12/20 Update from the Superintendent of Schools
Updated COVID Protocols
Update: December 20 2021
It is my greatest hope that you will be enjoying time with family during the holidays. We can all help achieve this end by caring well for our families, our friends and neighbors.
The District remains committed to the same goals that have informed every decision we have made throughout the pandemic: (1) ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff; and (2) ensuring that all students attend school for in-person learning every day.
New York State is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Our town and schools have seen a similar surge, with 238 positive cases in Harrison and 64 positive cases among students, faculty and staff this past week. While the road ahead is challenging, we are committed to adapting to keep our students safe and in school.
I write to share timely information about new COVID-19 protocols and options for families as we approach the holiday break. Please carefully consider the details of each new initiative outlined below.
Virtual Learning Option Before the Holiday Break
Beginning Tuesday, December 21, the District will provide a learning option to help ensure your family is less likely to be impacted by quarantine and is together during the holiday break. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week, the District will make a voluntary virtual option available to all students. Students may still attend school in person. For students choosing the virtual option, please note the following:
Teachers will provide links to view classroom instruction. The virtual option does not replicate class participation or the experience of in-person learning. Unfortunately, in-school holiday events are unavailable in virtual learning.
If you choose the virtual option, you must commit to virtual learning all three days (Tuesday, 12/21; Wednesday, 12/22; and Thursday, 12/23). Students attending classes via virtual learning will be marked as “present” for attendance purposes.
Virtual learners cannot participate in after-school activities, including sports, clubs, and performances.
Meals for virtual students will be available for pick-up at each school. Click here to request meal pick-up.
Test to Stay Program
The District added a Test to Stay alternative for unvaccinated, asymptomatic students exposed to COVID-19 to remain in school. The Westchester County Department of Health approved our Test to Stay (TTS) program. Beginning Monday, December 20, 2021, unvaccinated, asymptomatic students exposed to COVID-19 may remain in school by being tested each school day during the first seven (7) days of the 10-day quarantine. Students participating in TTS are not permitted to participate in extracurricular activities or athletic events. TTS students are considered quarantined except for attendance at school after a daily negative COVID-19 test. For detailed information on the TTS program and the link to provide consent for your child to participate, click here.
Virtual Learning Option if Family Member Tests Positive
Effective immediately the District will allow children in homes with a positive case to participate in virtual learning. The District recommends if a family member in your home has tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot be isolated from the rest of the family, DO NOT send your children to school.
Gateway Testing Upon Return to School in January
Before the holiday break, all faculty, staff, and students whose families have provided prior consent to participate in COVID-19 testing will receive a non-invasive saliva PCR test kit with instructions to return the sample on Monday, January 3, 2022. An email with more information will be sent to participating families and employees.
As we reflect on our shared journey through the pandemic, I extend my heartfelt thanks to our faculty and staff for their ongoing commitment to your children. I wish you and your family a peaceful and joyous new year.
Louis N. Wool, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools