Middle school update on its new instructional plan

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Dear Middle School families:

On behalf of the Minisink Valley Middle School faculty and staff, we would like to take this opportunity to extend well wishes to the Minisink Valley community and their families during these uncertain times. I hope this correspondence finds your family healthy and safe.

Also, we would like to convey our deepest appreciation for your understanding, patience, and support during the past few weeks. We are equally thankful for all of the workers who are providing safety and essential services for us during this time.

We have been notified that New York school closures have been extended through Wednesday, April 29.  As previously advised, effective April 15, the district will begin an education plan for students using online instruction or instructional support through self-guided lessons, if remote learning is not an option.

As a result of our new instructional plan, I’m sharing some important changes and noteworthy items to be aware of for the middle school:

●      Our faculty will continue to provide education resources designed to maintain students’ skills and provide enrichment opportunities April 6 through 14, the period of time which was known as the district’s spring break.  During this time, teachers may provide students the opportunity to complete classwork and seek guidance about concepts previously taught.
●      Quarter 3 now officially ends Friday, March 13.
●      Quarter 4 will now begin on Wednesday, April 15 and will commence the instruction of new material.  Curriculum will focus on essential concepts and skills that students will need to advance to the next level of their education.
●      Going forward, student work will be assessed and evaluated based on the completion and quality of work. Based on this criteria, we are also modifying our Quarter 4 grading system to Pass/Fail. Because of the planned Pass/Fail marking for Quarter 4, students’ final averages will be calculated using marking Quarters 1, 2, and 3.  All factors will be used for determining placements and promotion for the 2020-21 school year.
●      Enrichment and review work which was completed during the closure prior to April 15 may be applied as extra credit toward Quarter 3.
●      Teachers are setting time aside in their schedules to work with students and will communicate that to students and families.  These “office hours” will provide students with an opportunity to reach out to their individual classroom teachers through email, Google Classroom, etc. for additional academic support.
●      Teachers may post assignments daily or at the beginning of the week, and will assign due dates.  Fridays will be designated as flexible;  new instruction will not be introduced on Fridays and students will have an opportunity to complete and submit any missed work from the week. Assignments will reflect approximately two hours of instruction per week and will be adapted and adjusted as needed.

A special note on  June Regents exams: June Regents exams have been cancelled and the New York State Education Department has provided guidance on graduation and course requirements. 

NYSED guidance on cancellation of June Regents exams

NYSED Q&A on cancellation of June Regent exams

Please remember that we are navigating through these uncharted territories together.  I am proud of the work our faculty and staff has done to best prepare for these unforeseen circumstances.  I encourage you to have your child reach out to their teachers with questions.  Although remote learning will never replace the wonderful work which happens within our classrooms, it is essential that students participate to their fullest extent and best ability in order to best prepare them for subsequent years.

If your child is experiencing concerns with their mental or emotional health please do not hesitate to reach out to our counselors or the middle school administration so we can assure appropriate support is provided.

We miss seeing everyone.  We wish you well and thank you for your continued support.


Michael Larsen
Middle School Principal