Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 8 provided a timeline regarding planning and decisions for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year:
If your family is in need of healthy, free meals during the summer months, there are several options across the region.
The Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County and the Watertown City School District sponsor a Summer Food Service Program that runs from June 26 through Aug. 18. Through this program, children have access to free, nutritious meals at 34 sites in Jefferson County. Meals meet federal nutrition guidelines and are provided to all children 18 years old and under (up to age 21 for those with a disability).
The front lawn of the General Brown Junior-Senior High School is peppered with blue and gold signs congratulating each member of the Class of 2020. General Brown Central School District Board of Education members collectively purchased the signs that recognize each of the district’s 101 graduates. The signs face Cemetery Road, and students will be able to take their signs home after graduation, which will take place on June 26.
Read the letter the board sent to seniors and their families.
The General Brown Central School District was recently notified that the University at Albany’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities accepted the district’s application to be part of the center’s School Consultation Project for the 2020-2021 school year. The goal of the School Consultation Project is to help school district’s increase their capacity to service students with autism spectrum disorders by developing an in-house Autism Resource Team. The project provides training, resources and consultation to school faculty, staff, administration and parents to build capacity within the school regarding best practices in educating students with autism spectrum disorders, according to the project’s website.
“We are so excited to share this news with our community,” Superintendent Barbara J. Case said. “One of our student’s parents brought this project to our attention, and we agreed it would be a fantastic opportunity for our staff members to receive additional professional development and training—and at no additional cost to our taxpayers.” Read the complete article for more information.
General Brown Central School District voters approved the district’s $24.3 million 2020-21 budget proposal, elected Natalie Hurley and Scott Lytle to the board of education and approved the purchase of four new buses. Read the full story.
On Friday, May 1, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that K-12 schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year and will continue to provide remote learning, meal programs and access to child care for essential workers.
General Brown Central School District students and staff will continue with their educational activities and routines, and the district’s food service department will continue offering meals so that students have access to nutritional foods each day school is closed.
Principals will be reaching out to students’ families about how and when they may pick up personal belongings currently in the schools.
Also, administrators are working on plans to still hold end-of-year celebrations, such as graduation, in a way that recognizes students but maintains social distancing practices. More information will be shared on these types of events when they are finalized.
The U.S. Census Bureau began conducting the 2020 Census in January, administering a population count of everyone in the United States to determine federal funding distribution levels, political boundaries and more.
Participation in the 2020 Census—which only takes a matter of minutes—could have an impact on the programs and services that the General Brown School District offers its students and the community.
Thanks to the generosity of the Northern New York Community Foundation, the General Brown Backpack Programs received a financial boost to assist in the purchase of healthy food for General Brown Central School District students in need.
The Northern New York Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Support Fund donated $500 for the purchase of food to support the programs, which are run by volunteers who distribute backpacks of food to those General Brown elementary and high school students who rely upon school-provided meals when school is in session. The backpack programs ensure that these students have access to healthy foods when school is closed and have continued to supply food to families throughout the current school closure.
“We will get through this challenging time by helping and supporting one another,” Superintendent Barbara Case said. “We are grateful to the Northern New York Community Foundation for supporting these important programs, especially now as many of our families are negatively affected by the pandemic’s adverse effects on our economy."
With the statewide school closure extended though at least May 15, the General Brown Central School District’s plan for continuity of learning will continue, and teachers are exploring more software and technology options to engage their students.
“We know how important it is to build a sense of connectedness with our families and students, especially now when we are separated by physical space,” Superintendent Barbara Case said.
Staff members are continuing to take advantage of professional development opportunities so that they can enhance how they are meeting the needs of students, including those who do not have access to technology.
Charter Communications is offering 60 days of free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access to households with teachers and/or K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription, according to Charter’s website. In addition to offering in-home access, Spectrum has made its indoor and outdoor public hotspots open for public usage. Its full COVID-19 policy, which includes details regarding waiving of certain fees and shut offs for current customers experiencing hardships, is available on its website. A searchable link to a map of all of Spectrum’s public hotspots is also available on its website.
On April 6, the New York State Board of Regents canceled the state’s June Regents exams. Guidance is expected to be forthcoming on what this means for students and schools with respect to graduation requirements and information will be shared once that guidance is issued.
The Watertown Family YMCA in collaboration with Jefferson County, local school district leaders and healthcare providers will open restricted Emergency Childcare Sites in Jefferson County, including in the General Brown Central School District at Brownville-Glen Park Elementary School. The YMCA will provide emergency childcare for school-age children at 10 sites and at the YMCA Daycare in Watertown for daycare-aged children. Only children of workers in healthcare, emergency services and other essential personnel are eligible to participate in the emergency childcare.
Space is limited at the emergency sites as guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York State Office of Children and Family Services and public health officials for screening, distancing and disinfecting for childcare settings will be followed. Registration is on a need-prioritized, first-come, first-served basis. To register, contact the YMCA at 315-755-2005 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The General Brown Central School District wants to ensure its families have what they need during this extended emergency school closure. Please click on the link below to complete a Google form on which you can share any urgent unmet needs your family is facing so we can assist.
The situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve rapidly. General Brown Central School District officials are currently focusing on four main priorities:
The district has created a frequently asked questions page to address what this emergency closure means for students and their families. The page will be updated as more information becomes available.
Meals are available across the region. If families are unable to make it to a General Brown pick-up site, they can reach out to one of the many regional sites offerinig free meals during this public health crisis.
The General Brown Central School District is now asking residents who have a child eligible for kindergarten to pre-register them for the 2020-2021 school year. Eligible children must be five on or before December 1, 2020.
General Brown residents can call Donna Keefer at 315-779-2300, Option 9, Option 3, to pre-register for kindergarten.
Further information regarding registration packets and screenings will be sent out in the spring.
The General Brown Central School District will once again offer General Brown residents and their children the opportunity to attend Universal Pre-Kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year.
If you have a child who is four years old or will be four years old on or before Dec. 1, 2020, that child is eligible for Universal Pre-Kindergarten.
General Brown residents can call Donna Keefer at 315-779-2300, option #9, option #3, to be placed on the list for Pre-Kindergarten.
Further information regarding registration packets and screenings will be sent out in the spring.
All three buildings had their water tested in October 2017 and cleared with all locations testing below 15 parts per billion. New sinks and faucets were installed in the summer of 2018; they were tested in October 2018. Click Here to view all of the results.
Recent events in the news have highlighted water conditions in several locations across this country, including areas in our region. During the recent New York state legislation session, a bill was passed specifically pertaining to water testing in school districts. Water testing has been completed in all three buildings, and the results have been posted to our website for each building. More information is available here.