Dec. 7 Superintendent’s Message: micro-cluster zone and COVID-19 testing update

Dear parents,

With all the news about COVID-19 circulating throughout the state and the country, you may have heard about the state’s micro-cluster initiative, where regions of the state are designated at yellow, orange, or red zones. These zones reflect the prevalence of COVID-19 in those areas, and each one comes with various restrictions for businesses, dining, gatherings, and schools.

Right now, Weedsport isn’t in one of these zones, but we’re keeping a close eye on our area, because it could happen sooner or later. Many schools have had low COVID numbers up to this point, and data shows that the spread takes place primarily in the community. Our goal – which has not changed since we reopened – has been to stay open as long as it’s deemed safe and permitted by our Department of Health.

The New York State Department of Health determined that if schools are in one of these zones, we will be required to test a specific percentage of all in-person students and staff over a given period of time if we want to stay open for in-person instruction.

We posted a brief consent form last week to gain feedback from our families which would allow us to test students in case we are identified as being in one of these micro-cluster zones. The option to stay open depends on if we obtain enough voluntary consent for testing, and how our school community’s test results compare to the overall population.

This poses another challenge for our school community, but it has been a year of challenges. That said, we are focused on keeping our students here for in-person instruction as long as we can do it in a safe manner. Together, we can do this. Thank you!

Superintendent Shaun O’Connor