GASD staff, students and families,
On behalf of the entire GASD administrative team and Board of Education I hope you are having a happy, peaceful and safe holiday break. Let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year as we say goodbye to a difficult and challenging 2020 and look forward to great things in 2021.
Our team is excited to welcome you back to school on Monday, January 4 for the return to the in person/hybrid instructional model. Students in the Purple group and all staff should report as usual on Monday morning.
During the time we have been away the COVID-19 infection rate unfortunately continues to worsen in the city, Montgomery County and the Mohawk Valley Region. Our region, however, has not been designated a region of caution by the New York State Department of Health and so school will move forward under the safety protocols we have in place. If cases arise we will continue to keep you updated through our Parent Square notification system and work closely with the county Department of Health to trace and monitor conditions locally.
In the meantime, please do not forget to complete the COVID-19 attestation app on Parent Square before 9 a.m. on January 4 if you will be returning to one of our schools or offices and continue to do so each day you will be in a building. This is required of ALL staff and students.
Staff should also be aware that as of this time, Congress has NOT extended the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) governing employee paid leave into the 2021 year, and unless or until that time, any leave taken will be according to contract and other applicable laws.
Additionally, Governor Cuomo announced this week that New York state is shortening its COVID-19 quarantine requirements for people exposed to the virus from 14 to 10 days. The move aligns with recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Under the new rules, someone exposed to another person with coronavirus can end their required self-isolation after just 10 days without testing as long as they don’t experience any symptoms. After the 10 days, New Yorkers must still monitor themselves for symptoms and contact their health care provider or local health department if anything changes.
Finally, as we wait for the administering of a COVID vaccine to stop the pandemic we all need to do our part to help stop the spread and keep our schools open for in person learning. Our children need to be in school in the best learning environment possible and science has shown that schools are the safest place for them to be. As always, the health and safety of the students, staff, and community in the GASD remains our top priority.
Thank you again for all you do and see you on Monday.
GASD Superintendent of Schools