From The Superintendent

August 2020


Dear Members of the Edgemont Community,

When schools nationwide were shuttered in March, most of us were shocked, and expected the shutdown would be temporary. We looked forward to a new school year when things would be back to normal. Now, with just weeks until the start of classes for 2020-21, we are still in the midst of the pandemic and grappling with what its ramifications will mean for our students this year.

Despite the confusion, apprehension and anxiety that have surrounded school reopening plans nationwide, one thing remains certain for the Edgemont Union Free School District: We will strive to provide the very best educational experience, no matter where our students are - at home, or in our classrooms. We will also prioritize community building and relationships, along with excellent academics, as these are at the heart of our success.

Our students learn best when they feel connected to both a classroom community and a larger school community, and feel very included in their learning. Certainly, this goal is more difficult to achieve when our students will be at home for some of the school day in order to allow for social distancing, and some students will be completely remote. But our promise to our students is that they will be “Remote But Connected” in numerous ways.

Our kindergarten and other elementary classes will begin the day with morning meetings that will lay out the day’s instructional plans and engage students in conversation by engendering empathy and encouraging collaboration. Older elementary students will respond to writing prompts and entries by other classmates. Middle and high school students will work together on a variety of projects, and assemble both in-person and virtually at the beginning and/or conclusion of each class period. These are just some of the ways that we will work to build a sense of community in an online world.

We know that the school year will present challenges for our dedicated, compassionate teaching staff who are working to find new ways to best teach each and every student with new learning models. We appreciate the patience and grace of our families as we enter this school year - one that is still filled with promise amidst the challenges, and one in which we will all experience a learning curve as we strive for growth and success.

Every one of our Edgemont educators entered this field to make a difference for our students. We have every confidence they will do that this year - and always.


Sincerely,

Victoria S. Kniewel, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Edgemont Union Free School District