Letter: The Kingston City School District would like to correct some misinformation

The Kingston City School District (KCSD) would like to correct some misinformation that is circulating in our community and on social media.

It is being rumored that more than 100 teachers have applied for 12 weeks of EFMLA and there will be mass substitute teaching this fall. This is not only false but is an insult to the almost 700 dedicated members of the Kingston Teachers Federation who will be educating the students of this community. As of this morning, the first day of teacher attendance, the Kingston City School District has received and will grant Seven seven EFMLA requests this fall. This can be referenced in the September 2, 2020 board of education agenda that is posted publicly on the KCSD website.

It has also been rumored that the KCSD will not be providing meals for our students during the first five weeks of remote learning and not coordinating with the Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative (KEFC). The KCSD has provided approximately 10,000 meals in collaboration with the KEFC in April and May until the district was informed that they no longer had the capacity to receive and distribute these meals. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, KCSD has provided more than 60,000 meals to our families and has continued this service throughout the summer months. Beginning next week, KCSD will be providing meals at all seven elementary schools and at the Meagher building five days a week. We will also continue to make home deliveries to any family who cannot get to one of our locations. This can be arranged by calling our Food Hotline at (845) 943-3938. Furthermore, the KCSD is awaiting approval to provide additional hot meals in the evenings at our school buildings.

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There has also been a call for small learning pods for students. The KCSD teachers will be delivering remote learning from their classrooms and unable to work in pods at the start of our remote learning. However, the KCSD is working with the YMCA, CCE, Family of Woodstock, Healthy Kids, The City of Kingston and Ulster County to provide high quality childcare for students. The KCSD will provide technology and instructional support to each of these programs.

Lastly, it has been stated that KCSD school buildings do not have the proper HVAC systems in place. The KCSD community has voted on and approved close to 200 million dollars in capital improvements over the last seven years. These improvements have included updating and fully replacing HVAC systems as to meet all State Education Department and Department of Health requirements. The KCSD has also committed to the regular testing of air quality in all school buildings during this State of Emergency.

This is a time for unity and collaboration. This is not time for divisive tactics, unfounded rumors and misinformation. We need to be in this together for the sake of the students and their education.

I encourage any family, parent or member of our community with questions to contact your building principal for the facts about your school building.

Dr. Paul J. Padalino, Superintendent of Schools
Kingston City School District

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