PV Schools

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

The Putnam Valley School District continues to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our region and is prepared to react if deemed necessary.  Last evening, the New York State Education Department issued guidance that would require a school to close for at least 24 hours in the event a school employee or student tests positive for COVID-19.  The guidance related to indirect exposures has not changed, those individuals may continue their normal lives while self-monitoring for any symptoms.  We do not have any knowledge of any direct or indirect exposures within our schools. In the event of a direct exposure, the District would be notified directly by the Department of Health and would act based on the guidance provided.

During our daily conference call with the Putnam County Health Department, we were informed that there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Putnam County. As testing increases they do expect to identify positive cases.  While we are aware that some schools have taken the proactive approach to cancel specific after school and evening events, this is not currently the recommendation of our county health department.  For now, our District will continue to operate as normal while maintaining daily communication with officials.  If a recommendation is made to cancel certain types of events, the District is prepared to do so and of course, we will notify you immediately.  At this time, we are awaiting word from Section 1 Athletics regarding another update to the game location for our Girls Basketball game. The regional games will not be played at Mount St. Mary College as was communicated yesterday.   As soon as the new information is confirmed, we will share it.

As the stress and anxiety related to the spread of COVID-19 continue to grow, we believe it is prudent to provide some context around this situation.  Due to the active nature of the current COVID-19 virus, reliable statistics are extremely hard to find, as they are a continually moving target.  However, according to the data on the CDC website, this year alone, they estimate over 350 million Americans were diagnosed with a strain of the flu, resulting in over 350,000 hospitalizations and more than 20,000 deaths.  In 2009, the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic closed over 700 schools in the United States, more than 50 of them in New York State.  While the Putnam Valley School District acknowledges the severity of this current situation, we also want to empower the school community with information that we hope will help calm some fears.

The Putnam Valley School District has further increased and improved our cleaning and disinfection procedures and has called in additional staff to meet our needs.  Our buses all received a deep clean and disinfection this past weekend and this process will continue, along with daily cleaning procedures, for the foreseeable future.  We continue to emphasize the importance of handwashing. We continue to encourage anyone who is sick to stay home until they are well.

The district continues to refine the proactive measures being employed to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and our reactive contingency plans in the event we are asked to implement them.  Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking students and teachers to bring home their devices each evening. Devices will also be made available to elementary families who request them. In the event of an extended closing, we would provide more detailed information. For now, we remain open, our classrooms are filled with students who are happy to be here, and our staff is doing everything in their power to support our students and to keep our buildings safe and open.

Thank you.

Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools