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Updated Guidelines Regarding COVID-19 Isolation Period

Dear Colleagues and Families,

The previous guidelines for return to school from COVID-19 required a 10-day isolation period for students and staff. It was confirmed that new guidelines adopted by Monroe County allow for a possible return after five (5) days, regardless of vaccination status, for students and staff.

Students and staff may now return to school after five (5) days, regardless of vaccination status, so long as the following criteria are met:

  • Fever-free for 24 hours
  • Asymptomatic or symptoms are improving (minimal, non-producing cough/nose, not running)
  • Able to wear a well-fitted mask upon return

Essentially, this new guidance asks parents, as in pre-COVID times, to not send their child to school if they are sick.

Some students and staff members are currently on a 10-day quarantine. In the event that you or your child meets the above criteria, you can subtract five (5) days from the current quarantine order date and that would become the new return-to-school date.

If your child tests positive, you will enter the information into a Monroe County portal (https://healthcalls.monroecounty.gov/hometest) and it will provide you with a return-to-school date, consistent with the five (5) day isolation guidance.

I have received a wide range of emails from parents these past two days that range from “thank you for staying open” to “we need to close for two weeks” and various sentiments in between. I have also seen a multitude of emotions from students, staff and parents this past week. As I take a step back, I want to acknowledge that there are no wrong reactions. Everyone is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in their own personal ways and we need to respect this as a collective.

Our goal is to safely remain open throughout the year. Having said that, staying open due to staffing could not have been possible without EVERYONE, including full-time teachers taking on extra classes to keep us afloat. This is unique. As a District, I am awestruck by the amount of colleagues that start the morning with, “How can I help?” This is something that every member of our community should be proud of.

Our bus drivers have been short-staffed for a while, yet continue to help one another out and continue to go above and beyond. Here is an email that I received today:

“Dear Mike, Both bus driver and adult supervisor get our highest commendations for assisting my wife when she fell on ice mailing a letter at the mailbox this morning. The bus stopped, put on flashers and the supervisor attempted to help my wife to stand. However, the ice was too slippery, so she came to our house to find me. We both returned to get my wife up on her feet. I could not have gotten my wife going without their help. Kudos to both of them and your program. Much appreciated.”

Please take the time to thank our bus drivers, support staff, teachers and administrators for the many things that are happening that you may not be aware of, and know that as a District we will continue to do everything in our power to keep students safe and in school.

Be well,

Michael Pero
Superintendent of Schools