COVID-19 School Information

Remote Learning Continues Through May 15

COVID-19 Information:  Academic Remote Learning Opportunities & Launch Page | Cancelled/Postponed Events | Frequently Asked QuestionsMeals for Students  | Other Student Needs | | Resources for Families | School Grounds Closed


Update April 16

NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today he has extended remote learning through May 15 in the continued response to the spread of COVID-19. Student meals and childcare services will also continue through May 15.

During the extended remote learning period, students should continue to go to the district’s website every weekday to access the Remote Learning Launch Page and Google Classroom (if applicable) for school work instructions, Google Meets with teachers, and other remote learning strategies teachers are utilizing to stay connected to students and provide instruction. 

We realize there are still many questions about year-end events and activities that remain unanswered at this time. We are doing everything we can to reschedule some events as well as adhere to the Governor’s executive orders. We will continue to keep you updated as soon as we know. Please know that we are here for you and your children during this trying time. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 

Lastly, if your children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals but did not sign up at the beginning of the pandemic, they can still sign up. Please contact Dacey Bonney at dbonney@bhbl.org to learn more.

Other COVID-19-Related News

  • School grounds remain closed to the public as we do our part to adhere to the social distancing protocols in place. Our campuses and fields will continue to be monitored by security.
  • The 2020-21 School Budget & Board Election date (previously scheduled for May 19) has officially been pushed to a date to be determined in June 2020. Once a date has been set, we will inform the community.
  • To reach the district, please call the main line, 518-399-9141 to leave a voicemail message. We are checking messages weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Please check our Frequently Asked Questions section on our webpage for more information about changes at the school due to COVID-19.

ARCHIVED COVID-19 Updates & Communication

Remote Learning Extended Through April 29, June Regents Cancelled

In his daily press conference on Monday, April 6, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he has extended class cancellation, or remote learning, through April 29 in the continued response to the spread of COVID-19. BH-BL and other NYS school districts are adhering to the Governor’s executive order regarding the extension of remote learning. Student meals and childcare services will also continue through April 29. Please refer to the district’s website for the Remote Learning Launch Pages and the recently shared Remote Learning Guidelines. Also, a reminder that we’ve recently launched a new Remote Learning Support Portal where questions can be submitted and reviewed, best practices are shared, and IT support is available.

At today’s Board of Regents meeting, Chancellor Rosa announced that the June Regents exams are cancelled. Additional guidance on this decision will be released tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, April 7) and we will provide an update as soon as the information is shared with school districts.

We realize this is a challenging time for students and families, alike. We want to remind you again that we are here for you. Students should not hesitate to reach out to teachers, their school principal or their counselors. To further encourage school connectedness, we ask that students continue to check their school email or Google Classrooms daily and, if applicable, attend any Google Meets set up by their teachers. Students should not hesitate to email their teachers if they have questions about remote instruction, either. These are certainly unprecedented times for all of us, but we will get through this together.

We have a variety of community resources available for students and families listed on our website as well.

Other COVID-19-Related News

  • School grounds remain closed to the public as we do our part to adhere to the social distancing protocols in place. Our campuses and fields will continue to be monitored by security.
  • The 2020-21 School Budget & Board Election date (previously scheduled for May 19) has officially been pushed to a date to be determined in June 2020. Once a date has been set, we will inform the community.-
  • To reach the district, please call the main line, 518-399-9141 to leave a voicemail message. We are checking messages weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Please check our Frequently Asked Questions section on our webpage for more information about changes at the school due to COVID-19.

Extended class cancellations, learning opportunities, school meals, and more

UPDATED APRIL 1, 2020

On March 27, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to continue the cancellation of classes until at least April 15. During this time, schools are required to provide continuity of instruction, meals for students and childcare resources every weekday, including days originally part of the previously scheduled spring break.

BH-BL will fully comply with this directive. We will continue moving forward with our plan for remote instruction. Students should refer to their teachers’ guidance on the Launch Page and check their Google Classrooms and email daily, as they have been doing since classes were cancelled in mid March.

As Superintendent McGrath communicated with parents on March 27, the district has developed guidance for the implementation of remote learning. This should address many of the concerns parents have raised as we have made this sudden transition to a new modality of teaching and learning.

If the class cancellation directive is not extended, students will return to school on Wednesday, April 15. We will continue to monitor all available guidance and directives and keep you informed if this changes.

We know this is a difficult time, but we will get through this together. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


COVID-19 Update: March 27

Governor Cuomo Extends Class Cancellation Until April 15

In his press conference today, March 27, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extended class cancellation another two weeks, until Wednesday, April 15, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize this date falls in the middle of the regularly scheduled spring break, April 10-17. Given the circumstances, BH-BL is carefully reviewing options that would allow students to continue remote learning for the scheduled number of school days as well as provide time away from classes for spring break. The Governor’s executive order has not yet been released. Once we receive it and review it, we will provide the community with details on the school schedule for the next several weeks. For now, however, area schools are adhering to the Governor’s directive and classes will be cancelled until April 15.

We recognize that this extraordinary situation presents an array of difficulties for our students, employees and families. We are committed to doing everything we can to meet needs and support the community at this time. As such, we do have a few priority items we would like to share with you:

Academic Learning Opportunities

During today’s staff conference day, BH-BL faculty worked on materials and activities to help keep students engaged during the extended school closure. This link will lead students and parents to a webpage where teachers have shared a variety of academic opportunities. Once on that webpage, please click your child’s school building and then click the appropriate teacher/grade level/department/course to access these resources.

In addition to this webpage, many teachers will likely be emailing parents/students directly using their established online classrooms. Please check your email regularly and encourage your child to do the same. The academic opportunities webpage will be updated throughout the extended closure, so please also check that regularly.

If you have any questions pertaining to your child’s education, please contact your building Principal or the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dave Collins at 518-399-9141, ext. 85015. If your children are having technical difficulties with their Chromebooks or trouble accessing the internet, please call our IT Department at 518-399-9141, ext. 84321.

School Meals

We will continue to provide school meals to students in our district who participate in the Free or Reduced Price Meal Program. A station will be set up near the high school’s student parking lot outside the entrance to the cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday during the school closure. “To-go” lunches and breakfasts will be distributed to any student who participates in this program.

Backpacks with food for students who normally receive those will also be distributed at this station.

If, for any reason, a parent/guardian of a student participating in the meal program is unable to secure transportation to the high school, 88 Lakehill Road, to pick up meals, please contact the district office at (518) 399-9141, ext. 85002, to make arrangements for delivery.

Other Needs

We are here to help members of our school and community in a variety of ways as we deal with this situation. Please call Community Liaison Dacey Bonney at 518-399-3141, ext. 85011 if you are aware of any needs of our students, families, or other community members. Our social workers are available for students who are in need by contacting each school’s main office.  If you are aware of a mental health emergency, please reach out to the Mobile Crisis Unit at 518-292-5499. We are working on a plan to provide child care for parents who are first responders or work in the medical field. We will have further details on this plan in the coming days.

Building Offices Open, School Grounds Closed

Our school offices will remain open for some staff from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. so they can continue to carry out essential functions. Please call 518-399-9141 for assistance. In the spirit of social distancing, no one should be on any school district playgrounds or athletic fields at any building until further notice.

Education Items Awaiting Clarification

We are also working with a number of staff and state agencies to get specific guidance and information on the following:

  • Seeking guidance from the College Board for solutions to the Advanced Placement testing.
  • Reviewing logistics related to waiving seat time and lab requirements for students to be eligible to take the Regents exams.
  • Looking for information from NYSED with regard to flexibility in Individual Educational Plans (IEP) for services that cannot be done remotely (i.e., providing compensatory services in the future)

Board Meetings

Per the State Education Department, Board of Education meetings will continue to be held but the public must participate either through a conference call or video. We will continue to live stream all of our meetings. On the day of a board meeting, a link to watch the live stream will be on our website: https://www.bhbl.org/board-of-education/board-of-education-meeting-videos/

This situation is unprecedented and changes are occurring rapidly. We will provide you with more information as soon as we can. Please continue to visit our website and check your email.


COVID-19 Update: March 14 at 10:30 p.m.

BH-BL school leaders met on Friday with the other leaders of the 23 districts that make up the Capital Region BOCES, to determine the steps that need to be taken during the COVID-19 public health situation. BH-BL and these other school districts are located among multiple cities and counties, and are overseen by four different County Health Departments.

While there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus in our district, out of an abundance of caution BH-BL cancelled all extracurricular and outside activities on all campuses across our district through April 20. We also cancelled classes from March 16-20.

While school leaders are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, they are relying upon the experts in the Saratoga and Schenectady County Departments of Health, per the Governor’s most recent executive order, for definitive guidance regarding the length of time that classes should be cancelled. Specific guidance regarding the length of closure is still unclear.  At this time, we have not been directed by Schenectady County or Saratoga County Public Health officials to close our schools.  We have made a local decision to give us time to assess the ever-changing situation. The Superintendents in the Capital Region BOCES will meet with state and county officials in the coming days to seek clarification on the proper length of time for class cancellations during these unprecedented times.

As an educational institution, our priority is to ensure that we meet our students’ physical, social-emotional, and educational needs. As such, we strive to always keep our doors open and provide students with a safe, secure environment in which to learn and grow. However, it’s imperative that we balance our core beliefs with guidance and directives provided to us by the county, state, and federal health experts as to what is best for our students and our community.

We appreciate your patience as we all navigate this situation and ask that you continue to check your email and the district’s website for updates.


COVID-19 Update: March 13 at 6:30 p.m.

BH-BL continues to monitor all COVID-19 (coronavirus) guidance from state, local and federal agencies. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the school district. However, with support from Schenectady County Public Health Department, we are joining with many other area school districts and cancelling classes for students the week of March 16-20, 2020. All activities and athletic practices are cancelled throughout this period as well. Additionally, Capital Region BOCES CTE and Special Education programs will not operate this week.

Given that this is a rapidly evolving public health issue, we feel closing school for a week is the most proactive and prudent action available to us. This closure is designed to help limit the spread of illness.

The staff development day on Monday, March 16 will take place as scheduled. All employees who are scheduled to report Monday should still report. Employees will receive a separate email outlining the plans for the remainder of the week.

Throughout next week, we will be sharing a variety of educational opportunities for our students. Families should look for more information shared via email and posted on our website early next week.

Free & Reduced Price Meal Program Availability

We will continue to provide school meals to students in our district who participate in the Free or Reduced Price Meal Program. A station will be set up near the high school’s student parking lot outside the entrance to the cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday during the school closure. “To-go” lunches and breakfasts will be distributed to any student who participates in this program.

Backpacks with food for students who normally receive those will also be distributed at this station.

If, for any reason, a parent/guardian of a student participating in the meal program is unable to secure transportation to the high school, 88 Lakehill Road, to pick up meals, please contact the district office at (518) 399-9141, ext. 85002, to make arrangements for delivery.

Thank you for your continued patience and support. We will provide you with more information as it becomes available. We will continue to communicate with families via email, SNN and our website.

Additionally, it is important for parents to talk about this situation with their children, as it could be a confusing or scary time for them. Here is a resource to assist you in speaking with your child about the virus: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus.


COVID-10 Update: March 12

This afternoon, Governor Cuomo put significant restrictions on large group gatherings. Although there are no confirmed cases of the virus at BH-BL, we feel it is imperative to follow his lead and implement proactive steps that could help us keep our schools open and continue to educate our students. 

Therefore, in an effort to reduce the instances of community contact at our schools, and protect students and staff, we have suspended all travel (i.e., field trips and conferences), community use of our facilities, outside visitors to our campus (i.e., college visits, etc.) and cancelled all extracurricular activities and large group events from March 13 to April 20. This means the High School play, Thoroughly Modern Millie, will be performed this evening (Thursday, March 12) only. The other two shows are cancelled

This also includes continuing education classes, community swim, PTA meetings, movie nights, etc. (A list of many of the affected events is below.) Elementary play practices and after-school clubs are cancelled throughout this period. However, this does not impact the Y-Care program at any of our schools. Middle and high school clubs, activities, and extra help sessions that occur during the after-school activity period will still take place. We will continue to offer our late bus run for high school and middle school students.

All school-related athletic practices will continue as scheduled unless further guidance is provided to schools from Section 2 or the NYSPHSAA directs otherwise.

IMPORTANT: We are switching the previously scheduled Superintendent’s Conference Day from Friday, March 20 to Monday, March 16. Therefore, there will be no school for students on Monday, March 16, and regular classes will take place on Friday, March 20. (There will be no transportation on Monday for BOCES, private, or parochial schools.) The professional day will allow our staff to plan instructional materials for students in the event there is an extended school closure. Please know, any decision on school closures would be at the direction of the Department of Health.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and make a decision about whether or not it’s necessary to extend these preventive measures beyond April 20. Please check our website for updates.

The following calendar events have been cancelled (some may be rescheduled if possible):

  • Classes cancelled March 16-20
  • All school field trips until April 20
  • All PTA Meetings until April 20
  • March 18: BH-BL Community Dinner
  • March 18-19: Pashley’s School Play
  • March 19: Parent University, Screenagers
  • March 21: MS Drama Club Trip to NYC
  • March 23: Music in our Schools Month Concert #1
  • March 18, 19, 25 & 26: Stevens After-School Enrichment Program
  • March 27: Pashley PARP Wrap Up Event and Grade 7 Rec Night
  • April 1: Summer Rec In-person Registration 
  • April 1: Spartan Catering “Sandwich Fest” Night and Stevens Science Night
  • April 3: CHES Movie Night and Pashley Movie Night
  • April 3-4: BH-BL Follies
  • April 6-8: Charlton Heights Musical
  • April 7: Pashley PTA Pasta Party & Budget Forum
  • April 8: Jazz Night
  • May 19 Budget Vote & Elections: POSTPONED to a later date

The high school music department’s trip to Williamsburg, PA, April 23-26, has also been cancelled.

Furthermore, because outside use of our facilities has been halted there are many other activities that have been cancelled, such as community youth sports, continuing education, outside athletic tournaments, adult choral groups, etc. Please check with the organizers of each of these events for further guidance.

Information about Board of Education meetings and the April 7 Budget Forum will be forthcoming.


COVID-19 Update: March 11, 2020

As most of you are aware, school officials are closely following reports and updates about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and continue to work with local and state health departments for accurate and timely information and guidance.

At this time, NO BH-BL students have been diagnosed with coronavirus. However, we have learned that a high school student has had contact with an individual who is being tested for the virus. Though this is considered a secondary interaction, the individual will be out of school for 14 days as a precaution. The Schenectady County Department of Health will monitor the situation carefully.  Department of Health experts have not recommended that BH-BL cancel or reschedule classes or other school events at this time.

The most recent guidance from the state health department states: “The local health department will notify schools if and when a school must close due to COVID-19 and when a school can reopen. School administrators should work in close collaboration and coordination with the state and local health officials to close school and/or cancel large events. Schools are not expected to make decisions about closing or canceling events due to COVID-19 on their own. Schools can seek specific guidance from the State or local health officials to determine if, when, and for how long to take these steps.”

For now, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your children continues to be following standard preventive practices for illness. There are a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread illness:

  • Staying home when sick.
  • Practicing responsible hand hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Practicing appropriate respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette, such as coughing or sneezing into a tissue, throwing the tissue into the trash, and washing your hands.

All BH-BL school facilities will continue to undergo routine cleaning in accordance with Department of Health recommendations.

We will continue to update you on how this situation will affect our district and we encourage everyone to obtain information from reliable sources including www.cdc.gov and the NYS Department of Health.


COVID-19 Update: March 9, 2020: Coronavirus Update from CDC & NYS Governor’s Office

With the recent news of confirmed cases of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, within the Capital Region, BH-BL officials are continuing to monitor information from local, state and federal officials.

On Saturday, March 7, Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York, which gives the state certain purchasing and hiring abilities during this time. However, this declaration does not impact any school or district activities at this time. Health experts have not recommended that the district cancel or reschedule classes or other school events aside from certain restrictions on international travel (see below).

State officials continue to emphasize that the general risk to the public is low. However, the CDC also recommends that older people and people with severe chronic conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

More information about COVID-19 is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. The state Department of Health also has information available on its website, including a coronavirus hotline: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/. You can call the hotline at 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms.

Regarding individual travel and quarantine measures, please know that the New York State Department of Health has made quarantine a mandatory measure for individuals returning to the United States from a known high-risk exposure area. Based on this, any student, student family member or employee who has traveled to a known high-risk exposure area should notify the school principal prior to coming to school, as well as the county health departments. Saratoga County Health Department: (518) 584-7460 or Schenectady County Health Department: (518) 386-2810.

Out of an abundance of caution, the district has cancelled or postponed all planned overseas travel this spring. Other school-sanctioned travel (field trips, special athletic competitions, etc.) will be evaluated in the coming weeks and months on a case-by-case basis. For more information on travel, please visit the Center for Disease Control’s web page for coronavirus and travel, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

If BH-BL becomes aware that one of our students or staff members is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will notify staff and parents/guardians via our website, SNN and email. For now, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your children continues to be following standard preventive practices for influenza. There are a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, according to the New York State Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Heavily soiled hands should be washed.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The district will continue to implement its cleaning and disinfecting protocols, which are always heightened during cold and flu season (October-April). These protocols include:

  • Cleaning desktops and tables with disinfectant in every classroom nightly.
  • Regularly sanitizing classrooms, hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, and locker rooms using an environmentally safe, non-toxic,  broad spectrum disinfectant.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting water fountains, door knobs, and bathroom fixtures daily.

Additionally, classrooms that have sinks in them also all have soap available, as do all bathrooms. The soap dispensers are refilled regularly and there are hand sanitizer dispensers in areas where access to soap and water are not readily available.

All of our teachers have also been encouraged to work with students to increase the frequency of their classroom hand washing practices. Custodians have disinfecting wipes available as needed upon staff request.  Furthermore, additional disinfecting protocols are being implemented for our school buses.

We appreciate your support of our district and, through our website, we will share more information as it becomes available.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Families

World Health Organization

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New York State Department of Health

Schenectady & Saratoga County Departments of Health

Talking to Children about the Coronavirus COVID-19

Mobile Crisis Services

(Expanded hours for mobile crisis services)

  • Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. | Saturday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
  • For immediate crisis services: 518-292-5499