Dear New Paltz Families,
As we prepare for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, we cannot do so without taking a brief walk back to last year.
Given the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic and the task of providing academic instruction while creating and maintaining a safe environment for students and staff, I am humbled by what we were able to achieve.
The work that took place at our facilities by our buildings and grounds staff in preparation for the return of students (often making modifications at the 11th hour), the vigilance of the custodians as they maintained regular and deep cleaning schedules, the office staff members who diligently kept track of students as they followed schedules far from traditional—all phenomenal. The food service department—which never missed a beat—delivered meals to students and families when we were remote and once we returned to in-person instruction four days per week in the spring, and continued to provide meals to students in person and also to those who remained remote. The transportation department supported the delivery of meals and much-needed instructional materials to students' homes. Once the shift to in-person instruction began, the transportation department carefully organized the bus seating in keeping with Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidance and created pick-up and drop-off schedules that allowed for student cohort assignments and deep cleaning days.
Our instructional and support staff members displayed tremendous flexibility and commitment to our students—creating, changing, and modifying schedules to meet with students in person and remotely. Once back in the classroom, our instructional professionals worked with students in person while engaging those who were remote.
Our leadership team worked valiantly to interpret often conflicting guidance—conducting a chorus of voices in a song that had not been sung before. I am grateful for the hard work of our employees and proud of what we accomplished last year.
As we set our sights on the new year, we do so with a level of uncertainty, a good deal of hope for the future, and the affirmation of our collective strength as individuals and as a community. As a school district we are prepared to cheer our students' return and provide them with levels of support that meet their varied needs.
The faculty, staff and administration remain deeply committed to the children in this community and we can’t wait to see them in September.
Angela Urbina Medina
Superintendent of Schools