Pandemic closes Sachem Schools for Friday, March 13

ACROSS SACHEM, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — Sachem Schools are closed tomorrow, Friday, March 13, because of a confirmed case of coronavirus affecting a student's family.

In a written announcement made to the Sachem community and posted online shortly before 9 p.m. today, Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Graham wrote that the individual diagnosed with coronavirus has children who attend Chippewa Elementary School at 31 Morris Avenue in Holtsville.

Graham announced the following:

- All schools will be closed tomorrow, March 13.

- There will be no after-school activities tomorrow, March 13.

- There will be no events or other scheduled programs inside facilities or on school grounds on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15

- The SAT scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at Samoset Middle School in Lake Ronkonkoma is canceled. District administrators are working with the College Board to reschedule the exam.

- All large gatherings are canceled or postponed through April 17. This includes middle school musicals, high school musicals, large in-school events (i.e. St. Baldrick's) and Sports Night.

- All field trips are canceled through April 17.

- All facilities for community use and school groups that begin at 6:30 p.m. or later will not have access to the facilities through April 17.

- Indoor facilities will not be available on the weekends to any community groups. Community groups will still be able to utilize the outdoor facilities as requested; however, they will have no access to the interior of the buildings.

Graham's full letter, which was also posted to the district's website, follows below.


March 12, 2020

Dear Sachem Families and Staff,

This evening the Sachem School District received confirmation from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services that a community member has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19). This individual has children who attend Chippewa Elementary School. While current guidance states the district does not need to close schools at this time, out of an abundance of caution all schools, including after-school activities will be closed tomorrow, March 13, 2020. In addition, there will be NO events or other scheduled programs held in our facilities or on our grounds on Saturday, March 14th or Sunday, March 15th.

Though there is no specific knowledge of a student or staff member that has a confirmed case, all schools will be closed to conduct a more thorough investigation. Any future potential closures will be addressed and messaged to our community.

Our priority is the health and safety of those potentially impacted and we understand that this news will be concerning to many of our students and families. We will continue to work with the Suffolk County Department of Health throughout this situation. Additionally, our entire district will undergo a complete and thorough disinfection of all buildings to minimize the possibility of contamination in our instructional spaces, common spaces, offices, buses, etc.

Our school calendar includes 4 snow days. Tomorrow will be the first of these days utilized. Should the events associated with the coronavirus require the district to close any addition days past tomorrow, we will use the remainder of our snow days first. If we are closed for longer than 4 days, our teachers have prepared lessons that will be available online for our students. Specific instructions for accessing these lessons will follow from the individual school should the need arise.

Additionally, moving forward the following actions are being taken by the district:

  • All large gatherings will be canceled or postponed through April 17th. This includes the MS musicals, large in-school events (ie St. Baldricks), HS musicals and Sports Night.
  • All field trips are canceled through April 17th.
  • The SAT scheduled for this Saturday at Samoset is canceled. We are working with the College Board to reschedule.
  • All facilities for community use and school groups that begin at 6:30 p.m. or later will not have access to the facilities through April 17th.
  • Indoor facilities will not be available on the weekends to any community groups. Community groups will still be able to utilize the outdoor facilities as requested; however, they will have no access to the interior of the buildings.

We will make any determinations about events following this date in as timely a manner as possible. This will include a decision on the senior trip, which is scheduled for April 24-26.

All regularly scheduled Board meetings will still be held.

It is expected that the district will reopen on Monday, March 16th. Any changes to this plan will be communicated to our families. I will continue to keep you informed of new developments that affect our school community.

Sincerely,

Kenneth E. Graham, Superintendent of Schools


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