• Frequently Asked Questions -  COVID-19 virus

    Below please find the latest questions that we have received about the school/district response to the COVID-19 and our answers. It will be updated as additional questions arise.

    Q1: Will students still need to be excluded for immunization non-compliance even if they are virtual learners per NYS. (as of 09.16.20)

    A1: Per the NYSDOH School Assessment and Compliance Unit:
    At this time, the NYSDOH is not issuing exceptions for immunizations because of COVID-19. The Department's stance continues to be that students missing vaccine doses for any reason must comply with Public Health Law Section 2164 requirements. Children entering or attending school in New York State, including summer school and distance learning, must comply with said requirements. 

    Q2: Do students who are exhibiting signs of illness have to follow the NYSDOH requirements to return to school. This includes if they are sent home from school or if they are absent due to illness. (as of 09.16.20)

    A2: Return to School (PER NYSDOH interim guidance page 3): Responsible Parties must establish protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This return to school protocol shall include, at minimum, documentation from a health care provider following evaluation, negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result, and symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation.

     

    Additional FAQs from the Saratoga Co Health Dept. are HERE

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    (Information below is current as of 05.18.20)

    Please note - The Ballston Spa Schools were closed (beginning March 16, 2020) in an attempt to slow the growth of COVID-19 and to keep students, staff, and our community as safe and healthy as possible. All classes and activities in the school buildings were cancelled through June 26, 2020.

    • Where can I find additional information about COVID-19? The CDC has a list of frequently asked questions and recommended best practices for staying healthy posted HERE.  The New York State Department of Health info and statewide updates regarding the virus are HERE.
    • What precautions are essential district employees taking to be safe in the schools during the school closure?
      Along with maintaining recommended social distancing, the staff members who are working in the buildings are wearing protective masks, following recommended personal hygiene safety protocols and limiting their time/presence with others to only needed conversations/discussions.

    • Are meals available during the school closure for students in the Free/Reduced Lunch program? Free/Reduced Breakfasts and Lunches are available for students enrolled in the program. Parents or other family members may pick up meals at a school location. Please click HERE for details.
    • Who can I speak with if I need assistance with support of medical or mental  health services during the school closure? If you or a family member need assistance during the school closure – please email us at CopingwCOVID19@bscsd.org.  All emails will be answered within a 24 hour period by the appropriate staff member.  If email is unavailable then please call the following phone number: (518)-884-7195, extension 1330 during business hours. Emergency situations please call 911. Addition information and a list of resources are HERE.

    • What do I tell my child(ren) about the virus and how do I help them understand what is happening? Please remain calm and reassuring and give them age appropriate information. Try to limit over-exposure to the television news and social media. Additional information is available from NASP – click HERE. 

    • Where do I get additional info and resources? We are posting updated info on our Health Department page via the district website at https://www.bscsd.org/Page/191. 
    • Why isn’t the district utilizing the Zoom app to communicate with students/staff during the school closure?  While Zoom certainly has benefits for allowing people to stay in touch during times such as these, it has a number of significant issues related to the sharing of the personally identifiable information of those who choose to use it.  Basically, the platform does not meet the requirements of NYS Education Law 2-d and our attorneys have advised against allowing the use of it. We are currently exploring other options that meet the legal requirements that we are held to and that better ensure the overall safety of the users. For additional information for parents, including the district’s disclaimer, please visit the Instructional Technology Resources webpage HERE.

    • How long is school closed for? Until such time as Governor Cuomo directs. As of the Executive Order made on May 1, 2020, all New York State schools are closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. All school activities remain canceled.

    • Are school events/activities being cancelled at this time? School events, trips and activities were cancelled during the school closing - 03.16.20 - 06.26.20

    • When is this year's District Budget and Board Candidate Vote? On May 1, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order which moved this year’s District Budget Vote and Board of Education Elections statewide to Tuesday, June 9, 2020, and that all voting will be done via mail-in ballots. More info is HERE.

    • Are the school athletic fields and facilities open for public use? No, All fields and facilities are closed until further notice.

    • Was the Scotties Stampede 5k cancelled ? The 5th Annual Scotties Stampede 5k Fun Run/Walk, planned for Saturday, April 4, 2020, has been cancelled

    • How do I help my child(ren) clean their electronic devices? Cell phones and/or other electronic devices should be cleaned every day to help prevent the spread of germs. There are a number of websites that give proper instruction on this, most of which discourage the use of Clorox wipes and similar products. 

    • Where can I get more information about our schools and district responses? If you have specific questions or concerns, please reach out to the school health office where your student attends. Specific questions may also be emailed to schoolclosure@bscsd.org to be forwarded to the appropriate person for a response (or answered here as a FAQ).