12-11-20 Testing and Re-Opening Update to Families
December 11, 2020
Dear Williamsville Central School District Families and Staff,
We will open our schools for in-person instruction for hybrid/hyflex students in kindergarten through 12th grade on Monday, December 14, 2020.
As we work to meet the micro-cluster testing guidelines set forth by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), we wanted to update you on the program’s overall progress. Through the first two days, of the 694 tests administered, there was only one positive COVID-19 test result. We will have today’s results later tonight. This information reinforces the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, NYSDOH, and Erie County Department of Health guidance that schools are safe for in-person/in-school instruction.
As we work to meet the testing guidelines set forth by the NYSDOH, our testing program will continue next week if needed as we work to reach the 10% bi-weekly threshold. It is important that staff and custodial parents of students continue to check WITS for notification of random selection.
We also wanted to share that the Erie County Department of Health updated their quarantine guidelines, which can be read here. The new guidance eliminates the following language:
“Any student or staff member exposed to a COVID-19 case in a standard classroom setting or in other enclosed common school settings, such as a breakroom or office, for 60 minutes or more will be instructed to quarantine in their own room with their own bathroom for 14 days from the last day of exposure to the COVID-19 case.”
This change was made based on their analysis of data which reinforces the information presented above concerning the safety of in-person/in-school instruction.
However, ECDOH’s 14-day quarantine rule for an individual coming into contact with an infected (positive) case closer than 6 feet for 10 continuous minutes or more still remains in effect.
It is clear that in-person instruction is in the best interest of students both academically and socially. It is best for our students’ social-emotional well-being to be in school where they can positively interact with their fellow students, teachers, and staff. In addition, it is particularly imperative for our most vulnerable students to be in school every day possible.
We believe each day in school matters and we will do everything in our power to ensure students receive the best education and experiences they deserve.
We need to continue to support each other through this difficult time. Williamsville is a special place because of our students, parents, faculty and staff.
Thank you for your partnership and perseverance as we work together to navigate these challenging times.
Dr. John E. McKenna
Acting Superintendent of Schools