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A Message from the Superintendent - 02.12.21

Dear BSCSD Parents and Caregivers – As we head into the February recess, a few points of information for your review: 

  1. Friday In-person Instruction for K-5 Students – Beginning on March 5, students in grades K-5 will begin attending half days of in-person instruction on Fridays which will begin at 9:00am and conclude at 11:30am. The schedule for students attending remotely will also include the additional time. More information will be coming from your building principals, but we wanted to provide as much notice as possible to parents so that child care can be arranged. Should parents wish to change the learning model for their child/children, please contact their building principal and they will explain the appeals process and the steps that need to be taken. Unfortunately, because we are still under the same restrictions for spacing in our classrooms and on our buses, our ability to accommodate in-person learners is still limited. 
  1. Tracking Positive Cases of COVID-19 in our Schools – We continue to track the number of positive cases in the District for students and staff alike on the new section to our Health Services webpage. For the four weeks that this site has been live, we have registered positivity rates of .6%, .4%, .2%, and .08% respectively!! For this week, we had two positive cases – one student and one staff member – neither of which required tracing to occur and so there was no impact on our programs. The county rates continue to come down as well with today’s one-day positive percentage at 1.7% and the 7-day percent positive at 2.5%. These data tells us that your continual adherence to the established rules for managing the virus are clearly working and I applaud all of the work that has gone into doing so!! 
  1. February Travel Impact – The low rates noted above may well be influenced by the vacation time as people travel, congregate in larger crowds, etc. We will continue to track our positive cases and mandatory quarantines closely. Being able to stay open for in-person learning is our very highest priority right now and I am truly hoping that we do not see increases like we did after the December holiday recess that caused us to have to move to fully remote learning. For those of you choosing to travel in the upcoming week, please take every precaution that is required to remain safe and healthy. As a reminder, the travel guidance from NYS can be found HERE.
  1. Reporting of Cases – Please continue to use our COVIDreport@bscsd.org mailbox to report positive cases and quarantining to us. While the county is working hard to make the needed adjustments for timely reporting to us, they are not always able to do so and thus we need your help. Please contact us as soon as you are aware of your situation.
  1. Pinpoint Health Screener during Mid-Winter Recess – The Pinpoint screener notification will be turned off for Ballston Spa students and staff during the mid-winter recess – February 15-19, 2021.  Information will need to be reported again on February 22, 2021when we return from the break.  Staff members reporting to school buildings during the week should take their temperatures prior to entering the building and complete a paper copy of the Pinpoint screener (and leave in the building office). Please remember to be vigilant in maintaining and ensuring the health and safety of us all. Any information about positive COVID-19 cases or quarantining should be reported to our COVIDreport@bscsd.org  #BeSafeBSpa
  1. Meals for students over the mid-winter recess:  
    In an effort to ensure all of our students have food for the holiday break (Feb 15-19) the District will be offering meals for pickup over the mid-winter recess. Meals are available to any Ballston Spa student free of charge. Parents/Caregivers just need to provide the student’s name and school at pickup (no registration required). Adults are allowed to pick up for multiple students. The district will provide three breakfast meals and three lunch meals on both February 16, 2021 and February 18, 2021 during the mid-winter recess.  The pickup location is at the Gordon Creek Elementary School between 10:00–11:00am. Additional information may be found HERE or by contacting Bob Wood, Food Service Manager at rwood@bscsd.org or 518-884-7290 ext. 3312.
  1. Co- and Extracurricular Updates – We continue to work with the Board, principals, and advisors on moving to in-person meetings for various clubs and groups and are approving various sports for league play. This week we recommended and received approval for wrestling to be included in the winter 2021 season and soccer, volleyball, football, and modified swim for the “Fall 2” season which begins on March 7. Additional information on these items can be found HERE. For basketball, wrestling, and cheer competitions that are held at Ballston Spa, a live video stream is available through our dedicated YouTube Channel. In upcoming Board meetings we will begin to address the spring season once we have the needed information from Section 2 and the Suburban Council Athletic League. 

Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions about this information by sending questions to schoolopening@bscsd.org

Thanks very much. 

Ken Slentz
Superintendent of Schools