As we approach the first day of school on Thursday, Sept. 9, we do so knowing the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact many aspects of our lives, including our schools.
While Unadilla Valley CSD has been planning for months to return to full, in-person learning this week, New York State continued to release additional COVID directives as recently as Friday, Sept. 3. Among the newest directives from the state are a universal face mask mandate and a requirement that all school staff be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19.
From the beginning, our goal was to have full, in-person learning for every student during the 2021-22 school year, and that is how we will start the school year on Thursday. We plan to do everything we can to keep it that way for the duration of the school year, but we will need your help. The Delta Variant is spreading rapidly and is infecting school-aged individuals at a much higher level than last year. We ask all of those in our school community to follow the Reopening Plan as diligently as possible.
These are the highlights of UV’s COVID-19 protocols as we start the school year:
- Universal face mask wearing at all times indoors except when eating, drinking, singing or playing a wind or brass instrument. Mask breaks will be provided indoors. Masks must also be worn at all times on the bus, and are optional outdoors.
- Daily COVID-19 symptom checks at home. Screening forms and temperature checks are not required this year. It is vital that students do not come to school with symptoms.
- A vaccination requirement or weekly staff testing. Unvaccinated school staff must be tested weekly for COVID-19. Testing will be provided by the district in coordination with DCMO BOCES.
- UV will maintain a capacity for student testing. Testing will be provided by the district on as-needed or as-requested basis.
- A revised Return to School protocol for those who are symptomatic but not diagnosed with COVID-19.
The safety of our students, families, staff and community will always be our top priority. While the pandemic isn’t over, we envision a time when it no longer overshadows everything we do. We’re hopeful that time will soon come and COVID-19 restrictions can start being rolled back. Until then, please follow our Reopening Plan and best practices for COVID-19 prevention to help ensure our students can learn in-person every day and keep our community as safe as it can be.
Brenton S. Taylor