COVID Update: New Cases, Closure, Transition to Remote
Averill Park CSD Families,
Yesterday, we notified our school community of two new positive cases of COVID-19 at the high school. On Sunday, January 10, the District received confirmation from the Rensselaer County Department of Health that one student in the middle school, one student in West Sand Lake Elementary School and one staff member in the high school have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Due to the timing of these cases, we are unable to thoroughly conduct the necessary contact tracing and the DOH cannot quarantine individuals until the District is able to effectively contact trace. As a result, we are erring on the side of caution and must make changes to our instructional model until we can work with the DOH to determine who needs to be quarantined. Because our transportation department is already stretched thin, and there is potential for the DOH to quarantine additional drivers, we must close all three elementary schools for in-person and virtual learners, and transition our high school and middle school to fully remote learning for Monday, January 11. All students in Questar programs (Tech Valley High School, New Visions, and out-of-district special education placements) will participate in virtual learning.
Based on the instructional model at the high school and middle school it is feasible to pivot to remote instruction for one day until we can work through contact tracing. This is much more challenging to accomplish at the elementary level on short notice. We understand the impact that closing our elementary schools has on our students, staff and families and this decision was not made lightly.
We will provide an update tomorrow as more information becomes available.
It is important for our students and staff to continue to fill out the daily health screening survey. Any students who are in need of meals can continue to pick them up in-person. If you have additional questions, please reach out to your building principal.
Thank you to our students, staff and families for showing continued support and cooperation as we navigate the challenges associated with this global pandemic.