MESSAGE from the Superintendent

A Message from the
Spackenkill Superintendent

February 5, 2020

Dear Spackenkill Families:

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak has now spread across the globe.  We recognize parents will be concerned about protecting their families.  This is a rapidly evolving situation, and information about the outbreak, including guidance, precautions, and infection control, will be updated as it becomes available. We will continue to seek guidance from our local health department.

The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) has information on their website to help keep you informed about the current situation

In addition, it is important to know that you are at greater risk for other respiratory illnesses in our area, such as influenza.  The current flu season is in full swing and we have been advised that it is not too late to get your flu shot.  According to the DBCH, you can protect yourself from respiratory viruses, such as influenza and 2019-nCoV, by:
1.  Washing your hands regularly. 
Germs and viruses are found on frequently touched surfaces, such as keyboards, handles, doorknobs, and railings.  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.  
2.  Covering your cough.  
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.  If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
3.  Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects.  
Use disinfectant to clean telephones, keyboards, doorknobs, desktops, etc.
4.  Staying home when you are sick.  
If you are not feeling well, stay home.  Limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.  If you need to see your healthcare provider, call ahead and let them know you are coming in.  Ask for a mask to be available before you enter the provider’s office.    
5.  Increasing the distance between you and other people.  
Most respiratory illnesses, like flu, can be transmitted through close contact, including kissing, hugging, sharing utensils, cups, and cigarettes, talking to someone closely, and touching someone directly.  In community settings, you will want to keep at least 6 feet between you and others. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.


If you or a family member have been in contact with someone traveling in mainland China, please let us know. If you have any questions, we encourage you to call your school nurse at: 

Nassau - Nora Bergstraser, MSN, RN: 463-6390
Hagan - Sharon Dooley-Russo, RN: 463-8398
Todd - Alyssa Karcz, RN: 463-6527
SHS - Elizabeth Giancaspro, BSN, RN: 463-2043


Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools




15 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603;