April 7, 2020

Dear Babylon Students and Families,

I hope the start of the new week finds you safe, healthy and enjoying precious family time.

Yesterday, during his daily COVID-19 press conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will extend the school closure mandate until Wednesday April 29, 2020. Consistent with prior Executive Orders, if this closure is not extended, schools will reopen on Wednesday April 29, 2020. We will continue to monitor this situation and update our families as we receive more guidance in the coming weeks.

Now, onto the soft thoughts…

I must take the time to acknowledge and congratulate our terrific students who have demonstrated the power of resiliency during these uncertain times. They have met the immediate task of being “Distance Learners” with commitment and enthusiasm, and because of that they will likely be able to enter and maneuver an adult world someday being highly skilled at adapting well to all types of situations.

Who knew that a little over a month ago we would be called to adapt on a minute’s notice? We were moving along as usual, preparing fields for spring sports, running tech checks in Rowe Hall as we were gearing up for the annual spring musical, and starting to plan for all year-end celebrations that the spring season brings. With that, I want all students to know that we remain very conscious of those important student celebrations that are currently “on hold” for the time being. Know that when we do return (because we must remain optimistic), we will make every effort to celebrate those achievements in the proper ways our students deserve.

In the interim, as a district we will maintain what is called “Continuity of District Operations”: Continuity of Distance Learning Instruction, Continuity of Child Nutrition and Continuity of Child Care. You will see continuous instruction throughout this period. Moreover, each day students who are 18 years of age or younger can get a free breakfast and lunch through our “Grab-n-Go” meal program which runs daily from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; meals are available

at the High School’s side pick-up window located on Grove Place directly across from St. Joseph’s Church. Additionally, I am pleased to report that SCOPE Educational Services continues to offer free child care for our medical and first responders, transit workers and other essential employees fighting this health crisis on the front lines. The SCOPE Child Care Program runs from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily at the Babylon Elementary School. Please check our district website which displays a link for registration information.

When I think about what has occurred within the last month, I am still amazed at how we as a community have come together. We serve a little over 1500 students each day, housed among three campuses, and in a last minute call we transformed the physical delivery of schooling to an online platform with over 1500 devices deployed to surrounding homes. This monumental task was embraced by all stakeholders – students, parents, educators and the greater Babylon community. We will always be “Babylon Strong”, and with that, we thank you for a somewhat smooth roll out as we continue to move forward together.

We ask that you remain engaged with both our official district website as well as our official district Facebook page to get the latest information. You’ll notice that our Facebook page has posted beautiful and uplifting school-specific videos of our faculty and staff giving virtual “hellos” to our students. Please enjoy them.

In closing, our current situation is not at all natural, but someday soon we will be together again. Thank you all for your continued partnership; we simply could not do this work without you. We wish all Babylon students and their families a lovely upcoming Passover/Easter holiday, as there is so much to be thankful for in our lives.

Very truly yours,
Linda J. Rozzi
Superintendent of Schools