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Questions & Answers from August 24 Forum



 August 24, 2021- Continued from August 10, 2021


3’ not 6’?

32. Why the school is keeping only 3ft from each other and not 6ft minimum as CDC requires?

Answer: The district is following the guidance that school districts received from the CDC, AAP, NYSED, and UCDOH.

3’ not enough for young

33. I’m sorry if I missed it, but even at the summer academy my kids managed to come home with a bug. Thankfully it wasn’t COVID, but that’s the ONLY place we went and the kindergartens all passed it around — 3 feet doesn’t seem like nearly enough for kids who are basically toddlers.

Answer: The district is following the guidance that school districts received from the CDC, AAP, NYSED, and UCDOH.

All exposed if one infected

34. If someone is infectious in a room for a 40 minutes class, are all people in the room considered potentially exposed? And their families informed?  Last year we were not.  COVID is now known to be airborne and spreads throughout a closed room.  3 feet and 6 feet social distancing doesn’t prevent spread within a classroom.

Answer: The CDC quarantine guidelines have changed from last year. Whether or not someone in the room is required to quarantine depends on the amount of direct contact. At the high school level, if masks are worn properly and there is at least 3 feet of social distancing, quarantine is not required.


35. How will students be able to carry their sports equipment, lunch, after school snacks and their already too heavy backpacks all day long? Since they are not using lockers, the physical burden seems oppressive for the older student athletes.

Answer: We are opening school in September not using lockers. However, at the middle school/ high school, the administration and staff have identified alternative locations (with in classrooms) where students can store their sports equipment, backpacks, etc.  We will review this as the school year continues.

Cafeterias airing

36. And explain airing out cafeterias between lunchrooms.

Answer: Windows and doors will be open during and between lunch sessions.  In addition, the HVAC systems supplying ventilated air will continuous.  Students will be allowed to eat outdoors and, depending on the school, in other areas to reduce the amount of students in a space. As this is specific to the layout of each building – contact building principal for more specific information.)

Contact trace

 37. That lack of information doesn’t sit well for me as a parent.  If our child is infected in the classroom we can’t contact trace where the case came from because of HIPPA?

Answer: The entire class does not need to quarantine or be informed, but contact tracing will happen for those that were possibly exposed

COVID at home – others go?

38. If we have someone diagnosed with COVID at home, or someone symptomatic but not yet diagnosed – can the other members of the family attend school?"

Answer:  Yes, try to keep the symptomatic person away from others. Only quarantine exposure to positive case – not assumed positive. If numbers rise, may change. Will send out on website, Shoutpoint, Facebook.

COVID reported? Parent Anxiety

39. Will the detailed building COVID case data continue to be reported publicly on a regular basis?  What happens if a parent feels the risk of contagion has become too great, even if schools remain open?

Answer: Yes, we will continue to report to on the website

Parent Anxiety

40. Am I understanding correctly that if I no longer feel it is safe for my child to attend in person classes, there is no protocol for changing an individual student to remote learning? Instead, the situation will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis?

Answer: This will be handled on a case by case basis  – please complete the remote learning request form

Filtration & tents not in all school

41. please clarify, “upgrades to filtration system and outdoor tents”  does this apply to all schools"

Answer:  The following changes have been made to our ventilation systems in all of our schools:

1.    Increased the ventilation capacity of our HVAC systems to the maximum level possible while being cognizant of weather conditions

2.    Increased the amount of time the ventilation system circulates  fresh air through the classrooms

3.    Installed the highest rated filters available to fit the functional parameters of our HVAC systems

4.    Increased the frequency of our filter replacement schedule

5.    Increased the frequency of inspection of our systems to insure optimal functionality

·         HEPA filters are currently present in isolation rooms and in various other rooms throughout the buildings

·         Portable air cleaners with HEPA filters have been purchased for every classroom with installation priority being given to the elementary classrooms.

·         Windows and doors will be open as permitted by weather conditions

Filtration chart with cubic feet

42. Would you please make the HVAC filtration chart with cubic feet available to all of us in the district rather than individuals emailing Superintendent Corsones directly? Provide at future meeting & on website?

Answer: Please contact Superintendent Corsones, directly and she is happy to provide you with a file detailing this information.

Filtration in cafeteria

43. What are the filtration systems that are in place for the elementary school lunch rooms? These students are unable to be vaccinated and it seems like a hot spot of transmission considering 140 plus children will be in same room within an hour unmasked.

Answer: Fresh air is circulated through the cafeteria by opening windows and doors.  In addition, the HVAC system circulates air.

Filtration in Cafeteria

44. Happy that HEPA filters are being added to classrooms. What is the plan for air filtration in the cafeteria where students will be taking their masks off and also are there air filters in the bathrooms?

Answer: Please see question # 43.  We are examining the feasibility of installing air filters in bathrooms.

Filtration presentation

45. It sounds like we need a full presentation of the air filtration system & measures. We touched on this in the last meeting but I’d appreciate a detailed progress report on general facilities upgrades like we’ve gotten in the past & this is a critical issue this year.

Answer: The administration will collaborate with the Board Communications Committee to schedule this presentation.

Free testing

46. My question earlier is whether we could organize to get more tests available for the community? There is free testing available in other communities across NY. Would collective voices help to get all of us tested more often to prevent COVID spread within schools?

Answer: Absolutely, the more voices heard, the more attention we can get for our large geographical area. UCDOH has received the in excess of four (4) million in funding to support expanded testing.

HEPA Brand and model 

47. I am thrilled about the two portable HEPA filters per classroom.  Thank you!  Can you please name the brand and model so parents can see the specifications.   Not all air purifiers are effective in filtering out viruses.  Again, thank you for putting these in the classrooms!

Answer: Medify Air MA-112 Air Purifiers have been purchased. They have an H13 True HEPA filter and purifies up to 2,500 Sq. Ft. Classrooms in the district range from 768-850 Sq. Feet. These air purifiers have more than two (2) x the capacity of our room sizes.

HEPA MERV rating

48. On the portable HEPA filters (2x per classroom), do we know what the MERV rating is on the filters? 13? 11? 9?

Answer: See answer to question 47.

Honor System

49. Why is it an honor system? This seems like an opportunity for people irresponsible.

Answer: Teachers have been trained to monitor what occurs in their classrooms.

Isolation rooms for mask breaks distance

50. If mask breaks are going to be held indoors & at a time doors & windows can’t be opened, will these breaks be held in those specially designated “isolation rooms with special HEPA filters” mentioned earlier in the meeting? What is the distance between children during these breaks? I’m sure the answer cannot be different from 1 class/school to another. What’s the standard?

Answer: 6’ or more from each other during a mask break and not talking

Listen in the classroom from home

51. I'm very concerned about the continuity of education in the time of COVID and all its mandated interruptions. Why not guarantee children the ability to listen to their classroom or the lecture when mandated to quarantine either by the health department or when they have a cough and fail the health screen?    It’s quite plausible that a student could miss weeks over the school year between catching COVID, forced to stay home as part of a quarantine, or even having a minor cold.   This will be especially hard for kids in high school level classes.  Thank you!

Answer: The teachers will work with their students to be sure they don’t fall behind

Mask breaks

52. How many mask breaks, are they all held outside, and how often/frequency?

Answer: Mask breaks will be as many as needed

Mask layers

53. How many layers with face masks does the school require?

Answer: 1 layer of face mask, if there is a concern may need 2

Mask Outside

54. If a child has an immunocompromised sibling, can we request that they keep their mask on while outside as well?

Answer: Yes. It is not required, but the child can choose to keep their mask on while outside.

Mask safety

55. I’d like to strongly suggest that OCSD take a better stand on mask safety and do better to ensure students are truly abide by the rules, as any other rule.

Answer: All of our staff are trained on proper mask wearing.

Mask wear properly

56. Please do a visual/aid presentation on the website about proper mask wearing, recommendations for safest types, etc."


Answer: Please see the resource page of the re-opening plan there are “hot links” to two youtube videos about proper mask wearing.


57. Mask question: There’s a difference between fashion masks & medical grade. Is it possible to require same masks for all kids? Does CARES Act $ cover that? Maybe that could have helped in that Summer Academy kindergartener’s class, etc. Just a thought - could also prevent mask re-usage of fashion masks & create uniformity.

Answer: We do have surgical masks


58. Your masks aren’t better than fashion masks though? The research shows clearly anything below n95 is basically a hope and a prayer.

Answer: N 95 masks are specifically fitted to each individual to whom they are made. At this time the N95 mask is for health care providers. Recommend any face covering – cloth, surgical masks

Masks outside/distance

59. Are mask break are to go outside? Otherwise this is definitely not stand on any level of CDC to keep distant?

Answer: They don’t need to go outside, but need to be 6’ or more from each other during a mask break and not talking

Masks worn correctly

60. How are you going to determine if masks were worn correctly?  We all see people in stores who wear masks below their nose.

Answer: Please see the resource page of the re-opening plan there are “hot links” to two youtube videos about proper mask wearing.

MS Late bus

61. Are the middle school students invited to ride the late bus should they chose as well?

Answer: The two late bus runs are available for middle school students.

Need PCR test

62. May we use in-home rapid tests?  Such as sold by Abbot or Binax? Or perhaps supplied by the county via the district?  Or do we always need a PCR test?

Answer: Cannot do in-home test. Rapid test through Urgent Care report it and we accept that. Have a contract with Dept. Of Health if it becomes mandated to test in school to do screening testing, not diagnosing – still follow up with Health care provider


63. is it Pfizer?

Answer: Yes, Pfizer will be administered at the COVID vaccination clinic on August 29th. Moderna and Johnson and Johnson will also be available.

Positive Reported?

64. Will parents be informed if there is positive case inside the classroom their children are in if they have been all masked (even with snacks) and aren’t required to quarantine?

Answer: Only the children that need to quarantine will be told – due to HIPPA. However, the district updates the chart on the website daily.

Positive reported? quarantine?

65. I just needed to know if parents would be informed that a positive test was made in their child’s classroom.  The answer I heard was that all the kids exposed in the classroom would not need to quarantine

Answer: We cannot violate HPPA – chart on the website changes daily, shows what buildings were affected

Quarantine shortened

66. Can a quarantine be shortened if the exposed child tests negative on a COVID test?

Answer: No, must be quarantines for 10 days, because you can show symptoms between 2-10 days

Quarantining criteria

67. Maybe this question will be answered later in the presentation, if so, sorry.  Quarantining:  what are the criteria this year?  Delta is considered by the CDC to be 2 x more contagious as the original variant and we now are at full density (where last year the rooms were about half full). 

Answer:  The CDC quarantine guidelines have changed from last year. Whether or not someone in the room is required to quarantine depends on the amount of direct contact. At the high school level, if masks are worn properly and there is at least 3 feet of social distancing, quarantine is not required.

Recess distance enforced

68. Regarding outdoor recess, how will the monitors enforce the social distancing rules if kids aren’t masked?

Answer: We will follow the same protocols that were in place at the end of last year. K-3 95% attendance and have enough monitors to be sure rules are followed. Half of students wore masks outside

Redline to close

69. What are the redline to close the school?

Answer: This is determined by the UCDOH and the District medical director and is based on the specific facts and circumstances.  

Remote request

70. Where do we put remote request for online classes?

Answer: Complete the Remote Learning Request Form found in multiple places on our website (pop-up page, 2021- 2022 Re-opening Plan,  and in the August 23re welcome back letter.)

Report numbers

71. Will the school continue to update the online “COVID report card” this year?

Answer: Yes the on-line COVID report card will be updated on a daily basis

Sent Home sick procedure

72. If a child is sent home, say with a runny nose, what is the procedure to come back to school? Doctor note? COVID test? It’s often difficult to get a same day doctor appt.

Answer: - On an individual, case by case basis. If they have more than just runny nose, yes

Sibling of immune compromised

73. Can a sibling of an immune compromised child have a remote option?

Answer: You can apply and it will be determined on a case by case basis



74. I love the lunch tent idea. Will there be heaters for late fall/winter months for these?

Answer: The possible use of heaters in tents is subject to fire code restrictions.


75. I’m concerned about testing availability. Is there anything parents can do to organize and support administrators to work with government to increase capacity for rapid and PCR tests in our communities?

Answer: Absolutely, the more voices heard, the more attention we can get for our large geographical area. UCDOH received the in excess of four (4) million in funding to expand the availability of testing. Plans to move this initiative forward are being finalized.


76. If you are transporting your child/student regularly, but need to put them on a bus on a specific day or days, how is this done?

Answer: Email and your building principal

(Updated 8/31/21)