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8/8 COVID-19 Update to Families and Community
8/8 COVID-19 Update to Families and Community
Eileen Feinman, Superintendent
Saturday, August 08, 2020

Dear Wayland-Cohocton Families and Community,

As you well know, we submitted our reopening plan to the NY State Education Department last week and yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced that all schools in New York, in every region, could reopen following their reopening plans. Additional requirements to do that include the following:

  • Hold three (3) virtual discussion sessions with parents by August 21 and one (1) teacher only meeting. Additional information and dates will be provided after consultation with the Board of Education.

  • Clarify and repost plans for COVID-19 testing and Contact Tracing

We are NOT TESTING students or staff at school. Any needed tests will be done in consultation with the Steuben County Health Dept. and primary care physicians.

NYS DOH

Page 5:

Testing Protocols 

Process for the provision or referral of diagnostic testing for students, faculty and staff for COVID 19 in consultation with local health department officials, when needed before allowing such individuals to return to school in person.

SED Guidance

Page 41:

COVID-19 Testing

It is strongly recommended that SCHOOLS COMPLY WITH CDC GUIDANCE AND NOT CONDUCT COVID-19 TESTING OR REQUIRE TESTING OR ANTIBODY TESTING OF STUDENTS OR STAFF MEMBERS. The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should be determined by a healthcare provider or the local department of health.

Contact Tracing:

Contact tracing is a public health function performed by local public health departments to trace all persons who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. This allows public health officials to put in place isolation or other measures to limit the spread of the virus. The District will cooperate with state and local health department contact tracing. The District will assist the Department of Health in knowing who may have had contact at school with a confirmed case by: 

  • keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members;  

  • ensuring student schedules are up to date;  

  • keeping a log of any visitors which includes date, time and where in the school they visited; and  

  • assist the Department of Health in tracing all contacts of the individual at school in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program. Confidentiality will be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff will not determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the Department of Health. 

In addition to those requirements, I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with additional information related to our reopening.

Before we bring students back into our buildings, to meet the additional training requirements for our faculty and staff ,  I have recommended to our Board of Education the adjustment of the instructional calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. With the Boards approval, all four of our Superintendent’s Conference days have been moved to the first full week in September (the 8th - the 11th). Students will now start school on Monday September 14th, to allow for these additional trainings.  Instructional Calendar for 2020-2021 

To continue moving forward and to help you make decisions, I have attached our summary page that outlines more specific information related to our learning plan and reopening. School Schedule for Reopening in 20-21 . Please know that we are still working diligently on day care options and support for students during remote learning days. We need additional information to solidify these plans, which require us to have ALL families complete a Student Learning/Transportation Registration Form.  A link to this form is also on our District website and through District social media. Answers submitted will determine learning and transportation options for your student(s). The form must be completed by Friday August 14th. Anyone unable to complete the form online can contact their student’s school main office.

Before you complete the form, please note a few key points.

  • if you choose the in-person hybrid model, you may switch to the fully remote option at any time

  • if you choose the fully remote option, it is a one semester commitment

  • if you choose bus transportation, you may switch to parent/guardian transport at any time

  • if you choose parent/guardian transport, it is a one semester commitment

Never before have you had to make a decision like this related to your child's education, please know that we are working hard to make the best of a very difficult situation and throughout this process the health and safety of our families, students and faculty and staff continue to be our top priority.

 

Additional Resources

Copy of WCCS Reopening Plan 

NY Dept. of Health Interim Guidance

Board of Regents Presentation

NY State Education Dept. Guidance

American Academy of Pediatrics Statement 

Eileen M. Feinman, Superintendent of Schools

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