COVID-19/School Updates

bulldog with letters BKW

COVID-19 case reporting – May 9-13, 2022

The administration has been notified that one individual in the elementary school and three individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of May 9-13, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – May 2-6, 2022

The administration has been notified that 12 individuals in the elementary school and 11 individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of May 2-6, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – April 25-29, 2022

The administration has been notified that five individuals in the elementary school and none in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of April 25-29, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – April 4-8, 2022

The administration has been notified that one individual in the elementary school and none in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of April 4-8, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – March 28-April 1, 2022

The administration has been notified that one individual in the elementary school and none in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of March 28-April 1, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – March 21-25, 2022

The administration has been notified that one individual in the elementary school and none in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of March 21-25, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – March 14-18, 2022

The administration has been notified that three individuals in the elementary school and none in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of March 14-18, 2022.

Updated NYS health department COVID-19 guidance – March, 2022

Tthe statewide universal mask mandate for schools was lifted as of March 2, 2022. This means that the majority of students, staff and school visitors are no longer required to wear a mask in our school buildings or school buses. Although things continue to evolve, the BKW administrative team has reviewed recent guidance from the New York State Department of Health.  While the mask requirement has changed, the following health and safety protocols remain in place. VIEW FULL LETTER

No COVID-19 cases to report for week of March 7-11, 2022

The administration is pleased to report that no individuals in the elementary or secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of March 7-11, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – Feb. 28-March 4, 2022

The administration has been notified that one individual in the elementary school and none in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Feb. 28-March 4, 2022.

Mask mandate is lifted – Feb. 27, 2022

This afternoon, Governor Hochul announced that the statewide mask requirement in schools will be lifted on Wednesday, March 2. This means that students, school staff and visitors will no longer be required to wear face coverings or masks in any of our school buildings or on school buses. Mask wearing will continue to be optional. At BKW, we will no longer enforce the mask requirement beginning Monday, February 28. However, students or staff wishing to wear masks may do so. Any ridicule or criticism for doing so will not be tolerated. Read full message

Region’s superintendents call for health commissioner to act on masking – Feb. 26, 2022

As masking mandate recommendations evolve, the region’s school superintendents are working collectively to advocate for “normalcy.” The following letter has been sent to the New York State Commissioner of Health on behalf of school superintendents in the Capital Region BOCES region. Read the letter

COVID-19 case reporting – Feb. 14-18, 2022

The administration has been notified that four individuals in the elementary school and two individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Feb. 14-18, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – Feb. 7-11, 2022

The administration has been notified that 5 individuals in the elementary school and 3 individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Feb. 7-11, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2022

The administration has been notified that 6 individuals in the elementary school and 4 individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – Jan. 24-28, 2022

The administration has been notified that 14 individuals in the elementary school and 13 individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Jan. 24-28, 2022.

Jan. 31 update: Mask mandate remains in effect while court proceedings continue

The following message was shared with BKW families via ParentSquare:

You may have seen reports about action by an appellate state court on the state’s universal mask mandate on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. Please note that we were informed by New York State that Friday’s “hearing” was merely a court submission deadline, and no decision on the case has been made. As we had communicated previously, the mask mandate remains in effect while court proceedings continue.

The issue became news earlier this month when a Nassau County Supreme Court judge ruled that the way the state created its mask mandate was unconstitutional. The decision was promptly appealed by the state, and the appellate court hearing the case issued a “stay” on the lower court’s ruling while it considered the case. This means that the mandate remains in effect at least until a ruling is made. Again, we have no timeline for that decision.

All staff, students and school visitors continue to be required to wear a mask or face covering while in our schools. There is no change to the health and safety protocols we have been following in recent months related to masks.

As has been the case throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our priority continues to be the health and safety of our school community. We also remain committed to providing the most up-to-date information to our staff and families. As this most recent situation evolves, we will continue to update you. Thank you for your continued partnership.

COVID-19 case reporting – Jan. 24, 2022

The administration has been notified that 14 individuals in the elementary school and 9 individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Jan. 17-21, 2022.

Last BKW COVID-19 protocols for returning to school

As you most likely are aware, health and safety guidance from the state and local health departments related to COVID-19 continues to evolve. As always, we remain committed to keeping our students in school, while providing a safe learning environment for all. We also remain committed to providing staff and families with clear, updated information on the latest guidance as it relates to COVID-19 testing, quarantine and isolation. Effective immediately, the BKW will use the following protocols when allowing students to return to school if they have symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19 or are considered exposed to an individual with COVID-19. These protocols are based on the most recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and the Albany County Department of Health. Please access the following link for complete information from the BKW website: https://www.bkwschools.org/last-bkw-covid-19-protocols-for-returning-to-school/

COVID-19 case reporting – Jan. 18, 2022

The administration has been notified that 17 individuals in the elementary school and 27 individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Jan. 10-14, 2022.

COVID-19 case reporting – Jan. 10, 2022

The administration has been notified that 24 individuals in the elementary school and 13 individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19. As I am sure you are aware, the CDC and our health authorities have been in the news with proposed changes to isolation and quarantine protocols, as recently as yesterday. At this point, we do not have full clarity on the changes we can make. We expect to gain a better understanding of any changes in the next couple of days. We will advise the community of any necessary local district changes at that time. Your patience is appreciated. Read full message

Superintendent’s update on COVID-19 test kits – Jan. 3, 2022

We were pleased to welcome students and staff back to campus today. Happy new year to all. As has been reported in the media, New York State has made at-home COVID-19 test kits available to schools statewide. These test kits were delivered to our local BOCES over the weekend and are currently being distributed to each of our schools. Read full message

COVID-19 case reporting – Dec. 28, 2021

The administration has been notified that 12 individuals in the elementary school and three individuals in the secondary school tested positive for COVID-19. All were last in school varied on December 17. Read full message

COVID-19 case reporting – Dec. 10, 2021

The administration has been notified that eight individuals in the secondary school and two in the elementary school have tested positive for COVID-19. Their last dates in school varied from December 2-7. Read full message

COVID-19 case reporting – Dec. 6, 2021

The administration has been notified that six individuals in the secondary school have tested positive for COVID-19. Their last dates in school varied from November 30 to December 2. Read full message

WAC institutes regulations re athlete testing, spectators for basketball, wrestling, cheer due to COVID-19 – Dec. 1, 2021

Dear BKW Sports Fans,
I hope this letter finds you well. As you know, the pandemic has severely impacted high school athletics. The purpose of this communication is to outline the regulations that COVID has impacted for high-risk indoor sports of basketball, wrestling and cheerleading. I realize that some of the regulations are challenging, but the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) felt they are necessary to complete a safe winter season. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. Below are the major areas of change this season. Read full message

COVID-19 case reporting – Dec. 1, 2021

The administration has been notified that three individuals in the elementary school and three individuals in the secondary school have tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 case reporting – Nov. 30, 2021

The administration has been notified that one individual in the elementary school and seven individuals in the secondary school have tested positive for COVID-19. All were last in school on November 24. Read full message

Superintendent’s message: Test to return begins Nov. 29

November 24, 2021 – The Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH), working with school districts in our region, has developed a test to return protocol for students and staff who have been quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.
The department developed this policy in response to concern about excessive time spent in quarantine by students or staff who remain healthy throughout the quarantine period.
By adopting a test to return policy for our schools, asymptomatic close contacts who have been quarantined may be tested with a rapid antigen test or a PCR test on day five (5), and if the result is negative, may return to school or work following day seven (7), rather than completing the 10-day quarantine period. Testing may be done at a doctor’s office or urgent care facility. BKW will offer PCR testing free of charge.
BKW will begin implementing the test to return protocol on Monday, November 29. The protocol will allow quarantined students and staff who test negative to return to school or work three days earlier than before.
The district will offer the test and processing at no charge. Arrangements can be made by contacting the school nurse. Students must be registered through Quadrant.    Read full message

COVID-19 case reporting – Nov. 22, 2021

The administration has been notified that one individual in the elementary school and three individuals in the secondary school have tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

COVID-19 case reporting – Nov. 15, 2021

The administration has been notified that an individual in the elementary school and two individuals in the secondary school, all of whom were last in school on November 10, have tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

COVID-19 case reporting – Nov. 5, 2021

The administration has been notified that an individual in the elementary school that has tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

Albany County holding Nov. 6 COVID-19 vaccine clinic at BKW

The Albany County Department of Health is offering a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic at BKW on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, from  10 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Pre-registration is encouraged, but walk-ins are also welcome. The clinic will include all three COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine boosters – Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson – per the information below. Read full message

District suspends Saturday COVID testing, weekday testing done by appointment

The Saturday COVID-19 student testing clinics previously offered at BKW have been suspended due to lack of use. Instead, student testing will be offered weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment. If a student experiences COVID-19 symptoms, the student should stay home and the parent may contact the child’s respective nurse to make an appointment to come to the school and do a drive through test. The result will be received in 24 hours. You must first create an online profile on Quadrant Bioscience to participate:

https://app.clarifi-covid-19.com/

COVID-19 case reporting – Oct. 27, 2021

The administration has been notified that two individuals in the elementary school and two individuals in the secondary school have tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

COVID-19 case reporting – Oct. 18, 2021

The administration has been notified that two individuals in the secondary school who were last in school on Oct. 12, one individual in the elementary school who was last in school on Oct. 15, and one district-wide individual who was last in school on Oct. 15 have tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

COVID-19 case reporting – Oct. 13, 2021

The administration has been notified that three individuals in the Secondary School and two districtwide employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

BKW to host Oct. 16th COVID-19 vaccine clinic

Oct. 12, 2021 – The Albany County Department of Health, with assistance from the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, will be administering FREE Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines (1st and 2nd doses for those 12+ years old; 3rd doses and Booster shots for those meeting eligibility criteria) on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, from 10 a.m. to noon at BKW Jr./Sr. High School. Public health experts will be on hand to answer any vaccination questions and address any concerns related to vaccination. Please note that the Pfizer 1st and 2nd doses are approved for all individuals 12+ years old. Read full message

COVID-19 testing at BKW schools begins in October

Sept. 29, 2021- A message from the Superintendent
Dear BKW Families,
Our 750 students deserve to have the best learning experiences every day in a safe and healthy environment. Their future depends on it. The following information outlines our school district’s partnership with the Albany County Department of Health to participate in a new, statewide COVID-19 Testing in Schools program to screen for coronavirus infection.
It is important to note that a profile must be created with Quadrant Bioscience to participate. Read full message

COVID case reporting – Sept. 26, 2021

The administration has been notified that two individuals in the Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

COVID case reporting – Sept. 22, 2021

The administration has been notified that two individuals in the Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

COVID case reporting – Sept. 15, 2021

The administration has been notified that two individuals in the Secondary School have tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

Clarification of SRO role in the mask mandate – Sept. 15, 2021

September 15, 2021
Dear BKW families:
Apparently, there has been some confusion over the role of the School Resource Officer regarding the implementation of the mask mandate for schools issued by the NYS Department of Health on August 27. To be clear, the District must comply with the mandate. Students, staff, and visitors to the buildings have been cooperating, which is greatly appreciated. The School Resource Officer does not have a role in the implementation or enforcement of the mask mandate. School policies are the school’s responsibility to enforce, including the mask mandate. The SRO will not arrest students for not wearing a mask in school. The role of the SRO in our district is to help to keep our students safe, support students, and to present a positive role model to students. Read the full message

COVID case reporting – Sept. 14, 2021

The administration has been notified that an individual in the Secondary School has tested positive for COVID-19. Read full message

Health Department requiring mask wearing in school – Aug. 28, 2021

Everyone here at BKW is looking forward to welcoming all of our students back for in-person instruction in just a few short days. Our goal this year is to keep students in school for as many days as possible, while also maintaining a safe environment for both students and staff. To do this, as we have previously communicated, we will follow a layered mitigation protocol (link below) in an effort to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in our school buildings.

On Friday afternoon (August 27) the NYS Department of Health issued a statement requiring that all students, staff, and visitors in schools wear a mask. This is in line with the announcement made this week by Governor Kathy Hochul, who directed the New York State Department of Health to institute a statewide mask requirement for schools. Mask wearing is one of several mitigation protocols included in our plan for the year, and we know it is a key part of a system to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Read full message including protocol

BKW Layered Mitigation School Opening Plan: Fall 2021 – Aug. 16, 2021

Dear BKW families,
With the issuance of school opening guidance by the NYS Education Department last week, we are now in a position to share with our community the BKW Schools opening plan for the 2021-22 school year. We are grateful for the Department’s leadership to issue this guidance, in light of the absence of any clear direction from other State agencies. Doing so gives all NYS school districts a basis for managing the COVID-19 pandemic in its ongoing presence in our communities. Read full message from Dr. Mundell

More information on BKW school reopening – Aug. 10, 2021

Dear BKW families,
As I am sure you have heard, late last week the NYS Commissioner of Health informed school districts across the state that the NYS Department of Health would not be issuing COVID-19 guidance for the opening of schools in September. As we have come to understand during this pandemic, circumstances change without notice and we must adapt to those changes. Read full article

BKW COVID notification – Aug. 5, 2021

The administration was notified today that a BKW Elementary School student attending summer school has tested positive for COVID-19. Read full article

Update on BKW school reopening in September – Aug. 5, 2021

Dear BKW families,
I am sure you have been anxious to know about plans for the coming school year. In short, we anticipate the beginning of the school year to look much like the close of the last school year in terms of daily operations. We intend to return all students to in-person instruction this September, and do it in the safest manner possible for students, staff, and families. Read full article

BKW releases Health and Safety measures community survey results – Aug. 2, 2021

As we now enter August and look to the start of school in a few weeks, BKW and all school districts continue awaiting guidance from New York State education and health officials on what that school reopening will look like. We hope to have more information to share with you later in the week. Read full article

American Rescue Plan (ARP)-ESSER funding plan – July 1, 2021

Dear BKW Staff and Community,
The 2021-22 enacted state budget includes language requiring local education agencies, such as school districts, that receive funding from the Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund allocated by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP-ESSER) to post on their website a plan by school year of how these funds will be spent. This is that plan. Read full article

2020-21 School year updates, notifications and information 

Go to archived COVID-19 updates and notifications for 2020-21