As COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise in Westchester County, we wanted to provide an update with regard to the District’s plans to keep schools open for in-person instruction. Under the New York State microcluster strategy for curbing the spread of COVID-19, school districts will be required to test 20% of the school population over a two week time period in order to stay open if the community is designated as a “yellow zone.” During the testing period, schools will be permitted to remain open for in-person instruction, and can remain that way after the two-week period provided the infection rate of those tests is lower than the current 7-day positivity rate within the yellow zone as determined by NYS guidance.
If Pelham is designated as an “orange zone,” the District will automatically close for in-person instruction for a minimum of four days. After the four day closure, students and staff may only return to school once they have tested negative for COVID-19. Additional information with regard to the District’s testing plans and procedures will be shared if/when the orange zone determination is made by the state.
While we do not know if or when Pelham will be designated as a yellow or orange zone, we are working to prepare so that we can begin the testing process as quickly as possible with the hopes of continuing our Hybrid Model.
We are asking that all families complete this Google Form to provide consent for testing, which will be administered using the state-provided BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen test (nasal swab). Please be sure to complete the form once per child. Families whose children are participating in the full virtual model and thus do not attend school in-person should not complete the form.
Please note that, as the District is required to test a certain percentage of students, your child may be selected for testing even if you do not consent. If your child is receiving in-person instruction and you have not consented to have them tested, your child may be required to move to fully remote instruction until such time as (1) a test is conducted, whether pursuant to the District’s testing procedures or upon presentation of proof that the student was tested privately by you with a negative test result, or (2) until the cluster zone designation is lifted.
We appreciate your partnership and support as we seek to keep our schools open.
The Pelham Public Schools