All 2021-2022 school COVID-19 updates can be found on the district’s 2021-2022 Reopening & COVID-19 Updates page here.
Dear Schodack Community,
It has been a few days since the New York State mask mandate ended for schools and I can tell that the overall mood in our buildings has been on the rise. COVID-19 is not completely behind us yet but this is a big step toward a returning sense of normalcy many of us have been waiting for these last two years.
In the coming weeks, we will be taking further steps toward school life as we knew it before COVID-19. This will include determining which events can return that we could not hold last year, rescheduling postponed events from this year and welcoming back more visitors to our schools. We have made the best of circumstances since March 2020 but I think we can look forward to the next few months of school more than we have in some time.
On Tuesday evening the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) released their updated COVID-19 regulations and an FAQ for schools to coincide with the end of the mask mandate. On Thursday I met with other regional superintendents and the county departments of health to discuss the latest updates and how they will impact our schools.
The new state regulations say that school districts must comply with the following requirements.
- A positive COVID case must follow the isolation protocols on this chart under “If You Test Positive for COVID-19” and mask for days 6-10 upon return to school.
- Unvaccinated staff must continue to be tested weekly.
- The district must report cases daily to the NYS COVID Report Card.
We will continue notifying families when their student was exposed to a positive COVID case at school. Those notifications will be emailed and will include a list of recommendations provided by the NYSDOH for those exposed to a positive case. With regulations now loosened (ie: masks no longer required) the potential for exposure also increases so you may receive these emails often. The updated regulations say exposed students/staff may attend school regardless of vaccination status but are encouraged to follow the NYSDOH recommendations we will email them.
Individuals who develop COVID symptoms can come to school if they feel able and as long as they are willing to participate in our home testing program as described here. Those who do not wish to test should remain out of school for 5 days following exposure and mask for days 6-10 when back at school. If you would like free COVID-19 rapid antigen home tests from us, please reach out to our COVID-19 Coordinator, Gina Parisse, by email (email@example.com) or phone (518-732-2297 Ext. 2321).
Finally, with masks now optional, let us not forget about the general everyday hygiene practices that keep everyone healthy all the time and continue staying home if you or your student feels ill. Younger students, in particular, may need friendly reminders to once again cover their mouths when coughing/sneezing, which can also mean washing their hands more often. As always, please contact the school nurse with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your ongoing support and enjoy your weekend.
Jason M. Chevrier
Schodack Central School District