Holiday Pause

Holiday Pause
Posted on 12/14/2020
letter from the superintendent

Dear Rondout Valley School Community:

As we approach the holidays experts have warned us that we can anticipate a continued surge in new COVID-19 cases. On November 1st there were 261 active cases in Ulster County. On December 11th there were 1,713 active cases, a 656% increase. On November 1st, the percent of tests that were positive (positivity rate) was .3%. On December 12th, the positivity rate was 5.26%.

Our schools have consistently registered the lowest numbers of positive COVID-19 cases among the school districts in the county. I want to thank everyone for their efforts to follow our safety guidelines and keep our number of positive cases low.

But as John Donne wrote 400 years ago, “No man is an island” and we need to be proactive to effectively keep everyone safe. After careful consideration, and out of an abundance of caution for our students and staff I have decided to implement a pause to in-person instruction prior to and for one week after winter break. This time of year, social gatherings will occur despite the warnings from medical experts and we need to take steps to mitigate the spread of positive cases in our schools. All schools in the Rondout Valley Central School District will be on 100% fully remote instruction:

-->December 21, 22, and 23, 2020

-->January 4th until January 8th, 2021

During this fully remote instruction time, we will continue to follow our current hybrid class schedule with live Zoom sessions.

We will reassess the situation during the first week of January. I want to thank all the families that have submitted a testing consent form. At this time, we remain short of the required 20% in some of our schools. (If you would like to consent to your child being tested, please click here.) Currently, we are working with the Ulster County Department of Health to train our nursing staff and implement a testing program.

We anticipate a return to hybrid instruction on January 11th, 2021, but this may change if the situation in the county changes. I apologize in advance for the burden this will place on our families. Our priority is to return to in-person learning and taking this proactive approach will allow us to do it safely after the holidays.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we work through these difficult times.

Sincerely,

Joseph Morgan, Superintendent