Dear Minisink Valley parents/guardians and school community:
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March, Minisink Valley faculty, staff and administration have remained committed to providing the best educational experience for your children. These very difficult times have challenged all of us in many different ways.
But even on those very difficult days, we have shown the power of our “Warrior” name: We are strong, we never give up and we are successful in our efforts.
During these pandemic times, our hybrid in-person and fully remote models have remained the best, viable options to providing the highest quality educational experience. This has included maximizing in-person instruction opportunities when possible, while remaining in compliance with strict and continuously evolving CDC, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Orange County Department of Health (OCDOH) mandates, guidelines and directives.
The district has received information from the Orange County Department of Health (OCDOH) that increasing the number of in-person instructional days for our students may be permissible if the district is in full compliance with the guidelines disseminated by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and New York State Department of Education (NYSED). We expect to receive updated guidance from NYSDOH this week.
The district’s Reopening Committee has already been meeting to discuss various scenarios, including OCDOH guidelines and expected new NYSDOH guidelines.
As a result, we have ordered trifold polycarbonate desk partitions. The clear partitions will be installed by our Buildings & Grounds staff as soon as they are delivered.
It’s important to stress this remains a very fluid situation. We are continuing to address the many necessary details as we finalize our plans. Our goal is to have students increase in-person instruction from two days per week to four to five days per week, beginning with our elementary students, as soon as possible within the next six weeks, pending the delivery and installation of the polycarbonate partitions.
The option to students to remain fully remote will still exist.
As part of our planning, please watch for a survey to be disseminated to parents and guardians later this week. It’s important that parents and guardians respond to this.
We know this is an ambitious timeline, but we are cautiously optimistic this is doable based on the expected new guidance and our preparedness, in conjunction with your continued support, patience and grace in our efforts. We know you’ll have many questions on related topics, and ask for your continued patience as we work through all of this.
In addition, we continue to provide our staff with information on how to access COVID-19 vaccinations.
Please note: As has always been the case, federal and state guidance and mandates do consistently change and are modified as conditions evolve. We are required to follow all of them. Our first commitment remains safeguarding the good health of our students, faculty and staff.
I will be in touch again soon with updates.
Brian C. Monahan