During these trying times, our community has once again stepped up to help families cope with sudden changes in routines, learning, working and all the other issues that have occurred over the last several months. As a school district, we quickly transitioned our model of teaching and helping students to learn in a remote, online environment. We have seen countless examples of quality instruction, of authentic engagement, compassionate communications and simple acts of kindness.
With just about two weeks left in the school year, we want to reflect upon the journey traveled together as a school community and take a moment to thank each of you in the community for your continued support of our district.
Although our school buildings have shut down, the learning has continued at Owego Apalachin, and that is in part thanks to you!
During the week of March 15, virtual classrooms emerged inside the homes of our students and teachers. Instruction has carried on and that would not be possible without the many years that you have supported our Instructional Mission.
Every one of our students is at home with an iPad to help connect them with their teachers and classmates. Virtual instruction looks different for students across all grade levels and courses, but teachers are still teaching, and the kids are still learning.
From our Pre-K students creating and building homemade Kites, to our AP U.S. History Students doing live simulations with the University of Michigan, education has continued. We are especially proud of these accomplishments, and know they would not have come to fruition without the continued support by our community of our school budget, programs and teachers.
Additionally, we’ve been providing meals and food for our students and their families. Without missing a beat, Broome-Tioga BOCES Food Services and Rock-on Cafe set up sites throughout the region for students and families to pick up ready-made breakfasts, lunches, fruit, juice, and milk.
OA staff and many volunteers have worked the sites and delivered the pre-packaged meals. More than 60,000 meals have been distributed to students in our district since mid-March. We were able to open up our facilities to outside organizations like the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and the Tioga County Rural Ministry to store large quantities of food, and act as a distribution site for all of Tioga County.
We were, and still are, honored to be able to assist, and work hand-in-hand with our community partners.
Lastly, we have created plans to celebrate many of our end of year events in accordance with current state social distancing guidelines. This includes having created multiple plans for the Owego Free Academy Class of 2020 graduation, with the goal to hold an in-person event at Christy J. Valvo Stadium on June 27. It is our hope that the Governor’s Office will allow such an event for our seniors who deserve to be honored.
As soon as we have more guidance from the state, we will share our plans with families. Know that we want the same thing you do: to celebrate the OFA Class of 2020 with a significant ceremony.
We are so proud to be a part of a community that continues to show up for each other. Thank you for your dedication to, and your continued support of our district, programs, teachers, and most importantly, our students.
Corey Green and the OA Board of Education