The South Colonie Central School District has been working over the course of several months to formulate a plan outlining COVID-19 protocols and procedures for the upcoming school year. In addition to reviewing recommendations and guidance from federal and state agencies, the District has incorporated feedback and recommendations from various stakeholder groups through its South Colonie 2.0 Reopening Task Force committee. The plan was approved by the South Colonie Board of Education at the Aug. 24 meeting
“The District in collaboration with area superintendents and local public health officials have established a layered mitigation strategy, which refers to tiered health and safety measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in school,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Perry. “From the very beginning of the pandemic, we have prioritized the health and safety of our students and faculty and will continue to do so as we head into the fall. We respect the opinions of each of our school community members but believe that this mitigation strategy will allow us to continue keeping our school community safe during times of high transmission while allowing for flexibility during periods of low transmission.”
The “layered mitigation strategy” developed is based on the four categories for “community transmission” as identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Low Transmission: Blue
- Moderate Transmission: Yellow
- Substantial Transmission: Orange
- High Transmission: Red
These four categories are benchmarks by which counties are classified. Currently, the level of community transmission in Albany County is high according to the CDC.
“The COVID-19 mitigation strategy includes the use of face masks, three feet of distancing, screening testing, ventilation, cleaning and disinfection, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick, and vaccination of eligible individuals,” said Perry. “We expect all of these mitigation protocols — in some form or another — will be in place here in South Colonie for at least the start of the school year.”
The plan is designed to be a fluid document that changes as guidance is updated. With the new Governor taking office this week, the District anticipates more forthcoming guidance from the New York State Department of Health. Additional information will be shared with families as changes and updates are made to the COVID-19 protocols and procedures for the upcoming year.