Please visit our Coronavirus Response & Resources page for more information pertaining to reopening.
(August 28, 2020 – Schedule updated September 23, 2020)
Dear Chatham Families,
We here at Chatham are excitedly looking forward to September when student learning will resume. A lot will be different, but we are working hard to make this school year a safe, rich and rewarding experience for our students.
This week, the Board of Education approved Chatham Central School District’s reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year. These plans reflect our District’s commitment to prioritizing health and safety while we strive to provide our students with the most rewarding educational experience we can. It is important to note that, as the COVID-19 situation remains fluid, these plans may be subject to change depending on what the circumstances bring us.
In the interest of safety and to allow us to carefully prepare and implement the many new procedures we are putting in place, we have developed a Reopening Schedule that delays in-person instruction until the week of September 28 (with the exception of PreK and Kindergarten, and self-contained special education classes). We have set aside the first four days of the school year (September 8-11) for professional development, and our first day of instruction for students will be Monday, September 14.
Reintroducing Students to Campus
From September 14 through September 25, all instruction will be remote only for grades 1-12. During this period of fully-remote learning, we will be providing childcare/learning support during school hours for families who have requested it (requests were due August 28).
Starting on Monday, September 28, we will begin to bring students on to campus according to the attached schedule. Our plan is to stagger grade levels so that we are able to introduce small groups of students to our safety procedures and allow them ample time to ask questions and feel comfortable in the new school environment.
Starting October 5, students will follow their “regular” trimester or quarterly schedule. Students in grades PreK-6 as well as special education and English language learners will attend school in-person five days a week. Students in grades 7-12 will attend school according to a hybrid schedule, with students alternating between in-person instruction one day and remote learning the next.
Fully-remote learning will be provided for the families who have requested it. Requests for the fully-remote option were due August 17.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of everyone in our buildings is our priority. We appreciate your cooperation with the important measures we are implementing to help keep us all safe.
All students, staff, and visitors are required to wear masks when they are on campus or riding the bus. Students will be provided with socially distanced “mask breaks” at set times during the school day and may remove their masks when eating meals. Families may provide their own masks, or our District has washable cloth masks available for any student who may need them. Because we are requiring students to arrive wearing masks, if you are in need of them, please contact your school and make arrangements so that you may receive your masks prior to the start of in-person learning.
We will also be utilizing an online self-screening form for students and staff that must be completed each morning prior to their arrival on campus. More information on how this will work will be forthcoming.
All schools will provide for students to be properly socially distanced by six feet or more, including during class, physical education, recess, and lunch.
Cleaning staff will disinfect high-touch areas, such as doorknobs and bathroom areas, several times throughout the school day. Teachers will also be provided with disinfecting wipes for use in their classrooms as need be. Classroom areas, offices and bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected each evening.
In addition to our existing hand washing facilities, hand sanitizer will be provided in all classrooms and in dispensers in areas such as hallways.
All classroom and office areas are served by air-handling (HVAC) units that circulate fresh air by pulling outdoor air into the room and exhausting interior air out of the building. We have set the amount of air exchange to the highest level practical and have implemented a robust HVAC maintenance and cleaning schedule to ensure these units are functioning effectively and reliably.
Transportation requests were due August 24. For families who have indicated a need for transportation this school year, information about bus routes was mailed out today.
Information about individual student schedules and building-specific protocols will be provided by your child’s school in the coming days. If you have questions about these areas, please contact your school’s main office.
Our complete reopening plan, along with additional information and resources is posted to our Coronavirus Response & Resources webpage. We are posting information there regularly, so be sure to check our website often. We have also set up the dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org to answer your questions about reopening.
Have a great weekend,
Superintendent of Schools