Superintendent's Letter March 2 - New Guidance
March 2, 2022
Dear Onteora Community
Last night we received additional clarification from the New York State Department of Health regarding revised COVID -19 protocols including the lifting of mask mandates. Beginning today, March 2, 2022, the Onteora Central School District will go “mask optional”. Any student, faculty/staff member, or visitor who would like to continue to wear a mask in the school setting (including buses) are invited and encouraged to do so. The choice to wear a mask in school will be a personal and family decision.
Masked and unmasked people will be working and learning alongside each other in our schools. We are committed to establishing “mask positive” environments so that no one is stigmatized, bullied, or made to feel uncomfortable regardless of their mask status.
As of today, the mandated weekly testing of non-vaccinated staff remains in place.
With the lifting of the mask mandate, we will be scaling down the following mitigation strategies:
- The completion of the COVID-19 Screening Attestation will no longer be required prior to entering any of our buildings;
- The taking of temperatures prior to building entry will no longer be required;
The following mitigation strategies will remain in place:
- The District will continue to distribute test kits as they are available and inform our community of vaccination opportunities;
- The District will also continue to have masks available when requested at all building entry points;
- The District will continue the mandated weekly testing of non-vaccinated staff;
- The District will keep our current COVID Cases webpage up to date;
- The District will continue to maintain social-distancing to the extent possible;
- The District will continue to offer alternative eating spaces for MS/HS lunch periods;
- The District will continue to offer weekly screening with Village Apothecary for students and staff.
Please note that contact tracing protocols will still be required, but they will be altered to reflect the updated information. Therefore, all classroom and bus protocols (i.e., maintaining seating charts) will remain in place.
Vigilance and collaboratively working together have gotten us to this point. We must continue to use caution by monitoring for symptoms and staying home from school if sick. If a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they should notify both their school nurse and health services immediately.
Thank you for your continued partnership and support.