Spring 2022 Covid Update

March 16, 2022

Dear Wildcats,

I hope this note finds you well.

Spring will officially be upon us on Sunday, we are the benefactors of some beautiful sunny weather today, and our Wildcat Nation is back and better than ever! I am so pleased to be writing to you under these current circumstances and to share several important updates as Covid-19 cases wane and we go about the important work of teaching and learning. These same protocols apply to our faculty and staff as well. 

    • Use of Rapid Antigen Home Tests - If an individual presents with symptoms (listed below), the District will now accept Rapid Antigen Home tests in order to return to school or work.  In all cases, the District will provide you with a test or you may use your own. 
      • If you become sick at school, the  nurse will provide you with a testing kit that you should administer at home. 
      • Please contact the main office to obtain a test if you or your child are home due to illness.
      • Parents and staff should send a photo of the test results to your school nurse or personnel office prior to returning to work or school. 
      • Individuals must have a negative test, resolving symptoms, and no fever in the last 24 hours to be cleared for return.
    • When and How to Test with Symptoms - Westchester County continues to direct that testing be conducted when one or more of the following symptoms occur: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Home-based Rapid Antigen tests may be used as outlined above. Individuals may be exempt from testing when they have symptoms if they have tested positive for COVID in the last 30 days. Please check with your school nurse.
  • If an individual has a chronic care plan on file with the school health office for a pre-existing medical condition (i.e. migraines, seasonal allergies) which includes diagnosis, typical symptoms, and a plan, he or she will not be sent home for these symptoms if not new or worsening.
  • Return to School Protocols
    • Test to Stay- Effective, Monday, March 21, 2022, our on-site Test to Stay program will be discontinued.  All testing will be conducted at home using a rapid antigen test that the District will provide to you.  Tests remain available to anyone who wishes to access them if you are concerned about an exposure. 
    • Masking- While masks remain optional in schools, anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and is able to return to school with improving symptoms, must wear a mask at school on days 6 -10.  This is a New York State Department of Health requirement and thus beyond our control locally.
  • Remote Learning - As we shift our singular focus to in-person learning, effective, Monday, April 4, 2022, remote learning will no longer be offered. All illnesses, including Covid-19 will be handled similarly. Classwork will be made available to students to complete if they are well enough to do so and teachers will work with students to catch them up upon their healthy return to school. 
  • Weekly Surveillance Testing - The District will continue to conduct weekly surveillance testing. Effective, Monday, March 21, 2022, we will exclusively utilize Rapid Antigen Tests rather than the PCR testing offered through Quadrant Biosciences. Mandated testing for unvaccinated employees will continue each Monday until such time that it is no longer required.

These changes mark exciting and important turning points! Please make a plan to vote on Tuesday,
March 29, 2022 for our Field Bond. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Westlake High School Gymnasium. With the weather improving, I look forward to seeing many of you at our Spring events.

Go Wildcats, Go!!

Very truly yours

Dr. Peter Giarrizzo
Superintendent of Schools