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Chatham schools have no remote learning option this year

Sep 01, 2021 1:55 pm

Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge reports for Columbia-Greene Media that with the Delta variant of COVID-19 driving up case counts and deaths locally and nationally, Chatham students are being forced back into classrooms Sept. 9 without a remote learning option. “Our focus this year is on in-person learning,” Chatham Superintendent Salvatore DeAngelo said. “We are prepared to make temporary shifts to remote instruction should the situation require us to do so. All of tonight’s information and our plan was created in accordance with the recommendations and guidance from the New York State Education Department and the American Academy of Paediatrics as well as most recently the New York State Department of Health and certainly the CDC.” Columbia County announced 15 new COVID-19 cases Aug. 30, with 76 active cases. But while students in Chatham schools have no remote option to avoid infection, school officials sometimes don't want students in the building. “The bottom line is if your child is ill, running a fever or obviously having any of the COVID-related symptoms, the best course of action is to keep them home so that they can be properly evaluated and not run the risk of exposing them to other students,” DeAngelo said. “We are really relying on our parents to, in a lot of ways, provide a good-faith effort to keep their children home when they’re ill.” And Chatham schools are not following all CDC recommendations. “In our county we are not recognizing the CDC recommendation to test out early from a quarantine situation,” DeAngelo said. “So if a student is positive then they would have to serve the entire 10-day quarantine period.” They are also not following the CDC and letting high-risk athletes in football, volleyball, and cheerleading to continue against the health agency's recommendation. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.