April 29, 2021
Dear UV Families,
Over the last several weeks, the district has worked to find a way to bring students back safely to full-time, in-person learning. Thank you to all of our families and staff who provided input through our Thought Exchange, reopening survey and our recent forums.
Below you will find our schedule for a Phase 1 return of students. In order to safely bring students back full-time, two phases of 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. Follow up information regarding Phase 2 will be shared next week.
Phase 1: May 3, Grades K, 1, 2 and Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
*Students in grades 3-8 will remain in their A/B rotation until Monday, May 10.
*Monday, May 3 is a Day 3
*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.
Transportation routes will be made available to families by noon on Friday, April 30 and shared through School Messenger email and the school website. Please note that these runs are new, similar to September when school opens, and the pickup times and drop off times will vary. You may also have different drivers and bus numbers.
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 feet apart in the classroom and 6 feet 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 by Friday.
- 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-in to 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. Earlier this school year we asked for people to volunteer for COVID-19 testing for the purpose of staying open if we fall into a “high risk zone” under the NY state and CDC guidance. We had over 130 volunteers sign up, thank you for volunteering or signing your child up for the testing program. We will begin voluntary testing the week of May 10 and individuals whose names were randomly drawn will be contacted by the Friday of the week before.
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, 2021 and in consultation with the Chenango County Health Department.
We know the last 13 months have been difficult for everyone. Thank you to all of our families in advance for contacting us to answer these important questions. We look forward to finishing the school year safely with as many of our students as possible here in-person every day.
Robert J. Mackey, Superintendent