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A Message from the Superintendent - Updates - 02.26.21

Dear BSCSD Parents and Caregivers –

A few items for your information today, some of which are follow ups from our last Updates on February 12: 

  1. Friday In-person Instruction for K-5 Students – As a reminder, beginning next Friday, March 5, 2021,  students in grades K-5 who are attending our in-person model will begin coming to  school for half days on Fridays. On these days, in addition to a free breakfast, students will have the option of being provided with a free bagged lunch to take home with them. If you would like to utilize this option, please contact your child’s teacher.

    While we understand that this is not a perfect situation for some families due to the potential challenges it presents with transportation and child care and that our model is indeed different from other districts, we are excited to begin providing more in-person opportunities for our students to keep them connected to school, their friends and teachers, and to the curriculum that we have in place. As our percent positives in the county and the District continue to remain low (2.5% in the county and zero positive cases in the District today), we are hopeful that some of the restrictions may begin to be (cautiously) lifted by the state and county so that we can continue to increase the amount of time that students have with in-person learning and afterschool opportunities. 
  1. Positive Cases and Mandatory Quarantines in the District – Since my note to you yesterday regarding our high school student who tested positive this week, we have been alerted to the fact that there were individuals involved in girls JV and Varsity Basketball games this past weekend and on Monday who have tested positive. As a result, these teams will not be practicing or playing until next week as the county is conducting contact tracing at this time. Since we received this notification, a number of other districts have reported similar issues and are also suspending practices and games until contact tracing can be completed. Parents and student athletes will be notified by the Athletic Department with additional details. As a reminder, we will directly report to you on those cases which have an operational impact (e.g., classes or schools moving to remote instruction, sports being suspended, etc.). For cases that do not have an operational impact, we will report those to our Current COVID Cases in BSCSD page

    Please continue to use our 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. Travel Restrictions and Social Distancing Rules – Related to our increasing in-person opportunities, there is an increasing amount of discussion (and rumors!) in neighboring counties and across the state on relaxed travel restrictions, mandatory quarantining rules, and social distancing rules (e.g., moving from 6 feet to 3 feet in classrooms and 12 feet to 6 feet in music and physical education). As of this writing, no changes have been made to these rules in Saratoga County. Should changes happen here or at the state level which impact our operations, we will notify you as soon as we have verified information.
  1. Winter and Fall 2 Indoor Sports – Just a reminder that a live video stream is available through our dedicated YouTube Channel where you can watch our sports teams compete. Most districts in the area have similar systems, so please check their websites when your child is playing at another school. As we move forward with our budget discussions and our “lessons learned” analyses, this option may be something that we continue even after the restrictions are lifted as this gives families and our student body an ability to stay connected from any distance and under circumstances that may otherwise require staying home. 
  1. School Communications – If you have concerns about your child and issues related to their daily school experiences, please be sure to contact your child’s teacher and, as needed, building principal. Despite the challenges and changes that the COVID closures and restricted reopenings have brought, one thing that has not changed is the importance and value of maintaining a positive home-to-school connection with teachers and principals. Should you have questions or concerns with District-level communications and decisions including any of those included in this Update our email box can be utilized. As a reminder, all editions of the Updates from the District Office can be found on the front page of our District website. In the coming weeks we will return to the production of our District newsletter, The Reader.
  1. Class of 2034 – The Ballston Spa Central School District is excited to welcome the class of 2034! To prepare for Kindergarten student registration this spring, a Kindergarten Parent Orientationnight will be held on March 10, 2021 from 6:30-7:30pm. For everyone’s health and safety, this year’s orientation will be held virtually utilizing a video conference meeting format. Anyone with an incoming Kindergarten student who has not already contacted us is asked to call the Registration Office at (518) 602-0256. Registered students/parents will receive additional information about the meeting including the links to the presentation before March 10, 2021.We look forward to seeing you all then! 

Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable weekend. 

Thanks very much. 

Ken Slentz
Superintendent of Schools