Given that this is a fluid and potentially rapidly developing situation, we will use this web page to share information and resources as the circumstances warrant. Any real-time, important information will be shared via the district’s School Messenger notification system, which can send e-mails, text messages and phone calls.
RCS District Status
All school-related activities and programs will be updated throughout the school year. Please visit this web page to stay up-to-date on school news and updates.
COVID-19 Data Dashboard
In an executive order, Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that as of Tuesday, Sept. 8, New York school districts are required to provide the state department of health daily data on the number of positive infections among students, teachers, school employees or volunteers in each school, along with other data. This data will be publicly available via an online dashboard.
RCS Reopening & Operational Updates
- July 14 – The New York State Department of Health released guidance for reopening schools in September 2020
- July 10 – RCS District reaches out to district stakeholders on reopening process for 2020-21 school year.
- July 16 – The New York State Education Department released guidance for reopening schools in September 2020
- July 17 – July 22 – Building and district leaders utilized new state guidance and subcommittee input to developed a draft framework
- July 22 – BOE presentation on reopening planning, the presentation is here.
- July 29 – Subcommittees met and discussed the draft framework and the implications of NYS guidance, along with feedback from the Thoughtexchange community survey. Thoughtexchange results can be found here.
- July 31 -District submits reopening plan to New York State Education Department and Department of Health: RCS Reopening Plan – Updated August 4, 2020
- August through September: Reopening plans will continue to be revised with input from stakeholders.
- August 7 – RCS Draft Reentry Plan & Survey Sent to All Families
- August 11 – District to hold series of virtual reopening meetings
- August 12 – RCS Reopening Community Forum #1
- August 13 – Student Health Attestation, Complete Remote Instruction Application, and Bus Routing Form Mailed to families
- August 14 – Deadline to submit surveys
- August 18 – Reopening Community Forum #2 (Instructional)
- August 18 – Watch Video Recording of the August 18 Virtual Meeting Here
- August 18 – Reopening Subcommittees review parent/staff feedback and solidify plan
- August 18 – Frequently Asked Questions – RCS Families
- August 19 – Reopening Plan Framework revisions
- August 20 – Reopening Community Forum #3
- August 20 – Watch Video Recording of the August 20 Virtual Meeting Here
- August 20 – Watch Video Recording of RCS Special Education Reopening Discussion Here
- August 21 – Deadline for parents to submit “commitment” letters about Complete Remote Instruction
- September 2 – RCS Building Schedules Posted
- September 4 – RCS Shares Welcome-Back Letter and Videos with Families – Updated as of 9/10/20
- September 9 – RCS District outreach on positive COVID-19 cases
- September 11 – RCS 2020-21 Bus Routes Available
- September 21 – Returning to school after screening positive for a symptom of COVID-19
RCS Reopening Committee
An RCS reopening committee has been meeting since the end of June. This committee is composed of more than 80 leaders, teachers, support staff, and parents/caregivers. Their task has been to examine the best way to deliver instruction, operate safely, and support our human resources during this pandemic. The New York State Education Department and the New York State Department of Health released reopening guidelines the week of July 13-17.
Reopening Subcommittees and members
Continuity of Instruction, UPK-5
Colleen Agostinoni, Asst. Dir., Office of Student Support
Colleen Bonacci, Teacher, Speech
Michelle Brusic, Social Worker
Cara Buckley, Instructional Technologist
Elizabeth Campbell, Teacher, Gr. 4
Kelly Doggett, Teacher/Reading and Curriculum Specialist
Jessica Emerick, Teacher, Gr. 2
Fred Engelhardt, Asst. Supt. for C&I
Jenner Everleth, Parent
Kristin Hill-Burns – BOE Member and Parent
Hakim Jones, Principal, Pieter B. Elementary
Kim Kratochwill, Teacher, UPK
Erin LaDue, Teaching Assistant
Elyse Loughlin, Teacher, Physical Education
Debra Neubart, Principal, A.W. Becker Elementary
Evette Olmeda, Teaching Assistant
Sara Pulcher, Teacher/Math and Curriculum Specialist
Tara Stott, Teacher, Gr. 3
Kate Thibault, Project Based Learning Coach
Marisa Tutay, Teacher/Math and Curriculum Specialist
Cassandra Villa, Teacher , Gr. 3
Michelle Williams, Parent
Continuity of Instruction, 6-12
Theresa Armina-Hyslop, Teaching Assistant
Stephanie Branley, Teacher/Science and Curriculum. Specialist
Laura Buzas, Principal, Middle School
Jennifer Cerulli, Parent
Suzette Clark, Teacher, Math
Caitlin Collins, Student
Ashley Cross, Student
Jessica Doerr, Social Worker
Carol Eckl, District Data Coordinator, Registrar
C. Frederick Engelhardt, Jr., Asst. Supt. for C&I
Jennifer Estes, School Counselor
Pamela Ginder, Teacher, SPED
Roberto Gonzalez, Student
Dee Hushmendy, Teacher, English
Ann Jackson, Director, SPED
Beautiful Jones, Student
Megan Kier, Student
Danica Krause, Student
Michelle McLoughlin, Teacher/Music and Curr. Specialist
Linda O’Brien, Teaching Assistant
Dr. Lisa Patierne, Principal, High School
Melanie Potter, Parent
Sarah Raymond, Parent
Yvonne Shackelton, BOE Member and Parent
Theodore Smith, Teacher, English
Megan Visone, Student
Wendy Wiley, Teacher, Mathematics
Dr. Brian A. Bailey, Superintendent
Julie Bullard, Parent
Robert Dorrance, Teacher, Athletic Director
Jennifer Elliott, Transportation Director
Aaron Keezer, Auto Mechanic Foreman
Matthew Miller, Teacher/Science and RCSTA Union President
Katie Morrow, Teaching Assistant
Douglas Porter, Director, Food Service
Jennifer Staats, Lead Custodian, O&M
Eric Stott, Teacher, Math
Herbert Tedford, Asst. Principal, High School
Karen Waddingham, School Nurse
Holly Weddell, Parent
Christopher Adamek, Asst. Principal, Middle School
Jill Costanzo, Teacher, SPED
Kim Gorleski, Teacher, SPED
Jason Hyslop, Parent and BOE Member
Michelle King, Teacher, Kindergarten
Bonnie McNeilly, Teaching Assistant/Computer Help Desk
Richard Meddaugh, Communication Specialist
Joanne Moran, Business Manager
Sheila Moutopoulous, Teacher/Elem. Math Interventionist
Brian Rooney, Computer Technician
Suzanne Starr, BOE Clerk/Secretary
Christi Sulik, School Nurse
Jason Symingdon, Asst. Facilities Director
Brenda Walton, Secretary to Supt. and Asst. Supt.
Informational Resources – Reopening
- Here are the full guidance documents from both NYSED and NYSDOH
Informational Videos – Health & Safety Procedures
Food availability during closure
Although school will be closed to students through the remainder of the school year, RCS students will be eligible to receive free breakfast and lunch options through this time. Any child under 18 years of age will be allowed to receive healthy meal and snack choices through the RCS district’s food service program.
The locations and schedule for pick up are listed below. In an effort to limit personal contact, please remain in your vehicle and meals will be delivered to you in your vehicle. Meals may be picked up between the hours of 7 am and 10 am, on Monday and Wednesday through June 2020.
- Parents/caregivers of Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary children will go to the bus drop off loop of Pieter B. Elementary.
- Parents/caregivers of A.W. Becker Elementary children will go to the bus drop off loop of A.W. Becker Elementary.
- Parents/caregivers of RCS Middle School children who are in need of a breakfast/lunch option will go to the bus drop off loop of RCS Middle School.
- Parents/caregivers of RCS High School children will go to the loading dock at the high school, which is located on the end of the high school facing 9W.
Please note: any family with children attending multiple schools may pick up the meals for all children at one school location.
RCS “Work from Home” for Students and Families
The RCS district is committed to offering continuing educational resources for our students during this extended closure. We would like to remind our parents/caregivers that it is important to acknowledge that there are practical limits to instructional program continuity. As part of that effort, we want to share the RCS “Work from Home” page to access continuing education materials shared by our teachers and staff for RCS students. To learn more, visit the “Work from Home” website.
WMHT Public Media Educational Programming Block
WMHT is offering an educational programming block and online resources targeted at students pre-k through 12. For the complete programming schedule, related resources, and additional home learning opportunities, visit wmht.org/homeclassroom.
Special Education Programs and Services
The Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District provides individualized instruction, accommodation of alternative learning styles, appreciation for diversity and promotion of healthy lifestyles. The district has specialized programs to assist and support all children in meeting their highest potential. For information regarding special education, visit the Special Education page.
Child Care Update
New York State is using a portion of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds to provide child care to income eligible essential workers at no cost. Essential workers who must work outside of the home and who are using a regulated child care provider will receive a scholarship for the cost of care as long as the funds to support it are available. All licensed and regulated providers who are caring for essential workers are able to participate in this new program.
In order to qualify for the scholarship, families must have an adjusted gross income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four that equals an amount income of $78,600.
Parents are asked to complete the following application for the CARES Child Care Scholarship via the link below. It informs parents that the application will be considered complete once the online application is finished AND the required supplemental documentation is submitted to Brightside Up, the Childcare resource and Referral Agency (CCRA) for Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady counties. For parents that currently receive a subsidy from their local DSS to pay for child care, this scholarship can cover the parent co-pay. Parents should apply for the CARES Act Scholarship, and then contact their local Department of Social Services to get a letter stating their current co-pay. Please address any questions to Tricia Howland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a parent or caregiver who needs child care, please complete this parent need for child care survey.
Based on the information you provide about your job, employer, number of children, and financial need, OCFS may be able to help you find the child program you need. It may be a challenge to find child care due to COVID-19 related program closures, however the staff at OCFS are trying their best to support families to find the high quality child care that they need.
In addition, the OCFS website has several resources available at https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare. If you are looking for child care, the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCRR) is a great place to start. They will ask you about the kind of care you are looking for, the ages of your children, the hours of care you need and other specifics such as any special needs your child might have. Based on that information, they will be able to give you a list of providers that most closely meet your needs. Please contact:
Brightside Up (formally Capital District Child Care Coordinating Council, Inc.)
Ms. Abbe Kovacik, Executive Director
Menands, NY 12204 Phone: (518) 426-7181, ext. 323
Fax: (518) 426-9649
World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CDC About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Frequently Asked Questions – Prevention
- CDC Prevention, Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC Coronavirus 2019 Information for Travel
- CDC Share Facts About COVID-19
- CDC Videos
- CDC Video Fight Germs. Wash Your Hands!
New York State Department of Health
Call NYSDOH hotline at 1-888-364-3065 for more information about Coronavirus
The FDA has approved New York State to authorize the state’s 28 public and private labs to begin manual, semi-automated and automated testing for novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
The approval allows the state to dramatically increase testing capacity to thousands of tests per day. The approval also extends to the Roche high-volume platform for testing.
Testing is free to all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider or by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Click here for additional information.
COVID-19 Travel Advisory
In response to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission in certain states within the United States, and to protect New York’s successful containment of COVID-19, the State has joined with New Jersey and Connecticut in jointly issuing a travel advisory for anyone returning from travel to states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19. Click here to learn more.
- NYS Health Department – Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Governor Andrew Cuomo on Twitter
Albany County Department of Health
- Contact the Albany County Department of Health
- Albany County Department of Health Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Talking to Children about the Coronavirus COVID-19
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource
(National Association of School Psychologists)
- Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus
(Child Mind Institute)
- Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus