March 15, 2020
Dear CA BOCES Students & Parents:
I am writing to update you on the recent Health emergency. As you know, the COVID-19 situation has been rapidly evolving each day in our State and region. We have been in continual contact with local, State, and federal health officials and the New York State Department of Education as the situation unfolds, keeping the health and safety of students, staff, and the community as our top priority.
Last night the Allegany and Cattaraugus County Health Departments recommended all school districts in both counties will be closed to students effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through Sunday, April 12, 2020, with instruction occurring through alternative instructional models. As such, all CA BOCES campuses and locations, along with community learning programs, will be closed during that time period. While there are still no confirmed cases in our region at the time of this communication, the action is recommended out of caution, as cases in neighboring counties continues to rise. The main purpose of the order is to slow the potential spread of disease among students and the community by promoting social distancing and avoiding the gathering of large numbers of people.
This time will be challenging for all communities, but we are dedicated to serving our students and keeping them as safe as possible while still allowing educational growth. Here are some important pieces to consider as we head into our planned closures:
- All districts and CA BOCES campuses will be closed to students on Monday, March 16. This closure will allow our instructional team and other staff members to plan and develop educational plans for students.
- Students should report for a regularly scheduled day at their school on Tuesday, March 17. On this day, they will receive instruction for study, tools, and supplies for the duration of the closure. In addition to instructions from their home school, students who attend a CTE program at a CA BOCES center will also receive instruction for their respective program. Parents will receive a copy of all instructions for their students.
- Students with disabilities who receive specialized services will continue to receive the educational support needed to be successful. Service providers will be in contact soon to discuss the specific needs of your student.
- April 12, 2020 is our planned date for the end of the closure. We will, however, be constantly assessing to see if a longer or shorter closure will be required, using the feedback provided by local, state, and federal health officials as our guide.
- Please continue to keep your households as safe as possible by washing your hands regularly, avoiding contact with those who are sick, cleaning and disinfecting regularly used surfaces, and staying home when you are sick.
- Staff will still be available throughout the closure, through multiple channels, to support student work, answer questions, and ensure continuity of education.
We appreciate your support during this challenging time. We continue to be proactive in keeping our students, staff and communities safe. Please continue to take care of yourself and others.
CA BOCES District Superintendent