Update on COVID-19 Guidance from NYS

Dear Schalmont families,

We want to update you with the latest COVID-19 guidance from New York State for public schools.

To help reduce a surge of COVID-19 cases statewide, New York is focusing on clusters, a concentration of infections in the same area at the same time. No clusters have been identified in our community at this time. However, we want to prepare families in case it does occur because it would impact our schools.

If the Department of Health identifies a COVID-19 cluster, the area will be labeled different zones with restrictions for schools and businesses.

  • Yellow Zone (Precautionary Buffer) – Yellow Zones act as a broad buffer to ensure COVID-19 outbreaks do not spread into the broader community. Schools in a Yellow Zone can remain open but must test 20% of students and employees in in-school settings.
  • Orange Zone (Warning Buffer) – Orange Zones act as a tight buffer around a micro-cluster area to further prevent spread of COVID-19. Schools in an Orange Zone can remain open but must test 20% of students and employees in in-school settings. *
  • Red Zone (Micro-Cluster) – Red Zones contain the spread of COVID-19 from a specific area. Schools in a Red Zone can remain open but must test 30% of students and employees in in-school settings. *

* Note: NYS updated this Dec. 4 (previously schools could not have in-person instruction in Orange or Red Zones)

Please know that we will let our community know as soon as possible if our area is labeled a zone and the specific steps that will follow. The Schenectady County Department of Health is providing guidance to schools and we thank them for being such a helpful partner.

The district has already secured more than 800 rapid test kits so we are prepared if our area is labeled a Yellow Zone. The Health Department would help with this testing, which would need to be completed within a two week period. To help the district prepare for the possibility of testing, we ask parents to please fill out this short consent form.

Our faculty have also done an outstanding job preparing for the possibility of fully remote learning for all our students so we are able to continue your child’s education if we are required to move to fully remote learning.

If you have any questions, please visit www.schalmont.net for further information. You can also contact me at treardon@schalmont.net or 518-355-9200 ext. 4001 or School Nurse Coordinator Tara Bush at 518-355-6110 ext. 3041 or tbush@schalmont.net.

As always, if your child is sick please keep them home and let us know if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. Whenever you have a question, please contact your child’s school nurse who would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you and be well,

Dr. Thomas Reardon
Schalmont Central School District