Area schools keep homework and meals coming during closure

Teachers at Prospect Elementary School prepare learning packets to be delivered to students in the Salamanca school district this week.

SALAMANCA — There is nearly nobody in the school buildings, but districts around the county are working on keeping as much of the regular school day going for students from home.

While the campuses are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools including the Salamanca City Central School District plan to continue on with the distribution of meals to children as well as providing packets of learning material and online resources.

On Monday, in a video broadcast to the district, Superintendent Robert Breidenstein and Dr. Mark Beehler, assistant superintendent for academic services, gave an update on how the district’s meal and school work deliveries had been going.

Learning packets were to be delivered via school bus to every student’s home address on file at the district beginning Tuesday. High school materials will be delivered to each student via a school van.

“It will take some time to deliver all the materials throughout the entire district,” Breidenstein said Monday.

Materials that can be left at a student’s home on a front porch will be left at the primary residence. However, all devices will not be left and could be picked up Wednesday.

“For those students who are not able to get their deliveries or are not at their primary residence tomorrow, don’t worry,” Breidenstein said. “We’ll have a pickup at the high school parking lot at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.” This pick up will be “drive through” only as SRO’s direct traffic to promote proper social distancing and vehicular safety.

Beehler said parents are to sign up for and use the SafeStop app to track the school buses and know about what time they would be dropping off materials. The district strongly encourages parents to arrive at the bus stop 5 to 10 minutes prior to the expected arrival time to ensure they do not miss the bus or slow down the process.

Additionally, the district’s mobile meal delivery will continue this week, Breidenstein said.

At 11 o’clock every morning, Monday through Friday, students in Salamanca school district have four locations where they can pick up lunch: Salamanca High School, Prospect Elementary School, Hoag’s Gas Station in Kill Buck and Steamburg Community Center in Coldspring.

The district’s Board of Education was expected to meet for a regular meeting Tuesday after press time. The meeting was closed to the public, but planned to be recorded and broadcast on the school’s website.

IN ELLICOTTVILLE, Superintendent Robert Miller sent a letter out to the district Friday, giving an update on the Ellicottville Central School District’s plans moving forward.

As the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and community continues to be a top priority, Miller said they have secured the building and allowed just a very limited number of people access.

“While access is limited, we do have essential staff working to put together meals, instructional materials and supplies for your children,” he said.

The district’s meal plan is under way and serving all ECS students free meals Monday through Friday, Miller said. You can register for a meal via the district webpage or by calling Mrs. Williams at 699-2316 ext. 1403.

Instructional materials have also been assembled over the past week by staff to be sent to each student’s home on Tuesday or Wednesdays. Students in grades Pre-K through 6 will be receiving packets with “paper” materials and students in grades 7 to 12 will receive a USB memory stick that will contain all work for those grades.

“We realize that not everyone has reliable internet service, and that is why we are providing the memory sticks,” Miller said. “Please keep these safe, as we will need to ‘swap’ memory sticks when providing materials in the future.”

Miller assured parents that all other student materials and belongings left at the school are safe and secure. At this time, he said they do not have the capacity to retrieve personal belongings.

“We truly appreciate all of the support that you have already provided during this unprecedented time,” he said. “We are in this together and we are committed to working with you to make sure that your children remain safe as we provide meals and instructional materials.”

(Contact Salamanca Press editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com)