From the Superintendent's Desk

Dear C-R Families -

Today, as I write this update, I can see a class enjoying an outdoor recess on the fields behind Golding Middle School.  Walking through our buildings, I hear chatter from classrooms full of engaged students in some rooms, and observe teachers interacting remotely with students in others. Oh, how we’ve all missed the sights and sounds of school! There undoubtedly are things different about this school year, but certainly it still is good to be back.

  • Most importantly, I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to our families for your partnership in our health-and-safety protocols. We know it’s an added task each morning to fill out the daily health survey, but screening everyone entering our buildings for symptoms of COVID-19 is one of the most important steps we can take to prevent the spread of illness. Additionally, our students deserve kudos for their outstanding compliance with our mask requirement. Thank you for your cooperation!

  •  We knew that educating about 1,400 students in person, with a host of new protocols in place, while also delivering remote instruction to another 300 students learning from home would present significant challenges. For our remote learners, we are glad to hear from families that the experience is substantially improved from the spring. However, we are continuing to learn ourselves about what strategies work, and which don’t. We also are working to improve our technical support process for families and students who need assistance during the school day. Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve!


I also would like to underscore that reopening was an unprecedented challenge
for our entire community, and it was the partnership between our students, our staff and our families that have put us on a path to success this academic year.

However, I also feel it’s important that our community understand the magnitude of another looming challenge. We currently are facing enormous uncertainty in regards to how much aid we will receive from the state this school year, creating a potentially catastrophic budget deficit. During the summer, the state had withheld 20 percent of our aid payments. At this point, it is unclear whether we ever will receive those funds, or if that level of withholding will continue in aid payments throughout the school year. If we face a permanent aid reduction of 20 percent, we will be short about $4.1 million in anticipated revenue. 

Allow me to put that into perspective: A loss of $4.1 million is equivalent to about 50 full-time positions. It would not be possible to make up for that kind of a revenue loss by merely keeping a close eye on our expenses. It would require substantial layoffs, cutting virtually all extra-curricular activities and reducing our curriculum offerings to all but those required by the state. The impact on our students would be, in a word, devastating.

What can we do to avoid the worst-case scenario? Advocate! 

I have written already to each of our federal representatives (Congressman Delgado, Senator Schumer, and Senator Gillibrand) and urged them to pass a federal stimulus bill that provides funding for New York state. Our state’s economy has been badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Without assistance from the federal government, we fear the state will be in no position to restore funding to public schools. I urge all of you to contact our representatives and tell them our students need their help!

In closing, I would like to once again thank you for all of your support throughout the first few weeks of school. It cannot be stated enough that our reopening plan would not be successful without community support and cooperation. We appreciate all you do for our staff and students! 

Sincerely,

Carl J. Mummenthey

Superintendent of Schools