COVID-19

Last updated April 12 at 12:21PM

 

This webpage is being maintained for the purpose of communicating important updates and information regarding COVID-19. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans.

The virus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, pneumonia. 
 
 
Due to the latest orders from the Governor, we are updating plans for meal distribution to provide families with multiple days' worth of meals at one time. This allows us to limit the contact between staff and volunteers and alleviate the need for families to venture out more often. Please check back for updated information.

Budget Votes

 

Executive Order 202.26 extended the school closure through the end of the school year and established that the annual school budget vote and Board of Education elections will be held via mail-in absentee ballot only.

 

Per the executive order, all residents will receive a postcard notification in the mail this week or next, letting them know about the voting requirements about the deadline for submission. 

 

Qualified Voter: 
A person shall be entitled to vote in the School District’s 2020 Annual Meeting and Election, who is:
1. A citizen of the United States;
2. Eighteen years of age or older;
3. A resident within the School District
for a period of thirty days next preceding
June 9, 2020; and
4. No person shall have the right to register for or
vote who would not be qualified to register for
or vote at an election in accordance with the
provisions of section 5-106 of the Election Law.
 
Ballots must be received by the district clerk before 5:00PM on June 9th. 
 
If you believe you should have received a ballot but did not, please contact the district clerk. ​

Special Thanks

 
We are receiving a lot of donations of bags to support our free meal distribution across the county. We would like to thank the following people for their donations:
 
  • Potsdam Walmart
  • Save a Lot 
  • Bessette’s Liquor and Wine
  • Beth Fields from Grandpa’s Sprouts
  • Kinney Drugs
  • Glazier’s
  • Merrimans
  • Victory Promotions
  • St. Lawrence Supply
  • North Country Auto/Canton Tire
  • Five Guys
  • Tractor Supply
  • Ogdensburg Pepsi
 
Canton-Potsdam Hospital also sent us a generous donation of gloves and goggles for our food service workers. 

Free Meal Information Flyers

Childcare Available

St. Lawrence Child Care Council
315-393-6474
 

The St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES is coordinating with all 18 component school districts to provide access to families of first responders and healthcare workers. Essential healthcare workers may include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, LPNs, nurse assistants, or lab personnel. First responders may include paramedics, EMTs, police officers, and firefighters. 


If you are a healthcare worker or first responder in need of child care services, please email childcare@sllboces.org, or call the main office at 315-562-8130 and leave a message. 


Surveys:


If you are a parent or caregiver who needs child care, please complete this parent need for child care survey. Based on the information you provide about your job, employer, number of children, and financial need, OCFS may be able to help you find the child program you need. It may be a challenge to find child care due to COVID-19 related program closures, however the staff at OCFS are trying their best to support families to find the high quality child care that they need.

 

OCFS is collecting information from licensed and registered child care providers to find out whether they have openings in their child care program, and if they have the capacity and desire to serve more children than their established capacity. Providers who have slots available in their program are asked to complete this survey every Wednesday. OCFS will share this information with stakeholders including the local child care resource and referral agencies to help connect parents in need of child care with available slots in their community.

 
 
 

Due to the State of Emergency declared by the St. Lawrence County Board of Directors, and in consultation with St. Lawrence County and St. Lawrence Public Health, the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and its 18 school districts have made a unanimous decision to close school immediately until at least April 20th. The districts, in collaboration with Public Health, will reevaluate the return of staff and students prior to the 20th to determine whether or not it is safe to return. 


On Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18, the districts will be closed so that custodial and maintenance staff can disinfect the buildings. 


Thursday, March 19, and Friday, March 20,  all faculty and staff should report at usual time and location to discuss planning moving forward. 


Beginning Monday, March 23rd, districts will provide breakfast and lunch to students aged 18 and under. Details about the process and procedures for food distribution will be forthcoming.


This decision is a purely preemptive measure to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in our community. As of March 14 at the time of this writing, there are no confirmed cases in St. Lawrence County. However, the Department of Public Health has advised that the best action the districts can take to prevent the spread of this illness in our community is to limit social interaction. 


“The County, BOCES, and superintendents of our 18 school districts did not arrive at this decision lightly or without much deliberation and advisement by our partners in Public Health,” said District Superintendent Thomas Burns. “We are working diligently to provide answers to the many questions we know our parents, staff, and community will have. We are establishing plans and procedures to address concerns about continuing instruction. The districts will have those answers in the coming days.”

 
 

What is BOCES doing to prepare?

St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and our 18 component districts are working closely with the St. Lawrence County Department of Health and following all guidance by the New York State Department of Education and NYS Department of Health, as well as recommendations by the CDC.

 

Although St. Lawrence County is geographically large, our districts’ reliance on shared services preclude isolation from their neighbors. Therefore, the BOCES and all 18 component districts are working together to ensure the healthy and safety of all students and staff across the county.

 

Maintenance staff are taking extra precautions to prevent illness from spreading by cleaning and disinfecting classrooms and surfaces according to clear and specific guidance released last week by the NYS Department of Health NYSED.

 

The BOCES and districts all have District Wide Safety Plans in place, which include provisions for infectious disease. Districts and BOCES are all currently taking steps to update these plans to address specific responses to a potential Coronavirus outbreak.

 

We are currently examining options for online learning should a closure occur. We are still in the information gathering stage and details have yet to be determined. We have developed a webpage with resources for educators in the event of a closure, linked below.

 

https://sites.google.com/sllboces.org/educating-at-a-distance/home?authuser=0

 

Closure Guidance

At this point, decisions to cancel certain travel plans, large group gatherings and events are being made on a case-by-case basis. A listing of currently canceled events among our districts is posted below. We anticipate clear directives from the SLC DOH on these types of events moving forward.

 

The BOCES and its districts will follow directives from the NYSED and NYDOH on closures:

-If a case is detected in a school, the school will immediately close for a 24 hour period for disinfecting and investigation into the contacts among staff and students.

-The decision to close will come from the DOH, and not the district.

-If an investigation determines that there was widespread contact within the school, the school will close for a 14 day period.

 

 

 

Prevention

The new coronavirus spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
 
Our goal is to limit our chances of an outbreak of illness in our schools, and the best way to do that is by encouraging everyone to follow the CDC's recommendations to wash their hands frequently, cover their cough using a tissue and disposing of the tissue immediately, and to stay home when sick.
 
 
 

Downloadable Posters from the CDC

All Adult Education Literacy Information Sessions for all locations are suspended until May 1 interested students may contact Alex Pacific at 518-481-7131 to learn about options to register until then.

All TASC Readiness Exam sessions for all locations are suspended until May 1