Reopening Our Schools

To find the latest information about school reopening, please use the links below. Berlin CSD's top priorities are the health and safety of our students and staff and the academic and social emotional needs of our students.

Reopening Plan | Resources | Reopening Task Force | NYSED Guidelines

On Friday, May 1, Governor Cuomo announced that schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year and will continue to provide remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. A decision on summer school programming will be announced by the end of May. Plans for the reopening schools are now being considered by NYSED for approval by the Governor.

The Board of Regents also announced the cancellation of the June and August 2020 Regents Exams. More information is available here.

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.

Plan for Curriculum, Instruction and Grading during cancellation of classes

*UPDATE 4/24/2020*

Though we continue to receive guidance from both the Federal and State Education Departments, grading practices remain in the hands of local school districts. As an administrative team, we have met to discuss this issue. At this time it is critical that we are sensitive to ensuring that all students receive the best education possible under the current conditions. To that end, we have created a modified grading policy that addresses our assessment of students at the elementary level and our grading of students at the secondary level. This modification to grading strives to ensure equity for students to the greatest extent possible during these unprecedented times. Read our plan for grading for the remainder of the year here.

*UPDATE 4/3/2020*

Beginning Monday, April 6th, the Berlin Central School District will enact its plan for new learning.  In an attempt to provide the best guidance, we have compiled a single resource document for parents, students and teachers.  You can access this document here.  

*UPDATE 4/1/2020*

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

To avoid wasting food, if you know you will be unable to receive meals on delivery day, please call (518) 658-1500 x3018 and leave a message with the students names.

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.

To avoid purchasing unneeded items, we are working through our freezer and storeroom to provide meals. Therefore, not every meal will contain the same item.

On Monday, we will deliver breakfast and lunch for Monday and Tuesday and on Wednesday we will deliver breakfast and lunch for Wednesday, 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.

Resources from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

With the extended school closures happening throughout the United States, many States, districts, schools, parents, families, and students are having to learn in entirely new ways and facing challenges when it comes to learning during these unprecedented times. It is important to provide continuity of learning and growth for all children and youth, particularly those with disabilities. Visit this website for information, tools, and resources to help educators, parents and families, and related service providers meet the educational, behavioral, and emotional needs of children and youth with disabilities through remote and virtual learning.

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.

Administration of SAT (via collegeboard.org)

***UPDATE 5/5/2020***

If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, the College Board will provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new administration on September 26 and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5.

Students can register for these administrations starting in May. They will contact students directly during the week of May 26 to provide an exact date. Eligible students can register with a fee waiver.

For each administration, the College Board is preparing to significantly expand our capacity for students to take the SAT once schools reopen. We’re calling on our member schools and colleges, as well as local communities, to provide additional test center capacity so every student who wants to take the SAT can do so.

Students can get early access to register for August, September, and October if they’re:

  • Already registered for June
  • In the high school class of 2021 and don’t have SAT scores
  • Please use the College Board website or contact your school counselor with any questions.

***UPDATE 4/15/2020***

Right now, public health officials have made it clear it’s not safe to gather students in one place. Many U.S. states have closed schools for the rest of the academic year, and globally there are widespread school closures across 192 countries. As such, we won’t be able to administer the SAT® and SAT Subject Tests™ as planned on June 6, 2020.

We’re working hard to make the SAT available in school and out of school as soon as the public health situation allows. Students will have opportunities to take the SAT to make up for this spring’s lost administrations.
If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, we’ll provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5.

Students will be able to register for these administrations beginning in May. We’ll communicate directly with students when the exact date is available. Eligible students will be able to take the exam with a fee waiver. Students who were registered for June and those in the high school class of 2021 who don’t have SAT scores will have early access to registration for the August, September, and October administrations.

Grades 3-8 assessments and June Regents exams suspended.

New York State has suspended the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math assessments this school year and the June administration of the Regents exams.

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

Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family & Medical Leave

This flyer from the US Department of Labor explains changes to time off due to the coronavirus pandemic.