January 21, 2022
Hello North Rockland Families,
Although it was a short week, as we always do in North Rockland, we made the most of it!
The easing of certain protocols, like isolation and quarantine periods, and most student extracurricular activities resuming on Tuesday brought back some much needed normalcy and positivity as we continue to navigate the Omicron surge. Next, the District is working on scheduling and holding in-person concerts, performances and events.
It’s very encouraging to see this week’s case numbers significantly dropping from last week. This is a direct result of our students and staff applying diligent practices that helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Practices that include: wearing face coverings while indoors, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, maintaining social distancing when around others, and staying home when you are not feeling well.
The District's plan is to follow the lead of our state and local health departments, which are moving to a system that relies heavily on families self-reporting their positive cases and notifying direct contacts. Now that we are at the end of formal contact tracing, we thank you for your ongoing flexibility and support.
NR will continue sending a notification to parents with recommended actions when their child is exposed to someone with COVID-19 but less students will be placed on quarantine or be excluded from school. It is essential that you monitor children in this situation to ensure they do not develop symptoms and keep them home if they do. An overview of the District’s COVID Management Plan can be found under Important Information in today’s update.
I hope everyone enjoyed the District’s second traditional snow day for the 2021-22 school year. As a reminder we have one snow day to utilize for the school year left, before transitioning to remote learning during instances of inclement weather.
I am sure our families know that our faculty and staff have been working tirelessly for many months. Especially during the last few weeks, while combating the surge in cases, taking on long hours, going above and beyond to keep our schools open, and ensuring the safest and highest quality learning is happening is greatly appreciated. Please join me in thanking them for their extraordinary efforts.
The spring and the brighter times that come with it are right around the corner. I look forward to keeping this momentum and working together to overcome any obstacles to ensure that our goals are realized NR Strong.
In recent weeks there have been several changes to the guidance, protocols, and mandates regarding the management of COVID. NR has implemented the following updated guidance for our schools.
Quarantine is for individuals who have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus through close contact with someone who is infected, but has not tested positive for COVID-19 and does not have symptoms.
What has changed in regards to quarantines?
- The quarantine period has been reduced from ten days to five days.
- Students who we can not confirm had direct contact will not be required to quarantine; however, they will be notified that they may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID.
- Students who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine unless they experience symptoms.
- Students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to quarantine for five days from their point of exposure if they do not experience symptoms. They should be sure to wear a well fitted mask in public spaces for five additional days from their quarantine.
This adjustment will primarily affect school transportation and unstructured locations such as lunch rooms. Under the previous requirements, any student who was suspected of being a direct contact were mandated to quarantine, causing many students to miss time at school even though they may not have been exposed.
North Rockland will notify parents if an individual on their child’s bus has tested positive. Those students will not be required to miss school if they remain symptom free. In these situations, we will ask parents to closely monitor their symptoms and avoid coming in contact with high risk folks.
Isolation is for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, even if they don't have symptoms.
How long must my child remain out of school if they are required to Isolate?
- Isolation ends after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).
- After leaving your isolation, you must continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.
- Students may return to physical education and/or athletics after their isolation period ends with a doctor’s note. Students unable to obtain a doctor's note may return 10 days after isolation as long as they have not been treated with prescribed medication for COVID-19 or were admitted to the hospital.
It is North Rockland's philosophy to adjust our plan after information provided has been vetted. In the weeks to come, our COVID management strategy may change based on the information that is provided and what makes sense for our school community.
Post-contact tracing, schools look to inform parents through notes instead of calls
North Rockland has prepared letters to inform families about students who are exposed in certain settings including: "While your child is not required to quarantine or be excluded from school, it is important that you monitor your child to ensure they do not develop COVID-19 symptoms. Please keep your child home if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19."
School leaders had called for an end to formal contact tracing, saying that the tracking down of all possible exposures to positive cases was taking up way too much time for school nurses, principals and others and keeping them from their educational responsibilities. Full article linked here.
Free Test Kit Distribution
The District has successfully distributed over 2000 test kits to families. We continue to be afforded a supply of free Rapid Home Antigen test kits that the Rockland Department of Health (RCDOH), in cooperation with our partners at Rockland BOCES, has delivered to be distributed to all interested North Rockland families.
Parents who would like to request test kits for the upcoming week should complete this form linked here. You will be provided detail on test kit pick up shortly.
***Please note these tests cannot be used as clearance to return to school or work if an individual is symptomatic. A student or staff member who was symptomatic can only return to school or work with a written report from a rapid antigen test, PCR test, or a doctor's note with an alternative diagnosis.
NRCSD Budget Information - Updated
This week, Superintendent Dr. Kris Felicello gave a more updated and philosophical overview of the latest NRCSD budget information. You can view that Budget Presentation linked here.
For the Board of Education and Administration, developing a budget that is both educationally sound and fiscally responsible is an important and comprehensive process. The 2022-23 budget continues our mission of providing a safe, caring, and positive learning environment in which all students can achieve their maximum potential and acquire the skills, attitudes, and abilities needed to succeed in an ever-changing world. It is the District's goal to provide our students with an exemplary experience while controlling taxes for our community. We understand the fiscal challenges that living in Rockland County pose.
As always, our budget fully supports the curriculum, instruction, and professional development that addresses the needs of all learners. Our budget also includes the expanded use of certain “green technologies” and facility improvements to enhance our learning and working environments while achieving real cost savings.
2021-22 Snow Day
- The District has used two of our three allotted snow days.
- The District will utilize traditional snow days for significant storms until our three-day allotment is exhausted.
- The District will consider shifting to remote instruction during bad weather when our snow day allotment is exhausted.
- The District may call a remote instruction day following a snow day during a major storm if roads are still unsafe for a second day in a row.
- The District may utilize a two or three-hour delay schedule during morning weather events.
- The District will provide the community with snow emergency information as soon as a decision is made.
Rambling Raider New Issue
MLK Day the NR Way
We dedicated all of last week's instruction to Dr. King's memory in North Rockland. Our focus was on his life, his mission, his important work that led the civil rights movement, and his wishes and goals for ALL people. NR Together we learned about the power of words, love, speech, equality and friendship.
Classes made murals about how to treat one another decorated with handprints of many different colors that when joined -- all fit together as one. At the end of each lesson, students sat in a circle and discussed their feelings, how wonderful it is that because of Dr. King's impact all children are able attend our schools, and the importance of fairness and kindness.
Learners also wrote letters to Dr. King, telling him about the effect he has had on the world today and what they can do to help keep his dream alive. After listening to his "I Have a Dream" speech, students shared their dreams and dreams of what we hope for the future world to be.
We continue his legacy NR Strong!
NJROTC Heads to the Area 4 Championship
The Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps STEM team -- in conjuction with the Drill Team, the Physical Taraining Team, and the Color Guard Team -- will be competing this weekend in New Jersey at the NJROTC Area 4 Championship event!
Our cadets have been hard at work practicing and perfecting their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills hands on in the weeks leading up to the big event.
"The STEM Team does underwater robotics and computer security exercises in addition to drones" said Cadet Leroy Gomez, NJROTCSTEM Team commander.
Part of the team is pictured here, diligently executing competitive drone operations and calculations this morning in preparation for the upcoming championship NR Together and NR Strong.
Best of luck this weekend cadets!
EXPLORE YOUR WORLD! - Close to home
It's Fieldtrip Friday!
Join Joshua Leigh's class as they take part in an interactive local learning experience at the Haverstraw Brick Museum!
One by one, all of Haverstraw Elementary's 5th grade classes have been getting active by walking NR Together with Superintendent Dr. Kris Felicello to the historical site, located just two blocks from the school on Main Street.
There's so much we can discover about the future by studying the past. Student's did just that as they got a hands on STEAM education while they toured the museum's new innovation series of exhibits and living history experiences.
NRCSD has been incorporating #ExploreYourWorld - close to home - into learners curriculum over the last few weeks and the walking trip to the museum was a great way for them to get to know the history of their hometown, brick-by-brick.
While enjoying an in depth lesson on the extensive, unique, historical documents and archives, about the vibrant brick building industry in the Hudson River Valley, students learned that many of the still standing buildings surrounding North Rockland were built with bricks forged locally in the 1800s.
In 1815, an Englishman, John Wood settled in Haverstraw and started improving the brick-making process by using a vented wooden mold which allowed the clay to dry more evenly and made bricks easier to make consistently in small batches. From then on, brick-making became one of the Hudson River Valley’s most prolific industries, with brickyards appearing along the Hudson as far north as Albany. At one point Haverstraw's brickyards were churning out up to 300 million bricks a year!
Student's explored how innovation and science drove our hometown industry's success while receiving a lesson via a rotating exhibit in partnership with the Pratt School of Architecture, complete with a mini brick making machine. They found that old brick construction techniques are still in use even in the new technologies used to develop the blocks like 3D printing.
"The kids really loved every aspect of the trip!" shared Josh as he encouraged his learners to investigate the scientific history all around them more as a fun activity. North Rockland's filled with fascinating historic sights and hidden jewels. Where should we explore next #NRStrong? More photos linked here.
Jennifer LaBier Chosen for Most Valuable Teacher - STILL TIME TO VOTE!
NRCSD is proud to share that our outstanding educator Jennifer LaBier has been chosen to be a part of the National Hockey League Most Valuable Teacher (MVT) program!
She's one of the only 20 nominees across North America chosen for January’s Future Goals MVT! She was also recently recognized by the organization as Teacher of the Month.
Please visit NHL.com/MVT and vote for her to be selected as a finalist to be recognized during Teacher Appreciation Week in May, 2022 and receive a $10,000 technology grant for the school district. If she wins and goes on to the next level in May, she has a chance to become the grand prize winner who will receive an additional $20,000 for a sustainability grant for their school district and $1,000 toward a personal technology device.
Conor Wein Crowned Boys Basketball Player of the Week!
Let's make some noise for Conor Wein this week's Journal News/lohud Boys Basketball Player of the Week!
The NRCSD junior guard averaged 23 points per game to lead the undefeated Red Raiders Varsity team (11-0) to two wins last week.
Thanks to all who voted! Conor takes the top spot and secures his title with a staggering 36.6% of the 25,376 votes cast. Congratulations!
NR Athletics Store
The NR Athletics Department wanted to offer everyone access to purchase our Athletics apparel and support our Red Raiders. The Athletics Department is proud to provide a unique online store that offers a variety of athletic apparel, with a portion of the proceeds of each sale going towards funding programs, equipment, and more for athletes. Even shipping is available, so please check it out. We appreciate you helping us get the store off the ground.
NR Athletics Online Store link - NOW OPEN!!!
For more info on Athletics, visit the NR Athletics homepage linked here.
Be sure to follow our Twitter @NRockathletics for all the latest sports action!
LocalLiveWant to watch remotely? No problem! The District has partnered with LocalLive, allowing most of our athletic contests to be live-streamed and recorded. Missed a game this week? Watch it on our LocalLive channel by clicking here.
NR Goes Green
0 Waste Lunch Ideas
Help us reduce waste in our school buildings by going 0 waste with packed lunches!
How to Pack a No-Waste Lunch
- Try to pack meals with no leftovers in food or packaging. Why use paper or plastic bags when you can substitute sustainable packaging like reusable cloth bags, stainless steel and yes, even glass containers (salad in a jar yes please!), cloth napkins and reusable tableware.
- Be sure to talk with your child about the no-waste goal and encourage them to bring home anything they don't eat to snack on later in the day. To preserve food better include a cold pack in the lunch bag.
NRCSD Universal Pre-Kindergarten & Full-Day Pre-K Program Application Notice
Space Heater Safety Tips.
With the tragic news about the fire started by a space heater in New York City, NRCSD School Safety & Security thought it would be timely to remind everyone about space heater safety.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half (48%) of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. While more than two out of five (44%) of home heating fires involve space heaters, space heaters are involved in 86% of home heating fire deaths.
✅ If you are using a space heater to warm up, please be sure to plug all space heaters directly into a wall outlet and always turn it off when leaving the room or going to bed. ✅
➡️ Make sure a recognized testing laboratory has tested your heater.
➡️ Make sure your heater has an automatic shut-off, so if it tips over, it shuts off.
➡️ Keep anything that can burn, like bedding, clothing, and curtains, at least 3 feet away from your heater.
➡️ Place space heaters on a solid, flat surface.
➡️ Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
Linked here is more information on winter heating and space heaters.
To help save lives and prevent further tragedy, please share this information with others to help get the word out.
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On November 2, 2021, following the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization (EUA) on October 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice’s (ACIP’s) recommendation for children ages 5-11 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is the first authorized vaccine permitted in this age group. All children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive a two-dose primary series of the pediatric formulation Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, effective immediately. Parents or guardians with questions about the vaccine are encouraged to talk to their child’s pediatrician or another trusted healthcare provider.
NYSDOH Pediatric Vaccine Guidance is linked here.
Upcoming Rockland County Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics that will offer Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric doses for 5- to 11-year-olds.
To make an appointment at an RCDOH clinic, visit http://rcklnd.us/covid19. Appointments are strongly encouraged. You may walk into any clinic without an appointment, but you may need to wait. See the attached for more details.
To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the RCDOH Clinic, click here.
The Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) is participating in New York State’s #VaxToSchool campaign! Starting October 19th, youth ages 12 to 17 will get a gift card with a first and/or second COVID-19 vaccine at a RCDOH COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Sun River has informed us that they are providing immunizations, COVID-19 vaccinations, physicals, and child health insurance assistance. All of these services are available for #NRCSD students and school community members. To make an appointment, please call (845) 659-2436 or visit https://www.sunriver.org/.
Free emotional-support service offered by NYS
**Visit the New York State Am I Eligible webpage or Vaccines.gov to find a vaccine near you. For questions, more information, or if you need assistance scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, call 845-238-1956 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.
NR Weekly Positive Case Report
***NRCSD continues to work tirelessly to ensure that all health and safety protocols are working effectively. It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to make sure all safety protocols are followed at all times—in and out of school— so we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We must work together in partnership—schools, families, and students—and be mindful of the great responsibility we all have to protect ourselves and those around us. This virus can be present without any symptoms. That fact alone can lead to the unintentional infection of others.
School Meal Information
School Meal Sign up!
Red Raider Reminder
NR students who enroll in the free/reduced breakfast & lunch program qualify for college application fee waivers, free ACT and SAT exams and reduced AP exam registration fees! To qualify please complete the Free or Reduced Price Meal Application Form linked here as soon as possible.
Join the NRCSD Family!
Food Service Helpers
The North Rockland (Haverstraw-Stony Point) Central School District is seeking candidates for Food Service Helper positions at various school buildings for the 2021-2022 school year. The starting rate of pay is $14.00/hour. Apply here