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Update from Clarence CSD October 22, 2021

Dear Clarence School Family,

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Education released a new resource titled, Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs. More than 100 pages in length, the document reminds readers that, “The mental health crisis for children and youth in the United States has reached a critical point. The pandemic has exacerbated already alarming trends in mental health, and, without increasing the number of high-quality, evidence-based mental health services, the increased need for services for children and youth will not be met.”

To continue the conversation on caring for our kids, we will be hosting a virtual panel discussion on the combined topic of “Social Emotional Learning/Mental Health” from 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 28. The conversation will involve the following experts, and we hope you will join us by clicking the Zoom Webinar link listed below. (Note: The conversation will be recorded and posted to our YouTube channel if you are busy on Thursday.)

Link: https://clarenceschools-org.zoom.us/j/98209444949

Panelists:

Michelle Braun-Burget, MA, CAS
Harris Hill Elementary School Psychologist

Douglas R. Dermott, M.A., C.A.S., NCSP
Clarence High School Psychologist and Department Chairperson

Heather Mendyk, MHC-P, CASAC, CPP
Horizon Health Services Program Director

Evan Vahratian
Clarence Central School District Family Support Center Coordinator

ThoughtExchange Summary

Thank you so much for participating in our first Exchange this past week. While you can see all the individual comments that people provided, I wanted to pass along a couple observations that seem to be top-of-mind for the community as a whole.

Observation #1: Our school community has a lot to say. We had an incredible level of participation, and it will be important for us to provide different ways for parents to engage in the weeks and months to come. As a start, we will be partnering with each of our Parent Teacher Organizations to provide evening building tours and listening sessions over the next month. We are currently finalizing dates, and I will share specific information next week.

Observation #2: Feedback on the start of the year is overwhelmingly positive. Participants seem happy that kids are back in school five days per week, and there is an appreciation for the great work our faculty and staff are doing.

Observation #3: With all the changes that are taking place right now, parents have a lot of questions. To answer the ones brought up in the Exchange, I’ll host a Zoom Webinar for interested parents on Wednesday, October 27 at 6:00 p.m. To join, simply click the link listed below. (Note: The conversation will be recorded and posted to our YouTube channel if you are busy on Wednesday.)

Link: https://clarenceschools-org.zoom.us/j/93474870042

As a final thought, the beauty of ThoughtExchange is that it makes the comments and ratings transparent for everyone to see. If you are interested in reviewing a summary slide deck created by the company’s analytical tools, I would encourage you to click this link. The breakdown of the information is really interesting, and it’s tough to beat the Word Cloud image.

Weekly COVID Report

Each Friday, we will send out a COVID report with weekly data involving positive case counts as well as the number of individuals placed in quarantine by the Erie County Department of Health. Below you will see the report from this past week.

  • 5 individuals at Clarence High School tested positive, 15 quarantined
  • 2 individuals at Clarence Middle School tested positive, 0 quarantined
  • 1 individual at Clarence Center Elementary School tested positive, 0 quarantined
  • 0 individuals at Harris Hill Elementary School tested positive, 0 quarantined
  • 0 individuals at Ledgeview Elementary School tested positive, 0 quarantined
  • 0 individuals at Sheridan Hill Elementary School tested positive, 0 quarantined

COVID Reminders from the Health Office

A major reason our school community has managed to stay so healthy this year is the job our parents are doing by keeping their kids home if they are feeling ill. As we enter cold and flu season, it will be more important than ever that we continue to follow our daily health practices. For a quick reminder from the Clarence Health Office on potential COVID symptoms, return to school protocols, and testing centers, please click this link.

School Board Recognition Week

Across New York State, more than 5,000 individuals serve as publicly elected school board members. They are on the front lines when it comes to keeping kids safe, connected, and engaged in learning, and they play an essential role in improving outcomes for kids. This School Board Recognition Week (October 18-22), please join me in thanking the governance team (click here) chosen to lead #ClarenceProud. 

Although I don’t have a costume, I’m headed to the PTO Trunk or Treat event at Clarence Center Elementary School tonight. If you see someone dressed like a school superintendent, I hope you’ll stop and say hello—I’d love to hear how the year is going for your son or daughter.

Have a great weekend.

Matt Frahm, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools