Welcome back to school letter from Superintendent Susan Swartz

Dear Parents / Guardians:

I would like to welcome you and your child(ren) to the 2021 – 2022 school year!  Though this letter contains our best thinking as a school district at this time, the situation remains fluid and changes are possible.  Any changes that are made will be posted to our website and you will be notified by Blackboard Connect.

We are seeing a sharp uptick of COVID outbreaks, hospitalization rates, and a return to schools and businesses shutting down in locales where COVID restrictions have been completely lifted or ignored. In addition, Schenectady County is currently “red”, meaning we are at the highest rate of transmission of the virus or its variants.  This can certainly elicit mixed feelings as we try to navigate the reopening of school. However, we are working as a region to bring students back safely to school, relying on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, Schenectady County Public Health Services, and the State Education Department.

After this past year and half, we know two absolute truths:

1) our students learn best in person with their teachers and classmates and

2) we need to do everything in our power to keep our students and staff safe, allowing us to continue the school year together.

This means all our students and staff will return to school in September wearing masks, regardless of vaccination status. We continue to move toward a full reopening and welcome all of our students and staff back every day and in person. As the rate of transmission in the county decreases, we hope to be able to loosen some of the restrictions we will have in place as the year progresses.

By default, all children enrolled in the Scotia-Glenville CSD will be automatically scheduled for the in-person learning program and attend school each day in their assigned school building. Please refer to the Learning Program Guide for a description of our in-person learning program for the 2021-2022 school year. In rare cases, some children who are medically vulnerable will benefit from enrollment in the virtual learning program. If you believe your child may be medically vulnerable, please read the virtual learning program description in the learning program guide linked above, consult with your child’s physician, and remit necessary paperwork as described in the guide. In addition, you will need to submit a formal request for your child to enroll in the virtual learning program through PowerSchool.

Requests to enroll in the virtual learning program must be made prior to September 1, 2021 and must be accompanied by a physician’s letter. See the above learning program guide for directions on submitting your virtual learning program request. Please note: any student who enrolls in the virtual learning program will remain in that program setting for the duration of the 2021-2022 school year.

I have also included a link to the Scotia-Glenville 2021-2022 Health & Safety Risk COVID 19 Layered Mitigation Protocol.

I welcome you to join me in a virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday, August 25th at 6:00pm for a presentation of our learning programs this year and to ask questions in this forum. Below are the details to join this meeting via Webex.

Event address for attendees: https://sgcsd.webex.com/sgcsd/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3331d31454a9e3a9f10061feb4653357

Password: Tartan

I look forward to seeing you and our students in September!