This story has been updated to reflect an alert from Connetquot Central School District.
Sayville and Connetquot schools will close to all students on Monday, March 16, to give teachers time to prepare instructional materials for their classes should there be a long-term closure due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Sayville schools Superintendent John Stimmel in a letter to the school community said the move comes “out of an abundance of caution.” Teachers and staff are expected to report to work on Monday.
Connetquot Superintendent Lynda Adams echoed that message, noting in an alert posted on the district website that “teachers will prepare educational opportunities for our students to be worked on independently, in order to be proactive and prepared, if we are forced to close due to confirmed cases of COVID-19.”
“This conference day will also permit the District’s custodial staff to continue their intensive COVID-19 cleaning process,” Stimmel said in his letter, while stressing that there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Sayville Schools.
Adams also noted that there are no known cases of coronavirus within the Connetquot community.
Stimmel said his district is working with county and state officials to determine if it necessary to keep the schools closed for a longer period. As of now, students will be back in class on Tuesday.
Though, Adams recommended “all families to review their child care plans for the possibility that the District may be forced to close for a minimum of 24 hours, and potentially for longer, in the near future.”
With classes in session at Connetquot, the district will not allow visitors to its schools who are not essential to the instructional day.
“All permits for outside groups have been suspended until further notice,” Adams said. “We are not having visitors in for parties, classroom events or any other visitors to the building that are not essential to the instructional day.”
Additionally, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Sayville will postpone, cancel or modify all field trips and extra-curricular activities until April 14. Saturday’s SAT exam at Sayville and Connetquot high schools was postponed.
There are now 28 known cases of coronavirus in Suffolk, county officials said. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced a ban on after-school activities, along with the suspension of civil-service exams.
At least 10 Long Island school districts have announced closures related to coronavirus.
“Please know the Board of Education and I share the concerns of the entire community,” Stimmel wrote. “The District will continually evaluate new information and provide you with regular updates.”