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Coronavirus 2019 - Latest Updates and Information


Coronavirus: VCSD Preparedness


March 29: Governor Cuomo has extended New York State school closures until April 15th.

From: Marianne Serratore, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction

Please continue to have your children check their Google Classrooms and email daily. It is very important that students engage in these learning activities to the best of their abilities. Valley Central teachers will not be posting new learning activities from April 6th - April 14th.   Students should use this time to complete as much work as possible if they have not done so by April 6th. 

Although this material will not be graded, students will benefit from completing these activities.  We are currently developing a new instructional plan which will  begin on April 15th, should the closure be extended. More information will be provided on the new learning plan as soon as possible.   

Thank you for your continued support. We wish you all good health and safety during this difficult time. 

March 25, 2020

From: Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent

I want to begin by thanking everyone associated with the school district and also the entire community for finding a way to come together to support one another even though we need to be apart.  As you know the district is closed until April 14th.  Any additional change to this date if needed will come from an Executive Order from the Governor.  Should that happen we will notify you as soon as we receive that direction.  I know that you have many of the same questions that we have.  We will continue to pass on information as soon as we have it to share. 

Food Service 

The district will continue to provide breakfast and lunch at 5 locations and this service will continue over the spring break.  The locations are:

9:45-10:15 AM

Sleepy Hollow Trailer Park, Rte 17K, Coldenham  (inside the gate)

10:30 -12 Noon

VCMS- Side Parking Lot

Walden Elementary (back of building- Maple Street)

East Coldenham Elementary- Bus Lane

ALC at Maybrook (2nd entrance in front)


In addition, the Backpack Snack Attack program will continue each week. 

We are in need of additional volunteers for these programs, so if you would like help please reach out to me at


If you are a student we recognize that this is especially difficult for you to be away from school.  We are doing our best to provide what we can for you.  Please remember that your teachers are accessible to you throughout this time and they will help you in everyway they can. 

Marianne Serratore, our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction has worked daily with the Building Administrators, District Directors and teachers to ensure that continued learning opportunities are in place for all students.  Valley Central Teachers are connecting with their students regularly and assigning work. 

Please be sure your child(ren) is checking their email and/or Google Classroom on a daily basis. Some may be using other platforms as well. Teachers are also reaching out to parents through email.  While we do not know how long the closure will last, what we do know is that it is very important for your child(ren) to be completing the work assigned to the best of their ability. Although work will not be graded, this will ensure that learning continues to take place. Please reach out to your classroom teacher or building administrator, if you have any questions or you may contact Ms. Serratore directly at


We are also in the process of coordinating child care for medical personnel, health care providers and all essential workers who are needed to report to work during this time.  We hope to begin this program next week.  If you are and essential worker in need of childcare please complete a survey so that we can gather information and we will be in touch very soon.


Finally, we want you to know that if there is anything the school district can do to help you please reach out to us and we will use every resource that we have available to us to offer assistance.  Thank you again for all of your support and please take care of yourself and your families. 

March 23, 2020

From Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent


As you know, school districts in New York State are currently closed for an extended period of time. One of our priorities as a school community is to ensure our families/caregivers who have been deemed essential workers by the Governor of New York State, have necessary child care supports in place so they can continue working outside of the home during the extended school closure.


We are currently working on a plan by partnering with Childcare Providers in our Community for those of you who need our help.  If you are a first responder or health care provider who requires child care support during Valley Central’s current extended school closure, please take a few minutes to complete this survey so the District can assist you.  Please click here to access the survey.    


In addition, if there is anything that our school district can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will use every resource we have available to us to try to help.  Thank you, to all our families, for your support and partnership as we continue to navigate unchartered territory.

March 20, 2020

From: Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent


We have added a 5th site to our Grab and Go Food Service to anyone in need ( Breakfast and Lunch available) each week day until further notice. Our sites are:

9:45-10:15 AM

Sleepy Hollow Trailer Park, Rte 17K, Coldenham i(nside the gate)

10:30 -12 Noon

VCMS- Side Parking Lot

Walden Elementary (back of building- Maple Street)

East Coldenham Elementary- Bus Lane

ALC at Maybrook (2nd entrance in front)


March 19, 2020

From John Xanthis, Superintendent

Kindergarten Registration: is postponed and will be re-scheduled. 

Assistance with Child Care for medical workers

If any of our district residents who are licensed medical/health care providers need assistance with child care so that they can perform their responsibilities as essential personnel during this crisis, please contact Mike Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent at

BOE Meeting- March 23, 2020 

The Regular Board of Education meeting scheduled for Monday, March 23, 2020 has been rescheduled and will begin at 5:30 p.m. in
the Administration Building.

Due to an abundance of caution with regard to the spread of the Coronavirus and the temporary modification to Open Meetings Law (see below) the public is welcomed, in lieu of attending the meeting in person, to listen to the meeting on the District’s Facebook page, where we will provide a live audio stream. The Valley Central Board of Education thanks you for your patience and understanding during this time.

School Board Meetings: Open Meetings Law Pursuant to Governor Executive Order No. 202.1 issued 3/13/2020, the Open Meetings Law requirements for
school board meetings have been temporarily modified, for through April 11, 2020, as such: “Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, to the extent necessary to permit any public body to meet and take such actions authorized by the law without permitting in public in person access to meetings and authorizing such meetings to be held remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that the public has the ability to view or listen to such proceeding and that such meetings are recorded and later transcribed.”

March 17, 2020

From: Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent 

I want to begin by thanking the entire Valley Central Community for your understanding and support and hope that you are all safe and well.

I can’t emphasize enough, the purpose of this closure is to ensure our individual capability to safely and properly employ the concept of “social distancing”. Like all of our area schools, we will be transitioning to a work from home reality. 

Access to schools – Tuesday (March 17) and Wednesday (March 18)

Staff:  Schools will be open Tuesday and Wednesday, for those staff members that absolutely need to come to their school. Buildings will close at 3 p.m. Tuesday and 12 p.m. on Wednesday.

Nurses will be available in the Health offices of their buildings on Wednesday morning from 9:00-12:00 for families to pick up medications left in the nurse’s storage. Please contact Connie Griffin at (845) 457-2400 x 16700 if you need to arrange another time.

Students will be able to pick up personal items left in lockers or classrooms such as materials, books, clothes, Chromebooks, instruments, etc. at their school on Wednesday morning from 9:00 – 12:00.

As of 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, March 18th all schools are closed to children. 

In addition to the cleaning that has already taken place, all schools will be deep cleaned beginning Thursday. While we have been following enhanced cleaning protocols already, we will be taking that to another level while our students are away.

Food Services 
We are offering a Grab and Go Food Program for Families in Need. Breakfast and Lunch will be available.  The Program is a Drive-Through Program at four locations, Monday through Friday from 10:30 to 12 Noon. The four locations are:

  • Valley Central Middle School - side parking lot
  • ALC at Maybrook- Handicapped Accessible Entrance (2nd entrance on the front)
  • Walden Elementary School- On Maple Street at the back of the school (where the buses usually line up)
  • East Coldenham Elementary School- Front Porch-use the bus lane

We appreciate all of the people who have volunteered to help, but at this time, we have the program staffed.  

Backpack Snack Attack: Plans are underway to continue to have Backpack Snack Attack families provided with food each weekend.  Again, we believe we have enough volunteers and staff for this effort at this time, if we need more we will let everyone know by the website and social media.

Learning Activities
Marianne Serratore, our Assistant Superintendent, has been working with building principals and teachers since last week to develop meaningful learning activities for students. Information can be found on the the Academics page. This site will be updated periodically, so please continue to
check our social media and our website.

Kindergarten Registration: is postponed and will be re-scheduled. 

Parents and Caregivers
Please be assured that our teachers and staff will continue to do their best to help students adjust during this time and provide as much support from a distance as they are able.

We understand that everyone has a different situation but please keep a special focus on ensuring your personal safety and the safety of those around you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for help or support and again we will continue to communicate with you as more information becomes available.

March 14, 2020

From: Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent

The Valley Central School District is in the process of putting together a plan to provide breakfast and lunch to families in need.  We hope to have some specific details to share on Monday.  Please continue to check for more information. 

March 13, 2020

From: John P. Xanthis, Superintendent


​​​​​​Together, we are facing an unprecedented health crisis in our communities. For weeks, we have been following the explicit guidance of the Orange County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Education, by implementing preventative and responsive strategies to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The department of health has been in daily contact with us, providing important guidance on decisions to help ensure the health and well-being of our students, staff, and community.


​Today, Orange County Executive, Steve M. Neuhaus, issued an order requiring schools within Orange County to close for the next two weeks. However, after careful consideration of all of the information that we have available to us at this time concerning the National Emergency, the Valley Central School District will be canceling all classes for the next three weeks. 

Classes will resume on Tuesday, April 14th after the Spring Break Recess. During this time there will be no extra-curricular activities or events including athletic practices or contests.  All use of the buildings and fields by outside organizations, including the pool, is also canceled.

We will continue to communicate with families and staff through all means available to us including through the District website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as using School Messenger about alternative plans for learning activities and other important information concerning the school district. Visit the Academics section of our district webpage where there are links to help students and families find instructional materials and activities.

We want to thank the community for your continued understanding as we all work together to support one another during this time.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.  

March 12, 2020

From: Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent. 

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as the District deals with the Coronavirus and its impact on the many aspects of our community. The health and safety of our students and our community are paramount to the school district and Valley Central is continuing to follow the guidance provided to all school districts and will adhere to any mandates that may be issued.

As an example, the Orange County Health Department will notify the district if and when a school must close due to COVID-19 and when a school can reopen. Please know that should this ever be the case, we will work in close collaboration and coordination with the state and local health officials before closing school and provide as much advance notice as possible through our website, social media and existing push notification communication tools.

As a precautionary measure, Marianne Serratorre, our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, had academic plans created for elementary, middle school and high school students to be used ONLY in the case of an emergency shut down should one occur.  Students received a  letter from Ms. Serratorre that gives more information.  She asked that any physical packets be placed in a safe location and NOT completed at this time.  They would only be worked on if and when a school may close due to COVID-19. We would include further instruction for their use if and when such an event occurs.  We have added a Coronavirus Preparedness page to our website with many helpful links and information to help keep you informed. 

Fortunately, our District had scheduled a mid-winter recess for this weekend, Friday, March 13 through Monday, March 16.  We anticipate returning to school on Tuesday, March 17 as normal at this time. Of course, if there are any changes to our plans we will use our usual means of communication; website, social media and School Messenger. 

While the buildings are closed our custodial and maintenance workers will do a “deep cleaning” of all our buildings’ high contact and high traffic areas as well as our classrooms.  They are disinfecting these areas daily. The buses that transport our students are also being cleaned by our custodians regularly as part of our response to the prevention of the spread of this and other viruses. 

The District is currently considering our practice of hosting large scale gatherings and events at the schools. We will remain responsive to the guidance we receive from our governmental public health partners, and we will continue to review our approach.  Any activities that may interfere with building cleaning protocols will be canceled.

The District has not authorized or sponsored any overseas travel as part of our educational program. We will continue to carefully review and discuss the status of previously approved and recently proposed field trips.  In the event any of these plans need to be modified, we will communicate that as soon as possible.  

Our unused snow days were scheduled in our school calendar as days off on March 13, 16, April 13, and  May 26. The District may find that April 13 and May 26 need to be used for an unanticipated emergency closure. Please keep this in mind as those two days are not ensured to be part of the Spring break or Memorial Day weekend respectively if we need to use them prior to those vacations. We would caution anyone against making definite plans to include those days as part of vacation time.  It is not prudent to designate their use at this time, as the situation constantly changes. We will keep you informed. 

As required by law, the District will work directly with the Orange County Health Department and follow their directives and restrictions to ensure the safety of our school community.  Once again, I want to stress that we are NOT aware of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Valley Central community however that may change at any time. The uncertainty of this situation can be stressful for us all. By supporting one another, our school community will successfully navigate whatever lies ahead.  Thank you again for your continued support and please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions or concerns.

March 11, 2020

From: Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent

We are aware that the Wallkill Central School District has a letter on their website announcing that they are closed for the next two days and through the weekend due to the COVID-19. 

This does not impact the Valley Central School District. We will be having school as per our VCSD calendar

The Wallkill Central School District is following the protocol that is being directed by the Ulster County Department of Health. 

Valley Central is in communication with local health department officials and will continue to follow their direction.  Our protocol if we get word of a possible case is to contact the Health Department and provide them the details of what we know so that they can tell us exactly what we need to do.

We remain in constant communication with every available resource that we have and will pass any new information to you as soon as possible. 

March 10, 2020

From: Michael Bellarosa, Deputy Superintendent

We are continuing to monitor the constantly changing information regarding the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and remain in continual communication with state and local authorities concerning the protocols we are to follow.  At this point, there are no cases in Orange County as of this afternoon, however, we realize that can change at any time. 

The Valley Central School District is following the protocols we are receiving from the Orange County Department of Health (Dr. Irina Gelman, DPM, MPH, PhDc- Commissioner) (OCDOH) with guidance from the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19). In addition, we are also following the advice of our attorneys; directives from the NYS Education Department and the Governor of NYS. 

Please rest assured that any decision regarding cancellation of events or closing of school or changes to our educational program will be done so at the direction of the Health Department. 

We have been directed by the OCDOH to notify the health department of any student/staff member returning to the United States after traveling to areas with sustained (ongoing) community spread of COVID 19 as soon as we become aware of such travel, in order to obtain a letter of clearance for that student/staff member to return to school/work. 

  • If a student or staff member will be traveling to an affected area, prior to departure, the student/staff member can fill out the “Travel Survey for OC Students and Staff”.
  • Notification should be made to the student’s principal and school nurse.  Staff members should notify their building/district supervisor. 


For questions about travel to an area with community spread of COVID-19, please refer to the CDC’s Traveler’s Health website:

There are over 140 cases in NYS of COVID-19.  There are no reported cases in Orange County to date.  

We have reviewed and updated our emergency operation plans and have been in constant communication with our administrative team and area and state school administrators to keep up to date on the latest guidelines on a daily basis. 


  • Everyday desks and countertops are cleaned and sanitized,  common touch surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, phones) are being cleaned and sanitized throughout the day.
  • High touch surfaces such as chromebook keyboards can be wiped with a sanitizer wipe.  Never spray anything directly on a computer or chromebook. 
  • Our buses are being cleaned and sanitized every three days by our custodial staff. 

Washing Hands Often: 

  • Hand-washing strategies that include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday 2x to count 20 seconds) or for try this song with younger children. 
  • If using hand sanitizer, make sure that it is at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer should be used when soap and water are not available.  

Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette:

  • The COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes. 
  • It is important that students and staff cover their mouths or noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of the tissue appropriately. If no tissue is available, using the inside of the elbow (or shirtsleeve) 5 to cover the mouth or nose is preferable to using the hands. 
  • Always perform hand hygiene after sneezing, coughing and handling dirty tissues or other soiled material.

What if a student or staff member is sick?

Information to date suggests that COVID-19 causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and appears to be transmitted from person to person predominantly through droplet transmission and, if spread in the population, could have significant public health consequences. 

  • If a student or staff member is sick, they should stay home. 
  • If a student or staff member is suspected of having COVID-19 or has a high index of suspicion for COVID-19, a face mask will be placed on them and they will be separated from others.  Our school’s health office would then be in touch with the OC Dept. of Health as per their directive. 

In addition to what is posted on our district website below are some links that provide additional information. Please reach out to your school’s health office if you have any questions or concerns. We will continue to provide information to you as more is learned about the virus.


Orange County Department of Health 

NYS Dept. of Health

CDC Fact Sheets: 

What you need to know about COVID-19

Prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick

Talking to your children about Coronavirus

How to talk to your children about coronavirus 

Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus


Letter from the District -March 4th

CDC Guidance on COVID-19