Coronavirus (COVID-19) PSA
Super Bob Update - March 31, 2020
Mr. Siebert Video Update - HS Grades March 30, 2020
Academic Update - Dr. Beehler - March 26, 2020
March 23, 2020 Update
March 19, 2020 Update
March 17, 2020 Video Update - Meal Distribution
March 16, 2020 Video Update
May 1, 2020 - Governor Cuomo decision:
Hello Warrior Nation,
Today as anticipated, Governor Andrew Cuomo officially announced that schools across NYS will not reconvene in person for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. While we will not be together physically, we will continue our online instructional and learning plans and finish strong. This is what Warriors do!
We anticipate further guidance from New York State Education Department on the end of online learning and what summer might look like in the near future.
In the meantime, stay strong, try hard, do your best and let us know if you need anything.
April 30, 2020 - Message from Super Bob regarding Summer School Instruction:
Hello Warrior Nation,
There are a great many theories on what will happen with schools for May and June and the Summer of 2020. Right now, we anticipate an announcement from Governor Cuomo very soon on the remainder of the school year and are hopeful this will provide clarity on our ability to provide some summer programming, staff development and our traditional Welcome Back Picnics. We do anticipate offering our normal summer programs (Driver Ed, Swimming, etc…) and robust professional development but how these programs will look will entirely depend on the NY PAUSE order being lifted.
As of today, SCCSD does not anticipate mandatory summer school for all students. Logistically, operationally and practically, this would be virtually impossible. Absent a new Executive Order, this theory of mandatory summer school for all would seem to be a very creative Urban Legend. We will comply with the Executive Orders from the Governor, and continue to provide instruction, food service and child care supports. Soon and safely, we will begin to return to normal. It will be a new normal but schools will re-open. I will keep you posted and tune in for later announcements (this week) as they are shared by Albany.
Be well & stay safe,
April 28, 2020 - Salamanca School District Committed to Providing Online Access To All Students During Shutdown
SALAMANCA, NY — Across the country, schools are making difficult choices around COVID-19 closures, including how to best deliver distance instruction.
Salamanca City Central School District superintendent, Robert J. Breidenstein said, “COVID-19 and the mass closures of all New York State Schools for nearly 40 days has thrust Digital Poverty into our daily conversation with remote access, online Pre-K-12 learning and digital content desired but not always possible.”
He added, “Internet access, speed and reliability have become the three pillars of online learning. If access, speed or reliability is compromised, so too is the quality of instruction.”
According to a 2019 report from the Federal Communications Commission, around 21 million—6 percent—of families in America don’t have home access to broadband at home. Salamanca’s assistant superintendent, Mark Beehler, said that this statistic “vastly undercounts” students in rural locations.
“It’s a problem becoming quickly apparent in our region,” Beehler said. “Many students lack computers or internet at home, and teachers cannot provide the equitable online education to every student when some can’t log in.”
Salamanca students without internet at home previously used libraries and community centers to access the web, but many such gathering places are closed to limit contagion. While waiting for direction from the department of health, it became evident to district leaders that they needed to provide instruction on new curriculum to students.
“The school district sent students work packets to do at home, and made computers available to students to complete digital assignments,” said high school principal, Christopher Siebert. “However, as new information came out about the pandemic, it quickly became apparent that access to learning materials was only one third of the equation.”
In response, Salamanca schools sent a survey to families and mapped which households did not have regular access to home internet.
“Even though we were sending devices home, we also needed to address internet connectivity, which contributes to the homework divide,” said district instructional coach, Aaron Straus. “Close to 59 percent of our families fall below the federal poverty line, and many students don't have high-speed Internet access, or a personal device at home.”
To help increase access to school resources, the district delivered a wireless router to remote family homes without a cable run.
“These 4 x 3-inch Kajeet hubs create an instant Internet hotspot in family homes,” said Rob Miller, Salamanca’s director of technology. “Each device attaches itself to the Verizon network and has automatic filters and settings that we can keep or customize for how they are used for academic purposes.”
Each Kajeet, however, is limited by the location and topographic setting of area cellphone towers. Still, district officials say they are committed to helping families with school age children secure internet service.
To that end, Salamanca school also deployed school buses in several locations across Salamanca, allowing families to park near them and use the Wi-Fi. City locations include: Fenton Insurance Agency; Salamanca High School parking lot; Allegany Community Center; Prospect Elementary; Steamburg Community Center; and Indian Park on RC Hoag Drive.
"Our teachers have changed the way they teach, and their lessons are all digital,” said Miller. "It's important for us to provide that internet service so we're giving students every advantage we can during these tough times, to bridge the digital divide.”
Families of SCCSD students who do not have internet should send an email to email@example.com or call (716) 945-2400 extension 6556 for IT assistance and support.
March 31, 2020 - Super Bob Update: (Video Posted above)
Greetings Warrior Nation,
As we begin week three of the COVID-19 shut down, I want to send a great big thank you to our staff, parents and students for the monumental efforts to keep our continuity of instruction happening. We have so much to be proud of and so many warriors working in tandem, it is simply heartwarming. In the coming days, we expect more information to come from the Governor and the State Education Department with what happens after April 14th. As soon as this becomes available, we will share the details as quickly as we can. Until then you can expect it will business as usual.
Continuity of Cleaning- will continue daily at our buildings to keep the limited number of staff that are physically reporting safe and our buildings clean.
Continuity of Food Services- will continue until students return to school. We have mobile sites at the HS, Hoag’s (on Rt. 417), the Youth Bureau and Prospect. Delivery can occur by calling 945-2400 x6105 (Mr. Haley).
Continuity of Child Care- if any first responders that did not reply to indicate a need for childcare previously or your needs have changes as COVID-19 continues, please let us know directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have partnered with ACCORD, Inc. to help facilitate childcare needs for our frontline, first responders.
Essential Construction- we have some construction continuing during the pandemic. We are not only following the guidelines required from the State we have also increased cleaning protocols beyond this level for the project work deemed essential. Contractors are adhering to rigorous standards for health and safety, separate contractor entrances, reporting and sanitizing daily. The bulk of the work deemed essential is at Prospect because the COVID virus hit during asbestos abatement, kitchen demolition and library renovations. We will assess the essential nature of all work in the coming days. Safety is a priority for our skeleton staff, cleaners, custodians and contractors.
There are some internet urban legends floating around that simply are not true. To dispel those myths- we have not laid anyone off; we have not fired cleaning staff; we have reduced staff that report to work; we have the vast majority of staff working remotely or in split shift operations and we are practicing extreme social distancing.
These days continue to be unnerving and it seems like so much changes each day. That is true, but what hasn’t changed is the spirit of this community. Stay strong, be safe and be well!
Together we will persevere.
March 17, 2020 - Washington, D.C. Trip
Due to the coronavirus, the advisors have postponed the 8th Grade Washington D.C. trip. Here's what you need to know.
- The trip is POSTPONED, not canceled.
- You will NOT lose your money
- We are looking at future dates, possibly October. As the situation changes, I will update students and families ASAP.
- We will hold off on rooming assignments until we get closer.
- Please email, DEaton@salamancany.org if you have any further questions.
March 17 ,2020
As you know we are working on ways to make our school a healthy place to be while trying to prevent the spread of germs at the same time. To keep you up to date, today we installed 25 wall mount hand sanitizing stations for the three school buildings in the district.
They will be placed in the halls throughout the school along with the cafeteria’s. They will be filled with a non-alcohol product used in hospitals called Theraworx. Nurse Creed said this is a much better product than alcohol or foam based sanitizers because it lowers the temperature of the skin (so the virus can’t survive). We also ordered a few cases of 4 ounce bottles to be distributed in the classrooms.
We would also like you to reiterate three points every day:1. Wash hand regularly (20 seconds or more) and every time after you cough, sneeze, go to the bathroom, or before meals2. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, preferably with a tissue or the inside of your elbow3. Keep a distance of 6 feet or more when in social settings
March 16, 2020 - Continuity Plans
The Salamanca City Central School District remains CLOSED to all students until further notice.
SERVICE: beginning March 17th from 11am—1:00 p.m.
The District will have four (4) locations available for students and families to pick up a bagged lunch consisting of a breakfast and lunch. All meals will be able to be consumed cold and can also be warmed up. We will be preparing between 600-700 meals to be distributed. As the week goes on, the numbers would fluctuate we ask that you please be patient. There may be times not everyone will get a meal, our bus drivers will report back if there is a higher need in certain areas.
Locations available for pickup:
- Salamanca High School—Café “B”
- Prospect Elementary (School bus onsite)
- Hoag’s Gas Station—6731 NY Rt 417, Kill Buck, NY 14748 (school bus onsite)
- Steamburg Community Center—1188 Center Rd. Randolph, NY 14772 (school bus onsite)
All meals are first come first serve.
March 17, 2020 – The following essential staff are to report as directed:
- Buildings & Grounds Crew – Normal work hours
- Food Service – Normal work hours
- Administration – Normal work hours
- Instructional Technology Staff – Normal work hours
- School Nurses – Normal work hours
The following are to report and meet with your building principal:
- Grade Level leaders and department chairs – 9:00 a.m.
- Mental Health workers (Social Workers, Counselors, School Liaisons, Psychologists, Attendance Officers) – 11:00 a.m. in the LGI.
- Clerical Office Staff – Normal work hours
- Transportation Staff – as directed by Director of Transportation Bob Finch
For students who rely on our school nurses to administer daily medications, home delivery of medications will begin Tuesday, March 17. Delivery will be arranged through our nurses and school resource officers (SROs).
Please contact your school nurse with questions.
Prospect Elementary School: Mrs. Laurie Miller, 716-945-5170 x7132, LMiller@salamancany.org
Seneca Intermediate School: Mrs. Julianne Creed, District Nurse Manager, 716-945-2400 x6203, email@example.com
High School: Mrs. Kimberly McLarney, 716-945-2404 x6103, firstname.lastname@example.org
All school pets have been moved to a safe place to vacation during this time (our chick eggs at Prospect Elementary are safe and sound and waiting to hatch).
Further guidance regarding students’ instructional plan will be forthcoming, stay tuned!
March 15, 2020
Dear Warrior Nation:
I am writing regarding the COVID-19 situation which has been rapidly evolving each day in our state and region. We have been in continual contact with local and State 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.
The Allegany and Cattaraugus County Health Departments have recommended that all school districts – including Salamanca City CSD – be closed to ALL students effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through Sunday, April 12, 2020, with instruction occurring through alternative means. While there are still no confirmed cases in our region at the time of this communication, the action is being taken out of caution, as cases in neighboring counties continues to rise. The main purpose of the recommendation 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:
- Salamanca City Central School District and all programs will be closed to all students on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. This closure will allow our instructional team and other staff members to train and finalize our continuity of instruction, food service and mental health plans for our community. No children will be permitted into the buildings on these dates or during the closure timeframe.
- All Salamanca CCSD staff will be directed to report to work as follow:
- Monday, March 16th-
- STA, CSU, SSSO and C/M staff are report to your normal assigned locations at 10:00 am.
- The administrative team will meet at 9:00 am in the Superintendent’s Office.
- All staff will assembly in the HS Auditorium at 1:00 pm. Staff should be prompt and practice social distancing protocols when seated in Auditorium. We will conclude the day by 3:30 pm.
- Tuesday, March 17th- all staff will report to their assigned locations at normal starting times to continue continuity plans under the direction of their immediate supervisor.
- As a district, we do have a continuity plan in place for instruction, food service and mental health needs. More information will be forthcoming. You will be receiving specific communication on that shortly.
- 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.
- Per the County Declaration, April 12, 2020 is our planned date for the end of the closure period. We will, however, be constantly assessing to see if a longer or shorter closure will be required, using the feedback provided by local and State 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.
Robert J. Breidenstein
*All updates are posted online www.salamancany.org/covid19 and our Facebook page.
March 14, 2020 (11:41 p.m.)
Dear Warrior Nation,
Following a number of conversations today and late this evening, the County Department of Health has informed local school leaders of a declared state of emergency for Cattaraugus County.
More information will be forthcoming Sunday afternoon as it impacts Salamanca CCSD.
Parents should anticipate an extended period of school closures. We have a plan for continuity of instruction, food services and supports. Specifics and details will be shared on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
Thank you Warrior Nation for helping us keep our students and community safe during these challenging times.
March 13, 2020
Dear Warrior Families,
Recent global health events have been unprecedented and impactful. When confronted with a health crisis, especially one that has not yet reached its peak, can be quite unnerving. This is to be expected. As families, we are often removed from the global health events that often permeate the news and social media sites. Within the District, the administrative team continues to monitor, in real time, the unfolding Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. Every decision we have made and those we will still need to make are vetted, discussed and thoughtfully considered. We have tried to be measured, reassuring and most importantly respond to facts.
Please be assured that the Salamanca City Central School District continues to actively monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in conjunction with local, state, and federal health authorities. The safety of our students, staff, and families remains our top priority, and we will act out of an abundance of caution to protect everyone’s health and wellbeing. Based upon the guidance of the Cattaraugus and Allegany County Health Commissioners, the effective immediately, SCCSD will direct:
- All school sponsored travel planned to destinations outside of Western New York (Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Allegany counties) will be canceled due to concerns related to COVID-19. The ban on school-based travel applies to students and to staff, and will continue until further notice.
- All public SCCSD gatherings that include more than 50 people. Gatherings within our schools, during normal school hours, student assemblies, professional learning, student government meetings, etc. will continue as normal. Examples of public gatherings of more than 50 people that will be suspended are concerts, public forums, open swim/gym, fitness center and athletic contests.
- Outside group usage of our facilities will be curtailed until March 31, 2020 pending additional direction from the Department of Health.
Because it is believed that COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, much in the way the flu and other respiratory viruses are spread. To prevent the spread of these illnesses, we encourage families to practice routine healthy habits and hygiene practices such as:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately throw away the tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
SCCSD will to continue utilize our Facebook, Website and Blackboard Direct notification system to share information. You can visit the following sites for current information:
Centers for Disease Control How to Talk to Your Child About Coronavirus https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
As recommended by the Cattaraugus County Health Department and the CDC, we continue enhanced environmental cleaning practices such as disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and performing deep cleans multiple times a week. SCCSD uses hospital-grade cleaning equipment and solutions to help insure that our buildings stay disinfected. We are prepared to escalate our cleaning practices if recommended by local or state health departments. In situations like these, rumors may cause unnecessary reactions and panic. Therefore, we encourage you to get information from credible sources.
To better understand our current status, the matrix below identifies our action plan as of today. The COVID-19 implications continue to evolve daily. Our priority is safety, containment, and educational. Stay tuned, stay informed and stay healthy. As a final reminder, please know, any changes to our plan will be communicated through the Superintendent or Board President. Avoid rumors and respond to known facts. Staying well informed will help us all to be safe, remain calm and weather the storm. The Warrior Nation is strong, resilient and will rise to meet any challenge.
Finally, the SCCSD is a hub of activity in our community and as such, the decision to postpone or cancel activities is not entered into lightly. A complete list of postponements and cancellations will be posted on our social media and website feeds. Your patience and understanding during the next few weeks is appreciated and together we will weather this storm.
Robert J. Breidenstein
District Status - COVID-19 Letter
March 12, 2020
Dear Warrior Nation,
Following a series of conversations with health department officials, neighboring districts and to respond to the emerging COVID-19 health emergency, the district will immediately and for the foreseeable future curtail large gatherings. Mitigating the spread of the virus through proactive social distancing strategies will keep us all safer and see us through this crisis.
A complete list of the impacted activities will be posted on our website and on our Facebook page.
Thank you for your vigilance and patience.
Robert J. Breidenstein
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY all large group events, including out of state travel are cancelled through March 21, 2020. All events will be re-evaluated next week.
The following school functions have been cancelled/postponed:
- FRC Robotics Competition – March 12-13, 2020 – RIT
- All Band Concert – March 12, 2020 – HS Aud
- Odyssey of the Mind Regionals – March 14, 2020 Allegany Limestone CSD
- Buffalo Niagara College Fair – March 18 & 19, 2020 – Buffalo Convention Center
- All County Festival –(Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21, 2020) - Olean CSD
- RIT Native American Outreach Day – March 20, 2020 - RIT
- Seneca Intermediate Fun Night – March 20, 2020 – HS Main Campus
- Archery NYS Archery Tournament – March 20th
- Key Club Leadership Conference – March 27-29, 2020 – Albany NY
ALL SPORTS PRACTICES MAY CONTINUE AS NORMAL
Dear Warrior Families,
While the Salamanca City Central School District does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in our schools, one cannot turn on the TV, radio, or view social media without continuous stories that raise concerns. We are sending out this information to assure you that we are monitoring this situation closely and following guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Cattaraugus County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.
If the district becomes aware that a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will immediately notify staff and parents/guardians. If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms, we will follow our current practices for handling respiratory illnesses, subject to any additional guidance forthcoming.
The district has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting throughout the schools, to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses. We also believe we have a duty to educate our students and community regarding this situation.
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 state Department of Health:
- Frequent good hand washing. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Maintain social distances of at least 3 feet and refrain from hand shaking.
- Face masks are not suggested for healthy individuals only those who are sick or showing signs of illness.
- Maintain respiratory hygiene. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately. Virus can live for up to a week on clothing so only cough or sneeze into your elbow when no tissues are available.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces or objects daily and as needed.
- STAY home when you are sick and avoid public areas.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Do not share food, drinks, or personal items with others.
- Practice safe food handling and cook all meats and eggs thoroughly.
- If you or a family member begin showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, inform them that a case of COVID-19 is suspected, and follow their advice.
Local health departments will contact schools if a suspected or known COVID-19 case emerges. The district is prepared to work with any affected families.
Families are encouraged to follow the CDC’s information for travel, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
For more information, consider consulting these additional resources:
World Health Organization - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public
Cattaraugus County Department of Health - Coronavirus
Novel Coronavirus (COVID - 19)
Coronavirus disease 219 (COVID-19) - frequently asked questions - prevention
Prevention, treatment of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
In addition, New York State has established a Novel Coronavirus hotline, which can provide additional information. Call 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms. The district will continue to share information as it becomes available.
Please know that the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness.