Dear Schodack CSD Community,
Throughout the break, we have been monitoring the pandemic and have been in contact with the Rensselaer County Health Department, other schools in our BOCES, and school districts in the Capital Region, regarding our ability to reopen schools safely. District administrators have been monitoring infection rates, new COVID-19 cases, tracking students, families, and employees who are subject to quarantine requirements and other data throughout the school recess and this weekend.
As recently as today, schools in our county continued our regular conversations with the Rensselaer County Health Department. Through these conversations, we are able to assess the situation and we made the determination to reopen following our normal schedule.
While we understand the rationale for some schools switching to remote instruction, we feel that keeping our students learning in an in-person environment is very important and, as long as we can continue to provide in-person instruction in a safe manner with sufficient staff, we will make every effort to do so. In addition, we will continue to move forward with changes to our learning model in grades 4 and 5 at CES, moving grade 6 to the Jr./Sr. High School, and modifications to the high school schedule beginning January 11.
The New York State Department of Health and public health experts have said that schools are among the safest places one can be during this pandemic. This is due to our strict health and safety guidelines and the low infection rates in schools. According to state data, private household gatherings are driving the spread of the virus (74%) and not elementary students (0.49%), high school students (0.46%) or middle school students (0.19%).
As of today, a total of 7 Schodack CSD employees/students have tested positive for COVID-19 during the 20-21 school year. This includes one additional student and one employee who tested positive this week. With these most recent cases, there was no exposure at school and therefore contact tracing on campus was not required.
Reported COVID Positive Cases – September 1, 2020 – Present
|Maple Hill Jr./Sr. High School||1||1|
The district will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our learning model as needed. Everyone should realize and be prepared that as cases increase, our district may be forced to shift to remote instruction. All families need to be prepared for this change should it become necessary.
We strongly encourage our faculty, staff, and parents to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and in the event someone is sick or becomes symptomatic they should stay at home, contact your primary care provider, and notify your school. For the safety of everyone in our school community, please continue to monitor your children for symptoms and if you answer “yes” to any of the PikMyKid daily screening questions please contact the school nurse or an administrator to see if your child should come to school that day.
We appreciate the community’s support in keeping our schools safe. We strongly urge families and employees to limit social gatherings and to find ways to stay connected with family and friends virtually during this period of increased community spread.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or your school principal.
Once again, thank you for your commitment to our health and safety procedures. In addition, I want to thank all of you for your continued support and understanding. I also wanted to thank those of you who have reached out to express your opinions and concerns on either side of the decisions made throughout the year. The support and gratitude you have shown us is so valued and appreciated.
Jason M. Chevrier