Superintendent Updates

Superintendent Update as of May 27, 2022 – 10:00 a.m.

Dear Elmira City School District families,

As educators, parents, and members of our community, keeping our students safe is our most important work. Especially in light of recent tragic events, we are all experiencing a heightened sense of concern for the safety of our students, staff and schools. In the spirit of true transparency and teachable moments, we wish to share with you some information that underscores the importance of safety and security.

On Thursday, May 26, 2022, two Elmira High School students invited a friend into the school without following building protocol of administrative approval for guests to enter the building. This action is a breach in school policy and students involved are facing strict consequences outlined in the District’s Code of Conduct. The visitor was identified swiftly and exited school premises.

This behavior is not and will not be tolerated in any of our school buildings. Elmira High School principal issued a letter to families on Thursday stating the series of events with a reminder that all visitors must report through the main entrance and follow proper check-in procedures. We ask that parents and guardians across the District talk at home with their students about the importance of following school safety protocols.

As always, we ask that all concerns be reported to school staff. If you see something concerning, report it to a trusted adult. The best way to alert someone at the school is to call the school or local law enforcement. Please encourage your student to talk with a trusted adult in school if they have a concern.

School safety and the wellbeing of our students and staff is our highest priority.

Thank you and be well,

Hillary Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Superintendent Update as of May 25, 2022 – 10:00 a.m.

Dear Elmira City School District families,

We begin today with heavy hearts. There are no right words. Like the recent Buffalo shooting, the tragic event in Uvalde, Texas is horrific and unthinkable. Our hearts are grieving for the victims of these senseless crimes and for their surrounding communities.

The grief and sadness can be overwhelming. With the leading news stories focused on these events, children can become frightened and overwhelmed. Members of our trauma and grief counseling team are available to help our students and staff. If you’d like for your student to connect with a school counselor, please click here: https://www.elmiracityschools.com/cms/one.aspx?pageId=21832237

This tragedy reminds us of the importance of being vigilant as we work together to keep our community safe. We encourage everyone to speak up if you hear or see something that causes concern. We have also been in touch with the Chemung County Sheriff, and they will have increased presence with road patrols around our schools. We must look out for each other.

Our heartfelt condolences are with the victims’ families, loved ones, faculty, and staff of Robb Elementary. Ten days after Buffalo and 10 years after Sandy Hook, our American flags across the District are hung at half-staff to recognize the victims and to unite us through these extraordinarily difficult times. We wish for healing and hope for those affected across our nation.

Sincerely,

Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Superintendent Update as of May 23, 2022 - 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

As we anticipate the extended Memorial Day weekend, we are writing with a few important reminders. Please note the following updates listed below. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call your student’s school.

Memorial Day Weekend - There will be no school on Friday, May 27, Monday, May 30, or Tuesday, May 31, 2022. The Tuesday date has been added to the Memorial Day weekend as an adjustment to the school calendar, due to an unused snow day.

Register for Summer Boost for Grades K-6! If you are interested in FREE summer enrichment for your Elmira City School District student(s), consider registering for Summer Boost - a fun and engaging opportunity to support our students learning this summer. Lunch, breakfast and transportation will be provided. If you are already planning on being at Summer Cohesion, we will be able to have kids start there, come to Boost, then return to Cohesion and finish the day.

Registration is currently open and will close on May 26, 2022: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=KtLKIY3tDEGU4Az1zjSEeH8M9T21mHdKlp_TMkFlGEdURFNCSE5BQTcwMzQ0SDYyRUhZR0w1TzYwWC4u

Join Us for “Raising Responsible Teenagers” – a FREE virtual family workshop this Wednesday May 25, 2022 at 6:30PM. Participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Target Gift Card! In partnership with CASA-Trinity of Elmira, the District is continuing a three-seminar series (in-person and virtual) for parents. The program workshops are offered by trainers of the Triple P, Positive Parenting Program, and are Prevention Specialists with CASA-Trinity, Inc. Chemung Prevention. Learn more here: https://www.elmiracityschools.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=20679677&pageId=26248486

• Summer 2022 Express Youth Athletic Camps – Do you have a young ECSD student interested in a specific sport? Consider registering them for a Youth Express Athletic Camp this summer! Express youth camps include specific sport instruction by the head varsity coach and players. Registration for Express Summer Camps will open on June 1, 2022. Please call the Athletic Department with any questions or concerns. Click here for a schedule and details: https://www.elmiracityschools.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=20679677&pageId=26257539

Summer Robot Olympics - a FREE opportunity for Grades 6-9 students to explore VEX IQ by building and coding robots to compete in various Robot Olympic Events. The Robot Olympics camp will take place over four days with each day providing new challenges and competitions. This is a FREE Camp for all students. Transportation is available for Elmira City School District students. Follow this link for more information
https://www.elmiracityschools.com/news/what_s_new/robot_olympics_summer_camp_for_grades_6-9

• The Summer of Innovation is nearly upon us! The link to our Summer of Innovation page is here: https://www.gstboces.org/summerofinnovation/

As we break for Memorial Day, a sincere and heartfelt thank you is extended to our veterans and to those currently serving in our Armed Forces.

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Superintendent Update as of April 28, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing with a few important updates regarding the upcoming School Budget Vote and Board Elections, 2022 Summer Program Registration, Pre-K Registration, the 2022-23 Academic Calendar, and District Administration temporary site-location move. Please read through the bottom of this message and follow the links for more information.

- The 2022-2023 Academic Calendar is now published on the District website and can be access here: https://www.elmiracityschools.com/calendar

- We have a variety of summer programming opportunities for our students. From our own ECSD Summer Boost program to our partner’s Summer of Innovation, Summer Cohesion, there are many opportunities for our students and families! Learn more at www.elmiracityschools.com/summer

- On May 17, 2022, the Elmira community is invited to participate in the Annual Budget Vote and School Board Election process. The public vote will be held from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on May 17, 2022 at designated polling locations. The District will host a Budget Hearing on May 10, 2022 at 5 p.m. at 430 W. Washington School. This hearing will also be virtually live-streamed on our website at http://ideas.gstboces.org/elmira/video

- District Administration Offices are now in the process of moving temporarily from Washington School Building to Alumni Hall on Elmira College campus while renovation work is complete at Washington. While our staff will work from Alumni Hall, all mail will still be sent to our address of 430 W. Washington Ave., Elmira NY 14901. Currently, paperwork that needs to be dropped off (i.e. Student Registrations, forms, etc.) can still be dropped at the Drop Box positioned on the front landing of Washington School. We will publish updates on the move on our website. >>Please click here for details and updates.

- Welcoming the Class of 2036! Do you have a child turning four before December 1? We are now accepting registration for Pre-Kindergarten. Register today! Learn more here: https://www.elmiracityschools.com/student_services/registration/pre-_k_student_registration

As always, please stay in touch with your student’s building principal with questions or information. We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to continuing a strong academic finish of the school year!

Thank you and be well,

Hillary Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Superintendent Update as of April 8, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

As we kick-off Spring Break, we wanted to write with an important calendar update:

• Please note that the District is making a change to this year’s school calendar. As long as there is no school closing due to weather or other reason between now and Memorial Day, there will be no school Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

On behalf of the District, I wish you and your family wonderful Spring Recess.

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District




Superintendent Update as of March 18, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.


Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing to remind you that there is no school for students Monday, March 21, 2022 for Superintendent’s Conference Day. Schools and District office will remain open for business and staff will be engaged in a variety of professional development workshops.

As we finish our #ExpressStrong spirit week at school, we wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for showing their district and school pride. We’ve captured the highlights of spirit week in photos and have published an album on the District website as well as Facebook @ElmiraCitySchoolDistrict. >>View our Express Strong week photos here.

This weekend! Elmira Express Junior Player's Present Frozen, Jr. | March 18, 18, 20, 2022 >>Learn more here

Thank you for your ongoing support and enjoy the weekend.

We are #ExpressStrong,

Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District




Superintendent Update as of March 9, 2022 - 1:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District families,

All Elmira City School District after-school activities are canceled for today, March 9, due to inclement weather. Stay safe!

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Superintendent Update as of March 4, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing with a few updates from the state that we’ve received in a new guidance document jointly issued by the NYSDOH and NYSED. The guidance considers the most recent guidance by the CDC which ended its recommendation for masks in school.

The guidance does include one specific exception to the mask lifting which we’ve summarized below:

• The most notable update in this new guidance is a requirement for masking to continue upon return from isolation after testing positive for COVID, during days 6 through 10 after COVID-19 infection. Students, staff and teachers must wear masks on return to school during Days 6 – 10 of their isolation period.

Of course, it is important that our families make a personal choice about masking and that you talk to your students about your family’s choice. We are committed to a culture of understanding and discuss regularly with our students about the important of respecting individual choice.

If you have any questions about the guidance or are in need of an at-home testing kit, please contact your student’s school.

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Update as of March 1, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

As a reminder, tomorrow March 2, the District will pivot to optional masking in our school facilities and transportation. This change comes after the Governor announced that the statewide mask requirement in schools will be lifted effective Wednesday March 2, 2022. NYSDOH is expected to issue guidance to schools today regarding effected policies such as quarantines, return to school after illness, social distancing, etc. Once we receive and review this guidance, we will update you with further details.

Lifting of the mask requirement allows parents/guardians to decide if their children should still mask. We ask that you talk to your student(s) about these policy changes and your wishes as a family. If you wish for your student to be masked, please ensure your student arrives to school with a mask or visits the school’s main office to pick one up for the day. The District will maintain a supply of masks in schools for any student or staff member to wear if they so choose. We ask that everyone respect each other’s personal choice.

It is important that we remain vigilant against the virus by staying home when symptomatic and getting tested if exhibiting symptoms. The District will continue to make available rapid home test kits free to District families. If you need an at-home test kit, please contact your student's school.

Stay tuned for further details. Thank you for your continuing patience and flexibility.

Be well,
Hillary Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Update as of February 15, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing to remind families of tomorrow's scheduled COVID-19 testing pick-up. The District will host a drive-thru COVID test pick-up on Wednesday February 16 from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. at Ernie Davis Academy (located at 933 Hoffman Street, Elmira). Families who are unable to pick up at this time can make arrangements with their student’s building principal.

A reminder that the Elmira City School District will be closed for Winter Recess February 21-25, 2022. For a full calendar listing, please visit: https://www.elmiracityschools.com/calendar

Thank you and be well,
Hillary Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Update as of February 11, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing with a couple of updates. Please read below for details on the next scheduled COVID-19 testing pick up, calendar reminders for February’s Winter Recess and more.

COVID-19 Test Pick-Up Event, February 16, 2022 | 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Ernie Davis Academy

The District will host a drive-thru COVID test pick-up on Wednesday February 16 from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. at Ernie Davis Academy. Families who are unable to pick up at this time can make arrangements with their student’s building principal.

Winter Recess, No School February 21-25, 2022

A reminder that the Elmira City School District will be closed for Winter Recess February 21-25, 2022. For a full calendar listing, please visit: https://www.elmiracityschools.com/calendar

Congratulations to Our 2022 Winter Graduates!

On Thursday, February 10, 2022, Elmira High School hosted the Winter 2022 Graduation Ceremony. We wish to congratulate our 61 winter graduates for their many accomplishments. Commencement is a ceremonious event in which we are able to celebrate our student’s greatest achievement. Alongside their family, teachers and friends, our newest Elmira City School District graduates received their diplomas! Upward and onward excelsior, graduates!

We hope this message finds you happy and healthy.

Thank you and be well,
Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Update as of January 28, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing with two important reminders about Monday, January 31, 2022. As the District calendar indicates, there is no school for students on Monday January 31, 2022 as it is scheduled as a Superintendent’s Conference Day.

Secondly, we wish to remind you of another drive-thru pick up process for all ECSD families, Pre-K to 12, on Monday January 31 from Noon – 2 p.m. Tests can be picked up at Ernie Davis Academy located at 933 Hoffman Street in Elmira. All interested parents/guardians can pick up testing kits - if you picked up tests at a previous distribution, you can pick up additional tests again.

• Drive-Thru Distribution of COVID-19 Testing Kits (for interested families)
• Monday, January 31, 2022 (Please Note: There is no school for students on 1/31/22 as it is a scheduled Superintendent Conference Day)
• Ernie Davis Academy Main Office Front Loop
• 933 Hoffman Street, Elmira NY 14905
• Noon – 2 p.m.

This is a drive-thru pick up process and you will not need to exit your vehicles. We ask that you please wear a mask at the exchange point of the drive thru. If you have any specific transportation needs, please contact your school principal directly.

Thank you and be well,
Hillary Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Superintendent Update as of January 25, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing with two important updates. Please read further for information regarding masking in NYS schools and another scheduled COVID-19 test pick-up event next week.

New York State Department of Health Mask Mandate

In recent news, you may have read about the Nassau County supreme court decision regarding masking in schools. According to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the State has just filed an appeal of the recent decision from Nassau County, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al. The filling of the appeal automatically stays the judge’s decision which means the mask mandate is still in effect. We will notify you of any changes in the case when we receive them from state governing agencies.

Drive-Thru Distribution of COVID-19 Testing Kits at EDA

We have received another shipment of COVID test-at-home kits for our families from the state. A drive-thru pick up process for all ECSD families, Pre-K to 12, will occur at Ernie Davis Academy located at 933 Hoffman Street in Elmira. This is for all interested parents/guardians - if you picked up tests at a previous distribution, you can pick up additional tests at this upcoming event. Parents or guardians can pick up these rapid at-home kits at the following location and time:

• Drive-Thru Distribution of COVID-19 Testing Kits (for interested families)
• Monday, January 31, 2022 (Please Note: There is no school for students on 1/31/22 as it is a scheduled Superintendent Conference Day)
• Ernie Davis Academy Main Office Front Loop
• 933 Hoffman Street, Elmira NY 14905
• Noon – 2 p.m.

This is a drive-thru pick up process and you will not need to exit your vehicles. We ask that you please wear a mask at the exchange point of the drive thru. If you have any specific transportation needs, please contact your school principal directly.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work through the ever-changing guidance from New York State. Again, we prioritize family communication and will keep you informed as we learn more.

Thank you and be well,
Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Update as of January 21, 2022 - 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing to you today to update you on some updates from the NYSDOH that were released recently. Some of the updates will affect the daily routines we have utilized this past year. As we’ve done the past two years, our school community will continue to adjust to updated NYSDOH Health and Safety guideline changes while continuing to offer our students and staff a safe learning environment.

Updated Health and Safety Guidelines

The Governor’s Office, the CDC and the NYSDOH are moving to a system that relies heavily on families self-reporting their positive COVID-19 cases and notifying their direct contacts. Contact tracing in our schools and in the community can now be completed by the individual or the family who is positive. This falls in-line with recent New York State Department of Health guidelines and protocols.

Direct Contact Notification Changes:

• All individuals who are positive are now responsible to contact their direct contacts personally.
• Direct contacts can go to the Chemung County Public Health Department website to download their quarantine letter.
• We ask that you still notify the school of any positive test results in your home.

Additionally, the District has received another shipment of at-home COVID-19 testing kits from the state. Please stay tuned for details as we plan to announce another test pick up site next week.

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Superintendent Update as of January 13, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing to you with two key updates. First, please find information below on a third testing kit drive-thru we have scheduled for tomorrow, Friday January 14 from 3-4:30PM at Beecher Elementary. Secondly, you may be aware that NYSDOH and the Chemung County Health Department have released updated guidance regarding isolations, quarantines and at-home testing. Please read below for additional details. And as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your students’ school principal.

ECSD Drive-Thru Distribution of State-Issued Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits

The District will host a third drive-thru event for parents and guardians to pick up rapid COVID-19 testing kits. This drive-thru is available to any interested family who would like to pick up a test kit for their student. Families who previously picked up testing kits are welcome to pick up another for their student in the case they need an additional test.

• Friday, January 14, 2022
• 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
• Beecher Elementary School
• 310 Sullivan St., Elmira NY 14901

This is a drive-thru pick up process and you will not need to exit your vehicle. We ask that you please wear a mask at the exchange point of the drive thru. If you have any specific transportation needs, please contact your school principal directly.

Updated Isolation, Quarantine and Testing Protocols, Per Chemung County Health Department

Chemung County is now accepting home test results and the results can be entered into a portal on their website. By entering test results into the County system, the individual who reports a positive test result will receive the required isolation paperwork from Chemung County Health Department.

Additionally, the health department has reduced the quarantine period for staff and students to 5 days for the purpose of maintaining in-person instruction. We have published an updated FAQ page on our website that helps to further clarify this updated guidance for our students and families. Please visit the COVID FAQ webpage to learn more.

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Superintendent Update as of January 5, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

As you know, the District received a shipment of at-home rapid COVID-19 testing kits from the state for interested families. We began distributing these tests yesterday, January 4, through a drive-thru process offered to District parents. We have scheduled an additional distribution date and time for interested families who have not yet picked up tests. Please see details below. We’ve also included information below on testing protocols and what to do with test results.

Parents or guardians can pick up these optional rapid at-home kits at the following location, date and time:

Second ECSD Drive-Thru Distribution of State-Issued Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits

• Friday, January 7, 2022
• 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
• Parley-Coburn Elementary School
• 216 Mt. Zoar St., Elmira NY 14904

This is a drive-thru pick up process and you will not need to exit your vehicle. We ask that you please wear a mask at the exchange point of the drive thru. If you have any specific transportation needs, please contact your school principal directly.

What to Do with Test Results

Many of you have asked important questions regarding proper protocols. These home tests are for screening purposes only and are being distributed at the direction of the state. Home tests are designed as a precautionary tool to catch potential positive cases of asymptomatic students and/or to determine next steps for students who are exhibiting symptoms.

If your child tests positive on the home test, the Chemung County Health Department requires that you go to a medical provider for a confirmatory test. Please contact your child’s school if your child tests positive on the home test or a test through a medical provider. Per Chemung County Health Department, the District cannot accept home test results.

Additionally, if your child has been showing any viral symptom, he/she should stay home from school and is required to receive a Covid test with a health care provider. Negative test results for students without symptoms do not need to be reported.

Home tests do not fulfill the requirements of the Test to Stay protocol for students who are on quarantine due to an exposure while school is in session. Test to Stay testing must be administered by school personnel.

As always and especially now during this latest surge is positive cases, we ask that you continue using best practices of wearing masks properly, washing hands thoroughly and often, and maintaining distance when possible.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your student’s building principal.

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Update as of January 3, 2022 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District families,

We are writing to you today as a follow up to the message we sent on Wednesday, December 29, 2021.

We have received the COVID test-at-home kits for our families from the state. We will begin distribution of these home-test kits on Tuesday January 4, 2022. A drive-thru pick up process for all ECSD families, Pre-K to 12, will occur at Ernie Davis Academy located at 933 Hoffman Street in Elmira.

All students in the district are eligible for one home testing kit. Please note that there is no requirement that families test their children with these test kits; however, the State is encouraging families to do so. Parents or guardians can pick up these rapid at-home kits for all of their students at the following location and time:

Drive-Thru Distribution of State-Issued Rapid COVID-19 Testing Kits at EDA on January 4, 2022
• Ernie Davis Academy
• 933 Hoffman Street, Elmira NY 14905
• 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Please use North entrance and drive to the back of the building and loop to Cafeteria entrance (drive-through line will exit back onto Hoffman St.) Please follow the signs as you move around the building.

This is a drive-thru pick up process and you will not need to exit your vehicles. We ask that you please wear a mask at the exchange point of the drive thru. If you have any specific transportation needs, please contact your school principal directly.

Per the Chemung County Public Health Department, if you child tests positive on this test you should contact your child’s Primary Care Provider and follow up with a PCR test.

As always, we ask that you monitor your child’s health and keep them home if they have any of the following symptoms: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child’s principal or reach out to me at [email protected]

Thank you and be well,
Hillary J. Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Update as of December 29, 2021 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We hope you are enjoying winter recess. In an effort to keep you updated, we are communicating the most recent information we’ve received from New York State regarding COVID-19 test distribution. In response to a recent surge in COVID-19 positive cases across the state, the Governor has released a plan to provide families with the opportunity to Covid test their children at home. Communication from NYS has made it clear that it is not mandatory. This effort is an attempt to prioritize in-person learning. New York State plans to provide all school districts across NYS with testing supplies to distribute to families. The State is currently awaiting the arrival of testing supplies and will notify the District when they are available.

In preparation of the arrival of testing kits, the District leadership team is working to develop a distribution plan to our families. It is our understanding that we will not receive the kits to distribute before the return to school on Monday January 3, 2022. Once received, it is likely that parents/guardians will be able to pick-up testing supplies at our Elmira schools (with delivery options for those families who are unable to get to the school). We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.

We do look forward to a return to school on Monday January 3, 2022. As always, we ask that you monitor your student’s health and keep students’ home who are not feeling well. Happy New Year and see you in 2022!

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Update as of December 16, 2021 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing to you with a few key updates as we move quickly through the holiday season and into winter recess. The holiday season signifies how quickly our school year has gone and brings an academic push – projects, papers, and exams. It can often leave us feelings of stress and anxiety.

We are here to help.

The holiday season can itself also bring on feelings of stress, anxiety and sometimes depression. And yet we also know that it is in such times of stress that we need to look to each other and look out for one another. We are here to help. School counseling services are available to our students. If you are a parent/guardian who is interested in social or emotional support for your student, please visit elmiracityschools.com/support today to complete a school counseling referral form.

We value relationships and strong communication.

Social and emotional wellbeing is especially important this school year. The District is committed to supporting the ‘whole-child’ through a variety of intervention programming to address the social and emotional needs of our community. Please don’t hesitate to contact the school in the case you’d like to learn more about these opportunities. In the meantime, please access our Community Schools page on the District website for many available resources to our families.

Winter recess and upcoming calendar notes are linked below.

The Elmira City School District will be closed December 23 - January 2, 2022 for winter recess. Click here to see the full District calendar.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility | Cyber Responsibility Parent/School Partnership

With technology and the Internet readily available to our students, schools and families must work together to help our children learn to use technology safely and respectfully. Everyone has an essential role to play in keeping children safe while online. Many school incidents and conflicts we see in school stem from troublesome use of social media. Please be mindful of appropriate ages for social media applications, always encourage your students to think twice before posting, and we suggest you follow your children on social media for their own safety. The New York State Education Department has posted these tips and several resources that can help families talk to their children about these important issues. Click here for a full list of links and resources provided by NYSED.

We welcome you to cheer on our Express winter athletes.

The Elmira City School District plans to allow spectators to attend athletic events during the winter season to cheer in a positive manner for our Express student athletes. Fans attending indoor events (modified/JV/varsity basketball, wrestling, and boys swim) are required to properly wear a mask. The District may limit attendance at events based on an increase in COVID-19 cases and/or NYSDOH regulations. If you have any questions, please contact the Athletic Office at 607-735-3565.

Wishing you all a joyful and safe holiday season. #GoExpress #ExpressStrong

Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Superintendent Update as of November 15, 2021 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing today with important updates regarding new health guidance issued from the New York State Department of Health and the Chemung County Health Department. Please find information below on new “Test to Stay” strategy as well as information on an upcoming OPTIONAL Chemung County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for ages 5+. Please note, COVID-19 vaccinations are not a requirement for students to attend school.

TEST TO STAY | New Health Department COVID-19 Guidance

Per the NYSDOH and Chemung County Health Department, the Elmira City School District will implement a Test to Stay (TTS) strategy beginning on Wednesday November 17, 2021. This strategy allows asymptomatic and unvaccinated direct contacts, identified through school tracing, to avoid exclusion from the academic part of the school day by testing negative with an antigen test (ex. Binax NOW/CareStart) on each school day for seven days after exposure.

1. All identified students/staff may take advantage of this free testing option. The District must have a signed parent consent form completed prior to performing the testing . This form will be available at the testing location.

2. The daily test will be conducted at District Administration Offices located at Washington School in Elmira (430 W. Washington Ave., Elmira NY 14905) beginning at 7:30 a.m. daily. Results will be received before the school day begins. Upon arrival, please enter parking lot from Lincoln Street.

· If negative, the student/staff proceeds to class.

· If positive, the student/staff is sent home and existing procedures are followed.

· Parents/guardians must accompany their students during testing. Adults accompanying students must wait 10-15 minutes for the test results before transporting them to school for the day.

Other Parameters:

· Students will not be permitted to ride the school bus in the morning prior to receiving their test. However, with a negative test result, students can ride the school bus home at the end of the school day.

· The direct contact who is allowed to remain in school through TTS must still be quarantined outside of school instruction/academic periods— No community activities or extracurricular participation including clubs, sports, arts/performance activities is permitted while the student remains in quarantine. The student/staff member may only go from home to school for instruction and back home again.

· If the exposed person who is allowed to remain in school through TTS develops symptoms, they must be excluded from school per current school guidance.

· Home tests will not be accepted.

· A school test is not required on weekends and holidays when the seven-day TTS period is still active.

On Behalf of the Chemung County Health Department | Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics (5+)

The Chemung County Health Department will hold two vaccination clinics on Friday November 19, 2021 from 4-6 p.m. Vaccination clinics will be held at Beecher Elementary and Fassett Elementary schools. Parents/guardians will be required to accompany children to the vaccination clinic. Second dose vaccines will be offered on Friday December 10, 2021 from 4-6 p.m. for those students receiving their first dose on November 19, 2021. Pre-registration is required. Please find registration links below:

· Pfizer 1st Dose Pre-registration Appointments at Beecher Elementary for ages 5+: https://apps2.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/2/counties?DateID=D09CC46C974D0246E0530A6C7C15701C

· Pfizer 1st Dose Pre-registration Appointments at Fassett Elementary for ages 5+: https://apps2.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/2/counties?DateID=D04A4A2A43A1016EE0530A6C7C1530EF

Thank you and be well,
Hillary Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Update as of October 27, 2021 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families:

We are writing with a few updates. First, we wanted to follow up on our communication from yesterday regarding the social media trend with a potential threat to schools. This social media post, deemed noncredible by law enforcement, continues to circulate around the state and nation. A modification of the generic snapchat threat was airdropped to a few Ernie Davis Academy students today. Law enforcement investigated these posts and have deemed them not credible. I wanted to assure you that we will always investigate any claim of this nature, thoroughly, in partnership with law enforcement.

We thank you for your support and for your partnership in ensuring students know the appropriate use of social media, including telling an adult if a post concerns them. Having open conversations at home with your students about social media, its benefits, and its risks, can promote positive social media usage.

Secondly, we wanted to share an update from our Food Services partners at the Greater Southern Tier BOCES. The Food Service Department is experiencing supply-chain interruptions due to limited product availability, nation-wide transportation challenges, and supplier’s labor shortages.

The Food Services Department is making every effort to avoid last minute changes to the menu but will respond will food substitutions when necessary. School meal menu changes are highly likely during this time and may cause students to have to make changes to their meal selections.

Please know the Food Services Department is working diligently to minimize the effect this may have on our families. We are especially grateful to our food services staff for their daily contributions in our cafeterias. Free breakfast and lunch are available to all Elmira City School District students every school day. You can find menus and Food Services updates by clicking through to the GST BOCES Food Services website here: https://elmiracafeteria.gstboces.org/

If you have questions or concerns, or if your child is in need of support, please contact your school office.

Thank you and be well,
Hillary J. Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Update as of October 26, 2021 – 5:00 p.m.


Dear Elmira City School District Families:

You may have heard of a new social media trend regarding the threat of violence in schools. We recently learned that our neighboring district Corning-Painted Post was mentioned in one of these posts. Law enforcement from across the region and nation have investigated these posts and have deemed them not credible, but any threat made to a school is taken seriously. The Corning-Painted Post Area School District has been working with local law enforcement to support their students and schools.

We wanted to make you aware of the situation since this type of trend can expand to other areas and cause disruption and concern for students, staff, and families. As always, safety is our top priority and we too take any threat made against a school seriously. We thank you for your support and for your partnership in making sure our students know the appropriate use of social media, including telling an adult if a post concerns them.

If you have questions or concerns, or if your child is in need of support, please contact your school office.

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


Update as of Thursday, October 7, 2021 – 3:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

On Friday October 8, 2021, the Elmira City School District Bus Garage will be understaffed by 16 drivers. As a result, the ECSD school schedule will be modified to tackle this bus driver shortage. Secondary schools will begin on a one-hour delay and elementary schools will be released following a typical Wednesday-early release schedule (please see below for a reminder of release times). Transportation WILL be provided.

Schedule changes for Friday October 8, 2021 are as follows:
• Broadway Academy (grade 9), Ernie Davis Academy (grades 7-8), Elmira High School (Grades 10-12) will begin on a one-hour delay on Friday October 8, 2021. Food services will provide breakfast for all students.
• Elementary Schools will release at their “Wednesday Release Times” as follows:
- Primary (Diven, Fassett, Pine City, Riverside) – 1:45 p.m.
- Intermediate (Beecher, Broadway, Hendy, Parley Coburn) – 1:25 p.m.

New Day and Kids World programming will run on October 8th with normal Wednesday hours. The ARCADE program will be CANCELLED for Friday, October 8th.

These modifications are for Friday, October 8th only and will allow us to condense and combine transportation runs with our available drivers.

We are learning that flexibility is a must during these unprecedented items. We continue to discuss alternative options for any staffing shortages that arise throughout these challenging times.

Thank you for your continuing support and be well,

Hillary Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Update as of September 28, 2021 - 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

As we find ourselves in the final days of September, we wanted to write to you regarding back-to-school updates. Below you’ll find information regarding communications related to COVID-19, Live Express Athletics Streaming, Parent Portal information and more. As always, please feel free to reach out to your school principals with questions and clarity.

Support Express Athletics | Watch Live Events from Anywhere!

You can now LIVE Stream athletic competitions played on the Ernie Davis Academy turf! The new HUDL camera is at EDA turf field, so all games played are streamed LIVE from the webpage below (free link). Thanks to our Elmira High School WEHS crew for making this happen for our community! #GoExpress

https://www.youtube.com/wehstv

COVID Communications | Weekly Report and Letters to Families

At the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, we began publishing COVID-positive cases reported to our schools on the District website. We published this case counter as a way to keep our community informed. Since that time, NYS also published a COVID report card for all NYS school districts. This report card is populated by data reported daily by districts and maintained by the state. This week, we will re-establish the District COVID Case Counter and adjust it to include weekly reports of new cases. We believe this will be the most efficient and accurate way to keep our community informed. >>Access the 2021-2022 COVID Case Counter here.

Open and transparent communication is a high priority for the District. When positive cases are reported to our school buildings, students and families affected will receive letters indicating the positive case and contact tracing information (both close contacts and others in the classroom). Please check your elementary student’s folders and secondary student’s Schoology accounts often for updates from your principal.

If you have questions about COVID protocols and procedures, including illness, symptoms and return to school criteria, please feel free to call your student's school for further guidance.

Stay Connected | Login to Parent Portal and Schoology, Update Your Records

Family engagement is key to student success. Are you registered for our Parent Portal? Parent Portal provides you important information on your student's academic schedule, grades, attendance and more. Click here for instructions to register for Parent Portal.

The sounds of students back in our school buildings has provided a regained sense of school spirit! We are #ExpressStrong!

Thank you and be well,

Hillary J. Austin

Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District


 

Update as of September 2, 2021 - 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We look FORWARD to welcoming students across the Elmira City School District to the 2021-22 school year. The challenges we faced together in the last year have strengthened our staff, students and systems. As we are again facing more health and safety planning for this year, I wanted to first express my gratitude to you for your fortitude, patience, and thoughtful support.

As we prepare for the upcoming year, our objective is to return all students back to five days weekly of in-person instruction. The District will continue following guidance set forth by the New York State Education Department, as well as the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For those that were a part of the District last year, the year will begin very similarly to how it ended in June 2021. In accordance with the Commissioner's Determination issued pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.60, any person over the age of 2 (including all students, personnel, teachers, administrators, contractors, and visitors) must wear masks at all times indoors in P-12 school buildings and school buses, regardless of vaccination status. Mask-breaks are planned for students and staff throughout the school day. Masks are not required for outdoor events.

2021-2022 Re-Opening Plan | Looking Forward to a Healthy Future

In the following pages linked here, you’ll find a range of health and safety protocols the District is implementing. Please note that this is a living document that will be updated as new guidelines and guidance is recommended from health officials. >>Download the printable 2021-2022 Elmira City School District Re-Opening Plan | Looking Forward to a Healthy Future

Health Screening | GST BOCES StayWell

A healthy school environment begins at home. The ECSD will continue to utilize the “Stay Well Questionnaire,” an at home on-line screening tool. A screening questionnaire will be provided to parents/guardians by the school. Please make sure you are completing and submitting this questionnaire to the school as instructed.

The last year has taught us that as public health conditions change, we quickly need to update our robust health and safety planning. District leaders of the Elmira City School District will continue its efforts to work closely with state and local agencies. It is our goal to continue to make health and safety, high quality instruction, family engagement, social and emotional support, and strong communication the forefront of our District planning.

We LOOK FORWARD TO A HEALTHY FUTURE with our strong Express community! #GoExpress

Thank you and be well,
Hillary J. Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



UPDATE as of August 25, 2021- 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are looking FORWARD to a healthy future.

As we head into the 2021-2022 school year, the top priority of the Elmira City School District is to have students learning full-time in safe and healthy school environments. In order to accomplish this, precautions are necessary in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our schools and to keep our students, faculty and staff safe.  On Tuesday, August 24th, Governor Hochul announced that New York State School Districts will be required to implement universal masking in PreK-12 facilities.  We are awaiting further guidance on the specifics of this mandate but we wanted to get this information out to all of you, as soon as possible, for planning purposes.

As we begin the 2021-22 school year, Chemung County is in a much different position than it was at the end of the 2020-21 school year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chemung County is now listed as high risk for COVID-19 transmission. Health officials are concerned with the recent spike in cases nationwide caused by the Delta Variant.

Schools play a significant role in promoting equity in health and education for all students. As we face a resurgent and ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic in our community, the Elmira City School District stays committed to a layered mitigation strategy that emphasizes student and staff safety. 

The Elmira City School District will continue to partner with our county health department in order to offer COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible staff and students.

Under current plans, students and staff can expect to wear a face mask, (regardless of vaccination status) and continue social distancing, to the extent possible, under CDC guidelines.

The County continues to collaborate with school districts and the following recommendations are based on the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State Department of Education and include a layered approach to mitigation: 

  • A strong emphasis being placed on vaccination for all eligible individuals. 
  • The use of masks indoors and on buses regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Maintaining a physical distance of at least three feet. 
  • Routine cleaning and disinfection. 
  • Following proper hygiene procedures and maintaining respiratory etiquette. 
  • Staying home when sick and getting tested. 
  • Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, where necessary.  
  • Students and adults should follow these same school-day policies and procedures during sports and extracurricular activities.

We will continue to keep you updated with more specific information.  Please be sure to check our website for the latest updates and information.  We are excited to welcome our students back to a new school year!

Thank you and be well,
Hillary Austin Signature

Hillary J. Austin

Superintendent of Schools

Elmira City School District 


Update as of August 20, 2021 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We are writing to share the latest details we have regarding school re-opening plans. The New York State Education Department released guidance on August 12 which restated many of the CDC guidelines. NYSDOH, NYSED and Chemung County Health Department continue to be our guiding agencies related to health and safety. As an ongoing practice, our District leadership continues to collaborate with local county health officials and surrounding school district superintendents. We are in regular consultation with our county partners to monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening and testing in order to guide decisions. We’ve worked as a team, collaborated, and facilitated meetings and we plan to provide a consistent approach heading into the new school year.

We are anticipating guidance regarding masking from the Governor and NYSDOH and will consider this critical information before any decisions are made for the Elmira City School District. We will update our families as soon as we have these important details. This update, and future updates, will be published on this page.

What We Do Know, as of today, August 20, 2021:

• We plan to bring students back to five days of in-person instruction
• Our classrooms are being designed for 3’ social distancing
• Cleaning and disinfecting will continue to be a priority
• Masking is known to be a definite for all people riding a school bus (as stated above, we are anticipating guidance regarding masking in schools from the Governor and NYSDOH and will consider this critical information before any decisions are made for the Elmira City School District. We will update our families as soon as we have these important details)
• Afterschool programming will operate regularly and will follow the same health guidelines outlined for school days
• Free breakfast and lunch offerings continue as an available resource to all District families

The District is working hand-in-hand with health officials to ensure a safe, joyful and enriching return for all of our students this fall. All schools will safely serve every student in accordance with current CDC guidance.

Health and Safety Starts at Home

A healthy school environment really begins at home. Students should stay home when they feel sick. Families should be mindful of indications their children may exhibit COVID-19 symptoms and to seek testing when symptoms are present. The District will continue to ask families to complete a daily health screen electronically through the StayWell app.

New Student Registration, Including Pre-K!

It’s not too late to register your child for school. Do you have a student turning four before December 1? Pre-K Registration for the 2021-2022, Class of 2035, is being accepted Online and In-person! Drop-off of paper copies in the secure drop-off located at District Administration (located at 430 W. Washington Ave). >>click here to access registration information

Teacher Assignments

All schedules for all students and schools will be available in the coming weeks. If you do not receive a notification or have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your student’s building principal. Need to contact the school? >>click here to access a full list of school contact information

Back-to-School Supply Lists

Our school principals have put together these suggested supply lists for back-to-school. Supply lists are now published on the District website, organized by school and grade level. >>click here to access your student’s school supply list.

Fall Open House Schedule

Parents and students are invited to fall open houses. Join us to meet your student’s teacher, take a tour of the school and connect with your school family. >>click here to access the Fall Open House schedule.

School Start and End Times

We can't wait to welcome our students to a new school year! To help families, we have published a list all of our school's start and end times for the upcoming school year. Join us for breakfast when doors open! >>click here to access a full list of school start and end times.

Afterschool Programming

Increasing educational opportunities for children and youth requires us to rethink the traditional school day. The Elmira City School District, committed to the Community Schools model, utilizes innovative approaches that expand learning opportunities before, during, and after school, during the summer and/or by extending the school day and year. >>click here to learn about grade-specific afterschool opportunities for your student(s).

Transportation Information

Information about transportation, including pick-up and drop-off times, bus stop location and bus number, will come out next week. Please stay tuned for these details.

Parent Portal

The Schooltool Parent Portal is one of many ways to keep in touch with your child's academic progress and is available to all parents in the Elmira City School District. The Parent Portal allows parents and legal guardians to view their child's class schedule, bus information, grades, assignments, attendance record, discipline history, and contact information from nearly any device that can access the Internet. New to Parent Portal? Stay connected. >>click here to register for Parent Portal

Family and Student Resource Guide and Code of Conduct

Communication between school and home is a critical component for the success of our students. The Family and Student Resource Guide includes the 2021-22 District Calendar, School-specific Communication Flowcharts, District Code of Conduct and transportation policy. >>click here to access the Family and Student Resource Guide

Community Schools | Roster of Student Services and Programs

We are committed to whole-child, whole-community development by removing barriers and delivering support services as a way to achieve academic excellence in an evolving community. The Elmira City School District partners with the community to integrate strong instructional programming with student-centered health services, after-school academic enrichment, mentoring, parent engagement, and more. >>click here to read about our programs and download the Community Schools manual

As we have learned in the last months, decisions and plans are fluid and can change quickly. Our District leaders will continue to be in close contact with these agencies for guidance and protocol. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your student’s building principal(s).

Thank you and be well,
Hillary J. Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District



Update as of August 11, 2021 – 4:00 p.m.

Dear Elmira City School District Families,

We hope this finds you happy and healthy in the last weeks of summer. We are writing to touch base with you regarding New York State’s back-to-school planning relative to COVID-19 and subsequent health and safety regulations. We have not received definitive information from New York State regarding health and safety requirements for the new school year.

However, at this time the Elmira City School District plans to bring all students to school for five days per week at all levels. There are other important details yet to be determined (ex. masking, testing, distancing, etc.).

Our District leadership team is proactively working closely with the Chemung County Executive’s Office, Chemung County Health officials and surrounding school districts to develop plans that will bring our students and staff back to school safely.

Please log on to www.elmiracityschools.com for Open House dates and times, Parent Academy sessions, back to school supply lists, health physical information, and more.

We thank you for your continued patience as we are working to do what is best for all students, in consultation with local, regional, and state authorities.

Thank you and be well,
Hillary J. Austin
Hillary J. Austin
Superintendent of Schools
Elmira City School District