While classes are cancelled and offices are closed due to coronavirus precautions, we are listing important information and resources for families on this page. Find useful state and county contact information, including the COVID-19 hotline on this flyer.

Update Letter 4/1/2020

Plan for Curriculum, Instruction and Grading during school district closure

During this unprecedented time, ongoing learning remains essential for our students as the foundation for their academic and post-secondary future. The shift to learning from home is how we can continue to support our students in their K-12 education.

While continued learning is essential, the approaches we take must account for the varied realities of our students in order to ensure equity in opportunities and outcomes as a vital charge of our work and actions. Read our plan here.

Meals available for students

Students who qualify for free and reduced meals will have breakfast and lunch automatically delivered by the Berlin Central School District. These meals will be delivered on Mondays and Wednesdays by BCSD’s transportation department.

Delivery will begin Wednesday, March 18th between 10 am and 12 pm and will include lunch for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and breakfast for Thursday and Friday.  Parents and/or students will need to be available at their normal school bus pickup location.

More information on meals is available here.

Childcare for first responders and “essential” workers

The Capital District YMCA has extended care to cover “essential” workers. In addition to licensed health professionals, there are many other “essential” workers. For the complete list, please check here. Financial assistance is available – no family will be turned away from this program. This resource is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please read the notice from the YMCA for more information.

Brightside Up, Inc. is dedicated to providing resources to the community in order to improve the availability and quality of child care and to assist families in finding child care. As the local child care resource and referral agency (CCR&R) for New York’s Capital Region since 1989, Brightside Up provides these resources to Rensselaer County. Contact 518-426-7181 x306 & x315 if you are a first responder and need child care during the COVID-19 emergency.  The capacity – per openings available – at this time they do not believe they will turn away any children. Ages 0-12.

Grades 3-8 assessments suspended

New York State has suspended the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math assessments this school year. Regents exams are not affected at this time.

Contacting counseling staff while classes are cancelled

In light of recent events and the cancellation of classes, we wanted to ensure our students and our families can continue to access our staff in the counseling office, pupil personnel services office, the social worker and the student assistance counselor. We will be available to all students and families via Schoology, as well as our phone extensions at the school and email.

Read a letter from the counseling staff here.

Schoology tutorial for parents 

Watch a short video on our website from Mr. Ellis showing how to find and submit items in Schoology

Companies offering free/discounted internet access

Many internet providers are assisting in this time of need. Here is some information on these providers:

To take up Spectrum’s offer:

  • You must be a household with a student enrolled in a K-12 school or college
  • Call 844-488-8395; Installation fees will be waived for eligible households

To take up Comcast’s offer:

  • Be an eligible “qualified low-income household”
  • Go to InternetEssentials.com or call 855-846-8376; All new customers will receive “a free self-install kit” with no shipping fee

Consolidated Communications (formerly Fairpoint) is offering 2 months of free internet as well now! Call 844-968-7224 to schedule new service!

AT&T

AT&T is waiving data overage fees to all customers so that families and students can stay connected during the pandemic. The company is promising not to terminate the service of any customer over the next 60 days.

All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program.

Verizon

Verizon’s said its networks are designed and built to meet future demand and are ready should demand increase or usage patterns change significantly.

In addition, Verizon announced that it is increasing its capital guidance range from $17 – $18 billion to $17.5 – $18.5 billion in 2020. This effort will accelerate Verizon’s transition to 5G and help support the economy during this period of disruption.

Verizon said it will waive any late fees and not terminate any service for the next 60 days.

*All Local Libraries should have reliable WiFi during this time as well.

CVS offering medication delivery

CVS offers free delivery of many medications through the US Postal Service. Go to www.cvs.com and create an account using a credit card or debit card.  The pharmacy will mail medications that are not psychotropic or do not require refrigeration through the postal service and you will receive them within 2 business days.

Preventative measures for families

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an excellent website with preventative measures.

Here are some basic guidelines.

  • Encourage your family to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is the top recommendation by the NYS Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Throw away tissues after use and wash hands with soap and water.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, including cell phones