Coronavirus - Important Updates and Information

  • *Please scroll down for important resources and links*

    3/5/20 -
     Recently, a new coronavirus called 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China that has not been previously found in humans. This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are thousands of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside of Wuhan. Additional cases are being identified in a growing number of countries, including the United States.

    At this time, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oneida County. The risk to residents and students remains low.

    The following resources with more information are included below:

    -A Guide for Parents
    -A Guide for Schools
    -District Action Plan (as of March 10, 2020)
    -Pandemic Checklist for School Administrators
    -Helpful Reminders to Stop the Spread of Germs

    Health officials are encouraging school districts to identify strategies and develop a plan to prevent and/or limit the spread of coronavirus. Westmoreland's plan was developed by members of the administrative and safety teams. The spread of coronavirus is an evolving situation, and as more information and research becomes available, the plan may be revised. Updates to the district's plan will be communicated on this page.

    Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the district office at (315) 557-2614.

    3/10/20 - On Monday, March 9, the New York State Education Department (SED) issued new guidance concerning efforts to prevent and/or limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, the district updated its action plan to reflect SED’s latest recommendations.

    The majority of our plan is the same, however, it now includes a mandate from New York State that a school must close for a minimum of 24 hours if a student or staff member attended school prior to being confirmed as a COVID-19 case. In such an event, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) would begin an investigation to determine the contacts the individual may have had within the school environment. That investigation will inform the plan determined by the local department of health as to any further required closure, or other necessary precautions to take for specific classrooms, or for specific individuals. Such plan must recommend actions for future positive COVID-19 cases as well.

    At this time, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oneida County. With that said, this remains a very fluid situation, and we will continue to communicate new information to you as soon as it becomes available.

    3/13/20 - On Thursday, March 12, state officials announced there is a positively confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Herkimer County. As a result, the Westmoreland Central School District has moved to “Level 3 Threat” procedures, as described in our action plan.

    The biggest change from “Level 2” to “Level 3” is the suspension of outside organizations using district facilities, as this will provide staff with the ability to better clean and disinfect each evening. Additionally, the district will now suspend, cancel or postpone activities that consist of large crowds to prevent and/or limit the spread of COVID-19. The district will attempt to reschedule as many activities as possible, and new dates/times will be communicated to you.

    At this time, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oneida County. With that said, this remains a very fluid situation, and we will continue to communicate new information to you as soon as it becomes available.

    To view the district’s updated action plan, click here.

    3/13/20 - School Closed Until April 14

    In communication with the New York State Department of Health, and in coordination with Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr., Oneida-Herkimer-Madison (OHM) BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patricia N. Kilburn and the superintendents of the OHM BOCES component districts, including Westmoreland, made a collective decision to cancel school and extracurricular activities beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, with schools re-opening on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus for students, staff and communities at large.

    As this situation evolves, we will continue to work with the New York State Department of Health and the Oneida County Executive’s Office, and will provide updates as they become available.

    Click here for a full statement from Oneida County Executive Picente, OHM BOCES and important COVID-19 information/resources.

    3/16/20 - 

    Parents/Guardians:

    The following is a written recap of my automated telephone call to you on Monday, March 16, at approximately 8:30 AM, concerning the closure of school due to COVID-19 and our efforts to ensure learning continues and essential services remain available.

    Importance of School Closure – Everyone Plays a Role

    Public schools in Oneida County are closed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. It is important that everyone takes the closure of school seriously – we all play a role in preventing the spread of the virus. If we treat the closure of school as a vacation or snow day, we are defeating the purpose of the closure. Remember to take these simple steps:

    ·       Practice social distancing.

    ·       If you are not feeling well, stay home. If you think you require medical attention, contact your doctor first before going to your doctor’s office, urgent care or the emergency room, as you could potentially infect others.

    ·       Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    ·       Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

    ·       Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

    ·       Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    ·       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer.

    Learning Expectations

    It is my expectation that during the closure of school, staff will be working from home and students will be learning from home. In addition to instruction that is already occurring between students and teachers, by the end of today, there will be a special “online learning” section on the school website with more information and resources. Check this section frequently for updates. We are working hard to make instruction and discussions between students and teachers as interactive as possible. Since this is a “new” way of learning, I kindly ask for your patience as we work through some kinks and make adjustments.

    Once “live,” the “online learning” section on the school website can be accessed by going to the district homepage -> departments -> online learning. There will also be a large banner on the district homepage directly linked to the “online learning” section.

    For assistance with any technology-related issues, please email techsupport@westmorelandschool.org.

    Breakfast and Lunch

    The district will begin offering bagged meals to currently enrolled students, including Pre-K students, on Tuesday, March 17. Bagged meals will include lunch and the next day’s breakfast.

    Distribution will occur Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the back entrance of the Primary Elementary School cafeteria – pick-up only. Meals can be picked up by students or parents. You may take more than one meal, especially if you are picking up meals for others.

    If you cannot make it to the pick-up site on a daily basis, the district will deliver meals to your home. To sign up for delivery, please call (315) 557-2614 or (315) 557-2658 or email jwatson@westmorelandschool.org or mhawkins@westmorelandschool.org by the end of today, March 16.

    Importantly – if meals are being delivered to your home and someone in your household is either ill or in self-quarantine, please place a note on your door stating so. In such an event, and in order to protect the health of all, meals will be placed in front of the entrance to your home.

    Second Phone Call

    I will be sending another automated call to parents/guardians at some point this afternoon. In the meantime, district offices are staffed today, so do not hesitate to call me or another administrator should you need assistance.

    To our students – remember, school is still in session. It is important that you keep as normal of a schedule as possible, as if you were physically in school.

    Please stay healthy.

    Rocco Migliori
    Superintendent of Schools

    3/20/20 -

    Parents/Guardians:

    During this current health crisis, you may be considered an essential employee who is still required to work.

    Child care placement may be available to essential employees who are first responders and who work in health care, grocery stores, transportation, some construction fields, certain non-profit agencies and in food or supply distribution fields.

    If you believe that you may qualify, please call the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Child Care Resource Center at (315) 223-7850, extension 222.

    Thank you to all essential personnel who continue to support our community's safety and health.

    Please be safe, and whenever possible, stay at home.

    Rocco Migliori
    Superintendent of Schools

    4/6/20 - School Closed Until April 29

    Due to the continued threat from the COVID-19 pandemic, on Monday, April 6, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that schools across the state will remain closed for an additional two weeks, until April 29, 2020.