RCSD School Closure Update, 3/19/2020: Continuity of Instruction, Mental & Emotional Health/Support, Building and Technology Access, School Meals, and Community Support

Upon concluding Day 4 of the unimaginable closure of our schools in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we can only be appreciative and impressed by the support and the tireless efforts at cooperation, dedication, and service to our children and our community that has been on display across our school district and throughout the Rhinebeck-area community. We are witnessing calamity bringing out the best in many people. Let us all not forget that tolerance and understanding go a long way toward the successful management of a difficult situation that all of us are dealing with, and to the long-term benefits toward the cohesiveness of our community.  

Continuity of Instruction: To reiterate from yesterday’s School Closing Update, the Rhinebeck Central School District is in the process of planning for a mid-range and a long-range continuity of instruction strategy for all Rhinebeck students during the ongoing school closures related to the current coronavirus crisis. Undertaking this work with our instructional staff working from home has involved an additional complication to a process that would be challenging under the best of circumstances, which the closure of our schools in the interest of limiting the possible transmission of the coronavirus to our staff and to others in the community requires.

While we recognize that nothing can replace face-to-face teacher-to-student learning experiences, our plan is to utilize our existing technology infrastructure and our highly skilled teaching staff to promote and continue our students’ educational engagement at home during this time. All parents should have received communication from RCSD teachers regarding instructional materials to support students in reviewing, reinforcing, and enriching instruction that already has been delivered in the classroom setting prior to the current school closures related to the covid-19 crisis.   

Mental and Emotional Health and Support: In addition to the instructional materials coming your way, and as you continue to provide a safe and secure environment for yourself and your family, we want to make you aware that our Counselors, our School Psychologists, and our Social Workers are available to you during school hours, at their school e-mail addresses, to address your concerns and answer your questions.

We will be providing you with additional information addressing our students’ social and emotional needs, as it becomes available in the coming days. 

School Breakfast and Lunch: We want to continue to thank our food service staff for coming together this morning to provide breakfast and lunch for our students for the families that requested them. We will continue providing free breakfast and lunch for any student in the Rhinebeck Central School District community, for as long as the school closures due to the coronavirus crisis last, and regardless of where the students attend school (RCSD, private and parochial, home-schooled).  Free student breakfast and lunch will be made available from Mondays to Fridays, on school days, while schools are closed under the State and Dutchess County State of Emergency Declarations. These meals are available for students in the Rhinebeck Central School District area whose families request them.

Meal pickup again will be on a “grab and go” basis between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:30 am at Bulkeley Middle School/Rhinebeck High School in the student parking lot drop-off lane.

Friday’s breakfast will consist of cereal, milk, fruit and juice, and lunch will consist from a selection of a ham and cheese, cheese, or peanut butter & jelly sandwich, chicken ranch wrap, or chicken fiesta salad; three bean salad, fruit and milk. Please be ready to request your choice when you arrive for pick up or include it in your message if you are requesting delivery. Please let us know if your child has any food allergies.

Please see previous posts on the District website for more information, or call us at the District Office (845-871-5520).

Building and Technology Access: In the interest of limiting access to our buildings for the purpose of social distancing, we have made plans to provide an additional building opening for retrieval of items on Monday, March 23, 2020 from 8:00 am until 12:00 noon.

Outside of that time, any additional access on an as-needed basis, in consideration of maintaining social distance and flattening the COVID-19 curve, can be requested by contacting the appropriate building principal by office telephone or school e-mail to discuss any needs in this regard.  

In addition, any RCSD families who need assistance with access to technology in support of the continuity of instruction should request assistance by e-mailing [email protected] . Steve Jensen, our Director of Technology and Communication, will respond and make every effort to work with you to address your technology needs. Technology will be available on Monday, between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon on Monday, March 23 at the BMS/RHS lobby.   

Thank you again for your understanding and cooperation as we all do our best under extraordinarily difficult conditions. Support our local businesses and help one another, especially those who are least able to help themselves.


845.871.5520 - District
845.871.5520 ext. 5527 - Transportation
845.871.5570 ext. 6560 - Registration
845.871.5570 ext. 6551 - Special Education
845.871.5570 ext. 6560 - Curriculum & Instruction


Mailing: P.O. Box 351, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Physical: 45 N. Park Rd., Rhinebeck, NY 12572


845.871.5570 - Chancellor Livingston Elementary
845.871.5500 - Bulkeley Middle School
845.871.5500 - Rhinebeck High School