Please use the following resources to stay informed and learn more about the City School District of Albany's academic and operational planning while our buildings are closed through the end of the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19. We appreciate your cooperation as we work together to respond to these health concerns.
For an overview of the district's efforts to serve our students and families during this challenging time, you can download our Continuity of Instruction Plan.
New items include our latest Perspectives in Online Learning feature, a reminder about Saturday's final Budget Town Hall meeting, a voting update that includes new step-by-step guidelines for completing absentee ballots, and a reminder about the district's new info line for support services
Perspectives in Online Learning
Perspectives in Online Learning is a forum for City School District of Albany teachers and students to share their experiences with virtual teaching and learning. We will highlight a new vignette or video each day while schools are closed due to COVID-19.
Registration during closure
Information on registering students during closure (including the magnet and pre-K lotteries) can be found by visiting our registratation during closure page.
We would like to share information about practices you can take at home to help reduce the spread of a variety of illnesses, including the flu and COVID-19, and help your family stay healthy.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. We have asked our building principals to make sure that all students have the opportunity to wash their hands before lunch each day, and over the next few weeks we will be installing hand-sanitizer dispensers in high-traffic areas at each school.
- Know the signs and symptoms of flu – fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache and feeling very tired. Some people may also have nausea or vomiting.
- If you or a family member show any of these symptoms, particularly symptoms of a respiratory illness, talk with your health-care provider.
- Teach your children to cover their mouths with a tissue or the inside of their elbow or arm – instead of their hands – when they cough or sneeze.
- Keep sick children home while they have flu symptoms, and for 24 hours after the fever goes away without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
- Teach your children not to share items like toothbrushes, drinks, food or eating utensils.
- If your child has chronic health problems and displays flu-like symptoms, contact your health-care provider immediately.
Funding for childcare costs
New York is using a portion of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds to provide free childcare to income-eligible essential workers.
To qualify, essential workers must work outside of the home and use a regulated childcare provider. They will receive a scholarship for the cost of care as long as the funds to support it are available. All licensed and regulated providers who are caring for essential workers are able to participate in this new program.
In order to qualify for the scholarship, families also must have an adjusted gross income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four that equals an annual income of $78,600.
Parents and guardians are asked to complete this application for the CARES Child Care Scholarship. Applications will be considered complete once the online application is finished AND the required supplemental documentation is submitted to Brightside Up, the Childcare Resource and Referral Agency (CCRA) for Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties.
For parents and guardians that currently receive a subsidy from their local Department of Social Services to pay for childcare, this scholarship can cover the co-pay. Parents and guardians should apply for the CARES Act Scholarship, and then contact their local DSS to get a letter stating their current co-pay. Please address any questions to Tricia Howland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YMCA childcare partnership
A reminder that the district is partnering with the YMCA to offer childcare services for health and emergency-response personnel. The YMCA is administering and staffing the program, which operates from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. daily at the following six schools:
- Arbor Hill Elementary School, 1 Arbor Drive
- Eagle Point Elementary School, 1044 Western Ave.
- Giffen Memorial Elementary School, 274 South Pearl St.
- New Scotland Elementary School, 369 New Scotland Ave.
- Schuyler Achievement Academy, 676 Clinton Ave.
- Sheridan Preparatory Academy, 400 Sheridan Ave.
The program has a limited capacity, with a maximum of 30 children per school (three classrooms with 10 children). The YMCA is staffing each room with two employees.
Online registration is available. Health and emergency personnel needing childcare are also welcome to call the YMCA at (518) 869-3500.
OCFS childcare survey
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services is asking parents, guardians and caregivers who are in need of childcare to complete a Parent Need for Childcare survey.
Based on the information collected in this survey, OCFS may be able to help families find the childcare program to meet their needs. It may be a challenge to find childcare due to COVID-19-related closures. However, OCFS is trying its best to support families to find high-quality childcare programs.
The OCFS website also has several resources available.
Beyond the trauma of living through this global pandemic, we continue to see equity issues grounded in systemic racism throughout our country.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), regardless of your child’s age, he or she may feel upset or have other strong emotions after experiencing a traumatic event. Some children react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty much later. How children react or common signs of distress can vary according to age.
- An article on racism from starr.org
- CDC tips on returning to school following a disaster
- National Association of School Pyschologists article on supporting students during stressful times
We have included these additional helpful resources below to provide more information on COVID-19.
- U.S Centers for Disease Control
- New York State Department of Health
- New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline – 888-364-3065
Below are resources that address social-emotional needs of all stakeholders, including students, during an infectious disease outbreak.
- School Mental Health and Training Center
- NYS Office of Mental Health
- Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Below are resources that may be helpful in talking to children about COVID-19:
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
- Fear of Coronavirus—A Good Time to Talk to Kids About Keeping Fears Realistic and ManageableTalking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource
The National Association of School Psychologists offers a wide range of suggestions to help parents and guardians talk with children about COVID-19. These suggestions include remaining calm and assuring, making yourself available to young people, keeping explanations age-appropriate, avoiding excessive blaming, monitoring television and social media exposure, maintaining a normal routine to the extent possible, being honest and accurate, knowing the symptoms of COVID-19, reviewing and modeling basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices for protection, and discussing new rules or practices for school.
Talking to Kids About Coronavirus, an article from The Daily Reporter
Talking to young children about masks, an article from The New York Times