Report on White Plains Schools from The Superintendent of Schools

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph Ricca. October 26, 2020:

Dear WPCSD Key Communicator:

We hope that this update finds you safe and well!

Now that our school facilities have reopened to our children for this very unusual school year of 2020, we want to report to you that despite the pandemic, the district is up and running in the White Plains CSD tradition — providing all of our children with an excellent education. 

With the outstanding leadership of our Board of Education, we spent the summer working on the extraordinary preparations and protocols necessary to protect the health and safety of our children and staff. We know that the effort expended over the summer has helped to position us well to take on the virus when it is identified in our school community.

Our faculty and staff members also worked hard on learning new methods of instruction in both hybrid and remote paradigms to provide our students with the best possible educational experience – regardless of the challenges.  Our staff and students are proving every day that no challenge is too great for a Tiger!

Presently, we are using a hybrid model with students in school one or two days per week, depending on their grade level, and learning remotely the other days. 

At the same time, we are helping to provide for the welfare of our school families in the areas of emotional health, meals and extracurriculars where possible.  

Without a doubt, schooling during a pandemic is challenging. Still, we have been blessed with the amazing partnerships of our educational community, our Mayor and city government and the County of Westchester. Without the support of these, and many other outstanding community partners, this endeavor would be immeasurably more difficult. As always, health and safety must come first for our 7,000+ students.

Of course, no season is complete without sports, and we’ve resumed that, too.  “Low-risk” sports including Soccer, Field Hockey, Cross Country and Tennis have begun for the fall. We are awaiting the guidelines for winter sports and we will be sure that we continue to offer all opportunities available to our students in a safe manner.   

Other good news to report:

  • In the National Merit competitions, 11 High School Seniors were named Commended Students, another is a Scholar in the National African American Recognition Program and four more are Scholars in the National Hispanic Recognition Program.
  • The New York State School Music Association has selected four High School students for its 2020 Program:  Ari Gebhardt, Bass Clarinet – Symphonic Band; Samuel Hoch, Baritone Saxophone – Symphonic Band; Isabella Michell, Alto 2 – Treble Chorus; and Catherine Stanton, Bb Clarinet – Symphonic Band.
  • The District has been awarded a grant from Con Edison in its incentive program to reduce natural gas usage.  It is expected that the work to be done will yield an annual savings of $94,000.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/wpschools, our website, www.whiteplainspublicschool.org and twitter:  www.twitter.com/wplainsschools and www.twitter.com/drjospehricca to stay up to date with WPCSD news.    

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Finally, and most important:  make sure to vote on November 3rd.   The polling places in our schools will be ready for you.  Please be aware that due to COVID-19, some voting locations within the schools have been moved to be closer to the entrances. 

Thank you, as always, stay well, safe and stay #WPProud!

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