K-12 to stay on remote learning through Dec. 17; students in self-contained special education program to resume on Dec. 10
Dear North Colonie Community,
I am writing to follow up on the message that I shared with families last night regarding the presumptive positive COVID case in the transportation department. This individual has tested positive, which has created a staffing issue for the district. The individual was last in the district on Friday, Dec. 4. All of the individual’s direct contacts have been identified and placed under a mandatory quarantine.
We do not have a COVID outbreak in the district and this is not considered a district closure. I want to remind families that our school buildings remain a safe place. This is a unique situation. A significant number of our transportation staff members have been placed under quarantine and, as a result, we are simply unable to transport all students in K-12.
With the limited number of drivers who are able to work, we have prioritized the need to transport our special education students in our full-day self-contained programs. The full-day self-contained programs will resume on Thursday, Dec. 10. Transportation schedules for students in these programs will not change.
Additionally, by law, we will also need to transport the students who live in our district and attend private and parochial schools. There will be no transportation on Wednesday, Dec. 9 for these students, but transportation will resume on Thursday, Dec. 10. An additional communication will be sent to families from our transportation department.
All other K-12 students will be moving to remote learning through Thursday, Dec. 17.
We will continue to monitor our staffing ratios and will update families on Monday, Dec. 14 as to schooling plans for Dec. 18-23.
During the time of remote learning, there will be no CYC programs at any of the school buildings.
Please know that this was an incredibly difficult decision that was made in consultation with the Albany County Department of Health. We know the importance of keeping our students in school, however, with the amount of transportation staff impacted, we simply do not have enough staff to transport our students.
Even with the limited number of drivers we have, we will be able to provide meal delivery to those in need. If you are in need of meals for your child during the remote learning period, we will be sharing additional information tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 9.
In addition to this email, families of special education students will receive a follow up communication from Pupil Services Administrators.
Each building principal will also send an additional email later today with more information specific to the individual buildings.
Please remember, a majority of our COVID positive cases have not been due to school spread, but due to spread in the community. I want to thank those of you who have continued to follow guidelines and protocols both in and out of school, because when we do that, it is more likely that we will be able to keep our doors open to provide the supports our students need.
As always, thank you for your understanding during this time. Please reach out with any questions. We are all in this together.
D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools