COVID-19 UPDATE: August 20, 2020

Dear Cantalician Community:

I hope this finds you well and that you enjoyed this very fast summer. I want to keep you updated on the status of all of the services offered at Cantalician Center for Learning in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. As always, we remain committed to ensuring the health, well-being, and safety of our students, individuals, and staff is at the forefront of our decision making process. The ability of the Cantalician Community to remain patient and understanding during this time as we work to carry out our mission is truly remarkable and I ask that it continues. I know we will emerge from this stronger and united in our common goal to do our best for the children and adults of all abilities who are served at our organization.

Reopening and safety plans for all of the services offered at Cantalician Center can be accessed on our website under their respective service area. Please read the following in its entirety.

  • Our Facilities Team continues to work non-stop to not only clean and sanitize our school building but make necessary modifications to ensure social distancing. Additionally, they continue best practices for cleaning and sanitizing at our Day Habilitation and Employment Services locations.
  • The DLS Team continues to work hard to ensure the needs of its customer base is met. Each week, we are bringing back more of the labor force by following the guidance from the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and are currently hiring.
  • Our Day Habilitation Services are allowing in-person services while closely following OPWDD guidance. People continue to return in "Waves" to ensure that we are prepared to resume operations in the safest manner possible. Remote services will continue for those that have decided to remain at home and receive services virtually.
  • Following the guidance from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED), our School Age and Preschool Services for students will begin the year remotely on September 9, 2020 through September 11, 2020. We will reopen in-person services using a "Hybrid Model" for instruction on September 14, 2020. "Group A" will attend in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays and "Group B" will attend in-person on Thursdays and Fridays with Remote Learning on the days they are not in-person. For details regarding our reopening plan and "Hybrid Model," please visit the School Age and Preschool pages on our website. Thank you to our school leadership team and Reopening Taskforce for the countless hours spent on the creation of the plan.
  • This summer, our School Age and Preschool staff have been working very hard to produce Remote Learning lessons as well as prepare our classrooms and therapy spaces to comply with social distancing mandates. I know getting the school building ready for the return to in-person services for students is a daunting task, but I can't thank everyone involved enough for assisting us in achieving that goal. The school staff will begin the school year with a Staff Development Day on September 8, 2020.
  • Our Early Childhood Community Services (ECCS) continues to operate primarily utilizing Teletherapy Services. Using guidance from NYSED and ECDOH, we will be beginning limited face-to-face in-facility (i.e. on-site at Cantalician) sessions, as well as some limited sessions at daycares, preschools, and Universal PreK's (UPK) that are utilizing COVID-19 safety precautions. We will be sure to notify families/caregivers of the change in service delivery though ECCS as it becomes available.
  • Our Daycare is open and continues to operate in "Wave 1" which includes the children of Cantalician Center staff members. In September, "Wave 2" will begin and allow children from the "community" to return. We will be notifying all "community" parents/caregivers soon of the exact date in September in which their child can return. Thank you to everyone for their patience during this time. We are also exploring the possibility of opening a School Age Child Care (SACC) Program to accommodate the needs of our staff with school aged children who may not be attending their school fully in-person this year. The organization is making every effort to alleviate the stress on our staff members so they can continue to provide the high-quality services to everyone in the Cantalician Community.
  • As a full return to services remains a slow process, advocacy to ensure we are receiving adequate funding to cover our fixed costs is still needed. Please take a moment to contact your local, State and Federal Officials. Click here to act now!
  • Our COVID-19 Response Team continues to hold weekly meetings to assess the needs of our entire organization and pays very close attention to State, Federal, and County regulations and how they guide our plans for reopening each service area of our organization. Many thanks to this team of dedicated staff who continue to keep the ever changing regulations front and center.
  • Our Safety Committee continues to ensure we are complying with all Center for Disease Control (CDC), NYSDOH, Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), NYSED, and OPWDD guidance. Policies and procedure have been put into practice to ensure we are doing everything possible to "stop the spread." I want to thank this Committee for their hard work on safety and reopening plans across the organization and for re-imaging current processes to meet new requirements.  

Please continue to monitor your email, our website, our social media, and local news stations pages for any updated information regarding Cantalician Center. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for safety and best practices for our organization to operate during COVID-19, please feel free to reach out to [email protected]. Lastly, stay tuned for more details on Cantalician's Virtual Auction that will begin on October 22, 2020. We can't wait for this fun and exciting online event that supports the exceptional people we serve.

Thank you again for all of your hard work, dedication, and support during this time.

Please be well,

Anne Spisiak

Executive Director, Cantalician Center for Learning


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