COVID-19/Coronavirus Information and Resources

Given that this is a fluid and developing situation, we will use this web page to share information and resources as circumstances warrant.

Any time-sensitive, critical information will be shared via e-mail through the district’s One Call Now notification system.

What is our status?

  • Currently, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the Watervliet City School District.
  • Our buildings and facilities (inc. athletic fields, playgrounds) are closed to the public until further notice, with no school until April 15. We are closely monitoring the situation at the state and local level and will let you know if that closure needs to be extended.
  • All school-related activities and programs are canceled until further notice.
  • NYS assessments for Grades 3-8 are suspended for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year

Update: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Update: Monday, March 23, 2020
Update: Friday, March 20, 2020
Update: Thursday, March 19, 2020
Update: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Update: Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Update: Monday, March 16, 2020
Update #2: Friday, March 13, 2020
Update #1: Friday, March 13, 2020
Update: Thursday, March 12, 2020
Update: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Update: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020

Information and Resources

Update: Tuesday, March 24

School bus stops added as drop-off sites for free school meals

In an effort to better meet the needs of our families, free meals will be available for pick up at several new locations in the City of Watervliet.

Starting Wednesday, March 25, Watervliet school bus drivers will deliver meals to 15 regular bus stops in the community for students and families to pick up. The buses will be at the locations beginning at 9 a.m., and will remain at each stop for several minutes to allow time for students to pick up their meals and also practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet from each other.

Free meals will be distributed at the following times and bus stop locations:

Bus 1A

  • 9:00 – 9:15 – Joslin Apartments – 24th Street & Whitehall
  • 9:15 – 9:30 – M.J. Day Apartments – 21st Street & Whitehall
  • 9:35 – 9:50 – Hilton Apartments – parking lot on 5th Street
  • 9:55 – 10:10 – Wicked Smart – corner of 7th Street & 5th Ave.

Bus 2A

  • 9:00 – 9:15 – Brotherhood Park – 24th Street side
  • 9:20 – 9:35 – Corner of 16th Street & 6th Ave.
  • 9:40 – 9:45 – Pershing Green – Corner of 4th Street & 2nd Ave.
  • 9:45 – 9:50 – Corner of 2nd Street & 1st Ave.
  • 9:50 – 9:55 – Schuyler Flats
  • 10:00 – 10:15 – Corner of 4th Street & 8th Ave.

Bus 3A

  • 9:00 – 9:15 – Highland Club – regular stop
  • 9:20 – 9:35 – Van Rensselaer Village Apartments – flagpole
  • 9:35 – 9:50 – The Dome – parking lot
  • 9:55 – 10:00 – Douglas Industrial – 10th Street & 8th Ave.
  • 10:00 – 10:10 – Corner of 12th Street & 5th Ave.

Watervliet food service workers will continue to prepare and provide meals in the “grab and go” format for children under the age of 18 from 8-10 a.m. at Watervliet Elementary School, 2557 Tenth Avenue and the Watervliet Civic Center,14th Street & 1st Avenue.

Arrangements can be made to have meals delivered to homebound students, or in a case of emergency. Please call 518-629-3456 for information

UPDATE: Monday, March 23, 2020

State suspends grades 3-8 testing, city parks & playgrounds closed

NYS Grades 3-8 ELA and math assessments suspended

The State Education Department announced Friday, March 20, that all statewide exams for students in elementary and middle school have been suspended for the 2019-20 school year.

The state has suspended the following exams:

  • Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Tests
  • Grades 3-8 Mathematics Tests
  • Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test
  • Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test
  • Grades K-12 English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT)
  • Alternate Assessment for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school

Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rose and Interim Education Commissioner Shannon L. Tahoe said in a joint statement: “It is most important that during the time of closure, schools be able to continue to focus their efforts toward local school and community needs and not have to be concerned about preparing for state assessments.”

A reminder about new Executive Order: NYS on PAUSE

On Friday, March 20, Governor Cuomo issued a new Executive Order to “put New York State on PAUSE” (Policy to Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone) to help slow the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19.

An essential part of this state directive is the restriction of all non-essential gatherings of any size for any reason (social events, parties, celebrations). City residents are asked to voluntarily comply with the order. Given that, we are reminding all community members and district families that as of Monday, March 23, ALL parks and recreational facilities are closed in the City of Watervliet until further notice. This closure includes our school athletic fields and track at Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School, and our playgrounds at Watervliet Elementary School.

To help mitigate the spread of the illness, community members also are reminded to:

  • Maintain a minimum of 6-feet apart from each other;
  • Limit the use of public transportation to only when absolutely necessary; and
  • Stay home if you are sick, unless to receive medical care.

To view the entire 10-point NYS PAUSE order, visit:
https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-pause

Special Education Services during school closure

The letter was mailed to families of special education students on March 18, 2020 via USPS

Dear Families,
We appreciate your patience and understanding during these difficult times. While schools are closed during this public health crisis, the school district must ensure that students with disabilities also have equal access to distance learning opportunities provided to general education students. Read the letter in full

WMHT Public TV supports at-home learning for students from prekindergarten through high school

Local PBS station, WMHT Public Media, is offering an educational programming block targeted to support in-home learning for students in prekindergarten through grade 12 while schools are closed. More information about WMHT educational programming

Update: Friday, March 20, 2020

Important reminders about free meals pick-up, building access

A new directive from Governor Cuomo on March 20, mandates that 100% of the workforce stay home in an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Only employees deemed critical to operations will be allowed in the workplace. For our schools, critical staff includes food service workers, maintenance/cleaning staff, and designated administrators.

Please note that during this closure, email is the recommended way to contact administrators and staff. Please visit our Contact Us page for a staff directory

Important reminders

All buildings will remain closed to the public through the March 31 closure. Outdoor facilities, including playgrounds, athletic fields and the track are also off-limits in an effort to keep groups from gathering and encourage social distancing. As difficult as this may be, please remind your children how vitally important it is to maintain a safe distance from one another to prevent the spread of illness.

Meals are available for all students

While our schools are closed we will continue to make sure families who depend on the school breakfast and lunch program will continue to have access to food for their children. Meals are offered for anyone who is 18 and younger.

Meals are available for pickup in the “grab and go” format from 8-10 a.m. Monday through Friday at the entrances to Watervliet Elementary School and the Watervliet Civic Center. A staff member will bring the meals to you.

Our “Food is Fuel” program continues for families that normally participate. Supply bags are available for pick up on Fridays between 8-10 a.m. at the elementary school.

Teaching/learning continues during the closure

Our teachers collaborated to create instructional resources that students can use for parent-guided and self-guided learning while school is closed. This is in the form of shared Google Classroom for grades 3-12 with links to resources and activities that will allow students to practice skills, review content and explore topics at home. More information and access to additional online resources

Chromebooks have been made available to all students in grades 3-12. Tech help for logging onto Chromebooks at home is available

Learning packets were delivered to students’ homes for prekindergarten to grade 2 students.

Additional support for students and families

Due to the closing of our schools, we are reaching out to our students and families to give additional support knowing that this is a difficult time. Our school counselors, social workers, and school psychologists are available via email throughout each day while we are closed. In addition, in the case of an emergency please see the following schedule of support staff who will be on call. You can reach out to our Student Support team using the email address supportstaff2020@vlietschools.org. Please note that the administrative team also will be on site for additional support if needed. View a schedule for support staff and email contact information

Update: Thursday, March 19, 2020

Coronavirus/COVID-19: Access to school buildings

To limit the number of people in our buildings at any given time, ONLY 11- and 12-month staff will be allowed in the buildings, beginning Monday, March 23.

With this extended school closure, we understand there may be students, parents/ guardians, teachers and staff who are concerned about items or belongings that were left in school. Given that, our school buildings will be open Friday, March 20 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon for students/guardians and/or staff members to retrieve necessary items/supplies.

All individuals must go to the main office of the schools and sign in before going to lockers or classrooms.

Also, a reminder to students that tomorrow – Friday, March 20 – is the final day to sign out a Chromebook to access learning resources and stay connected with your teachers. Chromebooks are available for pick up from from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at  Watervliet Elementary School (grades 3-6) or Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School (grades 7-12).

Update: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Chromebooks and WiFi

A reminder to parents and students in grades 3-12:

Please stop by Watervliet Elementary School (grades 3-6) or Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School (grades 7-12) to pick up a Chromebook and stay connected to learning during the current school closure. Chromebooks are available to be signed out from 8 a.m. to 12 noon through this Friday, March 20. More information about online learning resources and tech support

No WiFi? No problem. Park your car in the WJSHS or WES parking lots and join the guest network to check your email from teachers and access learning resources. In addition to the school parking lots, the following locations in the city of Watervliet are WiFi hotspots:

  • The Dome, 2nd Avenue & 13th Street
  • Watervliet Public Library, 1501 Broadway
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 2416 7th Avenue

Currently, all buildings are closed to the public, but WiFi is accessible from the outside perimeter (sidewalk, parking lots).

Spectrum Offers Free Broadband/WiFi

In addition, to assist with at-home learning, Spectrum is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. More information can be found on the Charter Communications website

Tech Help for Chromebooks

How to log-on to your Chromebook

When you turn on your Chromebook at home it will search for an available wireless network to attach to. From the list of available wireless networks it finds, click on the appropriate network name and type in the encryption key that was assigned to it. If you do not know the encryption key contact your Internet Service Provider. Once the Chromebook attaches to the wireless network you will sign in to Google Chrome with your school email address and password.

For technical assistance with Chromebooks, email servicedesk@vlietschools.org

Google Access

As a reminder, students can log into their school Google accounts and access Google Classroom with the following log in information:
first letters of their first name, first four letters of their last name and 2-digit graduation year with @vlietschools.org (For example: 3rd grader Kelly Webster would be kellwebs29@vlietschools.org)

For log-in help, please email your teacher or call your school:

WES → 518-629-3400
WJSHS → 518-629-3300

Update: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Coronavirus/COVID-19: School closure extended to two weeks

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on March 16 that due to ongoing public health concerns related to COVID-19/Coronavirus, all schools in New York state will be closed for two weeks, effective Wednesday, March 18.

This means that Watervliet City School District will be closed through March 31. We are closely monitoring the situation at the state and local level, and will let you know if the closure needs to be extended beyond that date.

We recognize the hardship these changes may place on our students and families. Please know that our district is committed to providing you with continued support during the closure.

A few important reminders for our students, families and staff:

  • Online learning resources are available for students to continue instruction to the extent practicable. Students are encouraged to check in with teachers through Chromebooks for educational activities that will allow students to practice skills and review content at home. Students may sign out a Chromebook at their school through Friday, March 20 between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • Free breakfast and lunch is being offered to our students Monday through Friday from 8-10 a.m. during the school closure at Watervliet Elementary School or the Watervliet Civic Center. Our Food is Fuel program will continue to provide non-perishable food items for families who already participate. Food bags can be picked up at Watervliet Elementary School on Fridays from 8-10 a.m.
  • Students and families are encouraged to reach out to any member of our Student Support Team via email at supportstaff2020@vlietschools.org, if you are feeling stressed about the current situation.

The most current and accurate information about the coronavirus can be found at www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus.

Thank you for your continued understanding and partnership. Please be sure to check our district website for regular updates.

Update: Monday, March 16, 2020

This message was sent via One Call Now email on Monday, March 16, 2020

A reminder that  students should not report to school this week — Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20 — but should check their school email for instructional resources and materials meant to keep them connected to learning while school is closed.

During a press conference earlier today, Governor Cuomo declared his intention to have all schools in the state suspend classes for the next two weeks. The details of that declaration, however, have yet to be provided to the district. When received, we will carefully review the specifics and provide information about the school closure extension to our staff, parents and the public before the close of day on Tuesday, March 17.

Please read through this update for online learning resources, information about school meals for students, and additional support.

Plan for Learning

In the meantime, our faculty and staff collaborated on Monday during Superintendent’s Conference Day to gather and share instructional resources that our students can use for parent-guided and self-guided learning during the school closure. Our bus drivers and teaching support staff began dropping off learning packets to homes of prekindergarten, kindergarten, first grade and second grade students Monday afternoon. We expect delivery of those packets to be completed tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17. Please check your doorstep for your child’s packet!

For students in grades 3-12, education will continue in the form of links to resources and activities that will allow students to practice skills, review content and explore topics at home. From Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 20, students in grades 3-12 will have an opportunity to sign out Chromebooks to take home and use for school-related, educational purposes.  Pick up is between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the main entrances of WJSHS (grades 7-12 students) and WES (grades 3-6 students).  Tech help for logging onto Chromebooks at home

Learning Resources for grades K-12

All students may access Google Classroom
https://classroom.google.com/u/0/c/NjEwODY0MDQyNDJa

Other familiar learning resources and educational sites our students may access: 

Grades K & 1  Reading Horizons

Grades K-8 –  Reading and Math STAR–  Freckle.com 

Grades 3-8 – Science and Math – Legends of Learning

Grades K-6 – Reading and Math Think Central

Grades K-2 – Phonics  Starfall.com

Algebra, Algebra II and Geometry  Emathinstruction.com

Grades K-6 – All Academic Areas Brain Pop

All Grades  World Book Online

UPK-Grade 8 – Downloadable Curriculum and Resources – Core Knowledge 

All Grades and Abilities  Kids Activities

Spelling City – Free Access for the Rest of the School Year (Use code: VSCFree90)

Grades K-5 – Fun Science Lessons and Activities – Mystery Science 

Grades K-5  Zearn Math

Kahoot – Free Access to all Features

All Grade Levels (Free 20 days worth of projects to encourage reading, thinking and growing) – Scholastic 

Grades 7-12  EdPuzzle – Using Videos to track Comprehension

Spectrum Offers Free Broadband/WiFi

To assist with at-home learning, Spectrum will offer free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. More information can be found on the Charter Communications website

Meals are available for all students

While our schools are closed we want to make sure families who depend on the school breakfast and lunch program will continue to have access to food for their children. We plan to have both meals available beginning tomorrow – Tuesday, March 17 – for all students who are 18 and younger.

The meals will be available for pick up in the “grab and go” format from tables set up at the entrances to Watervliet Elementary School and the Watervliet Civic Center. When you arrive at the location, please look for the pick-up table. If driving, stay in your car and a staff member will bring the meals to you.

Our “Food is Fuel” program also will continue for families that normally participate. Supply bags will be available for pick up on Friday between 8-10 a.m. at the elementary school.

School bus stops added as drop-off sites for free school meals

In an effort to better meet the needs of our families, free meals will be available for pick up at several new locations in the City of Watervliet.

Starting Wednesday, March 25, Watervliet school bus drivers will deliver meals to 15 regular bus stops in the community for students and families to pick up. The buses will be at the locations beginning at 9 a.m., and will remain at each stop for several minutes to allow time for students to pick up their meals and also practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet from each other.

Free meals will be distributed at the following times and bus stop locations:

Bus 1A

  • 9:00 – 9:15 – Joslin Apartments – 24th Street & Whitehall
  • 9:15 – 9:30 – M.J. Day Apartments – 21st Street & Whitehall
  • 9:35 – 9:50 – Hilton Apartments – parking lot on 5th Street
  • 9:55 – 10:10 – Wicked Smart – corner of 7th Street & 5th Ave.

Bus 2A

  • 9:00 – 9:15 – Brotherhood Park – 24th Street side
  • 9:20 – 9:35 – Corner of 16th Street & 6th Ave.
  • 9:40 – 9:45 – Pershing Green – Corner of 4th Street & 2nd Ave.
  • 9:45 – 9:50 – Corner of 2nd Street & 1st Ave.
  • 9:50 – 9:55 – Schuyler Flats
  • 10:00 – 10:15 – Corner of 4th Street & 8th Ave.

Bus 3A

  • 9:00 – 9:15 – Highland Club – regular stop
  • 9:20 – 9:35 – Van Rensselaer Village Apartments – flagpole
  • 9:35 – 9:50 – The Dome – parking lot
  • 9:55 – 10:00 – Douglas Industrial – 10th Street & 8th Ave.
  • 10:00 – 10:10 – Corner of 12th Street & 5th Ave.

Arrangements can be made to have meals delivered to homebound students, or in a case of emergency. Please call 518-629-3456 for information

Additional support for students and families

We encourage you to the extent possible to maintain a schedule and routine with your child and keep an eye on the amount of time they use technology and media to avoid excessive exposure to media coverage. Reassure children that they are safe and let them talk about their worries, share your own coping skills and add time in your day for stress relief.

Due to the closing of our schools, we are reaching out to our students and families to give additional support knowing that this is a difficult time. Our school counselors, social workers, and school psychologists are available via email throughout each day while we are closed. In addition, in the case of an emergency please see the following schedule of support staff who will be on call. You can reach out to our Student Support team using the email address supportstaff2020@vlietschools.org. Please note that the administrative team also will be on site for additional support if needed.

Time / Staff Contact / Emails

8:00-9:00: Mrs McAvoy, kmcavoy@vlietschools.org
8:30-9:30: Ms. Santiago, asantiago@vlietschools.org
9:00-10:00: Mr. Olszewski, dolszewski@vlietschools.org
9:30-10:30: Ms. Lipson, blipson@vlietschools.org
10:00-11:00: Ms. Bedard, vbedard@vlietschools.org
10:30-11:30: Mrs. Justino, hjustino@vlietschools.org
11:00-12:00: Mr. Gadsden, agadsden@vlietschools.org
11:30-12:30: Mrs. Bariteau, kbariteau@vlietschools.org
12:00-1:00: Mrs. Tetrault, dtetrault@vlietschools.org
12:30-1:30: Mrs. Ferris, gferris@vlietschools.org
1:00-2:00: Mrs. Vaughan, lvaughan@vlietschools.org
1:30-2:30: Ms. Melucci, amelucci@vlietschools.org
2:00-3:00: Ms. Clickner, cclickner@vlietschools.org

At this time, we have no confirmed cases of coronavirus in our school district. We continue to be in contact with local, State, and Federal agencies for guidance and information. Keep in mind, this is an evolving situation, and it is anticipated that more confirmed cases will emerge as more people are tested. Please continue to check our website for more information.

We thank you for your continued understanding and partnership!

UPDATE #2: Friday, March 13, 2020

No School for Students March 16-20

This is an update on the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus. We continue to monitor all guidance from local, state and federal agencies.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in our school district. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are joining with other area districts and closing school for students next week: March 16-20, 2020.

Teachers and staff should report to school as scheduled Monday, March 16 for Superintendent’s Conference Day.

This school closure is the most proactive and careful action we can take to help limit the spread of illness and to provide time to reassess the situation next week. The closure will also give our custodial and maintenance staff an opportunity to complete a deep cleaning of classrooms and common areas of our buildings, as well as disinfect school buses.

School meals: Breakfast, lunch available March 17-20 to students

In addition to education, schools provide vital support to our communities and the closure will have an impact on our families. To that end, our district will continue to make meals available to all students under the age of 18 starting Tuesday, March 17.

Students will be able to pick up a breakfast/lunch bag from 8-10 a.m. Tuesday through Friday at the following locations while the schools are closed.

  • Watervliet Elementary School, 2557 10th Avenue
    Watervliet Civic Center, 14th Street & 1st Avenue

Students may stop by either location to pick up meals. No forms or registration are required. The Food is Fuel program will be available for families who normally receive it. Students may pick up their food supply bags on Friday at the elementary school between 8-10 a.m.

All school activities, sports practices canceled

Given the closure, there will be no school activities or athletic events in the district the week of March 16-20. This includes spring sports practices. As an additional note, Capital Region BOCES Career & Tech, Special Education, P-TECH and Pathways programs will not be operating during this time.
As Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated during his press conference today, school superintendents have the ability to decide to close their school districts, and the superintendents of our region have made that determination.

The New York State Education Department continues to work with the governor’s office, the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Department of Education to provide guidance to our schools around issues such as instructional time and test scheduling.

This situation is very fluid and could change as we continue to work with our local departments of health and New York State Department of Health.

The most current and accurate information about the coronavirus can be found at www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus.

Thank you for your continued patience and partnership as our district navigates the challenges brought about by coronavirus/COVID-19. We will continue to provide more information and updates via our One Call Now system and the district website.

UPDATE #1: Friday, March 13, 2020

Professional Development Day moved to Monday March 16, no school for students

This message was sent via One Call Now email on Friday, March 13, 2020

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we continue to provide updates about COVID-19 and our district plans. As of today, Friday, March 13, WCSD does not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Musical postponed
In an abundance of caution, district officials have made the decision to postpone the weekend performances of Beauty and the Beast at WJSHS. New dates will be announced.

All after-school activities and sports practices are canceled today, Friday, March 13. The Watervliet Civic Center after-school program, however, will take place as scheduled.

No School for students Monday, March 16
The Professional Development Day is being moved to Monday, March 16 from Friday, March 20. Students will not report to school Monday. Staff should report to school as usual. There will be no classes for students.

Update: Thursday, March 12, 2020

Today, Governor Cuomo announced significant restrictions on large group gatherings in New York state. Although there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in our school district, in an abundance of caution, we have decided to implement proactive steps that may help us keep our schools open and continue to educate our students.

Therefore, effective immediately, we have suspended all field trips and community use of our facilities, as well as limited outside visitors to our buildings until further notice.

The WJSHS Drama Club’s presentation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be performed tomorrow evening (Friday, March 13) and Saturday evening (March 14) ONLY. The Sunday (March 15) show is cancelled.

School events that take place outside of regular school hours are cancelled. This does not apply, however, to the ExTRA program’s homework help and extracurricular club activities, the grade 9 PIVOT program or the Civic Center’s after-school program at Watervliet Elementary School. All of which will continue as usual.

All school-related athletic practices will continue as scheduled unless further guidance is provided to our schools from Section 2 or the NYSPHSAA directs otherwise.

We will continue to monitor this evolving public health crisis closely and will update our website and share information through our One Call Now system that may impact our schools.

We appreciate your continued support of our district.

Update: Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The following letter was mailed to all district families on Tuesday, March 10:

Dear Parents/Guardians:

With the recent news of confirmed cases of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, in the Capital Region, I want to let parents, students and staff know that our district continues to monitor information from local, state and federal officials. At this time, there are no confirmed cases in our local school community, and we have received no notifications of any individuals in our community who are currently under quarantine.

On Saturday, March 7, Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York, which gives the state certain purchasing and hiring abilities during this time. This declaration does not impact any school or district activities at this time. Experts have not recommended that the district cancel or reschedule classes or other school events.

State officials continue to emphasize that the general risk to the public is low and that while we all need to be vigilant and cautious, it is also important to stay calm and not contribute to any undue panic.

Regarding travel and quarantine measures, please know that the New York State Department of Health has made quarantine a mandatory measure for individuals returning to the United States from a known high-risk exposure area. Based on this, any student, student family member or employee who has traveled to a known high-risk exposure area should notify the school principal prior to coming to school, as well as contact the Albany County Department of Health at 518-447-4580.

If the district becomes aware that one of our students or staff members is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will notify staff and parents/guardians via email through our One Call Now notification system. Please be sure that your child’s school has your most current contact information, including email address and phone numbers. We will also post information on the district’s website.

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced a new policy for school districts in New York that states if a student tests positive for the coronavirus in a school, that building will be closed for a 24-hour period for an assessment of the situation. The New York State Health Department will make a determination about whether the school should close for longer.

For now, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your children continues to be following standard preventive practices for influenza. There are a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, according to the New York State Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Heavily soiled hands should be washed.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

It is important to note that exposure to COVID-19 can occur from any person-to-person contact and is not limited to a particular race or ethnicity.

More information about COVID-19 is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

The state Department of Health also has information available on its website, and has a coronavirus hotline. Visit https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/, or call the hotline at 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms.

In the meantime, we are preparing to meet the needs of our students and staff in the event the virus affects our community. Our maintenance staff is taking extra care to clean and disinfect classrooms and common areas in our schools, which includes:

  • Cleaning desktops and tables with disinfectant in every classroom nightly.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-contact areas, including water fountains, doorknobs, lockers and bathroom fixtures daily.

Additionally, building principals have instructed our maintenance staff to regularly refill soap dispensers in classrooms that have sinks and in school bathrooms.

We also encourage our teachers and staff to increase the frequency of their classroom hand washing practices and custodians will make available cleaning materials and disinfectants as needed upon staff request. Finally, our school buses will be disinfected on a daily basis.

As of now, we have no plans to cancel or postpone the high school musical this coming weekend or other school events. We will update staff, students, parents/guardians if it becomes necessary to cancel events, including school field trips.

We appreciate your support of our district and we will share more information as it becomes available through our One Call Now system’s e-mail feature, as well as post updates to our website, as necessary. Again, we encourage parents/guardian to please contact your child’s school if you need your contact information updated in our One Call Now system, or if you previously opted out of receiving emails or phone calls and want to opt-in.

Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lori Caplan
Superintendent of Schools

Update: Thursday, February 27, 2020

Information about the coronavirus

In light of the ongoing media coverage, we are aware of concerns in and around our community about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the spread of this relatively new virus, which can cause flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Based on recent reports, COVID-19 is not actively circulating in New York state, and there are no confirmed cases of the disease in the state at this time.

In the meantime, we want to share with you prevention information from the New York State Department of Health on how to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. With any illness, it is important for each individual to take precautions, and we encourage you to take time to review the following steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illness, including COVID-19, as recommended by the state Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (Heavily soiled hands should be washed.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you or a family member begin to show symptoms of a respiratory illness, whether or not you suspect it may be COVID-19, we would encourage you to contact your healthcare provider as a precaution.

Our local health department will contact schools if a suspected or known COVID-19 case emerges. Be assured that the health and safety of our staff, students and families is a top priority, and as such, we will continue to monitor this evolving situation and follow guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Albany County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department with regard to COVID-19.

Please see the links below for the latest information related to the virus:

Information and Resources

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC Coronavirus web page

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Frequently Asked Questions – Prevention

CDC Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities

CDC Travel Information

CDC Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019

New York State Department of Health Coronavirus web page

NYSDOH Coronavirus Hotline, call 1-888-364-3065 for information about Coronavirus

Albany County Department of Health