Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

This webpage will be updated regularly as information becomes available. Last updated March 27, 2020.

On March 27, Governor Cuomo announced that all school districts in New York State will remain closed until at least April 15 to help protect the public against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All extracurricular activities and school events are suspended during that time period. Until further notice, parents, students, and visitors will not be able to access our buildings.

Our District will continue to reach out to our families to keep you updated on the situation as it progresses. We continue to monitor guidance from local, state and federal agencies to inform and reassess our decision making.

Also in Effect

  • All schools are closed to visitors. We are limiting staffing to workers essential to the operations of our school. All other visitors will not be allowed in our buildings.
  • Use of playgrounds is prohibited
  • All Adult Education classes are suspended
  • Use of our facilities by community organizations/leagues is suspended
  • All school-sponsored events are postponed or canceled
  • Driver Education Program is suspended

The NYS Education Department has suspended the following assessments for the remainder of the 2021-2020 school year.

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

    Athletics

    Section 2 has suspended all interscholastic athletic competitions through April 19. All Chatham practices are suspended.

    Field Trips

    All field trips are canceled through May 20. We may need to cancel field trips past this date if circumstances require.

    Learning Materials While School Is Out

    Our school district is committed to providing educational resources for our students during this time. The District has assembled learning materials in an effort to provide continuing academic engagement during the period of cancelled classes. We have also made materials available online:

    MED Learning Materials

    CMS Learning Materials

    CHS Learning Materials

    Students or parents can feel free to contact their teachers, administrators or the main office with any questions. Teachers will be available via email, Class Dojo, Google Classroom, or other platforms throughout the cancellation period. All teachers will be checking their emails and/or other classroom platforms regularly.

    Food Services While School Is Out

    We are here to help! The Chatham Central School District is offering free meal delivery Monday, Wednesday, Friday for children while our schools are closed. If you have children, reside in the District, and are in need, please call 518.392.1536 to let our food service director know how many children in your household need meals.

    Technology Support for Families

    If parents run into technical difficulties while trying to access learning resources, we ask that you send an email to our Information Technology Department at helpdesk@chatham.k12.ny.us . If you do not have access to the Internet or a device for your child to use the learning resources, we may be able to help. Please contact the IT office at 518-392.2400 extension 4041, or by email at helpdesk@chatham.k12.ny.us.

    About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Background

    2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can lead to fever, coughing, trouble breathing and/or shortness of breath. While approximately 80% of cases lead to mild symptoms, there can be life-threatening cases, especially among older adults and those who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. The virus is likely spread from cough and sneeze droplets, close contact with an infected individual, or by touching a surface contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

    Symptoms

    According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of the virus most commonly include fever with dry cough, shortness of breath, and pneumonia. Some people may have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

    Prevention

    There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this new virus. Federal, state, and local health departments recommend these simple steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19:

    • Practice social distancing – stay at least six feet from others and avoid large groups.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
    • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys, door handles, cellphones, and countertops.

    Additionally, if you or a family member begin showing symptoms of a respiratory illness and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider before going there and inform them that a case of COVID-19 is suspected, then follow their advice.

    Travel

    The CDC has provided guidelines for travelers and it is important that everyone traveling or returning to the country follow all relevant recommendations/directives. The CDC and Homeland Security are applying travel restrictions and/or quarantines, were deemed appropriate, for people traveling internationally.

    Students and staff returning from currently impacted countries or regions will be required to be under precautionary quarantine for 14 days upon return. The county health department is charged with enforcing any restrictions placed on returning travelers or persons under investigation. Schools cannot impose restrictions on students beyond those enforced by the government.

    Novel Coronavirus Hotlines

    New York State has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline which can provide additional information. Call 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms.

    Columbia Memorial Health has also established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 518-828-8249.

    More Information about Coronavirus is available at:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 

    https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

    https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/

    http://www.nysed.gov/

    Parenting Resources:

    Tips for Families: Talking About the Coronavirus

    Emergency Child Care for Essential Healthcare Workers

    Student Internet Access

    We understand some district families have less reliable internet access than others. To help alleviate this, some communications companies are providing free internet access over the coming weeks to help families during this period of widespread class cancellations.

    • Charter Communications
      • Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll
      • Offering free Spectrum broadband/Wi-Fi access for 60 days for K-12 households at any service level up to 100 Mbps.
    • Consolidated Communications
      • Call 1-844-968-7224. Open8 AM-8 PM (Mon – Fri) and 8 AM- 6:30 PM (Sat)
      • Free installation and Internet for 2 months for new customers. For families with school-aged children (K-6) impacted by school cancellations.Suspended for the remainder of the school year:

    When We Return

    Cleaning

    Our District has ample cleaning and disinfectant supplies and we have increased the daily precautionary efforts we take during cold and flu season to clean and disinfect high-traffic and high-touch areas, including in classrooms and on buses. Along with our cleaning staff, we have made appropriate disinfectant products available to faculty and staff so that they may regularly disinfect high-touch areas in their classrooms or offices as well.

    Changes To What Students Can Bring To School
    • Students are now allowed to bring alcohol-based hand sanitizers to school in their backpacks, though hand washing is the preferable practice.
    • Please do not send in homemade food to be shared.
    Reporting Absences

    When reporting an illness-related absence to your child’s school, please leave details (fever, cough, strep throat, etc.). We are actively monitoring attendance throughout the District.