Dear Parents and Families,
We hope this communication finds you well. It is hard to believe we have been back to school for a month. The start of the school year has gone very well. This would not have been possible without the cooperation of our parents and families, and the hard work of both students and staff.
We wanted to share some updates based on feedback and questions we have received, as well as a few reminders and information on some exciting upcoming events and opportunities.
Updates – COVID-19
We shared with families on October 2 that we did have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Menands school community. We received many questions seeking specifics about the confirmed case. We are bound by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other privacy laws which restrict us from disclosing or confirming certain information. That said, we would like to share the following information around the process and protocols that are included in our reopening plan and required under regulations:
- When the County Health Department informs the District there is a positive case, we immediately mobilize our administrative team to gather the information needed for the department to begin contact tracing protocols.
- Any student or staff members who have been deemed in prolonged contact with the individual will be contacted by the Health Department within 24 to 48 hours.
- If you do not receive a call your child has not been identified as a contact.
The Health Department will inform those contacts of quarantine protocols and other health related instructions.
I can report that we received confirmation from the Health Department this week that the few identified contacts have fulfilled their quarantine period and there were no additional positive cases. This is an indication that the protocols we have in place are effective.
The District continues to follow all prevention protocols in accordance with the NYS and County Health Departments, including mask wearing, social distancing and thorough cleaning and disinfecting. More detail can be found in our reopening plan.
Additional information can be found at the Albany County Department of Health website or by calling 518-518-447-4580.
Middle School Parent Portal
The parent portal is now open for our 6–8th graders. It serves as a great resource for parents to actively participate in their child’s education. Detailed information will be sent home to our new users (6th grade families) with progress reports. For our returning users, an email will be forthcoming and a tutorial has been placed on our website under Tech Resources.
Transition From Remote to In Person Learning & Transportation Changes
As indicated in our plan and during our reopening forums, students and families currently participating in remote learning will have the opportunity to choose to return to in person learning. They will have the opportunity to do so as follows:
- K-5 students: Following the First Trimester which ends December 9th.
- 6-8 Students: Following the end of the First Semester which ends January 29th.
During these same timeframes, families will have the opportunity to adjust their transportation choices (bus or parent provided) as well.
These transitions will require thoughtful planning and preparation in order to continue to comply with all health and safety protocols. More details will be made available in the coming weeks. Please be sure to provide all information requested and adhere to submission deadlines in order for us to accommodate your request.
- All students attending in person must complete the daily health attestation. Please submit it as early as possible but no later than 7:30 AM.
- The speed limit in a school zone is 15 MPH. Please adhere to that to ensure the safety of our students and staff during arrival and dismissal.
October has traditionally been an exciting, fun-filled month here at Menands School. Though they may look a bit different, we encourage you to participate in these upcoming events:
- Red Ribbon Week
- Pumpkin Character Contest
- Pumpkin Run
Please Continue to monitor our website for detailed information and, if you do not already, please follow us on Facebook. It’s a great way to see updates and news as well as exclusive content like photos and videos.
Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to partner with us.
Dr. Maureen A. Long
Mrs. Jennifer Cannavo