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COVID-19
Planning, Response & Information
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This web page was created to provide resources and keep the Utica Academy of Science community informed. This is the official source of information on COVID-19 for our school. The page will be updated frequently, so please check back regularly.

Important Announcement

Dear Utica Academy of Science Elementary School Parents and Guardians,

We are writing to share an important health announcement.

On Monday, October 12, 2020, the Oneida County Health Department notified us that one UAS elementary school student has tested positive for COVID. The last day that this student attended school was September 29. The student was put in quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19 by an individual in the community who does not attend UAS but had interaction with the child’s family. The UAS student tested negative while in quarantine since September 29. However, the student was tested again last week and the result received on October 12 was positive.

According to the health department, since the student has already been out of school for more than two weeks, UAS does not need to take any action other than the regular COVID-19-related cleaning and disinfection performed daily.

We wish everyone to stay safe, healthy, and informed.

Sincerely,

Elementary School Administration
Utica Academy of Science Charter School

Important Announcement

Dear High School Parents and Guardians,

We are writing to you this afternoon in order to share an important announcement.

On Thursday, October 8, 2020, Oneida County Department of Health officials directed the school to temporarily halt all Utica Academy of Science High School athletic activities, including practices, games, and all in-person tutoring sessions for high school students until Tuesday, October 13, 2020, due to a student who tested positive for COVID-19. The student who tested positive was never in the school building, but was part of our soccer team. The high school has been following an online education model since the school started on September 8, 2020.

All team members and coaches have been placed in quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus until October 17, 2020, by the Oneida County Health Department.

School officials will update families via AP Notify and the school website if an extended halt is necessary. Tutoring and mentorship sessions will resume in person for high school students on Tuesday, October 13.

We have been working with Oneida County and Herkimer County Health Departments to take the steps necessary to ensure that the safety of our school community remains our first priority.

High School Administration
Utica Academy of Science Charter School

UASCS Fall Reopening Plan

Dear Science Academies of New York Community:

Thank you to our Reopen SANY Task Force, our administrative team, staff members, parents, and board members who contributed to our draft reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. A copy of the plan is available via the following link: http://reopening.sany.org Please be sure to review this draft plan.

Once you have read our reopening plan, please complete a survey for each student in your home indicating your preference for instruction this fall by Friday, August 14th. The link to the survey follows: https://sites.google.com/sany.org/reopening/select-your-model

In accordance with the Governor’s directive, the district has created a draft of two different opening plans:

  1. Full-time Online Education Model
  2. Hybrid In-Person/Online Education Model

The district developed this reopening plan in accordance with guidance from the New York State Health Department and New York State Education Department. Our number one priority is the safety and security of our students and staff. We are fortunate to have small class sizes, large classrooms, and technology resources that are readily available so that students can benefit from instruction whether they are inside of our schools or learning from home.

All students in grades K-7 in Syracuse and grades K-8 in Utica will have both hybrid and full-time online education options. Parents need to take the survey to indicate their preference for either 1) Full-time Online Education Model or 2) Hybrid In-Person/Online Education Model. 

Students in grades 8-12 in Syracuse and grades 9-12 in Utica will have only full-time online education opportunities. 

SANY will offer to all ELL and Special Education students in grades K-12 to attend hybrid learning 4-days per week. We will periodically reassess the effectiveness of online instruction for all students in order to maximize learning. We may make adjustments to students' learning model (online or hybrid) by reassigning students to increase in-person learning opportunities based on their individual learning needs and CDC guidelines.

In order to encourage social distancing on school vehicles, we are asking families to consider transporting their own students to reduce capacity on school buses. If you are planning to send your child to school for hybrid in-person instruction, please be sure to review all of the safety precautions that you and your child will need to take, some of which include:

  1. Completing a health screening each morning and not coming to school when you are sick. Please be aware that minor symptoms such as repeated coughing or sneezing, or a fever will result in children not being allowed to attend school.
  2. Wearing a mask to prevent the spread of germs.
  3. Practicing social distancing at all times (staying 6 feet away from others).
  4. Washing your hands and practicing appropriate respiratory hygiene.

If you are indicating a preference for full-time online education for safety or other reasons, please also be aware of the following:

  1. Attendance will be taken and your child will be expected to attend classes during normal school hours
  2. Your child will be expected to follow the school schedule
  3. Live interaction with teachers and assistance will occur during school hours

Again, please be sure to review the draft reopening plan prior to completing the survey. The draft plan has been submitted to the New York State Health Department and New York State Education Department. Governor Andrew Cuomo will make a determination during the first week of August regarding the ability of schools to reopen. Once the Governor has made a decision and the district has reviewed survey results from families, we will make a final decision regarding our ability to reopen and follow up with additional information. Please also be aware that as circumstances relative to infection rates and hospitalization rates change in our community throughout the year, we may need to adapt and adjust which may require a return to online education for all students.

This reopening will require some heavy lifting and we will need everyone to work together. I realize that parents, students, and staff members have questions, concerns, hopes, and fears relative to reopening schools during this challenging time. It is going to take everyone working together in a positive and cooperative manner to develop solutions that meet the needs of our students and staff.

Please be sure to read our draft plan, complete the survey by Friday, August 14th, and stay tuned in August for additional information. We believe that by each of us doing our part that we can reopen schools in a safe manner. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Tolga Hayali
Superintendent
Science Academies of New York

Family Survey: Reopening School

Thursday, July 16, 2020—The COVID-19 pandemic and the closing of school buildings resulted in significant changes to our traditional face-to-face model of instruction as we transitioned to distance learning. We recognize that these changes impacted our students, families, teachers, and staff in many different ways. As a result, Science Academies of New York has created a brief survey to gain feedback from our families regarding the fall and potential reopening of school buildings.

This survey is critical, and we value the feedback from all our community members. Please fill this out by Friday, July 24th. 

Click Here to Submit Survey

Summer Chromebook Announcement

Friday, June 26, 2020—SANY Chromebooks were lent to families at the start of distance learning to ensure all students had access to a computer. In order to continue to serve our students over the summer months and ensure every family has access to technology, SANY will wait until Governor Cuomo announces that schools can reopen to coordinate the pick up of the SANY Chromebooks.

If you are not planning on returning to a SANY school in the fall, please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to coordinate a time to drop-off your SANY Chromebook. We ask that all students treat their Chromebooks with respect, and ensure the device stays in proper working condition. Thank you, all, and have a great summer.

Last Day of School

Tuesday, June 9, 2020SANY Families, Governor Cuomo announced that all summer school programs in New York State will be moved online. If your child is required to attend summer school, you will be notified directly. Additionally, all SANY schools will continue to follow their original calendar for the end of school. The last day of school for Utica Academy of Science students is Friday, June 26. We ask that all our SANY Atoms continue to follow social-distancing best practices. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to your building dean. 

Schools Closed for Remainder of Academic Year

Friday, May 1, 2020Today, Governor Cuomo announced that all schools in New York State will be closed for the rest of the academic year. This decision was made to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

What this means for your Atom

  • We will continue to offer meals at our Grab & Go Meal Locations
  • We will continue to utilize our distance learning strategy to keep your scholar engaged with their academics during this uncertain time

In addition, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York State Board of Regents has canceled the August Regents. In the interim, we ask that all our SANY Atoms follow social-distancing best practices. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to your building dean. 

School Closure Extended to May 15

Thursday, April 16, 2020—Governor Cuomo has announced that NY Pause will remain in effect until May 15. The Science Academies of New York will remain closed until May 15, 2020.  This includes all extra-curricular activities. Stay safe and healthy, Atoms.

State Announces Updated Graduation Guidelines

Thursday, April 9, 2020—The State Education Department announced the cancellation of the June 2020 administration of Regents Exams and released guidance on modifications to requirements for students to graduate and earn their high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements.

Regents Exams and Diploma Requirements

The COVID-19 emergency has evolved rapidly, leading to uncertainty as to when regular in-school classroom instruction will be able to resume throughout the state and whether students will be adequately prepared to take the Regents examinations. As a result, the Board of Regents and Department have cancelled the June 2020 administration of the NYS High School Regents Examination Program.

Because of this, the Department has modified the requirements that students must meet in order to earn high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements. These modifications apply to all students enrolled in grades 7-12 during the 2019-20 school year who were intending to participate in one or more of the June 2020 Regents Examinations.

Students who, during the June 2020 examination period would have taken one or more Regents examinations, will be exempted from passing the assessments in order to be issued a diploma.  To qualify for the exemption, students must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have earned credit in such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or
  • The student is in grade 7, is enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have passed such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or
  • The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and has failed to earn credit by the end of the school year. Such student returns for summer instruction to make up the failed course and earn the course credit and is subsequently granted diploma credit in August 2020; or
  • The student was previously enrolled in the course of study leading to an applicable Regents examination, has achieved course credit, and has not yet passed the associated Regents examination but intended to take the test in June 2020 to achieve a passing score.

Full Article

New York State of Health Announcement

Wednesday, April 8, 2020—As we work through these challenging times together, NY State of Health is committed to ensuring access to affordable, quality health insurance for all New Yorkers so they can get the care they need during this state of emergency. With the recent closure of businesses across the state, many New Yorkers are at risk of losing their health insurance coverage as a result of COVID-19. Many are likely to be eligible for health coverage with financial assistance through NY State of Health due to their loss of coverage and income.

NY State of Health opened a Special Enrollment Period last month for people who are uninsured, and the Marketplace has started an awareness campaign to let people know that NY State of Health is there as a safety net in difficult times like these. New Yorkers who are without health insurance should apply now through NY State of Health. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, or subsidized Qualified Health Plan coverage.

Thousands of assistors are ready throughout the state to help consumers enroll by phone. NY State of Health is committed to helping New Yorkers get the coverage they need so they can get the care they need. Visit us at: www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov and let us help you find a health care plan that works for you. If you have additional questions you can contact the Marketplace directly at 518-486-9102 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

School Closure Extended to April 29

Monday, April 6, 2020—SANY Families, Today, Governor Cuomo announced that all schools and non-essential businesses in New York State will be closed until April 29th. This decision was made to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

What this means for your Atom
- We will continue to offer meals at our Grab & Go Meal Locations
- We will continue to utilize our distance learning strategy to keep your scholar engaged with their academics during this uncertain time

In addition, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York State Board of Regents has canceled the June Regents. Specifics for how this will affect your scholar will be released in the coming days. In the interim, we ask that all our SANY Atoms follow social-distancing best practices. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to your building dean. 

Important Update Regarding Extended School Closure

Wednesday, April 1, 2020—Amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, SANY remains committed to providing students with equitable learning opportunities and access to healthy meals while school is closed.

As you are aware, Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently directed an extension to prior plans, meaning schools are to remain closed until at least April 15. During this extension, districts are expected to provide continuity of learning and food service to students and childcare for its essential workers. Because the extended executive order encompasses the district’s upcoming Spring Recess, which was previously scheduled for April 3-13, SANY’s academic calendar has been amended by executive order so that staff members can continue to support students with remote learning opportunities and food distribution during this timeframe. Instruction will continue Friday, April 3rd through Thursday, April 9th. There will be no instruction, and both students and staff will not be expected to report, Friday, April 10 through or Monday, April 13th. Distance learning will resume Tuesday, April 14th. 

Learning
Our staff will continue to provide and support students with remote instruction. Students and staff will continue their distance learning in the same capacity we have been with live office hours via Zoom, Google Classroom, and Class Dojo. If you have any questions in regards to online education, please get in touch with your building dean.

You can access the SANY Online Learning Portal for valuable school-specific links via http://onlineeducation.sany.org/

Nutrition
We will offer meals for the week of April 6th through the 10th via a larger pick-up on Friday, April 3rd, 2020 that will include meals for the full week. The Grab & Go Meal service will resume normal operating hours Monday, April 13, 2020. 

While the loss of planned vacation time would not be welcome news during a typical school year, we recognize that this is anything but a typical school year. Since the health, safety and education of students remain the district’s top priorities, the governor’s commitment to maintaining the continuity of learning, food service and child care is understandable.  

We recognize that this is a stressful and challenging situation. We’re here to support you through it, and know that you are managing many personal and professional responsibilities. We would like to remind you of something that we often tell our students: All we can do is our best. We’ll get through this together.

Thank you all for your continued patience, understanding and support.

Sincerely,
Dr. Tolga Hayali
Superintendent SANY Charter Schools




 

New York State Cancels Elementary & Intermediate State Assessments 

Friday, March 20, 2020—Official Statement from New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa
 
The school closures caused by Novel Coronavirus are unprecedented and so, we have to make unprecedented decisions for our students. The administrations of the 2020 elementary- and intermediate-level State assessments have been suspended for the remainder of this school year.
 
This suspension for the remainder of the school year applies to the following New York State testing programs:
- New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test;
- New York State Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test;
- New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test;
- New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test;
- New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12; and
- New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.

Link to Full Article 

Grab & Go Meals Distribution Location Update

Wednesday, March 18, 2020—Utica Academy of Science Middle School, located at 1214 Lincoln Ave, Utica, NY 13502, is a Grab & Go Meal Pick-Up Location. Meals are available between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Child(ren) must be present to pick up a meal, and the meal is free of charge. Any child under the age of 18 in the city of Utica can pick up a meal. Please use the front side entrance of the Utica Academy of Science Middle School to pick up the grab & go meal, not the rear entrance as previously stated.

In addition, the following UCSD meal locations are open to all children under the age of 18 in the City of Utica, including UAS scholars. 

Proctor High School
Donovan Middle School
John F. Kennedy Middle School
Albany Elementary
Columbus Elementary
Conkling Elementary
General Herkimer Elementary
John F. Hughes Elementary
Hugh R. Jones Elementary
Jefferson Elementary
Kernan Elementary
Martin Luther King Elementary
Watson Williams Elementary

SANY Action Plan for COVID-19 School Closure

Tuesday, March 17, 2020—As you know, we are facing an unprecedented public health crisis in our state. As recommended by state and local public health authorities, schools were closed starting Monday, March 16, 2020 and we have transitioned to our distance learning plan. 

We recognize that this disruption has an impact on our students, families, and staff. We know that this exceptional moment has prompted questions which we will continue to address.

Nutrition Services

The Utica Academy of Science will provide free Grab & Go breakfast and free bagged lunch to all school-aged children in the City of Utica. Students are encouraged and able to utilize this service. 

Starting Wednesday, March 18, meals will be available for pick-up Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m. at the cafeteria entrance in the rear of the building of the following location:

  • Utica Academy of Science Middle School, 1214 Lincoln Ave. Utica, NY 13502

Online Learning

The Utica Academy of Science is committed to the educational experience of your child. During the school closure, we will transition to online learning. All of our students have daily access to instructional notes, assignments, assessments, and virtual instruction, from their classroom teacher via their google classroom.

Chromebook Pick-Up

For those students who DO NOT have any device, we will open the doors of our buildings for students to pick up a Chromebook during the following time-frames.

Times:
Tuesday, March 17—9 a.m and 12 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18—9 a.m and 12 p.m.
Thursday, March 19—9 a.m and 12 p.m.

Location: 
Utica Academy of Science High School, 160 School Lane, Frankfort, NY 13340
Utica Academy of Science Middle School, 1214 Lincoln Ave. Utica, NY 13502

 

Internet Survey
Before obtaining a device, we ask that you respond to this brief survey to help our school gather information related to internet access and the availability of technology in your home.

➡ Survey Link

 

Events & After-School Programs

In order to minimize the opportunity for persons to contract and/or spread the Novel Coronavirus(COVID-19), please be reminded that -- all events and after-school programs are canceled until at least April 20. This includes school-sponsored participation in community events. 

 

Talking with your Children about COVID-19

As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html

 

We will maintain a continuous flow of information. Please follow our websites, social media, and ensure that we have your correct contact information in Schooltool. We want to express our appreciation for the patience of our SANY community as we work through the daily challenges COVID-19 has presented to all of us. We will miss having you and your children in our schools, and we look forward to your return!

 

Internet and Device Access Survey

Sunday, March 15, 2020—Dear parent or guardian,

Utica Academy of Science students will continue their education online while being away from school during this closure. We ask that you respond to this brief survey to help our school gather information related to internet access and the availability of technology in your home.

If you have more than one child attending our school, please complete a form for each child.

If you already completed the form, you don't need to complete it again.

Survey is at https://www.uascs.org/survey

Sincerely,

Utica Academy of Science Administration

Spectrum Offers Free High-Speed Internet

Friday, March 13, 2020—Spectrum announced Friday it will offer free high-speed internet service and Wi-Fi for 60 days to households with students as many schools and colleges temporarily close or switch to online classes because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Starting Monday, March 16, the Charter Communications-owned company will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with children in grades K-12 or in college who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps, the company said.

Families can call (844) 488-8395 to enroll. Installation fees will be waived for new student households, the company said.

Important School Closure Message

Saturday, March 14, 2020—Effective immediately, Oneida County Executive, Anthony J. Picente, Jr. declared a state of emergency for the county due to ongoing concerns related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). In response, all component school districts in the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES, including the Utica Academy of Science Charter School, will be closed beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, through Monday, April 13, 2020. The school will reopen on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. All 12-month employees, building deans, school counselors, student affairs officers, and behavior specialists will continue to work during this closure, barring any further direction.

Stay safe, UAS Atoms.

False Claim COVID-19

Thursday, March 12, 2020—It has come to our attention that a story is circulating on Social Media that there was a case of Coronavirus in one of our schools. This claim is based on false information. SANY school district, which includes Syracuse, Citizenship, and Utica Academies of Science, have no cases of Coronavirus.

We have been in direct communication with the State and the County Health Department and have contingency plans in place if a member of our school community comes in contact with the Coronavirus. If there is a confirmed case in one of our districts, as well as the Syracuse City and Utica City School Districts, we will close the school, inform the community and take necessary measures to protect our Scholars and Families.

Citizenship Academy and Syracuse Academy of Science were closed yesterday, 3/11/20, due to a scheduled faculty in-service day. All of our staff participated in mandatory staff training, as stated on our school calendar.

All scheduled District activities (including but not limited to field trips, school-wide events, and athletics) are being held as planned, as per the County Health Department. As this situation continues to evolve, circumstances may change and warrant postponements or cancellations. Updates to this guidance will be distributed via email, posted on the district website, and/or communicated via our mass notification system.

Superintendent of Science Academies of New York
Dr. Tolga Hayali

District developing contingency plans

Thursday, March 12, 2020—Utica Academy of Science administrators are continuing to closely monitor guidance from local, state and federal officials on school district operations as it relates to COVID-19.

With Governor Andrew Cuomo’s March 12 announcement that New York state is banning all gatherings of more than 500 people, not including regular school instruction, school administrators are meeting to review upcoming events and to develop contingency plans in the event that the district is forced to cancel more events or activities or close a school.

At this time, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the school district or Oneida County. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the district, all members of the school community will be notified.

On March 9, the New York State Department of Health and New York State Department of Education released guidance that states if a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, the state Department of Health requires an initial 24-hour closure of the school to assess the situation and develop a plan to as to any further required closure or other necessary precautions.

In the event that health officials direct the district to close, administrators are developing plans to continue instruction and other critical administrative and student services.

The district will continue to update the community via the district website with any new information.

Any time-sensitive, critical information will be shared via the district’s SchoolMessenger notification system, which sends email, text message and phone call notifications, depending upon how parents subscribed to the system.

About COVID-19

Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this new virus, so that we can better understand how it spreads and causes illness. The CDC considers this virus to be a serious public health concern.  

Watch on YouTube

  1. HANDS: Wash them often
  2. ELBOW: Cough into it
  3. FACE: Don't touch it
  4. FEET: Stay more than 3ft apart
  5. FEEL: sick? Stay home