Weekly Blast - 5/15/2020

  • Principal's Message 
    Dear Irvington Students and Families,
    Happy Friday! Thank you all for another strong week of distance learning,
    AP Exams, part one of the Irvies on Instagram and more! Please read below for important news and reminders:
    IHS will be OPEN to Students on June 5th: On Friday, June 5th, the building will be open for students to come and collect any required items from their lockers, musical instruments or other work. This will also be the primary opportunity for students to return their textbooks. However, please note that there will be opportunities to enter the building during the summer. That said, in order to complete the required cleaning of the building, lockers will be emptied by custodial staff subsequent to the June 5th date. Clothing items will be placed in the building Lost and Found. If students do not have textbooks or materials in their lockers, there is no need to enter the building. 
    In order to maintain safety and appropriate social distancing, students will be allowed to enter the building via the schedule outlined.
    Please click Here for the schedule
    Please also note these important guidelines when preparing to come to school on 6/5 - Students should:
    • Bring and wear masks and gloves throughout their time on campus. This is a requirement for entry into the building. The building may have a small supply available, but to guarantee access, students should look to bring their own.
    • Remain in their car until their allotted time.
    • Enter and exit through the atrium doors only. Other entrances will be locked.
    • Check in and our with an IHS staff member when entering and leaving the building.
    • Adhere to social distancing guidelines while waiting to enter the building and while within the building.
    • Not use this time to socialize with friends.
    • Bring any necessary bags to carry items home.
    • Email Nurse Basha (Elizabeth.Basha@IrvingtonSchools.org) in advance if you plan to collect medications.
    • IN ADVANCE of June 5th- Prepare textbooks for returning by making sure their name is clearly. labeled, either on a post it note on the inner cover or by putting the books in a labeled bag.
    Exit the building immediately upon the announced end of the visitation window.
    • Not come to school on 6/5 if they do not have materials to collect or return.
    We thank you in advance for your adherence to these guidelines. These are challenging times and we recognize that there may be need for flexibility in scheduling. If you have any concerns with your or your child’s abilities to adhere to these guidelines and schedule, please reach out to your counselor so that we might identify an alternative plan.
    Learning Activity Options for Friday, May 22nd: In an effort to provide students with some opportunities to pursue personal interests related to their studies, below are some resources that teachers identified that speak to the curriculum in new and interesting ways.
    Please click Here to view the document
    Thank you very much and have a wonderful weekend,
     AP Exams In Progress
    Dear AP Students,
    We are officially in the midst of the AP Online Exam experience! Some of you may have already taken exams, while many more of you have exams coming up. We wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate you all for your continued progress during this unpredictable year. This new testing experience has required students to adjust their expectations, think on their feet, and take responsibility for themselves and their education. We are so proud of how our students have risen to the occasion!
    As with anything new or different, students are bound to have worries and stress related to their exams. Here are some tips that might help you if you’re feeling stressed over the unknown:
    DON’T dwell on things you can’t control. There are a number of things that you can’t predict when it comes to taking these exams. Worrying about those factors will not help to reduce your stress.
    DO focus on the things you can control. Prepare for these exams as best as you can. Read through the attached AP Exam Tips, and the many resources it includes. Practice with the AP Demo to familiarize yourself with the test day experience, and how to upload responses. Read through the 2020 AP Exam Day Checklist, especially the “During the Exam” section, which tells you how to proceed if you encounter a problem. NEW: College Board has added Troubleshooting Tips for AP 2020 Exams, which covers technical issues that may occur.
    DO acknowledge your stress. AP exams are stressful, and even more so this year! Be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to feel your emotions.
    DON’T let it overwhelm you. Take care of yourself! Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. If you need support, reach out for help. Your parents, siblings and friends can be great people to talk to, but remember that your teachers, school counselors, student assistance counselor and school psychologists are available as well.
    DON’T compare yourself to others. Your exam experience is your own. What someone else experiences or how they approach the exam will not change how you perform.
    DO give yourself credit. You have put in all of the hard work to get to this point, and that is what matters the most.
    As AP Online Testing continues, please remember that you can reach out to Ms. Zerbo and Mr. Samuelson with any specific issues or concerns that arise.
    Irvington Union Free School District
    Instagram Page is here!!
    We are happy to announce that the IUFSD Instagram page is now active, please check it out here!
    Student Council Corner
    Brought to you by Ms. Cutignola, Mr. Berkowitz and our Student Council Representatives
    The "Irvies" Update
    Life is better at the Irvies. Student Council welcomes you to a much deserved break with the digital Irvington Choice Awards part 1 posted on our Class Pages in Google Classroom. 
    We hope you tune in on Thursday, May 21st!
    What ever happened to predictability?
    The bus rides, the bell rings, social gatherings
    How did we get to living inside?
    Somebody tell me please!
    This quarantine's confusing me.
    With masks as frequent as you've ever seen
    Ain't a hallway to hear your laughs.
    Then a little voice inside you Whispers,
    Kid don't sell your dreams, so soon!
    Everywhere you look, everywhere you go 
    There's a heart
    A hand to hold onto.
    Everywhere you look, everywhere you go.
    There's a face
    Of somebody who needs you.
    Everywhere you look,
    When you're lost out there and you're all alone,
    A light is waiting to carry you home,
    Everywhere you look.
    Elections Reminder:
    The election process has begun for next year's council. A reminder to check out the requirements on google classroom. Intention and endorsement deadline is Wednesday, May 20th. 
    A Letter from the New York State of Health
    Meal Distribution Update & Additional Support
    Meal distribution continues to be available at the Main Street School parking lot from 9am - 10am. Food will then be distributed in the Tarrytown Crossing/Tallyrand parking lot near the playground from 10:15-11:15am. Both breakfast and lunch are available for a “Grab and Go” pickup. Parents, neighbors, and/or friends may pick up food for students. Additionally, every Friday we are distributing meals for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Food is available for free for all Irvington UFSD students and can be picked up by family members, friends and/or neighbors. This means that no child or family will be identified as being eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch when going to receive food. Students and families are asked to pick up the day’s food and return home and maintain social -distancing. Please contact your school counselor if you have any questions or concerns related to meal pick-up.
    Please know that the Irvington School District is here to support all families during these challenging days. Please take a moment and complete this survey. Doing so will help our district social worker, Gina Menendez, connect with families that may be in need of support to secure food and other resources. 
    Ms. Gamar's Corner
    Please click on the flyer below and contact Ms. Gamar for support during this time:
    Every Wednesday, at 2:00, Ms. Gamar is hosting virtual games, featuring Kahoot, Bingo, Trivia, etc. through Google Meet.  iASK-CAB is providing a 
    a prize for the winner of each week’s game!The link can be found each week on: “Positivity from The Positive Impact Club” 
    Code zepyrd5
    Join Wind Down Wednesday 5/20 at 2pm: meet.google.com/zvb-ocrh-zgo
    Join Wind Down Wednesday 5/27 at 2pm:  meet.google.com/dit-metu-wgi
    Student Assistance Services Counselor
    While we are eLearning, our Student Assistance Counselor, 
    Danielle Gamar, will continue to offer services for students and families. Ms. Gamar is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in substance abuse prevention. If students or parents are in need of assistance or help linking to treatment providers or other services in the community, please send an email to danielle.gamar@irvingtonschools.org. Ms. Gamar will set up a time to connect with students and parents during school hours and all communication is confidential. 
    Additional resources:
    Office of Mental Health for NYS: https://omh.ny.gov/
    Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services for NYS: https://oasas.ny.gov/
    National Helpline for Mental Health: Text TALK to 741-741 or Call: 1-800-273-8255
    Substance Abuse: NYS 24/7 HOPELINE: 1-877-846-7369
    Mental Health Awareness and Prevention Week
    May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this week also happens to be National Prevention Week, as sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Given the myriad of risks that marijuana use presents to the mental health of our children, we must remain informed, while we continue conversations about these risks with the adolescents in our lives.
    Marijuna legalization in many states, commercialization, and normalization has led to a concerning rise in use among our young people. The infographic below shows the recent rise in youth use. Please click here, or on the infographic, for a web page dedicated to Marijuana and Mental health. 
    Meditation & Relaxation
    We have all experienced a range of thoughts and feelings as a result of this epidemic, and it is important to take care of ourselves as we maintain our strength and positivity. The benefits of meditation are undeniable, and community member Jennifer Monness is partnering with us to provide free meditation sessions for the entire school community. Just as students did in school, they can participate in meditation at home! To access these meditation videos, please follow this link and enter password “Med1t@tionLabs!”. Thank you, Mrs. Monness!
    June Regents Exams are Canceled
    As you know, the NY State Department of Education recently announced that all June Regents exams are cancelled. This decision is consistent with the cancellation of the NY State Math, ELA and Science exams at the elementary and middle levels.  
    While there are several types of situations in which students are exempt from the Regents, most of our students fall into one two categories: Students who are currently enrolled in classes ending in Regents exams and who pass those classes in June are exempt from the exam. In addition, students who are currently preparing to take an exam for a class in which they are not enrolled and for which they have previously earned credit are also exempt from the exam. 
    As you know, many of Irvington High School’s classes cultimate with the Regents exam serving as the final assessment. We are now working to determine how student learning will be assessed in the absence of these exams. Please refer to the email blast from 4/8/20 entitled "June Regents Exams are Canceled" for more information. 
    Wellness Wednesday
     "Always make sure your optimistic thoughts 
    wildly out-number your fears and regrets." 
    - Karen Salmanson 
     The Wellness Wednesday Program at Irvington High School, introduced this school year, is designed to foster the development of healthy habits. Positive messages and quotes have been shared with students throughout the school year.    
         Positive messages will continue to be shared on Wednesdays, and include activities and strategies to help students cope with the experience during this time. The hope is that students can use these tools and carry the habits with them in their immediate and distant futures.
    Mental Health Awareness and Prevention
         May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this week happens to be National Prevention Week. As people continue to call into question the potential benefits and risks of marijuana, marijuana has now been observed to cause a range of mental and physiological health problems- especially in adolescents. The developing brain is particularly susceptible to the negative effects of marijuana use. It interferes with memory, worsens symptoms of depression, and is addictive.  
    For a comprehensive resource, this graphic will take you to a webpage dedicated to Marijuana and Mental Health.