January 14, 2022
Hello North Rockland Families,
We are already midway through the first month of 2022! Tomorrow, Saturday, January 15th, the District will be distributing free Rapid Home Antigen tests to all interested North Rockland families. There is no school on Monday, January 17th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This weekend, we once again remember his lasting legacy.
Across our school buildings this week, our students have been reflecting on the power of words. They learned about how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to move our entire nation with just one speech, “I Have a Dream.” His message resonates with us now and always will because it speaks to our hearts and souls. He inspires us to continue his mission of coming together for the greater good for everyone, everywhere.
In North Rockland, we thrive because we intuitively strive to accomplish our goals together during these enduring times. Doing our part and creating environments conducive to learning, caring, and sharing for ALL students truly make our schools great.
Recently, several federal and state COVID rules have changed. This has resulted in some confusion in many communities regarding the implications of these changes on schools. The District plans to be thoughtful in our approach to implementing changes rather than being reactive. You can find the District's updated COVID Management Plan below in the "COVID Management" section of the update.
It has now been a little over two weeks since holiday gatherings. While there remains some uncertainty, there appears to be optimism about the trajectory of the Omicron variant. There are encouraging signs that the worst of the winter surge is now behind us. The variant has proven to be much different than other COVID-19 variants which has ultimately led officials to reconsider and ease certain protocols such as quarantine and isolation periods for schools. Thus, the District has decided to resume most student extracurricular activities beginning next week. Some activities and events may still be held virtually or postponed based upon their nature.
This is where we currently stand. Please understand that we will adjust and promptly inform the community as we continually analyze the data as additional clarification is released. As always, we will persevere by continuing to work together.
We encourage our students and staff to continue to the practices that have helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Wear face coverings while indoors, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, maintain social distancing when around others, and stay home when you are not feeling well. Thank you for your ongoing flexibility and support as we work each day to provide a safe environment and high quality education for our students.
In recent weeks there have been several changes to the guidance, protocols, and mandates regarding the management of COVID.
The CDC, which makes recommendations that states can choose to enact has announced several changes to their guidance from December 27, 2021 through January 11, 2022. This information can be found linked here.
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has responded to the CDC recommendations by adjusting the COVID-19 protocols that school Districts are advised or required to follow. This information can be found linked here.
Local Departments of Health can require more restrictive guidelines but not less restrictive ones. Local Superintendents have been communicating with the Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) to determine the implications of the ever changing information provided by the NYSDOH and the best course of action to take currently and moving forward.
While the information we receive changes often, I am comfortable with the adjusted protocols North Rockland will adhere to at this time. As more information becomes available, we will continue to adjust accordingly.
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. Quarantine is important because even before a person has tested positive for COVID-19 or has any symptoms, they can spread the virus without knowing.
When will my child be required to quarantine?
- Your child will be required to quarantine when the District can confirm that your child has been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
How long must my child remain out of school if they are required to quarantine?
- Students who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine unless they experience symptoms. They should monitor symptoms and remain masked in public settings.
- 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.
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.
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. You isolate in order to prevent spreading the virus to others.
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. Wearing a well-fitting mask following isolation will decrease the small risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to others. Respirators (e.g., N95 masks) are a useful option for personal protective equipment to protect people from exposures in specific settings.
When can my child return to physical education and interscholastic sports after they have been diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Students may return to physical education and/or athletics after their isolation period ends with a doctor’s note.
- Students who are 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.
What is “Test to Stay” and will North Rockland be implementing this strategy?
- The NYS “Test to Stay” program allows students who are unvaccinated and deemed a close contact to avoid quarantine by being tested daily during their required quarantine period.
- This would require students to be tested each day at school by a medical professional. At home testing kits have been deemed unacceptable by the Rockland County Department of Health.
North Rockland is reviewing the requirements to determine if this program’s benefits outweigh the logistical challenges it poses.
The current COVID Management Plan that the District will be operating under next week may be adjusted based on the evolving guidance that is provided by Government officials.
It is North Rockland's philosophy to adjust our plan after information provided has been vetted. School districts are still looking for clarity regarding several key COVID related mandates. 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.
We are still reviewing guidance, advocating for logical changes to be made, and expecting clarification in the following areas which could lead to modifications in our COVID-19 safety practices:
- When will mask mandates be loosened?
- What is considered fully vaccinated?
- Are students who have not received a booster when eligible excluded from some school activities such as athletics?
- When will schools no longer be required to have students who were exposed to individuals who are COVID-19 positive be placed on Quarantine?
Superintendents Advocate to the State
The region's school superintendents are calling on the state to focus on weekly COVID testing for students and staff, developing metrics for dropping indoor masks, and increasing mental health services for students.
A letter sent Thursday by the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents to State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said the group's goals are to keep students in school, protect everyone's health, and "provide a path forward to a normalized school experience for students."
The letter also said the state should allow schools to stop contact tracing, as COVID-19 cases are rarely passed in school. Read the full article on the need for school protocol clarity linked here.
Free Test Kit Distribution
We are pleased to announce that the Rockland Department of Health (RCDOH), in cooperation with our partners at Rockland BOCES, has delivered free Rapid Home Antigen Tests to be distributed to all interested North Rockland families. The County has provided us with a supply of one kit (which includes two tests) per family. We will distribute these tests to help North Rockland residents maintain health and safety during the upcoming colder winter months.
***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.
Free Rapid Test Kits will be available for pickup on Saturday, January 15th between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the sites below:
-North Rockland High School
-Haverstraw Elementary School
-Farley Elementary School
We understand that some students or parents may not be able to pick up testing kits on Saturday because of their schedules or because they are ill, have been exposed to COVID-19, or are under quarantine or isolation. Information will be forthcoming on the process for these individuals to acquire testing kits.
NRCSD Budget Information
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. View the Budget Presentation linked here.
2021-22 Snow Day
- The District has used one 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.
Remote Academy Enrollment
Remote Academy learners are having a blast this year. It's been so fun navigating our virtual school's first year by growing, adapting, and excelling academically and emotionally #NRTogether!
The Academy's online classes helped limit sensory overload for particular learners throughout the first semester. Students have the option of re-watching lessons if they feel the need and provided opportunities for deep dives into their evolving interests—all during regular school hours like their in-person peers when students are most productive. Many have discovered they can better focus on their education and extracurricular activities. We are so proud to offer this remote option to the students and families of NRCSD!
Enrollment AnnouncementIf you're interested in obtaining information about enrolling your child for the second semester, please email Principal Jim Mulligan - firstname.lastname@example.org. The District will be accepting new students into the Remote Academy until January 14. 2022.
Jennifer LaBier Chosen for Most Valuable Teacher
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.
Sarai Gurley Crowned Girls Basketball Player of the Week!
Let's make some noise for Sarai Gurley this week's Journal News/lohud Girls Basketball Player of the Week!
The NRCSD sophomore guard propelled the Red Raiders to a quick start in a win over East Ramapo, finishing with a game-high 17 points. Gurley came back with 17 more in a win over Pelham.
Sarai takes the top spot and secures her title with a staggering 10,399 votes. Congratulations!
Historical Season Starts!
- Boys Varsity Basketball is 11-0
One of the best starts in School history.
- Both Boys and Girls bowling are 11-0 (match play records)
NR Educator and Coach Thomas Lynch Memorial Scholarship
Tom has been a trailblazer and beacon for youth for many generations, and his family wants to continue his legacy for years to come. Make donations to the Thomas Lynch Memorial Scholarship by following this link. All Funds will be used to set up an annual memorial scholarship at North Rockland High School in honor of our beloved Coach. It will be invested in the future of our community’s athletes so that Coach Lynch can continue to do what he cared most about--making a difference in kids’ lives.
Rockland athletic directors agreed to temporarily limit fan attendance for all high school sports contests and events due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
Crowds will be limited to just two spectators per player for home and away teams until Jan. 17, when the athletic directors will meet again and reexamine the fan situation.
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
Protecting the Environment During Winter Weather
Choose the right deicer.
Some deicers, such as rock salt and calcium chloride, can be dangerous for children, pets, and the environment. Look for eco-friendly and pet-safe ice melt for a safer alternative.
Use only enough to get the job done.
The most common mistake with applying deicers is using too much. Read the directions on your deicer’s packaging for information on how much you need to apply. If you are using a mechanical applicator, make sure it is properly calibrated. Pick up any spilled product using a shovel or broom.
Use traction instead.
Applying small amounts of sand or sawdust helps keep people and vehicles safe on ice without adding chemicals to the environment. Remember to apply these sparingly and sweep up any that is left after the ice melts.
Use battery, electric, or hybrid-powered snow blowers or a shovel.
This keeps our air clean, uses less fossil fuels, and helps prevent gasoline spills and leaks. For shorter stretches, such as walkways, shovel or sweep the ground clear with a broom instead.
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.
NR Student Leadership Groups Fundraiser
Jersey Mike's Subs has teamed up with NRCSD to help us fundraise during their grand opening this month!
For every coupon redeemed from attached flyer the new local restaurant will donate $1 back to NR for our student leadership groups. Please print and enjoy!
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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