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Instructional Changes, Snow Days & Delays, COVID Testing & Holiday Travel – A message from the superintendent

| November 20, 2020

Dear North Colonie Families,

I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy and safe. As we approach the holidays, there are many things that we all need to be mindful of. As I’ve said in the past, what we do outside of school greatly impacts what happens inside our schools. Unfortunately, it seems like cases are on the rise in our state. That is why it is so important that we work together to keep one another safe. Please remember to stay vigilant, wear a mask and social distance. I greatly appreciate your cooperation thus far. If we all continue to do the right thing, we can all remain healthy for the holiday season and beyond. With that, I have some important information for you to review.

Instructional Changes for Second Semester

At the end of this month, the district will be sharing a form with families to indicate if they would like to change their child’s status from in-person to remote learning or from remote learning to in-person for the second semester, which begins on February 1, 2021. Only families who wish to change their child’s status will need to complete the form. You can review the current K-12 in-person and remote learning schedules on our district website. We are asking families in advance so that administrators will have time to configure schedules and prepare for possible changes in class sizes. The form will be sent out on Monday, November 30. Again, you will only need to complete the form if you wish to request a placement change for your child.

Communicating Weather-Related Announcements

In the event of inclement weather, schools will either function on a one hour delay or they will be closed. There will be no 2 hour delays this year. This is due to the change in our building schedules to comply with COVID protocols. 

In the event there is a one hour delay:

  • K-6 students will have a one hour delay
  • 7th and 8th graders will always transition to remote learning for the day
  • 9-12 graders will operate on a regular schedule

In the event there is a snow day:

  • The first snow day will be a typical snow day with no remote instruction.
    • Due to the power outages last month, the district has one snow day available.
  • If we need additional snow days, we will move to remote instruction in order to avoid falling below the state mandated 180 days and jeopardizing state aid.

Cancellations, delays or early dismissals are also posted on the school district’s website on the homepage and in the yellow alert bar at the top. We will also send an email and text message to all families. School closings are also announced on the local TV and radio stations.

Whitney Young Partnership for COVID Testing

Earlier this week, Albany County announced a partnership with Whitney Young to provide rapid and laboratory-based testing for K-12 students who are sent home with COVID-19 symptoms. School nurses will work with families and Whitney Young to schedule an appointment. Parents should not contact Whitney Young directly. The sites are at Albany High School and the county’s Cornell Cooperative Extension site, located at 24 Martin Rd. in Voorheesville. Both sites are located outdoors, so students should dress for the weather. County Executive McCoy said more sites will be announced in the coming days. 

Thanksgiving Travel Reminder

As the holiday travel season approaches, I wanted to remind families about the New York State travel advisory and how it can impact your child’s ability to attend school. According to the governor, non-essential travel is strongly discouraged, but if you must travel, please review these guidance documents.

Weekly Boost

  • This fall, Shaker High School senior Mikayla Brunell collaborated with Siena College to host a virtual college event to help Shaker High school students as they navigate the college search and application process. Read more on our district website or hear Mikayla talk about the event on our district Facebook page.

Thank you all for continuing to do your part to keep our community safe. I wish you all a nice Thanksgiving. Although the celebrations may look different this year, I sincerely hope you are able to find little moments of joy throughout the holiday weekend.

Sincerely,

D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools

Category: Archive, District News

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