COVID-19 Information (March-June 2020)

June 15, 2020
versión en español
Last Friday, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order stating that districts may provide Extended School Year services to students with disabilities who are otherwise eligible for them. The governor’s unexpected decision to permit in-person special education services despite closing schools for the current school year created rather involved conditions. We understood we would have to carefully review the situation in terms of many factors before deciding how to best proceed.

Over the last several days we have carefully reviewed all the information we had at our disposal. We have looked at issues pertaining to staffing, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), classroom and common area space configurations, and we have sought public health guidance from federal and state levels as well as our own district medical director and district medical staff. 

Following a very thorough review and discussions, we have concluded that Extended School Year (ESY) programming will be delivered through Distance Learning this summer. We will provide a blend of live instruction and self-paced learning activities in order to implement each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) to the greatest extent possible, given the use of virtual instruction and the availability of staff. ESY will be in session July 6 – August 14, Monday through Friday.

The recently issued public health and safety requirements from the New York State Department of Health for interim in-person Special Education instruction require significant additional planning in the areas of staffing, physical space setup, personal protection, cleaning and disinfecting, bathroom protocols, and bus protocols. While Lakeland may be able to meet these requirements in time for the opening of school in September, it cannot be done by July 6th. We continue to develop a comprehensive reopening plan in coordination with all of the Westchester County School districts, which will ensure the safety of our students and staff. Providing ESY through Distance Learning was an extremely difficult decision. While we miss our students, it would not be appropriate to bring our students and our staff into school when we cannot meet the current DOH state requirements and are still awaiting NYSED guidance. Recognizing the impact of the pandemic on the social/emotional wellness of our students and families, this summer we will be providing ongoing support to the entire school community. We will be updating our website with resources and have counseling staff available. We will send out more details as we get closer to July. We will be sad not seeing you all in person this summer, but we look forward to “seeing” you virtually. As always, please reach out with any concerns or questions you may have.

Dr. Steve Rappleyea,
Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services


masksThank You to Promise of Hope Foundation, RENU Contracting Restoration, and Millburn Flooring for their donation of  3000 masks to Lakeland Families.
May 21, 2020
The Promise of Hope Foundation, along with RENU Contracting Restoration and Milburn Flooring, launched the campaign  “Cover Our Kids.”  These organizations donate non-surgical masks that are FDA certified and CE-approved to local communities and school districts.

Lakeland received 3000 masks that were donated to families in need. This week, the masks were distributed to the families at their weekly Lakeland Food Service meal pick up. George Prine, Lakeland's Facilities Director, and his staff coordinated the distribution.

Posted April 27, 2020
Versión en español haga clic aquí

New Literacy Resource Staff Training
 
Please take note that all classroom TEACHERS in grades K-5, including CO-TEACHERS, will be involved in training on the dates and times below. Therefore, assignments will be posted and teachers will be available following the training hours.
 
Training Schedule
 
April 28 8-11 AM Grade K teachers
April 28 12-3 PM Grade 1 teachers
 
April 29 8-11 AM Grade 2 teachers
April 29 12-3 PM Grade 3 teachers
 
April 30 8-11 AM Grade 4 teachers
April 30 12-3 PM Grade 5 teachers
 
May 11 8-11 AM Grades K & 1 teachers
May 12 12-3 PM Grades 2 & 3 teachers
May 13 8-11 AM Grades 4 & 5 teachers
 
May 18 8-11 AM Grades K & 1 teachers
May 19 8-11 AM Grades 2 & 3 teachers
May 20 8 -11 AM Grades 4 & 5 teachers
 
Hope all of our families are practicing social distancing, staying healthy and keeping connected to our schools.
 
Best,
Dr. Karen Gagliardi

Posted April 9, 2020

Click here for resources for students and staff who may not currently have the availability of internet access.

Continuidad de la instrucción - Recursos de acceso a Internet 2020
09 de abril de 2020
Haga clic aquí para obtener recursos para estudiantes y personal que actualmente no tienen la disponibilidad de acceso a Internet.

Posted April 6, 2020
Lakeland CoAI Technology SUPPORT Form, click here
If you are having trouble connecting, logging-in or accessing a required program, please fill out this form.

Publicado el 6 de abril de 2020
Formulario de APOYO a la tecnología LakeA CoAI, haga clic aquí
Si tiene problemas para conectarse, iniciar sesión o acceder a un programa requerido, complete este formulario.


Posted April 3, 2020
New Information about 2020 AP Exams - PDF file
Haga clic para version espanol


Posted April 1, 2020

Haga clic para version espanol
 
Hello,
 
Hoping all of you are doing as well as can be expected during this most difficult time. It is not our intention to add to the many responsibilities you have, but unfortunately, as the COVID19 situation and SED mandates evolve, so will our responses.
 
The CoAI Student/Family document has been updated, and you will see those updates in purple. Refer to the previously sent CoAI link. The most recent changes are in the 'Instructional Guideline" section. There you will find information, expectations, and the technology tool, Google Classroom, that is used to engage your child/ren.
 
Parents/ Guardians, there will be a daily attendance check-in on your child's Google Classroom. You can find the attendance form through the "classwork" tab. At the elementary level, you may need to assist your child in completing. Secondary students should be able to complete independently. Ask your child's teacher and/or administrator should you have questions.
 
Stay healthy and stay tuned,
Karen

Posted March 31, 2020

Versión en español haga clic aquí
Message from Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Dr. Steve Rappleyea

Dear Families:;

In an effort to aggressively slow the spread of COVID-19, New York State’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has ordered the closure of all schools in the state of New York first through April 1, 2020, and now through the 15th. In addition, there is an indication that schools may be ordered to remain closed for a longer period in an effort to continue social distancing and slow the rate at which this virus spreads. Just last month the Lakeland CSD Special Education Office hosted an open house for our SEPTA parents.  We discussed how it was our intention to schedule “open door Fridays” for parents to come in without an appointment and visit with me if they wished. It is amazing to me how much things have changed in so short a time. Now our doors are closed, and communication opportunities have drastically changed. 

As this crisis has unfolded Dr. Stone has made sure to provide regular updates to parents with what we knew to be happening. Since the State and County executive orders have been issued, we now have clarity on our restrictions. We appreciate the concerns of parents and students, especially those who depend on the delivery of special education instruction, accommodations, supports and related services. This letter contains important information about our plan for implementing special education instruction, providing related services, Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), and Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings during the extended closures. Administration and staff have been working diligently to develop plans to maintain consistency of special education services.  We are committed to doing our best to address your child's needs remotely, but it is possible that not all typical school-based instruction and special education supports can be feasibly implemented through a distance learning model during the present health crisis. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated as we work through the logistics of this challenging time together.

Leading up to this moment, the special education supervisors and myself have been meeting with staff and support staff to prepare as best as we can for this event; first in person, then as this pandemic unfolded, via videoconference.  Special education teachers have prepared resources in the same way that teachers of students without disabilities have. Related services providers have provided web resources for students with disabilities (Find a link here to the LiveBinder) which can also be located on the District Web page. Related services providers have also begun to implement a plan for the provision of web-based support to students at home. We have set up supports for students who need additional food, and we have begun to structure systems to support students in emotional crises.

Please reach out to us regarding any concerns you have relating to the implementation of your child’s special education services and/or accommodations in the weeks ahead. We are here to support you and your children during this challenging time. Thank you for your patience and understanding in working with us as our school community responds to COVID-19. 

I have included below a concise description of our service plan along with a link to the New York State Education Department Guidance for Special Education which was released Friday, and a link back to the District website. We miss you and your children and look forward to the day when we can all return safely to school. Please stay in touch, be well, and be safe.

Yours,
Dr. Steve Rappleyea

Lakeland Central School District COVID-19 Special Education Service Provision


Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources - Update March 26, 2020
CDC - Coronavirus/COVID-19
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 
NY Department of Health - What you need to know.
https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
NYS Department of Health - Protect Yourself and Your Family
https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/protect-yourself-and-your-family-coronavirus-covid-19#symptoms
Westchester County - Coronavirus Update
https://health.westchestergov.com/2019-novel-coronavirus

Understanding the Difference Between COVID-19, Allergies & Flu (Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network)
https://www.allergyasthmanetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19_3-19.pdf
https://www.allergyasthmanetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Final-Spanish.pdf

Information about Type 1 Diabetes and Coronavirus:  https://www.jdrf.org/coronavirus/

OMH Guidance for Managing Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19
https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/guidance/covid-19-managing-stress-anxiety.pdf


Posted March 25, 2020
Lakeland Community

I hope everyone is continuing to stay well. This morning we opened our Children's Center at Van Cortlandtville Elementary for health care providers and first responders. A great deal of THANKS to the staff involved in setting this up! If you know of families in our community serving in these roles, please have them contact the Children's Center at bohara@lakelandchildrens.com
or visit https://www.lakelandchildrens.com/emergency-child-care.

As a way of keeping our "Lakeland Family" in touch, we are establishing "Photo Boards" on our websites and social media. If you have photos of your children or the family "working from home," please email them to rcarcova@lakelandschools.org.
We will try to post as many as we can.

As far as the academic programs, we continue to learn more each day. Several educational videos are being posted, some of which can be very helpful such as the CollegeBoard online AP Classes and Review. Visit https://www.youtube.com/user/advancedplacement for the daily class schedule. Expect to see more postings as we explore how we can better communicate with you.

We also continue to disinfect and sanitize with new equipment that allows us to regularly clean the district facilities, classrooms, and buses thoroughly and quickly.

As far as school closure continuing, we expect to know something before March 31, and obviously for families and planning, the sooner, the better, but at this point, we there is no new information. As soon as we know, you will know.

All for now, stay well!
George Stone, Superintendent


Posted March 24, 2020
Information for Families without the Internet, Wireless Access, and/or WiFi Challenges

If you are experiencing difficulty in accessing reliable connectivity to the internet here are some helpful contacts.
Free Service. During this time, some service providers are trying to help by providing limited free service. Although offers such as this change rapidly, to date, the following providers have publicized offers such as this:
Service Providers
Spectrum
1-855-243-8892
https://www.spectrum.net/…/coronavirus-covid-19-educational…
Comcast

1-855-846-8376 for English and
1-855-765-6995 for Spanish
https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19
Optimum

1-866-200-9522
Alticeadvantageinternet.com
Verizon 1-800-922-0204

https://www.verizon.com/…/update-verizon-serve-customers-co…

Non-technological options.

In addition, a local news agency, The Journal News, has gathered a list of resources to help families at this time. While some of the items found in this list require technology, others do not. It can be found at:
https://thejournal.com/…/Free-Resources-Ed-Tech-Companies-S…

Spanish Version

El siguiente texto fue traducido usando Google Translate. Pedimos disculpas por cualquier error.

Información para familias sin Internet, acceso inalámbrico y / o desafíos de WiFi

Si tiene dificultades para acceder a una conectividad confiable a Internet, aquí hay algunos contactos útiles.
Servicio gratuito Durante este tiempo, algunos proveedores de servicios están tratando de ayudar proporcionando un servicio gratuito limitado. Aunque las ofertas como esta cambian rápidamente, hasta la fecha, los siguientes proveedores han publicado ofertas como esta:

Proveedores de servicio
Espectro
1-855-243-8892
https://www.spectrum.net/…/coronavirus-covid-19-educational…
Comcast
1-855-846-8376 para inglés y
1-855-765-6995 para español
https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19
Óptimo
1-866-200-9522
Alticeadvantageinternet.com
Verizon 1-800-922-0204
https://www.verizon.com/…/update-verizon-serve-customers-co…

Opciones no tecnológicas.

    El Departamento de Educación del Estado de Nueva York (NYSED) se ha asociado con PBS para obtener ayuda en el área de apoyo televisivo.
    Se puede encontrar más información en: http://www.nysed.gov/edtech/pbs-live-broadcasting.
    Además, el NYSED ha identificado algunas actividades de aprendizaje temprano que no requieren tecnología. Estos se pueden encontrar en: http://www.nysed.gov/…/early-learning-non-technological-opt…

Además, una agencia de noticias local, The Journal News, ha reunido una lista de recursos para ayudar a las familias en este momento. Si bien algunos de los elementos que se encuentran en esta lista requieren tecnología, otros no. Se puede encontrar en:
https://thejournal.com/…/Free-Resources-Ed-Tech-Companies-S…


Posted March 22, 2020
Temporary Meal Service Announcement
Pickup meal service scheduled for tomorrow, March 23, 2020, will be postponed until Tuesday, March 24, 2020. If you are a family in need of meals for your children during the current school closing, please register for this service.  To register for meal service, please click on the following link; https://forms.gle/6zJc2zx8k3gXY9iF8 and complete the registration form. Temporary meal pick up service will be limited to one day per week every Tuesday beginning on March 31.  This week, meal service will continue this week on Tuesday, March 24, Wednesday, March 25, and Friday, March 27. Any questions or concerns should be emailed to temporarymealservice@lakelandschools.org. You can also call or text Janet Hernandez at 914-260-9383.


Posted March 21, 2020

College Board Parent Letter from Lakeland High School Principal Chris Cummings and
Walter Panas High School Principal Joseph Spero

Dear Lakeland High School and Walter Panas High School Families:

Throughout this school year, students have worked diligently in their Advanced Placement courses. As we navigate through the uncharted events regarding COVID-19, we are working to keep everyone updated with the latest information and status of culminating exams. On March 20th CollegeBoard shared information regarding the administration of these exams.

Please carefully read the key points below:

- Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place.

- There will be two different testing dates for students to choose from.

- Those dates will be available near April 3rd.

- Tests will be 45 minutes in length and students will be able to take these streamlined exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option.

- Material assessed will only consist of the material taught up until March of 2020.

- Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.

- Should a student want to cancel their exam, they can do so with no penalty.

- Test security is also a concern which the College Board is addressing.

- The exam questions are designed and administered in ways that prevent cheating; we use a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software, to protect the integrity of the exams.

- Scoring at-home work for an AP Exam is not new to the AP Program. For years the AP Program has received and scored at-home student work as part of the exams for the AP Computer Science Principles and AP Capstone courses.

As we continue to receive information regarding these exams, we will support our students and families by providing the necessary information to assist in your decision making. As educational leaders will continuously provide the necessary information to guide making these academic decisions during this uncertain time.

To read the entire College Board memo, please visit:  https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates

Sincerely,                                                      Sincerely,
Chris Cummings                                           Joe Spero
Lakeland High School Principal                    Walter Panas High School Principal


Posted March 19, 2020
Message from Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Gagliardi

Dear Lakeland Families,

During the time that our schools are closed, LCSD is committed to providing continuity of learning for our students. Given the nature of the challenges our country is currently facing, we think it is important that our students maintain relationships with their teachers, their schools, with one another, and with their families. As always, we are committed to the academic, physical, and mental health of our students.

Our aspiration with continuity of academic instruction would be consistent with our high expectations for our learning community. Our commitment is that teachers will make every effort to provide students with activities that are relevant, authentic, and engaging. It is not our expectation, however, that the continuity of academic instruction can be the same as classroom learning. We ask all our families to understand that this model is new for us, there will be initial glitches, and our skills will grow with time. In light of our commitment to the social emotional wellness of our students, we do not believe in a model that has students in front of screens for the length of a regular school day. Teachers will be in touch with their students on a daily basis, providing learning activities, checking-in, and answering questions.

The continuity of instruction began on March 18 and will continue every school day for as long as our schools are closed. Depending on the length of the closure, it is likely that the models our teachers use will evolve. As we continue to think through how best to provide learning for our students in these most unusual times, some of the guidelines in this document may change, as well. Be assured that we will communicate with you if and when there are any such changes.

Please remember that nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students, staff, and the broader community. With that in mind, I encourage all to find time for self and family. Do not let school work, or any single activity, become all-consuming. Seek the healthiest balance in life as we continue to deal with many unknowns.

We hope the information will be helpful to our students and our families. Please never hesitate to reach out to us with your questions.

With sincere regards,
Dr. Karen Gagliardi
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction


Posted March 19, 2020
Resources

NYC Dept. of Health: Coping with stress during an infectious disease outbreak
NYS: Protect yourself from COVID-19 and stop the spread of germs (English/Spanish info-graphic)

 

State Education Department Issues Updated Guidance to Schools Regarding Novel Coronavirus During Statewide School Closure http://www.nysed.gov/news/2020/state-education-department-issues-updated-guidance-schools-regarding-novel-coronavirus

CDC's Get your home ready
  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html

Talking to your Children
NASP Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource

CDC’s dedicated 2019-nCoV website at https://www.cdc.gov/nCoV


NYSDOH’s dedicated 2019-nCoV website ahttps://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/ 

NYSDOH directory of local health departments  https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/

Facts About Coronavirus


Stop the Spread of Germs

Talking With Kids About COVID-19


Posted March 18, 2020

Dear Families of Students with Disabilities,

Please be advised that all CSE meetings previously scheduled for the remaining days in March have been canceled. In the event that you received an invitation, please disregard as all meetings will be rescheduled for future dates. Invitations for rescheduled meetings will be sent as dates become available. We anticipate resuming meetings beginning March 31, 2020 via video/phone conferencing. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we navigate through these unprecedented times.

Be well,
Steve Rappleyea, Psy.D., C.A.S.
Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services
Lakeland Central School District

Posted March 18, 2020

Parent Guide to Google Classroom

During the closure of schools, your child's teachers are using Google Classroom to share assignments, homework, and much more with your child. This guide will help you understand the tool and be able to assist your child, if necessary.
 
Parent Guide to Google Classroom (PDF)

Posted March 17, 2020
Lakeland Central School District Pupil Personnel Resources

A repository for resources for your child as we await schools' re-opening.
http://www.livebinders.com/b/2643001


Posted  March 16, 2020
LAKELAND’S FOODSERVICE DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE MEALS FOR NEEDY FAMILIES DURING SCHOOL CLOSURE:

The Lakeland CSD Food Service Department will begin serving meals to needy families tomorrow, March 17th through a pickup service at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School.

A cold breakfast and lunch will be available for the district’s children ages 18 or younger.  These families will be provided meals free of charge.  Breakfast will consist of a bagel, cereal, milk, juice, and fruit.  Lunch will consist of a deli sandwich, milk, juice, fruit, and vegetable. 

Meals will be distributed through a pickup service at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  We are asking that parents register for this meal pickup service so we can adequately supply the meals necessary to meet the needs of our community.  Additional sites/services may be offered following the evaluation of community need.  Go to the following link to register. https://forms.gle/5nCycKXnZZhRNfU78 The link will also be on the district website at www.lakelandschools.org.  If you don’t have access to the internet, you can call or text Janet Hernandez at 914-260-9383 to register by phone. 

BE SURE TO CALL 914-260-9383 BEFORE MEAL PICK UP TO NOTIFY US OF ANY FOOD ALLERGIES.

 If you have any questions, or need additional information, please email temporarymealservice@lakelandschools.org.  Thank you.


Posted March 16, 2020
School Schedule for Pick Up of Chromebooks and Musical Instruments

On Wednesday, March 18, 2002, students may pick up their Chromebook and/or musical instrument at their school. Please follow the schedule below:

Lakeland High School – 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Walter Panas High School – 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School
  Grade 6 – 11:00 AM to 12 noon
  Grade 7 – 12 noon to 1:00 PM
  Grade 8 – 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
*Parents with more than one child at the middle school can choose a time frame.

Benjamin Franklin Elementary School – 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
George Washington Elementary School – 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Lincoln-Titus Elementary School – 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School – 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Van Cortlandtville Elementary School – 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM


Posted March 12, 2020
Lakeland Central School District has been in contact with the College Board regarding the cancellation of the SAT test at Walter Panas High School on Saturday, March 14. The College Board will contact families about rescheduling or refunds.


Posted March 11, 2020
Saturday March 14's SAT exam at Walter Panas High School has been canceled. We are discussing possible alternative dates


Posted March 11, 2020
A MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT DR. GEORGE STONE

Dear Lakeland Community:

As we await further testing of COVID-19 exposures, I need to inform you that again “out of an abundance of caution,” all Lakeland Schools will remain closed tomorrow, Thursday, March 12, 2020. Friday, March 13, will remain a Superintendent’s Conference Day, however, our teachers will be working from home, and all after school and other activities will be canceled at least through this weekend. We are also trying to identify an alternate location for Saturday (March 14) SAT Exams scheduled for Walter Panas, and will update you as we can.

To bring you up to speed on the COVID-19 health issues, we are diligently trying to get further testing completed for family members of an individual in the community who has tested positive. Our Chief Medical Officer advises that due to the time that has elapsed in identifying the positive result and the fact that we are still awaiting further testing, we need to take these precautionary measures.

As I have noted earlier, we are in communication with County and State Health Officials, the State Department of Education, and the Governor’s Office. Our Yorktown Supervisor Matthew Slater has been extremely helpful in making necessary emergency contacts as we seek immediate action.

We appreciate the cooperation and support of our community as we try and work through this. Should the new tests come back negative, we could reopen shortly. Should the new tests be positive, we may be looking at an extended closing. These decisions will ultimately be made with direction from Westchester County and State Health Departments.

Regardless, keep washing your hands and face, avoid others with flu-like symptoms, and if you are experiencing symptoms please seek medical assistance.

We will continue to keep you updated as new information arises.

Dr. George Stone, Superintendent


Posted March 10, 2020
Out of an abundance of caution, all Lakeland Schools will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. While we do not have a confirmed case in our district (student or staff), we have been advised to close because of a direct connection. While we are closed tomorrow, we will be scrubbing and sanitizing all buildings and all buses. Hopefully, we will be able to reopen shortly. I will provide more details as I have them tomorrow.
George Stone, Superintendent


Posted March 10, 2020
From the Superintendent:  COVID-19 Lakeland Updates

In a meeting yesterday with the County Executive, we learned that the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and NY State Department of Education (NYSED) would issue guidelines for school districts. The County Health Department would assist and make recommendations, but official guidance would come from the State. Later in the day, we learned the following:

If we have a confirmed case of COVID-19, the school will be required to close for an initial 24 hour period, to begin an investigation to determine the contacts that person may have had in the school. The investigation will determine any further closing or quarantines recommended by the local health department. During that initial 24 hour period, the school will clean and disinfect the building. Again the closure is required one day but maybe longer if the County recommends, and the State agrees.

Currently, we have members of the school community who have been tested, but as of this morning, we still have no confirmed cases. If and when we do have a confirmed case, that school community will be notified through all means necessary, including an all-call to inform of the initial closure.

We understand that emergency closures are a major disruption to working families, but we want you to know these closures will be required by the State, and we will, of course, comply, clean and disinfect.

I have been asked about the cleaning of buses. We have been scrubbing buses a number of times each week. With the new disinfecting machines arriving, we will be able to disinfect the entire fleet every day in a matter of a few hours.

If a student or staff member comes to school and is exhibiting flu-like symptoms or becomes ill during the school day, they will be isolated and sent home as soon as a contact person arrives. The County and State Health Departments will be notified for follow up and testing.

We appreciate the cooperation of our school community and how members have contacted us for voluntary quarantine and management of their condition. I also want to give a major deal of gratitude to our District Physician, Head Nurse, and nurses in all buildings for their hard work, professionalism, and commitment to our health and safety. We are blessed to have such amazing people, and they have been in contact around the clock every day.

I now have daily morning briefings from the County, and I will continue to keep you updated as I receive additional information. Thank you, and have a great day.

Dr. George Stone, Superintendent


Posted March 9, 2020
Please disregard any rumors you are hearing or reading regarding the COVID-19/ coronavirus at Walter Panas High School this morning (March 9). They are false. Any updates will come directly from the school or district. Thank you.


Posted March 9, 2020
Superintendent Dr. Stone: Update COVID-19 

Lakeland Community:
 
I know everyone is hoping for a perfect answer to the growing concerns about the , and unfortunately, there is not. With all situations we face and decisions that need to be made, we continue to place the health and safety of everyone as our number one priority, balanced with a common sense approach that won’t force us to act or react out of fear of the unknown. While COVID-19 is a serious public health threat, I listened to a panel of virus experts most of the day Sunday that indicated this may affect our public in very much the same way as other strains of influenza, and we should do our best to remain calm.
 
I am in constant communication daily with our Head Nurse, our District Physician, our Director of Facilities, our regional superintendents, the local and state health departments, State Education and the Governor’s representatives. Friday, I had two conferences, yesterday another conference was held, and this morning I am attending another conference with county and state officials.

Decisions to be made regarding the testing or quarantine of students and their family members continues to be guided by the county and state health departments. Should positive test cases arise and we are advised to close, the health departments will assess the risks and determine whether we should close just an individual school site or the entire district. All of these recommendations are based upon their guidelines for the spread of this infection, and the proximity between exposures.
 
I have been asked about cleaning and sanitizing. Our facilities staff have been directed to clean and sanitize all areas daily and on weekends. As you can imagine, cleaning supplies are being ordered repeatedly to help ensure supply, and we have purchased large sanitizing machines that can do all areas of the schools very quickly using the best, most state of the art cleaning products available. With all of that being implemented, it won’t stop direct close contact between individuals, and as we have seen in other areas, the need to close may still arise. Whether we are to remain closed for an extended quarantine period, or only a few days for cleaning and sanitizing, those decisions again, will be guided by the health departments and our District Physician.
 
Should we be forced to close, our curriculum, instruction, and technology departments have been working with teachers to establish communication between the home and school. While we will not be able to provide daily lesson plans for every class, teachers will be able to provide general objectives or assignments, challenge problems, and direct students to practice and enrichment websites. I know parents of students with special needs are particularly concerned, and here again, staff will be in communication as well.
 
As you have seen we are selectively postponing large group events. The reason we have not postponed all events is to allow small groups such as teams practicing, or clubs that may want to meet to continue for the time being. Spending some time with friends or a small group may help reduce the anxiety, stress or fear that our young people are most likely experiencing. Hopefully, we can help them to understand that this is another influenza that one day shall pass and we will all return to normalcy.
 
Please know we are monitoring questions, concerns, and situations continually every day. As we get new information, you will get new information. Once again, I urge everyone to try and remain calm. These complicated matters require all of us to work collectively, and as I have come to learn over the years, the Lakeland community will pull together in tough times, offer help in any way necessary, and get through this together.
 
George Stone, Superintendent
 

Posted March 8, 2020
Tomorrow, Monday, March 9, 2020, we will provide the school community with updated information on COVID-19/Coronavirus. We clean and sanitize our schools daily. We have no confirmed cases and will be open tomorrow. Our updates will be informational in nature.


Posted March 6, 2020
Rumors are circulating about a Coronavirus case in Lakeland Central School District. These are false. There is no confirmed cases in our District and no students have been quarantined.

George Stone, Superintendent


Posted March 2, 2020
Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Guidance and Resources 
A new coronavirus called 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first found in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This virus had not been found in humans before. This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and trouble breathing or shortness of breath. There are thousands of diagnosed cases in China and new cases being diagnosed in a number of countries including the United States. 

What do we know? 
Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this new virus, so that we can better understand how it spreads and causes illness. The CDC considers this virus to be a serious public health concern. Based on current information the CDC recommends avoiding travel to China. Updated travel information related to 2019-nCoV can be found at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-china 

How Does 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus Spread? 
Health experts believe the virus probably spreads from animals to humans and from person to person. It’s not clear yet how easily the virus spreads from person-to-person. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) is not currently a concern for the general public and is not actively circulating among New Yorkers at this time. Therefore, there is no need to cancel school or social events, and there is no need for students or school staff to wear surgical masks at school. 

Prevention 
There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including 2019-nCoV: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • 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 mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all travel to China.

Symptoms 
Information to date suggests that 2019-nCoV causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. 

Are visitors from China being screened? 
Yes, as of February 2nd new screening protocols are conducted for individuals entering the US from China at designated airports. PreK-12 schools may have students who attend school and have traveled to various areas in Asia, including China. Students should not be excluded from school or any school activities based on race, country of origin, or recent travel (or a family member’s recent travel), including to any part of China. Schools may only exclude a student if a local health department informs the school that a student must comply with a quarantine order or the student is symptomatic of a communicable or infectious disease pursuant to Education Law §906. 

Important Health Information for Those Who Have Recently Traveled to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and Experience Symptoms 

If you recently traveled to Wuhan, China and feel sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing; OR you develop symptoms within 14 days of traveling there, you should: 

  • Seek medical care right away. Call ahead and tell them about your travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Contact your local health department.

This is an emerging, rapidly changing situation. For questions please contact your local department of health or the NYS DOH Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065. 

We encourage you to keep up to date about 2019-nCoV, its treatment and prevention by visiting the following websites: 

Additional Resources

NASP Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource

CDC’s dedicated 2019-nCoV website at https://www.cdc.gov/nCoV

NYSDOH’s dedicated 2019-nCoV website at https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/ 

NYSDOH directory of local health departments  https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/


Posted February 28, 2020
Lakeland Schools COVID-19 Virus Update

We are all trying to learn as much as we can about the Covit 19/ Corona virus outbreak and its potential impact on our school and family lives.
 
We will be providing weekly updates on what we are learning from the Department of Health, Department of Mental Health, the CDC and other authorities.
 
Yesterday we participated in a webinar sponsored by the Department of Health for a formal briefing. The Department of Health describes the current status of the Covit 19/ Corona virus outbreak as in a person to person transmission status where the focus is on containment. This focus means health officials are working to detect, track, and isolate cases.
 
The webinar also focused on the impact of the outbreak on the healthcare system and its capacity to address the crisis should the spread of the disease change from a person to person transmission to a community wide transmission. The experts on the webinar emphasized that this is a dynamic situation with the CDC issuing updates multiple times a day.
 
As with SARS, MRSA and H1N1 outbreaks, all decisions regarding public health will be made by the Department of Health, guided by the CDC. The clear advice from health officials is a firm recommendation that if you feel sick, stay home.
 
These links below are recommended for the latest updates.
 
CDC
 
NY Department of Health
All of us are being bombarded in our various news feeds with stories, advice and commentary on the seriousness of this Covit 19/ Corona virus outbreak. I found the following advice issued by NPR a few days ago to be a very helpful, plain language set of recommendations for people and their families as we enter the next couple of weeks.
 

Posted February 27, 2020
Concerns Over Viral Illnesses Circulating Throughout the World

We know there are concerns over the many viral illnesses circulating throughout the world. While influenza continues to be the most prevalent viral illness locally, the fears of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) are certainly understandable.  

At this time, there are no confirmed cases in the region. However, the district has communication with our District’s Medical Director, the Westchester and Putnam County Departments of Health, and the New York State Department of Health to ensure that we have the latest information and guidance on illnesses that could potentially affect our schools. We strictly follow the guidance that each entity provides to us so that we may create the safest and healthiest environment possible for our students.     

As a school district, we have taken some of the most proactive and thorough measures to combat the flu and other viral illnesses. These measures are proactively enacted each year around the beginning of the influenza season in our district to minimize the impact of the flu and other viral illnesses on our school community. 

Recently, the district purchased high-tech disinfecting machines to helps us disinfect in all areas of the school buildings.

  • All of our classrooms, offices, large-group spaces, the nurse’s office, and bathrooms of our schools are disinfected nightly. We will continue to do this.
  • Student daily attendance is being monitored, by homeroom and school, to determine if additional disinfection resources need to be deployed.

After a rise in absences in early February, across all of our schools, our attendance data have returned to more modest and normal levels.   

We are pleased to be able to provide this most stringent disinfection schedule to our students and staff in a safe and cost-effective manner; however, the effectiveness of our efforts is maximized when we have full cooperation from our parent community. 

We ask that if your child is ill with a fever and/or cough, the child stays out of school. The child should remain home until fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.  

We want to remind our school community about the importance of thorough handwashing with soap and water.  They universally agreed that thorough hand washing was the most effective step to curtail the spread of viral illnesses. 

Always know that the health and safety of our students and staff is and will always be our highest priority. We will continue to provide the most comprehensive cleaning and disinfection schedule, and we will promptly communicate any additional relevant information that we learn.

Resources
NYS Department of Health-https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/ 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Lakeland Central School District Website - Health Updates and Notices  (Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Guidance and Resources)-http://www.lakelandschools.org/district/health_and_safety/health_updates_and_notices.php