Island Park UFSD Reopening Plan- Subject to NYS Approval

Dear Island Park Families,

We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy!

Over the past month the District’s Reopening Task Force and Committees have been working tirelessly on developing a reentry plan that is in compliance with guidelines and guidance from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Based upon a careful analysis of the guidance and guidelines provided to us from these State agencies, including the mandatory social distancing requirements in classrooms and on school buses, our current fleet of school buses (District-owned and contracted) as well as the limited staffing at both Francis X Hegarty and Lincoln Orens Middle School, we are planning a return for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, using a Hybrid Model. This is a combination of in-person and remote instruction that divides classes into two cohorts; it will be in place for the first day of school.

Although current staffing levels are insufficient to accommodate the expanded number of classrooms needed to ensure social distancing through the use of cohorts in the All In-Person Model, the District is committed to meeting with parents and district committee groups as we move forward this fall to continue planning for a phased-in approach to the return of all students that we call the All In-Person Model, should our students and employees remain healthy.

What is a Hybrid Model of Instruction?

A Hybrid Model of instruction is a teaching and learning approach where alternating groups of students (cohorts) physically attend school on designated days of the week. While some students attend school in-person, other students attend remotely. In our new model of distance or remote learning, students who are not in the school building will be engaged in both “live teaching” (synchronous) and independent learning (asynchronous). On days students attend class remotely, they will also participate in classroom instruction with their teacher(s) and peers through the use of Google Classroom, Google Meet, and classroom webcams with broadcasting capability. Throughout the school day, students will follow a schedule, receive mini-lessons (live instruction) from the teacher, interact with peers and complete all assignments. In addition, daily or period-by-period attendance will be taken, regardless if the students are participating in-person or remotely.

Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, our District has developed this Hybrid Model with dual, parallel schedules. First and foremost, this keeps students and employees safely distanced in our school buildings whereby all can make the most of our excellent facilities and resources. Yet, in the event of a school closure when students have to learn in a fully remote environment, instruction will continue to focus on “core” subject areas as well as special areas classes, following the same daily schedule. In addition, all instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards. In this way, students will not encounter conflicts wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously. Remote learning opportunities for all students (Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8) will include a greater emphasis on synchronous instruction, with teachers providing live instruction and lessons to students using classroom webcams and Google Meet. Teachers will ensure that their students are directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning on a regular basis. This revamped model increases access to live teaching (synchronous) experiences and reduces the family burden to support student learning at home.

The Hybrid Model allows the District to maximize in-person instruction, on a rotating basis, while balancing equity, capacity, social distancing, PPE, feasibility, special considerations for students with disabilities, English language learners and students experiencing homelessness with our current staffing levels. As previously noted, although the District will begin the 2020-2021 school year in a Hybrid Model, we will continue to research, plan, and develop plans for a phased in approach to the All In-Person Model.

Please join us for a Special Business Meeting of the Board of Education on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 6:30 PM when I will share the District’s Reopening Plan (including more details about the student schedules), with the community via WebEx. The District’s Reopening Plan, which is subject to NYS approval, can be found on the District’s website at in a new browser tab

Vincent Randazzo
Assistant Superintendent


NY State of Health Letter to Families

Dear New York State Educators,

Please share this information with families in your community.

As we work through these challenging times together, NY State of Health is committed to ensuring access to affordable, quality health insurance for all New Yorkers so they can get the care they need during this state of emergency.

With the recent closure of businesses across the state, many New Yorkers are at risk of losing their health insurance coverage as a result of COVID-19. Many are likely to be eligible for health coverage with financial assistance through NY State of Health due to their loss of coverage and income. NY State of Health opened a Special Enrollment Period last month for people who are uninsured, and the Marketplace has started an awareness campaign to let people know that NY State of Health is there as a safety net in difficult times like these.

New Yorkers who are without health insurance should apply now through NY State of Health. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, or subsidized Qualified Health Plan coverage.

Thousands of assistors are ready throughout the state to help consumers enroll by phone. NY State of Health is committed to helping New Yorkers get the coverage they need so they can get the care they need.

Visit us at: and let us help you find a health care plan that works for you.

If you have additional questions you can contact the Marketplace directly at 518-486-9102 or

See PDF:  NY State of Health Letter to Families.pdf 




The following are activities for physical therapy and occupational therapy.  These activities and supports may provide each student equitable access in order to maintain or promote meaningful progress in accordance with his/her IEP, 504 Plan, or other educational needs.  


Please visit Ms. Marconi’s (for Mrs. Gold) or Mrs. Lynch’s website for related activities.  These pages are posted under “Teacher Pages” for both Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School and Lincoln Orens Middle School.  On the teacher page, there are activities specifically targeting student skills and IEP Goals. 



  • Simon Says
  • Bean bag or balloon toss
  • Hot potato 
  • Egg in spoon
  • Hop scotch 

Outdoor Activities 

  • Jump rope 
  • Ride a tricycle or bicycle 
  • Jumping or jumping jacks
  • Playing ball – bounce/catch
  • Bubble play 

Indoor Fun 

  • Dance party 
  • Building a fort – boxes, blankets 
  • Walk like an animal
  • slither like a snake
  • hop like a frog
  • gallop/horse
  • bear/all 4s tummy down
  • crab/all 4s tummy up

On Line Resources 


Preschool Students 

Get Moving 

  • Take the stairs, not the elevator 
  • Walk around the block- play I spy while walking 
  • Run relays with siblings and/or caregivers 
  • Step on/off a step stool 
  • Place pillows on floor and have child walk on them

Doing Other Activities 

  • Do puzzles or play with building blocks while squatting 
  • Read a book while lying on belly 
  • Do chores like setting/clearing the table, 

Play Games 

  • Head, shoulders, knees, and toes 
  • Act out animal walks

Outdoor Activities 

  • Visit the playground 
  • Play ball- catch, throw, kick
  • Push heavy items in a stroller/wagon

Games You Can Play 

  • Simon says 
  • Scavenger hunt 
  • Bean bag or balloon toss
  • Hot potato 
  • Egg in spoon

Outdoor Activities  

  • Play ball – bounce/catch 
  • Bubble play 
  • Wet sponge toss 

Indoor Fun 



Fine Motor, Visual Motor, and Perceptual Skills 

Cutting Tips 

  • Bold the outline with a highlighter or marker.
  • Hold scissors and paper with “thumbs on top.” You can place a sticker on your child’s thumb nail as a reminder.
  • Begin first with cutting straight lines, then basic shapes, then complex shapes.
  • Use hand-over-hand assistance as needed.

Gluing Tips 

  • When gluing, put the glue on the object being glued and NOT the paper.
  • Make a mark or draw a line as a visual of where the glue should go.
  • Try glue sticks for children with decreased strength.

Pencil Grasp Tips 

  • Use broken crayons and short pencils to encourage an efficient grasp
  • Have your child hold a small coin or cotton ball with their pinky and ring fingers leaving only their ring finger, middle finger and thumb available to hold the pencil.

Hand Strengthening Activities 

  • Hand weight bearing activities, such as wheelbarrow walks, crab walks, push-ups, and crawling.
  • Lego and Playdoh play: roll into balls, make a snake, press with stamps, hide and find pegs or beads, etc.
  • Pinch clothespins, paint with eyedroppers, & pick up items with tweezers.
  • Crafts, such as beading, lacing, ripping paper to make a collage, and hole punch activities.
  • Use a spray bottle to play in the bath, help with cleaning, etc.
  • For in-hand manipulation, place coins in a piggy bank or make your own with a coffee can with a slot in the top.

Visual Skills Activities 

  • When reading use an index card or ruler to help isolate one line or word at a time.
  • Activities such as mazes, cryptograms, Dotto-Dot, word finds, puzzles, ball or balloon toss, etc.
  • To view more visual perceptual activities, visit the free website: external link)(Open external link)

Writing Skills 

Proper Posture When Writing on a Table Top 

  • Feet flat on the floor (A footstool or thick book can be placed under the feet to assist if feet do not reach the floor.) Sit upright in chair.
  • Wrist supported on table. Paper stabilized by nonwriting hand.

Letter Formation 

  • When printing, prompt your child to use a top down formation: “Start at the top!”
  • Try this routine: You write the letter…Your child writes the letter…You write the letter…Your child writes the letter.


  • Have child use their finger or a Popsicle stick after each word to create an appropriate space before beginning the next word.
  • Use graph paper to give a visual cue for spacing out words and letters.
  • There are many types of writing paper. Be sure to check with your child’s therapist on the best type of paper or strategy for your child.

Letter and word placement 

  • Draw a green line along the left margin of the paper and a red line on the right to signal where to “start” and “stop.”
  • If your child has difficulty writing on the line, darken the baseline with a marker.
  • Use a highlighter to indicate where to write between lines.


Practice Writing Skills 

  • Schedule a 10 minute interval daily to practice writing.
  • Encourage your child to write about a preferred topic of choice.
  • Help your child make greeting cards for family and friends.
  • Write a grocery list together.
  • Make lists: favorite TV programs, movies, things to pack before a trip.

Self-Regulation and Sensory Processing 

Self-regulation is the ability to control one’s thoughts, emotional responses, actions and level of alertness/attention. It can be influenced by several different factors including sensory processing. Sensory processing is how we process information from the world around us as well as what is going on inside of us to produce an appropriate behavioral response. 

Calming Activities 

  • Play games that reinforce structure and require waiting/ turn-taking: red light green light, freeze dance, Simon says.
  • Yoga, meditation and belly breathing will help child develop better control of their physical body, thoughts, and emotional states. You can start by sitting still with eyes closed with a slow count of 5.
  • Routines, structure and clear expectations will help your child with selfcontrol. Review any changes to normal routine early.
  • Provide a quiet personal space for your child to calm. Relaxing music, a bean bag chair or soft pillows to burrow in may be helpful.
  • Encourage a variety of play/work positions such as standing, lying on the floor, kneeling.
  • Offer your child a chewy snack to provide organizing sensory input (i.e. Twizzlers, dried fruits, bagels, etc.).
  • “Heavy work” activities (carrying heavy items, push/pull activities, etc.)

Energizing Activities 

  • Have your child jump on a mini-trampoline, perform jumping jacks or play hopscotch.
  • Push-ups on the floor or push-ups against the wall.
  • Organized sports activities- running, yoga, karate, gymnastics, bike riding.
  • Climbing on or hanging from playground equipment.
  • Eating crunchy foods (i.e. popcorn, pretzels, carrots, apples, etc.).
  • Play and dance to loud, fast-paced music.
  • Use toys that make noise or light up.

Tips for Children with Tactile Sensitivities 

  • Gradually expose your child to different textures going from the least to most messy. (i.e. Play-doh is less messy than shaving cream or finger paints.)
  • Provide firm pressure rather than light touch when holding hands or giving hugs.
  • Make sure that blankets, pajamas and clothes are comfortable for the child as this may disrupt their sleep and other daily activities. (i.e. Cut out clothing tags if causing discomfort, wear socks inside out if irritating, etc.)
  • Use unscented laundry detergent. 

Attention and Focus 

Also refer to the Self-Regulation and Sensory Processing section; strategies may also result in improved attention and ability to focus. 

  • Choose a location in the home with minimal distractions when completing structured activities such as homework or studying.
  • Break down instructions into simple 1-2 step directions.
  • Have child repeat directions to reinforce understanding.
  • Use a visual timer to gradually increase attention to a non-preferred activity.
  • Allow your child to take short, intermittent movement breaks.
  • Use a reward chart with stickers or checkmarks to reinforce positive behaviors.

Toilet Training 

  • Look for signs for readiness, like discomfort when wet or soiled or staying dry for several hours at a time.
  • Have your child wear easy to manage clothing (i.e. sweatpants).
  • Establish a schedule according to wetness pattern.
  • Toileting symbol may be helpful for requests.
  • Use charts for positive reinforcement and celebrate each success.

Shoe Tying 

  • Children typically require demonstration, explanation, and lots of practice to master tying their shoes.
  • Remember there are two common methods for tying laces; the bunny ear approach using two loops, or the wrap-around technique, making one single loop then wrapping the other string around and tucking through. Try both and see what works best for your child.
  • Be sure laces are long enough so that your child can make large loops if needed.
  • Practicing knots on a jump rope or pipe cleaner can also make it easier and more fun.


  • Practice dressing skills through pretend play with dress-up clothes or dolls. 
  • Help your child up until the very last step to allow him/her to successfully complete the dressing task. Do less and less as your child can do more and more. For example:
  • Assist with fastening the zipper but allow the child to pull it up.
  • Help your child put each leg into his/her pants but have your child pull his/her pants up independently. 
  • Insert a button halfway into the hole, but let your child pull it fully through.
  • Teach your child to locate the tag first to identify the front when putting on shirts or jackets. 

Hand Washing 

  1. Use Soap
  2. Scrub palm to palm
  3. Scrub back of hands
  4. Wash between fingers
  5. Wash thumbs
  6. Scrub fingernails
  7. Wash wrists
  8. Rinse hands
  9. Dry Hands