• Updates from Mr. Daniels


    June 9, 2020

    Dear Helendale Road Parents, Families and Guardians,


    I hope you are doing well right now. We are very happy that our students will have their iPads for the summer to use to read and explore things online under your supervision. I want to clarify that teachers will not be providing instruction through Seesaw over the summer. I highly encourage students to have fun and get outside and safely explore places with you and your family this summer. Consider using Raz Kids and create a ritual, for example each night, to read a story before bed with them. Students know the reading apps and they have access to so many books!


    Please feel free to continue dropping any school library books to the building as you move about. We put a clear plastic bin on the blue bench by the main entrance for library books to be returned. The process so far has worked out very well so far. Thank you for helping us out in this way.


    Our teachers are now working on completing an end of the year report card for your child that will be mailed home. Please look forward to receiving these.


    Our Helendale PTA will be holding an end of the year Zoom meeting to hold elections for next year this Thursday, June 11 at 7:00. If you are PTA member join us to vote for our officers. Please see the link, the meeting ID and password to log on Thursday below. I thank them for their continued willingness to serve our school and students.


    The candidates are:

    Teresa Kneezel, president

    Claire Franchini, vice-president

    Allison Do, treasurer

    Laura Le, secretary

    Here is the zoom link: 


    Meeting ID: 628 834 7777
    Password: 334475


    Miss you all and wish you the best,


    Eric Daniels

    Helendale Principal



    June 1, 2020


    Dear Helendale Parents, Families and Guardians,


    I hope this finds you well!


    Good news! Helendale students will be keeping their iPads for the summer to continue their learning while home. Our EI tech department has the ability to remotely send digitally updates to students iPads if and when necessary. I will keep you in the loop throughout the summer as needed with information. New Kindergarten students will be issued iPads when we get direction form the governor for how we may proceed with school. Second graders should plan to ‘bring them’ to third grade at Laurelton Pardee for next year. Please see the attached letter from our IT department.


    We would like to get our school library books back to school sooner rather than later. We will place a labeled bin for library books on the bench under the front canopy at school for you to drop them off when you have moment. Our school library books have a black and white barcode on them. Mrs. Graves and I are here at school full time so we will bring the books in each day so that nothing happens to them. Thanks for your help with this. We have over 800 books with children at this time.


    This is a reminder that the annual district budget vote and school board elections will be held on Tuesday, June 9th. The district will be mailing ballots out to all residents for the vote this week. All ballots must be returned to the district by June 9th at 5:00 p.m. Any ballots received  after 5:00 will not be counted.


    I continue to be so impressed with your children and their work ethic and everything you are doing to help keep then learning and growing during this very difficult time.


    Miss you all,


    Eric Daniels

    Helendale Road Principal


    May 22, 2020


    Hello Helendale Road Parents, Guardians and Families,


    I hope you are all okay.


    I would like start with a huge thank you for everything you are doing to help your child(ren) stay engaged in working from home on their school work. We obviously couldn’t do any of this work without your help. Know that everyone at school really appreciates your support, energy and effort.


    In an attempt to maintain safe and clean facilities, teachers are coming in (wearing masks and gloves) this week and next to bag up students’ supplies that are still here at school. We would like to invite families to come to the building next Thursday, May 28th between 12:00 and 6:00 to pick these items up. We are coordinating this with Laurelton-Pardee School to make it easier on families needing to make just one trip out if they have students in both buildings as they will hold the same hours. We will be returning these items to interested families through the external door on the corner of Westchester and Helendale Road. Nobody will be allowed into the building and we would ask that everyone remember to keep six feet apart in case a line forms outside the building and to wear a face covering. ALSO, If your child’s iPad is broken or not working, please bring it to the building when you stop by so we can fix it and plan to get your child a new device. If your child’s iPad IS working, please continue to keep it at home and use it to complete school work until the end of the school year. More information to come about a summer collection of all iPads.


    Dr. Hiley, principal at Laurelton-Pardee school, wanted me to let our current second grade students know there will be a Welcome to LP video coming out soon for students to watch. We typically bring all of our second graders to LP each June so students can begin to learn about the new building and people they will be working with in the third grade. We realize this is not ideal, but want to do everything we can to help with the transition.


    I miss you all and can’t wait for our eventual return to school.


    Have a great day everybody!

    Eric Daniels


    May 3, 2020


    Good Day Helendale Lancer Parents, Families, and Guardians,


    School is in session, but it does look different! I hope that you and your families are doing well. I can see that more and more students are completing work assignments and are participating more through Seesaw and Zoom Meetings with teachers and staff. This really warms my heart to see the connections happening with greater frequency. Parents and guardians please feel free to make comments and ask your child’s teachers questions if something doesn’t make sense or is confusing. If you sense your child is struggling, needs a break or is feeling overwhelmed…stop! We need to prioritize and identify your child(ren)’s social emotional needs in this uncertain time. And at the same time, if you feel the need to apply positive pressure, please invoke your child’s teachers name or my name when and if appropriate in the spirit of, “Your teachers want you to try your best.” Teachers will continue to create and assign activities and lessons through the end of the school year via digital technology. We hope and expect students will continue on their paths of learning.


    Since Governor Cuomo announced last Friday (5/1/20) that school buildings will be closed through the end of the school year, we are making plans to allow families to come and get their students’ personal items and work from their desks, cubbies and/or lockers. More details to come very soon.


    Beginning yesterday, there is a new addition to our Meal Program: with Friday’s meal pick-up you will receive an extra meal to help you with meals over the weekend. We are committed to doing our best to support our families in the community at this unprecedented time.


    Helendale Road and Laurelton Pardee schools are planning on having a joint parade this Thursday from 5:00-6:00 since we share families between schools. We are asking everyone to please remember not to congregate outside for the parade and maintain social distancing as well as wear face coverings for everyone safety.


    I hope to see you all this Thursday and hope there is no rain!





    Eric Daniels

    Helendale Principal



    April 24, 2020

    Dear Helendale Parents, Families and Guardians,


    I hope things are going well for you and yours. We all miss being in school and can’t wait to get back.


    We will be starting the placement process for next year. If you would like me/us to know something about your child related to this process please feel free to email me before May 15th. Please remember that we do not honor the request of a certain teacher for next year.


    We will be welcoming a new social worker, Ms. Sesnie, to complete the school year with us here at Helendale Road. Ms. Eason, our current social worker will be resigning her position with us at the beginning of May. We wish Ms. Eason the best.


    Here is a message from our PTA President, Mrs. Kneezel related to  Square One Art:



    Dear Families,


    Square One Art is an annual Helendale Road PTA tradition. Just before the school closure, Helendale children in grades K-2 completed an art project during art class, and that art is now available for you to view and purchase items with the art displayed.  Under Mr. Green's direction, each child create their own beautiful piece of art. The proceeds from the sale benefit the Helendale Road PTA, which directly impacts our school and students. At this uncertain time, we understand that many families may be unable to participate, and we do not want anyone to feel obligated to buy anything. We decided to continue to provide the option to look at your child's art and/or to support the fundraiser as you are able. 


    Directions are below for how to view and/or purchase your child's art online.


    We appreciate very much anyone who is able to participate, but in no way expect it. We look forward to completing this fundraiser in future years for anyone who would like to purchase their child's art in a future year. Thank you for supporting the Helendale Road PTA in so many ways this year!


    How to view and/or order:

    All Square 1 Art orders made through June 30,2020, in order to ship directly to your home, will be a Retail Order and have a limited time flat fee of $4.95 at checkout. This change has been made by Square 1 Art in order to provide an easy, safe way for you to receive your order due to school closings. (After June 30, 2020, Retail Orders may still be made online, but the shipping fee will change to our regular Retail Order ship fees.)


    Simply click  on the Square 1 Art shopsite, and click on "Find Your Child's Art", and enter state, school name, and your child's name. Your child's art code will then appear. Once you enter your child's art code provided, you may then view your child's art, and order products! (Mobile Users: If you are already logged in to your Square 1 Art account, and do not see "Find Your Child's Art", scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click on "view full site" and the page will re-load and you will see "Find Your Child's Art".)


    If you have questions, or need anything at all, please contact customer care at service@square1art.com or 888.332.3294x1 or contact Customer Care Online.


    Stay Safe & Healthy,


    Helendale Road PTA (helendale.pta18@gmail.com)



    Customer Care 888.332.3294x1


    Contact Customer Care Online

    And finally, and most exciting, please see the attachment encouraging your child to respond to “What it means to them to be a Lancer!” in a short video format.




    Eric Daniels

    Helendale Road Primary Principal


     April 11, 2020


    Dear Helendale Families, Parents and Guardians,


    As I am sure you are aware, Governor Cuomo has ordered the closure of all public schools through April 29, 2020.  We will keep you posted as more information comes in.


    Our staff will be rolling out some new learning initiatives moving forward.  They are busy working on finding the best ways to do that.  Staff will identify important learning that we want students to be exposed to and push those out digitally.  The goal will be for students to have about 90 minutes of new learning work a day.  Some of it may be “live” instruction while some of it may be videos/resources that address a particular concept, so students can access the material when it is convenient for them.  If your student cannot access the digital resources, please reach out to me.


    It will be important for your students to maintain contact with their teachers during this time.  Staff are here to help you and your student navigate the learning and technology, and most of it will be on platforms students already use.  With that said, please remember to do what is right for your family at this time.  We recognize that this is a difficult time for everyone.  Again, we are here to help. 


    Here, I have identified some helpful resources you might be able to use.


    • Parenting during COVID-19

    Parenting during covid document


    • Information on Health Insurance during this time:

    New Yorkers who are without health insurance should apply now through NY State of Health. If  you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, or subsidized Qualified Health Plan coverage.  Thousands of assistors are ready throughout the state to help consumers enroll by phone. NY State of Health is committed to helping New Yorkers get the coverage they need so they can get the care they need.

    Visit us at: www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov and let us help you find a health care plan that works for you.



    Please let me know how I can help! 


    Be well,

    Eric Daniels

    Helendale Road Principal




    April 4, 2020


    Dear Helendale Parents, Families and Guardians,


    Just a quick and brief note to say I hope that you are doing well and your kids are keeping busy. I continue to be impressed with how your children are communicating with their teachers through Zoom and Seesaw. I have asked our teachers to please include me on their Zoom invites because I want to see and hear from your children as well. I really miss them!


    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly by replying to this email or call, 339-1333.


    Sending positive thoughts to our entire Helendale Family!


    Take care!


    Eric Daniels

    Helendale Principal


    March 27, 2020


    Happy Friday Helendale Parents, Families and Guardians!


    The sun is coming out right now as I type! Amazing how incredible it feels. I hope you are able to go for walks in the mornings, during the day or in the evenings, especially as the daylight is increasing each day.


    I am hoping that your children are keeping busy with reading, writing and math activities and getting time to play outside each day. I have been having weekly online staff meetings with my teachers and they continue to include me on their emails and communications with you. I’m seeing that in addition to Seesaw, many teachers are using the Zoom app with our students. I believe that teachers are getting so much out of seeing their students as I hope your children are in seeing their teachers.


    We put in place a timeline or schedule beginning last Monday for when all teachers (classroom, special areas and support) were going to post activities or communication with students. We received feedback that at times there was just too much information for parents to absorb at once. Did you notice a difference this week? Did the new timeline seem to help with spacing things out? I would really appreciate your feedback so that if we need to revise our system to help families we will again.


    Please know that although we are not physically in school I am communicating with Mrs. Graves and Mrs. Egan daily in order to keep ‘office things’ moving forward as we look to the future. We typically begin the placement process now at the end of March. We will somehow get you the Parent Input Form seeking your thoughts about your child to help us with identifying a classroom for next year. It may be digitally, paper or a combination of both. I will let you know.


    Mrs. Jakobovic, one of our School Librarians, asked me to share this link and information with you: “Mrs. J.’s Book Podcast:  Listen to Mrs. Jakobovic and her son, Noah J., read chapter books.  It works like an audio book, with books recorded by chapters. If you are having trouble getting to the link in Seesaw, try this link: https://cajakobovic.wixsite.com/book-podcast  The password is capital B, Books.
    If you bookmark it, you can visit often and listen to some great books.”

    Mrs. Jakobovic

    Thank your for your continued words of support. It means a lot! And I personally thank you for participating in the communication with your children’s teachers. It keeps all of us energized.


    Miss you all and can’t wait to get back to school.


    Respectfully and proudly,


    Eric Daniels

    Helendale Principal


    March 20, 2020


    Hello Helendale Road Families, Parents and Guardians,


    I hope you are all doing well with everything at this point. I continue to hope that you and your families are staying healthy and active and that your children are getting into a routine of sorts.


    I have been included in just about all of the communications from teachers to you this week. And it was a lot! I heard from many parents that at first it was overwhelming, receiving so many messages from so many teachers. I don’t know if there is a ‘right’ thing to do or not do at this point but we just wanted to assure you that we want to have our students continue to exercise their bodies and their brains. That being said, the materials and activities and projects sent to you digitally were provided as a resource to you as you figure out what you need to do for your yourselves and your families. At our primary level, I would like to hear that our students are physically active and hearing books read to them by moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, brothers and sisters! Students need to move and break a sweat if possible! I think worksheets and packets have a place at the upper level, but for our little ones, they need language from you. Please talk to, engage your children with questions and stories and music and games. Have students keep a daily journal. Continue to model and build those relationships. That’s the stuff that makes great learners!


    You should expect to continue to hear from your children’s teachers on a regular basis each week. I will ask that classroom teachers send information in the morning between 9:00 and 11:00, support teachers between 11:00 and 1:00 and Special Area teachers between 1:00 and 3:00. This way you will not be bombarded with too many messages all at once. Please let me know if this schedule helps as we move forward.


    I’m not just saying it: We really miss being in school and with your children. Know that we are thinking of them and you and hope to be back in school as soon as we can. In the meantime, we will be just a click away. Feel free to reach out to me directly at this email if there is something you need or want me to know. Plan to receive an email update from me on Fridays.


    As always, thank you for being supportive and positive people. We need more of you in this world. Give your kiddos a fist pump for me and we will talk again soon.




    Eric Daniels

    Helendale Principal


    March 16, 2020


    Dear Helendale Road Primary School Families,   


    The district’s number one goal during this closure is to ensure that schools and teaching staff are staying connected to students and families on a regular basis for support and connection.  As far as learning, our staff has been hard at work trying to put together resources for students to access at home.  Please know these resources are intended to maintain the continuity of learning and are not intended to replace instruction.  Please be on the lookout for electronic information from your child’s teacher.  If you need assistance reaching your child’s teacher, please let me know. 


    You will see a lot of educational resources on social media.  I encourage you to preview any site prior to letting students go on by themselves.  And do not allow them to send any personal identifying information to such sites. Teachers and I will communicate primarily through email, Remind and/or Seesaw. Please check those you have been using daily for updates. 


    I would encourage you to join our Helendale Road Facebook Page @Helendale Road PTA.  That will be the easiest way to get information and reach out for help.  They are an amazing group of people and we are so lucky to have them. 


    During the closure, our buildings and grounds staff will be working to deep clean the building and making sure that touch points are consistently sanitized.  This will be important as we launch our food program.  Starting today, March 16, children under 18 can get a free lunch in a “grab and go” setting from 11AM to 1PM daily.  Starting tomorrow, March 17, breakfast will also be offered from 8AM to 10AM in the same format.  The price for adult servings will be $2.00 for breakfast and $4.00 for lunch. Please use the middle student entry/exit door on Westchester Ave, NOT the Main Entrance.


    Please understand the following:

    • For any students whose iPad is still at school, you can pick them up by calling the main office through Wednesday March 18th at 3:30. After this date we will be delivering them home through our transportation department. 
    • All school grounds, including playgrounds, are closed to the public.
    • If you need to pick up your child’s medication, please call the main office to schedule a pick-up time.
    • Important district information for this closure can be found on the District Website HERE
    • If you have any questions or need anything, please do not hesitate to call me at 339-1330, or use my e-mail.


    Be well and take care of each other! 



    Eric Daniels, Principal 

    Helendale Road Principal


    March 16, 2020


    Hi all,


    We still have 67 iPads here at Helendale that we would like to put in the hands of our students.


    If your child doesn’t have theirs, please give Mrs. Graves a call at 339-1330 to set up a time (we’re open 7:30-4:00) or stop by the Main entrance and ring the bell.


    We’ll gladly hand you the iPad so your student can practice reading, math and writing at home.


    Please plan to pick it up no later than Wednesday at 3:30.




    Eric Daniels

    Helendale Principal