Updates 1/25/22- Mask Requirement, Vaccine Clinic, Case Updates
Updates Mask Requirement Continues to Be In Place In New York State Schools
January 25, 2022
Dear Families and Staff Members -
Here are some important updates for students, families and staff members.
Congratulations to Mrs. Beverly Oliver
Mrs. Beverly Oliver from the LaFayette Afterschool and Early Learning Program will be receiving Syracuse University's Unsung Hero Award this year. She is being recognized for her 35 years of work with children on Sunday, January 30th at 7:00pm. This recognition is taking place at the nation's largest event that honors the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
For more information, or to register [the virtual event is free and open to the public], please use the following link:
Mask Requirement Continues
The requirement from the New York State Department of Health that students and staff wear masks at all times, except for eating or drinking, remains in effect. Late yesterday, the district was informed of a court case from Nassau County Supreme Court that ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60. Earlier this school year, the Albany County Supreme Court upheld that same regulation requiring masks to be worn inside of school buildings.
Due to the conflicting rulings from two different County Supreme Courts, the New York State Department of Health filed an appeal of the Nassau County Supreme Court decision. We were informed around 5:00 PM today that the appellate court officially issued a stay of the mask order while the appeal is being heard. Additionally, the district was informed by both the New York State Education Department and New York State Department of Health that while the appeal to the appellate court is underway, the current mask regulation remains in place.
The district will keep a close eye on the appeal and in the event of any changes to the mask policy, we will be sure to communicate to staff members and families. Thank you to our students and staff members for doing a great job with following all of the safety precautions, including mask wearing, during the pandemic.
As our sports teams and student athletes prepare for sectional play, we want to keep the focus on the game and cheering on our athletes. For our spectators at sporting events, thanks in advance for wearing a face mask and helping to keep the focus on our student athletes and teams. I continue to be impressed with all that our students, staff members, and families continue to do to keep our students in school and enjoying all of the sports and extracurricular activities that we have to offer.
Vaccination Clinic February 8, 2022 - Grimshaw Elementary Cafeteria 3:00-7:00 PM
Thank you to our partners at Wegmans pharmacy for offering another vaccination clinic for interested families and staff members. The vaccine clinic will take place on Tuesday February 8, 2022 from 3:00-7:00 PM in the Grimshaw Elementary cafeteria. For those individuals who receive their first dose on February 8th, be sure to mark your calendar to return on Tuesday March 1, 2022 for the second dose. Booster shots will also be available to eligible students or staff during these clinics. Once the registration link is made available, I will be sure to pass it along.
Contact Tracing and Case Updates
Earlier this month, the New York State Department of Health informed schools that contact tracing in schools is no longer required. The school district continues to report positive cases to the New York State Health Department when this information is shared by students, parents, staff members, or health department officials. You can view the most recent cases reported by visiting - https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/home.
If you or a family member test positive, you should isolate yourself or the positive case and notify the school. You can complete the self-attestation isolation or quarantine paperwork by visiting - https://covid19.ongov.net/isolation-quarantine/
To date, we have reported a total of 312 positive cases among students and staff. We wish all those that have been impacted by COVID a quick recovery. Approximately one-third of the reported cases occurred around the December school break. If your child has symptoms or tests positive, please keep them home from school and contact your child’s school nurse.
Surveillance Testing/Rapid Test Kits Available
Our amazing school nurses continue to perform PCR surveillance testing for COVID every Tuesday. Diagnostic PCR testing is also available for students at school. You can sign your child up by visiting - https://app.clarifi-covid-19.com/. Since January 3rd, our nurses have performed 383 PCR tests with 39 of those tests detecting COVID-19.
The district has received three shipments of rapid tests from New York State. Please reach out to your child’s school if you would like to request rapid test kits for use at home. We have plenty of kits available and we anticipate receiving additional test kits this week.
Thank you again for the team effort to keep our students in school. While we have all been asked to do things that are outside of our comfort level, it is important to keep the focus on keeping students in school and making sure that we keep safety at the forefront.
Have a great Tuesday evening! Go Lancers!
Superintendent of Schools