Monitoring Health Guidelines

Monitoring Health Guidelines
Posted on 11/20/2020

Since the beginning of September, the Fort Ann school community has worked in a collaborative effort to support the safe return to a hybrid model of in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. By taking extraordinary steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission within our district, we are thankful that we have been able to implement our model at a high level to this point, and are excited to continue to have students, faculty and 
staff at school each day. 

While the infection rate in Washington County remains low, we have witnessed the infection rate throughout New York State increase over the past several weeks. The New York State Health Department and the CDC have recently projected an increase in community transmissions due to holiday season gatherings. As part of Executive Order 202.68, Governor Cuomo introduced a "Cluster Action Initiative" which classifies regions based on infection rates as yellow, orange, or red. If designated, each color requires enhanced public health restrictions, which include limits on non-essential gatherings, houses of worship, restaurants and taverns, personal care services, gyms, fitness centers, and schools. 

If a school is located in an area identified as an orange or red zone, those districts are required to transition to a fully remote learning model. Although yellow zones do allow schools to remain open, those schools in yellow areas must conduct random weekly COVID 19 tests on 20% of the population (students, faculty and staff). We are currently working with the Washington County Department of Health and with school physician Dr. Foote, to explore all available random testing options that comply with Public Health regulations and laws. Please understand that it is possible the required resources to comply with the testing requirements will not be available, and we may be forced to transition to fully remote instruction. 

As a district, we understand how essential in-person instruction is for our students' academic and social development, while providing our parents/guardians and family members the opportunity to work without the burden of securing daily childcare. I greatly appreciate the sacrifices, time, energy and commitment that our school community has given in order to allow the district to operate on our current model 

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we monitor and adjust with the ever-changing guidelines. Please stay safe and healthy throughout the holiday season. 

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