Superintendent of Schools
Monday, April 12, 2021
Thank you for your continued resiliency as we deal with COVID and its ramifications as well as the continued ambiguity of our situation.
As you heard late Friday, we received updated guidance from the NY State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Specifically, the guidance allows for school districts to reduce social distancing requirements between students from six feet to three feet. In terms of busing, the guidance mentions sitting one student per seat as an example; however, it lists this as “where possible.” After discussing the language with other Superintendents, we are going to allow two students per seat and siblings to sit together on buses. This should enable VCS to transport students who wish to continue to take the bus.
This morning we received word that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated Ontario County as a High Risk Transmission Zone. Because of this designation, we can still reduce social distancing for elementary students (PreK through 6th grade) from 6 feet to 3 feet, which will enable us to bring all elementary students back to full time, in-person learning by April 26th. However, if our area continues to be designated a High Risk Transmission Zone, students at VJH and VSH will need to remain at 6 feet social distancing as stated by the NYSDOH guidance, which means we need to stay in the hybrid model at VJH and VSH.
From a preparation standpoint, we will continue to plan for a full reopening on April 26th. Our Transition Zone status next week will determine whether we can return to full time, in-person learning at the secondary level on April 26th. Again, regardless of this status, we are planning to be fully, in-person at the elementary level. I will continue to update you on this status as I receive new information. The following are specific next steps the District will take between now and next Wednesday.
- We will revise and send a parent survey (pre-K through 12th) later this week that will not only seek feedback on the reopening but also ask for a choice between 100% virtual or fully in-person instruction as well as for transportation. The survey will not be due until the day after next week’s Town Hall.
- We will finalize the Question and Answer document for parents later this week and send it with the parent survey.
- We will have a reopening update at the BoE meeting on Thursday.
- Individual buildings and departments will continue to plan for full time, in-person instruction. Individual building leadership will send specific reopening plans to parents by the end of this week.
- We will continue to monitor the Transition Zone status to see if we can fully reopen at VJH and VSH by April 26th.
- I will send another community update on Friday, April 16th.
- We will have a virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, April 21st to review our reopening plan and answer questions. Individuals can have until the following day to submit their survey information.
Thank you again for your continued patience. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Superintendent Tim Terranova, Ed.D.