Thought Exchange on Reopening Plan; updated CDC guidelines

The following email was sent to UV families on Friday afternoon, March 26:

Good afternoon,

As you may have heard, in recent weeks some schools in our region have been returning more students to the classroom each day as they adjust their reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year. Just as you may be aware of what other schools are doing, so are we. We learn a lot by watching other schools and how the decisions they make impact them, both good and bad. We also know every school district is different, and every family has unique needs.

While New York State has not released any updates to their guidance for schools since July 13, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control has released guidance for schools that will, in some cases, allow students to be 3 feet apart in classrooms. This provides the opportunity for the district to reevaluate its reopening plan. New York State has not released any updates to their guidance for schools since July 13, 2020. One of the guiding questions we have asked ourselves throughout this year is: What’s in the best interest of students, families and staff, and how do we do it safely?

With great support and sacrifice from our students, families and staff, Unadilla Valley has been able to diligently follow the Reopening Plan created prior to our September 2020 return to school. This has allowed our students, families and staff to establish routines. We know from the experience of a year ago, when we all suddenly faced the school closure and subsequent lockdown, that disruptions to our routines can have very negative impacts. One of our goals throughout this year was to minimize quarantines and extended periods of full-remote learning, because we know that most students learn best when they are in a classroom.

Our Reopening Plan was always intended to be a living document that would be evaluated and adjusted as necessary. It will continue to be so, as we look to provide learning opportunities that are in the best interest of our students and with a safety-first mentality. In order to do this effectively, we need to know how our students, staff and families are doing. As we look to the final quarter of this school year and beyond, we want to hear what you are thinking about how our district is implementing its Reopening Plan. This will not only inform our decision making for the remainder of the school year, but also provide valuable information as we transition into the next school year.

Please take a few minutes to participate in this Thought Exchange:

Thank you in advance for participating in this Thought Exchange and we hope that in addition to providing your thoughts, you take the opportunity to explore the thoughts of other members of our school community.

We have always valued the input of our stakeholders, and we need to be sure we have as much input as possible before any decisions on changing our Reopening Plan are considered. 

Robert Mackey, Superintendent