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Superintendent's Updates

School Lunch Changes

Dear Brentwood Community,

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we are seeing a nationwide disruption to manufacturing supply and distribution channels. You may have experienced this yourself when you have tried to order something online or buying something in the store and what you are looking for is not available. Just this week, Costco and Walmart announced they were limiting the number of certain paper products to one per customer.

What does this mean for schools? In short, it means we are having trouble getting certain foods and supplies. Your child may notice we are serving different items than we have served in the past and we may also be forced to serve different items than were listed on the menu.
This situation is out of our control and something school districts across the country are experiencing. We are doing our best, everyday to come up with solutions to these challenges.

Despite the obstacles we are committed to serving our students a variety of nutritious foods. While there may be some menu changes, please know everything we serve will continue to meet nutrition guidelines set by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). All schools that operate the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program must follow these guidelines. We will also continue to accommodate students with special diets and allergies.

We remain committed to providing our students with the nutritious meals they need to grow and learn. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

As a reminder school meals (breakfast and lunch) are free for all students again this school year.

 

Richard Loeschner

Superintendent of Schools
Mr. Richard Loeschner
Superintendent of Schools
Telephone 631-434-2325
FAX (631) 273-6575

Letter Regarding Tik Tok Challenges

Dear School Community,


I am writing this letter to the Brentwood Community out of a great deal of concern about the recent school challenges posted on Tik Tok.


I am concerned for several reasons. It encourages kids to vandalize their school. Across the country kids are destroying school property and posting the results on Tik Tok. We have had a few isolated incidents around the district where students are damaging soap dispensers in bathrooms. Their actions have resulted in some schools temporarily restricting access to student bathrooms. My biggest concern, however, is how this challenge encourages lewd, inappropriate and disrespectful conduct. It objectifies young ladies and dares young men to be indecent. This destructive behavior will not be tolerated and will result in immediate disciplinary actions.


Together as a school community we should use this deplorable challenge as an opportunity to speak with our kids about the cost and impact of vandalism on any property. Also, willfully disrespecting another person may cause that person emotional distress for the short or even long term. It’s also a great chance for us to reinforce the need to supervise and even limit what our kids are looking at on the internet.


Brentwood kids are kind, compassionate and have a great respect for one another, which is why I am certain this challenge will not take root in our wonderful community. However, we must always be vigilant and never hesitate when addressing a wrong.


Thank you,
Mr. Richard Loeschner,
Superintendent of Schools

Mask Mandate for the 2021-2022 School Year

Dear Brentwood Community,


As I write this letter, we are fast approaching the end of summer 2021. It is my hope that each of you was able to enjoy some time outdoors and create some memorable moments with family and friends.


Like everyone else, I thought this past Spring and early Summer we were finally putting the COVID-19 virus behind us. Unfortunately, late July and into August we saw an increase in the number of cases resulting in an adjustment to a few protocols for the beginning of the new year.


FACE MASKS: Students and staff both vaccinated and non-vaccinated will be required to wear face masks inside a school or district building. During all outdoor activities FACE MASKS do not need to be worn. While eating breakfast or lunch in a classroom or cafeteria students may remove their face coverings. However, they should put their face masks back on when they finish their meal. Students will also be required to wear a face mask when traveling on a school bus. Students who may be unable to wear a mask for the entire day or for even a portion of the day will be provided with face shields. Most concerning over the past two months is the number of children who are contracting the virus. By instituting a mask mandate, we hope to mitigate the potential spread of the virus in schools thereby protecting both students and staff.


I understand there are strong feelings regarding the wearing of masks. I respect everyone’s opinion and appreciate the arguments presented by both those who believe masks should always be worn and those that do not. The newly installed Governor has mandated that all school employees and students must wear masks indoors and we are obligated to follow her directive. Besides following the mandate there are benefits to having every person, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors. Because everyone is wearing a mask schools will operate the same way they did pre-pandemic. One hundred percent of the students can have five-day a week instruction, all activities before and after school can resume, every Middle School and High School sport can resume, and all clubs’ district wide can meet after school in-person. The most beneficial component of universal mask wearing is we will no longer have to quarantine entire classes resulting in students remaining in school. It was a tremendous burden on families, students, and staff last year when we were required to quarantine a substantial number of people.

We will closely be monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases in Brentwood, Suffolk County and New York State. My hope is that with a sharp decrease in the number of positive cases we will be able to remove the mask mandate.


Sincerely,


Richard Loeschner
Superintendent of Schools
 

Update on Mask Guidance During Summer Programs

To the Brentwood Community:


As some of you may be aware, on Wednesday, July 7 the New York State Health Department released updated guidance regarding mask usage during summer school programs. Due to the consistently low rate of positive COVID cases on Long Island, New York has announced that masks are now optional for indoor or outdoor summer school programs and activities. With this new guidance taken into consideration, the Brentwood School District is no longer requiring masks be worn by students or teachers participating in the district’s summer school program. Students and teachers may continue to wear masks if they so choose but it is no longer a requirement.


The Brentwood School District will continue to adhere to the latest CDC guidance regarding summer camps and other summer programs which was released on May 28, 2021. The most current mandates strongly encourage mask usage but make clear that it is optional and up to the discretion of the individual district and summer programs.


Based upon the updated guidance provided by New York, the Brentwood School District will also implement the following mitigation techniques during summer school instructional programs:
- The use of masks is strongly encouraged but not required.
- Social distancing practices will be implemented in accordance with the number of students in the classroom and based on the size of the learning environment.
- If your child is feeling unwell, the district strongly encourages parents to keep their child home until such time that they are well enough to attend instruction again.
- The same thorough cleaning procedures that were maintained during the 2020-2021 academic year will be upheld for the duration of summer school programs.


Should New York release updated guidance that renders the current information out of date, the district will reassess how the new guidelines impact the procedures currently in place.
The district is looking forward to a great summer full of fun and continued learning.


Stay safe, be well.


Sincerely,
Richard Loeschner
Superintendent of School

Update on Mask Guidance

To the Brentwood School District community,

As you may be aware, during today’s COVID-19 briefing Governor Cuomo announced that all current CDC mask mandates for schools remain in effect. As such, all New York State mask mandates regarding in-school activities and events remain unchanged. The only update to mask guidance for New York State schools, as indicated by Governor Cuomo, is the regulation of masks and face coverings for outdoor settings.

Effective tomorrow, June 8, the Brentwood Union Free School District will no longer be requiring the use of masks for students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, during outdoor activities. However, as noted above, face coverings and masks are still necessary when in our school buildings.

The Brentwood School District administration and Board of Education appreciate and respect that there are differing opinions regarding the issue of mask wearing in schools. However, the Governor was very specific when it came to what schools must do regarding indoor school activities – masks must be worn at all times.

The Governor also made clear that the CDC does not anticipate making any changes or updates to its school mask guidance for several weeks. As a result, the district will continue to operate with all current indoor mask protocols in place through the end of the year.

As one of the most heavily impacted communities by the pandemic in Suffolk County, we must continue to be vigilant when it comes to the health and safety of our students, staff and community. While this revision to mask regulations is a step toward a return to normalcy, we must continue to act in the best interests of our families and peers. 

Sincerely,
Mr. Richard Loeschner
Superintendent of Schools