Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members:
Champlain Valley Educational Services BOCES and its 16 component school districts unanimously decided to close schools immediately until at least April 19, 2020. The districts, in collaboration with the county Health Departments, will remain in regular communication to assess the situation.
These are uncertain times, and the challenges which we collectively face are new and ever-changing. At the onset of this pandemic, the guidance for public schools in New York State directed that school closure would be decreed by either local public health officials, the Commissioner of Education, or the Governor, following any affirmative COVID-19 test results. More recently however, in an effort to proactively limit the spread of this virus, school districts and BOCES regions have begun announcing preemptive closures. CVES BOCES and its 16 school superintendents met with local public health officials this morning and decided unanimously to close all schools in the Champlain Valley Educational Services BOCES region effective immediately. The directors from both county health departments strongly recommended this measure.
An extension of this closure is certainly possible, and discussion with local public health officials will continue. Any change in duration of this closure will be communicated to you as soon as possible. This closure will, obviously, encompass the April school recess.
This action has not been taken lightly. It is fully understood that this closure will create hardships for families, and each district will continue to support our community as best as possible throughout this situation. There are no confirmed cases in either Clinton or Essex Counties at this time. Nonetheless, in an effort to best protect our students and our neighbors, we believe that these measures, though not convenient, are necessary.
Each School Superintendent will share information with their parents, guardians, and students regarding the possible delivery of instruction throughout this extended closure. Each school district has a plan in-place for the ongoing delivery of various non-instructional services, such as student nutrition, mental health supports, etc. These plans will vary between districts, and you can also expect notification on these details in the coming days. Naturally, all school extracurricular activities (athletics, clubs, events, etc.) are cancelled or postponed during this closure.
As we navigate this unprecedented event, certain communication channels will surely prove more effective than others. We encourage the use of email as much as possible to contact school district personnel at this time.
Thomas Palmer Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools