Staying Connected: Your Stories
Connections in Education During COVID-19

Throughout New York State, administrators, teachers, and school personnel continue to demonstrate their extraordinary dedication, support, and commitment to their students and New York's children. The State Education Department (NYSED) wishes to highlight the exceptional efforts of our educators to stay connected with students during the coronavirus pandemic.

This edition of Staying Connected highlights:

  • Indian River Central School District celebrates the Month of the Military Child
  • Fort Montgomery Elementary School honors military families during the Month of the Military Child
  • Long Island high school student launches a peer tutoring website

NYSED is grateful to the dedicated educators and school personnel who are working so diligently to ensure that students are safe and well. We encourage you to Submit Your Story detailing how you continue to stay connected throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
Indian River Central School District Celebrates the Month of the Military Child
Military members and military-connected families make many sacrifices for the security and safety of our nation, specifically military-connected children during their K-12 careers. Each year, April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to celebrate the important role military children play while their service member parents serve our country. Indian River Central School District celebrated by creating this wonderful video featuring military connected students and graduates who shared their experiences.
Fort Montgomery Elementary School Honors Military Families During the Month of the Military Child
Purple Up for Military Families
April was the Month of the Military Child, a time dedicated to military children and the role they play in our communities. This was a special time to applaud and celebrate the sacrifices and challenges military children endure as their families defend our nation.  

This year, Fort Montgomery Elementary School (FMES) in the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery Central School District honored these extra special members of the community in a few ways.

Spirit Days

  • Wednesday, April 14th - Purple Up! - wear purple
  • Wednesday, April 21st - Camo Day - show off that camouflage
  • Wednesday, April 28th - Service Logo Day - highlight a branch of the armed forces


FMES shared read alouds via Google Classroom. The videos were designed to be shown during Community Circle and included a question or prompt for students to discuss after viewing the videos. There were also a few "guest" speakers visiting classes via video!

"Wall of Honor"

FMES created a "Wall of Honor" to celebrate and recognize military families. The "Wall of Honor" was displayed on a purple bulletin board outside the cafeteria for all to see.  

FMES' hope is that the culmination of voices expressing gratitude to military families will be loud enough for all to hear. The FMES community is so appreciative of the sacrifices military children and their families have made.
Blast Off Tutoring: Student Starts Website to Promote Peer-to-Peer Tutoring
Mitchell Meyer
Mitchell Meyer is a Long Island high school junior. He recognized a problem last year when the pandemic first started. 

Students involved in the National Honor Society are required to fulfill community service hours in order to be part of the program. Most accrued these hours by working in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, food pantries, etc. Because of closures, these outlets were not hosting students which made it very difficult to fulfill the requirements.  

As a result, Mitchell created and developed a free, interactive website called Blast Off Tutoring that provides a platform for student tutors and tutees to connect. Now more than ever, because of remote instruction, students find it challenging to get the support they need, especially in math and science. Any student with expertise in a subject can volunteer to be a tutor. Student tutors receive community service hours for all of their completed sessions.

Mitchell’s goals are simple:

Helping Students Access Quality Instruction
He wants to help as many students as he can by offering free tutoring in all areas.

Peers Tutoring Peers
Mitchell feels strongly that tutoring is done peer-to-peer. Kids in the same age range relate to each other in different ways than they do to adults. Friendships are developed that go way beyond tutoring.

Understanding Diversity
Offering assistance to students in different areas teaches life lessons such as understanding diversity, inclusiveness, patience, communication skills, and gaining a perspective of differences in need. While this is taught in school, learning by doing is far more effective.

Community Service Hours
Giving back to their school and community in a safe, rewarding way for students to fulfill their community service requirements. Again - it’s free and extremely helpful to many, many students!
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