October 29, 2020

Dear Brunswick CSD Community:

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we navigate new territory this year. While I am thankful that we were able to get through almost two months of this school year without any major issues, I am sure that this new situation has left many families with questions. I'd like to take this time to share with you the information as we know it.

Here is what I can share with you all:

  • We have three positive cases:

    • One grade 11

    • One grade 6

    • One school bus driver

  • The District provided a list to the Rensselaer Co Department of Health of anyone that could have come in contact with the positive cases.

    • In the classroom, seating charts were used, as well as the instructional activity, to determine which students and staff might have been impacted.  

      • For example, if the class was in their seats the entire class, then it was just the people in the "circle" around them.

      • If the instructional plan called for movement, more people were considered to be a contact with the positive case.

    • In the case of exposure on the bus, all students on those bus runs were considered contacts because of the length of the ride.

  • Once Rensselaer County Department of Health had the list, they worked very hard to quickly communicate with the families of the contacts to confirm them as a contact.  

    • If a family was told that their student was a contact, they were directed to quarantine as a precaution.

    • Any contacts should have heard from Rensselaer Co. DOH by now.

  • A popular question is about who should get a test:

    • Only SYMPTOMATIC contacts should get tested.

      • A negative test will not shorten the quarantine. 

      • If a test is given, the person must quarantine until the appropriate information (a negative test result) is determined. 

    • Our nursing staff is serving as the contact tracers for asymptotic contacts at Tamarac. 

      • The purpose is to ensure that the contacts remain symptom free and healthy.

      • Once the quarantine period is over, the contact is free to return to school.

    • While I understand that this could make families nervous, guidance from health officials states that people who interact with asymptomatic contacts do not need to do anything. 

      • Minus the three positives in our district, the quarantines are all precautionary.

  • All members should continue to do the daily health screening so that we can ensure all members of our school community with any of the COVID symptoms do not expose others unknowingly. 

  • We have been working diligently to sanitize our entire school community.

    • We called for a special treatment of antimicrobial treatment in areas where the positives were known to be.

    • We have daily cleaning with a special emphasis on the touch surface areas. 

I know many of you are anxious for a return to school, both in person and hybrid. The current plan is to return to the regular schedule on Monday, November 2. This being said, I need to be very open and honest when sharing with you that anything could change in an instant. The biggest hurdle right now is having enough transportation staff to safely transport students to school. As previously mentioned in prior communications, we have been very thin on drivers this year and the COVID case has impacted the available transportation personnel. At this time, we have enough drivers to reopen for Monday.  Please continue to check the normal modes of communication (email, district website, and social media) for any changes, and kindly understand that we need to be able to shift quickly should any new developments arise.    

Please stay positive and reach out for support when you need it.  I truly recognize how challenging this has been, so please contact me or your building principals with questions and concerns. I am very proud of how our entire school community has shifted to remote learning so that our instruction could continue without missing a beat.

Please help me keep our schools open by following the guidance. I will always communicate any changes in the guidance to you all. Please stay vigilant about masks, social distancing and hand-washing. 

Even in our physical times apart, our Tamarac family is resilient when we work together. We are, and will forever be, Tamarac Strong.

All the best,