August 6, 2021
Dear Onteora Community:
I hope that this communication finds you safe, healthy, and getting some well-deserved rest. I wanted to take this opportunity to brief you on our plan regarding the opening of school in September. This plan is based on the current (August 6th) conditions in the county and on the recommendations from the various groups who advise us.
As of this date, we have received no guidance from the NYS Department of Health (DOH), the New York State Education Department (SED), or the Governor’s Office about requirements for the opening of school. We continue to plan and hope for a full return to in-person instruction for all students. As things stand right now this is what we are planning when school reopens in September:
- Schools will be open for in-person teaching and learning only. Students are expected to be in schools five (5) days a week (as allowed by health officials.)
- In case of school closures due to a declared public health emergency, our schools will pivot to 100% remote instruction.
- We will not be able to provide the same remote option for students that we did last year. While we recognize that in some unique instances a remote-only option may be needed for some students, we, as a district, will not be able to provide an Onteora-specific remote option as we did last year. Therefore, the District has been researching remote only options and has identified potential partnerships.
- All students who have enrolled in any of our programs and all staff in all locations will be required to always wear a mask while indoors regardless of vaccination status. (This represents no change from our present procedures.)
- We will, to the best of our ability, be maintaining a minimum of 3 feet of social distance.
- We will continue to ask all students and staff to answer our pre-screening app and to show evidence of such completion as they enter our buildings.
- Students and staff who are experiencing any of the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus should not come to school or work. If symptoms develop during the school or workday the individual will be sent home.
We may adjust these requirements as conditions change and as necessary based on any received guidance from DOH or SED.
Our goal is and always has been to keep all who come to our schools safe. We want to keep students in school every day, for as long as possible. With your help and support, we can accomplish that.
We recognize that everyone is eager to know more about what the 2021-22 school year will look like, and we share in that. We will continue to provide you with updates as things change or as we receive guidance from NYS, DOH, or SED.
Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.
Interim Superintendent of Schools