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Superintendent’s message: Staying safe during the spread of COVID-19

Dear Members of the Fort Plain School Community:

I hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Given the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in our state and region, it is important that we reconnect about how we can work together to keep our schools open and our students learning and growing.

Schools have been recognized by Governor Cuomo and nationally for successfully taking precautions to help control the spread of the virus, and your partnership in these efforts is most appreciated. Thank you.

State and local guidance
I’d like to share information about new guidance from the state on tracking and slowing COVID-19 infection that could potentially impact our school community.

As part of its Micro-Cluster Initiative  and Cluster Action Initiative to slow the spread of the virus, New York State is designating certain geographic areas as Yellow, Orange or Red zones. The zones are based on the prevalence of COVID-19 and take into account multiple factors including numbers of positive tests, hospital capacity, etc. The zones come with certain restrictions and protocols aimed at limiting the spread of the virus, including school-based COVID testing.

While our community is not currently within one of these zones, it is helpful to be aware of this information should it be designated in the future. Our school district continues to work with the Montgomery County Public Health Department and HFM BOCES to stay informed of the guidance and how it affects our students, staff and community.

A proactive partnership
We also continue to work proactively to prevent and limit exposure to the virus in our schools. As I noted earlier, your partnership in this effort is invaluable.

We can all help to promote health and safety in our schools and community by:

  • Wearing masks, practicing social distancing and frequently washing our hands.
  • Adhering to guidelines for sizes of family and social gatherings. (In his Nov. 30 news conference, Governor Cuomo noted that 65% of recent COVID-19 cases have been attributed to small gatherings).
  • Observing updated travel regulations, including quarantine and/or testing requirements.
  • Staying home when we don’t feel well or are having symptoms, and keeping our children home when they are experiencing the same.

Our number one goal in Fort Plain is to provide the safest possible environment for teaching and learning, in order to keep our schools open.

Thank you for your support.

John Bishop
Superintendent of Schools