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Coronavirus update: North Colonie Schools closed March 16-20

| March 13, 2020

We continue to monitor all guidance from local, state and federal agencies. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the North Colonie Central School District. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are joining with other area districts and closing school for students for the week of March 16-20, 2020.

Given that this is a rapidly evolving public health issue, we feel that this is the most proactive and prudent action available to us. This is designed to help limit the spread of illness and to provide time to reassess the situation next week.

During this time, students and 10-month staff will not be required to report. All 12-month employees will continue to work during the closure, barring any further direction from the Department of Health.

We recognize that this is an inconvenience to our families, but our primary concern is the health and well-being of all students and staff. The district has been and will remain in communication with local health department officials.

It is our hope that this closure will provide time to prevent any potential community spread of illness.

Instructional Online Resources

We are committed to providing educational resources for our students during this closure, but it is important to acknowledge that there are practical limits to instructional program continuity. Instead, our commitment will be to sharing a variety of resources for parent-guided and self-guided learning for students. Accordingly, our teachers have created a Google document of online age-appropriate resources that you may use with your child. It includes links and resources that will give students the opportunity to practice skills, review content and explore topics at home. Principals will also be available by email during normal school hours to answer any questions you may have regarding the resources. We encourage you to look at the online resources that have been created by our teachers with the learning needs of all children in mind.

Relatedly, we encourage you to the extent possible to maintain a schedule and routine with your child. You should also consider varying the amount of time using technology and media and 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.

Food Services

The district will provide meals to any student in the North Colonie Central School District starting on Tuesday, March 17. “Grab and go” drive-thru style stations for breakfast and lunch will be set up at Blue Creek Elementary School, Forts Ferry Elementary School and Shaker High School. Breakfast can be picked up from 8-8:45 a.m. and lunch can be picked up from 11:45 am.-12:45 p.m. Meals will be available that are free of the big 8 allergens.

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, and we will provide you with more information as soon as we can. Please keep checking your email and the district website for the most accurate and updated information. We appreciate your support, cooperation and understanding.

Thank you,

D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools

If you are in need of community resources, please review this list of contacts and resources.

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