Coronavirus Update: Staying Home, State Testing, Staffing

(March 20, 2020)

Dear Chatham Families,

Looking forward, I wanted to share the following with you:

Students Should Stay Home, Avoid Gathering

The following information was adapted from guidance shared by the Saratoga County Department of Health.

During this period of school closure, our public health partners are reminding us of the importance of students and families staying home as much as possible and to use social distancing if you do need to go out. Among other measures today, the governor directed all New Yorkers to stay in, avoid crowds, cancel social gatherings, and maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from others. Following these measures is extremely important to protect not only your health, but also that of your family, elders, and our entire community.

We know this is a difficult time and it is understandable that students will want to spend time with friends, but it is important that they not gather together, as that defeats the purpose of our schools being closed. We do realize the importance of students remaining connected, and in this sense we are fortunate to live in a time when technology enables people to “see each other” without the need to actually be in the same place.

While there is a mistaken belief among some that this virus does not pose a threat to young people, I want to reiterate what our health experts are telling us – that people of any age are susceptible to serious illness from COVID-19. Everyone keeping a distance from others will not only help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but can also help protect you and your family from getting sick.

While gatherings and close contact should be avoided, it is OK to go outside to do things like take a walk, jog, or ride a bike. Regardless of the activity, students should not hang out in groups. If a few students want to go outside and spend time together it should be with activities that allow for social distancing of six feet or more.

State Testing

The NYS State Education Department announced that it has suspended the following State testing programs for the remainder of the school year:

  • NYS Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test
  • NYS Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test
  • NYS Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test
  • NYS Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test
  • NYS English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12
  • NYS Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.

Staffing at Our Schools

I also wanted to remind our families that we are currently working with reduced staffing levels in each building, however voicemails and emails are being monitored throughout the day. If you don’t reach a person, leave a message with your contact information and we’ll get back to you.

Stay safe and well,

Dr. Sal DeAngelo
Superintendent of Schools

Posted in Uncategorized.