gathering sizes and graduations are still in effect and therefore we are unable to gather the entire Class of 2020 and their families together for a traditional ceremony. However, we are still going to honor graduates who did not attend the June 21st graduation. On Saturday, July 25 at 9 a.m., students who did not attend the event on June 21 are invited to campus to receive their diplomas and walk the stage just as their classmates were able to do. These students and families are being contacted individually with details about the ceremony. Read more HERE.
  7. Class of 2020 Celebration: The C.W. Baker High School PTSA has been working hard to host a celebration event for the Class of 2020 and has developed a plan to safely bring groups of students together for some fun, food, and raffle prize drawings following the ceremony to award remaining diplomas. The PTSA will award raffle prizes and provide refreshments for groups of students at a unique event, which will include a traditional graduation cap toss, planned for July 25. Read more HERE.
We are committed to providing additional updates on a regular basis as circumstances warrant. Please check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more.
 
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools
 

July 10, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

When our school buildings closed last March we told you that “we were all in this together” and that statement still holds true as we work to reopen. We want your voices to be heard and your questions to be answered.

As we announced earlier this week, we will be offering a series of webinars, which will include interactive polls, Q&A sessions, and surveys in the coming weeks on the topics of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Health and Safety, Curriculum and Instruction for kindergarten through 12th grade, Special Education Services, Transportation, Athletics, and Performing Arts. The schedule for the webinars is below.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also made an announcement this week on his timeline for providing guidance to school districts. He said final guidance from the state will be available on July 13th and school reopening plans will be due by July 31st. Cuomo said he will make a decision on reopening schools, which could be regionally based, during the first week of August.

In the meantime, we will continue our work together! Register for the webinars by clicking the links below. You can also visit our website or social media pages for more information.

I’m also excited to announce a video series for our elementary school students that will launch on Wednesday, July 15th called “Breakfast with the Superintendent.” A video will be posted on our website and social media pages at 9 a.m. every Wednesday. The video will be geared towards students in kindergarten through 5th grade. For the first week, I will be answering students' questions. Parents and guardians can submit their child's question via email to sbuckshot@bville.org or text to 315-516-0593. If possible, please send a video clip of your child asking the question, your child's first name, age and school.
We are committed to providing additional updates on a regular basis as circumstances warrant. Please check your email and our website, www.bville.org, for updates, links and more.
 
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools

Re-opening Webinar Series
 
Health and Safety: Registration Information
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
6 to 7 p.m.
Moderator / Panelists:
Joseph DeBarbieri, Deputy Superintendent (moderator)
Julie Carpenter, School Nurse Supervisor (panelist)
Rick Foederer, Chief Operations Officer (panelist)
Kris Denton, Baker High School Principal (panelist)
Alex Ewing, Palmer Elementary School Principal (panelist)
 
Curriculum & Instruction (K-12): Registration Information
Thursday, July 23, 2020
6 to 7 p.m.
Moderator / Panelists:
Joseph DeBarbieri, Deputy Superintendent (moderator)
Tony Cardamone, Director of Elementary Curriculum & Instruction (panelist)
Renee Burnett, Director of Secondary Curriculum & Instruction (panelist)
RJ DeLisle, Director of Instructional Technology (panelist)
Christina Morgan, Ray Middle School Principal (panelist)
Jennifer Homeyer, McNamara Elementary School Principal (panelist)
 
Special Education Services & Supports for Students: Registration Information
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
6 to 7 p.m.
Moderator / Panelists:
Joseph DeBarbieri, Deputy Superintendent (moderator)
Rocco Nalli, Director of Special Education (panelist)
Karrie LaMacchia, Director of Pupil & Personnel Services (panelist)
TJ Fraher, Durgee Jr. High School Principal (panelist)
Melissa Chiodo, Reynolds Elementary School Principal (panelist)
Jenna Wolken, School Psychologist - Ray Middle School (panelist)
 
Social Emotional Learning / Mental Health Services: Registration Information
Thursday, July 30, 2020
6 to 7 p.m.
Moderator / Panelists:
Joseph DeBarbieri, Deputy Superintendent (moderator)
Danielle Nahorney, Director of Academic Services and Accountability (panelist)
Karrie LaMacchia, Director of Pupil & Personnel Services (panelist)
Thomas Coughlin, Elden Elementary School Principal (panelist)
Bill Allan, Assistant Principal - Baker High School (panelist)
Meredith Riggs, Social Worker - Baker High School (panelist)
 
Transportation & Food Services: Registration Information
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
6 to 7 p.m.
Moderator / Panelists:
Joseph DeBarbieri, Deputy Superintendent (moderator)
Dana Nelson, School Transportation Director (panelist)
Brian Wright, School Lunch Director (panelist)
James Rodems, Assistant Superintendent for Management Services (panelist)
Tiffany Turner, School Business Official (panelist)
Julie Carpenter, School Nurse Supervisor (panelist)
 
Athletics & Performing Arts: Registration Information
Thursday, August 6, 2020
6 to 7 p.m.
Moderator / Panelists:
Joseph DeBarbieri, Deputy Superintendent (moderator)
Chris Campolieta, Director of Athletics, PE & Health
Tony Cardamone, Director of Elementary Curriculum & Instruction (panelist)
Renee Burnett, Director of Secondary Curriculum & Instruction (panelist)
Jennifer Terpening, Assistant Principal - Baker High School Principal (panelist)
Cindy Cronin, Van Buren Elementary School Principal (panelist)

Download webinar series information
 

July 7, 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

The uncertainty surrounding back-to-school plans is on everyone’s mind, and we wanted to let you know that as a district, we are committed to working together to plan and prepare for students return in September. Student health and safety is our number one priority. The District will continue to provide the community with updates through the summer.

School districts are still awaiting guidance from the Governor’s Office, the New York State Education Department and the Onondaga County Health Department on returning to in-person instruction. In the meantime, we have started conversations with transportation, food service, curriculum and instruction, special education, facilities, nurses, and union officials. Our meetings have been productive with lots of passion for students being demonstrated. These discussions will continue throughout the summer.

We need to wait to hear from the state before we can make final plans for the return to our school buildings, which we know can be frustrating for families who anticipate a need to make arrangements for the fall. We share your frustration and we want you to know that we are moving forward with preparations for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Some of those preparations include the purchasing of enhanced filters for our heating and ventilation systems and more sanitation equipment for all of our buildings. We’ve also purchased more personal protective equipment (PPE) for our staff.

The district has been researching and reviewing reopening documents created by schools and districts in other states to help guide us through our process. Additionally, a team of administrators will take part in a regional meeting of school leaders on Wednesday, July 8th to discuss re-entry plans, the process and the challenges we need to face in order to bring our staff and students back to a safe and healthy environment in September. 

As we explore our options, we want your voices to be heard and we want to make sure that you have answers to all of your questions. In order to do this and allow all interested community members to participate, we will offer a series of webinars including interactive polls, Q&A, and surveys in the coming weeks on the topics of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Health and Safety, Curriculum and Instruction for kindergarten through 12th grade, Special Education Services, Transportation, Athletics, and Performing Arts.

An announcement on the dates and times of the webinars will be coming soon. Your feedback and ideas are very important to us.

Sincerely,

Matthew J. McDonald                                  
Superintendent of Schools  

Joseph M. DeBarbieri 
Deputy Superintendent                 

Joan Reeves
President, Board of Education