QHS reopening information for the 2021-21 school year

Dear QHS Students and Parents:

Welcome back for the 2021-2022 school year!  I hope you had opportunities to enjoy the summer months amidst the pandemic and that you are excited to begin a new school year.  The new school year brings both excitement and anticipation surrounding reopening plans and a return to 100% in-person instruction.  There is no doubt that all our hard work and collaborative efforts last year will allow us to ‘bounce back better’ this year.  The return of after-school activities, clubs, and interscholastic athletics will help add to our positive school culture and foster positive relationships.  We will do everything possible to ensure the success of all our students.

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), NYSED, and QUFSD school physician, Dr. Kyle Leonard, our reopening task force has developed a reopening plan that will permit all students and staff members to safely return to campus at full capacity.  A summary of the 2021-22 QUFSD Reopening Plan has been posted to the district website.  Our goal remains to maximize in-person teaching and learning, be responsive to student needs, and keep students and staff healthy and safe.  A tiered mitigation approach, which includes 3-feet of physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols, and wearing masks will reduce the number of required quarantines in the event of exposure to a positive COVID case.  The health and safety of all students and staff remain our number one priority.

Opening Day for Students and Arrival Procedures: Thursday, Sept. 9 is opening day for all students.  This will be an A-DAY, and students will follow the regular block schedule that includes homeroom in block one.  Upon arrival to school, students must report to the following areas in order to maintain physical distancing requirements and supervision:

  • Grade 9 will report to one side of the Blue Gym
  • Grade 10 will report to the Gold Gym
  • Grades 11/12 will report to the opposite side of the Blue Gym
  • BOCES/ECCA students will report to one half of the Cafe.

Breakfast will be available in the cafeteria for all students free of charge.  Students may remove their masks in the cafeteria while eating.  The school day will begin with a warning bell at 7:25 a.m. and students will report directly to their first block class for homeroom, as posted on their schedule for the first day (A Day). Student schedules, general announcements and an opening day ‘Welcome Back’ video will be part of the homeroom procedures at the beginning of block 1. With this bell schedule, the school day ends at 2 p.m. and the first bus run home leaves at 2:06 p.m. Students must make arrangements in the main office to ride the activity bus at 2:40 pm, and the other after school activity busses will run at the regular times, 3:40 pm and 4:40 pm.

Student Assembly Program:  In lieu of in-person grade level assembly programs on the first day of school, we will be hosting a virtual assembly program for all students to review COVID safety protocols. We will also discuss academic programs, review the code of conduct, and share our expectations of student responsibilities that will ensure a successful, safe school year. We look forward to welcoming 100% of our students back! The assembly program will also include a Chromebook orientation session.

Parking: The Spartan Lot at the front of the building will be for staff. The Gold Lot and Blue Lot have been reserved for students. All students who park on campus must be registered and display a parking permit. Students with parking permits will be allowed to park in either the Gold Lot or the Blue Lot on a first come first serve basis. All visitors will park in the designated visitor parking spots in the Gold Lot at the front of the building.

Spartan TecKnow. This initiative will continue to provide all QHS students with a Chromebook for in-school and at-home use during the school year. Instructional technology is an essential part of our students’ daily educational experience, and these Chromebooks help to expand their ability to communicate, create, collaborate and think critically. This initiative also helps to ensure all of our students have regular, equitable access to digital learning tools in school and at home. Chromebooks are an essential tool for virtual teaching and learning. Please make sure your Chromebook is fully charged and in good working order. There is no fee to receive a district-issued Chromebook. Students will become financially responsible for their assigned Chromebooks only if the Chromebooks are damaged, lost, or stolen, which is the same policy for textbooks and instruments. TecKnow User Guide: www.queensburyschool.org/TecKnow

This year, we will again offer families the option to purchase Extended Care through the school district. A flyer can be found here. This $25 annual fee will cover up to two accidental damage claims per year and covers things like broken screens, accidental drops, and liquid spills. As an added incentive, if you purchase Extended Care for your child and no claims are filed for the school year, your $25 care fee automatically rolls into the next school year and will continue to roll as long as no repairs are required. However, 9th grade students who will be receiving a new Chromebook this year must renew Extended Care (even if they had no claims in prior years while in the Middle School). Specific information on purchasing Extended Care for your child will be available at the start of the school year. If you would like to know more about the extended care plan, please email our district’s technology director, John Luthringer (jluthringer@queensburyschool.org).

Additionally, any technical questions or issues with your Chromebook should be directed to the QHS Student Help Desk for repairs – Room #119.

Student Schedules: Enclosed is your student’s academic schedule. Please review this schedule closely and if you have any questions, contact your counselor ASAP.  On opening day, all students will report directly to their block one, A-Day class for homeroom.  All lunches will take place during period three based on your class assignment, which will be distributed in HR.  All counselors will be available by appointment for any scheduling concerns.  Any course changes must be made according to our add/drop deadlines. For core courses (English, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science and Foreign Language), changes may only be made from Sept. 29 – Oct. 6. For electives, no course drop/adds will be accepted after Sept. 23 for half-year classes, and Oct. 6 for full-year classes.

Freshman/New Student Orientation:  Tuesday, Sept. 7th at 12 p.m:  Students will tour the building, review their schedule, and note the location of their first block class. Students should review their enclosed schedule and join Google Classroom – Class of 2025. New chromebooks were issued on August 26. There are currently 240 students who make up the incoming Freshman Class of 2025, and we look forward to providing an in-person orientation program that includes building tours led by upperclassmen, a grab-and-go ice cream social, and a club fair in the main lobby.

New Staff MembersWe have welcomed several new teachers and support staff to the high school staff this summer.  Colleen Sprague has joined us from QMS as the new School Counselor (9-12) and Guidance Department Chair (K-12), and will be working with the A and C sections of the alphabet.  Kelly Montanye is happy to join our CTE department as the new Business Teacher.  Chris Estremera (Bridges – Social Studies) and Justin Lansley (Bridges – English) are excited to join their respective departments and will be teaching in our Alternative HS ‘Bridges’ program.  We are also happy to welcome Sidney Relyea as the latest addition to the English Department.  Lastly, both Jonathan Favata (Special Education Teacher) and Helene Resnick (TA) have transferred from QMS to join our team.  These new staff members bring a wealth of experience, diversity, and enthusiasm to the Queensbury family of educators.

Safety & Security: School safety is the top priority for QUFSD. There are many components to the school safety plan, a plan that the district remains actively engaged in throughout the year. In addition to our School Resource Officers (SROs), the high school entrance has a secure vestibule during school hours with a video buzzer system. All visitors entering QHS must enter the building through the new secure vestibule in the front of the building. Visitors entering the building will be required to show a valid driver’s license to be issued a temporary photo ID badge.

School Nurse – Medication Drop Off: If your student needs to be administered medications during the school day, our school nurse, Lisa Tubbs, will be available on 9/2 and 9/3 from 8-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. to collect meds for storage here at QHS. If you cannot make this time, please contact Mrs. Tubbs ltubbs@queensburyschool.org to make other arrangements.

Senior Privileges: QHS is a closed campus with the exception of late arrival OR early dismissal for students who meet the eligibility criteria listed in the Student Handbook.  Students may NOT leave the building during their lunches or study halls in the middle of the day. Senior privileges are granted for 1st block OR 4th block, but not both.

Student Photographs: On occasion, student photographs, video recordings or work may be used on the district website, Facebook page, in district and community publications, or released to the media to recognize student achievement or highlight school activities. If you DO NOT want your child’s picture, name or work published in any way, please indicate this in writing to me by Sept. 17, 2021 and we will honor your request.

Contact Information: Our district utilizes SchoolMessenger to send out emails and messages. Please make sure your email and contact information are up to date in SchoolTool by logging into the Parent Portal. You may contact Mrs. DeJesus or Mrs. Nelson in the Guidance Office sdejesus@queensburyschool.org and knelson@queensburyschool.org to make any necessary changes. The high school web page is a valuable resource for up-to-date information on school activities and events. You can also follow the administrative team on Twitter: @Mr_SwitzerQHS, @Mr_HammQHS, and @MrSnideQHS.  Please visit our new website frequently for updates.

I look forward to an outstanding school year and working collaboratively with all of you. Together, we will continue to navigate the challenges that lie ahead, ‘Bounce Back Better’, and provide the very best education for our students.  If there is anything we can do to help throughout the year, please do not hesitate to email or call. My phone number is (518) 824-4626. Let’s have a great school year!

Sincerely,

Mr. Damian Switzer; QHS Principal

Mr. Daniel Hamm;  Assistant Principal (Grades 9, 11)

Mr. Andrew Snide; Assistant Principal (Grades 10, 12)