Rocky Hill Superintendent Welcome Back Updates

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August 30, 2023
Dear Students, Families, and Staff,
I hope that you experienced a relaxing and enjoyable summer. I want to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back for what promises to be a rewarding and productive 2023-24 school year. As you know, students will report for the first day of school tomorrow, August 31, 2023. 
I am writing today with several updates:  
Changes to BOE Leadership
Last Thursday evening, Mr. Steven Slattery was appointed as the new Board of Education Chair. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Slattery to his new role. Mr. Slattery will take Mr. Brian Dillon’s place. Mr. Dillon stepped down from the Board following fourteen years of outstanding service to our community, its children, and the school district. Mr. Dillon made this decision in order to spend more time with his family, and his leadership will certainly be missed; however, he leaves the Board with an established legacy of cooperation with his fellow members that resulted in an impressive list of accomplishments including strong, annual student achievement scores; keeping our schools open for in-person learning during the height of the pandemic (SY 2020-21); and significant improvements to our school facilities throughout the district (including the construction of Moser School in 2019). I am confident that Mr. Slattery will continue to provide the Board with effective and steady leadership.  
Adjustment to the School Calendar
In response to feedback from parents/guardians and teachers, the Board made a slight adjustment to the school calendar for SY 2023-24. Friday, October 27, 2023, was previously an early release day for all students. October 27 is now a regular school day for all students and staff. Thursday, March 21, 2024, will now be an early release day for elementary schools (Stevens, West Hill, and Moser) for the purpose of scheduling a second set of dates (March 21 and March 22) for spring parent/teacher conferences at those three schools. Friday, March 22, will remain an early release day for all of our schools. 
COVID-19 Protocols
We continue to follow the guidelines promulgated by the Connecticut State Department of Public Health. Please note the following:
  • If students or staff test positive for COVID-19, the positive test result should be shared with the school nurse.
  • Students and staff should stay out of school for five (5) days from the onset of symptoms or the day of the positive test.  
  • The day of the positive test/onset of symptoms is day 0.
  • Students and staff can return on day six (6) as long as symptoms have improved and they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
  • Masks will continue to remain optional for students and staff in all settings (e.g., classrooms, buses, athletic activities).
Any parent or guardian with specific questions regarding COVID-19 protocols for school year 2023-24 is encouraged to contact the school nurse. 
School Meals Program
  • For the 2023-24 school year, breakfast will be free for all students at the schools that offered breakfast last year. Hence, all Rocky Hill High School, Stevens, and West Hill students are now eligible to receive free breakfast (regardless of family income level). 
  • Moser is kicking off a new breakfast program this year and therefore is not eligible for the state funding providing free breakfast for all students (income-qualifying students will receive free breakfast at Moser if the parent/guardian has submitted the application for Free and Reduced Price Meals). Students from families that do not qualify for Free or Reduced Price meals will be able to purchase breakfast at Moser School. 
  • Students at all five schools that qualify for Reduced Priced Meals will be eligible to receive one free lunch per day. 
  • The income thresholds for Free and Reduced Priced meals have been lowered in order to allow more students to qualify. We encourage all potentially income-eligible families to fill out the application for Free and Reduced Priced Meals. You can find the application on the district’s website under the link for Food and Nutrition Information.
Any parent or guardian with questions regarding the school meals program is encouraged to contact our assistant superintendent for finance and operations, Mr. Charles Zettergren, at 860-258-3175.
In closing, I once again want to acknowledge all members of the Rocky Hill Public Schools community for your continued support. We are particularly proud of the efforts of our students who have excelled academically (as measured by mandated state assessments) and continued to outperform their peers in similarly situated communities. Their success is clearly a byproduct of great support at home coupled with the outstanding efforts of their dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring teachers. 
Best wishes for a great school year!  We look forward to seeing our students tomorrow! 
Mark Zito, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools