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SRMT Education Director Letter to the Community

Aug 26, 2020

Seskéha/August 26, 2020

Re: SRMT Education Division Update

Shé:kon/Hello Families,

We hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. We have all been dealing with extraordinary situations that test us in every way possible. It is my hope you were able to persevere and take care of yourself and your family. If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Tribe’s Family Advocate at (518) 358-3021. The uncertainty has been challenging, but we must stay positive for the youth and little ones who are looking to us as we all navigate the new normal.

At this time, I want to provide an update on our educational services for the upcoming school year.

Higher Education Services

First, Niá:wen/Thank You to all of our Higher Education Services students for completing your application and submitting all of your supporting documents. We appreciate your efforts and patience as we navigated these uncharted waters and worked through this process remotely. This was a daunting task, but we are proud of your efforts! Niá:wen to the Education team, as they did their best to keep up with the numerous applications, emails and phone calls. If you submitted an application, communication from our Higher Education team regarding a student’s application status and award will be sent by mail in the next couple of weeks. If you should have any questions, please reach out to our Higher Education Program Manager at (518) 358-9721.

Early Learning Center

To our families of the Early Learning Center, Niá:wen for your patience while we reviewed all of the guidance provided to us from our partners and various agencies. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the ELC will not be reopening in September 2020. This was a decision that was given substantial consideration.

For Child Care Services, we will continue to monitor the pandemic and our communities’ response to COVID-19. We are anticipating opening in the New Year 2021, knowing that this endeavor will look and feel very different than it has in the past. Of course, there will be more information to come, as we further develop and update our re-opening plans for our community. If community conditions allow us to re-open sooner, we will re-evaluate and make a decision to do so. Please keep in mind that if you do have childcare needs, we are encouraging the use of Relative Care Providers. It is our hope that care can be found with a parent, grandparent, aunt, cousin, sibling or good family friend that you trust. Please reach out to our Child Care Coordinator or Child Care Supervisor at (518) 358-2988 for questions or assistance.

For our families that signed up for Head Start, we do have a plan to do remote learning with our children and families, beginning September 14, 2020. Each one of our children that have signed up for Head Start will be provided with a learning tablet. These devices will be on loan for the school year 2020-2021. These devices will help facilitate learning, connection, and interaction with our caring teaching staff for the entire year! The primary purpose is emphasizing care, safety, health and well-being of our children and families. Our Head Start Continuity of Learning Plan will be mailed to our families prior to September 14, 2020.

Food will be provided while the ELC is closed to children. Our staff will be reaching out to families to determine need and accessibility to food. More to come on this in the coming weeks.

Youth Services

Our Youth Services team has been working with each of our local public schools on what our services will look like for the upcoming school year. At this time, we can say that our Education Specialists will be available to provide academic support remotely to our students in grades 6–12. Using various online platforms, support will be available to students that fits their learning needs throughout the day. In a critical time, support for our young people is especially important. If you should have any questions regarding our support services, please call (518) 358-9721 to speak with our Youth Services Manager.

Employment and Training Services

If you are a community member that is seeking Employment and Training Services, we have help available for you. At a time when so many people are laid off from work or seeking employment, please feel free to reach out to our Education and Employment Manager at (518) 358-9721 to learn about options and assistance that is available.

We appreciate all of the feedback that we have received from our surveys, phone calls and emails from our families about reopening. We value your opinions and appreciate your willingness to work with us to help us understand your needs and concerns.

On behalf of the Tribe’s Education Division team, Niawen:kówa/Thank you very much for your patience and understanding as we work towards a re-opening that best serves our children, families and community in the safest way possible.

Please call (518) 358-9721 you have any questions regarding this correspondence.

Niawen:kowa/Thank you very much,

Stephanie Cook
SRMT Director of Education