COVID-19 Updates and Resources
Given that this is a fluid and potentially rapidly developing situation, we will use this web page to share information and resources for ongoing reference. All essential information will also be shared in real time via the district’s notification system, using e-mail, text messages and phone calls.
Based on our review of the COVID-19 quarantine status for building staff and members this week, our district is planning the following statuses:
A.W. Becker Elementary will continue with in-person instruction
Pieter B. Elementary will continue with in-person instruction
Grades 5 and 6 will continue with in-person instruction
Self-Contained Students with Disabilities will continue with in-person instruction
Grades 7-12 will continue with in-person instruction
Reopening & Operational Updates
RCS Prepares to go Completely Remote If Closed Due to Weather -12/15/20
NYSPHSAA Announces Cancellation of 2021 Winter State Championships -12/11/20
BOE Presentation COVID-19 Zones -12/2/20
RCS Board of Education Minutes - 12/2/20
COVID-19 Cluster Action Initiative - Updated -12/1/20
Sign-up for Breakfast and Lunch During School Closure - Updated 11/30/20
Guidance on the Contacts of a Close or Proximate Contact of a Confirmed or Suspected Case of COVID-19 11/2/20
New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) - Informational Flyer on flu season
District outreach on positive COVID-19 cases
Building Schedules Posted
Reopening Plan 2020-2021
Returning to school after screening positive for a symptom of COVID-19
Free Breakfast and Lunch Available through June 25, 2021
Update on Return to Interscholastic Athletics, 9/18/2020
Technology Resource for Families/Students
2020-21 School Bus Routes Available – Updated 9/15/2020
Welcome-Back Letters and Videos for Families – Updated 9/10/20
All students must complete a health attestation each day before entering school property, including school buses. The district transitioned to an automated system operated by Educational Vistas (EdVistas) that sends a daily pre-filled link to parents who have a valid email in our student information system.
If you do not receive the email, please call the school main office to update your email information. If you are unable to access email, please contact the office to obtain paper copies of the form that can be returned with your child each day.
Daily Health Checks
An important part of our efforts to promote the health and safety of everyone in our community as we reopen schools is the detection of an individual displaying symptoms of COVID-19 as well as the potential for exposure to COVID-19. As part of this, we have established a process for daily health screenings, including temperature checks, for all students, staff members and school visitors. This is a required element of school reopening plans in our state.
For students, we will accomplish these screenings by working with our parents/guardians to complete these screenings prior to coming to school. District parents are required to ask the following four questions before sending their child(ren) to school each day.
Health Screening Questions
Have you had any signs or symptoms of a fever in the past 24 hours including chills, sweats, felt “feverish” or have had a temperature of 100° F or greater?
Have you experienced one or more of these symptoms in the last 10 days: Cough, Shortness of breath or chest tightness, Sore throat, Headache, Nasal congestion/runny nose, muscle pain, Loss of Taste and/Smell, Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting, Fever/Chills/Sweats?
In the last 10 days, have you been contacted by a local health department and deemed a designated contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19? (As a reminder, any students or staff members who have been deemed in prolonged, direct contact with a positive individual will be directly contacted by the Albany County Department of Health within 24 to 48 hours to discuss how long they should self-quarantine and other health-related instructions. These decisions are not up to the district nor are they communicated by the district.)
In the last 14 days, have you traveled internationally to a CDC level 2 or 3 COVID-19 related travel health notice country; OR in the past 3 days, have you returned from spending more than 24 hours in any state other than Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania or New Jersey?
The health checks are an important part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, and we will be sending you regular reminders about the importance of asking these questions at home before coming to school. We would also like to note:
Students may have their temperature checked at school randomly. Those who have a temperature greater than 100.0°F will be brought to an isolated area at school until a family member can pick them up. The family will be referred to their healthcare provider and provided with information about COVID-19 testing.
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.
COVID-19 Travel Advisory
On Wednesday, November 4, 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 issued travel guidance related to COVID-19. Click here to learn more.
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.
Access information about types of testing available.
Here is a link to the Department of Health testing resources, including locations.
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 email@example.com.
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
NYS School Reopening Resources
The following documents provided the guidance that RCS followed to establish reopening plans in the summer of 2020:
Informational Videos – Health & Safety Procedures
Other Useful Resources
World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
New York State Department of Health
Call NYSDOH hotline at 1-888-364-3065 for more information about Coronavirus
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
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)