August 18, 2021
Dear OA Families,
I hope this note finds you all doing well this summer. In about three weeks we will be approaching the opening of our schools for the 2021-2022 school year. As noted in earlier communications, we stated an original start date of September 8th. However, with the delay of important information from our state, we have decided that we will need to move our start date for students to Thursday, September 9th, so we have ample time to prepare our staff and buildings for safely bringing our students back for the new year.
We continue to review all current guidance from the CDC and New York State Education Department. We also continue to collaborate with the Tioga County Health Department at the local level. The top priority of our district is to fully open and continue to safely provide in-person learning as well as be responsive to ALL student needs. I realize and understand that there are mixed emotions about the start of school and what it should look like for students and staff. We have heard from many who feel wearing a mask in school should be the choice of the parent/family and others of you insisting that everyone should be wearing masks. Everyone has their own set of experiences, beliefs, and reasons behind their thoughts on this topic. I promise you are being heard as we finalize our plans for the new year. We will continue to pay close attention to any changes or updates provided by New York State, especially as new state leadership is expected to take over in the near future. Circumstances regarding COVID-19 continue to evolve and provide many unknowns. We promise to make decisions that are centered on ensuring that we provide a safe, healthy, engaging and supportive, in-person learning environment, so all our students have the best opportunity to academically and socially thrive this upcoming school year.
It’s important to keep in mind that we have a wonderful school district with outstanding students, staff and families. We have a school board that is passionate about being able to offer a high-quality education to all of our students. The school district and the board are experienced in making important educational decisions. We have no experience in making public health decisions, which is why we work closely with those that do, to help us make the best informed decision for our school community. We thank you in advance for your patience as we work through a very complex time and hope we can all show understanding of each other and model this for our young people in our community regardless of the outcome.
I look forward to sharing more Health and Safety protocols once we have all of the information needed to finalize our 2021-2022 Back-to-School plans.
Some finalized items that we can share:
School Day Times are as follows:
OES & AES: 8:00am-2:30pm
Drop-Off starts at 7:45am, School begins at 8:00am
Dismissal: Parent Pick-Up starts at 2:15pm, Buses will leave by 2:30pm
Afterschool Care runs 2:30pm-6:00pm
Registration is now open for the OA PreK-5th Grade Afterschool Care Programs at OES & AES. Families can register for our FREE program here: https://www.familyid.com/owego-apalachin-central-school-district
OAMS & OFA: 9:00am-3:30pm
Drop-Off starts at 8:45am, School begins at 9:00am
Dismissal: Parent Pick-Up starts at 3:15pm, Buses will leave by 3:30pm