Superintendent's Letter August 23, 2021
August 23, 2021
Dear Onteora Community,
We are excited to partner with you as we welcome students back to school on September 8, 2021. Students will be attending in-person learning five days per week. The hybrid learning model we utilized last year will not be used. If we are required to close school, we will pivot to 100% remote instruction for a period of time due to COVID-19. We recognize the need to continue to be responsive and accommodate any situations and any new guidance we receive.
In order to provide a safe environment for our learning community, we are implementing the following layers of mitigation strategies:
● Masks are required on school property by all staff and students (including school buses) except for outdoor activities and events
● Mask breaks will be provided for students as needed
● Social distancing of three feet when indoors to the extent possible
● Daily health attestation for all students and staff (available on our website) - stay home if experiencing any symptoms of COVID - 19
● Temperature checks upon building entry
● Visual reminders for social distancing
● Upgrades to our ventilation systems including portable air cleaners with HEPA filters which have been purchased for every classroom with installation priority being given to the elementary classrooms
● Tents increasing student opportunity to eat outdoors
● Optimize ventilation by opening doors and windows as permitted by weather conditions
● Daily cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces
● Collaborate with the Ulster County Department of Health to contact trace and to make quarantine and isolation decisions.
● If your child was a direct contact and it is determined that they need to quarantine, you will be notified by the District.
Our 2021-2022 School Opening Plan is posted on our website for your review. This document includes specifics in all areas of our programming, including instruction, transportation, food services, facilities, athletics, and more. Please know that our plan reflects the most current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), New York State Education Department (NYSED), and the Ulster County Department of Health, as well as all that we learned from our educational community last year and this summer.
Last year many of you chose to transport your child to school instead of using school-provided transportation. If you are choosing to do this, please email both the building principal as well as the transportation department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Although you may change this request at any time, we will use your choice in the planning of our bus routes.
In unique situations for those students who have extenuating medical circumstances, we ask that parents complete the remote learning request form by August 30, 2021.
Both the safety and well-being of our students and staff is paramount to our planning. We will continue to focus on the emotional well-being of our students by providing professional learning for our staff that allows them to create an emotionally safe learning environment as we transition back to fully in-person learning. Our overall goal is to have students safely attend school five days per week, in person, so that we have the opportunity to meet their academic and social-emotional needs.
We invite you to join us for our upcoming COVID Forums on August 24th and August 31st at 6:00 pm. (See the website for details.) A Question and Answer document of forum discussion items will be posted on the website for those who are unable to attend.
Please note the following dates.
August 3, 2021 - Elementary schedules available on the portal
August 27, 2021 - High School schedules available on the portal
- Transportation schedules available on the portal
September 1, 2021 - Middle school schedules available on the portal
September 8, 2021 - In-person learning begins for all students (five (5) days a week)
We thank you for your patience, partnership, cooperation, and support as we continue to work together to have a successful school year. Together we can make a difference!
Please note our Health and Safety and Instructional Plans are subject to change based on any new guidance we may receive from the CDC, AAP, NYSED, NYSDOH, the local health department. We keep you and our entire Onteora community updated if changes are needed.