Whitesboro Schools Announce Date For Full In-School Return
The Whitesboro Central School District is preparing to welcome students back to full-time, in-person learning in less than a month.
Parents were notified via recorded phone messages, directing them to a letter on the district website from Superintendent Brian Bellair. The return date is Monday, April 12.
Via Wboro.org, the school superintendent wrote:
Regional COVID-19 conditions, access to vaccinations, and the latest scientific evidence continue to improve the outlook for increased student capacity in schools. This morning, the Oneida County Health Department released new guidance that allows for reduced physical distancing provided physical barriers or face shields are used in conjunction with appropriate masking, hand washing, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols. In anticipation of these potential changes, we procured sufficient supplies of face shields and additional face masks.
However, it is not required that students return to the classroom, and some parents have opted to continue remote learning for their children. The schools notification to all parents reads:
In accordance with your responses to our recent “Increased In-Person Learning Survey,” changes are as follows:
For those parents/guardians who select(ed) increased in-person learning for their child: full-time (5 days per week) in-person learning for your child will resume on April 12, 2021.
For those parents/guardians who indicate(d) their child will remain fully remote: no further action is required; your child will continue to participate in fully-remote learning.
For those parents/guardians who indicate(d) that they would like to transition their child from hybrid to fully-remote learning: you will receive additional information from your child’s school regarding the implementation of this option.
Whitesboro began this current school year using an every-other-day, or cohort system, where classes were divided with some students attending on Monday-Wednesday, and others on Tuesday-Thursday, with alternating Fridays. The district went fully remote at Thanksgiving before returning to the cohort-rotation in the last week of January.
Superintendent Brian Bellair outlined their plan to remain in school, full-time in his letter:
Our continued success largely depends upon each person doing their part each and every day. Daily health screenings, the use of properly fitted and constructed masks, continued attention to hand and respiratory hygiene, maximizing physical distancing, and the use of face shields are among the most important mitigation measures we can take. Protecting the three routes of viral entry (i.e. mouth, nose, and eyes) is paramount to minimizing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 should an individual encounter someone who is infected and contagious.
The letter also said N95 or KN95 masks are 'strongly encouraged', while gaiters, bandanas and other single layered face coverings are 'strongly discouraged.'
The announcement came just hours after Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente released guidelines for a full return to school, saying he believed it is safe and vital that students return to the classroom.
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