COVID Response Update

October 22, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We have six full weeks of school in the books. In that time we have adjusted to new protocols, utilized our testing resources, and adapted as needed. I am so proud of our students and staff for all they have done to kick off this school year and I am very grateful for the support of our families and community.

I am writing to share some updates with you as we head into the final stretch of the first quarter. Below are main topics that pertain to COVID with details on what to expect moving forward.

Ages 5-12 Vaccination

We have an open and continuous dialogue with Hamilton County Public Health. Once the vaccine is available for this age group, as soon as I have information to share I will get that out to families. I hope to offer vaccination clinics right at school like we have offered previously.

We are proud to share that close to 80% of our age 12 and up population is vaccinated and 100% of our faculty and staff is vaccinated.

Positive Case Communication

If there is a positive case in our school community, moving forward, you can expect a notification from the school that states that there is a positive case. We are working directly with Hamilton County Public Health, and if your child was exposed to the positive case you will be notified promptly.


Thanks to Hamilton County Public Health, we have supplies of rapid and PCR tests at school. This has been a tremendous asset to our school and one that most school districts do not have. The benefit of having screening and diagnostic testing available right at the school is that we have immediate information, we can focus our energy and efforts, and we can help stop the spread of the virus as a result. This can also save parents/guardians time and money as you do not have to go to a health care center to receive the test, which could take several days to receive the results.

As shared at the start of the school year, the school can only perform screening or diagnostic testing on students who have signed consent forms. If we do not have a signed consent form, the student will need to be tested at a health care office and we will need to receive the negative test result before the student can return to school. If you have not yet returned a consent form, we can provide you with one at any time. Please just call the Main Office.

Moving forward we will report all screening and diagnostic test results to parents/guardians.

It is important to note that we are not performing random testing at this time, so we will only test students if there is an exposure, a student is symptomatic, or a parent/guardian requests it (e.g. traveling out of state and would like a screening test before coming back to school).

Screening Tests

We use rapid tests for screenings. Screening tests are only done if a person does not

have symptoms. This is a shallow swab of the nose (5 swirls around each nostril) and the results are ready in 15 minutes.

Diagnostic Tests

We use PCR tests for diagnostics. Diagnostic tests are used if a person has symptoms or for an asymptomatic vaccinated contact to receive clearance (*see COVID Contact Guidance - Person B). This test is a shallow swab of the nose (5 swirls around each nostril) and the results are ready in 15 minutes. This test requires a machine to read the results. Per NYS DOH this test is the required test for symptomatic individuals.

For more information on COVID contact guidance please see our chart below.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at school. Thank you for your continued support.


Ms. Noelle J. Short


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