Update from the Superintendent

December 15, 2021

Dear Carmel High School Parents & Students,

Over the last week, Carmel High School has seen a sizeable increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in our local community and subsequently among students and staff at Carmel High School.

We have been working diligently with the Putnam County Department of Health to complete contact tracing and directly contact all individuals who may be impacted by these positive cases. 

We have worked hard to do all that we can to keep our schools open and safe for our students and staff. However, increases in positive cases among students and staff, close contact quarantines, and staffing shortages have become a challenge at Carmel High School this week. Currently, no other building in our district is experiencing this same level of issues, but we will continue to monitor the situation.

In order to keep our students and staff safe, all Carmel High School students will move to remote learning beginning Friday, December 17, through Thursday, December 23. All students, including students in special programs such as ENL, BOCES programs, PACE and Bridge, will be learning remotely. The holiday break for students will take place December 24 – December 31, as scheduled. Our plan is to resume in-person learning for high school students on January 3, after the holiday break. 

With the shift to remote learning at Carmel High School, please refer to the following updates: 

  • Student Devices for Remote Learning: If a student did not pick up a school-issued device when they were offered at the beginning of the school year, devices for remote learning will be available for pick-up on Thursday, December 16, by 9 a.m. in room 407 at Carmel High School.

  • Remote Learning Schedule: The remote-learning format will follow the regular bell schedule for the building. Teachers will communicate links for classes through email or Teams.

  • Grab-and-Go Food Distribution: Grab-and-Go offsite meals will be provided for Carmel High School students who require it while the school is operating in a remote-learning format. Bulk meals for multiple days will be available for pick-up on Monday, December 20, 2021, at the Carmel High School cafeteria between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Parents are responsible for alerting staff of any food allergies and must do so at the distribution site.    
    • Please park your car in the rear parking lot, walk into the CHS cafeteria and provide the cafeteria staff with the name of your student(s). Any weather-related changes to the pickup schedule will be communicated with a robocall.  
    • Parents may send a family member, neighbor, or a friend to pick up school meals for their students. Accommodations cannot be made for pick-up of school meals at any other location or time due to COVID-related protocols.If you have any questions, please email carmelfoodservices@carmelschools.org.  
  • Athletics: Athletics will continue in person, and we will continue to monitor each athletic team.  We encourage all spectators to tune in remotely to livestreams of our games to keep our athletes healthy and safe. 

  • Extracurricular Clubs: Clubs will operate remotely during the remote-learning format.

  • Social-Emotional Support: All mandated counseling and appointments will occur remotely. Any students in need of additional support should reach out to their counselor or grade-level administrator.  

We recognize that time in the classroom is important for student learning, but the safety of our students, staff and community is also a top priority. Our teachers and staff will continue to work hard to ensure that the remote learning environment will still provide our high school students with the quality education you expect from our District.

We will continue to follow the COVID-19 contact-tracing protocols in place from the Department of Health and will send additional updates as we know more information. 

As a reminder, we ask our entire District community to remain vigilant, self-quarantine if exposed, and consult a medical professional for advice when needed.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. 


Mary-Margaret Zehr
Superintendent of Schools

Lauren Santabarbara
Principal, Carmel High School

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