Good Afternoon Depew, this is an important update from Dr. Rabey:
As we approach the end of summer and the start of a new and exciting school year, I want to share with you some key information. First, as you know we will be opening schools at full capacity on Wednesday, September 8th for a full five days a week of in-person learning. This past week we evaluated the newly released school guidance from the Erie County Department of Health, our local authority, which included mandates, on safely opening our schools in September.
With that in mind, we updated our Opening Plan and posted that document on our website at www.depewschools.org. Some of the key aspects of our opening will be the required mitigation strategies, such as masking, contact tracing, surveillance testing and vaccinations, which will allow us to stay open for in-person instruction.
The mandates within the ECDOH guidance go into effect immediately. Therefore, correctly wearing a mask is now mandated for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, while in school buildings or on a school bus unless an individual is seated with 6 feet of social distancing from others or while eating or drinking.
It is also important to note that the Health Monitoring and screening procedures will remain in effect. By arriving onto school property, you and/or your children are attesting that the screening survey has been completed, which includes a temperature and COVID-19 symptom check. COVID-19 symptoms are listed within the District’s Opening Plan.
Within the next few days, each school building will be sending out their Back to School letters. Two key pieces of information in those letters will be about transportation and our plans for a Soft Opening.
First, we encourage all of our students to take advantage of our School Bus Transportation, as the required social distance has been decreased from last year and seats will be assigned on the bus for contact tracing purposes. The traffic flow at each building will remain in effect from last year, with parent drop off and pick up in the front of the buildings and bus unloading and loading in the back.
In addition, the first several days of the school year will be a soft opening in classrooms. Teachers will be building classroom relationships, working on social emotional activities, and assessing instructional levels of each learner. This will help our students adjust back to a school routine and develop a sense of classroom community.
These updated mandates are subject to change and maybe altered by the NYSDOH in the near future. Please check the District’s website on a regular basis for updates. We thank you again for your continued support, cooperation and patience.
Have a great weekend!