An Important Message from Supt. Kourt Ahead of the Holiday Recess

December 22, 2020

Dear New Lebanon Parents and Guardians,

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all you have done to keep your children and families safe. Your hard work has allowed us to keep schools open for in-person instruction.

We are now entering a dangerous and uncertain time as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across our country and state. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are accelerating across the country, as more governors and local officials announce new measures to try to combat the spread of COVID-19.

If you or someone in your family is directed to quarantine during break, please notify your child’s principal by email (WBH Elem: or MS/HS: Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others to stop the spread. People in quarantine need to stay home, separate themselves from others in the home, monitor their health, and follow directions from the local health department.

Please continue to follow all safety guidelines outside of school hours, including:
• proper use of face coverings
• social distancing
• handwashing
• avoiding gatherings and travel to states with high positivity rates
• keeping your child home if they are sick
We also remind you to complete the daily health screening form for your child prior to sending them to school.

If we see a significant influx in positive cases within our region during the break, this may result in the district needing to shift to remote instruction. We ask that the New Lebanon community be prepared for any changes to our in-person learning strategy.

We will be monitoring the number of positive cases in the county as well as surrounding counties throughout the break. If we see a need to go completely remote after break, we will notify you in advance. We ask that our parents prepare for any possible changes that may occur due an increase in positive cases. Be prepared for childcare and have a plan put into place should we need to go remote.

Please remember that our goal is to have our children in-person here at school, but we may need to be remote for one or more of the following reasons:

1. Staff shortages due to mandatory quarantine
2. Time needed for contact tracing
3. Regional or statewide mandates
4. Widespread infection
5. Precautionary measures to prevent widespread infection

As we look ahead to the holiday recess, we also ask for your help in making sure everyone celebrates and observes this year’s activities in a different way that puts health and safety first. According to the CDC, the safest way to celebrate this year is to do so with people in your household. Please consider virtual gatherings or other activities that reduce your and your child’s risk of getting the virus. Traveling, sharing food, and attending indoor gatherings outside your household increases your risk – and the risk of spreading COVID-19 within our schools.

We know that you have made many sacrifices the past eight months and for that we thank you. We ask that you please do your part to continue to contain this virus so that we can keep our schools open. The coming vaccines offer great hope – we just need to remain vigilant in controlling the spread of COVID-19 until they are available. Anyone who has questions or needs to report a COVID-19 related health issue should contact our main office at (518) 794-7600.

Thank you for your cooperation, support, and patience.

Andrew Kourt
Superintendent of Schools