I have received numerous emails from parents/guardians stating your concerns about the recent increase in COVID exposure and quarantines in our schools. Let me reassure you that we monitor these numbers everyday and I communicate with my colleagues across the county to remain up to date as to what is going on outside of Pelham in order for us to anticipate future trends relative to infections.
As I stated on Saturday, we plan to remain open for in-person learning as face-to-face teaching is far better for students. We are doing everything that we can to maintain order, safety and a healthy place, including stepping up enhanced cleaning efforts of classrooms and common areas throughout the schools each day.
With that said, we understand that many of you are concerned about your children’s safety, disruption of your holiday plans, visiting grandparents, family and friends and want you to do what you feel is right for your family. Please know that if you decide to keep your children home this week, students may continue to access their learning materials and assignments via Google Classroom. As a reminder, livestream links for classes are only available to students in grades 6-12 who are under state-mandated quarantine or isolation due to having COVID-19.
As we continue to work through the rise in cases, we are also seeking to update vaccination records of staff and students. Doing so is important not just for contact tracing purposes, but because the NYSDOH indicates the higher the vaccination rate the better your chances of controlling the spread of the virus. We are fortunate that more than 90% of our staff is fully vaccinated and are strongly asking that families provide proof of their children’s vaccinations by sending an image of the vaccination card to COVID-19 Coordinator Bridget Gates once the second dose has been administered.
Overall, our COVID numbers remain within a tolerable range and I feel what is right for the vast majority of students is for us to continue to remain open and enforce all protocols put forth by the NYSDOH to keep everyone safe. We will continue to monitor the situation and are prepared to make adjustments as necessary.
Thank you for your understanding.
Dennis R. Lauro, Jr., Ed. D.
Acting Superintendent of Schools