Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Dear North Shore Parents, Community Members, and Faculty,

Dear North Shore Parents, Community Members, and Faculty,
I hope that everyone is enjoying the great weather as it is certainly good to be able to be outside more.  
This is the time of the year when we would start making our plans to ready for summer vacation, and I want to say, thank you to everyone in our community for your persistence and positive attitudes over these past three months. As an educator and school leader, they have been of the most challenging and ironically, in many ways, the most rewarding of my career.
It's been a very complicated time for our communities and I appreciate all that everyone has done to ensure that we are all well-cared for and supportive of one another. On behalf of the Board of Education and central administration, we offer our profuse gratitude and praise to our teachers, building administrators, support staff, and all of our essential workers in food services, security, transportation, and buildings and grounds. The Board and I discussed last night how everyone has done amazing work and we all thank them for what occurs daily on behalf of our students.  We are also so proud of the persistence of our students. They have shown such grit in the face of such uncertainty and we are so proud of them. I truly can't wait to see them all again.   
As we plan for the conclusion of the 2019-2020 academic year, I share the following important updates:

    Please note that due to the Governor's Executive Order, online teaching and learning will continue on Friday, May 22, 2020.

    As a result of the loss of eight days of the school break from April 7-15 2020 as well as this upcoming Friday, the final day for online teaching and learning will be Friday, June 12, 2020.  Our teachers will be with us on June 15-16, 2020 and the days will be reserved for the final work associated with wrapping up the school year. I make this announcement with the best information I have today, and it is subject to change pending any upcoming Executive Order(s) by Governor Cuomo.

    Please remember that the Annual Budget Vote and Trustee Election will take place by Absentee Ballot only this year.  Ballots are now being prepared and will likely be mailed later this week. You should expect to see them arriving to all registered voters shortly thereafter. All ballots must be received by the central office by 5 PM on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. They may be mailed back or left in the dropbox at the Central Office. Please be sure to vote and spread the word!!

    Moving Up Ceremonies and HS Graduation plans are all coming together. They will be amazing days of music, parades, and good cheer!  Look for more information on these and thank you to everyone who has been involved in the planning of these events.They will certainly be different this year, but very special in their own way. Each of our principals will be communicating directly with their respective communities to share the details and directions for who we will proceed. I have a final list of songs selected to inspire my remarks to our seniors at their graduation.  Stay tuned and it will be revealed on June 11, 2020 when we have the honor and privilege of graduating the Viking Class of 2020!! 

    The most frequently asked question I receive is about the fall. I think about this each day, and the simple answer is we just can't know right now. Our region remains in PAUSE and school re-openings are included in Phase 4. The more we do now to protect ourselves and stay vigilant, the sooner we'll get there. Our thinking and planning has already begun and as we learn more, we can be better prepared for our inevitable return.   

Have a wonderful day, stay healthy, well, strong, and continue to notice the good!  I miss you all so much and cannot wait to see you all again.

All the best,
Dr. Peter Giarrizzo
Superintendent of Schools