12-30-20 Update to Families Regarding Re-Opening and COVID-19 Testing
December 30, 2020
Dear Williamsville Central School District Families and Staff,
As we prepare for the new year, we wanted to remind our school community that the District will resume in-person instruction for hybrid/hyflex students in kindergarten through 12th grade on Monday, January 4, 2021.
When we first re-opened schools for in-person instruction in mid-December, we know that some families chose the remote learning model with the holidays fast approaching. When we re-open in January, students will resume learning in the instructional model they were in prior to the Orange Zone designation unless an approved change was previously granted by the building principal.
Re-opening schools for in-person instruction aligns with our values and, throughout the month of December, showed we can successfully operate in accordance with New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) testing guidelines. This month, the District conducted 1,769 random COVID-19 tests with only one positive test result.
In order to continue to meet the NYSDOH re-opening monthly testing guidelines, the District will resume random COVID-19 testing on January 6, 2021.
As a reminder, these are the District’s testing procedures:
1) If selected to be randomly tested, custodial parent(s) and staff will be notified through WITS. Only those randomly selected and notified will be tested.
2) Those selected must complete the consent form digitally on WITS. If you do not consent, you will not be able to schedule a COVID-19 test through the Appointment Calendar.
3) Access the COVID-19 Appointment Calendar through WITS
- Select the testing site of your choice:
- Select a testing date and time of your choice
4) Arrive at your testing location at least 10 minutes before your scheduled test time
5) Check-in with clerical staff in the gymnasium
6) The COVID-19 BinaxNOW Rapid Test will be administered by the on-site nurse
7) Custodial parent(s)/staff will receive an e-mail notification to check WITS for COVID-19 test results shortly after the test is conducted
- Custodial parent(s) and staff will receive a phone call for a positive COVID-19 test
8) Follow the directions from the designated health care professional regarding COVID-19 test results
The District’s full testing packet, which includes testing procedures, how to schedule a test, and maps to the testing sites at Williamsville North and Williamsville South is available on our website: COVID-19 Testing Procedures.
In addition, we have a full video presentation on the testing procedures you can watch by clicking: VIDEO – COVID-19 Testing Procedures.
During the testing period, the District will be sending a daily text message reminder at 12:00 p.m. (noon), asking staff members and custodial parents of students to check WITS to see if they have been randomly selected. If a staff member or custodial parent of a student declines to participate in testing, our system is designed to randomly select the next individual. In addition to this, building principals and assistant principals will be reaching out to staff members and custodial parents of students who have been randomly selected but have not responded or scheduled a COVID-19 test. Sending a daily text message reminder and reaching out to families and staff members directly are proactive ways to ensure our process continues to move forward as we work diligently and efficiently to meet the NYSDOH testing guidelines.
Please be sure to review the Micro-Cluster Presentation from December 8, 2020, which includes examples of what WITS and text notifications and reminders look like regarding random testing. If you have any questions about testing, please be sure to review the District’s Testing Procedures along with our Micro-Cluster Frequently Asked Questions document.
For additional information, visit our Yellow, Orange, and Red Micro-Cluster Information page. On this page, you will find the latest guidance from the NYSDOH, a fact sheet on the BinaxNOW (non-invasive) Rapid Test, and watch a video demonstration of the BinaxNOW Rapid Test being performed.
We will continue to ask families to complete the Daily COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire on WITS as we work to make sure our learning environments are as healthy and safe as possible. If you have any questions regarding NYSDOH guidelines regarding travel, you can read the latest information on the state’s website.
We look forward seeing our students, faculty, and staff continue to make incredible instructional connections whether they are in-person or remote.
Thank you for your continued support. Happy New Year! We’ll see you in 2021!
Dr. John E. McKenna
Acting Superintendent of Schools