EDITOR’S NOTE: The East Greenbush CSD has now canceled classes from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 27. More information.
Superintendent Jeff Simons announced on Saturday evening that the East Greenbush Central School District will cancel classes through Friday, March 27 due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Closing a public school in New York remains a local decision, said Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Friday afternoon, unless there is a confirmed case inside the school, which would then require a minimum 24-hour closing to clean the building and investigate the case.
However, school superintendents in Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties, in consultation with county health departments, decided to close schools to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to ease public anxiety about schools being in session during this public health crisis.
“Weighing all factors, most importantly student and staff safety, and growing community concerns, we made a very difficult decision to cancel classes temporarily,” Mr. Simons said. “The decision was a balance between ensuring the concerns of our school community were addressed while continuing to provide needed educational services and gauge the impact of a school closing on our working families and children who rely on school services.”
East Greenbush CSD administrators have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, and last week, took a variety of steps to address any potential spread of the virus:
- Increased cleaning/disinfecting of schools (classroom desks, walls, bathrooms, etc.) and buses
- Providing hygiene education to students regarding handwashing and cough etiquette
- Suspension of school-wide assemblies
- Cancelling school field trips and large community events
- Suspension of external group rentals inside schools
Additionally, school administrators have been meeting to discuss online learning options for students should an extended school closure occur.
Mr. Simons canceled classes for Monday, March 16 and designated it a Superintendent’s Conference Day so that faculty and staff could meet in grade level teams/departments to discuss online learning options.
“Over the weekend, and on Monday, district teams will meet to finalize plans for providing students instructional resources and arrangements for families who may need essential support such as meals and other services,” Mr. Simons said. “The district will continually assess the situation through this break and continue to keep the community informed.”
More information can be found at https://egcsd.org/coronavirus.