The Rochester City School District recently announced details regarding its reopening plan for the 2021-22 school year, which includes offering in-person learning five days a week and requiring vaccinations for teachers and staff.
Lesli Myers-Small said Aug. 10 that the district is set to return to a full-time schedule of in-person learning Sept. 8 despite new COVID-19 health concerns and a shortage of bus drivers.
The announcement came just one week after the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention changed mask-wearing recommendations for vaccinated individuals within a public setting due to the new Delta coronavirus variant.
“Masks will be required for all students and staff while they’re indoors, regardless of vaccination status,” Myers-Small said in an Aug. 13 e-newsletter.
However, intermittent breaks will be offered to remove masks such as for eating, drinking, and during periods of outdoor play or exercise, she said.
The district also notified its teachers and staff in an Aug. 18 letter that weekly COVID tests will be required beginning Sept. 6 for all individuals who do not otherwise submit proof of vaccination status to RCSD’s Office of Human Capital Employee Benefits Team by Sept. 3. The letter further explains that staff who do not submit vaccination status by the given date will be required to test until cleared for exemption and given notice by the team.
Other aspects of RCSD’s reopening plan include such preventative measures as staying home while sick, cleaning/disinfection and contact tracing. Additionally, students are expected to be monitored for coronavirus symptoms every day before arriving to school via a COVID-19 symptom questionnaire as well as having their temperature taken upon arrival before receiving permission to enter the building.
While the district prepares for the return of its students, a shortage of bus drivers also has been announced, requiring RCSD to enact its emergency transportation plan. As part of the emergency plan, the arrival and dismissal times of certain elementary schools will be changed. As of this time, there are no current schedule changes proposed for secondary schools and programs.
The district will be hosting a public forum via Zoom Aug. 21 to provide more details for the start of the upcoming school year. For more information or to register, visit rcsdk12.org.