- What is the Bottom Line?
- What is the District’s philosophy on vaccines?
- What is the District’s Policy on Masking?
- What about Quarantining and Testing?
- What is the social distancing policy?
- What is the guidance specific to buses and lunches?
- What about Health Screenings?
- How are we handling instruction when students are quarantined?
- Is there a Virtual Learning Option like last school year?
- How is VCS dealing with ventilation requirements in the buildings?
- Can transportation change requests be made during the day?
- Will there be end of the day activity periods at VJH and VSH?
- Will guests and volunteers be allowed to enter the buildings during the school day?
- What if I have other questions?
We continue to remain open for in-person instruction, five days a week. It is our goal to safely maintain this consistency of instruction as we navigate quarantines as well as positive cases. We are working closely with the Ontario County Department of Health who is directing our quarantining and health related procedures.
Strong evidence that the vaccine works
- Vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe disease; breakthrough infections and disease among vaccinated individuals remain uncommon; and most of the new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are among unvaccinated people. https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/new-data-on-covid-19-transmission-by-vaccinated-individuals.html
- .005% of vaccinated individuals who test positive end up hospitalized. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-departments/breakthrough-cases.html
We are strongly supporting the OCHD & CDC recommendation that individuals age 12 and up get the vaccine.
We are waiting for guidance from NY State regarding vaccination policy for staff.
NY State Governor Hochul recently mandated that universal masking occur all of the time when indoors. We will continue to have mask breaks and allow for masks to be off when outdoors, or when eating lunch/breakfast. This was our policy before the Governor made her decision. We are hopeful that as our area decreases in COVID transmission we will receive guidance on our ability to become less restrictive with mask wearing.
The Ontario County Health Department decides on quarantining protocols. Currently, they are not quarantining individuals who are vaccinated if they were exposed to a positive case and do not have symptoms. Individuals who are unvaccinated are being quarantined by the health department if they are close to a person who is infected for a longer period of time. Mask wearing decreases the likelihood of quarantine but does not eliminate it. Again, Ontario County Health determines who is quarantined based on the individual situation.
Q&A on Testing Procedures
- What types of testing are mandated by the State Health Department and Governor?
- What is the reason that the State Health Department is mandating testing?
- Do parents have a choice regarding their child being tested?
- What types of test/s will be administered to my child if I allow testing to occur?
- If we give consent for testing is it a blanket consent or do parents approve each time?
- Which age groups of students will be considered for random testing and how frequently?
- How will the District pay for this testing?
- What is the role that Ontario County plays with testing?
- Can parents decide to have their child tested for diagnostic testing but not pool testing? Vice versa?
- Will parents be notified when their child is tested?
- Will parents receive the results of testing?
- If I allow my child to be diagnostically tested because they are a close contact of someone who is positive, will they need to be quarantined if they test negative?
- If I allow my child to be diagnostically tested because they are symptomatic and in school, will they need to still go home if they test negative?
- If my child tests positive for COVID and then returns to school after they are well, will they need to be quarantined again if exposed to another positive case?
- If my child is vaccinated, can I still opt them into pool testing? Diagnostic testing?
There are three types of testing mandated by the State Health Department and the Governor.
- Testing of unvaccinated staff
- Pool Testing - random testing of students (K-12th grade) with parent/guardian permission
- Diagnostic Testing - for students (K-12th grade) being contact traced for exposure to a positive case or have symptoms while in school
Yes. For Pool Testing, parents will “opt into” the testing via a website and digital form. This form will be sent to all parents/guardians. For diagnostic testing, parents/guardians will be given a link to a sign up form. We will also call parents if their child needs to be tested for diagnostic reasons.
- for students in grades PK-8, a cheek swab test will be used
- for student in grades 9-12, a spit test will be used
- for students in grades PK-12, a shallow nasal swab will be used
Both types of testing involve Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, also called molecular tests. This COVID-19 test detects genetic material of the virus.
All age groups, K through 12th, are able to be tested. We are still looking for clarification about Pre-K students. The frequency of random testing is determined by the number of children who are approved to be tested. The more children, the less frequent (2x per month to 1x per month). The less the amount the more frequent, up to 1x per week.
Ontario County will play a significant role in the testing and communication process. Victor will receive support from a nurse that will monitor parental permission, administer testing for staff, pool testing and diagnostic testing for students. In addition, County staff will enter test results in the Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System (ECLRS) and communicate test results with parents.
We will use the CDC transmission level designation
- Low and Moderate - No distancing requirements
- Substantial and High - 3’ distancing requirement where practicable.
These requirements include music and PE, which means we will have PE and music classes at 3 feet social distance as much as practically possible.
- Passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses, including on buses operated by public and private school systems, subject to the exclusions and exemptions in CDC’s Order.
- No distancing requirements
Maximize physical distance to the extent practicable when moving through the food service line and while eating (especially indoors). We will have students eating in cafeterias with 3 feet or less distance in between. We do not have the room, especially at the secondary level, to have greater distance.
- A daily screener will no longer be necessary, rather, reminders to students and staff that they must stay home if they are exhibiting symptoms and call the school and their pediatrician for next steps.
- A screener may be used if the Ontario County Health Department recommends using it. As of the writing of this Q & A document, they are not mandating a screener.
If a student is on quarantine, they will have access to Google Classroom and updated materials to support learning. They will also have access to their teacher. Our goal is to minimize the extent any student falls behind in their work when quarantined.
When an entire classroom shifts to remote learning due to a positive COVID case, you can expect some synchronous and asynchronous virtual activities. Often, some students return from quarantine earlier than others (due to anomalies such as absences on the day of exposure, etc). Please understand that the teacher may have in-person learners and virtual students at the same time. For this reason, synchronous (“live”) virtual opportunities may be more limited when some students are out and some are returning from quarantine.
We hope that none of our buildings need to go to a 100% remote model, but we are planning for this situation in case we need to. Virtual instruction would look different than our current model for quarantines. Teachers would have a singular focus on remote instruction (versus balancing in-person students), allowing more opportunities for synchronous instruction.
No. VCS will not have this option unless there is a documented medical reason that a child cannot attend in-person. If you have a child with a documented medical reason then you would fill out appropriate paperwork, which can be found at your child’s building. The VCS School Physician would make the final decision after reviewing the information from the child’s doctor.
Below is a list of facts, operational procedures and enhancements that VCS implemented back in August of 2020. These prior enhancements meet the criteria outlined in the newest guidance document. VCS has been meeting the newest Department of Health criteria since school opened in September of 2020.
Ventilation and Filtration
- All student/staff occupied spaces are provided with code required mechanical ventilation.
- Ventilation rates have been increased where possible. Additional ventilation will naturally occur as the systems try to utilize springtime “free cooling”. Several classroom systems are 100% outside air units with no recirculation air.
- All mechanical ventilation units have been scheduled to operate two hours prior to school opening.
- Systems are serviced and maintained to ensure proper operation.
- All ventilation unit filters have been upgraded to the highest efficiency MERV filter possible for the system they serve.
- Toilet room exhaust systems are scheduled to operate on a 24/7 basis where possible.
- Each nurse’s office has established a COVID isolation room.
- All nurse’s offices are served by their own independent mechanical ventilation unit. This method eliminates the possibility of air mixing the nurse's office air with building ventilation air.
- All exhaust air goes directly outside.
The best source of information on our reopening is on the individual building websites at victorschools.org.
VCS Building Covid Pages You can also call or email your child’s principal or the Superintendent.