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Superintendent's Letter December 31, 2021 - Coming Back January 3rd

December 31, 2021  

Dear Onteora Community,  

We hope that this letter finds you and your family well and enjoying a much needed holiday break.  As this year is coming to a close, we hope you will join us in taking a collective moment to reflect on the people and events which have enriched your life and brought you joy. Closing out this difficult year by reflecting on moments of joy and gratitude seems needed.  

The news headlines of recent days are  focused on the surge in coronavirus cases largely driven by the Omicron variant. This surge has led to some concern over in-person schooling. Although school has not been in session over the winter break, please know that this does not impact our District procedures for appropriately reviewing and monitoring our District positivity rate with respective to COVID.  We have continued to have daily communications with our District COVID Coordinators, administrative staff, and Ulster County Department of Health (UCDOH) to ensure that we all have a good understanding of where we are as a District. 

As of today, as a  District we are fortunate to not reflect what others in the County are experiencing. Therefore, we plan to welcome all of our students back to in-person instruction on Monday, January 3rd. 
We will continue to monitor and review the situation daily. We need your help in making certain we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. When our schools open on Monday, January 3, 2022, it will continue to be our expectation that all individuals on our campuses are wearing a face covering/mask at all times unless in a designated area for eating where a mask break is permitted.   

Additionally, we continue to partner with the UCDOH to ensure that school remains open to all of our student in a safe and healthy environment. We are doing this by offering free test kits to all of our families (which we are continuing to do throughout this week and moving forward). We are also working with the County to establish safe protocols to implement a “Test to Stay” program in our District. We are awaiting information from UCDOH prior to finalizing the necessary protocols to implement this program and communicating them to all. 

Please also remember that the District is hosting (in collaboration with Village Apothecary) a FREE COVID Testing Event on January 9, 2022 11:30-1:00 pm in the Middle/ High School gym  for participants ages 2 and older. To sign up please visit Dr. Smoller’s website at The sign up is listed under Upcoming Events. 

Again thank you for your continued partnership as we work together to keep everyone safe.  

Have a wonderful new year and we look forward to seeing everyone on Monday! 


Marystephanie Corsones                Stephanie Laffin 
Interim Superintendent                    Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction