Message From the Superintendent


Message from the superintendent

 Community Update - May 2022  


Dear Delaware Academy Families and Friends,


Happy May!  Last month’s celebration of spring appeared to be a bit premature in hindsight.  Our spring break was bookended by a flood and a snowstorm that resulted in the use of our last two snow days.  Therefore, Friday, May 27 AND Tuesday, May 31 are now full days of instruction and attendance for students and staff in both buildings.  Here are some important updates for this month:


District Budget Vote:

Our annual Budget Vote and Board Election will be held on Tuesday, May 17 from 12:00-8:00pm.  Voting will be held in the lobby between the Middle School gym and Agriculture/Technology classroom.  Be on the lookout for our annual budget newsletter being mailed to your home.  This year, the district is asking for your support on a budget that preserves all programs and staffing as we plan proactively into our future.  All details are included in the newsletter.  We will be hosting a Budget Hearing on Monday, May 9 at 7:00pm in the high school auditorium to answer any questions you may have about the proposed budget following a brief presentation.  This is open to the public either in-person or via livestream on our website.  


Board of Education Election:

This year we have three open seats on our Board of Education.  I am pleased to report that six candidates are running for election:  Sean Leddy, Lauren O’Leary, Lucy Kelly, Nathaniel McCarthy, Seth Haight, and Sean Secord.  The candidates will be present for a Meet the Candidates Night on Monday, May 9 at 6:00pm in the high school auditorium.  Our Speech and Debate Club will moderate the event.  This is also open to the public both in-person and via livestream on our website.  In order to help the Speech and Debate Club, and to engage our community in this important process, we are asking for your help.  We have developed a survey, asking for your feedback on desired traits and characteristics of Board members.  Please complete the survey that can be found HERE, or on our website.  Results of the survey will provide a basis on which to develop questions.  Thank you in advance for your active participation in our school district.  


Upcoming Events:

  • This week, May 2-6 we celebrate every employee who touches the lives of our students during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week.  If you have the chance, please let your child’s teacher, aide, bus driver, or any other adult at our school know how much their hard work and dedication is appreciated!
  • On Friday, May 20, our DA PTA will be hosting Kids Night Out for elementary students at 6:00pm in the elementary school.  They have many activities planned for what is sure to be a fun night!  
  • On Friday, May 20, our Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club will be sponsoring a mock car crash in the high school front loop.  This educational program focuses on the dangers of distracted driving and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Please do not be alarmed if you drop off your child in the morning and see a disabled vehicle out front.    


Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep Delaware Academy thriving and moving forward. 

 





 April  2022  

Dear Delaware Academy Families and Friends,


Welcome to springtime!  Spring always brings a renewed sense of hope, renewal, and emergence.  Hope and renewal are what keep us moving forward, even in our most challenging times.  However, “emergence” signifies triumph.  Like springtime, DA is triumphantly emerging.  

We have emerged from many pandemic-related restrictions and while the virus has not gone away, we are certainly in a new time of disease management.  We have shifted to optional masking, weekly reporting of cases on our website, emailing families regarding potential exposures, and distribution of test kits to anyone who needs them.  

We have emerged from our classrooms and are getting our students outdoors through classroom-based, extra-curricular, and athletic activities.  Our spring sports are in full swing.  Our FFA students have been producing maple syrup with our new state-of-the-art monitoring and production equipment, made possible through a generous donation to our school.  

We have emerged with our newly formed Parent-Teacher Association and are looking forward to collaborating on programs and supports for our teachers and students.  

We have emerged from several capital project improvements to our facilities resulting in a remodeled library media center and cafeteria in our elementary school.  Our new library media center boasts innovative, collaborative, flexible seating options for students who are thoroughly enjoying the options that this instructional space brings.  Environmental updates are nearing completion with the project funded by the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), which brought us improvements to Smith Pond and drainage infrastructures, allowing us to capitalize on renewed opportunities for outdoor learning spaces.       

Currently, we are looking forward to getting back to our traditional spring events and planning for graduation.  As we move ahead, a few changes to note:



  • Unfortunately, we need to amend this year's calendar again to pull back the Friday and Tuesday of
    Memorial Day weekend.  We have used the following snow days this year:

 

Monday, January 10     Snow Day 1

Thursday, February 3   2 hour delay - moved to full day (Snow Day 2)

Friday, February 4       Snow Day 3

Friday, April 8th           Snow Day 4 (Flooding)

Monday, April 18th       Snow Day 5 (Give back day)  

Tuesday, April 19th      Snow Day 6

 

In my earlier communication, I indicated that we still had one more day.  In my records, I still had February 3 as a 2-hour delay and failed to adjust it to a full day.  Therefore, it led to a miscalculation on my part.  In order to maintain the 180-day calendar for state aid purposes, Friday (5/27) and Tuesday (5/31) will now need to be full in-session days of attendance for students and staff.  I apologize for my mistake and any inconvenience it may have caused.  Thank you to the individuals who caught my mistake and brought it to my attention.  


  • Governor Hochul’s executive order pertaining to Open Meetings Law is set to expire on 4/15/22. 
    This is the order that permitted Boards of Education to meet virtually.  Beginning with our next
    Board meeting on 4/20/22, we will only meet in person, but will continue to livestream and record our
    meetings to maintain access and transparency for our community.  We welcome and encourage community
    guests to join us in person.  We appreciate diverse perspectives offered through public comments. 
    However, since the conditions of the pandemic no longer restrict full in-person participation, we will no longer be taking public comments via email to be read at the meeting virtually.  As always, I remain available to address any questions or concerns through phone, email, or in-person visits.  

 

Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep Delaware Academy thriving and moving forward.  Happy Spring!


Sincerely,


Kelly M. Zimmerman

Superintendent



Community Update – January 2022 

 

Dear Delaware Academy Families,

There have been many recent updates and changes coming from the NYDOH, the CDC, Governor Hochul, and Delaware County Public Health relative to COVID procedures. I am writing to share the most recent changes that have been shared from NYS since my last communication to you and to clarify our practices moving forward. The following now applies to all faculty, staff, and students:


  • Contact Tracing:  In a Public Health Press Release dated 1/11/22, it was announced that Delaware County is migrating away from case investigation and contact tracing.  Instead, Public Health is asking that individuals initiate self-quarantine management and report positive cases at www.delcony.us.  This means that you will no longer be contacted by health departments regarding quarantine or quarantine release.  The Press Release can be found HERE.  In light of this update, please know that Delaware Academy will continue to internally contact trace positive cases in staff and students and follow our current protocols as outlined in our Reopening Plan to uphold NYSDOH quarantine and Test to Stay requirements.  If your child tests positive, or you believe is a close contact of a positive case outside of school, please notify the School Nurse, Building Principal, or District Office immediately.  We will continue to provide you guidance on quarantine dates and next steps to ensure our continued health and safety at school.


  • Quarantine Guidelines:  Effective immediately, the length of isolation and/or quarantine has been reduced to five (5) days after symptom onset or testing positive for COVID-19 if asymptomatic.  This now applies to everyone, including students.  If after five (5) days, symptoms persist, continue to quarantine for up to ten (10) days or until all symptoms have resolved.  Any student who elects to return after five (5) days, should report to the nurse before reporting to class to confirm symptom resolution.


  • Test-to-Stay Program:  This now applies to any unvaccinated student or staff member who is considered a close contact regardless of where the exposure may have occurred as long as testing supplies last.


  • We have developed a Decision-Making Flowchart for Positive Cases and Close Contacts that outlines steps to take based on those scenarios.  If an individual tests positive, results should be reported and quarantine attestation forms completed at www.delcony.us/coronavius/#ReportTest.  Your school nurse should also be notified.


The most recent NYSDOH and Public Health notifications, Decision-Making Flowchart, and updated Test to Stay Plan can be found on our website at www.delhischools.org under Coronavirus Updates.

Finally, I have received many emails from parents regarding these updates.  I have not had an opportunity to respond to everyone due to on-going contact tracing efforts and monitoring and sharing updates as they happen.  I remain committed to sharing information regarding changes as they emerge.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.



Sincerely,


Kelly M. Zimmerman

Superintendent



Community Update – December 2021


Dear Delaware Academy Families and Friends,

Welcome to December!  Following our recent Thanksgiving Break, we have experienced a spike in positive COVID-19 cases in both staff and students.  The majority of these cases occurred outside of school, becoming symptomatic over Thanksgiving Break.  Therefore, a reduced number of additional individuals were identified by the District and Delaware County Public Health to quarantine based on potential exposure at school.  However, as we progress through this month, it is reasonable to expect that this pattern may continue.  Therefore, we ask the following of you:

1.  If you or your children have ANY symptoms of COVID-19, please DO NOT send your child to school.  Please contact your physician or our DASH Office to arrange for a COVID-19 test.  

2.  We continue to require the use of masks in school.  As per NYSDOH and CDC guidelines, acceptable face coverings include those with two or more layers of fabric that cover the mouth and nose and prevent virus particles from escaping.  Single-layer surgical masks are also acceptable and are available at school.  Masks that include vents, mesh, or exhalation valves are not acceptable.    

3.  It is our goal to keep our doors open to in-person learning, however, we must also be prepared to shift to a fully remote model should numbers of staff and student absences increase to a level where our ability to staff classrooms and maintain overall health and safety are compromised.  To avoid this, everyone is reminded to adhere to our protocols of mask wearing, social distancing, and proper hygiene while on our campus during the school day and at after school events. 

Update on Principal Search


Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey that was linked in my update last month.  We used your input to help develop interview questions and inform the qualities in a new principal that are important to our community.  We will be conducting the interview process for our new Middle/High School Principal the week of December 13.  The final round of interviews will be livestreamed for our community to view and provide feedback.  Please watch for updates on our website to access the livestream.


Dates to Remember

Parent/Teacher Conferences (All grade levels) – December 3 Note: ½ DAY EARLY DISMISSAL
Middle School Holiday Concert – December 7, 7pm
High School Holiday Concert – December 9, 7pm
Board of Education Meeting – December 13, 2021 at 6:00pm in the HS Library
Elementary Winter Concerts (Grades UPK-2) – Tuesday, December 14
Elementary Winter Concerts (Grades 3-5) – Thursday, December 16
Christmas Break – No School on Friday (12/24/21) – Sunday (1/2/22)

Vaccines

Vaccines continue to be available through DASH for any child, aged twelve and above by calling (607) 746-7454.  As soon as authorized, DASH will also have vaccines available for students aged five (5) and above.  

Thank you again for your efforts in keeping Delaware Academy moving forward.  No matter how you celebrate your holidays, I wish everyone peace and joy.  Go Bulldogs!


Sincerely,

Kelly M. Zimmerman

Superintendent



Community Update – November 2021


Dear Delaware Academy Families and Friends,

Welcome to November – a month of gratitude.  I am thankful that we have continued to experience minimal numbers of positive COVID cases over the past several weeks, despite Delaware County’s designation as an area of high risk.  Thank you to everyone who has been diligent in your efforts to engage in safe and healthy practices to keep us in school every day.  

November twelfth (11/12) marks the end of the first quarter of the school year.  We have already had so much to celebrate and be thankful for including full participation in athletics, extra-curricular activities, Homecoming dance and parade, elementary Halloween parade, fundraisers, and other events that have brought us closer to “normal.”  

While Mr. Mackey has been a wonderful addition as our interim Principal, we don’t get to keep him.  Thus, we have started our search for a new Middle and High School Principal and need your help.  At this time, we are asking for input from all members of our DA Family.  Please consider responding to our DA Principal Search Survey by clicking HERE.  The link can also be found on our website at www.delhischools.org.  We will keep everyone posted on the search process including additional ways for our community to participate.  


Some important dates to note:

Once Upon A Mattress Musical – November 5-7, 2021 at DA High School Auditorium
Veteran’s Day Program – November 10, 2021 for our local veterans and guests
•Board of Education Meeting – November 15, 2021 at 6:00pm in the HS Library
Thanksgiving Break – No School on Wednesday (11/24) – Sunday (11/28)

What to watch for:

  
Winter Athletics – The NYS Education Department has issued strict guidelines for high-risk, indoor sports for the winter season.  Masks continue to be required for all athletes, other participants and spectators regardless of vaccination status.  While we are not limiting numbers of guests per player, we must require masks and social distancing between family units in the seating areas.  Thank you in advance for supporting our Bulldogs and following these protocols so that together, we may enjoy a full season.  
Vaccines continue to be available through DASH for any child, aged twelve and above by calling (607) 746-7454.  As soon as authorized, DASH will also have vaccines available for students aged five (5) and above.  

Thank you again for your efforts in keeping Delaware Academy moving forward.  Go Bulldogs!

Sincerely,

Kelly M. Zimmerman

Superintendent


Community Update – October 2021

Dear Delaware Academy Families and Friends,
I hope this finds you well and enjoying our beautiful fall in Delhi.  With only one month under our belt, we are enjoying many familiar classroom experiences and school activities again now that we are all back together.  Our students in UPK are thriving.  Our MS/HS Bulldogs are finding success in volleyball, soccer, cross-country, golf, and football.  Our MS/HS Bulldogs are also busy on the stage, preparing for our musical.  Many clubs and activities are well underway.  Our goal of maintaining in-person learning for everyone could have not been achieved without strong partnerships between school and home.  Thank you to everyone for your contributions in realizing this goal.

Some important dates to note:
NO SCHOOL for students on Friday, 10/8 and students and staff on Monday, 10/11/21
Annual Early Dismissal Drill on Friday, 10/15/21 Elementary School Dismissal at 2:15 | MS/HS Dismissal at 2:20 *Please be prepared to have your child(ren) home fifteen (15) minutes early!
Elementary Virtual Open House – Grades 3-5 on 10/7/21; Grades K-2 on 10/14/21
MS/HS Virtual Open House – Videos & presentations are now in Google Classrooms
DA Homecoming Parade – Friday, 10/15/21 at 6:00pm through the village.
DA Homecoming Dance (grades 9-12) – Saturday, 10/16/21 at 8 p.m.
Once Upon A Mattress Musical – November 5-7, 2021 at DA High School Auditorium.

What to watch for:

Elementary Halloween Parade – We are working on plans to bring this fun event back this year, in a way that is COVID safe.  More details to follow once plans are solidified, based on the state of COVID as we approach the end of October.
Winter Athletics – The NYS Education Department has issued strict guidelines for high-risk, indoor sports for the winter season.  This will specifically apply to basketball at Delaware Academy.  Our goal this season, is to optimize guest attendance and a robust playing season while staying safe and healthy, within current state requirements.  In order to achieve these things, the District will be issuing updated information prior to the start of the winter season.  Updates will be published on our website and shared by our coaches with athletes and their families.
Vaccines continue to be available through DASH for any child, aged twelve and above by calling (607) 746-7454.
Finally, please join me in welcoming Mr. Robert Mackey at our Interim MS/HS Principal.  He is joining us after having recently retired as Superintendent in Unadilla Valley Central School District.  More information on Mr. Mackey can be found on our website on the MS/HS page.
Thank you again for your efforts in keeping Delaware Academy moving forward. 

Go Bulldogs!

Sincerely,

Kelly M. Zimmerman

Superintendent

 


Community Update – September 2021

 

Dear Delaware Academy Families and Friends,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the last week of summer break. We are so excited to welcome everyone back to school on Tuesday, September 7.  We are fully prepared to return all of our students, UPK-12, back to daily in-person learning, athletics, and extracurricular activities.  


Since our new Governor took office on August 24, mandates and recommendations have continued to be issued to govern schools across NYS, primarily pertaining to indoor mask wearing and social distancing.  We will continue to interpret and communicate any changes in practice to our community as it becomes necessary.  Our current practices and protocols for Fall 2021, including procedures for requesting Medically-Based Home Instruction, can be found on our website or by following this LINK.  Some important items to note include:

• Universal mask wearing (UPK-12) in school buildings and on buses
• Mask breaks will be provided and adjusted based on a set of metrics
3-feet social distancing in classrooms
There will not be daily submission of electronic health screenings or temperature checks at the door
Daily cleaning and disinfection protocols will continue 
Return to lockers in grades 6-12

In spite of the continued pandemic, Delaware Academy will not be stagnant.  We are continuing to move forward this year to advance our District’s Vision of being a leader in academic excellence, preparing students to excel in a diverse and dynamic society.  Some steps we are taking to ensure student achievement and high quality instruction include:

• Engaging in gap analysis of academic skills to address any Covid-related skill deficits
• Making data-based decisions to target and provide individualized supports for students
• I
mplementing our full curriculum, aligned with NYS Learning Standards
Implementing programs to address social/emotional learning and mental health 
Focusing on increasing pathways to college and careers
Continuing to find creative ways to welcome parent/guardian involvement
Continuing to find creative ways to ensure athletics and extracurricular activities, events, and celebrations can happen this year.  

We are nearing the end of construction in our current Capital Building Project.  Our facilities will be ready to welcome everyone back.  There are a few remaining areas that we’ll still be working on, however, when our students return.  The elementary library will not be fully functional until early October.  In the meantime, library skills will be taught by Mrs. Oliver in our classrooms.  There will still be some bathrooms that are closed in the high school, so students may be redirected to other bathrooms until the end of September.  


We are also excited to welcome visitors back to our buildings this year.  All visitors must enter, register, and leave through the same entrances and masks will be required regardless of vaccination status.  Visitors will also be asked to complete a health survey at the door.  


Speaking of vaccinations, our Delaware Academy School Health (DASH) clinic is open and taking appointments for the Pfizer vaccine for any student aged 12 and over.  The vaccine will play a large role this year in helping keep our school open and our students in attendance if there is an increase in positive cases in our region.  Additionally, it will help ensure that athletics and extracurricular activities can continue.  


We are looking forward to a great year of togetherness and family as we make strides to achieve greatness.  Please continue to look for monthly updates from me in addition to communication any time there is a change in practice or positive cases within our buildings.  Notifications from the District will be posted to our website and Facebook pages and emailed to registered families.  Please contact the Registrar’s Office at (607) 746-1332 if you are not receiving emails.  All-calls will also be used for important information.  As always, please feel free to contact me any time at (607) 746-1306 with questions or concerns.  Here’s to a great year and thank you for your continued partnership.  Go Bulldogs!


Sincerely,

Kelly M. Zimmerman

Superintenden


 

Superintendent - Mrs. Kelly Zommerman
Mrs. Kelly Zimmerman


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