A message from Principal Corsilia
April 14, 2021
Dear Greeley Families and Students,
I am writing to you this afternoon with an update regarding our schedule. Let me begin by reaffirming our commitment to having all of our students attend school onsite. We want nothing more than to welcome every student to campus who wishes to learn in-person.
Over the weekend, the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) released new guidance that has significantly impacted our initial plans of moving forward with full day instruction for all students. The NYSDOH followed the release of this guidance document with a webinar held today. The NYSDOH placed clear limitations on moving to three-foot desk configurations, based on county transmission rates. In order for all of our students to be on campus at the same time, we would need to configure desks in a three-foot pattern.
For your reference, NYSDOH guidance released on Friday 4/9 included the following language:
In counties with high risk of transmission, elementary schools can maintain physical distancing of at least three feet between students in classrooms and cohorting is recommended when possible. However, in middle and high schools three feet between students in classrooms is recommended only when schools can use cohorting. When schools cannot maintain cohorting, middle and high schools must maintain physical distancing of at least six feet between students in classrooms (page 7).
*Transmission risk designation can be found using the CDC data tracker.
As of today, Westchester County is considered to be a high risk of transmission county. Absent any additional guidance from the Westchester Department of Health or clarification from the NYS Department of Health, we will not move down to three-foot desk configurations at this time. Unfortunately, this means we must pause our planned transition back to full day onsite instruction for all students.
At the start of our planning this summer, we committed the necessary resources to ensure all students could attend school each day if they decided to do so. We remain committed to this model. We think it is important for students to be on campus with us every day for at least a portion of the day. We will only transition to a full day attendance structure by cohort in preparation of welcoming all students back to campus at a future date.
When we are permitted to reduce from 6- to 3-foot distancing, per DOH guidance, we are planning to transition our students back in the following way:
Transition Week 1: We will transition to alternating cohorts for full days. This will allow us to refine the logistics associated with our lunch with half of our student population.
Transition Week 2: We will transition to a single cohort for the morning session (alternating between blue and orange), and invite both cohorts in the afternoon. This will phase in our use of classrooms with 3-foot spacing, while providing additional time for us to configure the lunch block in anticipation for a full return.
Transition Week 3: Invitation for all students to return to in-person learning.
Prior to initiating these changes, I will invite you to a webinar to further explain each of these transition steps and so you may provide feedback. Dr. Ackerman will review this information tonight at the Board of Education meeting that begins at 7:30pm (BOE Meeting Link).
I am as disappointed, as I know many of you are, that we cannot yet bring all of our students back together for in-person learning. We will continue to monitor our transmission rate as well as the guidance documents provided by the NYSDOH and will meet with you immediately if we are able to begin our full-day onsite transition plan.