SUPERINTENDENT IN 5TH WEEK OF WHITE PLAINS SCHOOLS REOPENING GIVES WHITE PLAINS AN “A-PLUS” ON JOHN BAILEY’S WVOX WHITE PLAINS REPORT “THIS HAS NOT BEEN A LOST YEAR.”

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White Plains Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ricca
being interviewed by John Bailey through the magic of Zoom Monday on the White Plains Schools reopening in its fifth week. Here are some highlights of that interview reported this morning by Mr. Bailey on The Dennis and Tonny Good Morning Westchester Program WVOX 1460.

GOOD MORNING TONNY AND DENNIS FROM WHITE PLAINS NY USA WHERE IT’S 46 SUNNY WPCNR DEGREES AT 7:50 A.M.. THIS IS THE WEEK WHEN ALL WHITE PLAINS SCHOOLS ARE OPEN AND THE RETURN TO IN-SCHOOL LEARNING IS WORKING. I INTERVIEWED WHITE PLAINS SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS DR. JOSEPH RICCA YESTERDAY AND HE REPORTS THAT 93% OF CHILDREN IN GRADES K THROUGH 5 ARE NOW LEARNING IN-SCHOOL AND 75% OF MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE BACK IN SCHOOL. HE GAVE PARENTS, KIDS, TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS AND STAFF A “A-PLUS”

  • HE SAID ON behalf of the board of education, an enormous, thank you to our community of White Plains, this has been a long road, we didn’t get to where we are today without a ton of amazing support from everybody all throughout the Community. Despite the fact that we’re still dealing with  COVID we’re thrilled that we were able to welcome back all of our children and all of our Tigers to five day in person instruction.
  • HE PRAISED PARENTS FOR BEING “COOPERATIVE AND UNDERSTANDING” TO ENABLE THE DISTRICT TO  OPEN FOR 4 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS NOW WITHOUT HAVING A MAJOR PROBLEMS
  • ASKED WHAT THE BIGGEST ISSUE IS, DR. RICCA SAID THAT IF SOMEONE IN THE FAMILY SHOWS SIGNS OF BEING ILL WITH SYMPTOMS OF COVID, STUFFY NOSE FEVER THEY SHOULD NOT SEND THEIR OTHER CHILDREN TO SCHOOL UNTIL THE ILL MEMBER OF THE FAMILY IS TESTED.
  • DR. RICCA SAYS WHAT HAPPENS IS  IF THE MEMBER OF THE FAMILY WHO IS ILL TESTS POSITIVE, THE CHILD YOU SEND TO SCHOOL EXPOSES THEIR WHOLE CLASS TO COVID. SO PARENTS HAVE TO BE VIGILANT  AND KEEP THEIR HEALTHY CHILD OR CHILDREN HOME UNTIL THE ILL FAMILY MEMBER IS TESTED NEGATIVE.
  • DR. RICCA SAID 86% OF WHITE PLAINS TEACHERS ADMINISTRATION AND STAFF HAVE BEEN VACCINATED THANKS TO WESTCHESTER COUNTY AND THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT FACILITATING VACCINATION APPOINTMENTS.
  • COMPLIANCE BY STUDENTS WITH MASKING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES HAS BEEN EXCELLENT ESPECIALLY IN THE HIGH SCHOOL.
  • LOOKING FORWARD HE SAID THAT THERE WILL BE GRADUATION CEREMONIES AT LOUCKS FIELD FOR SENIORS AND MIDDLE SCHOOL AND WILL NOT BE AT THE COUNTY CENTER

HE REPORTED THAT ASSESSMENT TESTS AND REGENTCES WILL BE ADMINISTERED BUT WILL NOT COUNT TOWARDS GRADUATING OR MOVING TO THE NEXT GRADE. HE ADDED THAT PARENTS CAN DECLINE TO HAVE THEIR CHILDREN TAKE THE TESTS WITH ABSOLUTELY NO PENALTY OR NEGATIVELY AFFECTING THEIR CHILD’S PROGRESS..

HE SAID ALL GRADES WILL BE AUTOMATICALLLY MOVED TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND NOT HELD BACK BECAUSE OF CURRENT YEAR PERFORMANCE.

HE EMPHASIZED “THIS HAS NOT BEEN A LOST YEAR” FOR WHITE PLAINS STUDENTS.

DR. RICCA PROMISED A “ROBUST SUMMER SCHOOL. SOME STUDENTS WILL BE MANDATED TO ATTEND A SUMMER SCHOOL TO UPGRADE THEIR COMPREHENSION OF THE CURRENT YEAR MATERIAL. HE ADDED THAT PARENTS FEELING THEIR STUDENTS NEED MORE ENHANCEMENT AND REVIEW CAN DECIDE TO HAVE THEIR CHILD ATTEND SUMMER SCHOOL VOLUNTARILY. THEY SHOULD DISCUSS THIS OPTION WITH THE PRINCIPAL AND GUIDANCE COUNSELOR AND TEACHERS.

HE SAID REALISTICALLY THE SCHOOLS EXPECT AND ARE PLANNING FOR INCREASED TIME DEVOTED TO REMEDIATION FOR STUDENTS WHEN SCHOOL STARTS UP AGAIN IN THE FALL

I ASKED HIM ABOUT THE SCHOOL AID EXPECTED TO COME FROM THE AMERICAN RECOVERY ACT . DR. RICCA SAID THE SCHOOL HAS NOT BEN INFORMED EXACTLY HOW MUCH AID IS COMING AND WHAT THE RESTRICTIONS ON HOW IT CAN BE SPENT ARE. HE SAID THE MONEY WOULD BE SPENT ON FACILITIES AS LONG TERM ONE-SHOT INVESTMENTS THAT WOULD NOT REQUIRE INCREASED TAXES IF THE AID IS CUT BACK IN FUTURE YEARS

HE MADE A POINT THAT WHAT HAS MADE THE RETURN TO INCLASS INSTRUCTION ACROSS ALL GRADES SUCCESSFUL IS THE FACULTY STAFF AND INTERACTIONS HAS BEEN TO BE AS SUPPORTIVE AND SYMPATHETIC AS POSSIBLE TO FACILITATE THE RETURN EXPERIENCE. HE SAID HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS MIDDLE AND ELEMENTARY STUDENTS HAVE STEPPED UP AND BEEN VERY COMPLIANT WITH PROTOCOLS.

ON ANOTHER POSITIVE NOTE—THE RATE OF INFECTION CONTINUES AT SLIGHTLY LESS THAN 3% ACROSS WESTCHESTER COUNTY THROUGH SUNDAY THE FIRST TIME IT HAS BEEN CONSISENTLY THAT LOW SINCE NOVEMBER 1. IN FACT THE INFECTION RATE SATURDAY WAS 2.3%–IT HAS NOT BEEN THAT LOW FOR 5-1/2 MONTHS.

THE SUPERINTENDENT SAID THE PROPOSED SCHOOL BUDGET INCREASES TAXES 1.3% AND DOES NOT INCLUDE AND OF THE INCREASED STATE AID AS AN ONGOING EXPENSE.

DENNIS YOU CAN WATCH THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW WITH DR. RICCA ON WHITE PLAINS TV THURSDAY 8 PM AND SATURDAY 7 PM ON PEOPLE TO HEARD COUNTYWIDE ON FIOS CHANNEL 45 AND IN WHITE PLAINS ON OPTIMUM CHANNEL 45.”

  •  The John Bailey WVOX WHITE PLAINS REPORT IS HEARD TUESDAYS AT 7:50 A.M. on the Dennis and Tonny Good Morning Westchester “The nicest two people on the radio” program on WVOX.COM, WVOX 1460 A.M..

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