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Update Mar. 6: COVID-19/Coronavirus Information & Resources

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on March 6, 2020

The following message was emailed to all district parents on Friday, Mar. 6:

Dear Parent/Guardian:

Our school district is continuing its prevention and preparedness efforts related to COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Today we want to share some updates with you. As with all matters related to public health, we will follow all guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH) and the New York State Education Department in relation to this evolving situation.

Currently, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus in our school district. 

Our team of school nurses carefully monitor the attendance of all of our students. Each nurse coordinates with the building’s attendance secretary on a daily basis in order to record and track the number of students absent and determine specifically who is reporting fever, cough, cold symptoms, flu symptoms, flu-confirmed, respiratory illness, sore throat, strep confirmed, and gastrointestinal illness. Tracking this information relies on the cooperation of parents and guardians to provide this important data.

We are very appreciative to have families who understand the importance of reporting health-related absences with as much detail as possible and ask that families continue to share that information with our building nurses and attendance staff.

Anticipating needs

Our District Safety Team is meeting regularly to discuss both immediate and long-term planning surrounding coronavirus. A meeting was held today, Friday, Mar. 6. As a result, in the coming days our schools will see: 

  • A separate room or area at each school, close to the nurse’s office, will be identified for use by nursing staff specifically for students who present with a cough and/or fever, which are primary symptoms of both flu and COVID-19. Additional staff will be provided to assist with coverage of the nurses’ offices where needed.
  • Additional cleaning and use of disinfectants on hard surfaces at all schools.
  • Soap dispensers and towel dispensers in all restrooms throughout the district will be closely monitored so they do not become empty.
  • Additional cleaning of school buses will take place in accordance with new guidelines.

 Healthy daily habits

 At home and at school, there is a lot you and your family can do to prevent the spread of germs:

  • Keep students home when they are sick. This includes symptoms such as fever, cough/difficulty breathing and/or intestinal problems. Keep them home until their temperature is below 100 degrees for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
  • Frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cough/sneeze into your sleeve (elbow) or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door handles.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 

There are many resources available online from the Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. You may also find your child has questions or may be confused about the spread of the coronavirus and the news surrounding it. If that is the case, here is a resource to help address these concerns. 

Our best strategy as a school community is to stay informed, follow basic precautions and reach out to your health care provider if you have concerns regarding the health of your family. The district will continue to post updated information on the website and this information will be sent to you directly through our School Messenger system.

Thank you for your cooperation and continued support in helping keep our schools and students safe.

Sincerely,

Jody Monroe

Superintendent of Schools