Watervliet Schools Will Open for In-Person Teaching and Learning on Jan. 4

This message to our families and staff is to affirm that Watervliet City Schools will open as scheduled for in-person teaching and learning on Monday, Jan. 4.

We are aware that during a press briefing on Saturday, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy expressed his belief that school districts in the county should move to all remote learning as a result of increasing COVID-19 infection rates. While we understand his concerns, all available data indicates that the rate of virus transmission in schools is low. It is also important to note that Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that the precautions schools have taken have been effective.

The superintendents of the Capital Region BOCES area met over the weekend and are united in our belief that schools are the best place for children to be during the day. Last spring we saw the effects of closing schools for all in-person learning. So far this year, we have seen that schools can open safely amid this pandemic.

Unless staffing shortages require us to move to all-remote learning or there is evidence of broader virus transmission in schools, we will remain open for in-person teaching and learning. We will continue to work with our public health partners to monitor all available information, including how the increased infection rates relate to schools. In addition, remote learning options continue to be available to all families.

All health and safety precautions remain in effect in our schools in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. These include mask wearing, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, and the daily health screening.  We remind our families and staff that it is critical to answer the daily screening honestly.

We all must work together to ensure safety in our schools to be able to keep our doors open for teaching and learning. Please do not send your child to school sick or if they are experiencing symptoms. If you suspect that you, your child, or someone in your family has been exposed to COVID-19, please contact your health care provider.

The district will continue to closely monitor the situation and will stay in close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps.

As always, the health and safety of students and staff is a priority and we appreciate your continued support. Thank you.

(This message was sent to families and staff via One Call Now email on Jan. 3.)