(Updated Sept. 2021)
BH-BL will follow all guidance from NYS. Currently, Governor Hochul is requiring all students, staff and visitors to schools to wear masks while indoors and while riding the school bus. If a child forgets a mask, he/she will be given a disposable mask to wear. There will be mask breaks throughout the day. Masks may be removed when eating, drinking or outside.
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District is planning for a full return to school in September. As we know, unfortunately the pandemic is still with us. While we want to see as much normalcy as possible, we must also prepare for peaks and valleys in the rate of transmission of this virus this year. The NYS Department of Health is expected to provide direct regulations that will govern much of the implementation of layered mitigation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition to following the regulations provided by the NYSDOH, we will use guidance from the CDC, the NYS Department of Education, our county health officials, and our school physician to advise the plan. This plan was approved by the BHBL Board of Education on 9-9-2021
Monitoring Local Data
In order to help our families stay informed of the levels of COVID in our BHBL community, we will be monitoring local data at the county, town, and building level. At the county level we will monitor the CDC’s level of transmission. The level of transmission is based on two factors- 1) the number of new cases in the county over the previous 7 days; and 2) the percentage of accurate COVID tests (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests or NAATs ) that come back positive in the county over the past 7 days. The determination of a specific level of transmission follows these guidelines:
In addition to monitoring the Schenectady and Saratoga county levels of transmission, we will monitor data at the town level–specifically the number of active cases in Ballston, Charlton, Glenville, and Clifton Park every day. We will publish the updated county and town data regularly on our website for ease of access. All of relevant source data can be found in the following locations:
- CDC County Covid Tracker
- Schenectady County Detailed Live COVID Data
- Saratoga County Detailed Live COVID Data
In addition to county and town data, we will consider building-level data through random pool testing within the district if this program becomes available through our counties. This pool testing would enable us to directly measure if the virus is present in our schools. The pool testing is saliva-based and non-invasive. (Note: If we implement this screening, parents would be given the ability to opt-out.)
We will use this chart as a communication tool for letting parents and students know what the expectations are. The level response will be chosen at the direction of CDC and Department of Health Guidance. The chart describes briefly the mitigation protocol we will utilize in each area of focus. This tiered mitigation strategy is fluid and may be adjusted to match guidance.
Based upon current NYSDOH Regulations, CDC Guidance, and the advice of our local county Departments of Health we will follow one of the following.
Levels of Response
We will use the chart below as a communication tool for letting parents and students know what the expectations are. The level response will be chosen at the direction of CDC and Department of Health Guidance. The chart describes briefly the mitigation protocol we will utilize in each area of focus. This tiered mitigation strategy is fluid and the Board of Education authorizes the superintendent to make any adjustments necessary to match CDC/DOH guidance.