- Westmoreland Central School
District Converting to Fully Remote Instruction on Tuesday, November 24
November 23, 2020
This morning, we learned of three new positive COVID-19 cases in the district - - two at the Primary Elementary School and one in Cohort B at the Jr./Sr. High School. Additionally, as of this writing, there are seven bus drivers in mandatory quarantine.
Due to the positive cases and the resulting shortage of bus drivers, making it impossible to cover all of our transportation needs, the entire district (Jr./Sr. High School, Upper Elementary and Primary Elementary) will convert to 100 percent remote instruction for tomorrow, Tuesday, November 24. Each of our schools are prepared for remote instruction and all students are expected to participate.
As you are aware, privacy laws prevent the district from identifying the individuals who tested positive, or from releasing more specific information. With that said, like we have done before, we are working with the Oneida County Department of Health to conduct contact tracing. As part of the contact tracing process, anyone who had direct contact with an infected individual will be sent home immediately. Those directly exposed, as well as potentially exposed, will also receive a call from the health department. For this reason, it is important that you are prepared to answer your phone, even if the number is not recognized. If your child or anyone else in your household exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, they should be assessed by a healthcare provider.
Please remember the district is converting to 100 percent remote instruction for the week following Thanksgiving Recess (November 30-December 4) and the week following Holiday Recess (January 4-8). This proactive plan will allow for families to plan ahead and staff and students to monitor for symptoms before returning to school. Also - - if you have not yet watched my latest video message, please do so. If our county/area is designated a “yellow zone,” and our district is located within the zone, we must test a minimum of 20 percent of in-person students and staff over a two-week period immediately following the designation to be able to continue in-person instruction. In order to determine if the district can meet this requirement, we need to know how many students and staff members are willing to voluntarily get tested. Please let us know by taking a brief survey.
In closing, the safety and well-being of our students, staff and community remains our number one priority. Please remember to adhere to and practice all of the protocols and precautions in place so we are not needlessly putting others at risk. This includes avoiding large gatherings. We all have a responsibility to do our part and need to take this situation seriously.
Thank you for your continued support as we all work together to navigate this challenging time. Have a great Thanksgiving, and stay healthy.
Superintendent of Schools