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Questions & Answers from January 4, 2022



january 4, 2022- Continued from december 14, 2021


Move off Positive List

204. How do we move people off positive vase list when do they move to recovered?

Case investigation on who is positive, public health nurse- want to keep in touch with positive individual. At day 10, 72 hours without symptoms or getting better consider recovered. NYS DOH system maintains positives, once isolation release is created comes off of active case list. State changed guidance today - individuals who test positive have to isolate for 5 days as long as they are asymptomatic or symptoms resolve in 48 or 72hours, at day 5 considered recovered. Day 0 day onset of symptoms or positive test. Same for unvaccinated people quarantine as long as unsymptomatic.

Test to Stay

205. Will you please explain the test to stay again.  I missed some of it

Slide show will review all of that


206. When are the boosters suppose to be taken?

Boosters are approved for 12-15 year olds. Wait 5 months or more from shots. Ages 16 and over get boosters.

N95 and KN 95 Masks

207. N95 masks have been found to be more effective against transmission of the Omicron variant.  Why are we not mandating that N95 masks be used in school?

Cannot mandate anything we can’t make available would need thousands of them. K 95 or KN 95s.  K95 have to be fitted and fit tested every time put on the face. KN 95 don't require suction - make be more bearable for children. Social distancing and surgical masks are better. People certified to wear N95 are nurses, some custodial staff, some to help put students in isolation rooms. Have surgical masks for all people- supply for elementary students as well. Would need so many to mandate them, we couldn't get them.

Not Heard from Health Dept.

208. What should you do if you submit positive test results to the DOH website but you do not hear from back from anyone?  What time frame should you expect to hear from someone?

Brought on 2-3 full public health experts than normal 4-5 days at this point. Can call COVID Hotline for Ulster County if not heard within 5 days. Will create ticket

Not Heard from Health Dept.

209. So, how does one get a quarantine release document if one hasn't heard back from DOH at all yet? We submitted results on Wednesday 12/29. Thanks.

Go to to  Quarantine Release can fill out form that will get you quarantine order and release as long as you meet requirements in questions.

When Can I get the Booster?

210. How long after I have recovered from COVID to I have to wait to get the Booster?

Day recovered can get the booster

Positives During Break

211. How many positive people were "missed" due to the Winter Recess?  My child was exposed on 12/21 in school and the e-mail, which went to my spam folder, was sent to me on 12/23 at 4:12 PM, which was after school was closed for the break.

SPAM folder going through your filter, let us know and will be sure a phone call is required. Had 3 positive students resulted in 100 phone calls.  Numbers yesterday were from 12/24-1/3 because school was not in session. Not 44 cases in one day - reported throughout break. County Health Dept. working all week besides 2 Holidays. County reports to school. Do case investigation to extent could. Would have reached out to do follow-up with each individual. Contact tracing all week from school.

5 Day Quarantine

212. My daughter was put on quarantine today.  Due to the new guidance that was just discussed, does that mean she only has to quarantine for 5 days instead of the 10 days?


Accuracy of Antigen Tests

213. Please address the inaccuracy of rapid tests, as they are only 35% accurate in asymptomatic cases. Thank you

Look at actual numbers - a rapid antigen test is about 90% effective assuming no user error. Aren't always the easiest - read and follow instructions. Errors have been not swabbing deep enough or long enough. Done correctly, 90% accurate. Lower if not done correctly. Each test is different. Always read instructions

N95 with Asthma

214. How do the N95 and the other mask effect students who has Asthma?

Would not wear an N95 mask all day with asthma

Type of Mask Mandated

215. Wait, are masks not mandated or just KN95 masks not mandated or surgical masks not mandated?

NYS Law is everyone wear face covering while in school building. Not specific is type of face covering so no particular mask is required.

5 Day Quarantine

216. Thank you for all of this information, and for all you do to support our kids. In regards to the new quarantine guidelines for positive cases in children, can you be more specific about asymptomatic verses mild symptoms? For example, if a child has a low grade fever in school, is sent home, and ultimately tests positive, but has no other symptoms, does the 5 day quarantine still apply? Or is it 72 hours symptom free regardless of initial symptoms? Thanks!

Requirement: If asymptomatic at the end of 5 days, symptoms resolving,  wear well – fitting mask for 5 days. Moderately or severely Immuno-compromised people should do 10 days, or if you can’t wear a well fitted mask, 10 days

Change from 72 hours

217. 24 hours fever free without medication of testing negative, if positive 72 hours, does that change?

Return from sick – stick with these guidelines. This is a change, supposed to resolve respiratory system and fever in 72 hours

Why not test daily for unvaccinated?

218. Why is there no requirement for unvaccinated students and teachers/staff to regularly test before attending school? It seems like testing even periodically, on Sundays for example, or the morning after a holiday break like would be prudent now, especially among the population that is most vulnerable (albeit by choice), making the greater popular more vulnerable.

It is a NYS law that any employee of school district must be tested on a weekly basis if unvaccinated. Partnered with Village Apothecary who does the testing. MS/HS & Bennett unvaccinated staff tested on Tuesday, Woodstock & Phoenicia staff on Wed. Also, offering opt-in testing for students - for those parents who choose to have children tested - once a week - MS/HS Bennett - Thursday, PH, WD, Wednesday. Mandated testing for unvaccinated students will not be approved by the Governor until it is not emergency approved, but fully approved.

Positivity Rate for Ulster

219. Your reporting of 3000 cases out of 188,000 people computes to 1.6%.  The COVID NY app reports over 21% positivity rate in Ulster County for Jan 02, 2022.  How do you reconcile that gap?

21% of people who tested, tested positive

Which children are Vaccinated?

220. How do we know which children are vaccinated? Both of my children are in different schools in the district and we haven’t been asked once for confirmation or proof.

Not allowed to ask that question. We make the vaccinations as available as possible. If your child is a direct contact of a positive person, can look up vaccination status on the State web site or parents provide proof. Very few people have access to NYS immunization system – just the nurses. Confidentiality remains. Has all immunizations, same as nurses have always had

Student Testing

221. 2.7% of students who are testing. HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE TESTING?? I’m guessing very few.

Known positivity of all students. 1,153 attend school on our campus.

Family Member Positive

222. If a family member tests positive, should we quarantine students at home?

Every situation different. If person is able to isolate and not a direct exposure that is known while infectious, can continue to send to school. If vaccinated (and boosted) would not have to quarantine. If unvaccinated, quarantine – no Test to Stay. Test to Stay is only for school related- exposure. Term to be fully vaccinated is that if you are eligible to receive a booster, you must have received a booster.

Staff Not Boosted

223. If staff has not boosted, start mandated tested every week?

Critical worker guidance include teachers, so need to follow up with Amanda on that

Test To Stay

224. Is the district going to adopt test to stay?

We are actively looking at creating process and procedures and how to logically do that. In presentation talk about how to trial it in grades 7-12 with Woodstock Apothecary – has to be done before school day. Only for school related exposure to staff or students. If you have symptoms, have to go home to quarantine. Test positive, always have to quarantine. Bulk of cases in secondary

5 Day Quarantine

225. Do children ages 5 and up who are fully vaccinated but tested COVID positive qualify for the 5 day quarantine vs. 10 if no symptoms upon return?


Mandated Vaccines

226. Why is it be mandatory for students to have their measles, flu, tetanus, and other vaccines to attend school (still today in 2022) but, it is not mandatory that students get their COVID vaccine to attend school all in all?

Authorization is still emergency use, may be mandated once fully approved

In-School Transmission

227. Do you have any data on the number of cases contracted at school vs outside of school?

Not for our specific school. General picture is that in-school transmission is not large. Less than community transmission.

Quarantined Teachers Test

228. What about staff who are vaccinated but want to test? Are tests available weekly to them as well?

Yes, any staff that want to be screened can be and a large number do!

Vaccinated Status Makes a Difference

229. Why would vaccination status matter if we know that vaccinated students can get/pass COVID as well?

Much less likely for vaccinated person to catch and transmit. Viral load does not build up as much. Transmissible for less days and less transmissible. If wearing a well fitted mask unlikely to pass on.

Voice Concerns to Who?

230. Can we as parents and citizens of this community voice our concerns about staff members not being vaccinated? And to whom?

Cannot do publicly. Received guidance from attorney cannot give information about who is vaccinated. The list of unvaccinated due to mandatory testing is closely held.

Mental Health In-School

231. I understand that many of the members of our district are worried for the students mental health and that is why we are not going online but I don’t think they understand what staying in school is doing to students mental health too. The mental health of students declined after around two years of online learning. Two weeks of online learning is a different story. Students have stopped eating lunch because they are scared to take their masks off and the safety protocols that you have put in place are not being followed. So why are we still in school when there are over 3,000 cases?

Mental health is a part, more of an equity issue. Some students,  if school is not in session are not getting meals. Looking at health, mental health and other factors. County believes that in-person learning is important

Risk when Vaccinated

232. Isn't the severity of Omicron in vaccinated/boosted adults and kids pretty low? I don't get the sense that this point is getting across, it's like people think nothing has changed. At some point aren't we going crazy to avoid a cold? What is the real risk here?

If vaccinated and booster risk is lower. See some vaccinated people in in hospitals – most times have underlying condition. Risk with omicron is much lower than risk with delta. Still more severe than the flu for many. Everyone reacts differently to it. A lot more treatments. Risk is lower than other variants. This variant will help us get from Pandemic to endemic as long as we have a high vaccination rate. Offer protection against other variants. Experts do not think we will see a more severe variant.

Vaccinated and Positive COVID test

233. But vaccinated students can still catch Covid-19. My daughter is vaccinated and got COVID-19 and brought it home twice

It moves quickly.

Cafeteria socializing

234. On the other side to the coin of mask wearing- while in the cafeteria, the vibe is that of a prison at times, and the cafeteria being the only time our kids really have a chance to socialize (in the high school at least), the social emotional well being of our students is at stake if they aren’t allowed to socialize and are subjected to a punitive environment constantly.

Excellent article in NY Times about this. Give administration and teachers a lot of credit they are always trying to come up with creative ways to balance this need. Maintain 6’ of distancing because masks are off. For example : MS offers movies, yoga, offer other things to enjoy down time while staying safe. Is a balancing act. Maintain as many extra curricular activities as possible with safety as well as after school sports.

Consequence of not Wearing a Mask

235. That didn't answer the question, how do you enforce the mask issue? Is there a consequence for a student who will not wear a masks?

Have not had anyone blatantly refuse. Everyone is required to wear a mask – including visitors. Most people are cooperative. Masks do slip and people don’t realize. Try to be cognizant. Many people trying -  because of tracing – review where people sit in a classroom. At a sporting event – see event how close people were and if masks were worn. Most people trying to comply, all need to be reminded and vigilant. Working with administrators, staff and students as to how to do it better. Urge people to follow the rule so teachers and administrators can teach and inspire and make a better environment so they are not police. Shared responsibility – parents as well. Please ask your children to wear masks and model correct mask wearing when out.

Quarantine if Boosted?

236. Will staff have to quarantine if exposed and not boosted?

With new guidance, assuming they are exposed within 6’ for 15 min or more, yes, but need to check critical worker guidance. Yes quarantine, but shorter

Boosters for 12-15 year olds

237. Question for Marc, when are the 12-16 year olds going to be eligible for booster shots?

Children 16 years old are eligible now – 5 months past second dose. 12-15 year olds– CDC is meeting tomorrow, Booster may be as early as Friday

Quarantine different Lengths

238. Since being vaccinated or unvaccinated doesn’t change the transmission of the virus, anyone can get it and transmit it to others, why are the rules/quarantine lengths different?

Levels of transmission are different. Lower vital load if vaccinated, level of transmission is lower.

More Frequent Testing

239. Is there consideration to test more than weekly considering the increased transmissibility of omicron?

Unvaccinated and opt-in students, the availability of rapid tests makes that difficult but not impossible. If testing on weekly basis is not enough, may have to shift to multiple days. Parents of students -if child is symptomatic- UPK as well - free rapid antigen testing 1pm-5pm at Woodstock Apothecary – no appointment necessary, sign up.

Socialize in Cafeteria

240. My son told me that even when masked, they aren’t supposed to leave their table. I have a few examples of situations where the kids have been cut off the second they try to socialize. This is a real problem in the high school. I appreciate the efforts and difficulty the administration is experiencing with this, but I just worry about our kids.

We hear these concerns and will do our best balance safety and socializing.

Mask Breaks

241. I have heard many other school districts mandate mask breaks but Onteora disregarded outdoor lunch time for students who eat lunch at Onteora (unlike BOCES kids) and I have not experienced one mask break this entire year.

In guidance from NYS said no mask breaks, but we are leaving it to the administrators working with staff, to appropriately have a mask break. In after school sports, they go outside for a mask break. In elementaries, there is an area designated for students to take mask breaks. We consistently looking to support. Offered outside eating as long as we could, but the tents and tables had to come down in bad weather. At the HS PE teachers in those activities that are active gave mask breaks


New guidance – no mask breaks – says indoor breaks. Anytime in  buildings where no vaccination status is available, have to wear a mask at all times. Was just extended for another 30 days.


Some discretion in mask breaks. If you feel you need one – just speak up and we will work with you.

Optional Testing

242. I also want to ask, why is testing optional? Wouldn’t there be far less spread if all students were tested?

State mandate – address to state health dept.

Who to Contact to Raise Concern

243. My question wasn’t answered. I understand that the school cannot disclose who is vaccinated of the staff. That was not my question. Who can we voice our concerns about staff not being vaccinated at the county or state level. It is mandated in the city, & it should also be mandated here if we’re all really going to share this responsibility of protecting our kids and immunocompromised staff members, they’re peers?

If you have a concern, contact Superintendent of Schools. HIPPA violation to talk about vaccination status. NY State Education Department can be contacted.


If you feel your safety is being compromised by a person, tell the Superintendent.

Testing Clinic

244. Is that free testing or will there be a charge?

Testing on Sunday is free

Testing Clinic

245. Is the testing this week for those who have been exposed and or have symptoms? Or just anyone?

For students and community members. Please register – see ShoutPoint message. Purpose is to screen so if you are positive, know before school. Practicing social distancing and taking precautions. Clarify with Dr. Smoller. If you have symptoms, don’t wait.  

Vaccination Status of Children Confidential

246. You’ve made mention to the “optional” testing for students - when a student is tested, is the student’s vaccination status made available for statistics? How many unvaccinated students are being tested in the district.

Changes week by week. Increase in parents requesting student testing.  Only to people who are qualified to see the vaccination information. Apothecary registration has nothing to do with vaccination status.

Suspending Sports

247. Is there any consideration for suspending contact sports?

At this point in time are participating with Section IX on winter sports program . Have not had situation to do that. If there is a huge spike in our population, will consider. Offer as many opportunities for students as long as it is safe. Depends on Facts and circumstances

Eat Outside

248. Agree with Stella that there should be an outdoor lunch option year-round. They eat outside in Scandinavia all the time.

At this time because of situation with the snow not in a situation where we can do that. Tables and tents came down in November and will go back up as soon as weather clears up. Have opened a lot of alternative spaces at MS/HS for students to have their lunch. Students can choose to go to other locations besides cafeteria. Will do best to iterate options to students

Lift Mask mandate

249. Will students have to wear masks as long as there are positive cases in the district? Is there any off ramp for masking?

Don’t anticipate that there will be a lax of masking requirement this school year. Depends on omicron, if goes through majority of population and is a downward trend, then re-evaluated by state. Not anytime soon. Presidents of hospital – no cases of the flu in the hospitals because of masks. Masks are impacting flu and other diseases that keep kids out of school.


250. My apologies if this has been asked already… but when can we expect to see the most current numbers of positive and quarantine cases for the district?

The provider for our website was down. It is fixed now

HIPPA in Schools

251. HIPAA does not apply to schools, please explain.

Idea of confidentiality – HPAA privacy rules are actually in effect in schools. Health records in schools are under HIPAA. In school can also be FERPA – cannot disclose any information about students and staff members

Un-Boosted Teachers Quarantine

252. Can you please clarify once again -if a staff member who has not had a booster is exposed to COVID will they be quarantined?

Yes, from the Health Dept. If exposed cumulatively for 15 minutes and within 6’. Will be quarantined, may be able to come back in 5 days. Quarantined regardless if unvaccinated, but may be able to return to work though worker guidance.

Explain to Young Students

253. For the little kids - is there any discussion about all this to help them understand what hardly any of us understand? Or is it just “wear your mask” and that’s the rule and wash your hands. My experience is the smallest kids may be the among the most resilient and obedient, but I’m wondering about psychological support to students, particularly for the youngest students.

Support in process – classroom teachers addressing regularly. Work done in circles allows students to express themselves and hear from each other and discuss COVID in community. Why – lessons on working together as a community and the science behind it – age appropriate.

COVID Report Card vs. School Report

254. In regards to the COVID report card site....why do the school provided numbers not match up with the student report card numbers?

There is the 5-17 year old section which has anybody regardless of student in school district . From lab results. Private schools, home schooled. School reported positives is from entire winter break. Numbers will typically be more inline than now.

Meetings In-Person

255. Will we be holding these meetings live in the future?  Our kids are expected to show up each day in school & county offices, courts, etc are all virtual. Our BOE meetings are virtual. It’s “you’re here till you’re sick ” policy, it seems.

Yes, we don’t know when the meetings will be in-person

Emails Not Returned

256. I have done that to the board, principal, and superintendent and have not heard back.  Mr. Edelman said to come to this forum. Both my daughters are in advanced programs and on high honors. They are concerned that if they missed school they will fall behind.

Please let us know. Get an enormous amount of emails, please let us know if you have not been successful with that we have described.

Speak to Your Medical Person

257. So a doctor needs to give a diagnosis???

We ask you speak to a medical professional to get your concerns answered.

Mental Health Support for Unvaccinated

258. My daughter has dealt with the overwhelming pressure about vaccination from her peers.  Is there a support group that is in place for those who are not vaccinated?  If not why?

Speak to counselor and look for online support groups. It is because of everything else going on, not sure there aren’t other resources  that could address that. School setting is not legally appropriate, as cannot know about vaccination status.

Out-of-District Program

259. My daughter is out of district and is forced to do remote and there is no set date for her to go back in person. She is not getting support online. what about Alexis? she needs in person but can't attend.

Encourage her to email the Director of PPS, reach out to daughter’s program to be sure she get the support she needs. If private programs go remote, have to adhere to their policies, Can take steps to be sure support student needs is happening

Unanswered Emails

260. To be clear, if we email our principal our accommodations will be met?

If principal is not responsive contact Superintendent. System has resources, if you feel you haven’t been heard, contact us again. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction said will work with you to deliver education seamlessly. Different in being in-person in a pandemic and in 2018. Working with available resources. Will do our very best to give seamless delivery of education.

Metric to Go To Remote

261.We know that Omicron is in a spike. We know the spike will be over soon. Why not just close school for a week or two until the spike is over? Metric you would use to pivot to fully remote classrooms?

In march of 2020, the State and county had a county had metric – no longer in place because what we have learning is that the full remote option has huge equity issues. We have the ability to give every child a Chromebook – but may be no internet access at home. Not desirable option. Look at numbers consistently during the day. If reach a situation, where it is not safe for children to come to school or not enough staff to appropriately supervise, will pivot to remote. Based on circumstances and situation. In a particular classroom, multiple students out, more than half population – class can pivot for remote. If school has a spike, the school may pivot. 100% remote students are at home in an environment where they can learn and teachers will be in-school delivering the instruction. If we have to pivot, want families to be ready to address that. Have systems in place to ensure students get Chromebooks at home., Can deliver food that we need to for the community. All systems ready to pivot.

Watch Google Synchronous Lesson in School

262. My daughter was told by her math teacher that unless she had proof she had COVID, the school rules were she was **not allowed** to watch the Google classroom synchronous lesson.  Has this been amended? Academic record was compromised

Students quarantining have had Google link shared with them. Communicate unique circumstances. Please communicate with Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction or Principal on how to move forward student’s needs. Is it a correct thing for teacher to say – process and response is evolving. Used to work that way, but trying to be flexible now. Prefer more specific conversation. Would never ask a student to disclose medical status and say they were positive. If person was not cleared to come back to school – that started mechanism for each subject. Never share anybody’s medical status- confidential information. If not cleared for school have option of supports.

If you are choosing to not put child in building. Contact building principal- if you want to choose an already available resource?

Piloting the streaming, process- how can we refine process and communication. Encourage time to allow us to look into this.

Need to ensure we are providing students with best opportunity possible.


Work with student as to how to support student. If available, why not give link?

SUNY Ulster absences

263. For my college level Spanish class I am only allowed 18 absences per year because it is offered through SUNY Ulster. If I were to email the principal and not attend school this week, would those days count towards the 18 days I’m allowed to miss?

Would have to look into it further. Encourage conversation to building principal, guidance counselor or Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction could help.

Many Calls Tomorrow

264. How will the district handle a good number of people calling tomorrow to the individual building principal's asking to have children educated from home?

Follow process that was outlined

Absences Counted

265. What do we have to do to make sure absences are not counted as illegal if we choose to keep our kids out during the omicron spike?

Excused or unexcused – state guidelines to follow. Regardless of whether child is excused or unexcused providing same support to them, NYS says for chronic absenteeism does not differentiate between excused and unexcused. No one has been unduly penalized by anything.

Absences Counted

266. My children are afraid that in practicality, they will be penalized in their grades if they stay home for medical reasons, despite their sincere efforts to stay on top of their work.   What would you say to them?

See answer to 265

Trigger to remote Learning

267. We all see the severe spike of cases in our county — greater than any other time in the pandemic. What will trigger a shift to remote learning?

County metric and school metric: county - kids are not well served when not in school. Equity issue - not everyone can do remote, some students get all meals from school district, part of social services system would not have eyes on them in remote. Do not see the County Executive ordering schools closed. County does not believe it is the right choice now. If school cannot run because of shortage of staff, that's up to the school district. 
At Onteora, 2% of students and 3% of staff are positive right bow, May send self-contained classroom, remote, building may go remote. Depends on facts and circumstances.

Mandate Vaccine

268. Why weren’t the students quarantined at least a week before returning to school? Also, why can’t you mandate the COVID-19 vaccine like the others mandated to enroll in school?

Quarantine 5 days if asymptomatic 72 hours after symptoms subside. School does not have authority - must come from State or Federal government. Unlikely until fully Authorized

Mandatory Vaccines

269. But this is exactly my question. Why is testing optional for unvaccinated students?

State mandated testing for unvaccinated staff, but not students

Mandatory Vaccines

270 why is it mandatory for students to have their measles, flu, tetanus, and other vaccines to attend the school district but, it is not mandatory that students get their COVID vaccines during this time?

Authorization is still emergency use, may be mandated once fully approved. School District cannot mandate that

Social Distancing not Being Followed

271. What about social distancing in schools? Are students supposed to stay six feet apart from each other? In my school there is supposedly a six-feet apart rule but some of the desks are set up not even two feet apart. It feels unsafe especially with students not wearing their masks properly.

Exception for in-person learning is 3-6’ feet. Guidance says to maintain to the extent possible 3’ and fully masked. 6’ of distancing comes into effect with high – impact situations and tables in cafeteria are 6’ apparent so students can eat with 6’ or more social distancing. Opened up outdoor seating with tents MS-HS had opportunity to spread to outside

BOCES Students not Distanced on Buses

272. I am a student who attends Onteora and I go to BOCES for half the day like many other students. students who attend BOCES eat their lunch on our way to BOCES with their masks off almost the whole ride because we do not have a lunch period at BOCES and cannot eat during class time(40 minute ride to twice a day everyday). bus seats and student are not 6 feet apart on buses and it is almost impossible to social distance on a bus and not be exposed to COVID. how is this safe and following COVID protocols? Are we still keeping the bus windows open?

That has been the directive. Director of Transportation continually reminds bus drivers and bus company. Supposed to be open even though it’s cold.

Not enough room on BOCES buses to distance. On general bus runs cannot maintain 1 person per seat. Do as much as we can. The half day bus runs to BOCES Will get more information.

Windows on Buses

273. Windows are not down on any buses.

Thank for bringing to our attention

Not Following Protocols

274. Speaking from experience, we are never “socially distanced”. Not in the hallway, not in the classrooms, and definitely not in the cafeteria. In many cases I see kids (even up to ten people) crowding around tables that are meant for four people, and all unmasked. Why is this allowed in the cafeteria?

Not allowed, need uniformity of practice. We’ll continue to try to work with everybody. At MS/HS – students need to work with staff

Protocols Not Being Followed

275. There are all of these rules that have been put in place but none of them are followed. For example the temperature testing that has been put in place is not accurate. I am a student at the school and I have seen teachers let students take their temperatures on their wrists and let them through when it says they have a fever. The plastic shields in the lunch room have been taken down by students and tables have been pushed together. This is only the beginning of the protocols that are not being followed.

We understand that all rules are not being uniformly enforced. Refer to the Superintendent or Board of Education let us know your concerns through email. Superintendent – if there are things you are aware of, since I am not in the buildings every day, let us know so we can work with administration, staff and students to do this. Worked long and hard – collective commitment – aware of it, how can we best address it.


276. Buses to and from home also do not have windows down and I am assigned to someone. We are less than a foot apart sitting in a bus seat together. not just the BOCES buses. Thankyou

See answer to 275

Protocols Not Followed

277. It seems that you may be ignoring the reality that mask rules are not being enforced and that some students are really stressed by being  in close contact with those that do not follow those rules. These worried students are concerned that they may be carriers to their parents and grandparents.
Bruce Barry

See answer to 275


278. Stella, my daughter also goes to BOCES, you mentioned eating lunch on the bus, yet not getting mask breaks. It's exactly the same for her, that's why the bus IS the mask break. Find safer way for students to eat lunch

Mandated that masks be used on buses. Will review with transportation and administrators. Windows should be down and masks are required.

Protocols Not Being Followed

279. Is there a way to ensure that all of the teachers are on board with enforcing that masks are worn properly in the classroom. My daughter sits right next to a child who constantly does not wear her mask properly. This is known in the classroom and this child shares multiple classes with my child. My daughter says she cannot switch seats due to “tracing” protocols? This makes us feel pretty vulnerable as a family.


See answer to 275

Protocols Not Followed

280. Windows are down sometimes but not often at all and this doesn't go for just BOCES buses this goes for to and from home buses as well.

See answer to 275

Wearing a Mask Incorrectly in School

281. How can you claim our school is safe for in person learning when there is no one enforcing wearing a mask the right way? A large percentage of students I pass in the hallway wear their mask below their noses and even completely under their chins and no one corrects this.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction and Superintendent are in the halls, reiterate and remind everyone. Remind students when we see them. Ask everyone including out students to join us in keeping everyone safe. Masks do slip, ask and continue to monitor.  Working with closely with administrators and staff members to model, suggest and keep conversation open for importance of those practices. Not at lot of in-school spread that is occurring. County tracks it, know which ones have exposure in school is not a large amount of those who go on quarantine. Vast majority out on quarantine for 10 days, never are positive or have symptoms. Regular testing with Test to Stay will work. Shared responsibility. My mask keeps you safe, your keeps me safe

School Still Call when Absent?

282. Does school still call when child is not in school

Yes, not quarantine

Maximum Days Can Be Out

283. Number of days?

Any student absent more than 10% is consisted chronic absenteeism. Criteria for Federal funding. For 20-21 school year received relief from Federal government for that criteria. Not approved for 21-22. Ramifications in Federal funds for schools with chromic absenteeism. Believe students are best in person- when with us, they are in a safe environment are best at meeting emotional and educational needs.

Falling Behind in School Work

284. Our child was quarantined twice for symptoms and proximity to possibly infected people at school. He has fallen behind in his work because of this. Lack of classroom instruction prohibited him from being able to complete the assignments adequately. What can be done to help rectify this situation?

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Support for quarantined

285. Why is there not more support for students that have to quarantine?


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Remote Option

286. Why can the school not provide a remote option for those who want that for their kids? Is this a possibility?

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Remote Option

287. Can we request our children to go remote?  We have high risk in the family and we cannot risk exposure

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Remote Option

288. Is there any situation where the school district will allow the remote/in school hybrid settings again?

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Remote Learning

289. HYBRID!! Give those of us who are uncomfortable using our kids as guinea pigs the option to learn from home.

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Remote Option

290. I am immune compromised and my daughter brought the Covid-19 home from school so the whole household got Covid-19. She has now gotten it again. Will she be removed as a student from school if I decide to keep her remote? I cannot afford to get sick again

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Remote option

291. please address how the many students who will be missing school in the coming weeks keep up with the lessons and assignments since there is no remote option right now.

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Remote Option

292. I am concerned that my kids will get long COVID or they will infect their medically fragile grandmother who lives with us.  Why are not the needs of vulnerable families factored into the plan? Please offer a hybrid or virtual option during the next few weeks. Thank you.

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Remote Learning

293. Last year Onteora offered both in-person and remote options during a time when all case numbers were low. With current numbers reaching record highs daily, when will Onteora create a remote or hybrid option so that our children can be safe?

When will the new COVID case and quarantine numbers from today be updated on the school website?

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Remote Option

294. By keeping children in school during this spike in cases you are forcing students to choose between their safety and their academic success. Student feel unsafe in school and they voiced those concerns to the superintendent but were all met with identical emails that did not answer and any of their concerns. Why are we not listening to students when they say they are feeling unsafe in school and asking for a hybrid option?

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Remote Option

295. BOCES has been able to offer a remote option this year.  It allows for a student to sign into zoom if they can't make it to class in person for any reason.  Is there any more cost or inconvenience by allowing this same option at Onteora?  I think it would be beneficial in general to allow for the students to continue getting their instruction if they cannot attend in person.

Remote Option

296. If “hybrid” doesn’t work, how about an online or asynchronous version of the class (google classroom, etc.) for students who need to stay home? I DO NOT feel comfortable sending my kids into school until our county numbers come back down again. (We kept them home today.)

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Remote Option

297. I am listening to you speak to remote options, but you are talking about individual cases. As for me, and I think I’m speaking for other people as well - is the district considering going remote for a couple of weeks because there are so many cases in the county?

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Remote Option

298. What would the harm be to go remote - for one week or two - since we know from other regions of the world that have been hit by Omicron that this should get better in even that short period of time. What is the risk vs benefit to our students and staff, really?

Been addressed – risks and benefits to both. No way to give every risk and benefit of in-person learning. Can find information on the web See Remote Option Answer - here

Remote Option

299. Lets say if 5% of the student body's parents want children educated at home, how will the district handle it?

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Remote Option

300. Quarantined, at risk person in household, parents feeling unsafe sending children to school, what are supports and options. Hybrid, remote, etc. definition. What are the various shades of learning delivery models.

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Remote Option Answer

In Person, Full remote, Hybrid Definition:

  • In-person model is more traditional. Students coming to school, with teacher and peers every day.
  • Fully remote option – no students enter building. Everything in school happening through a Google meet or asynchronously – not all together.
    • Long term: Each semester have option to choose to student’s programs and commit for semester. Around 10 students began learning remotely. Some have returned to district due to changes in health. Less than 1% of students are on fully remote learning.
  • Hybrid model as experienced last year – teacher who has a group of students in front of them and students on a Google Meet that the teacher is also interacting with – teaching 2 groups at once. Everything we know – nearly impossible to do that effectively. We moved to that model due to parent choice. Did not have good results. Not effective for our students.

Options that parents were offered this year with respect to remote learning.

  • Have fully remote options for students with medical conditions that prohibit them from attending in-school, in-person learning. Receive information from a medical doctor where person was unable to come to in-person learning, verified by medical team. Worked to find a program that would fit that student.
  • If IEP – found program. For K-6 online, completing virtual program participate through Capital Region BOCES. Group of students from all around NY that work in that setting 7-12 students participating in INENGIUITY – 100% remote learning – use for Summer School through Ulster BOCES. One of the things asked - if go through this model, commit to a semester to be able to be part of it. If people are thinking in those terms, need to be aware of what program is.
  • Other district in Ulster county were relying on a program that did not come to fruition. We were able to get this program for those children who needed it because of medical problems.


Quarantined students:

  • Elementary having teachers and families working together. Google Meet varies - depends on student grade. Some parents don’t want digital support for quarantined students. Principals work with parents and student to customize experience. Length of time out plays a role. Google Classroom, Meets, phone calls. Any type of support or communication do best to individualized instruction.
  • 7-12 Google Classroom is a more robust experience. 7-8 4th period teachers are on Google Classroom to work with any student who want to join them. Most students are not taking advantages of this opportunity. Not used widely.
  • 7-12 every teacher has a period available to support students during the day. Can communicate directly on any period. Make appointments with teachers. Communication is important. Reach out to teachers, guidance counselor with what’s working and not working is essential to support system.

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous:

  • Synchronous instruction is online, virtual instruction where students and teacher are together, having the same learning experience.  
  • Asynchronous instruction is where the teacher posts assignments in Google Classroom, student watch or complete in their own time.

If parents are nervous to send children to school:

  • Please speak directly to your doctor about your concern and reach out to building principal. 
    • If your doctor is in agreement that this student should be out of school for a while, ask them to contact us and give documentation. Would support like any student who had any health issues and needs to be out of school. 
  • We are at a time where we are doing best to support parents with their choice. Every parent has a different reason to be nervous so hard to answer.

If still uncomfortable, here are options:

·         Parent needs to reach out to Principal and directly to classroom teacher, explain situation and ask about educational supports for the time you are keeping the student home.

·         Building leader will handle with you or teachers and will determine what that level of support is. Individual conversations are most important to understand the individual. Unique circumstances for each child.

·         Everyone is going to work to help student so they do not fall behind.


Foreign language and math are piloting a link to students to watch the class. Constantly looking at models and ways to support and enrich experience. Always looking for things that might work.