Dear Minisink Valley school community:
While we are happy to see our students return to school over these last days, we have been dealing with instances of children returning to school who are not well.
To be very clear: Parents must not send their children to school if they are sick or exhibit symptoms of being sick.
Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 symptoms for children include:
- Fever or chills
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach ache
- Muscle or body aches
Sending your children to school if they are not well creates significant staffing challenges for us. If a child tests positive for COVID-19 and has been in school, this requires us to complete thorough contact tracing. We are legally required to tell that child’s family that the child must not come to school.
Additionally, everyone who we deem that child has interacted with, including teachers and other staff, is also impacted and must stay home for the required number of days as per the Orange County Department of Health. This impacts our ability to safely and properly staff our classes and keep our buildings open.
This has already happened to us at the Elementary School, High School and, now, the Middle School this year. But, going forward, we continue to do our very best to make sure we don’t have to close any of our buildings.
We can’t do this without your commitment to keep your child home if they are not well. We must rely on you as our trusted partners to safeguard the good health and safety of our students and staff so in-person instruction is never jeopardized.
We know how important it is to physically be in school. There are tremendous benefits to in-person interactions with faculty, staff and friends. If your child is not well, please know our faculty are well-versed at ensuring your child has the best possible educational experience remotely. And when they are symptom-free, we will be happy to see them back in our classrooms.
I want to emphasize this again: If your children are not well or even exhibit what you consider to be “nothing major,” do not send them to school.
We need you to be on high alert and ultra-sensitive to this requirement. Failure to do so will result in us calling you to pick up your child, and puts us at risk of pivoting to remote instruction for everyone. We don’t want to see this happen, and are counting on you to do your part.
Thank you for your attention to this important information. If you have any questions, please reach out to your building principal.
Brian C. Monahan