Due to the States of Emergency declared in Franklin and Essex Counties, and in consultation with those county’s public health officials, the Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES and its 10 component school districts have made a unanimous decision to close school immediately until at least April 20th. The districts, in collaboration with their respective Public Health offices, will reevaluate the return of staff and students prior to the 20th to determine whether or not it is safe to do so.
The decision to close schools was made as a preemptive measure to assist in limiting the spread of the virus. Although there are no reports of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any of our school communities as of March 15, the Department of Public Health recommends that the best action school districts can take to prevent the spread of this illness in our communities is to limit social interaction.
“The school leaders in our region take their responsibility to educate and protect our students very seriously and did not make this decision lightly.” Said District Superintendent, Dale Breault. “I am incredibly grateful for the collaboration that has occurred between the BOCES, our 10 component districts, three counties and their respective public health offices to reach consensus on the best course of action during this unprecedented event. The FEH BOCES and its component school districts have been working diligently in preparation for this possibility and are crafting individual messages to their school communities on how they plan to continue supporting instruction and other essential school services.”
Districts in the FEH BOCES region include:
St. Regis Falls
** EDIT ** 11:42 AM :: 03/15/2020
Only custodial and essential administrative staff will report to FEH locations tomorrow, March 16 so that additional cleaning, sanitizing and planning can be done.
All other 12-month employees should return to work on Tuesday, March 17, and instructional staff should report to work on Wednesday, March 18 so that planning can begin on how to provide instructional materials for our students during this extended closure. Additional work schedules have not yet been determined and will be developed as we learn more.
In the end, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be QUITE apparent if we under reacted, or did too little.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we deal with this unprecedented situation.