Voters Approve School Budget and Other Propositions

East Greenbush Central School District residents approved all three propositions on this year's Budget Vote and Board Election ballot, including a $104,840,470 budget for the 2022-23 school year, the purchase of eight school buses from the Bus Purchase Reserve Fund and the establishment of a new Capital Reserve Fund. More than 84% of voters approved of the school budget, which maintains all programs and has no tax levy increase.

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The following message was emailed to staff and families on Friday, January 21.

Dear Parent/Guardian,

The East Greenbush Central School District is now accepting at-home COVID-19 tests for students and employees. Up until this point, based on previous state and county guidance only lab-certified tests were accepted including rapid antigen, rapid molecular and PCR tests. Given their expanded availability, the acceptance of at-home tests will reduce delays in obtaining results and ensure more students can return to in-person instruction. Use of these tests will also help our district maintain adequate staffing levels and enhance our current mitigation practices. 

Free at-home tests were distributed to families and employees earlier this month, and each school still has a supply of test kits available. The NYS Department of Health has also informed us that additional test kits will be delivered within the next week. If you would like an additional free at-home test kit, please contact your school.

Updated Isolation and Quarantine Protocols

The state and county health departments announced last week that they will no longer continue contact tracing cases of COVID-19. The county will no longer be contacting families of students who test positive or students who may have been exposed.

School districts received new state guidance on the evening of January 13, which stated schools no longer need to conduct contact tracing either. However, this aspect of the guidance conflicts with a requirement within the state guidance that schools still inform individuals if they have been exposed to a COVID-19 case while at school. Therefore, the East Greenbush Central School District will continue contact tracing until further notice, however, our procedures are being modified.

Consistent with existing contact tracing protocols, only parents and guardians of unvaccinated individuals who are considered close contacts will be called by the school district and advised to have their child quarantined. Individuals who are fully vaccinated or those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days will not receive a call and can continue attending school.

As part of the state’s updated guidance regarding requirements for both isolation and quarantine, affirmation forms for parents of students and for employees must be submitted to the school once isolation or quarantine periods have been completed.

Isolation Protocol
A person must isolate when they are sick or when they have been infected with the virus, even if they don’t have symptoms.

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, please follow these steps:

  • Keep your child home and test them for COVID-19 (at-home tests are now accepted).
    • If test result is positive:
      • Contact your school nurse and inform them of the test result.
      • Isolate at home for 5 days. Day 0 would be the date symptoms started. 
      • Return to school on Day 6 if symptoms have resolved or are improving (fever free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication and no cough or runny nose).
      • Individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should isolate for 10 days.
      • Notify any individuals who have had close contact with your child recently.
    • If test result is negative:
      • Contact your school nurse and inform them of the test result.
      • Return to school when symptoms have improved.
      • Stay at home if fever, cough or runny nose persist.
  • Submit the Affirmation of Isolation Form to your school the day they return. (This is a fillable form so you can type in it, save it, and then email it to the school. Or you can print the form and have your child bring it to school.)

Quarantine Protocol
A person must quarantine when they might have been exposed to the virus and may or may not have been infected.

If your child is identified as a close contact, and is not vaccinated, please follow these steps:

  • Quarantine at home for 5 days. Day 0 would be the date of last exposure.
  • Return to school on Day 6. Mask while around others and monitor for symptoms for an additional 5 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible (you can use an at-home test).
  • If the individual develops any symptoms or tests positive, they must isolate at home for 5 days. Contact your school nurse with this new information.
  • Submit the Affirmation of Quarantine Form to your school the day they return. (This is a fillable form so you can type in it, save it, and then email it to the school. Or you can print the form and have your child bring it to school.)

Testing 

The district is currently reviewing state guidance to determine the feasibility of offering asymptomatic students and employees who were exposed to a positive case and who otherwise would be quarantined for 5 days an option to continue to attend school or report to work through testing during the period following exposure. We expect to make a determination regarding this option and provide more information by next week.

We appreciate your patience and continued support as we navigate this ongoing pandemic and changing guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19

Q: If my child is exposed to COVID-19 at school, will I be notified?
A: If your child is unvaccinated and considered a contact of a positive case that was in school, yes, you will receive a phone call from the school and you will be given instructions on quarantine. If your child is vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days and is considered a contact, no, you will not receive a phone call from the school. Your child can continue attending school.

Q: If my child has one or more COVID-19 symptoms but is vaccinated, can they go to school?
A: No. Anyone who has a COVID-19 symptom, regardless of vaccination status, should stay at home and be tested for COVID-19.

Q: If my child has a COVID-19 symptom and tests negative, can they return to school?
A: If your child tests negative and their symptoms have resolved or are improving (no fever, cough or runny nose) and can tolerate wearing a face mask, yes, they can return to school. Please contact your school nurse and inform them of the negative test result.

Q: What type of COVID test is accepted by East Greenbush CSD?
A: At-home COVID-19 tests, as well as, any lab-certified test including rapid antigen, rapid molecular and PCR will be accepted.

Q: Does East Greenbush CSD have rapid at-home tests available for families?
A: Yes. Free at-home tests were distributed to families and employees earlier this month, and each school still has a supply of test kits available. If you would like an additional free at-home test kit, please contact your school.

Q: If my child tests positive for COVID-19, how long should they isolate and stay home from school?
A: Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for 5 days. Day 0 would be the date symptoms started, or if asymptomatic, the date of the COVID test. Return to school on Day 6 if symptoms have resolved (fever free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication and no cough or runny nose). There is an exception to the 5-day isolation for individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. Those individuals should isolate for 10 days.

The day your child returns to school, submit the Affirmation of Isolation Form to your school. (This is a fillable form so you can type in it, save it, and then email it to the school. Or you can print the form and have your child bring it to school.)

Q: If my child is quarantined, how long should they stay home from school?
A: Individuals who are quarantined should remain at home for 5 days. Day 0 would be the date of last exposure. Return to school on Day 6. Test on Day 5, if possible (you can use an at-home test). After quarantine ends, mask while around others and monitor for symptoms for an additional 5 days. If the individual develops any symptoms or tests positive during quarantine, they must isolate at home for 5 days. Contact your school nurse with this new information.

The day your child returns to school, submit the Affirmation of Quarantine Form to your school. (This is a fillable form so you can type in it, save it, and then email it to the school. Or you can print the form and have your child bring it to school.)

Q: Can a student test out of quarantine?
A: The district is currently reviewing state guidance to determine the feasibility of a Test to Stay program which would offer testing to asymptomatic students and employees who have been quarantined. We expect to make a determination regarding this option and provide more information by next week.