The Cohoes City School District learned Saturday of a confirmed COVID-19 case in the Cohoes High School community. District leaders are working closely with the Albany County Department of Health to supply contact tracing information. Any students or staff members who were considered a close or proximate contact have been contacted by Cohoes High School Principal Laura Tarlo or Assistant Principal Tom Kostrzebski and will also be contacted by representatives of the Albany County Department of Health to discuss the need to quarantine and other related information.
Please note that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other privacy laws restrict the district from disclosing or confirming any personally identifiable information and we cannot identify anyone who has tested positive.
The compounding effects of the recent COVID cases in our school community and the subsequent need to quarantine has created a significant strain on staffing, not only in classrooms but in student support areas as well. Substitutes are not readily available to fill these positions, escalating the staffing shortage across the district.
To allow us to prioritize our staff resources, and provide more continuity for all students, we have made the decision to have students at the high school transition to fully-remote learning beginning Monday, Dec. 14. In-person instruction for grades 9-12 will be suspended through Dec. 23, taking us into the holiday break.
The middle school and our three elementary schools in the district will continue in-person instruction. The following high school programs will still be held:
- Students in BOCES CTE programs will be permitted to continue attending classes at the CTE campus (attendance and check-in will be taken at the main entrance at 7:25 a.m. for morning program students and at roughly 10:15 a.m. for afternoon program students)
- Students in our self-contained program will attend in person
As we prepare for the transition to a fully-remote learning environment there are some important pieces of information for CHS families to consider and be aware of:
Synchronous Instruction & Attendance
Students should continue to follow the blue/gold calendar for learning during the remote learning period. Attendance will be taken on the respective dates for students with live Zoom instruction for all courses. We understand that this may initially be a bit of a challenge for everyone as we transition, but please know that teachers will have lessons and plans on Schoology for Monday.
Meals for Students
Grab and go meals will be available weekdays from 10:30 to 12:30 at Abram Lansing (back entrance), Van Schaick (pre-K/back entrance), and CHS (cafeteria/back entrance). No pre-order is necessary and families can receive up to three days worth of meals.
If you are in need of a Chromebook please let us know. We have some devices available at the high school and are here to help families with their technology needs as much as we can. Please contact Teri Curtin at 518.237.9100, ext. 1400 for assistance.
Despite the recent increase in cases, and the decision to move grades 9-12 to remote learning, we believe our schools continue to be safe for students and for staff. To our knowledge, we have not seen new cases due to exposure to COVID in our schools. We are incredibly proud of the efforts of our students and staff to follow health and safety protocols. These include a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all school buildings, proper social distancing (6 feet), mask-wearing, as well as daily health screenings for all students and staff.
Please remember that the best plan for addressing the COVID-19 virus is to remain informed and follow these steps to help contain the spread of the virus:
- Keep at least a 6-foot distance between you and others when out in the community — even if you don’t feel sick or have any symptoms
- Wear a snug-fitting surgical or cloth face mask that covers your nose and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Call your healthcare provider in advance of a visit
- Limit visitors to your home
We will continue to work closely with the Albany County Department of Health and communicate any necessary updates via ParentSquare and our district website.