WATERTOWN — Jefferson-Lewis BOCES and St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES announced Saturday that Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties will close their school districts for at least the next month due to coronavirus.
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Student attendance in all Lewis County schools, Jefferson County schools, as well as town of Webb Union Free School District and Adirondack Central School District, will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 17.
School staff should still report on Monday.
A state of emergency was declared by the St. Lawrence County Board of Directors. In consultation with St. Lawrence County and St. Lawrence Public Health, the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and its 18 school districts, St. Lawrence County will close its schools until at least April 20. Beginning March 23, districts in St. Lawrence County will provide breakfast and lunch to students 18 years old and younger. Details about the process and procedures for food distribution will be forthcoming.
The districts and public health in St. Lawrence County said in a release that they will reevaluate the return of staff and students prior to the 20th to determine whether or not it is safe to return.
“The action taken today is not something that has been taken lightly. We understand the potential hardship this may create for students and families in the region,” a press release from BOCES said. “However, the health and safety of our students, staff and community remains our first priority.”
School business and support functions will remain in place throughout the closure period in order to provide critical health services, food distribution mechanisms and facility maintenance.