August 30, 2021
Dear OA Families:
I’m writing to communicate the district’s updated Health and Safety plan as we get ready to head back to school on Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Late Friday afternoon, the New York State Department of Health issued the following information:
Effective immediately, in accordance with the Commissioner's Determination issued pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.60, any person over the age of 2 (including all students, personnel, teachers, administrators, contractors, and visitors) must wear masks at all times indoors in P-12 school buildings, regardless of vaccination status. People with medical or developmental conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask may be exempted from mask requirements, as documented by a medical provider. People do not need to wear masks when eating, drinking, singing, or playing a wind instrument; when masks are removed for these purposes, individuals must be spaced six feet apart. All mask requirements must be applied consistently with any state and federal law (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act).
The DOH also posted a 16-page document called "Face Coverings for COVID-19 Prevention” on its website.
Our Health and Safety committee was able to work through the details provided by the DOH and update our current Health and Safety Plan for the 2021-2022 school year.
Some points for review:
Universal indoor masking will continue for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status and community transmission levels.
Masks will continue to be optional when outdoors; teachers will be encouraged to take classes outside as often as possible.
Mask breaks will continue to be provided to students throughout the day.
Masks will continue to be worn on school buses.
Masks will be available for students and staff who forget their own or need a replacement, including on buses.
People with medical or developmental conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask may be exempted from mask requirements, as documented by a medical provider.
Those who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine following a known exposure if they are asymptomatic, allowing for continued attendance at school.
The District will follow the CDC Flow Chart for return to school protocols for students and staff.
When individual students are absent, work will be provided based on the teacher’s professional decision through a variety of ways including: Zoom, Google Classroom, live lessons, send work home, etc.
We believe that the best place for our students is in school, in person, every day which was something we were able to accomplish across the district last school year. The purpose of this plan is to continue to safely and fully operate our schools, providing strong academics and an array of extracurricular and athletic offerings. As you read through the plan, if there are questions that arise, please contact either your school building principal or myself for clarification.
The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. Thank you to the entire Owego Apalachin Central School District community, including parents, students, faculty, staff and members of the Board of Education, who have continued to support our school district throughout the pandemic. The following plan is a living document and may be amended through federal, state, or local order or directive. As changes occur, they will be communicated as quickly as possible.