Dear North Colonie Families,
I hope you were all able to spend some time outside and enjoy the warm weather we had earlier this week. I also hope you were able to take a moment on Wednesday to recognize our veterans for their dedication to serving our country. Their commitment to serving for the greater good is commendable and cannot go unnoticed.
As we head into the weekend, I have some updates for you to review:
We are aware that there are some rumors in the community claiming that the district is planning to transition to remote learning after the Thanksgiving break. These rumors are not true. The district plans to continue in-person instruction up to Thanksgiving break and after the upcoming holiday break. The district will always be transparent and provide as much notice as possible in the event that there is a school or district closure. Please note, there are no planned school or district closures at this time.
I wanted to stress the importance of continuing to follow all COVID protocols outside of school and thank you for reinforcing this message with your children. We have had an extremely low rate of occurrence since school opened in September, and we must continue to take our personal and civic responsibility seriously in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that there are vulnerable people in our community who can be seriously impacted by this virus, and it is up to all of us to protect one another.
Unfortunately, as we approach Thanksgiving break, COVID cases in New York State and Albany County are on the rise. We know that families are grappling with difficult decisions in order to find the best ways to celebrate this holiday safely. As you make your decisions, please keep in mind that earlier this week Governor Cuomo announced that private gatherings should have no more than 10 individuals. Additionally, if families travel out of state for more than 24 hours, the Governor has issued new protocols and quarantine orders which will clarify the steps necessary in order for your students to return to school. You can read those guidelines here.
We know that these are difficult decisions, and we thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do to remain vigilant and follow Health Department recommendations in order to keep our community safe.
If you are interested in supporting North Colonie families in need for Thanksgiving, you may contribute to our community support fund through the North Colonie PTA Council. Please make checks payable to North Colonie PTA Council with the phrase “community support fund” in the memo. You can drop off your check at our district offices at 91 Fiddlers Lane, Latham, NY 12110 or mail it to the same address. All donations will be used for groceries to support a Thanksgiving meal for our district families in need. Please provide all donations by Friday, Nov. 20 as we need to shop for these families on Monday, Nov. 23.
- Shaker High School senior Alvira Tyagi recently volunteered to be a poll worker for the 2020 presidential election. Alvira shared all about her experience and what it meant to her. You can read more about her story on our district website. You can also hear her speak more about it on our district Facebook page.
- Congratulations are in order for members of our History Research and Competition Club! Shaker High School sophomores Brian Devendorf, Reem Mohamed, Corey Ditzel, Toby Zheng, and Shashank Salgam have qualified for the History Bowl National Championships in their very first season! History Bowl is a fast-paced, team quiz competition where students respond to different historical questions. The team was able to defeat some of the best high schools in the country and end the regular season with only one loss.
- Shaker High School Key Club recently hosted a virtual 5k where donors and participants raised $786.30. The money will be donated to Equinox, which usually makes around 10,000 thanksgiving meals for local families in need. Each meal averages around $7.50, which means the club’s contributions will provide meals for 104 Capital Region residents!
Again, I cannot thank our families enough for doing their part to allow the district to continue to safely operate. Your actions outside of school are critical to allow us to continue in-person instruction. We will continue to work closely with the Albany County Department of Health to follow their guidance and recommendations. Please remember to wear a mask, be mindful of who you interact with, and social distance.
D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools