Ongoing Updates (in Response to COVID-19 Situation)

March 30th UpdateStatement to Families:

Dear LPCSD Families — 

I am sharing this message that we have just received from the Governor’s office directing us to continue remote instruction during our spring break period. You can find the message here. The key statement is at the end: “Districts must continue to provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and child care for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020 and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time.”  This was not a decision we made but a directive we must follow. I recognize that there may be students, families, and staff who will be disappointed at this news and will want further explanation or to be provided additional details. Once I know more information I will share it with you. Please know that we will do everything we can to support our students throughout this uncertain period. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Roger P. Catania, Superintendent of Schools

Week of March 23rd – March 27th Updates

March 17th – 22nd Updates

With schools closed for students we have implemented a comprehensive at-home learning program for everyone, grades K-12.  We will use this space to post helpful links to support our students and families.

  • Due to the Governor’s Stay-at-home order, school offices will not be regularly staffed. For now, email is the best way to reach faculty, staff, and administration at LPMSHS and LPES.  You can also feel free to call us at the following numbers:
    • District office: 518-637-2535
    • Middle & High School: 518-524-2474
    • Elementary School:518-637-2856
  • Free internet access available to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. More here.
  • Click this link for Lake Placid Elementary School’s At-home learning information.
  • Here is our LPMSHS At-home learning information.  Take a look!
  • Coping support for all students can be found on Dr. Miller’s School Psychology Pages
  • Need tech support?  Direct your email to the following address: studentIT@lpcsd.org
  • School Breakfast & Lunch Information is here
  • A message about child care:  If you are an essential health care worker or first responder in need of childcare, please call 518-483-6420 option 9 or send an email to childcare@mail.fehb.org

March 15th message to School Community:
Lake Placid Central School will be closed starting Monday, March 16th and will remain closed through the end of spring break. Faculty and staff will report on Monday to organize at-home instruction, and students should expect to continue their classes and subjects through distance learning opportunities on Tuesday. We expect to reopen in-person instruction on Monday, April 20th. Although we have no known cases of COVID-19, we are closing as part of a widespread effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, and we are doing so on the recommendation of county health departments and in coordination with school districts throughout the region. More details will be forthcoming through email and on our website. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these challenging and uncertain times.

 

March 14th Superintendent Update Letter to Parents and Community Members:

March 14, 2020

Dear Parents and Community Members –

Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to navigate the challenges of our present situation.  We know that families count on our schools to educate, supervise, nourish, support, and mentor children, and to ensure that every child’s physical safety remains a top priority. With each step we take we are striving to uphold these expectations. For the moment, our schools remain open. In this letter I would like to share with you some additional details about the changes we are prepared to make if that changes.

We continue to consider the recommendations coming from key NYS agencies, including the Department of Health, the Department of Education, and the Executive branch. None have recommended yet that we close our schools. But we are prepared in case that changes. Should our schools need to close we will make every effort to keep students learning throughout the closure.  LPCSD faculty and staff are preparing at-home learning experiences for all students, and we will continue to instruct and support students from a distance if that need arises.

We are working to make at-home learning experiences flexible enough to accommodate the range of learning needs, access to the Internet, and access to electronic devices.  We will make options available that do not require computers or online access, but we will also provide students access to devices at home if needed. Special education teachers and teaching assistants will continue to support students as thoroughly as possible, as will our Response to Intervention (RTI) programs.  We are also planning to prepare and distribute breakfasts and lunches for students who count on school meals, and to continue the weekend backpack program. School principals and teachers will provide parents and children with more specific information, and families should feel free to contact any of us if you have questions.

I know that any disruption to school schedules also disrupts families, childcare efforts, work schedules, and meal availability. We will do our best to provide whatever support we can to students and families as we adapt to the changing circumstances.

Thank you for your support, cooperation, and flexibility as we move forward.

Sincerely,

Dr. Roger P. Catania
Superintendent of Schools

March 11th Update:

Media reports continue to update us on the spread of the novel (new) Coronavirus and respiratory disease it brings about, COVID-19. We want to provide you with an update about how this continually changing situation is impacting our school district. Here are some of the changes we have been monitoring:

  • Globally and nationally significant steps to slow the spread of the virus are being taken that have impacted K-12 and higher education. Italy has closed all of its schools and universities nationwide, and dozens of American colleges and universities have suspended in-person classes and made a temporary shift to distance learning. We expect to see this trend continue.
  • Statewide we are seeing an increase in the number of confirmed cases with most of those centered in the NY City metropolitan area.  The Governor has declared a state of emergency, and a handful of school districts have temporarily closed to slow the spread of the Coronavirus in their schools and their communities.
  • While there are no confirmed cases within our school district or in Essex County we, along with our neighboring school districts, are making preparations in case that changes.  We continue to encourage students and staff to stay home when sick, cover coughs and sneezes appropriately, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, to practice regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water, and make use of  alcohol-based hand sanitizers.Within the schools we are continuing our regular cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and objects like tables, door knobs, toys, desks, and computer keyboards. We are making hand sanitizer readily available throughout our facilities. We are cleaning and disinfecting the interior surfaces of our buses. We continue to monitor attendance, and to inform staff and students about safe and best practices for staying healthy. 
  • Starting this week the NYS Department of Health and the NYS Education Department will require any school with a confirmed case to close for a minimum of 24 hours in order to provide time for investigating the physical contacts that the individual may have had within the school environment. During the 24-hour closure schools shall immediately take steps to clean and disinfect any school building(s) where the student or staff member had contact prior to testing positive for COVID-19. That time period may be extended based on direction from NYS DOH and NYSED.
  • Should our schools have to close our teachers are prepared to continue guiding student learning using distance education approaches, including online strategies, that we are in the process of developing.

We know that any disruption to school schedules also disrupts families, child care efforts, work schedules, and meal availability. We will do our best to provide whatever support we can to students and families as we adapt to the changing circumstances. Our mission of educating students to achieve their academic, physical and social potential is deeply important to all of us, but we cannot ensure this mission without a safe and healthy school environment. As the situation continues to change we all need to be prepared for adjustments. We ask for your support, cooperation, and flexibility as we move forward.  

 

March 4th Update:

Here in the Lake Placid Central School District we are aware of concerns in the community about the Coronavirus and would like to keep you updated on what we are doing to respond to those concerns. We are paying attention to information that is coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and the NY State Department of Health, and we will consider their recommendations as we move forward.

Of the cases so far confirmed worldwide a relatively small number exist in the United States and an even smaller number have been confirmed in NY State.  So right now the actions that we are taking are commonsense responses that will help not only with any worries about the Coronavirus but also with the more pressing concerns we have about the flu.

There are preventive measures for everyday use that students, families, and staff members should take right now: stay home when you are sick, cover coughs and sneezes using shirt sleeves or a tissue, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and practice regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizers. In our schools there are additional preventive steps we are taking as well.  These include regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and objects like tables, door knobs, toys, desks, and computer keyboards using detergent-based cleaners or EPA-registered disinfectants.

We are making hand sanitizers readily available throughout our facilities.  We will also be distributing information to staff and families.  Right now we believe that a measured and thoughtful response is our best strategy, and we will continue to adjust as we move forward and new information becomes available. You can access additional information about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at www.cdc.gov and www.health.ny.gov .

Additional Resources:

Middle and High School At Home Learning Info

Essex County Health Department

Centers for Disease Control

NYS Department of Health

How Germs Are Spread — A video appropriate for younger children

A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus

The Safe Sneeze by Mythbusters: A video about sneezing

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