Dear Parents, Faculty and Staff,
As I reflect on the past couple of weeks and, in particular, the week we are finishing today, I find myself contemplating events from multiple perspectives.
On the one hand, I marvel at the number of families who are being supported by the District in terms of food. The Mohonasen Food Services team is putting out roughly 2,400 meals every two days via curbside pick up. We are supplementing this with extra food through the Backpack Program and through private donations from within the community. Food donations are continuously welcomed and may be dropped off at the High School main entrance during the “regular” school day. Financial donations may also be made to MohonCARES by check sent to the District by mail or electronically at https://www.gofundme.com/f/mohoncares.
I am encouraged and proud to hear success story after success story coming from within the Mohonasen Family. The connections between many families and the District are stronger than ever before. Online learning is bringing many families closer together. For pets, this crisis appears to be the best thing that’s ever happened to them. In many situations, the empathy, care, and love that students and families and faculty and staff are experiencing and sharing is at all-time highs. I am humbled and inspired to be able to take part in such a groundswell of positivity. The last time I felt something like this was after 9-11 when our country rallied together in unity, patriotism, and brotherhood.
Yet, on the other hand, I am distressed by individual stories of students and families under significant strain and stress, families for whom things have gone from bad to worse. Some Mohonasen parents have been laid off; some are single-parent households where facilitating online/remote learning for children is impractical at best; some are caring for at-risk individuals such as the elderly or disabled or heath impaired; some are business owners who are suffering devastating economic losses, and some are simply discouraged with the loneliness that can arise out of social distancing and quarantine.
Beloved author Charles Dickens, in the first line of his book “A Tale of Two Cities,” noted the following, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” This quote speaks to the current state of things at Mohonasen and in communities throughout New York State, the United States, and in many countries around the world.
We ended this week with a real highlight, our first-ever “Mohon Proud Parade” organized by the Mohonasen Teachers’ Association. Wow! It was fantastic to see the flags and waves and banners and streamers and clapping and shouting and honking and waving. Most of all it was truly moving to see the pure joy on the faces of many of our students as they saw their teachers driving past just for them. #Mohon’sGotSpirit! Go Mohon!
Lastly, I commend those who are helping others during this time of crisis. There is an old proverb, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” A literal translation from the original Latin version of this proverb is “A sure friend is known when in difficulty”. It’s clear there are a lot of friends within the Mohonasen Community, including those behind-the-scenes everyday heroes. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of others. Please continue these good works as we continue forward together.
I will continue to provide updates to the community, including any extension of the closure of school, as soon as such information is available. Have a great weekend to all!
Questions and Answers
Q: The President extended social distancing through the end of April, so why is Mohonasen only closed through April 14th?
A: The Governor is the one with authority to close NYS schools and his method has been to close the schools in two-week intervals. His current order only goes through April 14th. It is frustrating when the President and the Governor don’t align with their timeframes, but for Mohonasen we follow the Governor’s Executive Orders as they are issued.
Q: Are the playgrounds, athletic fields and the High School track open?
A: No. In keeping with the current recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and with the social distancing requirements put out by the President and the Governor, these District areas and equipment are now off-limits for use. Walking or jogging through our main campus is still allowed.
Q: Why is food distribution on different days of the week each week?
A: Food distribution is “every other day”, not counting weekends so this creates differences in different weeks. For example, if you start one week with Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then the next week would be Tuesday, Thursday and then things would go back to MWF the following week and so forth in order to keep to the every other day format.