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BCHS to stay remote through Tuesday, Dec. 8

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on December 4, 2020

An important message for BCHS families from Superintendent Jody Monroe:

Dear BCHS family:

Today, the Albany County Department of Health confirmed two more cases of COVID-19 at the high school. In just the last week, we have had seven cases reported in individuals associated with in-person learning at BCHS, the highest number of any week since the return to school. Our district and high school administrative teams have been monitoring this acceleration in COVID-positive cases in order to make decisions that are in the best interests of students and staff. 

As a result of this uptick in cases, we will continue all-remote learning at Bethlehem Central High School on Monday and Tuesday, December 7-8, 2020. We will continue to closely monitor case reports over the next several days to determine if we will need to extend all-virtual learning beyond Tuesday. In-person instruction at all other schools in the district will continue as scheduled.

Our goal is to maximize in-person instruction, so this decision is a difficult one. It requires us to not only consider the information we have but to also try to predict what comes next. Nothing has prepared us to be able to do that in the face of this pandemic.

What we do know now is that we still have several teachers and students who are under quarantine until Tuesday. While we have been fortunate that the most recent high school cases (those reported Nov. 30-Dec. 4) have not resulted in the kind of widespread quarantine of teachers and students that forced the high school into virtual learning on Nov. 24, it is only because Thanksgiving Break and a week of virtual learning have kept most people from the building.

It is important to keep in mind that when anyone in a classroom setting tests positive for COVID, the Albany County Department of Health requires all individuals in the classroom to undergo a 14-day quarantine from the date of potential exposure.

If the rate of BCHS COVID positive cases continues its upward trend, minimizing the number of people in the building is the most prudent course of action to ensure the health and safety of our school community and consistency in the learning process. We will monitor the COVID case count over the next several days with the hope that we will see a decrease in high school cases and an opportunity to reopen for in-person instruction. We will keep families informed of all decisions related to the high school schedule as we do.

As always, thank you for your support and understanding as we work to ensure a safe learning environment for all.

Sincerely, 

Jody Monroe

Superintendent