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A Note About the Coming Weeks from A.A. Gates

As multiple states of emergency compel schools districts across the country to suspend in-school curriculum and activites in the coming weeks, we thought it best to compile some of the information we have at the present as we embark upon this new distance learning initiative.  

Dear Students and Families,

Closing schools for an extended period of time creates several obstacles for our students and their families. Due to how rapidly the coronavirus has spread throughout the world, the decision to close was necessary. We have been working incredibly hard for the past couple of weeks to help students continue their learning, as best we can. In addition, we have been working on ways to help meet students’ other needs as well.

Learning Opportunities:

All teachers, including special areas have created online learning platforms through Google Classroom. Google Classroom allows teachers to create individual topics, share announcements, post assignments, and view student work if it’s been submitted. Elementary students have varying knowledge of how Google Classroom works. There will be a learning curve for many students, especially in the primary grades. Adults at home will need to help support the learning of our students.

Students should have also joined the A. A. Gates Google Classroom before they left on Friday. There you will find regular announcements/helpful information from school administrators, the nurse’s office, family supports, and technology tips on that site. The code for joining the Google Classroom is: 5u2pfxy. Only students with Port Byron emails can initially join the classroom. If you have other technology related issues, please email

Materials and Personal Belongings:

If students need to gather required school materials from their classrooms or lockers, please call Jen in the elementary office to setup an appointment. Appointments will be scheduled throughout the day on Tuesday, March 17.

Breakfast and Lunch:

We are working on solutions to provide students with free breakfast and lunch as soon as possible. They will most likely be available at school in “to-go” bags. More details will follow.

Social Emotional Support:

Many of our students receive supports from different adults throughout the school day. The elementary counselors will check in periodically with students who they regularly support. If a student needs to speak with their counselor, please email This email address will be monitored by multiple members of the student support team. For individual counselor emails, see below:

Stacy Austin Root – Counselor –
Arin Elia – Counselor –
Lynn Fryer – Psychologist –

We will continue to work through obstacles as they arise. The best way to solve problems is through open lines of communication. Please reach out to me at with any questions or concerns. Thank you in advance for your support.

Be safe,

Julie Podolak

Superintendent: Neil O'Brien
Phone: 315.776.5728
Fax: 315.776.4050
Address: 30 Maple Avenue
Port Byron, New York 13140