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Coronavirus Update March 13

Important Update from the Superintendent of Schools on the Closing of Schools & Support for Students to Learn From Home

Update: March 13, 2020

Dear Harrison Learning Community,

Although there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in our schools, the Harrison Central District is closing schools starting Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.  All after school activities and athletics events are canceled starting Friday, March 13. We are taking this precaution to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

The situation regarding the Coronavirus is changing rapidly. The Board of Education and I decided to close schools to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, and to slow the spread of infection not only in our schools but in the community at large. We have made this decision based on the most recent information available from state and local health officials and medical professionals. We kept schools open until now based on guidance from New York State that schools only could be closed in the event of a confirmed Coronavirus diagnosis. 

Our thinking changed yesterday when the Governor instituted a ban on gatherings of more than 500 people, though the ban explicitly excluded schools. The Board of Education and I believe that if prohibiting gatherings of more than 500 people is necessary to protect public health, then we must apply that same standard to our school community. Therefore, we decided to take the proactive step of closing schools in order to protect our learning community and their families from the potential of contracting or spreading the virus.

We have been preparing to respond to the possibility of closing schools, and our faculty is prepared to support student learning remotely. Teachers have designed lessons, assignments, and resources that can be accessed by students and parents through online learning platforms. Faculty and staff will report to work on Monday, March 16 to finalize plans for online learning.  Online learning will begin for students on Tuesday, March 17. While schools are closed, students are not permitted in school buildings. More information about remote learning can be accessed on our Learning from Home webpage.

We remain committed to protecting the health and welfare of your children.  We will monitor this rapidly changing situation and respond to new circumstances as they arise. We expect to re-open schools on Monday, March 30, and are hopeful that this situation does not impact spring break.  

We will continue to update you regularly as new information becomes available. You can find the latest information on the District’s Coronavirus webpage. Thank you for your continued understanding, support, and patience during this very trying time.

Louis N. Wool, Ed.D.