Superintendent Monahan’s ‘Welcome back to school’ message to the community

Minisink Valley logoDear Minisink Valley school community:

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all back to what I believe will be the best year yet for Minisink Valley and our students.

Whether your student is a kindergartener or senior…or any grade in-between, we’ve been waiting with a great deal of excitement for them to return to five days of in-person instruction.

We’re even more excited than usual because we know in-person, face-to-face education is the core of the education experience which defines Minisink Valley. We’re confident your student’s experience will be so much better than last year, when we all resiliently dealt with remote, hybrid and, finally, at the end of the year, the resumption of in-person instruction.  We know a part of that is knowing sports play and student activities are also resuming at the beginning of this school year, too.

We expect this year to be as close to a “near normal, pre-pandemic” school year as possible, with classes filled with the usual numbers of students and extracurriculars and sports running as they normally would. We have no plans for hybrid or remote instruction, other than for students who may have to deal with school-determined quarantining. My hope is that there will be fewer numbers of students and staff impacted than last year.

Still, we know the opening of this school year isn’t quite normal because we must deal with social distancing needs in classrooms, hallways and cafeterias, and, of course, mask mandates.  However, teachers, students, and, yes, even families  are all well-versed in these areas of classroom and building operations. After the past school year we’ve all successfully navigated, we can do anything.

At the same time, I’d be remiss if I didn’t caution all of us that this school year is still filled with unknowns.  We don’t know how COVID-19, the Delta variant or any future variant will impact our daily schedule. But I will reaffirm this: Based on what we had to do last year, all of us continue to be capable of pivoting on a moment’s notice….and only if we have to.

I give you my word that our commitment remains on ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff. Any decisions we make will put these two critically important needs first, no matter how unpopular some might feel those decisions are.

The last school year offered us significant and meaningful teachable moments to reinforce our resiliency and perseverance to succeed and our commitment to provide the best academic achievement opportunities for our community’s children.  Those teachable moments will carry forward this school year, too, and will make us only stronger in our mission.

Please know the Minisink Valley Board of Education, Central Administration and your student’s building leadership are prepared to do everything possible to ensure your student’s success. I know we can count on everyone’s continued understanding, grace and perseverance as we move ahead.

Welcome back! We have the capacity to do amazing things.. and we will.  I wish all our students and their families a successful, happy and safe school year. Go Warriors!


Brian C. Monahan