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August 13 | Superintendent Letter

Hello VCSD Community,

On Friday, Aug. 7, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that in-person instruction is permitted in all regions of New York state for the start of the 2020-21 school year based on current COVID-19 infection rates, while also outlining new requirements related to school reopening plans.

These requirements include highlighting plans for remote learning, COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, which are all parts of the district’s reopening plan that was recently submitted to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and New York State Department of Health (DOH). Those sections of our plan can be found here: remote learning, contact tracing, COVID-19 testing.These areas will be updated as new information is brought to light through the district reopening process, through the district medical director, or from the Department of Health. 

The Governor is also requiring schools to hold at least three information sessions for parents and members of the community to ask questions and learn more about our reopening plan. 

Each building leadership team will hold a livestream panel discussion the week of August 17th.  Building principals will be sending further information on the subject matter and how to participate/view the meetings.  

Parent forum dates are as follows, please email the principal questions or topics that you would like to be answered/covered:

Over the course of the last several weeks, the district has been working to formulate a plan for reopening school in September. These plans were created based on guidelines from federal and state agencies, as well as feedback from community stakeholders. If you have questions, concerns, or comments, please feel free to email each building principal if your questions are building specific.  If the question is in regards to district level matters, please email me at fmacri@voorheesville.org.  I will do my best to respond in a timely manner. A copy of our complete reopening plan can be found at https://www.voorheesville.org/domain/293.

The middle school and high school put out an FAQ on their website to hopefully answer some of the questions you might have. You can view the FAQ at 6-12 Remote/Hybrid Learning - FAQs. The elementary school is in the process of creating a similar document

The following information was sent to k-5 families and students on August 11th:

There have been many substantial changes to the elementary schedule this week that I would like to share with you.  As we have stated from the beginning, all plans for the reopening of schools are fluid as we are continuously revisiting all options to best meet the needs of our school community.  

The following information will be shared in Mr. Macri’s Thursday update, but we wanted to get this information out as soon as possible.  

  • The elementary school’s start time will now be pushed back 1 hour, from 8:30 am to 9:30 am.  Drop off will begin at 9:30 and instruction for students will begin at 9:45. There will be no change to the dismissal time.
  • The fifth grade will now be housed back at the elementary school campus.  Students in fifth grade will follow the new elementary school start time. These changes were possible due to the number of requests from families for their children to engage in remote learning. 
  • The one hour delay for students will allow for specials (art, music, P.E., library) to be offered in a ten week rotation. Physical Education will be offered the first 10 week and last 10 weeks of the school year, which allows for classes to be held outside during the warmer months.

As a reminder, please remember to follow all social distancing protocols to continue to keep our school community safe. With each of my weekly letters, I will highlight one section of the reopening plan.  Below my letter there is a description of the health and safety portion of the district’s reopening plan along with a link to view the full section.  

Thank you all for your communication and dialogue throughout this process. 

Sincerely, 

Frank Macri

Superintendent


Health & Safety - District Reopening Plan

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

The following protocols and procedures will be in place in all district schools for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact our COVID-19 safety coordinator at jsapienza@voorheesville.org or HOTLINE FOR COVID-19 - 518-765-3314 ext.207

For more information about how health and safety protocols and training will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

Health checks

The district has developed resources to educate parents/guardians and staff members regarding the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and health screening measures that must be conducted each morning before coming to school. The resources include the requirement for any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection to not come to school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Coronavirus symptoms was used to develop these resources. 

The Voorheesville Central School District will implement the following practices to conduct mandated health screening.

  • The District is utilizing a computer based electronic survey that staff and students (parents/guardians) and visitors must attest to and complete prior to entering any of the district buildings. The survey can be found on the district website under staffing: https://www.voorheesville.org/domain/57.  The application that must be filled out and submitted can be found here:https://entry.neric.org/vcsd.  Families, students, and staff are encouraged to bookmark or move the application to your homepage for easy access. If, after the completion of the survey, you are deemed not able to enter the building or proceed for regular attendance, the attendance secretary or building administrator must be notified.
  • If students or staff do not have the ability to complete an at home screening at home through electronic means, they are asked to call the building office with their health affirmation or complete a paper affirmation and send it to the school with their student.
  • In the event that groups forget to do the survey or do not have internet access at home, the following procedures will be followed. The district will do an initial survey to identify families who may not be able to complete the survey each day.  Students who do not do the survey prior to arrival will be identified and will report to a confidential screening location to complete a paper copy of the survey under trained district staff supervision.

View the full health and safety plan here.