Red Raider Community:
I had scheduled a virtual Coffee Chat for tonight at 6:00 to provide our community with reopening updates so that our students, staff, and parents can be well prepared for what to expect when we begin in September.
As of today, July 28th, 2021, New York State has not provided guidance to schools on COVID protocols as we prepare to reopen in the fall. Therefore, the Coffee Chat will be postponed until further notice.
In the absence of any new guidance, local county department of health officials, BOCES Leaders, and School Superintendents meet weekly to develop a collective vision on what reopening may look like.
One of the most pressing concerns considered is our ability to provide transportation. The current recommendation is to maintain physical distancing “to the greatest extent possible.” In order to fully reopen, the collective thinking on buses is that:
- Mask be worn at all times (not an option- Federal Mandate)
- Windows open to provide ventilation.
- When possible, parents walk students to school or drop them off to reduce the population density on school buses.
In lieu of any state direction, the workgroup plans to turn their attention to fall interscholastic athletics and what the safety precautions might look like when these activities start in just a few weeks. The other big challenges that must be considered are indoor physical distancing and mask wearing expectations. As you are probably aware, yesterday the CDC recommended mask wearing in K-12 schools by both students and staff.
Last, but certainly not least, public health officials in the group are very concerned that COVID positivity rates in our region are starting to climb back up and that the new variant spreads much more aggressively. Officials say the number one, most effective deterrent to the spread of the virus, is the vaccination of anyone eligible to receive one. Saratoga County DOH has offered to host vaccination clinics next week in public school locations. I will follow up with you when a schedule has been created for Mechanicville.
We are committed to reopening schools for full, in person instruction in the fall. We eagerly await guidance to be able to bring our faculty, staff and students back to a safe learning environment. Thank you for your continued support!