Aug. 26 district updates

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Enrollment choice updates

Our thanks to everyone who took a few moments to complete the Enrollment Choice Form for the upcoming school year. We received a total of 8,412 responses -- about 85% of our families -- during the two-week enrollment period, which closed Monday. We are using these choices to make our final preparations for the new year (see schedule reminder below).

Exactly 53% of the respondents selected a fully virtual instructional model through the first marking period, which ends Nov. 13. If you did not complete the form, or if you would like to change your selection to the fully virtual option at any time before the end of the first marking period, please contact your building principal. Please note that student schedules will be available in early September. 

Regarding transportation, 77.7% of respondents indicated their student will not require a bus to get to and from school during the first quarter – 43.9% because they selected virtual instruction, 22.2% because they are not eligible and 11.6% because they are planning to make other arrangements for transportation. Families whose students will be riding a bus will receive more information before the start of in-person instruction. If you have any questions, please contact our Transportation Department at (518) 475-6170. 

In our food service option, 16.9% indicated that they will pick up meals on the days that students are not at school for in-person instruction. 

Calendar for September

The 2020-21 school year will begin for students with three partial days of virtual orientation from Sept. 9-11.  

Virtual instruction for all students will begin Sept. 14-17, again with early release for all schools. We will begin implementing our formal instructional models beginning the week of Sept. 21, with a phased-in approach that will bring back a few grade levels each day. Tuesday, Sept. 29 will be the first full day of instruction for all students district-wide.  

We will have more detail about the schedules for these days as we get closer to the start of the new year.

Sept. 9-11

  • Virtual student orientation; early release each day
  • Virtual orientation for parents and guardians 

Orientation and training sessions for students and families on these days will include the following topics:

  • Orientation to the new classroom environment, and health and safety protocols
  • Orientation to Google Classroom and virtual learning environment
  • Appropriate social distancing protocols, and use and requirements for masks and face coverings
  • Communication on reopening plans that will support the health and safety of all of our students and employees

Sept. 14-17 

  • Virtual instruction for all students; early release each day

Friday, Sept. 18 (employees only; no student attendance)

Sept. 21-25 

  • All schools begin to implement identified instructional model (in-person, hybrid or virtual); early dismissal each day
  • Phased-in student attendance by grade levels (specific grades to attend each day will be determined at a later date); early release each day

Monday, Sept. 28

  • Yom Kippur – All district schools and offices closed

Tuesday, Sept. 29

  • All schools implement full days of instruction (in-person, hybrid or virtual)

Reopening forums available for review

We have created a new section on our 2020-21 Reopening Plan home page where you can access the videos from last week's school-level reopening forums for review.  

You also can use these links to review this week's district-level forums: 

The district will provide the next reopening update at this Thursday's Board of Education meeting

Quick tips on how to make a face covering at home

In need of a face covering before leaving home and don’t have a clean one handy? Check out this video advice from U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on a quick and easy way to make one at home to help keep yourself healthy and safe, and to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

County offers immunization appointments

As we look ahead to the new school year, a reminder that students need to meet all immunization requirements to attend school, whether it’s in-person or virtually. 

The Albany County Health Department is opening for immunization appointments. You can call (518) 447-4589 to schedule an appointment. Your child’s doctor’s office also is able to schedule your child for an appointment to get the required immunizations now. 

New York has strict rules regarding immunizations, and children who are missing required immunizations will not be allowed to go to school beyond the first 14 days. Some things to note:

  • Most kindergartners need their booster shots if they didn't get them at age 4
  • Sixth-graders need a Tetanus/pertussis shot: Tdap
    • Since students also need a meningitis shot in seventh grade, you can save time and ask for both at this visit
  • Seventh-graders need a meningitis shot: MCV4
  • Seniors need a second dose of meningitis MCV4 if they are 16 or older
    • So if they are at the doctor and are 16 years old, no matter what grade they are in at school, ask to get the MCV4 so you don't need to make a special trip for that immunization later.

Your doctor will know which immunizations your child is due for, but you also can reach out to your school nurse if you have any questions or would like more information.

The Great American Mask Drive

The Great American Mask Drive is an opportunity for people to donate masks to schools for the start of the upcoming school year. The masks are washable and reusable, and made by Hanes. The are $1.50 apiece and you can donate any quantity to any school in the district by following the link above. 

Following guidance from the New York State Department of Health, the district will provide masks for employees as well as masks for students who arrive at the bus or school without one. The Great American Mask Drive is an opportunity for you to supplement these supplies if you would like to help.

The Great American Mask Drive will be accepting orders through Monday. Orders then will be shipped directly to each school, or, in cases in which a school does not receive at least 500 donated masks, will ship directly to the district for distribution to individual schools.