Dear North Colonie Families,
Today, the Albany County Department of Health has informed us that four additional individuals from a single first grade classroom at Boght Hills have tested positive for COVID-19. These cases are in addition to the one that we reported earlier this week at Boght Hills. All close contacts to these individuals are being identified and monitored in accordance with Albany County Department of Health, New York State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. The health department will reach out to members of the school community who were in close contact with the individuals to advise on the need to quarantine and to facilitate testing of those potentially exposed. The Department of Health is working as quickly as they can to contact individuals, however, it may take a few days for them to reach out due to the volume of calls they are making within the county.
Due to the growing number of cases and the number of individuals placed under quarantine, the Albany County Health Department has recommended that we close Boght Hills for two weeks and transition all students at Boght Hills (Gr. K-3) to remote learning for the two week period beginning Monday, Oct. 26. At this time, the earliest students and staff would return to school in-person is Monday, Nov. 9. We will keep Boght Hills families updated if anything changes.
Further, Albany County Department of Health has advised that Boght Hills intermediate students (Gr. 4-6) are able to continue with in-person learning at the intermediate school unless they have been designated a direct contact and ordered to quarantine by the Department of Health. If you have a student in grades 7-12 with a Boght Hills sibling, they are also allowed to continue with in-person learning.
The district will continue to collaborate with the Albany County Health Department and follow their guidance and recommendations. As a reminder, each of our school buildings are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each evening in accordance with guidance from the CDC and the New York State Department of Health.
Anyone who is a member of the Boght Hills K-3 community and has concerns about exposure, is recommended to seek testing, even if not currently experiencing symptoms. A list of testing sites in Albany County with information about turnaround time and the ability to test pediatric patients can be found on the ACDOH website. Testing at the New York State testing site at the University at Albany uptown campus is free and accepts pediatric patients. Appointments can be made by calling the NYS COVID-19 Hotline at 888-364-3065. Please be aware that if you are experiencing symptoms and test negative via rapid test (same day results), you are recommended to seek confirmation with a laboratory-based molecular test for SARS-CoV-2 immediately and test for other respiratory pathogens.
Remote Instruction for Boght Hills Gr. K-3
- Boght Hills students in grades K-3 will engage in daily synchronous and asynchronous instruction for all core subject areas, special area subjects, and social emotional learning.
- K-3 remote learners will continue to learn from their teachers.
- Detailed information about remote instruction and the daily schedule for remote learning will be forthcoming from your building principal.
While the Boght Hills Gr. K-3 students are learning remotely, we will continue to send School Messenger notifications in the event we receive additional confirmed cases at Boght Hills.
Starting Monday, Oct. 26, breakfast and lunch will continue to be available, free of charge, for students in need while Boght Hills K-3 students have moved to 100% remote learning. The meals will be available for pick up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Each Monday and Wednesday meal pack will include two lunches and two breakfasts and Friday’s pack will contain one lunch and one breakfast. Our pick-up location is in the back of Blue Creek Elementary School from 10-11 a.m. No sign up is necessary. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking Precautions and Following Guidelines
All individuals should be aware that the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Please remember that the best plan for addressing the COVID-19 virus is to remain informed and follow the simple steps to help contain the spread of the virus:
- Keep a 6 foot distance between you and others when out in the community — even if you don’t feel sick or have any symptoms
- Wear a snug-fitting surgical or cloth face mask that covers your nose and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Call your healthcare provider in advance of a visit
- Limit visitors to your home
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combination of symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If you are experiencing symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for evaluation and testing. Please review the CDC COVID-19 fact sheet for more information.
The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our main priority. We are committed to providing a strong educational experience for all of our students during the temporary closure. We will do everything possible to reduce the spread of the virus and return to school in person. We encourage families to do their part as well. Please stay home, avoid large gatherings, wear masks in public and take any other precautions to mitigate our community’s spread.
Thank you for your continued partnership. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact your school principal, your healthcare provider, the Albany County Department of Health at (518) 447-4659, or the NYSDOH COVID-19 Hotline at 888-364-3065.
D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools