Quarantine Guidance and Transportation Update 1/11/2022

January 11, 2022

 

Dear Mount Pleasant Community,

I hope that this finds you well. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on two important matters: quarantines and transportation. In addition to these, there have been news reports today that changes to contact tracing protocols are forthcoming from the New York State Department of Health. While we welcome changes that will keep students in school, we do not have any details to share tonight and will do so once they are known to all of us. 

Updated Guidance for Quarantines and Isolation

Today, the Westchester County Department of Health updated its guidance to match the CDC and New York State Department of Health guidelines as they relate to quarantines and Test to Stay. Specifically, students, teachers, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms can end isolation after at least 5 days. 

  • If they develop symptoms after testing positive, the 5-day isolation period should restart.
  • Isolation can end after 5 full days of being fever-free for 24 hours. 
  • A well fitting mask should continue to be worn for the full 10 days. 
  • We will continue using our Test to Stay program to keep students in school, which per the updated guidance, has been reduced from 10 days to 5 days. Please anticipate more updates to be shared in the coming days as we receive further clarification.

This guidance was just received tonight. Our nursing staff and building leaders will review current cases and contact families. We will implement these changes as soon as possible and want to do so with accuracy and precision, but they will not be in effect tomorrow.

Transportation and Staffing

Another important situation that we are dealing with is transportation and staffing. Our schools are staffed and I thank our principals and building leaders for the incredible efforts that they are making to provide coverage to classes, and our support staff for the additional duties that they have assumed. We are all in this together, and I am proud of everyone for making things work under difficult circumstances.

We are grateful that our transportation partner, Royal Coach, has been able to manage the bus driver shortage in a way that has not greatly impacted Mount Pleasant, however, it is not clear that will continue to be the case. There is a distinct possibility that in the future we may have to adjust bus routes to get all our students to school and therefore rolling delays may occur. By doing so, we can keep our schools open and routes will run one hour later than the normal pick up time.  For example, if your child’s pick up time is regularly 7:05 a.m., their adjusted  pick up time will be closer to 8:05 a.m. All of our schools will always open at their regular time.

We are publishing the rotation now so that families can plan accordingly and can choose to drive their children to school or carpool with others on these days. We do not expect significant delays of any kind in the afternoon.  Once we know that we need to implement this, an email will be sent to the District announcing the change. If you do not hear from us, you should assume that our buses are running on their regular schedule.  

Rotation Sequence

Impacted Routes

Day 1

WMS-HS #1 and CES #1

Day 2

WMS-HS #9 and HES #9

Day 3

WMS-HS #2 and CES #2

Day 4

WMS-HS #10 and HES #10

Day 5

WMS-HS #3 and CES #3

Day 6

WMS-HS #11 and HES #11

Day 7

WMS-HS #4 and CES #4

Day 8

WMS-HS #12 and HES #12

Day 9

WMS-HS #5 and CES #5

Day 10

WMS-HS #13 and HES #13

Day 11

WMS-HS #6 and CES #6

Day 12

WMS-HS #14 and HES #14

Day 13

WMS-HS #7 and CES #7

Day 14

HES #15

Day 15

WMS-HS #8 and CES #8

 

In the meantime, I once again thank you for your continued partnership. These are challenging times and we are all ready for a greater sense of normalcy. I understand that some of the protocols that we must follow are frustrating and may not even make sense and some are making a real difference. For instance, we have not reported a single lunch quarantine since before the holiday break. Please know that we will continue to advocate for positive change that enables us to both operate safely and with an eye on returning to our more typical practices. Thank you for your continued patience.  We’ve got this, Wildcats!

With kind regards,

Peter Giarrizzo
Superintendent of Schools