Superintendent’s email about the return to full in-person learning

Dear UV families,

Over the last several weeks, the district has worked to find a way to bring students back safely to full-time learning. Thank you to all of our families who provided input through our Thought Exchange, reopening survey and our recent community forum.

Ultimately, the district’s goal is to provide the best education possible, as safely as possible. This decision was made in accordance with New York State’s reopening guidance released on April 9 and in consultation with the Chenango County Health Department.  

We understand some families may not be comfortable with a full return to school, or have already elected to keep their children in full remote learning. Families will have the option to select full in-person learning or full-remote learning to close out the school year. We are asking every UV family to complete the following survey: https://forms.gle/iPPbFQqpmjwJBdPm8 or call the school to answer a few basic questions by April 27 by 3 p.m. 

Below you will find our schedule for a phased-in return of students. In order to safely bring students back full-time, a phased-in return will allow the district flexibility to ensure its protocols are working. Based on feedback from families, this approach will also help families with childcare options. If your child is scheduled to return in Phase 2, they will continue in the existing hybrid model during Phase 1.

Phase 1:        5/3/21          Grades K, 1, 2                            Grades 9, 10, 11,12

Phase 2:        5/10/21        Grades 3, 4, 5                             Grades 6, 7, 8

UPK- TBD

*Students in grades 3-8 will remain in their A/B rotation until May 10. 

Please complete the following Google Form: https://forms.gle/iPPbFQqpmjwJBdPm8 or contact Maureen Perry at 607-488-4173 or 607-847-7500 ext.4706 to provide the following information by Tuesday, April 27 at 3 p.m.:

  1. Will your student(s) be in-person or virtual 5 days a week?
  2. Can you self-transport?
  3. Will your student(s) be eating breakfast in school?
  4. Does your student provide childcare for younger siblings or other students during normal school hours that are in Phase 2?*

*If your student provides childcare for younger siblings, we understand if you need them to stay home during the younger siblings’ remote days for Phase 1. 

A few important notes about our return:

  • We will continue to have a mandatory mask policy.  Students will need to wear masks properly at all times which means they need to cover their mouth and nose.  Teachers will make arrangements for mask breaks as needed.
  • Gaiters and bandanas are not acceptable face coverings.  
  • We have face masks in the office for anyone who needs them.  
  • Desks will be 3’ apart in the classroom and 6’ in all lunch locations.
  • Breakfast and lunch will be served in multiple locations.  Students will most likely have a new lunch place assigned to them on Monday.  These locations will be shared with students Thursday and Friday of next week.
  • The start and end times of the school day and the daily bell schedule will remain the same. 
  • Busing assignments are subject to change and will be communicated ahead of time. 
  • Students have done a great job taking hats and hoods off.  With the return of all students, safety has to be our number one priority.  As we all know, face coverings make it difficult to recognize people and hats/hoods make that even more difficult.  Thank you for reinforcing this at home. 
  • Due to the phase into 5 days a week, the 3-8 state testing schedule is subject to change to best support students. 

We have to remember the pandemic is not over. Chenango County’s 7-day average COVID test positivity rate is 3.7 percent, meaning the county remains at high risk according to the Centers for Disease Control. The number of daily COVID cases reported in New York State in recent weeks is about the same as it was in November. It is important that we all continue to follow COVID protocols. 

We know the last 13 months were difficult for everyone. Thank you to all of our families in advance for contacting us or completing the Google Form to answer these important questions. We look forward to finishing the school year safely and with as many of our students here in-person, every day as possible.   

Sincerely,
Superintendent Robert Mackey