Returning in-person student update

Boy with facemask works on laptop computer

The following message is from O'Neal Principal David Bernsley and concerns seventh- and eighth-graders who will return to the buildling for in-person learning during the fourth quarter.

Dear Families of Excellence: 

We are excited that your student will be returning for in-person instruction during the fourth quarter at Edmund J. O’Neal Middle School of Excellence. I am writing to provide you with details about how the school day will work and the steps we are taking to keep students safe as they return to our school building beginning April 26. 

School times

Our school day will continue to operate from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Students in grades 7-8 who have selected the in-person model will attend in-person every day.  

What to bring to school

Students must bring their Chromebook, charger and earbuds to school every day and make sure to charge their device before to coming to school.  

Students will receive their ID badges on the first day of school April 26, and they should bring those to school every day as well. In addition, students must wear a facemask every day. 


The student ID will also serve as a CDTA bus pass for those students who are eligible for CDTA transportation (students living 1.5 miles or more from school). The activated student ID will allow eligible students to ride any CDTA bus in the city to get to and from school. The City School District of Albany also has worked with CDTA to implement tripper bus service for eligible O’Neal students during the fourth quarter. 

The CDTA tripper buses (route #804 for O’Neal) will be scheduled to arrive at school between 7:46-7:50 a.m., and to depart school between 3:08-3:11 p.m. CDTA will allow students to ride without an ID for a week to give us time to distribute IDs. After the first week, your student’s school ID will serve as their bus pass. 

Students whose Individualized Education Plan (IEP) calls for specialized transportation are transported on First Student yellow buses. 

Arriving at school

Students should enter through the Third Street door, where they will go through the routine security screening and have their temperature taken. We will provide a grab-and-go breakfast for every student to eat in their first-period classroom. We also will provide students with a copy of their schedule so they know in which rooms their classes are located. Individual student schedules also are available via schooltool

Schedules and changing classes

There will be no change to student schedules. However, students will transition between classes and move through the hallways.

COVID-19 precautions

  • All students and staff must wear a facemask at all times except for when eating
  • Hallways will be marked with signs and other reminders to remain 6 feet apart
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available and the importance of clean hands will be stressed
  • Staff will be on hand to reinforce social distance requirements as students move throughout the building
  • In every classroom, desks will be placed at least 6 feet apart
  • Students will be expected to wipe down their desk each period as they enter the classroom
  • The school will provide wipes for students to use for this purpose
  • Health and safety procedures at O’Neal and all district buildings continue to include cleaning and sanitizing nightly. We will continue with these procedures.

Other important information

Please remember to complete the health screener for your student each day. If your student is sick and will be out, please call the school and let us know.

Family orientation

I know you may have many questions not addressed in this letter. We will offer two virtual orientation sessions for families and you will have an opportunity to ask and receive answers to your questions.

All of us at O’Neal Middle School are very excited that we will see your student in-person beginning April 26, and we also are looking forward to continuing to serve all of our students who have selected distance learning for the rest of the school year. If you have any additional questions or concerns in the meantime, please contact me at (518) 475-6600.