Update March 16, 2020: COVID-19/Coronavirus

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

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

Grades K & 1Reading 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 GeometryEmathinstruction.com

Grades K-6 – All Academic Areas Brain Pop

All GradesWorld Book Online

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

All Grades and AbilitiesKids 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-5Zearn Math

Kahoot – Free Access to all Features

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

Grades 7-12EdPuzzle – 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  Tuesday, March 17 for all students, 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.

Our school bus drivers will deliver meals to 15 regular bus stops in the community for students and families to pick up, effective March 25. 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 or more 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.

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.

View past updates, information and resources on the district’s COVID-19/Coronavirus web page

We thank you for your continued understanding and partnership!